A summer of miscalculation; a winter of failure

Jonathan Willis
March 09 2013 11:56AM

The Edmonton Oilers 2013 season did not fall apart during a nine-game road trip. The nine-game road trip was simply the point in the season when a summer of inept management finally caught up to the team.

Forwards

Some of the pain here was an unavoidable part of rebuilding through the draft. Decisions to employ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as the team’s top-line forward (an often overlooked weakness entering the season) and to try Nail Yakupov as the second line’s left wing were understandable, perhaps even unavoidable. Nugent-Hopkins’ inexperience means that he would be better suited to a lesser role on a contending team, but he is the best option at the Oilers’ disposal for a top-line job. Yakupov’s left-handed shot, a desire to get him on to a skill line, and the team’s weakness at left wing after Taylor Hall also made a cameo in that position an understandable gamble (particularly given Yakupov’s success in the role in Russia). It is a gamble that has not worked out so far, as the positional change may well have increased the difficulty of Yakupov’s transition to NHL play.

Other errors were unforced. The decisions to re-sign Lennart Petrell and Darcy Hordichuk added a pair of 5-on-5 liabilities to a bottom-six group that didn’t need more players incapable of moving the puck in the right direction. The decision not to bring in a second-line left wing to add a capable veteran and force a guy like Ryan Smyth, Magnus Paajarvi or Teemu Hartikainen into a third line role opposite Yakupov on the other wing was another error.

While the root of these problems goes back to the summer, it seems likely the Oilers aren’t even aware of some of them. The decision to spend a fourth-round pick on Mike Brown – fine in his role, but terrible at adding 5-on-5 offence (the Oilers biggest weakness) when plausible options like Simon Gagne (dealt to Philadelphia for a fourth-round pick) or Dustin Penner (in the doghouse and rumoured to be cheap) was understandable but wrong-headed. Brown scores high in areas where Penner has been long-criticized, but in just 15 games in a bad season Penner is within a point of matching Brown’s career-best offensive production. Intangibles do matter – but tangibles matter too, and the fact is that the Oilers went shopping for a fourth-line guy who could punch people even as their team struggled to generate any kind of offence. That is not a criticism of Brown, who I actually like; it is a criticism of a management team that was picking out drapes while the house burned down.

Defence

Justin Schultz personifies both the best and worst of the Oilers’ blue line. On the positive side, he’s a sublimely skilled offensive defenceman, a great fit for the team long-term and was a massive windfall for the Oilers when he chose Edmonton in the summer. On the negative side, the fact that Justin Schultz, rookie pro, is the Oilers’ number one defenceman says everything about the state of the blue line.

It was obvious in the summer that the only prudent course of action was to add another defender – and despite the fact that the best options were signed early, players like Michal Rozsival stayed unsigned until September while Chris Campoli eventually had to relocate to Europe. Ideally, the Oilers would have competed for one of the better options out there; instead they failed even to make a basic insurance signing.

They’re paying for it now. Ryan Whitney’s unsurprising struggles, the inability of Justin Schultz and veteran second-pairing guy Nick Schultz to handle the opposition’s best, along with the ups and downs of a still-young Petry/Smid tandem have been the deserved result of an unwillingness to address a problem visible in the summer months.

Elsewhere

The Oilers made it clear as early as April that they were comfortable with a Devan Dubnyk/Nikolai Khabibulin duo, despite the fact that buying out Khabibulin and bringing in a reliable backup was a viable option. Dubnyk – despite some rough individual outings – has performed well, but Khabibulin unsurprisingly has spent most of the season on injured reserve, which in turn has forced Ralph Krueger to lean heavily on Dubnyk, who has started six games in nine days. The Oilers are already within a point of last place, and are one Dubnyk injury away from being comically overmatched by the NHL as a whole.

The jury is still out on Ralph Krueger, the fourth coach of Steve Tambellini’s run as general manager. I like some of the things he’s done, but at times he’s seemed overmatched and despite his eloquence and the clear loyalty of his players his reluctance to play a line-matching game may be costing the Oilers. Jon Cooper, meanwhile, continues to run the most successful team in the AHL.

