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

I think the jersey incident was brilliant symbolism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#202 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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#203 ThatButthurtOilersFan
December 24 2013, 12:12AM
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Drowning in Oil wrote:

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

Woah there, Trevor Phillips.

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#204 **
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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#205 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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#206 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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#207 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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#208 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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#209 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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#210 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 24 2013, 07:27AM
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Mikey wrote:

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

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

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

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

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#211 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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#212 Gored 1970
December 24 2013, 09:26AM
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Don't blame the players for the Oilers struggles (at least not entirely). They are who they are and the Oilers knew who they were and their playing style when they drafted them. I have been rough on Eakins but he can only coach what he is given. It's tough to win in this league without a good defense and good goal tending - of which the Oilers have neither.

No, the blame should be placed squarely on the shoulders of Kevin Lowe, his GMs and the scouting staff because they aren't doing enough to find better players. Just picking from Central Scouting's list come draft time isn't doing the job. Oilers don't have a competent starting goalie - go find one. Both Vancouver's Eddie Lack (6/2, .928 PCT, and 1.93 GAA) and LA's Martin Jones (8/1, .953 PCT and 1.31 GAA) were not drafted. These organizations have done their homework and have found and signed these and other undrafted players. I know nobody likes the Canucks but they have three other starters in Tanev (top 4 D), Stanton (top 6 D) and Burrows (top 6 fwd) who were not drafted. That's an organization that is working hard to find better players. Time for the Oilers to quit relying entirely on the draft, roll up their sleeves and find better players. If your scouting network can't find them either expand the network or replace them.

The Oilers missed Stanton when Chicago placed him on waivers. The Canucks grabbed him and felt so strongly about him they made him a top 6 D immediately. He played in Moose Jaw which is only an 8 hour drive from Edmonton. If the Oilers had done their homework instead of sitting around the boardroom in their expensive suits feeling smug their positions, they would have known about Stanton and picked him up.

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#213 michael
December 24 2013, 09:27AM
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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.

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#214 Pucker
December 23 2013, 01:00PM
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Rebuild, or whatever it is - fine.

I don't believe the fans are expecting wins as much as they are hoping for effort. Or apparent effort anyway.

Maybe they're trying and they're just terrible but it looks to me the other team puts in much more effort.

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#215 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 23 2013, 01:57PM
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I watch a lot of porn. This year to cope with the Oilers, I started watching porn during the games. Last game it hit me: there is no difference between the Oiler games and porn. They both involve a bunch of pu$$ies getting f*#&ed! There might be a little more sucking in the Oiler games though...maybe..

WOW! I think I needs me some professional help.

PS: Go OIlers!

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

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

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

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

I've got the solution:

Step #1: Make a billion dollars.

Step #2: Buy the Oilers.

Step #3: Fire Kevin Lowe

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Festivus

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#220 OilCanFan
December 23 2013, 03:52PM
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Begin Rant:

Regarding all the sacred jersey nonsense, the respect is with the jersey that is worn by a team and its players; not the extremely expensive knock-offs sold to further pad the millionaires pockets. What someone chooses to do with their own clothing is their choice.

Jason Gregor's comments "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" is in my opinion crap. This fans gesture has spoken volumes already so no matter if he goes to the next game or not, the statement was made and a lot of people, including me, agree with it.

This team has appeared to quit day in and day out and Eakin's comments is just to deflect attention from these spoiled millionaires who are slowly losing touch with reality as do most sports stars and entertainers. I'm not a big win/loss guy, but rather appreciate effort. This team neither puts in an effort nor many wins and they should start looking closer at the work ethic of that other crappy Albertan team.

End Rant

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

can i have ur tix?

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

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

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#222 Cold Hard Truth
December 23 2013, 03:54PM
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I reject any argument/statement that uses the 'rebuild' as a premise.

Wake up folks. The rebuild is nothing but marketing. All teams are trying to get better all the time.

The rebuild doctrine is seductive because it enables a sense of justice and equilibrium: "If we suck long enough, it can only be balanced with winning later."

No such thing. Look at Detroit. They've been competitive for years. Now look at Florida. They've been in the doldrums for years. A team's long-term success is built on having able, competent people in the right positions through out the organization. The Oilers do not have that. Instead of filling posiitons through merit, they've been filled through patronage. Once the ex-Oiler cabal is kicked out, only then can the Oilers begin the slow heeling process.

In short. Next time someone discusses the 'rebuild', pour some cold water on their head.

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#223 outdoorzguy
December 23 2013, 04:02PM
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"Tossing a jersey, or anything else on the ice, other than a hat after a hat trick, should not be applauded". Whats the difference, hat or jersey, octopus or piece of steak (remember that)? 70% of the people who throw their hat on the ice after a hat trick always ask an usher if they can get their hat back. Trust me I know. I moved to Edmonton in 1998. Every year...every year since then the Oilers have fought to make the playoffs or they have been eliminated early. I know, I was in the building for a lot of those years. The year we went to the final, we made the playoffs on the last night of the season, then we went on a roll. An abomination yes, but a nice one. So telling us that a rebuild has been going on for only four years is pure crap. This rebuild has been going on for 12 to 15 years. The only difference is everyone accepted it. Mediocrity is what this city has become. "The City Formerly Known As the City of Champions" is what the signs should read. I'm sick and tired of media sucking up to "pro athletes". Many even call them continuously by their first names. As people in the position you are in you SHOULD be asking tougher questions. But you don't, because heaven forbid you lose your privilege to the pre game feast in the media room, or some "pro" athlete stops talking to you. You might even get barred from the dressing room. If that happens your world would be shattered. Getting barred from the dressing room would be a badge of honour, it would show the true face of this organization! Not only has the Edmonton Oiler organization, management and ownership let this city down, it has alienated and ignored its fan base. As media, you should be pursuing the story and asking the questions fans want answered. These are big boys. They make lots of money for what they do. You won't hurt their feelings, and if you do, then maybe they should seek other employment. Stop bending over to always find excuses and start being journalists instead of fans. They're just hockey players, not cancer researchers, who do their jobs very poorly and the organization as a whole needs to be made accountable to the fans and the city for the crap they parade out on a nightly basis year after year.

