WHY DID WE HAVE ALL THESE KIDS, ANYWAY?

Lowetide
December 22 2013 10:12AM

We're almost 40 games in to this season, and the Edmonton Oilers are in a world of hurt. Nothing rhymes, the shooters aren't shooting, the defenders aren't defending, the goalies aren't stopping anything, and the fans are increasingly indifferent. WHAT can Craig MacTavish do? Aside from rescinding the Smid trade, there are a few things he can do.

PROBLEMS!

  1. Too many kids! This one is obvious. If we name all of the Oilers with less than 200 games NHL experience (Nuge, Yakupov, Justin Schultz, Petry, Arcobello, Belov, Larsen, Potter, Joensuu, Gazdic) it's almost half the roster.
  2. Too many kids in feature roles! Hell, Taylor Hall just passed 200 NHL games for crying out loud—and maybe that's the best way to frame this issue—there are too many kids in important roles. The entire 1line lacks experience, the top pairing many nights is Belov-Petry and the veterans (Ference and Nick Schultz) are overwhelmed.

INDIFFERENCE

The smart move for Craig MacTavish should be 'stay the course' and wait for a trade that makes sense. However, fan rage is giving way to indifference, and that's a very dangerous neighborhood for a sports franchise. I think the odds of Edmonton making a significant trade went way up last night, and the chances of seeing one of the gifted youngsters heading out of town rose with it.

Bold can be beautiful, but you better be right.

WHO'S GOING?

The 2014 1st rd pick, Nail Yakupov, Justin Schultz, Jeff Petry and any combination of that group. I don't think they club moves Hall, Nuge or Eberle, and until last night would have included Yakupov on that list.

No longer. The die is cast.

WHO'S COMING IN?

Christian Ehrhoff, Brian Campbell, Dustin Byfgluien, a veteran defenseman who can play big minutes in all three disciplines.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

From the 2010 draft through MacT's arrival as GM, the Oilers were basically running in place, gathering talent. This next move—the bold one—is going to send away a significant piece of tomorrow for some sunshine today.

And Craig MacTavish has to make that deal with 29 jackals. Next stop, Pottersville.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#101 elpol
December 22 2013, 03:52PM
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If this team is ever, ever going to go forward in a positive way? Honestyly sorry to say but at least two of Nuge, Hall, Eberle, Schultz, Yakupov, Gagner, or Petry must go. Addition by subtraction. No other way will this collection of self-entitled kids even begin to get the message that they must be better or, they will be gone. Unfortunately, this requires management to have balls that they sorely lack. Imo, Lowe definitely stays until at least the off-season: Katz probably wouldn't dream of embarrassing his man-crush who, don't forget, is part of the Cdn. Olympic management team.

This management group is so afraid of losing a trade, they appear they'd rather have a losing team than dare to do what is becoming uncomfortably obvious to many: These "super-kids" simply aren't as good or have quite the potential as they insist we believe. The only possible exception in my mind might be Hall. Nobody has the shoulders to carry this team. Nobody can effectively boot these kids in the asses hard enough to wake them up. They ought to be good enough to simply compete just based on having been professional-trajectory hockey players, without the benefit of coaching. Yet, this group makes fence posts look intelligent most nights.

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#102 Spurzey
December 22 2013, 04:15PM
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@Pennerwise

If you even think of doing something like this then you are dumber than oiler mgmt. That is all.

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#103 nick
December 22 2013, 04:35PM
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@THRNHJE

Wow, if you still have Ference and Belov here when the new Arena opens this team is in a world of hurt still. Belov should be in OKC right now never mind in the future.

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#104 THRNHJE
December 22 2013, 04:36PM
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@nick

Yeah i wrote that in haste, I also have khaira on the wing. Ference still has a contract in two years... replace belov with Petry.

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#105 irv2
December 22 2013, 04:48PM
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When people suggest that fans stop buying tickets, merchandise, beer and whatever else is on offer, I think they are forgetting a fundamental financial reality. As a business the Oilers are a 'can't fail' operation for Katz. Suppose there were a concerted, organized or disorganized movement that lowered attendance by 10,20 or even 50%.....hell make it 70%. Mr. Katz would make an even greater windfall profit by either selling or moving the franchise and the NHL would be happy to oblige him. Moving the franchise to an American City with a much bigger potential TV audience would fit perfectly into the NHL's strategic plan. As a business man Mr. Katz is perfectly well aware of this reality, yes? So really, other than appealing to Mr.K's sense of loyalty to the community I don't see how he can be pressured. And, given that the threat to move the franchise if the oilers didn't get a new arena with substantial public investment has already been hinted at I wouldn't count on that.