The reader may notice an abundance of links in the piece above; the reason for that is to establish that this isn’t simply looking in hindsight and spotting things that seem obvious now. Many of the mistakes made by the Oilers management group are mistakes that should have been evident long before now, mistakes that could have been avoided with a little foresight and a little action back in June, July and August. The Oilers management group deserves a team with the record this one has.

They also deserve to pay the price of failure, a price they haven’t hesitated to visit upon players, coaches, and lower levels of management within the organization: dismissal.

Update: To be clear, not all of the Oilers' problems were forseeable. For example, the run of injuries at centre, and the shooting percentage struggles of the top line have hurt the team badly, and neither was a predictable problem. With teams as close as they are, my personal belief is that it takes some things going wrong to end up at the bottom of the pile, and that's happened in Edmonton. But those unforseen problems would have had less impact if visible problems had been addressed earlier. JW.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#151 Mr. Sense Common
March 09 2013, 08:56PM
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Freewheeling Freddie wrote:

Congrats to the Oilers, they are officially in 15th place in the west.Columbus with injuries passed us.We can be klumped with lowlife teams such as Florida,NY Islanders Columbus.Next year with realignment Columbus moves to the east.We are officially a sewar rat team.Time to revamp the whole management team.The Oilers are supposed to be the pride of the city,bad management is destroying this team. Mr Katz time to wake up.We are the brunt of many jokes in the hockey world.The Eskimos brought in my opinion a GM who will reshape the team into a championship team.Tambellini may be a nice guy but is in over his head when it comes to rebuilding a hockey team.Mr.Katz the fans deserve much better than this.We want playoff hockey

100%. Except.....you are not being fair to Tammy. he is worse than terrible, a fake, bu,bling, buffoon with no discernible knowledge of pro hockey

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#152 Bonvie
March 09 2013, 09:00PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Forgive me for being most intimately familiar with my own work, rather than the work of others. I keep a list of pieces written, cross-indexed by subject so that it's easy to retrace my own footsteps. Thus, when I want to reference a piece on, say, Lennart Petrell, I simply open the spreadsheet and grab the link. I'd have to actually dig up your work to include the same link.

It may come across as self-congratulation, but mostly it's just laziness.

Lets get to the important part how much more will we have to endure till some heads roll. I just hope the coach goes with the GM.

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#153 JCDavies
March 09 2013, 09:03PM
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@DSF

Why are you bringing Gardiner and Jensen into this? Burke hasn't been in Vancouver since 2004 and has nothing to do with Jensen and Gardiner has nothing to do with Vancouver.

Also, Burke traded away a lot of draft picks at the trade deadline to pickup rental players that might help the Canucks with the cup. It was probably the right thing to do but it weakened the depth of the farm system.

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#154 spliff
March 09 2013, 09:05PM
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Kevin Lowe has had a terrible track record as a manager since he took over. There is no excuse for why he continues to be part of this organization. One unexpected cup run is not enough to gloss over his misgivings. He has made so many bad trades and decisions I have lost count. Hiring ex-players to manage complex organizations usually ends badly. As I've been saying for many years, we need qualified professionals, with proven track records, to get this franchise on the road to respectability. Look at how Boston is managed, and Ottawa and many other teams. The Oilers could possibly miss the playoffs for 10 years, and Lowe will most likely still be here. Its unbelievable.

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#155 DSF
March 09 2013, 09:06PM
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JCDavies wrote:

Why are you bringing Gardiner and Jensen into this? Burke hasn't been in Vancouver since 2004 and has nothing to do with Jensen and Gardiner has nothing to do with Vancouver.

Also, Burke traded away a lot of draft picks at the trade deadline to pickup rental players that might help the Canucks with the cup. It was probably the right thing to do but it weakened the depth of the farm system.

