GDB: 38.0: OILERS WANTED THIS...

Jason Gregor
December 23 2013 12:23PM

 

The Oilers asked for this.

During the past few seasons members of the Oilers management have made references to wanting to build their team in the same vain as Chicago and Pittsburgh. I have no idea if they will ever have the same success as those two franchises, but right now they are emulating the struggles and lack of success that both those franchises endured before becoming two of the best teams in the NHL.

I've cautioned people who only looked at the rebuilds of Chicago and Pittsburgh as blueprints for the Oilers, because the harsh reality is that for every Chicago there are two franchises like Columbus or Atlanta/Winnipeg, and for every Pittsburgh there is a Florida and the New York Islanders.

It was great for the Oilers to aspire to be like the Blackhawks and Penguins, but that was always the "best case scenario."

Many readers won't want to read this, but the truth remains this is only year four of the Oilers rebuild. The previous four seasons were not part of the rebuild. They were four seasons of bad management. That doesn't excuse the Oilers, specifically Kevin Lowe who has been here for all eight years, but if you are someone who was in favour of the rebuild in 2010 then you have to accept the harsh reality of the current timeline.

It is rare for teams to rebuild in a short period of time. The problem is i'm not sure the Oilers truly understood how hard the journey would be. Did they expect this much losing? If so, why did they change coaches every year? It is fair to question if they truly had a plan, and it is more than fair to question whether they have the fortitude or smarts to follow it through and make the correct decisions to become a winner.

When the Oilers management suggested they wanted to follow in the footsteps of the Hawks and Penguins, I wonder if they knew exactly what that entailed? Did they know that the Blackhawks made the playoffs once in ten seasons between 1998 and 2008?

The Hawks didn't have a few years of losing; they had a decade of it.

1998: 9th worst record. Drafted 8th (Mark Bell) after a deal with Toronto
1999: 7th worst record. Won lottery, moved up to 4th spot, then traded that pick for Bryan McCabe and the 11th pick in 2000. McCabe played one season in Chicago before being dealt to Toronto for Alex Karpotvsev and a pick.
2000: 8th worst record. Picked 10th, due to Minnesota and Columbus entering league, and selected Mikhail Yakubov 10th and used the 11th pick on Pavel Vorobiev. 
2001: 9th worst record and they selected Tuomo Ruutu 9th.
2002: Made the playoffs. Finished 5th in the west, four points ahead of 9th. Their top six scoring forward were there in 2001 and Jocelyn Thibault was the starter both years, but they added Phil Housley and Jon Klemm on the blueline. They were #2 and #3 in TOI behind Boris Mironov. They made a very smart pick in the 2nd round selecting Duncan Keith 45th overall.
2003: 14th worst record. They selected Brent Seabrook. They took Corey Crawford in the 2nd round and Dustin Byfuglien in the 9th.
2004: 2nd worst record. Washington won the lottery so the Hawks dropped to 3rd and picked Cam Barker after missing out on Ovechkin and Malkin. The Hawks had 17 draft picks that year and took Dave Bolland 32nd, Bryan Bickell 41st and Troy Brouwer 214th. 
2005: No season, but they picked 7th after the lottery and took Jack Skille. They chose Niklas Hjalmarsson 108th overall.
2006: 3rd worst record. They happily took Jonathan Toews at #3.
2007: 5th worst record. They won the lottery and took Patrick Kane first overall. (Sidenote, the Oilers never would have gotten Kane. Had they lost their final game of the season to the Flames they would have finished with the 4th worst record not the fifth.)
2008: 11th worst record. Took Kyle Beach with the 11th pick.

During the first half of that decade of losing none of the Hawks top picks made an impact in Chicago, however, between 2002-2007 the foundation of their team was built through the draft. Kane, Toews, Seabrook, Keith, Hjalmarsson, Crawford, Bickell, Bolland, Brouwer and Byfuglien were all key players in one or both of their Stanley Cup victories.

