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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#51 Serious Gord
December 23 2013, 04:45PM
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Drowning in Oil wrote:

I AM SO, SO, SO SICK OF LISTENING TO BOB STAUFFER FLAP HIS LIPS ABOUT HOW SUPPORTIVE HE IS WITH EVERYTHING THIS MANAGEMENT SAYS OR DOES. HOW CHED KEEPS THAT ONE SIDED, COMMUNIST TRASH ON THE AIR IS UNBELEIEVABLE....... SERIOUS GORD, YOU SHOULD TAKE OVER THAT SHOW!! SECONDLY, EAKINS COMMENTS ABOUT THE JERSEY ON THE ICE WERE APPAULING. HE IS A CLOWN AND THIS MANAGEMENT TEAM IS THE BIGGEST JOKE IN SPRTS TODAY!!!

Not sure if you got a chance to hear my call this aft but I wholeheartedly agree that Eakins comments were repugnant in the extreme and he should be ordered by MacT to publically apologize. Incredibly insentitive remarks that slag all oilers fans who are frustrated with the depths that this team has fallen to.

As for bob I greatly admire the job he does. He has managed to become a media franchise - no easy feat. And he bleeds copper and blue as much as anyone - you could hear it in his voice when i was talking to him this aft.

That said I was very surprised by two things talking to bob:

1. He did not know that the oilers were solidly on track to finish with the worst record in oilers history. He stumbled around a bit but the facts torpedo had hit below decks - with this unprecedented half season change - very big change - is merited. And he knows that the only move that will get the fans to put down the pitchforks is to fire LOWE.

2. He also was not aware that the jersey tosser had been found and interviewed by terry jones. Those comments reveal that the fan is at the end of his rope - not a quitter. And bob really seems tone deaf if he doesn't see that the jersey tossing is far more than the act of one fan - but deeply symbolic of what this teams fanbase is feeling right now.

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#52 cubsfan
December 23 2013, 11:34PM
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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?

I think the jersey incident was brilliant symbolism.

Although it wasnt Tommie Smith or John Carlos raising their fists in the air in 1968 Olympics as a human rights salute for equality, its an indelible point in time which is being discussed across Canada.

Youre right. We wont stop watching games, we will still buy tickets, jerseys tshirt and caps and beer.....

But how else can our frustrations be heard? I think they have, judging by the reaction of the coach and management.

What makes it more raw is that it was instinctual and not planned, and reverberated across the country.

(PS dont compare the jerseys 'desecration' in the same vane as a flag that we protect.....its a game.....the jersey is not sacred, and the Oilers of the past are not heroes or saints......its insulting)

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#53 Bender
December 23 2013, 12:46PM
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Same players same problems.......a bunch of kids and a limp D-fence.

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#54 The real minnow
December 23 2013, 12:47PM
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Any chance that Eakins could get the axe on Wednesday morning and have coach Kruger back for Friday? Miracle on 118th ave? (That doesn't involve any bodily fluid transaction)

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#55 DoubleTap
December 23 2013, 01:45PM
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@Jason Gregor

But your argument wasn't that it is wrong because the ticket says not to. It was based on the premise that throwing a jersey is disrespectful and I disagree with that. I'm sure the fan was escorted out by security for his actions.

My point is, what the action symbolizes and the protest behind it is valid. You didn't directly state that you wanted Lowe to stay, and I agree much more needs to be done, but you obviously don't think that the incompetence shown by the management and ownership warrants this form of protest. I believe it does, regardless what the fine print on a ticket might say. This is where I disagree with you.

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#56 Drowning in Oil
December 23 2013, 02:03PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

For accuracy MacT quit. And since he has the Oilers have been even worse so maybe he wasnt as bad a coach as some said. He had crap teams mainly.

Lowe was asked about MacT credentials at time he was hired. Do you think he should be asked about it every day?

Mact had been on job for 8 months... you can hate the hire, buy you or I can't say if it was good or bad at this point. Too early to tell. Questioning Lowe is fair and it had been done but owner is tight with him. I doubt that changes when he keeps making millions.

Wow Gregor, 8 month..... Isn't that a longer time on the job than Kruger had? He wasn't given " a chance". What a load of crap.

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#57 Lochenzo
December 23 2013, 02:17PM
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Part of why I put up the previous post is because many of us watched the lunch pail Oilers of the Doug Weight era. The little engine that could that ground out wins against more skilled teams, it was the right team for the right town. Reading some of the comments, I'd say many of you prefer that type of game as well.