Your assertion is that Burke leaves nothing in the farm system is wrong.

He has been the GM when both Manitoba and the Marlies were among the best farm teams in the AHL.

Give it up.

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#156 Bucknuck
March 09 2013, 09:06PM
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Whoever is GM this summer, the first thing that he should do is trade the 2014 first round pick for a real player. Hopefully a top six player with Grit.

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#157 Bonvie
March 09 2013, 09:11PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Whoever is GM this summer, the first thing that he should do is trade the 2014 first round pick for a real player. Hopefully a top six player with Grit.

I'd rather keep that pick as there is a number 1 D, or a big centre available. We would be better off trading last years first pick the little winger.

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#158 Time Travelling Sean
March 09 2013, 09:13PM
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To be fair, having a successful AHL team doesn't mean they're a good farm team for the parent club.

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#159 DSF
March 09 2013, 09:16PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

To be fair, having a successful AHL team doesn't mean they're a good farm team for the parent club.

Agree completely.

Teams have very different development priorities.

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#160 Harlie
March 09 2013, 09:16PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"The reader may notice an abundance of links in the piece above; the reason for that is to establish that this isn’t simply looking in hindsight and spotting things that seem obvious now. Many of the mistakes made by the Oilers management group are mistakes that should have been evident long before now, mistakes that could have been avoided with a little foresight and a little action back in June, July and August. The Oilers management group deserves a team with the record this one has."

Difficult not to notice. What, a dozen links citing and referencing your own work?

Like I said here . . . Like I told you here . . . I saw this coming here . . . I told you so here . . .

This item, without any doubt, establishes a benchmark for self-congratulation, Jonathan. Well done.

Can't wait till JW gets the balls to call out some of your work. Jon should be a peer of yours...not a carpet mat that rub your feet on as you see fit.

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#161 Clarkenstein
March 09 2013, 09:16PM
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Who made you God Brownlee? Talk about a Troller! Instead of publicly challenging your colleague on this site why didn't you send a personal email? As another said you're the only person to even mention it out of over 150 comments! Classless.

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#162 G Money
March 09 2013, 09:29PM
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Clarkenstein wrote:

Who made you God Brownlee? Talk about a Troller! Instead of publicly challenging your colleague on this site why didn't you send a personal email? As another said you're the only person to even mention it out of over 150 comments! Classless.

Maybe I'm full o shnit, but RB and JW have been writing and posting on ON forever and by definition are as far from trolls as you can get.

Both also tend towards levelheadedness ... in that context, I read RB's comment as a collegial 'shot' (and a fair one at that) rather than any sort of harsh criticism of JW and his journalistic integrity.

I find it's usually best to take things you read on the ol' Interwebs with a grain of whiskey...

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#163 Jay
March 09 2013, 09:30PM
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Guess you're not allowed to say job well done to anyone brownlee

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#164 Butters
March 09 2013, 09:32PM
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@Bonvie When did 5'11" 184 pounds start being considered as small? I honestly don't get it.

According to the Oilers web site they have 5 players who are listed at 5'11"(Gagner might have been wearing lifts when they measured him), the rest are 6 feet tall or better. Is this a small team these days?

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#165 Jay
March 09 2013, 09:32PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Sadly, the team doesn't yet seem to be at a point where it's safe to trade a first round pick away.

When is it ever safe? It takes courage in conviction to be a champion!

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#167 RexLibris
March 09 2013, 09:33PM
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Here is the question I keep coming back to: if Tambellini is removed this summer, does that not leave Kevin Lowe, a former player for whom I have the utmost respect but a less-than-ideal manager, in charge of finding his replacement?

Unless Lowe is also removed, then could we not expect the same story to repeat, only with a different cash of players?

I have no idea who would be best to hire, but I do believe that there are systemic issues within the organization that need to be rectified. Promoting MacTavish or hiring Howson are not, in my opinion, the correct decisions to be made.

