BETWEEN THE LINES: MY TAKE

Robin Brownlee
January 20 2014 09:06PM

Daryl Katz's "open letter" to fans of the Edmonton Oilers today has already drawn plenty of reaction from those it was directed at. Fans at the cynical end of the spectrum have dismissed it as a stinking sack of spin meant to buy time and defend the friends he employs.

Others, less jaded by what will officially be eight straight years out of the playoffs April 12, have taken the letter by the reclusive and media-shy Katz as a token of good faith, an olive branch meant to convey that he's just as frustrated as the ticket-buying public -- fans who, officially at least, have sold out Rexall Place for more than 300 straight games.

There are, as you'd expect, many camps of fans and degrees of cynicism and/or believers within those two absolutes, as a quick listen to the radio call-in shows or a scan of fan websites like this one confirm.

I can't pretend to know what motivated Katz to write the letter, or have one of his underlings pen it for him. I'd be guessing. There are, though, several passages that grabbed my attention and I'd like to offer my take on them.

WE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER

"I know this will almost certainly be the eighth consecutive year since we made the playoffs. I hate that fact as much as anyone, but the reality is that this is only year four of the rebuild that started when we drafted Taylor Hall."

Nobody becomes a billionaire without remarkable work ethic, drive to succeed and a competitive streak, so I don't doubt that Katz hates seeing his team flounder ineptly at or near the bottom of the standings yet again, but the "we're in this together" suggestion seems a bit contrived.

Even taking that at face value, it's probably fair to point out that while Katz has "hated" missing the playoffs, the value of the team he bought from the EIG has roughly doubled in value, to about $400 million. Fans, meanwhile, have dug deep for tickets, parking, fast food and souvenirs during the same span. While fans pay handsomely to cheer for a bottom-feeder, the Oilers, as a business venture, have been a financial home run for Katz.

There is, as well, a new downtown arena on the way.

STAY THE COURSE

"The good news, if you can call it that, is that other teams that committed to fundamental rebuilds went through the same kind of droughts over the same kind of time frames, or longer. That doesn’t make it fun for anyone; it just means we have to stay the course."

Not necessarily. The course the Oilers are on, as it stands today, could see the team finish with fewer points than in any of the previous three seasons of the official rebuild (pro-rating points from the shortened 2012-13 campaign).

In 2009-10, the Oilers had 27 wins and 62 points. In 2010-11 it was 25 wins and 62 points, for a second straight 30th-place finish. In 2011-12 the Oilers had 32 wins and 74 points. Last season, they had 19 wins and 45 points (in 48 games). As of today, the Oilers are 15-30-6 for 36 points.

You stay the course if the course plotted produces tangible progress. If not, you re-assess. Citing rebuilds, time-frames and droughts by other teams? Some, like Chicago, endured many leans years and provided fans with a pay-off. Others, to paraphrase Jay Feaster, wandered the desert with no long-term gain for repeated seasons of short-term pain.

ACCOUNTS OVERDUE

"I hear a lot from fans about accountability, so let’s be clear. We are all accountable. That includes me, Kevin, Craig, Dallas, every player who wears our jersey, and every member of our staff. I know Kevin is the target of a lot of personal attacks right now, and that’s really unfortunate."

As I wrote the other day, it seems to me accountability falls on the shoulders of some in hockey operations more heavily than it does on others. There are two groups, split into former Oiler players and Friends of Katz – FOK, if you will – and those who never wore the jersey during the glory days of five Stanley Cups.

Since the Cup final of 2006, now-GM Craig MacTavish was relieved of his duties as head coach, then brought back under outsider Steve Tambellini before being named his successor. Assistant coach Charlie Huddy, purged when MacTavish was "relieved," has moved on.

The coaching carousel – head men, assistants and others – has seen Ralph Krueger, Tom Renney, Pat Quinn, Rob Daum, Billy Moores, Pete Peeters and Brian Ross (video) come and go (Ross and Moores have been retained in the organization in other positions). None are former Oiler players.

Kelly Buchberger stayed on after MacTavish was let go and has been an assistant under Krueger, Renney, Quinn and now Dallas Eakins. Smith has been behind the bench since the start of the 2010-11 season. Both were kept on for the arrival of Eakins, who filled the associate's spot with Keith Acton, another former Oiler player.