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#58 papler
December 23 2013, 05:07PM
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sizedoesmatter wrote:

Throwing the jersey on the ice was disrespectful And might have caught the oilers managements attention but It also Is a slap to the face of all the Oilers who wore that sweater. Gretztky, Messier, Anderson, Kurri, Dave semenko,Dave hunter on and on all the moments that this team that has brought me so much pride and joy over the years. This current version of the Oilers Is struggling. but don't think throwing the jersey is the same as booing It just makes me sad

To be honest, I don' get this thing about respect for the jersey. It's an overpriced piece of garment. And making a link to the great players of the past and stating that this is disrespectful towards them is quite a stretch imho.

I find it a lot more disrespectful how some players show a complete indifference to the state the team is in. Do they bust their asses off every night? No. We can see them float around and make fancy plays. THAT is disrespectful.

that being said, should the team be pissed off about that jersey on the ice? Hell yes. Should they take it personal? Absolutely! And then they should take a long hard look in the mirror and ask themselves why that jersey landed on the ice. And maybe, just maybe, they realize that it's the fans, who pay a lot of money to see them play, that should get some more respect from the players...

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#59 Oasis
December 23 2013, 05:44PM
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sizedoesmatter wrote:

Throwing the jersey on the ice was disrespectful And might have caught the oilers managements attention but It also Is a slap to the face of all the Oilers who wore that sweater. Gretztky, Messier, Anderson, Kurri, Dave semenko,Dave hunter on and on all the moments that this team that has brought me so much pride and joy over the years. This current version of the Oilers Is struggling. but don't think throwing the jersey is the same as booing It just makes me sad

This is crap. What's more disrespectful to former Oilers? Prima-Donna players making millions of dollars and mailing it in night after night or a fan who probably paid close to $300 for his gold club seat and is sick and tired of 8 years of the same crap?

If the jersey is so damn sacred then those players putting it on should show some pride. I don't care if they lose, but compete for crying out loud. If that jersey is so sacred than maybe these past players like Lowe wouldn't let the team sink this low.

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#60 Butters
December 23 2013, 10:57PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The Oilers were playing well, 7-3-1, before the six games against elite teams. They aren't an elite team and those six games proved it.

The Oilers should be able to compete and beat teams like the Jets. They need to beat middle of the road teams, gain experience and hope that next year they will add some new pieces and be able to at least compete with some of the elite teams.

I'm not believing the jersey theory and how it will play out in the future. I don't think you will see multiple bras thrown on the ice for the next hat trick either, but I could be wrong on both accounts.

They laid down and died a lot during that six game stretch. That is what a lot of us are ticked about.

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#61 Constance
December 23 2013, 01:39PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I said Oilers asked for this, but likely didn't think it would be this hard. They made the mistake of comparing themselves to the best possible scenario, and likely didn't focus enough on how it could easily go the other way.

Try reading it again. Never apologized once.

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.

Is that apologizing for them? If so, then I believe we have a different understanding of the word.

Jason, firstly I dont know why someone went and edited out my comments about how great Stauffer used to be. Second: Has you (or anyone else in the Edmonton Main Stream Media (aka Fox News Oilers)) questioned how Kevin Lowe was able to get his buddy a GM job a few years after firing him from being the Head Coach... we know MacT couldnt get a half decent job with any other organization in this league and they walk him into a GM job here... WOW!!!!

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#62 Bleak Winter
December 23 2013, 04:19PM
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Regardless of context, it's incredibly foolish of Eakins to label any fan as a quitter. He's had about three months of being paid to put up with this crap, how many years have the fans been the ones PAYING to put up with it???

Like the one comment, this is a display of passion, and a bold one. I think you can defile a jersey, kill a sacred cow, even burn a flag, but you damn well better have a point and have the conviction of it. Well, I think the guy has a point and it was past time it was made. Dollar for dollar it was the most effective message sent by anyone this year.

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#63 Serious Gord
December 23 2013, 04:46PM
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sizedoesmatter wrote:

Throwing the jersey on the ice was disrespectful And might have caught the oilers managements attention but It also Is a slap to the face of all the Oilers who wore that sweater. Gretztky, Messier, Anderson, Kurri, Dave semenko,Dave hunter on and on all the moments that this team that has brought me so much pride and joy over the years. This current version of the Oilers Is struggling. but don't think throwing the jersey is the same as booing It just makes me sad

Then those oilers - if they are true oilers should be calling for lowes head too.

