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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#251 RexHolez
December 23 2013, 10:44PM
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I heard that collective sigh of relief from Oil Country way over here

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#252 **
December 23 2013, 10:45PM
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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?

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."

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#253 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 23 2013, 11:15PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Seven of those guys are UFA and Lander, Larsen, Arcobello are RFA...

Those pieces could be switched out sooner than you think if they wanted to, and only Gagner and Acton have contacts after this season.

Fork in the road Jason......here's praying that they want to!

Yogi Berra?....."if you come to a fork in the road....take it!"

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#254 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 12:10AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Serious Gord is the new DSF.

DSF is (was?) a far better and more knowledgeable commenter than I am. I thank you for the compliment just the same.

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#255 THE PUZ
December 24 2013, 12:15AM
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Gregor's analysis does not take into account that the Oiler fans have been putting up with a "rebuild" for 20+ years, other than one fluky run, with excuse after excuse. We are tired of being the only ones bleeding orange and blue.

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#256 **
December 24 2013, 12:25AM
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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.

C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER!!!

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#257 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 12:44AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Not true. Go look at a record book and get back to me.

And when people say the best or worst teams or players they use the entire season, not half of it. That isn't my rule, it is just how it has been when people compare teams. And most statisticians wait until the end or a season to accurately compare to previous years, otherwise it is just a projection History shows many teams can have vastly different first or second halves of a season, both in improvment or in a decline.

I have consistently said "on track" at the halfway point to be the worst team in oilers history.

This is hardly an odd concept. Such projections are made all the time. I am pretty confident that you have made similar extrapolations for the oil and other teams (your beloved dolphins) in the past.

Forty odd games IS a substantive body of work - a sample size not much smaller than all of last season. And that was long enough for MacT to justify firing kreuger (for example).

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#258 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 24 2013, 12:56AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Is this not the type of expected courtesy the Oilers demand with your media participation Jason?

I'm conflicted. I like QSB and the dark presence he brings to the site......but Gregor is the best writer on the site..........hhhhmmm......I need to consult with nacho Jesus.

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#259 The Mook
December 24 2013, 01:00AM
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The NHL started regular season overtime in '83-84, so yes those 4 wins are possible in '93-94

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#260 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 01:10AM
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The Mook wrote:

The NHL started regular season overtime in '83-84, so yes those 4 wins are possible in '93-94

Not true. OT win points were not given until the 99-00 season.

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#261 Batfink
December 23 2013, 01:26PM
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Jersey? Sure.

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#262 Shredder
December 23 2013, 02:26PM
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This rebuild is going to produce a highly defensive team with great puckmoving and stingy defense...only it's about 5 years away. We'll have: Nurse - Petry Klefbom - Schultz Ference - Marincin

The forwards will be the forwards...we'll likely still have Hall/Nuge/Ebs, and Gagner will be gone via free agency, Yak to trade, Perron to free agency, and everyone else will have been flushed out and gone or retired.

With any luck there'll be a veteran or 2 who will lead this group of dmen to learn the ropes of the NHL. Otherwise it'll take longer.

Let's hope this Broissoit pans out too, maybe Bunz and/or Roy as well.

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#263 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 23 2013, 07:19PM
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Chris. wrote:

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..."

Time to stop lowe from making the mess bigger. This will not be an easy fix but Lowe cant fix it. It is proven in his record. So why is he in charge of fixing it still?

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

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

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

Taylor Hall hates Nail Yakupov.

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

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

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#268 kale
December 23 2013, 11:37PM
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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.

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#269 Serious Gord
December 23 2013, 11:48PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

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

Further to my Churchill reference above:

"The Hinge of Fate describes how the tide of the war gradually turned for Britain and its allies from constant defeat to almost unbroken successes - Japan's successful assault on the Pacific, Britain's attempts to aid a beleaguered Russia and the defeat of Rommel at the Battle of Alamein."

From an amazon synopsis of WCs six volume history of f the war. (Fantastic read BTW)

Perhaps cgy on the 27 is the oils El Alamein...

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#270 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 12:25AM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

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

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.

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#271 TigerUnderGlass
December 24 2013, 12:47AM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

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

Often referred to as the "Major League Theory" of professional sports.

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#272 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 01:31AM
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wiseguy wrote:

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.

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.

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#273 MessyEH!
December 24 2013, 03:20AM
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http://jetsnation.ca/2013/12/24/jets-post-game-39-does-santas-workshop-build-a-winner#comment-473093reat write up here.

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#274 Hangin@Bangin
December 24 2013, 09:19AM
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@vetinari

The only thing that would have made this comment better would be replacing "ready to go" with a Cosmo Kramer errrrrr Dallas Eakins "Giddy Up" what an idiot......

