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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#101 ubermiguel
December 23 2013, 05:39PM
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Gregor, it's not about what year of the rebuild we're in, or draft picks or lottery wins; it's about watching millionaires not putting in 60 minutes of work game after game after game, year after year after year.

The stink of losing is hanging over this organization and it's going to take a mighty effort from someone to get rid of it. Hall needs to flip some tables; Ferrence needs to tear a strip out of guys that aren't trying; players need to hold themselves accountable for their own bad play and they need to hold each other accountable.

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#102 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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#104 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 24 2013, 12:22AM
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Cubsfan wrote:

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

That...and he played smart.....he waited until we were up 5-2 before exacting revenge on Stuart for his hit from behind on Gagner.

Gadzik is part of the solution.

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#105 Cynic
December 24 2013, 01:25AM
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Reading the last two ON posts makes me think the writers got a memo from Oilers brass. Is there a press pass you guys are trying to protect? Sure reads like it.

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#106 bulldog12
December 23 2013, 01:10PM
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Great minds think alike. I did the research on Chicago last night because I was tired of all the band wagon jumpers and stupid comments. Chicago made the playoffs ONCE in TEN years. Before you make more stupid comments,read this article again and again until it sinks in. This rebuild is in year FOUR. I agree if MacT, Kevin Lowe and Katz deviate from the original plan it will be an even longer process. Cut Eakins some slack to, the players have to take a step back before they can go forward. Hind site is a beautiful thing and that's what most of you guys rely on when making comments about trades and adding free agents.

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#107 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 23 2013, 01:43PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Your ticket says you can't throw things on the ice. Paying for a product doesn't give you freedom to act how ever you want. Sorry it doesn't.

Where did I say Lowe should stay on? I have no personal gain if he stays or goes, and I've said many times he is the only constant so it is safe to assume he is more part of the problem than the solution.

However, I don't think one person will make that drastic of a change. The organization has many areas it needs to improve on. Start with Lowe, sure, but understand more needs to happen than firing one man for this team to win.

Firing Lowe may have an effect right away in that it will show that there is actual accountability in this organization. Won't make the players better but it may show them that tjhere are actual consequences to failure. But they see that the head guy who loses keeps his job. They even bring back people who didn't help win before.

you are correct that it wont change the steaming pile we have for a team but maybe it will pick up the motivation.

Lowe needs to go because he is an abominable hockey man and so all players coaches and management types know that if they don't perform there will no longer be a free pass.

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#108 Wintoon
December 23 2013, 01:51PM
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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.

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#109 Lochenzo
December 23 2013, 02:14PM
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Given that we are mired in a terrible season, how upset would you be if I said "minor rebuild" starting now. Just curious...

...if I told you that this skill-possession type game isn't going to happen for this team and I wanted to change to a heavy game, does that sound interesting? Build around a defense of Klefbom, Nurse, and possibly Ekblad and acquire or draft heavy forwards gearing towards a forecheck type game with size and speed like San Jose. I think Hall could play under this system and I'd keep RNH just because I know how hard it is to acquire #1 centres.

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#110 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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#111 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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#112 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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#113 Butters
December 23 2013, 11:23PM
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Merry Christmas Nation.

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#114 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 24 2013, 07:27AM
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Mikey wrote:

I see Justin Schultz played 26min tonight. How did he look?

well, if you go by the theory that even wins must be picked apart, over analyzed and ruined, he probably wasnt nearly good enough. no chance he is a #1 pairing d-man on an elite team.

if you go by the "holy shat the Oilers finally won!" fan analysis of the game, he was pretty good. had his misses for sure but was much better then he has been recently.

now, if you will excuse me, i need to get back to focusing on why Friday is now THE most important game of the year, and how Churchill, Einstein, Doc Brown and Inspector Gadget all have some theories about horse racing and nose picking and how it ties into an NHL hockey season.

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#115 season not played
December 24 2013, 07:34AM
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The reason the Oilers are the worst organization in the NHL is that they are the worst run organization in the NHL and have been for years. They are not a terrible hockey team by accident. Six Rings is a blithering idiot, Bold Moves is in way over his head and Eakins is incompetent. They might win 20 games this season and I don't remember a version of this "Team" where unless they are playing a fellow bottom feeder, you don't wonder if they will win, you wonder if they will score a goal. The Oilers are a f#&king joke.

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#116 Rheal1 "Ontario Oilers Fan"
December 23 2013, 02:05PM
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Is Ron Low available to come back?