Kevin Lowe, the lightning rod in the accountability debate, was GM from 2000-2008, then was moved to president of hockey operations by Katz. He's been the one constant at or near the top of the management team since 2000.

As for what Katz referred to as "personal attacks" on Lowe, I'd suggest there's nothing personal about it. Lowe served this franchise long and well as a player. His tenure as a manager has been far less successful. His record speaks for itself and is the basis of the criticism levelled his way.

FLYING THE FLAG

"Kevin is a big part of our organization, and it’s not just the Oilers that value his knowledge and perspective. He is consistently chosen, year after year, to play a leadership role with Hockey Canada. But when it comes down to it, this is Craig MacTavish’s team. He is the GM. He makes the calls, and he is accountable for building a team that can compete for the Stanley Cup -- year in and year out for years to come."

Like Lowe, Tambellini, Renney and Quinn, all fired by the Oilers, have had long tenures with Hockey Canada. Krueger, long the coach of Switzerland's national team, is now a special advisor to Hockey Canada's coaching staff for the Sochi Olympics. So, the relevant connection is . . ?

As for the emphasis this is MacTavish's team, I don't doubt that's true as far as day-to-day operations and decisions go, but there is no denying Lowe still plays a part and has a say in the decision-making process.

That's an unprecedented run at or near the top of a management group for a team that's had as little success as the Oilers have since 2000, no matter how Katz chooses to frame it.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 corky
January 20 2014, 10:36PM
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Im looking forward to reading what Terry Jones has to say about this letter. Read a fw of the national views on this and I felt a bit of them having a good chuckle about an owner pulling the pin with 30 games to go.

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#52 Conky
January 20 2014, 10:36PM
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@He Who Knows

I like the comment of 'rebuild within a rebuild'. It reminds me of the movie Inception, which is all about a dream within a dream within a dream... The similarities are uncanny!

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#53 redhot1
January 20 2014, 10:37PM
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Seems like Katz took notice of the Jersey Toss

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#54 fasteddy
January 20 2014, 10:39PM
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@etownman

Well said

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#55 The Last Big Bear
January 20 2014, 10:40PM
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etownman wrote:

I agree totally with Katz's view of when this rebuild truly started! We're 3 1/2 years into Hall's tenure with the club & I believe MacT is the man who will change the fortunes of the Oilers! It gets tiresome reading these blogs that sounds like someone has a vendetta!

There's also an ongoing discussion in the online Flames community about how there seems to be a reasonably active group of Kevin Lowe fluffers on the Internet.

We don't think they're Flames fans, because they seem to know nothing about hockey. We don't think they're Oilers fans because they seem to know nothing about hockey, and they support Kevin Lowe and current Oilers management.

The only logical explanation is that they're PR shills hired by the Oilers to blow sunshine up their arses, spouting off reassuring platitudes and urging confidence in the brand.

There aren't enough Flames trolls with that much time to be behind all of this. We spam the polls. We don't do ^this^. We do, however, think its HILARIOUS.

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#56 Tier2fan
January 20 2014, 10:43PM
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Whatever the issue is mgmt has got to figure it out! That is their job!! Fans are losing respect and dedication to the team, and for that to happen means something is really wrong!! Come on guys! Let's start on a fresh new slate with new ideas and knowledge that isn't from the 80's!! We know you guys once were great players, coaches etc but everyone has once been good at something and isn't no more. Accept and move on to something else. If not there's gonna be a pretty empty downtown arena...

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#57 The Last Big Bear
January 20 2014, 10:45PM
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fasteddy wrote:

Well said

Hey fasteddy, since you are also obviously not a hired plant, and are the kind of Oilers fan who is hardcore enough to be commenting on Oilers-related blog posts in your spare time, why are the players benches on the wrong side of the ice in Rexall?

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#58 Serious Gord
January 20 2014, 10:45PM
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dcsj wrote:

it's probably fair to point out that while Katz has "hated" missing the playoffs, the value of the team he bought from the EIG has roughly doubled in value, to about $400 million

Ah, I'm not sure about that statement. Unless he's using them as leverage in some kind of loan, an increase of value (of uncertain real dollars) is meaningless. It only means something when you sell.

