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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#1 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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#2 -30-
December 23 2013, 01:06PM
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You're shouting into a hurricane Gregor. Too many fans are overly emotional and reactionary when it comes to "their" team.

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

Great read.

-30-

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#4 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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#5 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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#6 Constance
December 23 2013, 12:48PM
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YAY!!!

Here is Oilers management apologist in chief Jason Gregor looking for his chance to get hired on with CHED. Its all part of the plan people !! Stay patient. Man up Gregor, Terry Jones and Robin B. are both saying the tough hard facts today while you continue to make excuses and say the easy things that Edmonton media has done for far too long.

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#8 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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#11 The real minnow
December 23 2013, 12:47PM
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Any chance that Eakins could get the axe on Wednesday morning and have coach Kruger back for Friday? Miracle on 118th ave? (That doesn't involve any bodily fluid transaction)

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#12 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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#14 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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#15 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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#16 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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#17 george99
December 23 2013, 04:12PM
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For those of you are suggesting who Jason Gregor is being influenced by Mr.Katz on what to say - please get a life! You sound paranoid and stupid!

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

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#19 michael
December 23 2013, 02:32PM
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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

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#20 bulldog12
December 23 2013, 06:14PM
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You guys are taking this way to serious. Its sports. I bet it's starting to affect your family life and at work. Your wife's and coworkers are probably getting tired of your temper tantrums and ranting and raving. The Oilers, Eskimos and Blue Jays all suck. Nothing I can do about it but the sun comes up the next day. Suck it up, it can't get worse so it has to get better. Try laughing about it.

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#21 redhot1
December 23 2013, 12:38PM
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Starting a rebuild after 3 first overall picks. Only in Edmonton

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#22 ColourMeImpressed
December 23 2013, 02:25PM
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@Chris.

I just... I dunno. I have a hard time dumping on the guy and the team when things have so clearly gone sideways and the criticism is now constant. I have a hard time blaming him for trying to create something positive out of a negative event - however justified that negative event is.

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#24 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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#26 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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#28 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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#29 Drowning in Oil
December 23 2013, 01:52PM
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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!!!

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#30 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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#32 @Oilanderp
December 23 2013, 07:32PM
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Wintoon wrote:

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

Thanks bud. This bears repeating. It's bad enough watching my team going through these hard times but coming on here and reading all the incessant whining and complaining makes it worse.

Oops, before I blow my cover...

FIRE SOMEBODY! TRADE YAKUPOV FOR 4th LINE PLUGS! STATS R DUM! MAC T SUX: GAVE AWAY OMARK NOW WE CANT GET WEBER! FIRE HOWSON'S MOM!

Whew, that threw most of them off... oh crap there's a straggler!

*breathes through mouth*

Whew, I've avoided the group of dissatisfied Oilerfan zombies.... for now.

Anyway props man.

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

Taylor Hall hates Nail Yakupov.

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#34 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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#35 Bucknuck
December 23 2013, 07:44PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Well, I hope they give us a Christmas present and win tonight. That's what I want for Christmas.

Just wondering who would trash this comment, much less six people. So you guys don't want them to win? You are so bitter about the team that someone that says they want a win for Christmas and you TRASH it?

I don't get it.

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#36 RexHolez
December 23 2013, 12:28PM
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Please don't go to the game! I beg of you! Go enjoy your Christmas don't torture yourselves!!

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#38 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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#39 Constance
December 23 2013, 01:39PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

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

Try reading it again. Never apologized once.

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

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

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

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#40 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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#41 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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#42 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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#43 nick
December 23 2013, 01:09PM
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Got to love the spin you put on this Sh*t show Gregor. You sure aren't a part of Stauffer's apoligist crew.

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#44 Hangin@Bangin
December 23 2013, 01:51PM
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@JasonGregor

Jason,

I know I have called you an Oilers apologist in the past over some of your articles and your rebuttle every time is that you need to focus on other aspects because slamming this franchise every week is too neanderthal like and short sided. I think that this market has wore on you and like any other person in sport it's time for a change of scenery. Like the Joe Thorntons and Jeff Carters of the world a change of pace may do wonders for your career. Maybe you should venture a resume the way of the Blackhawks or Penguins you seem to be so knowledgable about. Your campy pitches of patience and belief in the bigger picture are too much to handle anymore.

You are the one with the voice to the fans of this team, albeit not usually the voice of reason, but you can help spread the word that without fans staying away nothing will change. Katz has doubled his profits with this club in pure futility so do you think he's stressed? He will gladly continue making bank and it will become someone elses problem in a few years.

The Oilers haven't been rebuilding according to you longer than 4 seasons and your entitled to your belief with that one. The Hawks were miserable for 10 years and I'm okay with that too. But the once mighty Oil have been disgraceful for too many years to count. Since 2000-2001 the Oilers have made the playoffs 3 of those 12 seasons and have finished better than 8th once when they finished 6th. The claim to fame being one miracle run the the finals from a magical 8th seed. 8th turns into a winner once and about never so K Lowe and the rest of the Oiler apologists need to stop hanging onto the idea that they "built" a winner because what they built is a disaster with no end in sight.

.....

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#45 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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#46 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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#47 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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#48 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 23 2013, 01:38PM
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All Eakins should have publicly said about the Jersey being thrown was " I understand their frustration. The fans pay the freight and have a right to safely display their displeasure" and left it at that. But instead he ran his mouth and there will be some fallout. Idiotic thing to say. But he was hired by an idiot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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