However, it wasn't like they planned to go from being a playoff team in 2002, to missing out by one point in 2003 to being a bottom three team in 2004, 2006 and 2007. You can make a strong argument that their most important decision came from a stroke of luck; winning the draft lottery.

Toews is the heart and soul of that team, but Kane is his deadly sidekick, and I don't see them winning the Cup without Kane. You need some luck and good fortune along the way to win a Cup, but to become a consistent contender you need to build the majority of the key pieces via the draft.

The Oilers have an excellent chance of mirroring the Hawks decade of losing, but they will be hard pressed to go from being a bottom feeder to a Cup contender like the Hawks, because no two paths to Cup success are the same.

The Oilers don't have a Keith or Seabrook right now. You can argue that Petry could be their Hjalmarsson and Eberle was an outstanding pick at #22, but other than a long stretch of losing, I've never made the direct comparison between the two organizations.

The Hawks stunk for a decade, and if Bill Wirtz hadn't passed away in the fall of 2007, I wonder if the Hawks would have had the same success. Wirtz was a very generous man who donated millions of dollars to the Boys and Girls Clubs and other charities, but he was incredibly frugal when it came to the Blackhawks. For years he wouldn't show Blackhawks' home games on television. He alienated his fans to the point that when the Blackhawks held a moment of silence in his honour prior to a game in October of 2007 some fans booed.

The Hawks success was a combination of good drafting, some lottery luck and a change in leadership.

Will the Oilers do the same?

WHAT ABOUT PITTSBURGH?

Most people know that the Penguins had five consecutive top-five picks between 2002-2006, but prior to those five lean years the Penguins were a great organization.

The Penguins made the playoffs for 11 consecutive seasons before missing them in 2002. Jaromir Jagr entered the NHL in 1990/1991 and that is when the Penguins 11-year streak began. They also had some guy named Mario Lemieux who was also pretty good.

Jagr came in when their run started, and when he was traded on July 11th, 2001that marked the beginning of their five years in suckville.

The Penguins made it to the conference finals in 2001, losing 4-1 to New Jersey, but Jagr was traded that summer and Lemieux only played 26 games in 2002.

2002: 5th worst record. They drafted Ryan Whitney. They also selected Max Talbot 234th overall.
2003: 2nd worst record. Florida won the lottery and had the first pick. The Penguins had the 3rd choicel, and they moved that pick along with the 55th pick (Stefan Meyer) and Mikael Samuelsson to Florida for the 1st and 73rd pick (Daniel Carcillo).The Penguins took Marc-Andre Fleury first overall.
2004: Worst record in the NHL. Washington won the lottery and picked first, (Ovechkin) and the Penguins grabbed Evgeni Malkin at #2. They took Alex Goligoski 61st and Tyler Kennedy 99th.
2005: No season. The history of the Penguins changed due to luck. They won the lottery and had the pleasure of selecting Sidney Crosby. They chose Kris Letang 62nd that year as well.
2006: 2nd worst record. They selected Jordan Staal 2nd overall.

There is no Crosby in Edmonton, and on any other team for that matter, so it is very difficult for the Oilers to follow the Penguins' path to success. The Penguins drafted three centres, one goalie and a D-man who they used in a trade to acquire Chris Kunitz.

The Penguins went from being very good to terrible in the span of 10 months.

Their five-year drought was painful, but they got Crosby and Malkin; two of the top-five players in the NHL. It is impossible to match that blueprint. The Penguins also got an elite D-man in the 3rd round, similar to the Blackhawks landing Keith.

The Oilers are on pace to grab their 5th consecutive pick in the top-seven, and while that will put them on par with the draft positioning of the Penguins, it doesn't mean their five picks will be as impactful as the Penguins. Just like the Hawks, the Penguins caught a huge break by winning the lottery and selecting a dynamic and dominant player.

The Oilers have also won the lottery, but Nail Yakupov hasn't come close to matching the early success of Kane or Crosby. He likely will produce more in the future, but I don't ever see him being in the same category as those two players.