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#106 RexHolez
December 22 2013, 04:51PM
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Can you pretend to be mad and sick of this loosing just once LT?? This never ending optimism and forever undying support is starting to bug me

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#107 Don W
December 22 2013, 05:03PM
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The next jersey thrown needs to have Fire Lowe for the name bar.

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#108 Webposter
December 22 2013, 06:23PM
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Frankly, at least some of those names should be in the AHL earning their bones, learning, getting bigger and smarter.

Learning one thing at a time is easier than trying to learn everything at once, but up in the NHL, they don't have much choice. I don't put this one on the kids.

I put this one on management botching up their development in order to distract the fans from their abysmal record by showing off their newest, shiny high draft picks when they should have been in OKC learning the ropes.

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#109 Bryzarro World
December 22 2013, 06:45PM
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Why did we fire Renney again?

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#110 Bryzarro World
December 22 2013, 06:50PM
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Cam wrote:

Great article LT,

Sad to say but I'm almost happy to see them lose at this point. Maybe the whole Tambellini experience helped condition us to think that the only way changes will be made is for us to tank. I'm a fan of the teman since I was 5 in 78', so it's with remorse I admit that. As soon as the 'Rake' left town, Spacek, Bergeron... And the C's in Marty, Jarret, and Michael the problem was created. No defense coupled with lack of strength up the middle spells DONE. I know you have respect for KLowe as a citizen and former Defender, but I do believe his failure to adress the issues will forever mark him in this town. It has to be terribly uncomfortable for him whenever Big D calls... Hard to put lipstick on this pig. Whatever happens I hope they hang onto Belov and Larssen. I don't think the big Russian has been given near enough credit for what he's come into here. No NHL experience, and barely any camp. I think he's a depth defender on many good teams in this league. Larssen might be just what we don't need at times given his lack o size and grit... But I remember a smart man by the name of Slats say one time how important a mobile defenseman is. (Talking about Coffey). Phillip may not be Paul, but damn if him and Justin aren't the fleetest defenders we've seen here since those days. I watched Darnell close up at the Bears Rookie game, and he went end to end from a standstill behind his net twice. It was a walk in the park for him. Add him into the mix and we might have one the best skating defence in the leauge if we can shore up 4 more spots rounded out with a legit top pairing. One more thing... Oscar K was to my limited view not that great. I hope it was a popr sample at that Rookie game but he was outclassed by several Bears forwards that night which leads me to believe he is no answer. Love your stuff LT!!! Keep it up and Merry Merry Cam

PARAGRAPHS!!!!!!

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#111 Zarny
December 22 2013, 07:36PM
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Last night's debacle was my Christmas gift to my sister and brother-in-law. Seemed like a good idea at the start of the season. So far I haven't been banned from Christmas.

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#112 gcw_rocks
December 22 2013, 09:19PM
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The sad thing is that if MacT had done his job this past summer and brought in more veterans and fewer gambles the pending trade would not have been necessary. Ray Shero once said something to the effect that the role of the GM on rebuilding teams is to surround the kids with vets that know what it takes to win. Perron, Ference and Gordon were in this ilk, but three guys is not surrounding. Bringing in Joensuu, Acton, Gadzic, Belov, and Arcobello just made the balance worse. What a mess.

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#113 rbworld
December 22 2013, 09:54PM
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@irv2

I don't think that moving the team is an option for Katz, but he will need to make some changes soon. Here's why:

Before that shiny new arena opens, he needs to get new commitments for his sky suites and luxury boxes. He needs to sell a couple thousand additional season tickets. And he undoubtedly plans to charge much more than he receives now.

In order to spur sales, he will need to get buyers into a frothy lather. The only way that happens is if the team goes at least past the first round the season before the new arena opens.

Also keep in mind that the arena deal with Northlands will expire two years before the new arena opens; that means Northlands is going to get all the revenue Katz gets now (other than ticket sales). Beer revenue, advertising revenue, conessions will all be lost.

Starving for cash and with new revenue streams precariously tied to the on-ice product, Katz will absolutely need to have a serious contender on the ice. He has at most one more non-playoff season available to him, then he will have to do something to wash the stink off the franchise.