So this statement seems only to stir up class warfare, has no real bearing on the state of the Oilers.

I get that it is frustrating to follow the Oilers these days. Winning is way better than this. I've been a fan since day one, when Wild Bill Hunter announced the new team in the new league.

But let's be real here - supposed gain in equity is meaningless at this point. It only has meaning when you are selling and have a willing buyer willing to pay the price.

By your crazy metric the Yankees are still only worth 30 million that Steinbrenner paid cbs for them in the seventies because the family hasn't sold it and crystallized the gain.

Robins point is valid - the financial pain is only being felt by the fanbase - not Katz.

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#59 6 ring circus
January 20 2014, 10:46PM
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Until some of the FOK's are gone I will not renew my seasons tickets anymore,I have had enough after supporting this franchise for the past 14 years.A letter from Katz or a staged interview with Mactavish and Stauffer isn't going to change my mind,to add insult in Katz's letter he says everyone is accountable in the organization, if that was the case, Lowe and the old boys club wouldn't exist, not after the teams record these past 8 years.

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#60 Tier2fan
January 20 2014, 10:52PM
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@etownman

@etownman

It gets tiresome reading posts like yours suggesting to keep things the way they are! And with a lot of confidence that things will turn around!

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#61 The Last Big Bear
January 20 2014, 10:55PM
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Tier2fan wrote:

@etownman

It gets tiresome reading posts like yours suggesting to keep things the way they are! And with a lot of confidence that things will turn around!

He's just doing his job, man.

Everybody got bills to pay.

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#62 Josh Oiler
January 20 2014, 10:56PM
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You people are way too antsy. Calm down!! Within a couple of years Edmonton Oilers will be at or near the top o the league and Vancouver Canucks will be drafting in the lottery position.

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#63 RexHolez
January 20 2014, 10:58PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

You people are way too antsy. Calm down!! Within a couple of years Edmonton Oilers will be at or near the top o the league and Vancouver Canucks will be drafting in the lottery position.

So in a couple years and your dream of the oilers being this big juggernaut doesn't come true and they just become more of the same... Then will you be open for a change???

I don't want to wait those years

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#64 Tier2fan
January 20 2014, 10:59PM
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@Josh Oiler

Buddy.... It's been 8 years... We have a ligit reason to express our concerns! If it had only been 2 years I would agree with you, but almost a decade, yaaaa no!

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#65 Josh Oiler
January 20 2014, 11:00PM
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I think Darryl Katz should fire Craig McTavish and appoint himself as the General Manager : ala Jerry Jones!

For all you puck-heads who don't know who Jerry Jones is. The Owner and GM of the Dallas Cowboys!

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#66 Zangetsu
January 20 2014, 11:04PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

You people are way too antsy. Calm down!! Within a couple of years Edmonton Oilers will be at or near the top o the league and Vancouver Canucks will be drafting in the lottery position.

You can't fool me KLOWE.

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#67 Oasis
January 20 2014, 11:08PM
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Hey Darryl, I just wanted to say thanks for the letter. I can tell that you mean it from the heart. I know you hate the fact that we are the laughingstock of the NHL, but the fact that you have a new arena coming and have pretty much doubled your investment must help with the pain.

I have a letter for you in return, actually eight letters.

Scr-w Y--

Care to buy a vowel?

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#68 Oiler63
January 20 2014, 11:11PM
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"Kevin is a big part of our organization" you nailed it Katz, except you didn't complete the sentence that Kevin is a big part of our organization that has sucked for 8 years and has become the loughing stock of the entire league.

Any sober, rationale person would know what to do with this guy. I want to know what kind of drug Lowe has been feeding you. I could certainly use some for my boss.

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#69 DAVE
January 20 2014, 11:11PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

You people are way too antsy. Calm down!! Within a couple of years Edmonton Oilers will be at or near the top o the league and Vancouver Canucks will be drafting in the lottery position.

Your chin strap is to lose.

