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.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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 Team 1260.
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#1 Oilergasm
December 22 2013, 11:30AM
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Might seem a little NHL14ish but what about a deal beginning with Eberle for Datsyuk?

I know other pieces would have to be involved, but I think in the long run Datsyuk would make Yak, Hall and especially Nuge much better players long term.

Wow, reading it again... that's a tough pill to swallow, a 23 year old future all star for a 35 year old entering his twilight.

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#2 Serious Gord
December 22 2013, 10:23AM
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There could not be a worse time to make a trade. Lack of Oilers negotiating strength And mgmt desperation make it so.

If Katz really cares about this teams future he should prohibit any trades until the deadline is close.

That said, fans are rightfully demanding blood/change. And something needs to happen to take the heat off of these young players.

Thus Lowetide the correct thing to do is fire one or more of those in management. And the best choice - the one that keeps the wolves at bay the best is KLOwe. That you did not begin this post - the first one after the abomination of last night makes your position as an unbiased (read: not a lapdog for management) commenter suspect in my eyes at least.

And it's high time you make the same gesture as the jersey thrower and abandon the moniker Lowetide.

Now that would send a message...

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#3 Pennerwise
December 22 2013, 11:03AM
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I really think a statement needs to be made on mass.

Pennies for change! Throwing coins on the ice creates a very real disturbance. Would get lots of attention in the media. Very little cost. It would send a message that we, as fans, are fed up with spending our hard earned money on an inferior product. We would be" tipping" the Oilers organization for their hard work and effort. Plus we could all wish for some real change.

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#4 Chet134
December 22 2013, 10:32AM
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Lowetide, ur evaluation of our players is as bad as managements. U can't trade yak, Schultz,petry, Gagner or hemsky cuz there value is at an all time low. To get value u have to give value. We will lose those trades. Imagine if macT gave up Eberle for Sequin or Bobby Ryan. Oh ya those clubs didn't want to trade with us. The Oilers life story. Management and most of the press make excuses why we don't give effort, put there bodies on the line for each other, win one on one battles, dont pay enough attention to detail to the gameplan etc. Hey we learned a valuable lesson last night. Great. I was surprized that more jerseys weren't thrown on the ice. Oh ya cuz there expensive. Cha Ching more money in Katz pockets.

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#5 -30-
December 22 2013, 10:27AM
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Why trade out of desperation?

Expect the Oil to stink the joint out. Expect #1 draft picks to get their feathers ruffled.

Aren't we really FOUR years into the actual rebuild. Pittsburgh, Chicago and LA all took longer than four years to rebuild.

Do something hasty and you hurt the product down the road.

Wait until the trade deadline. Deal if it's there and then again wait until the draft and see what is available.

Doing a trade out of desperation almost never works. MacT hasn't even been on the job a year yet.

This is like saying something you don't mean in an argument and then having to take it back afterward. They don't offer refunds in trades.

-30-

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#6 Pumpkinjerk
December 22 2013, 10:54AM
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This rebuild is only 4 years old. It took many years for the other top teams to arrive there, and years of drafting well. When the oil was owned by the Edmonton investors group, there was little money for scouting. We are paying for that now. For crying out loud, we didn't even have a farm team to develop the picks even if we had some. Other teams have those picks to plug in right about this stage of the rebuild. Sure they would be moved on when the better picks develop, but the Oil don't even have those. It's like having an expansion team. This rebuild is going to take a looong time. Be patient, dont trade the pick, find some free agents to plug holes on the d, plug the developed d- men when they are ready. It is time to consider some trades though. Consider being the word. Let's not go all Millbury. Be bad for Ekblad . Sigh.

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#7 Lowe Expectations
December 22 2013, 11:03AM
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I think this is karma biting us the ass for all the years Gretz & the gang ran the score up and simply handed there lunch to rest of the NHL. Now I know what a Canucks fan circa 1985 felt like.

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#8 Arius Mumin
December 22 2013, 11:19AM
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.!..FIRE EAKINS..!.

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#9 Oilers42
December 22 2013, 10:39AM
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I wouldn't trade any of those guys you listed including the 2014 pick IMO Yak has been one of the only players that is actually trying but Eakins continues to give him the Kadri treatment

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#10 Greenlingj
December 22 2013, 10:16AM
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You don't trade 1st overall picks without having a full season under their belts.