The one similarity that I do see unfolding with the Oilers, that we also saw in Pittsburgh and Chicago, will be trading away one of their top-five picks.

The Hawks moved Cam Barker for Kim Johnsson and Nick Leddy, while the Pens moved Whitney for Kunitz and after winning a Cup, they had to move (pending UFA) Staal for Brandon Sutter and Derrick Pouliot.

The Oilers are similar to the Penguins in their draft position, and are on the verge of being on par with the Blackhawks when it comes to a decade of losing. Now, it is up to MacTavish to see if he can build this team into a contender. They still have a lot of work to do.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

  • It is great to have a goal to strive for, but the I've always felt it was a bit of pipedream to believe you could emulate the road to success of the Penguins or Blackhawks. The fact is there is no guarantee of success in the NHL.
     
  • Having consecutive top-five picks should give you a good base, but only if you use the picks properly. Either you pick the best combination of players, or you pick the ones that you will be able to move for assets in the future. The Oilers aren't in a position to trade one of those picks today, but they will need to in the future.
     
  • The other difference between the Oilers and the Hawks and Penguins thus far is drafting depth outside of a top-ten pick. The Blackhawks built the depth of their team through the draft, and many of them were a bit more mature by the time Kane and Toews burst on the scene.
     
  • The Penguins surrounded their young players with productive and experienced players. In 2008 when they lost in the Cup final, they added Hal Gill, Pascal Dupuis and Marian Hossa. The next year when they won the Cup they acquired Kunitz, Bill Guerin and Craig Adams. The Oilers will need to make smart moves and acquire some veterans to support their young stars.
     
  • The Penguins Cup winning blueline consisted of draft picks, Letang, Rod Scuderi (134th pick, 1998) and Brooks Orpik (18th, 2000), acquired Gill and two free agent signings in Sergie Gonchar (2005) and Mark Eaton (2006).
     
  • The Hawks also had three drafted D-men on their blueline in Keith, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson.
     
  • The only drafted D-man the Oilers curently have on the roster is Petry. We expect Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and possibly Martin Marincin to play in the future, but if the Oilers are going to succeed then one of those three will need to be an impact player within three seasons. That is a lot to ask of a young D-man.
     
  • If I had to pick, I'd say the Oilers have a better chance of following the Penguins path than the Blackhawks, strictly because the Hawks D-men were more mature than their forwards when they won. The Penguins went out and signed a veteran top-pairing D-man in Gonchar, which is a more realistic option for the Oilers. They either trade for one this summer or try and sign one via free agency this summer.
     
  • Trading or signing an elite D-man is going to be extremely difficult. If they don't go that route, I don't see how this team can take the steps needed to becoming a competitive team.
     
  • I understand the frustration amongst Oilers fans. You are sick of watching a losing product, and you should be. However, the Oilers haven't been rebuilding for eight years. From 2007-2010 they tried being competitive, but they failed. They made some questionable trades and free agent signings, and the only reason they actually went into a rebuild was due to numerous injuries to key players during the 2009/2010 season. They didn't plan to rebuild, it just unfolded that way.
     
  • That doesn't excuse Kevin Lowe, far from it, but the biggest mistake the Oilers could make today is to try and speed up the rebuild. If they need to fire someone within the organization to appease their fans, then they have to do it, but if they try to deviate from their original plan, or try and speed up the process, then there is a very good chance they will end up driving this team into an even longer cycle of losing. They have to see the process through, and accept that there might be some empty seats in the process. If they try to change the plan now, they likely will screw it up even worse.
     
  • Eakins was pretty fired up about the fan who threw his jersey on the ice. "That's a bunch of bull crap. Whoever through that jersey on the ice is a quitter and they're out. I never want our players to quit," said Eakins. Every sports team values the jersey, it is very symbolic and I see why the coach didn't like it. He was okay with fans booing, said his team deserved it, but the jersey was offside. I'm guessing this will be a hot topic amongst Oiler fans. Some I spoke to loved it, while others felt it was disrespectful to the jersey.
     