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#70 Tuningout
January 20 2014, 11:11PM
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Tier2fan wrote:

Whatever the issue is mgmt has got to figure it out! That is their job!! Fans are losing respect and dedication to the team, and for that to happen means something is really wrong!! Come on guys! Let's start on a fresh new slate with new ideas and knowledge that isn't from the 80's!! We know you guys once were great players, coaches etc but everyone has once been good at something and isn't no more. Accept and move on to something else. If not there's gonna be a pretty empty downtown arena...

For me personally I have completely lost respect and dedication to the Oilers and have happily found other more satisfying ways of spending my entertainment budget.

This isn't a short term break up, even if the team starts winning I simply won't be coming back. The lockout followed by this season has just killed my hockey passion.

I do still read and comment on this site, and watch the odd game on TV (world juniors) and listen to Lowetide, because that still gives me some entertainment. Hearing about Tortarella meltdowns and Katz letters, etc.. still amuses me.

I don't understand season ticket holders. Spending that much money for this product. But that's their choice and I can respect that.

I feel sorry for city of Edmonton taxpayers for having to pay for a new rink that for many will serve no purpose but to spread out the crime in a beleaguered area of the city.

It's too bad the Oilers lost me, but I'm sure there are countless more standing in line waiting to fill my seat.

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#71 DAVE
January 20 2014, 11:16PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

I think Darryl Katz should fire Craig McTavish and appoint himself as the General Manager : ala Jerry Jones!

For all you puck-heads who don't know who Jerry Jones is. The Owner and GM of the Dallas Cowboys!

I was obviously wrong about the chin strap, It's not safe play without a helmet. You might break a puck.

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#72 Slats
January 20 2014, 11:21PM
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"we're in this together" - according to Forbes the Oilers made double digit profits last year so how about a 15% decrease in ticket prices and food/beer/concession until we make the playoffs and let's be in this "together"

. . .how about that in the open letter!

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#73 Oiler Al
January 20 2014, 11:22PM
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Robin, well done,like always. I like the way you interposed your comments on the Katz letter.It was much needed, as I think the letter was a ..gassy and unmoved write up as Ive ever read.

The letter served really two things, 1. reparative message to the season ticket renwal crowd 2.obuscate the depressing managment record of Kevin Lowe.

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#74 Dog Train
January 20 2014, 11:23PM
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Actions speak louder than words. Lowe's track record as a part of the Oilers' upper management speaks for itself. We're caught with our pants down and the rest of the league is laughing at us.

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#75 **
January 20 2014, 11:29PM
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"FOK, if you will", Mr Bronwlee, was this intentional, or a happy accident?, either way, bravo Sir, bravo!!!!!.

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#76 Tuningout
January 20 2014, 11:32PM
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Slats wrote:

"we're in this together" - according to Forbes the Oilers made double digit profits last year so how about a 15% decrease in ticket prices and food/beer/concession until we make the playoffs and let's be in this "together"

. . .how about that in the open letter!

I believe food/beer/parking dollars all go to Northlands. Katz would never subsidize this, the two sides don't like each other.

Season ticket price reduction would only benefit tier one fans. I doubt they'd reduce single event ticket seating.

I think to really man up Katz should either contribute another xxxx amount of dollars to the arena (reducing the total burden on taxpayers) or making a large somewhat charitable donation like a large outdoor rink complex or something.

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#77 Nowuknow
January 20 2014, 11:35PM
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Thank you Mr.Robin!!! Lots of respect to you. If the funs and media wants accountability we know what must be done, boycott the organization for some games. Then we will see changes. the problem is some funs are obsessed with team and have been brain washed. This is one greedy and arrogant owner who dose not care and out of touch with the consumers. It is time funs start to think with their brains rather than hearts. Power to the people!!!

As far as Kevin being regarded high by team Canada, we do not care. If you have an employee who is doing two jobs. Full time for you and part time for some one else. As owner we know which one you would care more. It is all about what have you done for me! In this case revenue is generating.....

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#78 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 20 2014, 11:39PM
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Jay wrote:

it was no joke! im gonna post on the GDB tomorrow and let the likes/trashs decide wether she goes over... gotta love the new social media!

Jay! Jay! Jay!

Oh Jay can you see!

All hail Jay!

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#79 Mason Storm
January 20 2014, 11:45PM
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Can I props this article? The last two paragraphs sum up the feelings of a lot of fans out there. Lowes put in his time, they need a fresh perspective at the top.

