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 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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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#151 Alsker
December 23 2013, 06:04PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

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.

Perhaps not, will we hear: "We didn't quit" as a chant instead of "Fire Lowe or Lowe must GO". Well played by the Klown PR guys.

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

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

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

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

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

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#156 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 23 2013, 11:05PM
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If we ever become a contender, 10 of these 12 guys won't be here. Lander, Gagner, Jones, Hemsky, Smyth,Potter, N Schultz, Dubnyk,Acton, Belov, Larsen, Arcobello.........that's a lot of turnover...could take awhile.

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#157 **
December 23 2013, 11:39PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

That's a BS Confuciusism. No way a pebble ripple amplifies into a tsunami.

wow, just wow

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#158 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 23 2013, 12:44PM
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You picked the Oil to win so they are doomed already

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#159 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 23 2013, 02:54PM
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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.

Yes Mac T quit...after the pressure from fans and media had driven Katz to publicly state that his job was safe.

Seems to me maybe he quit so katz wouldnt have to fire him. ( I hear Mact and Katz may have been or are friends ouside of the Oilers) Maybe Lowe and Katz say to him. You resign.

Go bum around for a couple years and we of course will bring you back.

Explains why he never stayed anywhere else (except for the incompetence part) You come back when the heat is off and the fans will love it.

Lowe thinks to himself that is gonna be an awesome presser. "Ladies and gentlemen of the world. I now announce what you have demanded for so long...The return of one of the greatest Oilers (well he was pretty good and won some cups with me) MacT!!! " Easiest sell i will ever make. hehe

Just sayin

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#160 Bleed Oil
December 23 2013, 03:12PM
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Not so obvious game day prediction:

Belov unleashes the caged beast that is his clapper and finally scores

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#161 westcoastoil
December 23 2013, 05:06PM
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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.

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#162 outdoorzguy
December 23 2013, 08:05PM
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The guy will be dead before he has a chance to drop the puck at a Oiler playoff game!! Besides McTavish will be long gone and Lowe won't honor the promise.

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#163 Rick Stroppel
December 23 2013, 09:10PM
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JERSEYGATE EXPLAINED!

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

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

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

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

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

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#167 Serious Gord
December 23 2013, 10:58PM
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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."

That's a BS Confuciusism. No way a pebble ripple amplifies into a tsunami.

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#168 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 12:07AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

It is also important to state truths...

Oilers 1993/1994...first 39 games.. 11-23-5, and they lost their 40th game.

Through 39 games this year the Oilers are 12-24-3. That is a better record based on wins. And if Oilers win one of their next two games they will be better than two other years at the half way point. They have many issues, but it is important to state the exact truths when comparing previous seasons.

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.

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#169 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 12:19AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

You play based on the rule of the year. They have more wins.

You can twist the numbers however you like, but through 39 games they have more wins.

There wasn't 30 teams in 1993/1994, so should we not count games against new teams either?

The record book of each team when it comes to worst seasons goes by wins and points, not which rules were in place at the time. I've never seen one that ranks them based on the rules at the time. NHL official record book doesn't.

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

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#170 -30-
December 24 2013, 08:24AM
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After seeing 270 comments I have come to this conclusion.

IT'S JUST A GAME!!!!!

Happy holidays everyone :)

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#171 gm_armchair
December 23 2013, 01:42PM
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Rebuild is only half way over, the team is in a thousand times better position today than 4 yrs ago. Team is slowly being built not to just squeek into playoffs but to contend for cup for a very long time year after year. Oilers could trade their top end talent for a bunch of B level talent but then theyre team would be no better than the early 2000s Oilers.

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#172 Lochenzo
December 23 2013, 03:29PM
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Eakins' message is for the players. If it comes across as harsh, that's just where we are at this point.

You play for pride. And pride in your game refers to your overall game and overall effort, not just your goals and assists. If you have no pride in your game, you'll never win. It's evident that the kids still need to learn this.

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#173 Spydyr
December 23 2013, 04:09PM
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OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:If the team has any and I do mean any "balls" they show up like a playoff game.That being said they don't. Please prove me wrong.

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#174 MessyEH!
December 23 2013, 07:18PM
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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

The only ones shaming the jersey, are the losers on the ice. And the "Lowe lifes" who are selling us this garbage.

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#175 Chainsawz
December 23 2013, 08:14PM
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I appreciate the effort tonight so far by Oilers.

They have responded better tonight after a statement from a fan than they ever have from anything Eakins has said.

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

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

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

Not really fair, but a reality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#182 Serious Gord
December 23 2013, 11:28PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

You are saying they are the worst when season isn't half over? You should wait until the end of the season to declare that.

Also, last I checked 7-3-1, plus a win tonight is 12 games, not an individual game, which is why I included the previous games.

They were brutal at start of the year, no doubt, but goaltending gave them no favours.

If you think this team is worse than the teams in the mid-90s you are kidding yourself. They haven't played as well as they could, but they are a better team than those teams. You will see at the end of the season.

Also, I find it hilarious you say individual games are irrelevant, (even though I used 12 games, not one) yet you made the bold claim that Friday was the hinge game for the Oilers.

So, I guess you are calling your own prediction irrelevant. :)

Their record speaks to itself. The worst ever thusfar - they will have the worst halfway record ever. Hardly one game...

As for the one game meme. I'm pretty sure that had the oil lost tonight you wouldn't be trumpeting a 7-4-1 record against the oils peers (iow crap teams) but rather you would have found another way to downplay the jersey effect.