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#13 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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#14 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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#15 Pouzar99
December 22 2013, 11:32AM
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There is no simple solution, but the first move should be for MacT to fire Eakins and go behind the bench for the rest of the season. Eakins is obviously in Way over his head and is increasingly panicking. MacT is a far better coach and working closely with the players for half a season will help him get to know them better and judge more effectively who is and isn't salvageable.

I share the concern about the fan base who are increasingly passing through rage to indifference. The team has clearly been grossly mismanaged and a new man, Brian Burke would have been ideal, should be brought in at the end of the season and given free rein to clean house and bring in his own people. The problem? Who is competent to make the decision who to bring in?

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#16 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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#17 Btk2222
December 22 2013, 11:37AM
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Come on Conner McDavid and Arron Ekblad and just save this team already.

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#18 Rheal1
December 22 2013, 10:19AM
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I wonder what MacT might be thinking now? "What the hell did I got myself into?" I wonder what Eakins might be thinking now? "I really miss my Marlies now". I wonder what Kevin Lowe might be thinking now? "We ought to auction that jersey that was thrown on the ice last night". I wonder what Katz might be thinking now? "Another $ell out la$t night!!!!!"

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#19 Serious Gord
December 22 2013, 10:36AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

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

I know that - read wrong footer from a different post. - corrected it but old post remained.

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#20 Gb3199
December 22 2013, 11:12AM
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Did anyone catch the HNIC round table after the game. Weber's name was brought up again as a perfect fit for the Oil. If you're trading a Hall, etc Al, that's the kind of return. And why no talk of a deal with the Islander? The suck just as hard. Now is the time to go after a Tavares.

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#21 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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#22 CDean
December 22 2013, 10:22AM
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This all started with Tambo, the word 'rebuild' was used and the concept of losing was deemed 'ok'. Losing is never OK. If losing happens, deal with but do not plan for and expect it. That was a loser vision from the start. The losing atmosphere was probably here before the number one overall because the team was performing terribly thus the need for a 'rebuild'.

MacT has inherited this losing atmosphere and it should have never been here. The objective of the team is to win. It doesn't matter that they had to turn over half the roster back in 2009. But not having a bar set and a plan set for your number one(s) to learn and grow was a terrible strategy. They team needs to be better now just like MacT said at the start of the season.

A trade is coming...

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#23 Serious Gord
December 22 2013, 10:23AM
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Edited version above.

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#24 Rheal1
December 22 2013, 10:30AM
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A rookie GM hired a rookie head coach. Either the rookie GM forbid the rookie head coach to fire the assistants or the rookie head coach was too green to hire his own assistants. Bottom line is that it snow balled from there... What to do? Trade(s)? No. The fingers are pointed solely at the development staff & the assistants.

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#25 DieHard
December 22 2013, 11:34AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Couldn't agree more. So, Eberle?

Got to keep all 3 1st overalls. Plus Perron, Hemsky and the first pick this year (get a big center or defenseman).

All others can be traded.

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#26 Bringback_egar
December 22 2013, 11:34AM
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It seems that the Oilers have a belief that instead of letting your young kids spend some time in OKC and build some confidence and size to compete in a big mans league, they would rather throw them to the wolves and instill a culture of losing and disappointment.

Yakapov is -26, worst in the entire league and yet he continues to play. Really, this guys is a none factor every night and he still is getting 15min per game. He has no idea what to do without the puck and when he gets it he "jitterbugs" to the middle of the ice and gets surrounded and turns it over. Pretty sure he would benefit from some time in OKC to gain some confidence and get his game going.

Don't trade him, he will be a key piece of the future, but leaving him on this team at this time is going to destroy his future. Egar can play on the 3rd line and he brings some energy and size up front, is a veteran presence in the room and has a Stanely Cup ring. Pretty sure he can be better than a -26, but it is just not the Oiler way!!

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#27 Turnover
December 22 2013, 11:48AM
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For all the people who pay to see those poopypants Soilers at Rectal Place...don't you want to hear what Bryz has to say about this wonderful mess?

Put a mic in front of Bryz, and let him give at least a bit of entertsinment for the money you spend.

The only Soilers person with any balls last night, was the one who threw their jersey onto the ice.

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#28 The Real Scuba Steve
December 22 2013, 10:54AM
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I'm disappointed I really expected to see that jersey on the ice on the front page on The Sun or The Journal, What better image to send to Katz, What happens NOTHING! Every sports channel outside of Edmonton made remarks about it. In Edmonton nothing, all you writers in Oilernation have yet to comment about it. Does the Oiler WarMachine really have every media outlet in Edmonton by the balls?