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#64 Gored 1970
December 23 2013, 05:10PM
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Jason, are you delusional?? To quote "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" What was the original plan, to fire the General Manager and the coaches with great regularity? Admit it my friend - there is no plan. This franchise will have missed the playoffs for 8 years - was that the plan? Bill Belichik always drafted on the basis of what the Patriots need and they are winners. The Oilers, under the guidance of "6 rings Lowe", has drafted the best player available, regardless of team needs, and now have a bunch of players that play a similar style and they are whiners. Jeeze Louise, even a dumb-ass like me knows that every great scorer need someone to go into the corners and dig out the puck for them.

Also,Eakins' quote "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," is laughable. Is that idiot Eakins the only one that realizes that the Oilers have already quit on him, the fans and the rest of the season? After throwing the team under the bus game after game this little bouquet isn't going to get you back on the players Christmas list - you are dead in the water, Eakins.

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#65 Quintana
December 23 2013, 03:50PM
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Hey Jason, I wonder where Lowe, Eakins would be if this same situation happens in Montreal?

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#66 arsenaloilerbarca
December 23 2013, 02:11PM
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Sad times being an Oilers fan....i'll never forget seeing the picture of that expensive Oilers jersey on the ice, truly an epic moment in Oilers history (and unfortunately not one of the many great ones the Oilers have).

I was thinking, what us fans should do is decide to pick a home game upcoming on the schedule (maybe sometime in January or whenever), and just completely boycott going to it.

If we can raise some type of media hype, be it by calling into the 630 ched, writing a blog on here, writing into tsn/sportsnet/HNIC, as well as the Edmonton Journal and Sun, we could actually raise awareness for fans to boycott the game, and just have the arena empty.

If the media knew this was the plan by the fans, then I would think that the buzz would grow and grow on its own, and really cause a disturbance. Imagine if lowe knew this was coming ahead of time? Wow, I would think that even he, with all his arrogance, would not have a "6 rings" type answer.

If all fans buy into it, it would really show some dissatisfaction and really voice our displeasure, and just further the already epic jersey ice toss, but in a more costly way, to the Oilers brass and the fans.

just a thought.

love the Oilers through and through, but enough is enough

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#67 vetinari
December 23 2013, 06:12PM
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Let's see, Oilers fan pack for an evening out at Rexall...

Pitchfork... Check

Torches... Check

Bottle of homemade Christmas cheer... Check

Poppa's best 'throwing jersey'... Check

Ready to go...

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#68 Eddie Shore
December 24 2013, 12:00AM
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Serious Gord is the new DSF.

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#69 Cubsfan
December 24 2013, 12:12AM
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On a positive note: I loved the shot of Gazdik putting his arm around Yak and encouraging him on sticking up for himself (in te penalty box)......i hope that events of tonight galvanizes the team and the Oilers take on the, "its us versus the world" mentality and stick up for each other

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#70 Bucknuck
December 23 2013, 12:54PM
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Well, I hope they give us a Christmas present and win tonight. That's what I want for Christmas.

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#71 JJ
December 23 2013, 01:43PM
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Eakins needs to be more assertive with these kids.. If someone isn't putting in the effort, or quitting after the first 20 minutes, they need to be held accountable. Maybe he could be like hartman from full metal jacket..

"Are you quitting on me? Well, are you? Then quit, you slimy ****ing walrus-looking pieces of ****! Get the **** off of my skating rink!"

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#72 YAKCITY64
December 23 2013, 02:17PM
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Gregor,

We are all entitled to our opinion and I understand yours. As a coach and yes just at bantam AAA the Jersey is a sacred thing and needs to be respected. I think with Eakins comments they resonate with the fans the arrogant attitude that KLOWE Mac T and Katz have shown to this fan base.

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#73 Morgue
December 24 2013, 06:47AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

But if - hypothetically - you could ask him...

He was very much a fan of horse racing - can't recall if I ever read that he was or wasn't a fan of team sports - but he was a connoisseur of pretty much everything he turned his eye to and had an opinion to boot.

No doubt he would have known of lord Stanley - his grandfather the duke of Marlboro - whose memory Winston Churchill worshipped and he wrote a massive biography of - was in the Conservative party at the same time. And being a big believer in the dominions he no doubt was aware of the cup.