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#183 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 23 2013, 11:39PM
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kale wrote:

I think it may be too soon to assess the impact of the Jersey incident but I do know that it certainly motivated the team tonight. IT may have done much more than that-I have not seen the team play this cohesive this season. And tonight was an example of why I scream when people say trade YAk.

Sometimes severe adversity is what it takes to bring a team together. Let's hope.

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#184 Quicksilver ballet
December 24 2013, 12:11AM
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Is this not the type of expected courtesy the Oilers demand with your media participation Jason?

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#185 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 24 2013, 01:21AM
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Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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#186 Pucker
December 24 2013, 10:28AM
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Jason, I just about always agree or respect what you have to say here and on your show but you're way out to lunch here.

You're scrambling for some reason. That's not like you.

The jersey thing was a significant gesture. It made national news and was a reflection of many fans frustrations.

The Oilers now are maybe a very talented group of individuals but going into the game yesterday, they looked like the worst team in Oiler history.

I hope they pick it up in the second half. They have the ability. We're still looking for the compete.

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#187 TDSM31
December 24 2013, 01:31PM
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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.

Gord, Seriously...you need to be a little more aware of your surroundings. Hypothesizing on what Winston Churchill might think about the points system for hockey...in an Oilers blog? Talk about wrong time, wrong place.

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#188 Chainsawz
December 23 2013, 01:51PM
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Does anyone have hard evidence that deviating from Lowe's rebuild plan will further the losing for even longer? Seems like a weird thing to say.

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#189 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 23 2013, 02:09PM
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Sizzay wrote:

Good on the guy who threw the jersey! How about the entire oilers management put a competitive on ice product then maybe you bunch of idiots will get some respect.

Nice to see yakupov on the 4th line! They are ruining him. Can't wait for him to get traded and score 30 a year for the next 10 seasons. Yakupovs skill didn't disappear overnight, this isn't looking to be a good environment for the kid.

Gagner has been the worst oiler. Trade him and maybe bring in some actual help.

I've seen some dumb plays from Schultz hall and ebs. Why aren't they on the fourth line or bottom pairing?

Suck bad for ekblad!

This team is the new maple leafs.

Yakupov should be in the AHL given his maturity and compete levels. He should be thanking his lucky stars (and his agent) that he's cashing an NHL paycheque right now.

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#190 Lochenzo
December 23 2013, 02:27PM
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I don't expect everyone to feel as I do seeing that Oiler jersey get thrown down to the ground.

I can tell you of the pure hatred and anger watching Doug Risebrough shredding an Oilers jersey in the penalty box with his skate.

So imagine my shock to see an Oilers' jersey on the ice.

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#191 OilCanFan
December 23 2013, 03:43PM
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Does anyone remember the movie The Toy starring Richard Pryor? A billionaire buys him - similar to another certain billionaire buying living hockey cards. He appears to not care a lick about what is going on with the team on the ice, only the one from the 80's. I think that most people can agree that as long as he is making money, he won't change a thing. The issue is that most of the seats are seasons ticket holders and most of those are corporate owned and they also don't really care about what goes on with the team. I'm a Tier 1 fan and would have gotten rid of my tickets had my wife not convinced me to hold on to them for our kids on the hope that one day the team will deserve the respect they seem to think we fans (Tier 2 and 3 too) owe them.

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#192 Serious Gord
December 23 2013, 07:19PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

What segment were you on Oiler's now in?

1:00 today - starts at the 1:35 mark give or take.

Useful if only because Bob replays the entire eakins comment. Bob thinks it gives some kine of exoneration of what he said in the soundbite, but i think - and i think you will agree - he only digs a deeper hole.

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#193 Blue Paint
December 23 2013, 08:53PM
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Louis, just once call me my real name ...Crease. Try it with me, slowly: Crease

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

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

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

Hi Jason,

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

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

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

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

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

# Yak getting his hands dirty.

# good

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

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#196 Serious Gord
December 23 2013, 11:33PM
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And Jason there is little doubt that some games can set the tone / direction for a season - I think Friday has the potential to be one of them.

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#197 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 12:39AM
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Zarny wrote:

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.

We shall see where they end up. Right now they are on track - adjusting as any sane statistician would - for overtime wins, to be the worst team in oilers history.

That is undeniable. (And odd that someone would try and obfuscate it).

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#198 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 24 2013, 01:04AM
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@Mikey

Honestly....pretty much every Oiler looked good tonight. From what I saw Justin played pretty good tonight...no glaring mistakes....not trying to do to much.

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#199 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 01:14AM
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** wrote:

You're both using the wrong stat to prove your point. You need the points percentage to make the equivalencies match for both seasons.

THe PP doesn't go as far back as 1993-1994 in the NHL website but it's easy to calculate.

For 1993/1994 with a record of 11-23-5 in 39 games, the P% is .361.

For 2013/2014 with a record of 12-24-3 in 39 games, the P% is .361.

The Oilers are actually exactly where they were back in 1993/1994.

When you do it this way you make it only about the ability to obtain points and nothing else. This eliminates noise and bias from adding other elements of comparison like number of wins, or overtimes or ties.

Rules may change,but the ability to get points out of a max total remains the same.

But with the advent of the extra point for an overtime win (or loss depending on your perspective) some games in today's era are worth more points than others - an overtime game gives two pts to the winner and one to the loser fir a total of three versus just two for a game that ends in regulation.

Thus comparing point/game avgs between the two years in question is gibberish.

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#200 nick
December 24 2013, 08:46AM
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Wow the Oilers beat the Jets, crisis over team is on the right track, great coaching, rebuild complete. ha ha Too funny Guess if they could play a team in the bottom 5 or 6 in the league every night they would be competitive.

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