  • My personal opinion on it is this. Eakins is in a no win situation. They didn't need another distraction, although I'm guessing that was his plan. Have fans hate him, not the team.

    Also...If the fan who threw it is officially done with the Oilers, then he went out with a bang. If he threw it on the ice, but will be back watching them tonight then it was just a moment of dumb frustration and rather bushleague. You can be upset at the Oilers, yell at them because they haven't improved, demand that Lowe be fired. That is fair game. Tossing a jersey, or anything else on the ice, other than a hat after a hat trick, should not be applauded.

    I do believe many fans are fed up and likely won't go to any games or watch any until the Oilers improve, and if you are strong enough to stay away I tip my hat to you. I'm a diehard Dolphins fan, and my team has stunk for the most part of the past two decades, yet everytime I think I'm done with them they win a few games and I get sucked back in. It is very hard to stop cheering for a team, and if you are able to do it then you are stronger than me. Good on ya.

 LINEUP

It shouldn't matter who they play with, the entire team's focus should be about working hard and competing. If they don't instill that into their foundation this team will never improve. Eakins juggled his lines and came up with these new combos at practice yesterday.

Hall-RNH-Perron
Joensuu-Gagner-Eberle
Smyth-Gordon-Hemsky
Gazdic-Lander-Yakupov

Ference-J Schultz
Belov-Petry
N Schultz-Potter

Bryzgalov

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers worst game of the year was the 5-0 loss to Detroit. They rebounded three days later and beat Florida on the road. Tonight is different. They are at home and their fans are frothing at the mouth in frustration. If they have any pride they will put forth a good effort. If they don't, the fans won't hold back their displeasure. The Oilers avoid a raucous round of boos with a 4-3 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers announce a sell out, but there will be some empty seats. Whether they are paid for or not, the message should be clear to the Oilers; patience is wearing thin amongst Oiler fans.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The powerplay doesn't give up a good scoring chance.
 

DAY 16: MONTH OF GIVING...

Today is our final day, so if you haven't finished your Christmas shopping you could do it during the show and help out Santas Anonymous and The Christmas Bureau at the same time.

Package #1: Update your wardrobe.

 

  • A $1,000 shopping spree at Derk's Mens Wear
  • One Derk's Black Label Suit.
  • $300 in tailoring to help with your new wardrobe.
  • A wardrobe consultation. Derks will come to your house, go through your closet and asses what you need or what pieces need to go.

Package #2: Tee It Up.

  • 10 rounds of golf at the Ranch Golf and Country Club (hole 14 above)  with a power cart with each round and use of driving range before every round.

 Package #3: For your special lady.

  • A pair of white gold diamond earrings. Beautiful floral type deign with micro pavee set diamonds on lever backs, they are a stunning dangling style with .30 carats of diamonds. Courtesy of Michael Anthony Jewellers. 

Package #4:

  • Two pairs of seats to watch the Flyers/Oilers on Saturday.
    Row 23 seats 1,2 and seats 5.6  with club access courtesy of Nation reader VK63!

You can bid between 2-6 p.m today by calling 780.444.1260 or 1.800.243.1945.

Thanks in advance...

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#152 Rick Stroppel
December 23 2013, 09:10PM
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JERSEYGATE EXPLAINED!

I am listening on the radio and Jack Michaels just explained Jerseygate. He said something like this:

"Folks, the man who threw the jersey was temporarily insane. He immediately apologized to Oilers Management for his actions! Other fans condemned him! Everyone agrees that throwing jerseys is a bad idea! Nothing to see here!"

I am so relieved. For awhile there I thought that the fans might be turning against the team!

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#153 hemi
December 23 2013, 09:11PM
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# 22, Fresh Mess: Man, you really know how to hurt a guy! Equating Oil fans to Laff fans....oh the humiliation of it all.

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#154 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 23 2013, 09:11PM
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Tuningout wrote:

Not that I share this point of view. But I think there are lots of fans that are cheering for the Oilers to lose this game. Losing may create more negative emotion, a bit more negative emotion may cause a further uprising of fans, and an uprising may cause change in the organization. People may be worried that one win today may calm people down (christmas break too of course) and no change will happen. Short memories and all.