Serious gord I'd suggest you are reading into things a little too much. Quoting Churchill my god you have to much time on your hands

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#74 The Real Scuba Steve
December 23 2013, 01:02PM
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Oiler fans are not going to wait 10 years to compete for a playoff spot like Chicago. Unless Katz does a fire sale on his management.

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#75 Zamboni Driver
December 23 2013, 01:10PM
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redhot1 wrote:

Starting a rebuild after 3 first overall picks. Only in Edmonton

...so far.

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#77 Dave
December 23 2013, 05:54PM
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@Serious Gord

I wish that Serious Gord would give up on his attempted self promotion. He is just a media wannabe.

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#78 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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#79 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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#80 Morgue
December 24 2013, 06:45AM
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** wrote:

There's a score sheet that begs to disagree with you.

" A pebble tossed from a beach can become a tsunami on the other side of the world."

Well said g bear. As for Gregor it's hilarious how he splits hairs thinking throwing a hat on the ice for a hat ricks is completely fine but the jersey is offside. What a load of crap

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#81 Rama Lama
December 23 2013, 01:00PM
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I think that the fans ( not a collective) have been misjudged by the various media reporting on the Oilers.

If I were a betting man, I would say the fans do not believe that we have the right management to make player selection decisions required to surround the core with complementary players.

We have dithered away opportunity after opportunity to get bigger, larger, defensively sound players over players like Yakupov........more of the same. Nurse was the first good defenceman we drafted, good on Mac T for picking that player.

We have decided to build from the front to the back the exact opposite of what good teams do and this has not been well received by the fans.

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#83 Will
December 23 2013, 04:52PM
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Sliderule wrote:

The jersey on the ice was awesome.

It's a symbol of oiler fan frustration with the oiler management.

It's a final blowout against the arrogance of Lowe and the nepotism in their scouting and coaching.

The problem is at the very top.

Deal with that and it will work out.

I agree, all this stuff about how fans need to respect the jersey and crap, boourns to that. Official sell out streak during the course of the worst years in franchise history, clearly the organization stopped respecting the fans a long time ago. It was a great symbol of someone saying I am not purchasing your product anymore until you start making a better quality product. I wish we could do this with all consumer products against all companies who begin to just crank out lower quality products while maintaining high prices.

Good for whoever did that.

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#84 Rama Lama
December 23 2013, 05:09PM
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I wonder how many jerseys get thrown out on the ice........when does the fire Lowe chant get so loud that Katz can no longer ignore this?

It's coming and probably tonight ........if there is a hockey god, then let Lowe get fired.

I'm good with that even if nothing else gets accomplished in the next year or so?

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#85 Serious Gord
December 23 2013, 05:59PM
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Eakins has tweeted a 'clarification' of his comments today. No apology anywhere - very similar to lowes non-apology after his six rings comments. so further evidence/confirmation that the oilers PR dept is just as inept as the team.

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#87 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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#89 wiseguy
December 24 2013, 01:08AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I bet - as someone who has read many (over a dozen) books by or on Churchill over the years - that he would find the current points system to be an abomination.

It gives more points in some games than others. It makes it impossible to determine what a .500 team really is and thus how many games ahead or behind a team is and it does not show nor differentiate overtime wins. It makes comparisons with past eras even more difficult.

And it traps statistically challenged journos from time to time.

So I think he would count them - but for less than a regulation win. I Favour a 3-2-1 system. I think he would too.

I'm pretty certain Churchill would neither know nor care about hockey, let alone favor a 3-2-1 system. He would be doing more interesting and valuable things than arguing on internet blog sites.

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#90 outdoorzguy
December 23 2013, 02:42PM
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Better to go get 4 Oilers jerseys and throw them on the ice tonight at various times. Oh wait, not a good idea. That would put about $300 of the 4 jersey sale into the pockets of Katz. Just what he wants. The only thing that matters to him, because clearly the quality of the hockey team means nothing to him.

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#91 Rotten Ron
December 23 2013, 04:13PM
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I remember the George Burnett days as the darkest times as a season ticket holder. I was curious so I looked up his record. When he was canned his record was 35 games 12 wins 20 losses 3 ties He was selling basically the same bill of goods as Eakins is, new captain (corson,ference), youth movement, hard work every night, blah blah blah. At no point since then have I looked back and thought, man if we had just gave Burnett more time.

