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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#1 Drowning in Oil
January 20 2014, 09:16PM
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Hold the guy who threw his jersey on the ice accountable. He gave up on this team when there were really staring to come around..............

Said nobody ever!!

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#2 RexHolez
January 20 2014, 09:19PM
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Robin Brownlee.... Still telling like it is!

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#3 Tuningout
January 20 2014, 09:25PM
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Mr Brownlee. First piece of writing on this site in a while that left me with nothing left to do but slow clap and nod in agreement. Fair, accurate and some cold hard truths. Bravo sir.

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#5 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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#6 Rotten Ron
January 20 2014, 09:56PM
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I for one don't believe he had anything to do with this letter other than telling someone to do it for him. The letters a joke.Hold a press conference, answer questions from someone you're not paying. I've spend $200,000+ on season tickets since 1992-93 to present, started with three seats now down to two. I'm really struggling with giving this man any more of my money.I'm not a wealthy person, it's love of a game and a team that makes it worth putting off using money on more practical things. I'm also a city of Edmonton tax payer, it sickens me this man hasn't had the decency to address the citizens of the city in the whole arena negotiation. Fine,he's not a public person. That can excuse not addressing me the guy buying tickets, but when the city is handing 100's of millions of tax payers money to a man he damn well better answer to the people.A propaganda campain by his own paid press, certain writers (one rhymed with Maples)and in my opinion politicans (who's pro Katz behavior if they weren't profiting was puzzling to say the least) won over the public who had their love of hockey blind them to how the only one profiting will be Mr. Katz. The Seattle trip was disgusting, keeping Lowe is worse.

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#7 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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#8 kale
January 20 2014, 09:27PM
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From my perspective RB your article is a home run. I think they need to get the FOK off the payroll {not all of them but I couldn't resist, the FOK was brilliant}

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#9 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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#10 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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#11 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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#12 RexHolez
January 20 2014, 09:20PM
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Just curious... What's the teams record for those 300+ sellouts??

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#13 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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#14 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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#15 Oilbaron
January 20 2014, 09:12PM
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Hold Steve Smith accountable... find a new (apparently defensive) assistant coach!

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#16 Rama Lama
January 21 2014, 09:03AM
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What is 18 inches long and hangs between Katz's legs?............Kevin Lowe's tie!

What is 18 inches long and hangs between Lowe's legs?..........Mac T's tie!

and so on...........unless these guys stop, get off their knees, and talk to the REAL hockey fans, nothing will change.

I'm willing to give Mac T a chance, but no one else.

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#17 oilfanincalgary
January 21 2014, 09:09AM
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Here is how you become a billionaire. Your daddy builds a drug empire and leaves it to you. He is always purported to be a brilliant businessman, seems more like a spoon fed child like brat to me. K Lowe is available to hockey Canada every year because we are never in the playoffs. The S%$T show countinues.

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#18 RexHolez
January 20 2014, 09:29PM
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Also... "FOK"(Friends of Katz) is pure gold

#FOK

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#19 Don W
January 20 2014, 09:27PM
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I wonder if they do a yearly performance review with the management.

So Kevin, I see that we've had a few setbacks this year - DK

(Strokes his rings) No worries this is all part of the plan, I obviously know a lot about winning - KL

You're right how does a 20% raise sound? Let's go for drinks. - DK

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#20 hallsyoilerforever5
January 20 2014, 09:24PM
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Lowe, Bucky, Smith, Chabot, and the rest of the management need to be accountable. What about Stu Macgregor and the scouts? No gems out of the 1st round of the draft. The organization is full of old boys and its never gonna change. The fact that they're increasing the prices of season tickets is a slap to every loyal oiler fan.

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#21 Dan
January 20 2014, 09:29PM
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Obviously the PR firm said to Daryl we need to address the fans. This is what they came up with " I feel your pain". Sorry you not fooling anyone. Your record is your record.

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#22 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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#23 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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#24 Max
January 20 2014, 09:35PM
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I'm not convinced. I truly believe if Lowe cares a hoot about the Oilers he will do the decent thing and step aside. As for the 2 assistant coaches and goalie coach? Absolutely disgusting - they have NOT given our youngsters ANY help whatsoever. Right now, I am spitting nails, not because of the team, but because of the blindness of DK and KL. We fans deserve far more than a "hang in there" letter. We need results, small steps even, not backward ones. We need hope and a belief that things WILL change. DKs letter did not address that. I am so desperate for a decent team that I'd sign Ron McLean - hell, he knows hockey, he can skate and he has a pulse. Perhaps he could play D. Not many of the team seem to be able to.

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#25 Conky
January 20 2014, 10:19PM
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People that keep buying season's tickets are suckers. If you went to a top restaurant and paid $500 for a meal that was awful, you wouldn't go back, would you? Why do you keep paying $500 a week or two times a week for the cr@# you are served at Rexall?

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#26 jim
January 20 2014, 10:15PM
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Sequel to 'Boys on the Bus"

'Meet the 'FOKers"........'

get on that Aquila Productions

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#27 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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#28 vetinari
January 21 2014, 09:43AM
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Most attacks on Kevin Lowe revolve around his record, not his character.