Or cheering for a loss to get a better draft pick, as usual. I mean at this point of the year what is the point of getting another win. Really there is no point whatsoever, it is completely and utterly meaningless. A bit of sarcasm here but also partially true.

Not really fair, but a reality.

It's tough for those fans that think the team is on the wrong path.....too small, no defence, no grit etc. to hope for a string of wins because that would just perpetuate the journey down the wrong road.

You wouldn't mind seeing some winning so that we could make some trades from a position of strength....but there is just no evidence that the management team would take advantage of the position of strength to do the right thing.

When they sign Gagner to a 4.8 million $ deal with a no trade clause...and get rid of Smid for futures....you start to think that they need to get rocked in order to have their eyes opened for them and to change the road they're on.

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#155 ColourMeImpressed
December 23 2013, 09:15PM
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Flames beat the Blues, 4-3 in the shootout.

sigh

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#156 Tuningout
December 23 2013, 09:17PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I am actually more in touch with fans than you think. I had over 500 texts into the show today, and it was about 50/50 with those who liked the jersey toss and others who didn't.

I've learned people who post on the Nation are very passionate, but they don't speak for every fan. There are many types.

The guy admitted he would wear a jersey to the next game. So what was so profound about his actions? What is he protesting if he shows up the next game and wears a jersey? Pointless.

Why wouldn't he be protesting if he shows up the next game with a jersey ?

People protest through hunger strikes, doesn't mean their never going to eat again.

Gov't employees have protested by picketing for a morning, doesn't mean they didn't protest because they go back to work in the afternoon.

There are different forms of protest. This one was overblown for importance, it was a small and harmless protest blown out of porportion by media.

However to say it wasn't a protest confuses me.

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#157 Alsker
December 23 2013, 09:21PM
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Glad we're winning but how do you explain Yak's 4 shifts for 3 minutes?

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#159 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 23 2013, 09:24PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I am actually more in touch with fans than you think. I had over 500 texts into the show today, and it was about 50/50 with those who liked the jersey toss and others who didn't.

I've learned people who post on the Nation are very passionate, but they don't speak for every fan. There are many types.

The guy admitted he would wear a jersey to the next game. So what was so profound about his actions? What is he protesting if he shows up the next game and wears a jersey? Pointless.

Many so called heros are heros by way of accidental circumstance ....not because their intent was heroic but because they're actions are symbolic. Not saying this guy is a hero....but if his actions inspire others to take up the cause....his actions may turn out to be viewed as heroic.....at the very least his actions have come to represent the feelings of a lot Oilers fans.

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#160 Mjolnir
December 23 2013, 09:24PM
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Why is everyone so pissy about Ralph getting fired over Skype? Would it be better if he flew back to Edmonton from Switzerland to get fired?? I'd be more pissed some idiot made me spend 15 hrs on an airplane just to piss in my mouth.

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#161 boxman
December 23 2013, 09:28PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I am actually more in touch with fans than you think. I had over 500 texts into the show today, and it was about 50/50 with those who liked the jersey toss and others who didn't.

I've learned people who post on the Nation are very passionate, but they don't speak for every fan. There are many types.

The guy admitted he would wear a jersey to the next game. So what was so profound about his actions? What is he protesting if he shows up the next game and wears a jersey? Pointless.

Jason I love your show and your blogs but you're wrong. That one jersey throw expressed the frustrations of a huge section of the fans. I would also suggest to you that your point about the over the top passion of Oilersnation fans not representing everybody works for your show as well. If you got a 50/50 response on your show that doesn't necessarily represent all the fans. I believe far more fans appreciated the gesture than didn't. How is this "I am sooo tired of this and I can't take it anymore" gesture pointless. It was heart felt and spoke for many of us. How is it any more pointless than phoning your show to express yourself. This was a fan expressing himself and for you to say it was pointless is pointless.

