ROCK BOTTOM: WAITING ON THE BOUNCE

Robin Brownlee
January 05 2014 03:19PM

When a team hits rock bottom in the standings like the Edmonton Oilers have twice since the NHL lockout of 2004-05, the silver lining for fans is the expectation short-term pain will result in long-term gain and that the team will eventually pick itself up off the floor.

After seven straight years out of the playoffs, soon to be eight, the Oilers, as everybody is acutely aware, have been selling that hope to the faithful folks who buy their tickets and jerseys for years now – the bounce off the bottom, a rise back to respectability and playoff contention.

If you look at teams that have hit the bottom of that elevator shaft in the eight seasons since the lockout – I'm leaving out the Florida Panthers, who finished 30th overall in 2012-13 because we don't know where they'll finish this season -- the expectation better times are ahead isn't unfounded.

Except for fans of the Oilers, of course, who've looked on as their team has gone from being Stanley Cup finalists in 2006 to finishing 2009-10 and 2011-12 dead-last, where they have pretty much stayed.

Where's the bounce?

LONG WAY DOWN

Here's a look at the teams that have finished 30th since the lockout and where they've finished in NHL overall standings in subsequent seasons.

2005-06: ST. LOUIS BLUES 21-46-15 for 57 points

  • 2006-07: 34-35-13 for 79 points – 22nd
  • 2007-08: 33-36-13 for 79 points – 27th
  • 2008-09: 41-31-10 for 92 points – 15th
  • 2009-10: 40-32-10 for 90 points – 15th
  • 2010-11: 38-33-11 for 87 points – 20th
  • 2011-12: 49-22-11 for 109 points – 3rd
  • 2012-13: 29-17-2 for 60 points – 6th

2006-07: PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 22-48-12 for 56 points

  • 2007-08: 42-29-11 for 95 points – 11th
  • 2008-09: 44-27-11 for 99 points – 9th
  • 2009-10: 41-35-6 for 88 points – 18th
  • 2010-11: 47-23-12 for 106 points – 3rd
  • 2011-12: 47-26-9 for 103 points – 6th
  • 2012-13: 23-22-3 for 49 points – 20th

2007-08: TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 31-42-9 for 71 points

  • 2008-09: 24-40-18 for 66 points – 29th
  • 2009-10: 34-36-12 for 80 points – 25th
  • 2010-11: 46-25-11 for 103 points – 8th
  • 2011-12: 38-36-8 for 84 points – 21st
  • 2012-13: 18-26-4 for 40 points – 28th

2008-09: NEW YORK ISLANDERS 26-47-9 for 61 points

  • 2009-10: 34-37-11 for 79 points – 26th
  • 2010-11: 30-39-13 for 73 points – 27th
  • 2011-12: 34-37-11 for 79 points – 27th
  • 2012-13: 24-17-7 for 55 points – 16th

2009-10: EDMONTON OILERS 27-47-8 for 62 points

  • 2010-11: 25-45-12 for 62 points – 30th
  • 2011-12: 32-40-10 for 74 points – 29th
  • 2012-13: 19-22-7 for 45 points – 24th

2011-12: COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 29-46-7 for 65 points

  • 2012-13: 24-17-7 for 55 points – 17th

THIS ABOUT THAT . . .

Philadelphia's last-place finish was a blip on the radar as they enjoyed the biggest bounce in a season after finishing 30th when they improved by 39 points. St. Louis is next with a 24-point improvement. The Blues best season since finishing last is 109 points, an improvement of 52 points. Philly is next with a 50-point jump in 2010-11.

Coming into this season, the Flyers have made the playoffs in four of six seasons since finishing 30th. The Blues have made it in three of seven seasons. Even Tampa Bay and the Islanders, who have floundered almost as badly as the Oilers, have made the playoffs once each, and the Bolts are poised to get in again this season.

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 Spydyr
January 05 2014, 04:59PM
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Has Stu the not so magnificent bastard drafted one player outside of the first round that has had any impact on this team.I can't think of a single one.Can anybody?