But don't tell me that he hasn't made the criticisms personal-- when you, unprompted, interject things such as "if it's ever in doubt, I know a little something about winning" and "maybe one other person working in hockey has more Stanley Cups than me" and then separate fans into "tiers", meaning who the team is accountable to-- that to me, opens you to criticism about your character and reputation when you are the one that raises them.

Katz should have hired Ben Scrivens to write the letter-- he's good at defending the love of his life and Lowe is certainly the love of Katz's life.

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#29 Constance
January 21 2014, 11:31AM
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Brownlee thanks for saying it like it is. There are far too few people in this city with official standing in the media who will do so. I would imagine that you will no longer have access to the Oilers dressing room or interviews though.. but hey man credibility is worth it.

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#30 RexHolez
January 20 2014, 09:36PM
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Tuningout wrote:

Mr Brownlee. First piece of writing on this site in a while that left me with nothing left to do but slow clap and nod in agreement. Fair, accurate and some cold hard truths. Bravo sir.

Lets all slow clap Mr. Brownlee for this one

Clap........Clap.........Clap....Clap..Clap.Clap

Who else speaks for the fans better??

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#31 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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#32 Mike IA
January 21 2014, 09:38AM
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I'm fine with K Lowe leaving. I agree that most of the assistant coaches should go. The only former oiler I would be interested in seeing return is Charlie Huddy, because he has shown real talent as a coach. Messier et al would just be here for marketing and we've had enough of that.

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#33 Bushed
January 21 2014, 11:02AM
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oilfanincalgary wrote:

Here is how you become a billionaire. Your daddy builds a drug empire and leaves it to you. He is always purported to be a brilliant businessman, seems more like a spoon fed child like brat to me. K Lowe is available to hockey Canada every year because we are never in the playoffs. The S%$T show countinues.

Not to be a Katz apologist, but get your facts straight.

Katz earned (yes, earned--you can't inherit or buy these) a Law degree at the U of A before taking over his father's "drug empire" of a few Edmonton drug stores and then growing it into a billion-dollar business after years of hard work and smart business decisions, including hiring some very talented managers to help him out.

Hardly what I'd call a spoon-fed brat.

If you want to criticize Katz's Oilers-related business decisions (example: What happened to the promised practice facility at the U of A? Or, why does this current team suck?), that's fair game, but your "spoon fed brat" comment is way off the mark.

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#34 Smokey
January 20 2014, 10:05PM
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There was no point to Katz statements. It accomplished nothing. Fanbase wants a sacrifice and Katz laid a deuce on the Rexall alter. Fans will merely use it like a punchline and reference it everytime the Oilers get bent over by a bigger and meaner western conference foe.

The Ol' Lowe is revered by Hockey Canada and we thats suppose to escuse incompetance. Give me a break.

I'd of rather Katz said he a pompous rich drug lord who is smarter then thou and he will do as he wishes. I could respect true honesty. My BS meter is going off.

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#35 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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#36 Sam
January 20 2014, 09:38PM
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Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.

Please go Kevin Lowe.

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#37 Jay
January 20 2014, 09:49PM
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Jersey Toss night... err, I mean oilers game tomorrow night boys! don't pussy out

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#38 Serious Gord
January 20 2014, 10:17PM
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The letter and the fans and staples and now robins (and other journos?) reaction is pretty clear:

The attempt at misdirection and putting the accountability going forward on the newly appointed MacT in order to buy yet more time and grace from the fanbase has failed.

Miserably.

Just like everything else this management group has done in regard to public relations (and on the ice). Perhaps they should fire their PR guy.

Oh wait!! He's a FOK too.

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#39 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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#40 Jerry
January 20 2014, 09:21PM
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How's that hope and change working for you.

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#41 Oliveoiler
January 20 2014, 10:09PM
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Taylor or Tyler - Tyler has a Stanley Cup ring Nuge or Landeskog - Avs way ahead of us in the standings, Landeskog "C" Yak or Murray - Columbus were ALMOST worse than us that year, now look at them - Murray a damned good D man

SCOUTING, POHO, ASSISTANT COACHES, GOALIE COACH ALL MUST GO. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Development, DK and KL can you not understand that????

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#42 Zangetsu
January 20 2014, 10:10PM
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seem to remember Lowe as being noted as a bad GM. http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/14786-The-Hockey-News-GM-rankings.html

Thats the only year I can find, but I remember there being several years of him being ranked at or near DFL. Sure some of it is eastern bias, but you don't get ranked near the bottom if you know how to win. My favourite part of that whole interview was when lowe said something to the effect of; we chased it for a few years, but that didn't work, so we decided to try something else. Are you kidding me? As GM, you have to have a plan from day 1, or at the very least a policy. The only cure for the franchise as I see it is to cut off the head and burn the body. Shoot 'em all and let God sort them out. HEY HO LOWE MUST GO!

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#43 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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#44 RexHolez
January 20 2014, 09:46PM
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why is this not front page on the journal??

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#45 Show me da Money
January 20 2014, 09:59PM
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Public relations is something that Katz and company fail miserably at.

How Dary Katz operates his hockey operations define nepotism to the letter!

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#46 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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#47 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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#48 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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#49 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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#50 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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