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#162 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 23 2013, 09:37PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Unless he throws a jersey on the ice tonight, then his protest is not like the suggestions you used. Those people do the same thing day after day. He isn't.

It confuses me that you can somehow read my previous post and try to suggest I said it wasn't a protest. I asked what was he protesting? Major difference.

Hi Jason,

You asked a question on your show today....I'm paraphrasing...but you asked if we thought the Oilers were on a path that would lead to a competitive team that would contend , or alternatively...are they on the wrong path altogether.

Upto the beginning of this season I thought they could potentially build a contender.....today, I think they are too far off track....I have lost confidence that they can ever become a contender with this roster. I think they need at least ten changes to this roster to get onto the right path.

I missed you're answer to the question......what do you think?

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#164 boxman
December 23 2013, 09:45PM
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Jason did you edit your pointless comment and if so why?

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#165 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 23 2013, 09:46PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I ask you this...

If he threw his jersey, but showed up the next game, bought beer and food and parking...what exactly did his gesture accomplish?

If the point was to say he was annoyed that is fine, but if he shows up the next game and still buys beer, food etc, it won't make the Oilers worried that he'll leave.

If your girl says you are cut off, cause you came home late, but then the next day you two shag, would it make you think twice about not coming home late. Or if she cut you off for a month, would it have more of an impact?

I understand why you and others feel it was a gesture of "I'm anoonyed and can't take it anymore," but if you go back the very next game doesn't it suggest you "will continue to take it?"

We don't have to agree, but to me that one action won't change anything. Had he said he was done with the Oilers and started a wave of other fans following him then it would have been significant.

If the Oilers weren't worried what his actions represent and the affect they could have in motivating other fans....why would MacTavish seek him out to talk to him?

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#166 Tuningout
December 23 2013, 09:49PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Unless he throws a jersey on the ice tonight, then his protest is not like the suggestions you used. Those people do the same thing day after day. He isn't.

It confuses me that you can somehow read my previous post and try to suggest I said it wasn't a protest. I asked what was he protesting? Major difference.

Ok yes it is different. But same implied meaning. Not protesting vs what he was protesting.

It's a 6-0 loss from the Oilers with no compete.. do we have to ask what he was protesting ? He's not a "free edmonton" protestor is he ?

I guess what confuses me is how you are turning this issue around. So you are saying if he didn't wear a jersey this next game it would be more clear what his protest was ?

Your point just seems about as clear as my first batch of homemade beer. Cloudy.

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#168 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 23 2013, 09:58PM
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I hope at some point in the season Gazdic and Clitsome get it on...hehehehe..

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#170 boxman
December 23 2013, 09:58PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I ask you this...

If he threw his jersey, but showed up the next game, bought beer and food and parking...what exactly did his gesture accomplish?

If the point was to say he was annoyed that is fine, but if he shows up the next game and still buys beer, food etc, it won't make the Oilers worried that he'll leave.

If your girl says you are cut off, cause you came home late, but then the next day you two shag, would it make you think twice about not coming home late. Or if she cut you off for a month, would it have more of an impact?

I understand why you and others feel it was a gesture of "I'm anoonyed and can't take it anymore," but if you go back the very next game doesn't it suggest you "will continue to take it?"

We don't have to agree, but to me that one action won't change anything. Had he said he was done with the Oilers and started a wave of other fans following him then it would have been significant.

There lies the problem, however bad it feels it is so hard to not care. I believe it was a gesture that spoke to the frustrations of so many of us. The consensus out here is that Katz and the front office could care less about the fans and are arrogant beyond belief. My feelings are they are well past the stage where they should act so arrogant. It is time for them to step up, be humble and listen to the frustrations of tier 1 and tier 2 fans.

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#171 Drowning in Oil
December 23 2013, 09:59PM
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HOORAY FOR THE EDMONTON OILERS!! Way to go boys, tonight you were able to keep pace with the Panthers, Islanders, and Sabres. Good job guys. Remember fans out there, as Oilers guru Bob " I'm never wrong " Stauffer stated today, the Oilers are going to win 15 of the next 30 games. Things are looking up in BLUE COLLAR Edmonton!