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#52 oilbaron
January 05 2014, 05:27PM
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@Spydyr

I truly believe this has allot more to do with player development than drafting....

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#53 Anton
January 05 2014, 06:23PM
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The frustrating thing about Oilers management is that they don't get it that being impatient will only regress any development.

This is still a young team, what they need is to let youngsters polish their games and gain some confidence by doing the best in their own department.

Instead, they hired a fancy-pansy coach that wants to introduce a "system" when most of the players are still learning the basic. It is like trying to teach bunch of elementary calculus.

Roy's successes in Colorado was that he simplify the game, keep doing what his player can do best, play hard, and keep the puck out of their own zone, be more aggressive when the team is behind, taking care of the puck, and shoot more shoot often. How many of those messages have delivered by Eakins? Forget about the defense, the team are not even trying to shoot and surely are not taking care of the puck.

The team is not that bad, at least it is not last place kind of bad. It is up to management to fully understand about how this team is and how to get each player individually better instead of rushing the development of bunch of kids.

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#54 RexHolez
January 05 2014, 07:15PM
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Get rid of Kevin Lowe tomorrow! He's clearly telling Eakins how to coach this team, practices and games! Lowe just cant let it go! Hall would be better without Lowe in management! period!

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#55 Slats
January 05 2014, 07:34PM
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Bolts tieing goal- another shift of players chasing the puck around, slow footed Smytty gets stuck in no mans land and in!... . shaping up to be MV(Moral Victory)Win!!

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#56 RexHolez
January 05 2014, 07:39PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Remember that trade Kevin Lowe made to get rid of Eric Brewer???? Knuckle head move getting rid of such a solid d-man! Ban Lowe!

Haha this is fun. Brewer's no stud, but he'd be the best Dman on this team

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#57 RexHolez
January 05 2014, 07:48PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Remember when Kevin Lowe helped out the Christmas Bureau that one time? What a loser.

Remember when Lowe wore socks with his sandals? douchebag

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#58 bulldog12
January 05 2014, 07:50PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Holy hell you blind faith jock sniffers are annoying

So which one are you of the last sentence. Stupid, like complaining or reading the same dumb repetitive comments??

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#59 bulldog12
January 05 2014, 07:50PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Holy hell you blind faith jock sniffers are annoying

So which one are you of the last sentence. Stupid, like complaining or reading the same dumb repetitive comments??

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#60 Arius Mumin
January 05 2014, 08:21PM
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Rotten Ron wrote:

2 guys in my section carried jerseys in tonight. Looks like theyve been getting them ready to go since goal#3

They need to throw them no matter what. Win or Lose. Tell them they're chumps if they carry them back out.

But, knowing Oilers fans-they probably went to the bathroom and put them on.

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#61 MessyEH
January 06 2014, 03:55AM
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Oilbaron wrote:

god what douchebags

Is that you Kblowe?

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#62 loweblows
January 06 2014, 11:44AM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

PLAY BAD FOR EKBLAD

must be a slow day in the asylum

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#63 **
January 05 2014, 03:45PM
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This team is being true to its name, it keeps drilling deeper and deeper in search for the big score.

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#64 outdoorzguy
January 05 2014, 04:00PM
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Rocks don't bounce. They just stay put.

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#65 THE PUZ
January 05 2014, 04:01PM
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Just wondering how far the Oilers have to fall for Eakins to be fired? He currently has the worst winning percentage of any head coach in Oiler's history. We do have a solid core of young players (Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Perron, Yakupov, Schultz) that have little to no support through our inept management but should we be this bad?

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#66 John Chambers
January 05 2014, 04:17PM
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@Zamboni Driver

Ha! I have been saying the same thing for years.

You have to bear in mind of course that 15 years of terrible drafting led us here in the first place. I mean, the Oilers front office are still slapping each other on th back for the '80s.