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#29 Pennerwise
December 22 2013, 11:38AM
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Frank the dog wrote:

Paper clips are more effective and cost even less. But in view of the harm either would do to a player tripping over one, I think doing either verges on criminal.

What if a player that tripped on a coin or paper clip smashed himself full speed into the boards head first, crushed his neck and died?

I'd suggest the top tier fans start wearing paper bags over their faces at games until further notice.

Steaming piles of dog sh@ would also be effective when thrown on the ice.Just one problem..

How could you tell what was thrown in protest, and what was the normal Oilers line up.

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#30 dwarr
December 22 2013, 11:59AM
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At some point management has to admit they were wrong, i don't put full blame on Eakins but the lack of supporting cast for his coaching style has crippled his effectiveness. Now it maybe out of his control (management refusal to fire the existing) but that would have undoubtedly been discussed during the hiring process. With the looming Olympic break i propose a changing of the guard and a chance to start new. Firing Eakins and bringing in Laviolette (up tempo style with fiery passion for winning, proven success with youngsters in important positions. **an option of few that are available during season.) this upcoming break will allow for a transition and hopefully a positive change to the outlook of this team.

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#31 bazmagoo
December 22 2013, 01:21PM
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How about Yak to Buffalo for Tyler Myers? Any value in that proposal?

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#32 nick
December 22 2013, 01:50PM
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Oilergasm wrote:

This is among the reasons we are in this mess in the first place, management and coaches have been preaching hard work and accountability, but yet the management team has been throwing things in the air to see what sticks (Belov, Grebeshkov, Omark, Schultz). The problem is, nothing is sticking. Jury's still out on Belov and Schultz, but all we've found so far are more Fabian Brunnstrum's and Roman Cervenka's.

Jury is not out on Belov, he is brutal. At best he is an AHL defenseman. There was a reason he was not in the NHL before 27 years old. The Oilers are not ahead of the game finding this guy they were at the back of the bus when 29 other teams thought no way he's not good enough. MacT is clearly an idiot.

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#33 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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#34 Zamboni Driver
December 22 2013, 10:42AM
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Oilers42 wrote:

I wouldn't trade any of those guys you listed including the 2014 pick IMO Yak has been one of the only players that is actually trying but Eakins continues to give him the Kadri treatment

Okay this is insanity.

Who exactly would you move?

Hemsky? Good luck.

Gagner? Funnier.

None of the 'huge upside great skill talent', also not this year's pick....what in the world is left?

(P.S. Yakupov is running away with the NHL Green Jacket this year.)

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#35 Walter Sobchak
December 22 2013, 11:27AM
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Pennerwise wrote:

I really think a statement needs to be made on mass.

Pennies for change! Throwing coins on the ice creates a very real disturbance. Would get lots of attention in the media. Very little cost. It would send a message that we, as fans, are fed up with spending our hard earned money on an inferior product. We would be" tipping" the Oilers organization for their hard work and effort. Plus we could all wish for some real change.

This is an insane response to the Oilers! Be better than this!

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#36 bazmagoo
December 22 2013, 11:29AM
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Doubt the Oilers do anything except offload salary at the deadline. Nor should they imo, unless the right deal comes along. Panic deals are rarely good deals. Just hoping they can find the next diamond in the rough (Jason Smith). The one constant through all the agony has been Kevin Lowe and the two assistant coaches. It's time they all go. Will it happen? Not likely until Katz starts losing serious amounts of $.

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#37 Cold Hard Truth
December 22 2013, 11:37AM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Doubt the Oilers do anything except offload salary at the deadline. Nor should they imo, unless the right deal comes along. Panic deals are rarely good deals. Just hoping they can find the next diamond in the rough (Jason Smith). The one constant through all the agony has been Kevin Lowe and the two assistant coaches. It's time they all go. Will it happen? Not likely until Katz starts losing serious amounts of $.

I've heard this year after year after year after year. The word panic has negative connotations; I prefer urgent. If the ex-Oilers cabal is not showing any urgency, all the more reason for them to go.

Second verse, same as the first.

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#38 Roga35
December 22 2013, 11:39AM
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@-30-

Seriously guys!!!! Let's be honest here.... The Oilers have been using the term "rebuilding" for the last 20 years. I've heard "We are a young team with a great deal of speed and skill but we just need to wait , be patient and get the young boys some experience" for 20yrs as well. The best years for the Oilers are long gone and to think things are going to get better is a laugh. They haven't put a competitive team on the ice since the last cup... 2006 cup run was a complete fluke and what really screwed the team is offering Hemskey, Pasani, Horcoff, etc outrages contracts just because they put a good show on for 5 weeks . A great deal of things could have been done with that money instead of paying those players millions of dollars to never play due to injuries. Now all we are left with are a bunch of teenagers who are all undersized trying to play a man's game. Simple as that !!!