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#173 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 23 2013, 10:02PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I didn't pick them to be a playoff team for the exact reasons you stated, too much of the same thing.

They have some very good building blocks up front, but their blueline is so thin it is scary. They have potential in Klefbom, Nurse and Marincin, and potentially Ekblad, but they need some experienced NHl D-men.

MacTavish will be more proactive than Tambellini, which isn't hard, but his next moves will be more difficult than his first summer as a GM. He has to realize that while he has some good forwards, he has too many similar pieces.

The other major concern now is goaltending. You can't win without consistent goaltending, and the Oilers haven't had any this year.

Hiller, Halak, Bryzgalov, Dubnyk, Elliott and Scrivens are UFAs.

Veterans like Miller, Brodeur and Thomas likely woudn't come here, so they have to pick from the aforementioned six.

Hiller is the best option, but he is the starter in Anaheim. I know they have some young goalies in the system, but are they willing to roll the dice on them, or would they prefer to keep Hiller for a few more years. I'm not sure he'd get much more than his current cap hit of $4.5 million, so I'm still not convinced the Ducks will automatically let him walk, but if they do, then the Oilers better be calling his agent.

I think they are at a fork in the road. If MacTavish can't improve their D, then I see them going down the playoffless path.

I agree with fork in the road. Good analogy. I will stick to my guns that the required turnover would need to be 10 + boidies...character being the key with the additions.

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#174 ColourMeImpressed
December 23 2013, 10:02PM
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Told ya guys to cheer!

Taylor Hall hates Nail Yakupov.

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#175 Drowning in Oil
December 23 2013, 10:09PM
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I know everyone has a lovefest with Hall but I just don't see it. He gets involved, I'll give you that, but he is a very reckless player and I just don't the Oilers ever winning with him.

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#176 Kypreos
December 23 2013, 10:11PM
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WTF

Please be patience with Oilers management. Kevin Lowe has done everything for this team.

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#177 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 23 2013, 10:12PM
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They won!? gonna take my leave till after X-mas on a positive note. From this organization thats good enough for today.

Merry Christmas Everyone no matter your view of our beloved and beleagured team.

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#178 Burnward
December 23 2013, 10:12PM
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Great response tonight from you guys. See you Friday!

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#179 boxman
December 23 2013, 10:13PM
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In answer to you I think if you are correct that the gesture doesn't carry any weight if the protester returns to watch games speaks to the arrogance of the Oilers hierarchy. It is time for the owner to speak to the frustrations of the fans and yes I get it that winning makes this go away. The dynasty Oilers won but that didn't make Peter Pocklington a good owner and it won't take the stain off Lowe or Mr Katz.

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#180 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 23 2013, 10:13PM
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Man I miss the days where it would take the announcer about 4 minutes to announce all the penalties while the play was on. Sweet!

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#181 Sailge
December 23 2013, 10:14PM
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Moral victory.

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#182 Dave "Killer" Carlson
December 23 2013, 10:14PM
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Watch the Oil get cheered off the ice tonight. What a joke the fan base is. Maybe when they string together 20 solid efforts (not wins) I'll care again like I used to.

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#183 YFC Prez
December 23 2013, 10:16PM
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You guys fighting over the jersey are missing a good hockey game. Forget the jersey. Games like these from the oilers are few and far between lately.

# Yak getting his hands dirty.

# good

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#184 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 23 2013, 10:17PM
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Dave "Killer" Carlson wrote:

Watch the Oil get cheered off the ice tonight. What a joke the fan base is. Maybe when they string together 20 solid efforts (not wins) I'll care again like I used to.

I get you Killer....but you'd have to acknowledge that it's pretty hard to boo them off the ice after a game like that one?!

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#185 YFC Prez
December 23 2013, 10:18PM
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Drowning in Oil wrote:

I know everyone has a lovefest with Hall but I just don't see it. He gets involved, I'll give you that, but he is a very reckless player and I just don't the Oilers ever winning with him.