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#80 Nowuknow
January 20 2014, 11:46PM
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@Josh Oiler

Did you ignore to take your rexall prescription again!!! We do not see these girl squad making any post season soon.

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#81 Tier2fan
January 20 2014, 11:48PM
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http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/oilers-owner-katz-issues-apology-to-fans/

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#82 superhall
January 20 2014, 11:54PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

I think Darryl Katz should fire Craig McTavish and appoint himself as the General Manager : ala Jerry Jones!

For all you puck-heads who don't know who Jerry Jones is. The Owner and GM of the Dallas Cowboys!

Yea josh oiler.....I also know a little bit about football and seemsto me that the dDallas cowboys haven't really done anything for along time so yea lets put Katz in charge

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#83 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
January 21 2014, 12:01AM
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Mr. Katz, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this city is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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#84 Cynic
January 21 2014, 12:28AM
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dcsj wrote:

it's probably fair to point out that while Katz has "hated" missing the playoffs, the value of the team he bought from the EIG has roughly doubled in value, to about $400 million

Ah, I'm not sure about that statement. Unless he's using them as leverage in some kind of loan, an increase of value (of uncertain real dollars) is meaningless. It only means something when you sell.

So this statement seems only to stir up class warfare, has no real bearing on the state of the Oilers.

I get that it is frustrating to follow the Oilers these days. Winning is way better than this. I've been a fan since day one, when Wild Bill Hunter announced the new team in the new league.

But let's be real here - supposed gain in equity is meaningless at this point. It only has meaning when you are selling and have a willing buyer willing to pay the price.

To call you clueless about business would be an insult to the clueless.

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#85 sintaxi
January 21 2014, 12:34AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

There's also an ongoing discussion in the online Flames community about how there seems to be a reasonably active group of Kevin Lowe fluffers on the Internet.

We don't think they're Flames fans, because they seem to know nothing about hockey. We don't think they're Oilers fans because they seem to know nothing about hockey, and they support Kevin Lowe and current Oilers management.

The only logical explanation is that they're PR shills hired by the Oilers to blow sunshine up their arses, spouting off reassuring platitudes and urging confidence in the brand.

There aren't enough Flames trolls with that much time to be behind all of this. We spam the polls. We don't do ^this^. We do, however, think its HILARIOUS.

I have been suspicious of some of the comments myself lately as well. Its not so much THAT they support Kevin Lowe as much as HOW they support and defend him. It seems disingenuous.

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#86 TeddyTurnbuckle
January 21 2014, 12:41AM
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Could be worse, we could be the Islanders who traded their first round pick at the start of the season and will probably finish in the bottom 5. That's why you don't trade the first pick until you are a decent team. The core of this team is 21 years old and people are suprised that we aren't winning yet? Keep drafting top picks and we will pull out of this no matter who is in charge.

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#87 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
January 21 2014, 01:07AM
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Katz,

I would tell you how I really feel about that letter you had some peon write for you, but apparently my mom is reading over my shoulder. Here's my safe for work version.

You do realize this season is going to literally be the worst in Oilers history? That's including the era before the loser point was awarded. I understand we're simply dollar signs with legs to you, I really do. You say you hate losing as much as we do? Really? You and your living hockey card collection pull seven figures +, regardless of the state of the team. We line your pockets in the hopes of having some semblance of an NHL franchise, and this is what we get?

A few selections from your opus:

"If we're going to rebuild, we want to do it right, and we only want to do it once." Um, where do I begin? With the fact that we've rebuilt completely backwards? Or how about the fact that we're already rebuilding the rebuild? Are you that disconnected and aloof? A team that's on the right track in a rebuild doesn't slip back 6 places in the standings AFTER drafting three first overall picks.

"That's our vision. We're committed to it, and we're confident we're on the right track." Holy sweet Christ, I won't even say a thing here, see above.

"... We all wear our Oilers colors now with the same pride we ever have, just like we will when we're back on top." Love the optimism, but you seem awfully naive for a man reportedly worth $4 billion. No one wears their Oil silks with pride right now, not even the players on the ice. And the fact that you talk about being back on top tells me this entire letter is a load of crap. We're so far from contention that the Flames are ahead of us, AFTER their star goalie retired and they jettisoned Iginla.