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#117 Dallylamma
December 23 2013, 02:24PM
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@Constance

Who do you think Klowe is texting while the Oilers are phoning it in...he's trying to see if Gregor can get him a deal on some stylish menswear.

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#118 Chris.
December 23 2013, 02:31PM
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For the record: I would never throw an Oiler jersey on the ice, deface a jersey, or burn one in effigy.

Instead, I think I'm going to leave all of mine in the closet until Katz cleans house, or sells the team to someone with the balls to do so.

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#119 madjam
December 23 2013, 05:31PM
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It's pretty pathetic when you get more satisfaction and thrills watching a Flames game than our own Oilers . Now , how many of you hockey fans are paying big dollars to basically see the other NHL clubs , rather than your own ? Same could be said for 2nd and 3rd tiered fans here . MacT. is responsible for this mess and only Katz's can probably pull the trigger .

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#120 Serious Gord
December 23 2013, 06:01PM
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Dave wrote:

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

Hardly.

1. I would suck at it.

2. I couldn't afford the paycut.

But thanks for listening and reading!!

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#121 white towel
December 23 2013, 06:19PM
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@sizedoesmatter

No disrespect for the former players as they have proven themselfs in the past. What is the basis to show the current players the same? Most of these guys could not carry the equipment of a Hunter or a Lumley let alone skate on the same ice.

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

sigh

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#123 Butters
December 23 2013, 10:53PM
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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."

I agree. Jersey night did accomplish something The Oilers were in full damage control mode today. Dallas was ticked, but then clarified his comments via twitter. If he wasn't strongly encouraged to do that by higher-ups, I'd be mighty surprised. The Oilers might be getting a little more concerned about how the fans are feeling these days...

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#124 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 23 2013, 11:47PM
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cubsfan wrote:

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)

Thank goodness the Jerseys are not sacred......cause I spilled nacho cheese and beer all over mine at the last game..........

Weird part was...when the nacho cheese dried up.....it resembled the face of Jesus......

Then Jesus came to me in a dream....and he says....hey...Old Retired Guy.....THATS NOCH YO CHEESE! ....IDOLATOR!

Edit: I wonder if MacT hears my story if he'll invite me to christen one of the new concessions in the new arena?

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#125 ThatButthurtOilersFan
December 24 2013, 12:12AM
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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!!!

Woah there, Trevor Phillips.

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#127 Fresh Mess
December 23 2013, 01:16PM
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Congratulations. You're the new Leaf fans. World class city surely to follow.....

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#129 ColourMeImpressed
December 23 2013, 02:10PM
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@Chris.

Have you seen Eakins quitter comment in full context?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=mD0-_Nay_IE#t=208

It's not like how it sounds in text.

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#130 outdoorzguy
December 23 2013, 02:45PM
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michael wrote:

These last 6 games were exactly what I expected. Psalm 23 folks is my mantra.Talk about the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Cripes we knew it was coming.Yet when these 6 games came and went it left many of us still wondering if our faith in the players and management was/is warranted?

The good news is that the light of a new day can bring new hope to all of us Oiler fans.

The Oilers have a chance to recover some of their confidence with games against the Jets,the Flames and the Flyers. We hope.

I look at the last 6 games as a test of our faith in all things Oilers. Like many of you I get crazy when we see how easily St Louis ran our show. 6-0 is in the books.

Now is the time to renew our faith in the team. Not leave them wandering alone in the wilderness.

Those of you who go to the game tonight show your faith and your support for this team.They need cheers not jeers. Their confidence is shaken so a show of support is needed.

Merry Christmas

Yeah, thats right, go ahead and look for the "light of a new day". Not happening. Can't possibly happen under this regime. Hasn't happened for a decade. What makes you think it will change now? Keep drinking the 6Ring flavoured Kool-Aid.

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#131 Chris.
December 23 2013, 06:00PM
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westcoastoil wrote:

Bottom line is if Lowe & Katz respected the jersey as much as the fans, and more than their egos, the team wouldn't be in the mess that it is.

I'll give Eakins and MacT a pass because you can't expect them to clean up this debacle in a matter of months.

When Tambellini and Quinn were busy crashing the Oilers into last place many fans were saying, "You can't expect them to clean up Lowe's mess in just a few months..."