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#224 Bryzarro World
December 23 2013, 04:12PM
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I had to stop after your "it's the 4th year of the rebuild" garbage.

I won't listen or even part of anything that is going to toss out that excuse again. I don't care if this is the freaking article of the decade, it is garbage as soon as I read that line.

NO EXCUSES FOR LAST PLACE!!!! WIN!!!!

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

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#226 Ed in PV
December 23 2013, 04:17PM
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Gregor

You are so far put of touch with the Oil fan base it's scary. Tossing a jersey after the game is over is completely different than concerns about tossing things on the ice during the game. If you can't understand this difference you are an idiot, and I don't think you are an idiot. Far from being "bush league" it was a profound expression.

As for Eakins calling the guy a quitter. A coach shouldn't pick a fight with the fans, he will always lose.

If the Oil lose again tonight I think we will see more than one jersey. If they lose badly we will see many.

If I were a suspicious type I might be concerned that TSN has told it's employees to go easy on the Oil as they would like to unseat CHED as the rights holder next time around and don't want to piss off the empire.

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

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

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

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#229 Toro
December 23 2013, 05:24PM
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You buy me 6 rexall beers and I'll take package 4 off your hands.

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

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

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#231 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 23 2013, 05:55PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

And my GDP:

Oilers 5-2. Fans go nuts. No jerseys and other detritus will be tossed.

But Calgary looms...

And the worst mid-season record in oilers history is already a fact.

i wanna believe that they can win. i really do.

Please?

For Christmas?

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

Pitchfork... Check

Torches... Check

Bottle of homemade Christmas cheer... Check

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

Ready to go...

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#233 kale
December 23 2013, 07:13PM
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Oilers win tonight...if all of the fan backlash doesnt get them motivated nothing will. We shall see....

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#234 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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#235 Brian
December 23 2013, 07:32PM
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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.

So what did he "tweet". I'm a non tweeter/tweetee.

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#236 Alsker
December 23 2013, 07:58PM
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Nice goal by Ebs from Hemmer but is Bryz taking pointers from DD?

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#237 vetinari
December 23 2013, 08:05PM
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Alsker wrote:

Nice goal by Ebs from Hemmer but is Bryz taking pointers from DD?

Yeah, but the Jets goal started by a turnover in the neutral zone and then a guy or two missing their reads leaving a clear lane to shoot at Breezer.

When they pan the camera around the rink, it looks "less sold out" then usual. And I notice a lot less people wearing their jerseys.

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#238 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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#239 vetinari
December 23 2013, 08:57PM
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Blue Paint wrote:

Louis, just once call me my real name ...Crease. Try it with me, slowly: Crease

Louis fought a lot when he was playing and some words are now just forever lost to him...

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#240 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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#241 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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#242 Alsker
December 23 2013, 09:21PM
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Glad we're winning but how do you explain Yak's 4 shifts for 3 minutes?

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#243 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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#244 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 23 2013, 10:02PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I didn't pick them to be a playoff team for the exact reasons you stated, too much of the same thing.

They have some very good building blocks up front, but their blueline is so thin it is scary. They have potential in Klefbom, Nurse and Marincin, and potentially Ekblad, but they need some experienced NHl D-men.

MacTavish will be more proactive than Tambellini, which isn't hard, but his next moves will be more difficult than his first summer as a GM. He has to realize that while he has some good forwards, he has too many similar pieces.

The other major concern now is goaltending. You can't win without consistent goaltending, and the Oilers haven't had any this year.

Hiller, Halak, Bryzgalov, Dubnyk, Elliott and Scrivens are UFAs.

Veterans like Miller, Brodeur and Thomas likely woudn't come here, so they have to pick from the aforementioned six.

Hiller is the best option, but he is the starter in Anaheim. I know they have some young goalies in the system, but are they willing to roll the dice on them, or would they prefer to keep Hiller for a few more years. I'm not sure he'd get much more than his current cap hit of $4.5 million, so I'm still not convinced the Ducks will automatically let him walk, but if they do, then the Oilers better be calling his agent.

I think they are at a fork in the road. If MacTavish can't improve their D, then I see them going down the playoffless path.

I agree with fork in the road. Good analogy. I will stick to my guns that the required turnover would need to be 10 + boidies...character being the key with the additions.

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#245 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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#246 boxman
December 23 2013, 10:13PM
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In answer to you I think if you are correct that the gesture doesn't carry any weight if the protester returns to watch games speaks to the arrogance of the Oilers hierarchy. It is time for the owner to speak to the frustrations of the fans and yes I get it that winning makes this go away. The dynasty Oilers won but that didn't make Peter Pocklington a good owner and it won't take the stain off Lowe or Mr Katz.

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#247 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 23 2013, 10:13PM
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Man I miss the days where it would take the announcer about 4 minutes to announce all the penalties while the play was on. Sweet!

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#248 YFC Prez
December 23 2013, 10:16PM
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You guys fighting over the jersey are missing a good hockey game. Forget the jersey. Games like these from the oilers are few and far between lately.

# Yak getting his hands dirty.

# good

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#249 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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#250 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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