"Our fans have been incredibly patient and supportive. At the same time, we know there’s a lot of frustration and we are asking you to hang in there while we fight through this and put the next few pieces of the team in place." We've been hearing this same garbage for going on eight years now, even you must realize how thin this is wearing? We're perpetually told we're one or two pieces away from being a contender. It's turned into a bad joke at this point.

Hockey is just about the only thing we've got in this city. We bust our asses day in, day out. We are the most passionate hockey fans on the planet, and I don't exaggerate. How else would a total clown show such as the one you're funding turn a profit? When you threatened to move the team to Seattle, I was disgusted. Now I think it'd be a reward for our devotion to the game. Move this joke to Seattle or Quebec or wherever the hell you want. Edmonton would get another NHL franchise so fast it would spin those goofy shades right off your face.

I would say fire Lowe, but that's not enough. Fire them ALL, then sell the team to someone who actually gives a shit.

Love, JNH

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#88 Tyler
January 21 2014, 01:51AM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

You people are way too antsy. Calm down!! Within a couple of years Edmonton Oilers will be at or near the top o the league and Vancouver Canucks will be drafting in the lottery position.

I'll believe it when I see it. But in the meantime, I'd love to see how Mr.Katz runs his rexall business. If something is amiss and results aren't being raised I'm sure heads are rolling by the snap of his fingers. Yet the oh so majestic Oilers have had quite a few of the same members in then organization for years. You can't tell me the only reason they have their jobs still is because of the profit the team still manages to bring in? Honestly, I see no other reason.

I get it, rebuilds take time. But the fans deserve better. Sure the players are young and growing and perfecting their game. I get that. But if the players are doing that, why hasn't management stepped up their game?

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#89 fig pucker
January 21 2014, 02:33AM
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if i could sum up fan frustration, we expect to lose alot of games during a rebuild, but we expect the team to be developing, progressing and to be consistently getting better. lets's face it aside from losing, they're not doing any of those things. if the rebuild were progressing according to plan, why fire tambo? why fire the coach every year? katz reminds me of the titanic's captain, "don't worry, competent,well trained people are looking after the problem. everyone please calmly return to your rooms because everythings going to be alright."

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#90 dcsj
January 21 2014, 05:24AM
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@Serious Gord

Of course Katz isn't feeling financial pain. He has a few shekels, I understand. But it is meaningless to say he's had a windfall because the value of the Oilers is up. If you are a homeowner and you bought your house some time ago most likely the value is higher. So what? Doesn't mean any more cash in your jeans.

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#91 wintoon
January 21 2014, 06:10AM
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As usual Oilers fans reactions are over the top regarding the Katz letter. Fan are almost as bad as the Leafs, Habs and Canucks fans.

All the whining and crying is ridiculous. Fans are starting to sound like they feel they are entitled to have a good-great team. Wake up. You are not entitled.

In the 80's we got lucky because the Oilers caught lightning in a bottle. Since 2006, when we fluked a Stanley Cup run, we have floundered as a franchise. The fan base has remained intensely loyal but the teams have been horrible. Suck it up princess.

Be patient. Be humble. Stay classy. Allow MacT to reshape this team. Remember the goal is to raise the Stanley Cup not just qualify for the playoffs.

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#92 Josh Oiler
January 21 2014, 07:03AM
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wintoon wrote:

As usual Oilers fans reactions are over the top regarding the Katz letter. Fan are almost as bad as the Leafs, Habs and Canucks fans.

All the whining and crying is ridiculous. Fans are starting to sound like they feel they are entitled to have a good-great team. Wake up. You are not entitled.

In the 80's we got lucky because the Oilers caught lightning in a bottle. Since 2006, when we fluked a Stanley Cup run, we have floundered as a franchise. The fan base has remained intensely loyal but the teams have been horrible. Suck it up princess.

Be patient. Be humble. Stay classy. Allow MacT to reshape this team. Remember the goal is to raise the Stanley Cup not just qualify for the playoffs.

Look pal, you just don't fluke a Stanley cup finals berth. Not on that level (NHL) . Maybe in your peewee league.