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#114 ubermiguel
December 22 2013, 10:12PM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

Why did we fire Renney again?

Because you can't fire a whole team. If anything this season has taught us coaching was never the problem.

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#115 Bonvie
December 23 2013, 01:07AM
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bazmagoo wrote:

How about Yak to Buffalo for Tyler Myers? Any value in that proposal?

Word

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#116 Bonvie
December 23 2013, 01:09AM
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Trade Smid!!!

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#117 Bonvie
December 23 2013, 01:10AM
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Trade Smid!!!

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#118 huskamania
December 23 2013, 06:58AM
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@Rod from Viking

I dont understand what all the hate is for Eb's , I assume you all have never played sports in your life with those comments to trade ebs. He is one of our best players for the last 3 years, he dominated in juniors, he is magic on shoot outs, whenever any other team talks they always want Eb's , there is a reason for that , your baked and maybe get off the couch and play the sport before you hammer on guys on a lousy team. It isnt the core young guys its admin that is the problem.

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#119 book¡e
December 23 2013, 07:25AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

...errr...Lowetide's name is Alan.

Thats a ridiculous assertion. His name is Lowetide. Stop being an idiot.

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#120 Rdubb
December 23 2013, 08:11AM
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In all honesty, Edm does not need Campbell, but an Ehrhoff would be welcome, or even that big guy from the Peg? Should the Oilers deal for Byfgluien, than they should try and do a multi-player deal and get Kane too... Wouldn't a Yak, Petry & the 2014 1st rounder get that deal done? If needed, toss in Hemmer and pay some of the remaining money owed to him? What do you think Lowetide? I'd really like to hear your opinion on my "potential" offer

PS - you know how many FANS are turning against you because of your last name, @ least until he GETS THE AXE in the spring

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#121 Zarny
December 23 2013, 09:16AM
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The article is bang on but this isn't new information. Nothing has really changed.

Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Yak and Schultz were young and inexperienced at the start of the season. Most of the 4th line literally had no NHL experience. The top 6 F have always been too much of the same and they've needed a top pairing D for quite awhile now. We knew all of this 38 game ago.

It's time to step back from the ledge and take a breath. It's not the End of Days.

The reality is from the 2010 draft to MacT's arrival the Oilers really only gathered a handful of talented players. Last summer, MacT was able to add a few more pieces. At the trade deadline he needs to add a few more.

Top of the needs list is a top pairing D. That trade probably still doesn't happen till closer to the trade deadline.

Perhaps beggars shouldn't be choosers, but Brian Campbell doesn't really solve a lot of problems. I'd rather see MacT go after someone with more defensive acumen who can play a physical game. Ryan McDonagh, Braydon Coburn, Dustin Byfgluien or Dan Girardi.

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#122 Zarny
December 23 2013, 09:28AM
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huskamania wrote:

I dont understand what all the hate is for Eb's , I assume you all have never played sports in your life with those comments to trade ebs. He is one of our best players for the last 3 years, he dominated in juniors, he is magic on shoot outs, whenever any other team talks they always want Eb's , there is a reason for that , your baked and maybe get off the couch and play the sport before you hammer on guys on a lousy team. It isnt the core young guys its admin that is the problem.

I think you misunderstand. Comments about trading players has nothing to do with hate.

There are two simple facts:

1) The Oilers top 6 F are too much of the same. They all get shutdown by the exact same game plan...push them to the outside and bump them off the puck.

2) Aside from the top 6 F the Oilers basically have nothing else.

The Oilers will NEVER win loaded up front with small, skilled F and nothing else to support them. They need a top pairing D pairing and they can't afford to wait 4-6 years for Darnell Nurse to maybe fill that role.

The only way to acquire a top pairing D is to trade one of the four kids.

Yes, they will be sending away a very talented forward. Don't worry they'll still have 3 more.

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#123 huskamania
December 23 2013, 11:27AM
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Zarny wrote:

I think you misunderstand. Comments about trading players has nothing to do with hate.

There are two simple facts:

1) The Oilers top 6 F are too much of the same. They all get shutdown by the exact same game plan...push them to the outside and bump them off the puck.

2) Aside from the top 6 F the Oilers basically have nothing else.