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#275 Rdubb
December 26 2013, 07:01AM
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Jason, I sort of agree, but also disagree with you. What the Hawks and Pens did @ the draft is get Centre's, something the Oilers HAVE NOT DONE as of yet. And they SHOULD HAVE!!! Maybe Yak was the best player in the draft, maybe not, but the Oilers had a huge hole and needed it filled @ Centre and should have taken any number of guys over Yak, I personally felt that the Oil should have taken the kid the Habs took, Galyenchuk (you know who I mean). So what if he missed 95% of his draft yr, his previous season was outstanding and he was a 2 way player, not to mention that he had a bit of size to him, something else the Oilers needed... & last yr, maybe Nurse will be a #1 D-man, and I hope he is, but after that, the Oiler scouting staff dropped the ball, just like the previous 8 drafts, anyone can pick at #1 and not really mess up too bad...but, the Oilers had needs and didn't fill any of them. They needed a big C and didn't take one. They could have taken any one of 3 goalies, and let them all pass by, the worst being the Oil Kings tender. That hurts because of the close relationship between the two clubs...& the size the Oilers did take, well, they just opted for size, & size alone. None of their big guys they took where very impactful in their draft season, and I cannot see being impactful for their clubs this season either. And I have gone back and looked @ those whom I could find numbers on & or any articles. The Oilers do need to clean house, and it'll start with Lowe, and than the scouting staff, fire most of them, if not all. Over pay for a good Head Scout if needed. Why can teams like NAS draft so many good tenders and D-men, or the LAK drafting good goalie's too. These are just examples of teams not getting lucky once, but drafting for need, and doing a very good job at it. NAS has ALWAYS had an abundance of good goalies and are forced to trade one away every 3 or 4 yrs, but a very good one always steps in to replace, WHY CANT THE OILERS DO THAT? How about all the good D that the Preds draft? And they aren't always top 5 picks either, WHY CANT THE OILERS DO THAT EITHER? Because our scouting isn't good!!! Other than Eberle @ 22, I cannot think of one other late 1st rounder, or any other rounder to be a difference maker on this team, can you w/o looking it up? Peck

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#276 Fatbob24
December 23 2013, 10:48PM
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ColourMeImpressed wrote:

Told ya guys to cheer!

Taylor Hall hates Nail Yakupov.

Why is that? He tossed him the biscuit when it counted. Did I miss an interview?

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#277 Mikey
December 24 2013, 01:01AM
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I see Justin Schultz played 26min tonight. How did he look?

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#278 wergy
December 24 2013, 09:17AM
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I keep reading Hall hates Yak...did I miss something?

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#279 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 24 2013, 10:25AM
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michael wrote:

Light of a new day brings renewed hope to ON. The team was lead by Hall and Yak. Yak stepped up his game to a level he has not done yet in his short time in the NHL. Wow. I saw him channeling the ghost of ESA Tikkanen last night. He had the Jets in high dudgeon. The chicken wing was nasty. Then the melee. Wow.

Gazdic stepping in for Yak on Stuart. The guy has shown willingness to do the job. 10 fights this season so far. The comments from Yak show how important Gazdic has become to this team.

When were evaluating MacT's moves this season the acquisition of Gazdic has to be right up there with the signing of Gordon.

MacT deserves credit when credit is due.

I have to also say that MacT has made some questionable moves in signing a unproven NHL dmen in Belov and having him play the kind of minutes he has this season. Grebeshkov was a head shaker. I would have preferred Fistric resigned. There is definitely room for improvement on the backend this coming offseason.

I did like Eakins adding Joensuu upfront last night. Did his job by deflecting the brunt of the Jets physical play. It resulted in Gags and Ebs having more space. As much as I like Joensuu there is a need for a better more skilled big man. He is big but he is no Chris Stewart.

Overall the Oilers go in to the holidays on a positive. Friday night will be fun against fun.

Interesting...like you...the highlights of the night for me were Yak and Gadzik. Let's hope the coaching staff tell those guys that that's exactly how we need to see them play. Agree with everything you said. Too bad everyday can't be Christmas....let's see how they do Saturday night!

And don't shuffle the lines, same roster and lineup for Saturday night please!

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#280 Gomez
December 27 2013, 06:54AM
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YAKCITY64 wrote:

Gregor,

I have listened to you since 790 I think and have always respected your opinion. I think you have had a level headed approach to most things but really are you even wasting your words comparing this sad sack bunch to anything that closely resembles the Pens or the Hawks. This sounds to me like Katz and the boys have bought you too. Sad Sad Day.

People make the rationale that the oilers rebuild only after hall was drafted. Hen I guess the hawks can say the same after they drafted toews. And they won the cup 4 years later made playoffs in 3 years after

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#281 Primo
December 30 2013, 09:31AM
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This article written by Jason Gregor is the exact reason the Oilers are the most pathetic franchise in pro sports history. Wow.

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