I'm just realistic about time frames - the team wasn't a playoff team at the outset of the season, so at least the current pain will force them to address the bigger problems.

I am optimistic about he team from 2015 and beyond though - just hope it won't include Kevin Lowe.

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#67 Serious Gord
January 05 2014, 04:20PM
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@DigDeepNBleedBlue

James Joyce is an oilers fan, who knew?

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#68 He Who Knows
January 05 2014, 04:23PM
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Robin, lets say the Oilers finish 29th-30th at the end of the season, would you think Katz actually cleans house this time? That would include the entire old boys crew. I can't wait for the season ending press conference. You guys in the media better gang up on the arrogant fools that pretend they know a thing or two about winning.

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#69 A-Mc
January 05 2014, 04:29PM
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GDP: Oilers lose 4-2 with the empty netter.

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#70 Serious Gord
January 05 2014, 04:32PM
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DigDeepNBleedBlue wrote:

Bahahahaha!

Not sure if you're trying to compliment me or dis me. I'm guessing the latter. Either way, Well played sir.

The number of people who have actually read all of Ulysses versus those who tried to is 10000:1. That is likely better than your SOC post.

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#71 David S
January 05 2014, 04:39PM
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I honestly have to wonder how many people saying the answer is for fans to cancel their season tickets and quit going to games - actually have season tickets?

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#72 Hockey Fan 1976
January 05 2014, 05:20PM
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the fact that they want to trade Gags when his value is so low goes to show you that acquiring an MBA in business really was a waste of money. Allocating assets is about moving pieces at high value which you deem will have a greater impact in the long term, not moving pieces when you realized you failed in your player assessment. Any smart GM (which compared to the Oilers I almost argue all of them are smarter) knows you are at their mercy when it comes players coming back in the trade. Its actual value vs. actual value, not potential value vs. great value. Morons!!!

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#73 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 05 2014, 05:24PM
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Hockey Fan 1976 wrote:

the fact that they want to trade Gags when his value is so low goes to show you that acquiring an MBA in business really was a waste of money. Allocating assets is about moving pieces at high value which you deem will have a greater impact in the long term, not moving pieces when you realized you failed in your player assessment. Any smart GM (which compared to the Oilers I almost argue all of them are smarter) knows you are at their mercy when it comes players coming back in the trade. Its actual value vs. actual value, not potential value vs. great value. Morons!!!

It's like they say....the learning begins once you leave University.

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#74 Rama Lama
January 05 2014, 05:24PM
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Do we really want the team to start winning now? Since we are out of the playoffs, let's stink bad for Ekblad.

All the pundits are saying he is good enough to start in the NHL right away........perfect!

Since Mr. Chop Water drink wood is leading the charge.......I say stay the course.

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#75 6 ring circus
January 05 2014, 05:57PM
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David S wrote:

I honestly have to wonder how many people saying the answer is for fans to cancel their season tickets and quit going to games - actually have season tickets?

Do you want my Oilers account number?

All I know is I will be 10k richer come May,I should've known better to renew this year, I will no longer buy tickets as long as Lowe and the old boys club are involved with the Oilers and I've been a season seat holder since 1999.

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#76 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 05 2014, 06:44PM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

He makes money. A LOT of it.

With respect, you, sir, have no clue, whatsoever, what it takes to run a corporation the size of the Oilers. If built-in fanbases were all it took to be successful, Steve Jobs would never have been fired from Apple in the 80s. Or John Scully in the 90s, for that matter.

Monopolies, contrary to the disparaging cries of Joe. Q. Public, do NOT succeed without talented human capital.

LaForge, is VERY good at what he does. If you think the fire MacT rally was a bust, I wish you good luck with the fire LaForge rally. Heh.

laforge is a typical lying rich guy. Doesnt take genius to tell us that people dont show up cause of snow. remember a year and a half, 2 years ago he tried to tell us the Oilers were losing money and that why they needed public money for the arena. Yet the Oilers were one of the "Have" franchises when it came to money at the time.