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#39 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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#40 Slanto
December 22 2013, 10:21AM
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Find someone with a set and some drive to fill that jersey tossed onto the ice. It's almost time for scorched earth from the top down. I don't even care anymore....trade every single one of them just don't send them to the Canucks.

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#41 CDean
December 22 2013, 10:28AM
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For the people that talk about the problem of bringing in Eakins. Eakins is the hire of MacT and the team was doing better under Kruger. People think that replacing Kruger was the problem. The real problem was replacing Tom Renney with Ralph Kruger. I don't want to knock Ralph Kruger, but the for the people that talk about consistency, this is where it was lost for me.

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#42 Zamboni Driver
December 22 2013, 10:38AM
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I would say the axe at least should fall on Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger. A REAL NHL coach should be brought in to help.

I actually think this won't change much as I'm quite sure Smith and especially Buchberger contribute nothing, but it would be a demonstration that the 'braintrust' knows that something is, in fact, wrong.

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#43 Gaz
December 22 2013, 10:38AM
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This team needs to move significant pieces (read: two of the anointed "kids"), bolster their blue line to the point where J. Schultz can develop on the third pair and pp time, and develop a team-wide work ethic and expectation of effort (not expecting to win; that's a byproduct of the effort).

All that said, I am against a trade at this time. Management is inept. They can not and should not be trusted to move significant pieces. Aside from Perron, there is nothing to indicate senior management is capable of executing a proper transaction.

Off season plans should include retaining the head coach (its never been about coaching). Hell, they should probably beg Krueger to come back in some bench role too. Then allow him to choose his own support group (bye bye Bucky). Then - here's the biggie - remove senior management. There is no persuasive argument that can be made in favor of retaining them. Well, maybe Howson; make him the salary cap brain. Otherwise, adios.

This post, like the season, is off the rails.

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#44 oilers1168
December 22 2013, 10:47AM
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what was interesting was the Blues is one of the shortest teams but they also are the 2nd heaviest in weight. Short heavy players with a low enter of gravity is a good thing.

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#45 GTL
December 22 2013, 10:51AM
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You reap what you sow, .... Case in point, Kevin Lowe

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#46 Walter Sobchak
December 22 2013, 11:20AM
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Ehrhoff, Campbell and Dustin Byfgluien!!

No offense LT but This makes me laugh out loud.

Both Ehrhoff & Campbell are overpriced & Byfgluien never meet hamburgers, fries & a milk shake he wouldn’t destroy!

This is what the Oilers need two butter soft players and fat guy playing hockey! This will make us so much better!! On the other hand it seems to be working for the Jets, the Panthers and Sabers.

Everyone not named Hall or RNH should be traded along with picks & prospects, this crap has to end!!

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#47 TeddyTurnbuckle
December 22 2013, 11:40AM
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LT you are right about the core being too young and inexperienced. I've been saying that for a while. Its not just the young guns though, the problem is that we keep bringing in more and more rookies each year. Example: Arcobello, Gazdic, Acton, Fedun, Pitlick, Hamilton. Some of these guys have played well and are older but have little NHL experience. We are supporting young stars with more rookies. The Oilers need more guys like Ryan Smyth and Brendan Morrow (why didn't we sign this guy?) to bridge the gap. This team has such a high turn over rate every year that too many rookies find their way onto the team. As for a trade I say wait for the draft or after free agency to see what holes we need to fill. I don't see the point in trading for a player now when our winning window starts in two years. The player we trade for would become a free agent before this team turns it around. I could care less about the jersey on the ice, just some drunk fan. Good job by Hall on after hours, he is a good kid.

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#48 Sevenseven
December 22 2013, 11:43AM
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Can anyone sell me tickets to tomorrows game? I really want to get a fire Kevin Lowe chant going and throw my jersey on the ice too. Maybe it's time to "rebuild" management, then do the team on the ice. Is it the rookie gm's fault? Is it the rookie head coaches fault? The scouts fault? The assistant coaches fault? Maybe, just maybe, it's the fault of the guy who orchestrated this mess. Six rings.

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#49 Bryzarro World
December 22 2013, 06:45PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

Why did we fire Renney again?

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#50 Cam
December 22 2013, 10:45AM
Trash it!
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trashes
Cheers
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cheers

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

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