Were I in Katz's position, I might approach Jim Nill with an offer to become President of Hockey Operations and/or GM this summer. Guarantee him full autonomy, and a strong, consistent operating budget from which to work. It has been said that the best businessmen surround themselves with smart people. Katz is a very successful businessman, so now we must simply hope that he has the ability to identify smart people to run his hockey team, past decisions notwithstanding.

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#168 JCDavies
March 09 2013, 09:35PM
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@DSF

Once again, I did not make any comments regarding the Leafs or the Marlies or anything Burke did while he was there.

I also didn't make any statements about the Moose. I made a statement about what the Canucks' farm system looked like when Burke left. Look at his drafting record. His successful draft picks while he was in Vancouver were Sedinx2, Kesler, Allen, and Bieksa and when he left in 2004 only Bieksa was still in the system. I didn't say anything about the farm systems Burke left in Toronto or Anaheim. I just commented on what the Canucks' farm system was like in 2004.

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#169 Peanut Sauce
March 09 2013, 09:35PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Are you referring to Gregor (6th), Lowetide (8th) or me (8th)?

Holes and flaws in the roster, and the potential problems that come with them, were written about by many people here.

If showing predictability of the problems the team is enduring now was the intent, Willis could have cited any number of items to establish that criticism now was not simply the product of hindsight. Maybe mix in a cross-section of items by others raising red flags.

He chose not to. It comes off as a self-serving bunch of "I told you so" about issues many other writers (MSM and bloggers) here and elsewhere offered commentary on.

Brownlee - you've got issues man.... Let's talk some Oiler hockey instead of critiquing good articles your peers have written.

On an Oiler's note: What reasonably could we get for Hemmer/Gags? Love em' they just seem to be the obvious movable players. I asked a less biased Flames fan and he doesn't think there is much of a return.

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#170 RexLibris
March 09 2013, 09:36PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I'll put it another way - there'd need to be a lot of work done before I'd feel trading away the Oilers' first round draft pick next year would be a prudent move.

Or in the unlikely event that Garth Snow has made them an offer they can't refuse. ie: The Oilers' 2014 1st for every Islanders pick until 2021.

Tambellini might want to take the weekend to mull that offer over.

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#171 RexLibris
March 09 2013, 09:43PM
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Being something of an Oil Kings/draft nut, there are two players whom I believe would greatly benefit this roster: Henrik Samuelsson and Curtis Lazar.

They represent the kind of play that I feel is lacking in their top six rotation right now.

The Oilers obviously need those types of players sooner than either of the two above would be ready, but how to identify similar players who could be acquired with the assets the Oilers can forfeit is the question.

There is no use talking about getting Corey Perry or Milan Lucic. The Oilers need to find the next Perry or Lucic before someone else does. Thus my consternation over the work to date of Morey Gare and the professional scouting group.

Anybody have any names that spring to mind? And could they realistically be acquired with what the Oilers realistically have to offer?

I suspect this rebuild may be further from completion than we fans may care to admit.

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#172 outdoorzguy
March 09 2013, 09:44PM
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Maybe the management team doesn't think there is a problem? Could that be possible? With this group I think so!!

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#173 outdoorzguy
March 09 2013, 09:45PM
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How come the management team is never challenged on their performance? Are the media puppets afraid to speak out against their masters??

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#175 outdoorzguy
March 09 2013, 09:47PM
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This is sickening. But keep going to games! Keeps buying those jerseys! Keep hoping it will all change tomorrow! Until the $$$ stops flowing to Katz, nothing will change.

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#176 GVBlackhawk
March 09 2013, 09:49PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I kind of liked the not-so-subtle playoff rub comment you threw in, even if you didn't clarify which one of the writers you were referring to.

In the name of clarity, it's probably fair to point out how fine the line is between optimistic types who picked the Oilers to finish, say, eighth, and the more cynical analysts who picked Edmonton to finish, say, 10th.