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#92 Butters
December 23 2013, 05:18PM
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I just want to see an effort. Even the crappiest teams of Oiler's yore wouldn't have rolled over like these guys do.

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#93 Rick Stroppel
December 23 2013, 08:24PM
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Wintoon wrote:

I cannot believe the arrogance of some of the posters. The Oilers are a bad hockey team right now but they are moving in the right direction overall. Have they improved as much and as fast as we all hoped? No they haven't. Unfortunately everyone seems to think building a winner is easy. It is not. Patience is required and even then a perennial powerhouse is not guaranteed. Almost every NHL team has smart men working for them but very few teams actually achieve any form of greatness. I am confident that if MacT has an opportunity to make a bold move that helps the team he will. Until then, show some class, be humble and support the team. Listening to the haters is bad enough. Having to listen to Oiler fans whine is disgusting.

PLEASE LET US FACE REALITY

"Moving in the right direction". In the last four years, last, last, second last, 20th. This year, probably 2nd or 3rd last. How exactly is this "moving in the right direction"?

"Show some class". You mean like MacTavish showed some class when he fired Ralph Krueger by skype? Ralph got 48 games, no training camp. Did he get a fair chance? Was that classy? Ralph had more class in his little finger than Lowe and MacTavish combined. BTW, how do you think that firing might affect other people in the NHL thinking about coming to work here?

"Be humble". You mean like Lowe? He does nothing but brag. Has he EVER acknowledged his mistakes? When he made his famous "six rings" speech, did he sound like a really humble, thoughtful guy who had learned from his mistakes? Or did he sound like an entitled, self-satisfied, arrogant jackbutt?

People who really know hockey know that this team and this franchise are the laughing stock of the league. Pointing that out is not "whining", it is telling the truth.

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#94 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 24 2013, 12:13AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

You want the truth?!!

You can't handle the truth.

There weren't any overtime losses in the nhl in 93/94.

Adjusting for that and the fact that the oil thusfar have four overtime wins that would have been ties in 93/94 they would be 8 - 24 - 7.

That is far behind the 93/94 team.

Now either you innocently forgot that fact or you deliberately omitted it.

I'm confused....did Churchill say overtime wins should count or not?!?

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#96 -30-
December 23 2013, 01:06PM
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You're shouting into a hurricane Gregor. Too many fans are overly emotional and reactionary when it comes to "their" team.

You're the only sense of reason in all of Edmonton sport media.

Great read.

-30-

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#97 Danger Pay
December 23 2013, 02:14PM
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I've got the solution:

Step #1: Make a billion dollars.

Step #2: Buy the Oilers.

Step #3: Fire Kevin Lowe

Step #4: Trade anyone with value for a package of players. -----------------------------------------------------------Step #5: Draft based on teams needs.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Step #6: Work like a MO-Fo to sign quality Free Agents in the summer with out over paying or committing.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Of course all of this is probably a lot easier said than done (especially Steps #1 and 2)!

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#98 johnjohn
December 23 2013, 02:53PM
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Danger Pay wrote:

I've got the solution:

Step #1: Make a billion dollars.

Step #2: Buy the Oilers.

Step #3: Fire Kevin Lowe

Step #4: Trade anyone with value for a package of players. -----------------------------------------------------------Step #5: Draft based on teams needs.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Step #6: Work like a MO-Fo to sign quality Free Agents in the summer with out over paying or committing.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Of course all of this is probably a lot easier said than done (especially Steps #1 and 2)!

Let's just go to step # 3 and call it a day. Everything after that should be easy.

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#99 Hangin@Bangin
December 23 2013, 03:20PM
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People,

If I could have your attention. Here is a good website where you can get cheap ammo. Don't put money in Katz's pocket with NHL authentic wear just buy these chinese knockoff's to fire on the ice in disgust.

http://www.brownwarbler.com/chriskimwedding/Wholesale_NHL_526.html

Happy Festivus

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#100 albertaboy19
December 23 2013, 03:20PM
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Haha us fans are fickle. Gregor has nothing to gain by agreeing with any of us or going against any of us. Hes in media boys and girls, he will always look at both sides of the fence wheither we like it or not. Same with Stauff. What I dont agree on is, fans need to make a statement, so I am ok with a jersey being thrown on the ice. What else are we supposed to do? Nothing else seems to make a difference, if we held a public jersey burning ceremony we would be bashed endlessly (like chris pronger did when we said we burned the furniture that he rented)

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