The Oilers will NEVER win loaded up front with small, skilled F and nothing else to support them. They need a top pairing D pairing and they can't afford to wait 4-6 years for Darnell Nurse to maybe fill that role.

The only way to acquire a top pairing D is to trade one of the four kids.

Yes, they will be sending away a very talented forward. Don't worry they'll still have 3 more.

I did understand , I know you stated 6 forwards I currently only see 3 to keep ,Hall,Ebs and RNH, do what you want with the rest if you can the 3 I mentioned have contributed already and you cant teach talent, you either have or dont have it. Yaks has it but very young I would rather hear that guys that haven't proved they can produce every year be on rumor talk. Trade J.S and Yaks for Top D like a Webber or PK but clutch guys you have to keep or you may never ever get them again. Eb's or Hall should have been the Captain they give it a 3rd pairing Boston defenceman that is Eakins bum boy and does nothing wrong. 3 mistakes for this team from start of year, getting rid of Ralph who had the powerplay going nuts last year, hiring a nobody coach that cant teach better then a peewee coach, keeping same old oilers that weren't great of players. ,Low good with Gretz garbage without, Smith scored goal on own net to end dynasty, and bucky umm ya a name like bucky as a coach. Frustrated.!!

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#124 Rod from Viking
December 23 2013, 01:39PM
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huskamania wrote:

I dont understand what all the hate is for Eb's , I assume you all have never played sports in your life with those comments to trade ebs. He is one of our best players for the last 3 years, he dominated in juniors, he is magic on shoot outs, whenever any other team talks they always want Eb's , there is a reason for that , your baked and maybe get off the couch and play the sport before you hammer on guys on a lousy team. It isnt the core young guys its admin that is the problem.

That's pretty cheap,"Baked",I have competitively played hockey,fastball, baseball and water skied as well as coached hockey and fastball,I have also had season tickets for the Oiler's for 20 years, not much time for the couch. You are right though that Eberle is the player other teams want, how do you get what you need trading someone other teams don't want? By the way I don't need to make derogatory comment's to people who state their opinion on here,why do you? "Merry Christmas"

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#125 Rod from Viking
December 23 2013, 01:42PM
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huskamania wrote:

I dont understand what all the hate is for Eb's , I assume you all have never played sports in your life with those comments to trade ebs. He is one of our best players for the last 3 years, he dominated in juniors, he is magic on shoot outs, whenever any other team talks they always want Eb's , there is a reason for that , your baked and maybe get off the couch and play the sport before you hammer on guys on a lousy team. It isnt the core young guys its admin that is the problem.

Are you sure this was meant for me? I don't think I have put a trade proposal on here for a while.

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#126 huskamania
December 23 2013, 02:12PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Are you sure this was meant for me? I don't think I have put a trade proposal on here for a while.

It wasnt really directed towards you just general, I read your's as I was going through them and it had the move Ebs out, I hear it so much from forum boards not just this one and just cant understand why we (fans) would move a guy like that, hes done nothing but put up points for us, I know hes plus/minus isnt great but look at the Oil, all I was trying to say it isnt the core players its the rest and Managment have no clue.

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#127 Huskamania
December 23 2013, 02:21PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

That's pretty cheap,"Baked",I have competitively played hockey,fastball, baseball and water skied as well as coached hockey and fastball,I have also had season tickets for the Oiler's for 20 years, not much time for the couch. You are right though that Eberle is the player other teams want, how do you get what you need trading someone other teams don't want? By the way I don't need to make derogatory comment's to people who state their opinion on here,why do you? "Merry Christmas"

You get the the players you want by playing better ,Managment isnt making that happen if it be system ,style or whatever it is. I know I have had bad coach's and good ones, but I do know we never did trade the top offensive talent we had because you never will be getting it back. You can teach hard workers what to do and I love them to but they will never have that extra of speed or skill that makes certain players Elite and about the comment for a guy that has played those sports and been in team atmosphere that should'nt offend you , its how guys talk to there friends, I didnt make it personal and wont but will continue to offer my opinion, thanks for understanding. I must also say Have a great and Merry Xmas to you and your family and hope Santa brings the Oil some wins

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#128 Primo
December 23 2013, 04:30PM
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The Oiler media and the fans are no different than the Oiler management. They expect the other teams to trade you their top players for Oiler garbage.

We will get better but we will not trade Eberle, TH and RNH! What a joke. What a pathetic franchise!

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