The point difference between 8th and 10th in the Western Conference in the six years the Oilers have missed the playoffs has been:

2011-12: 6 pts

10-11: 2 pts

09-10: 5 pts

08-09: 2 pts

07-08: 3 pts

06-07: 1 pt

Pretty tight between the pie-in-the-sky types and those who saw this big mess coming, no?

I'm pretty sure John Chambers' comment was directed at the writer who is most likely to yell at some kids for stepping on his driveway.

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#177 outdoorzguy
March 09 2013, 09:50PM
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Timid Tambellini, Murderer McTavish, Loser Lowe...The Three Stooges!! No wonder this organization is the laughing stock of pro sports!!

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#178 Butters
March 09 2013, 09:51PM
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@RexLibris didn't PHX beat Edmonton to the punch and picked Henrik Samuelsson which led the Oilers to go off the board to pick Moroz?

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#179 GVBlackhawk
March 09 2013, 09:57PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Being something of an Oil Kings/draft nut, there are two players whom I believe would greatly benefit this roster: Henrik Samuelsson and Curtis Lazar.

They represent the kind of play that I feel is lacking in their top six rotation right now.

The Oilers obviously need those types of players sooner than either of the two above would be ready, but how to identify similar players who could be acquired with the assets the Oilers can forfeit is the question.

There is no use talking about getting Corey Perry or Milan Lucic. The Oilers need to find the next Perry or Lucic before someone else does. Thus my consternation over the work to date of Morey Gare and the professional scouting group.

Anybody have any names that spring to mind? And could they realistically be acquired with what the Oilers realistically have to offer?

I suspect this rebuild may be further from completion than we fans may care to admit.

It is too bad that Samuelsson is already property of Phoenix Coyotes.

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#180 outdoorzguy
March 09 2013, 09:57PM
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I like when Laforge, just like the Wizard of Oz, pops his head out from behind the curtain every once in a while. I hear he's having a roast. Why? Amazing how easy it is for this management team to hide. Imagine if this was an NFL franchise?? The citizens would be so up in arms after years of non-performance the owner would be forced to move his team in the middle of the night (Seattle?). Are you listening Katz?

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#181 outdoorzguy
March 09 2013, 10:00PM
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Despite not being able to run the province, Alison Redford may have a chance at running this team. At least she does speak publicly and takes ownership for her decisions!! Fred Horne would make a good replacement for Buchberger.

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#182 The DW
March 09 2013, 10:05PM
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This organization has accepted losing. They have a loser mentality and there have to be massive changes to get rid of that. Until the management is changed this team will not win. The players are not dumb they know losing is Tamblow's "plan" for success.

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#183 outdoorzguy
March 09 2013, 10:06PM
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@RexLibris

This summer??? RIGHT NOW!!!!!

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#184 Kevin
March 09 2013, 10:18PM
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Peanut Sauce wrote:

Brownlee - you've got issues man.... Let's talk some Oiler hockey instead of critiquing good articles your peers have written.

On an Oiler's note: What reasonably could we get for Hemmer/Gags? Love em' they just seem to be the obvious movable players. I asked a less biased Flames fan and he doesn't think there is much of a return.

RB, yes it would be sad to see Gags moved, he has heart for sure though lacks size he surely does'nt back down. The trouble is we have too much of that smallish skilled forward. I've said it before but I like that Jamie Mcquin off the Avs. Not the skilled forward but has good hands and plays with some sandpaper. It may be the case where we are trading points for grit. I have no trouble with that as I think it takes grit to drum up ofense in todays NHL. I like Marcus Foligno as well, not sure about Nino Niederider in New York but I recall when he played as a jr seemed to have some grit with skill not sure how his NHL career is working out but maybe theres a deal to be had with the islanders. All well said but we need a GM that is a little more proactive than reactive. His time of assessing is gone way to far. Time to start targeting some players.

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#185 outdoorzguy
March 09 2013, 10:19PM
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@G Money

Living in the past!!

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#186 G Money
March 09 2013, 10:28PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

Living in the past!!