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#132 vetinari
December 23 2013, 08:17PM
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I wondered if they would talk about "the jersey". MacT calling the guy is just basic damage control so that they could go on the air tonight and say, "look, we've kissed and made up". Eakins totally blew the interview and the broadcast crew is trying to spin as he's trying to take the heat off the team by taking it on himself. To use Eakins' words, "that's bull crap." He shot off his mouth first and now they have to do the clean up.

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#133 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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#134 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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#135 Zarny
December 23 2013, 10:46PM
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Harsh realities. The mouth-breathers don't like those.

I thought the jersey on the ice was pathetic. That's probably a bit harsh; I can appreciate the frustration. Smacks of a temper tantrum though. "Waah! I want my rebuild!". "We have #1 draft piiiicks!!". Pfft...he's got 4 more jerseys at home.

No one with an honest assessment of the Oilers at the start of the season is panicking right now. A variation of the last 48 hrs was published in August. Not new information.

The first 20 games showed how thin the roster is. When healthy they go 6-3-1 against the bottom of the league and are outclassed against contenders.

They don't need to push the panic button. They don't need to drastically change course. The draft picks remain a good foundation to build around. We've seen they aren't the solution themselves.

They do have to start trading picks and prospects for proven NHL players. They can't wait for Klefbom, Nurse or some hypothetical draft pick.

That was the case last year and Tambo dithered so he was rightfully fired. MacT added a few pieces last summer. He needs to add a few more by the trade deadline and a few more in the summer.

Until then nothing changes. 6-0 loss against teams like StL. 6-2 wins against teams like Jets.

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#137 Dave "Killer" Carlson
December 23 2013, 10:53PM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

That's a fair assessment. I wouldn't have booed them off, it was a good game. Not sure I would have cheered either. One game doesn't make up for the complete lack of effort we've seen in some games this year.

I've also hated the fan salute ever since teams started doing it after the 2004-2005 lockout. I think it has become overused and lost its impact. Opening night, season finale, and a big game here or there is fine but not every home win.

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#138 Serious Gord
December 23 2013, 11:09PM
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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.

Pollyannish garbage.

The FACT is this team is on track to have the worst season in oilers history. Individual games are irrelevant.

The FACT is that this team doesn't just do poorly against good teams they are 3-20 against the top sixteen teams in the league. They are so bad against heavy opponents that they are the worst team in oilers history.

Jersey-throwing was a low point in the lowest season to end all seasons thusfar. Let's see how they do in the second half...

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#141 Zarny
December 24 2013, 12:26AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Garbage rebuttal. I nailed you fair and square. Admit it.

No, actually record books simply record wins, losses and ties.

For each year, every team plays by the same rules.

Regardless, by the end of the season it won't matter. This team won't have anywhere near the worst record ever.

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#142 Brian
December 24 2013, 07:40AM
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I thought this was "OilersNation", not "Serious Gord Nation".

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#143 ColourMeImpressed
December 23 2013, 01:53PM
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Have you guys watched the pre-game stuff on the Oilers site? Hall and Eakins in particular I thought were talking sense. Not just saying the right things, but saying them with conviction.

I've been as negative about this team lately as anyone, but with Christmas coming around the corner and a long break ahead of us, we owe it to ourselves and the kids on the ice to give them a good cheer, some support. Agree as I might with the guy who threw his jersey on the ice in disgust, I don't want to send the team a bad message for them to brood on over Christmas.

I'm going to cheer hard tonight, and here's why:

Even in the midst of this terrible losing streak, the Oilers have given it their best, night in, night out. On nights where they haven't been on a back-to-back, they've outshot better teams and outplayed them at times.

They're not quitting, and neither should we.

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#144 Rheal1 "Ontario Oilers Fan"
December 23 2013, 01:54PM
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Not asking for much. Please Oilers get your collective $@#% together and get us a great win tonight. Please.

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#146 Kenta
December 23 2013, 02:31PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Congratulations. You're the new Leaf fans. World class city surely to follow.....

But aren't you already "The City of Champions". LOL.

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#147 A-Mc
December 23 2013, 03:40PM
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This isn't the first time ive said this this year..

I hope the Oilers lose tonight. Badly. A big fat 4-0 for Winnipeg.

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#148 OilCanFan
December 23 2013, 03:53PM
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A-Mc wrote:

can i have ur tix?

Tier 3 fan here. can't afford to go to games.

I've pretty much gotten rid of them all, guess I'm a quitter after all...

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#149 sizedoesmatter
December 23 2013, 04:42PM
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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

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#150 Serious Gord
December 23 2013, 05:45PM
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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.

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