They won tonight with him. And he was the best player on the ice. Weird night to be calling out Hall

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#186 ThatButthurtOilersFan
December 23 2013, 10:19PM
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Wow! This sure is a Christmas miracle. Gotta keep those lines, man, I found it really helped having those big guys play with the skilled guys.

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#187 @Oilanderp
December 23 2013, 10:19PM
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Now THAT was a game!

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#188 YFC Prez
December 23 2013, 10:20PM
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@Dave "Killer" Carlson

Love the handle and avatar. DAVES A KILLERRR!!!!!

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#189 bulldog12
December 23 2013, 10:21PM
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Jersey jersey jersey blah blah blah blah. Give it a rest already. What a beauty of a game 6 GF 2 GA a Gazdic fight a scrum at the end for team building and headed into the Xmas break feeling good!!!!!!!!

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#190 Chris.
December 23 2013, 10:23PM
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Yakupov with the Gordie Howe Hat Trick. *(He is now only two behind Gordie Howe)

*edit

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#192 boxman
December 23 2013, 10:25PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

You guys fighting over the jersey are missing a good hockey game. Forget the jersey. Games like these from the oilers are few and far between lately.

# Yak getting his hands dirty.

# good

You're right of course. Thankfully my receiver has a pause function. But again, you are dead on :)

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#193 RexHolez
December 23 2013, 10:25PM
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didn't bother watching tonight, why would I? just turned on Ched and it sounds like the boys didn't want to see too many jerseys on the ice so they showed up!

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#194 ubermiguel
December 23 2013, 10:27PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

My point is that I don't believe his actions change anything. They fire fans and Eakins up, but it won't change anything. He will keep going to games, and the Oilers aren't going to make changes right away. I understand why some think it was symbolic, but I don't see it making any impact on anything. Do you? If so, how?

Gregor, the jersey was a slap across the face the Oilers needed to hopefully wake up and realize the constant lack of effort is disrespectful to the fans. Calling radios shows and posting on websites wasn't doing it so this was a message "I'm mad as hell about how you played and I'm ashamed to wear this". We'll reward good play but we're sick of paying for garbage.

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#195 Serious Gord
December 23 2013, 10:28PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

And my GDP:

Oilers 5-2. Fans go nuts. No jerseys and other detritus will be tossed.

But Calgary looms...

And the worst mid-season record in oilers history is already a fact.

6-2.

I was close.

With apologies to Winston Churchill the Calgary game on the 27th is the hinge of the season.

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#196 Quintana
December 23 2013, 10:30PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

My point is that I don't believe his actions change anything. They fire fans and Eakins up, but it won't change anything. He will keep going to games, and the Oilers aren't going to make changes right away. I understand why some think it was symbolic, but I don't see it making any impact on anything. Do you? If so, how?

As a matter of fact Jason, I think he did change something. What? Well lets start with the 6-2 , the empty seats at the rexall tonight, and guess what? Next time the Oilers don't show up there will not only one jersey but a few more. BTW still 29th.

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#197 EHH Team
December 23 2013, 10:30PM
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I loved that Gazdic stepped up for Yak. If Eakins will continue to put him in position to respond when others take shots at the skill guys, then maybe, just maybe, the Oilers won't be pushed around so much.

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#198 RexHolez
December 23 2013, 10:31PM
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thanks for actually showing up boys! too bad the contracts arnt being handed out tonight

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#199 Butters
December 23 2013, 10:36PM
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Yakupov is trying to play his way off the fourth line. So far so good.

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#200 boxman
December 23 2013, 10:41PM
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bulldog12 wrote:

Jersey jersey jersey blah blah blah blah. Give it a rest already. What a beauty of a game 6 GF 2 GA a Gazdic fight a scrum at the end for team building and headed into the Xmas break feeling good!!!!!!!!

Seriously...blah, blah, blah. After such a great game and now I'm angry at all the educators that let you down. It's sad when people fall through the cracks.

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