Indeed! I have no choice but to either think about the past or the future ... when it comes to this team, you prefer the present???

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#187 outdoorzguy
March 09 2013, 10:36PM
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@G Money

There is no future either, until the Three Stooges are relieved. Sorry four. Pay off Krueger, say thanks but it's just not working and get Lindy Ruff Monday morning!!

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#188 outdoorzguy
March 09 2013, 10:38PM
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@Kevin

You won't get anything for anybody because Timid Tambellini is not capable of doing anything that would benefit this team.

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#189 outdoorzguy
March 09 2013, 10:40PM
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What does Murderer McTavish do?

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#190 G Money
March 09 2013, 11:00PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I don't think there's any need to reference him that way. It's cruel.

outdoorzguy is clearly wearing his heart on his sleeve, like many Oiler fans these days.

The hatred for Kambowevish (??) is palpable.

Watching this team is a lot like watching a concrete truck dumping its load into your uninsured convertible Porsche. It metaphysically hurts like hell, and you know that shouting and screaming and calling the driver names won't help, but you can't stop watching or shouting anyway.

If only we could afford another Porsche ...

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#191 Serious Gord
March 09 2013, 11:09PM
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Saytalk wrote:

Re Willis on trading core players: yes Quebec traded Nolan for Ozolinsh, but they also traded Sundin for Wendel Clark and traded Lindros for a boatload of players including Forsberg and Ricci. So all three of their first overall picks were traded away to transform a collection of prospects and potential into a cohesive team that could complete at the NHL level. I look at the Oilers roster and I still see a collection of prospects and potential, and to make matters worse, the prospects are all the same type of finesse perimeter player that is heavily discounted during drafts and in trade markets (why do you think Paajarvi and Eberle fell to us in their draft spots anyway?). The Oilers need to find their 2 or 3 foundation players and build around them. The rest are trade fodder ala Sundin, Lindros, Nolan.

You have identified problems in individual roster spots, but no one is talking about the systemic problems that have persisted in this franchise for several years now. The cronyism in the front office has led to incompetence in both pro scouting (who have they found besides Jones?) and in day-to-day management (see Paajarvi call-up from late last year as the worst example). Don't get me started on the over-rated coaches we had during 30, 30 and 29, but now we have an obscure coach whose only NHL experience prior to this year was being the associate coach for a 29th place team (maybe he was here for the second 30, I don't care). WTF is a "gap control" system anyway? Has anyone considered that each one of these prospects should be playing on a line/pairing with a successful veteran that can mentor him and point out required adjustments after every shift? It's like no one in this franchise even has a clue of the most basic elements of developing a player. Low quality coaching, absence of any mentoring, is it any wonder the kids aren't learning how to work hard and win?

Yes to this. Katz is a crony capitalist. Just look at his buying of Redford's campaign.

As a crony he begets crony management. In a quasi cartel system like pharmacy that's survivable management. In a cutthroat pro sports league you become the New York islanders.

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#192 Chris
March 09 2013, 11:18PM
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One thing that pisses me off is the media in this town. I've been scouring the interwebs today looking for a MSM type calling out Tambo, or Lowe of anyone... All we got us Stauffer the Oiler shill tweeting about how no trade is coming and the team is essentially throwing in the towel. WTF...

Can we as fans start bagging on the media and in turn cause them to get some balls and write some honest, tough articles. Why is there not an article in a mainstream paper with the headline 'Does Lowe need to go?'

In a normal city that would be normal from media doing their jobs. At least asking the questions. There is no chance the media would let this s&@t show go along so blissfully in Montreal for example.

Are the media scared? Somehow the fans need to start calling out all of the media for lacking journalistic integrity. How is it even possible Kevin Lowe isn't being called out?

I suggest we start to call in to radio shows and call out the hosts. write in to MSM sites or maybe make signs at the game. Remember that crazy Iraq propaganda minister who was putting out press statements about how Saddam Hussein was crushing the invaders at the same time as CNN was showing the palace being levelled with 50 smart bombs. Stauffer is that guy. Propaganda minister Stauffer.