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#93 madjam
January 21 2014, 07:16AM
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We have our own "Wolf on Wall Street " . The parallels are uncanny . The dupers (management ) vs. the dupes (the fans) . How to sell a product no matter how bad it is . Got to give them credit , they know how to turn a buck and keep cliental nibbling at the dangling carrot of salesmanship .

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#94 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 21 2014, 07:20AM
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~i dont know about you guys, but im pretty pumped im in this with a billionaire~ ......... .....................................

can someone pass the salt, this $hit sandwich im being fed has a bit of funk to it

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#95 Serious Gord
January 21 2014, 07:23AM
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dcsj wrote:

Of course Katz isn't feeling financial pain. He has a few shekels, I understand. But it is meaningless to say he's had a windfall because the value of the Oilers is up. If you are a homeowner and you bought your house some time ago most likely the value is higher. So what? Doesn't mean any more cash in your jeans.

People plan their entire retirements around the capital gain in their house.

They spend more freely of what they earn elsewhere if it is a significant enough gain.

Until recently Katz had never sold any significant assets. By your metric he would only be worth a few million - the assets he Got from his dad.

A doubling of his investment in the oil inside of six years is a pretty nice rate of increase.

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#96 Serious Gord
January 21 2014, 07:23AM
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dcsj wrote:

Of course Katz isn't feeling financial pain. He has a few shekels, I understand. But it is meaningless to say he's had a windfall because the value of the Oilers is up. If you are a homeowner and you bought your house some time ago most likely the value is higher. So what? Doesn't mean any more cash in your jeans.

People plan their entire retirements around the capital gain in their house.

They spend more freely of what they earn elsewhere if it is a significant enough gain.

Until recently Katz had never sold any significant assets. By your metric he would only be worth a few million - the assets he Got from his dad.

A doubling of his investment in the oil inside of six years is a pretty nice rate of increase.

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#97 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
January 21 2014, 07:39AM
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@wintoon

Bulls**t, man. How about the guy up above who said he's spent over $200,000 on season tickets since '93? $200,000 for a few first round exits then one fruitless cup run? I'd say that guy is entitled to fair entertainment value for his money.

We've been patient, humble and classy for the better part of a decade.

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#98 K_Mart
January 21 2014, 07:54AM
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Maybe Katz is the ultimate genius and knows that the secret to getting lottery picks is having Klowe pulling the strings and finding ways to lose despite all the talent amassed. Pitt and chi town half assed their rebuilds. 5 lottery picks? I laugh at this. Here in Edmonton we go all the way. 23 lottery picks. Or maybe Katz is an idiot.. Either way...

In all honesty, staying the course really is the best and only good choice for this team right now. I don't mean keeping klowe, I mean keeping Ebs, Hall, Nuge, Yak, Jultz, Perron, Nurse, and this year's top pick. The average age of those pieces is what .. 20-21? If that core were ever actually able to make the playoffs within the next 2-3 years, the window of opportunity to win would be 15+ years. Problem is... That's a big IF.

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#99 K_Mart
January 21 2014, 08:03AM
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Keith, Seabrook, Toews, Kane, Sharp, Hossa Hall,Nuge,Ebs,Yak,Nurse,Perron No matter how Katz spins it, our rebuild was not constructed the same way chicago's was. We chose defense last, and our two way forward(Nuge) is a far cry from theirs(Toews.. And hossa.. And Sharp)

Maybe we will be cup contenders by year 4 of hall's contract, but we had better have a way to keep him around at that point.

I know next year's big prospect Mcdavid looks like more of the same, but if he's touted as being anything even close to Crosby than he's likely a once every 5-10 years type of player that could make all the losing worth it. What's one more year?

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#100 sureyadid
January 21 2014, 08:40AM
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Tuningout wrote:

I believe food/beer/parking dollars all go to Northlands. Katz would never subsidize this, the two sides don't like each other.

Season ticket price reduction would only benefit tier one fans. I doubt they'd reduce single event ticket seating.

I think to really man up Katz should either contribute another xxxx amount of dollars to the arena (reducing the total burden on taxpayers) or making a large somewhat charitable donation like a large outdoor rink complex or something.

Wow...just,wow.

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