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#193 Gerald R. Ford
March 09 2013, 11:50PM
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Robin, what's the deal with the constant animosity directed towards JW? I don't get it. I really respect your opinions, and I think you're a good guy, but, geez, man. Call off the dogs already. Is there a more polite, tolerant writer in the Oiler blogosphere than Jonathan Willis? I sure haven't seen one. There are plenty of legitimate douchebags and brown-nosers in the Edmonton market to go after. For instance, PLEASE tell us how Milhouse got that job straight out of high school. That's a best-selling novel waiting to be written.

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#194 GVBlackhawk
March 09 2013, 11:57PM
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G Money wrote:

outdoorzguy is clearly wearing his heart on his sleeve, like many Oiler fans these days.

The hatred for Kambowevish (??) is palpable.

Watching this team is a lot like watching a concrete truck dumping its load into your uninsured convertible Porsche. It metaphysically hurts like hell, and you know that shouting and screaming and calling the driver names won't help, but you can't stop watching or shouting anyway.

If only we could afford another Porsche ...

I thought MacT was driving a Buick?

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#195 Bucknuck
March 10 2013, 12:01AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Sadly, the team doesn't yet seem to be at a point where it's safe to trade a first round pick away.

If that is all they do, then yes i agree completely. I just figure that an Oilers number one pick has a lot of value, and if we get a halfway savvy Gm, this team can turn the corner and it will be a depreciating asset as soon as they start assessing the glaring holes. You can build around talent.

It's ballsy and sends a message that "it's go time". The Oil will get a good pick this year (minus the fourth rounder) and everyone on the team is a year older, and if you add some good veteran leadership and grit I think they could make some noise.

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#196 GVBlackhawk
March 10 2013, 12:09AM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

Lets not forget that as a youngster, the Oilers where Katz's favourite team. He made lots of money. Then, he decided that instead of buying hockey cards, he could buy the actual players and put them in a position to be close to him. Kind of like real life cardboard cutouts!! He's not going to fire anybody. BUT HE SHOULD!! And they have the brains of cardboard cutouts.

You should be writing your own Oilers Management Bashing blog. Your posts are crude and hilarious. More please!

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#197 G Money
March 10 2013, 12:34AM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

I thought MacT was driving a Buick?

Right now, the entire team is driving the porcelain bus.

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#198 HOFFFF
March 10 2013, 12:52AM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

I like when Laforge, just like the Wizard of Oz, pops his head out from behind the curtain every once in a while. I hear he's having a roast. Why? Amazing how easy it is for this management team to hide. Imagine if this was an NFL franchise?? The citizens would be so up in arms after years of non-performance the owner would be forced to move his team in the middle of the night (Seattle?). Are you listening Katz?

Maybe it's just like that old baseball movie "Major League" and Katz wants to design a team to fail so the fans leave and he can relocate the team to Seattle. :)

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#199 Walter Sobchak
March 10 2013, 12:57AM
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@RexLibris

Rex buddy, you have to get off the idea that the Oilers should draft Lazar.

He's not what they need at the spot they will be drafting.

Not even if the Oilers could get another first round pick should they even consider Lazar over any of these players.

Barkov - Monahan - Mantha - Mackinnon, Drouin or even Gauthier.

I would also move heaven and earth to draft Bo Horvat.

Keep Horvat in the back of your head, this Kid IS the Horcoff replacement, this guy is everything that the Oilers don't have and wish they did.

If your doing anymore draft articles this guy please, would like to get your take on him, I've only seen him about a half dozen times but I've read just about everything I could find on him.

Just an awesome player.

If you have some spare time I suggest you take a look.

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#200 Klima's Mullet
March 10 2013, 08:00AM
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Am I the only one excited we have a shot at Seth Jones...a true franchise player...if we're not in the playoffs, i would like to be in a position to draft him or one of the big centers

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