He was one of the architects behind not having a farm team for 2 years.

Laforge is atypical greedy bitch. He will kiss Katz ass to the extreme and lie his ass off when told to. No ethics. No morality when it comes to the fans. just another douche in a suit.

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#77 RexHolez
January 05 2014, 07:11PM
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bulldog12 wrote:

Quit your whining and crying in your beer. The Oilers need what everyone else either has, wants or needs. If you already have the big Centremen,bigger bodies or the #1 dman the only reason you trade them is if you have cap issues. See Pronger and Perron. With the cap going up that's not going to happen anytime soon. The only way to build is thru the draft and every manager will tell you that. Now you want to trade a 24 year old Gagner and complain because they traded a young Cogliano. You don't think MacT knows this and tried all summer to acquire these types of players. Patience you idiots. Half you guys are either really stupid or just like complaining and reading each others dumb repetitive comments.

Holy hell you blind faith jock sniffers are annoying

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#78 RexHolez
January 05 2014, 07:19PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Get rid of Kevin Lowe tomorrow! He's clearly telling Eakins how to coach this team, practices and games! Lowe just cant let it go! Hall would be better without Lowe in management! period!

That wasn't me, although I do agree

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#79 Serious Gord
January 05 2014, 07:19PM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

He makes money. A LOT of it.

With respect, you, sir, have no clue, whatsoever, what it takes to run a corporation the size of the Oilers. If built-in fanbases were all it took to be successful, Steve Jobs would never have been fired from Apple in the 80s. Or John Scully in the 90s, for that matter.

Monopolies, contrary to the disparaging cries of Joe. Q. Public, do NOT succeed without talented human capital.

LaForge, is VERY good at what he does. If you think the fire MacT rally was a bust, I wish you good luck with the fire LaForge rally. Heh.

You have no idea what i do or don't know about business operations. I have outlined much of my background here in the past before so I won't repeat it now.

That you use jobs as an example shows you certainly know jack. Jobs was fired because the company was on the brink of insolvency and he had hired a complete disaster to be CEO (scully). Apples "monopoly" was down to single digit market share and was saved in part by a loan from Microsoft because they needed apple in the market to avoid being regulated as a monopoly.

The oilers do indeed have a strong regional monopoly in professional hockey in one of the most hockey crazed and well-heeled markets in the world. How well would laforge fare in a tough market like Phoenix or Columbus?

Neither you nor I know.

But to say he's doing a super job here is just as impossible to say.

As someone who has been to more than few oilers games and can compare it to other markets and sports I would say that much of what the oilers do for entertainment off the ice surface is pretty miserable - I'm assuming that is laforges beat - so if that's anything to go by I think he is below average at the job.

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#80 "armchairgm"
January 05 2014, 07:22PM
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bulldog12 wrote:

Quit your whining and crying in your beer. The Oilers need what everyone else either has, wants or needs. If you already have the big Centremen,bigger bodies or the #1 dman the only reason you trade them is if you have cap issues. See Pronger and Perron. With the cap going up that's not going to happen anytime soon. The only way to build is thru the draft and every manager will tell you that. Now you want to trade a 24 year old Gagner and complain because they traded a young Cogliano. You don't think MacT knows this and tried all summer to acquire these types of players. Patience you idiots. Half you guys are either really stupid or just like complaining and reading each others dumb repetitive comments.

Agreed! Lets blame Kevin Lowe while were at it! (best part about reading blogs is to see how many business savvy hockey minds there are with an opinion.) Robin Brownlee is one of the few sane ones who writes or comments on this site ever.

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#81 RexHolez
January 05 2014, 07:36PM
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RexHolez wrote:

If only Lowe drafted Cory Schneider instead of Rob Schremp, the oilers wouldnt be tied 3-3 right now. Taylor Hall will never make the olympic team because Kevin Lowe ruined him already.

Remember that trade Kevin Lowe made to get rid of Eric Brewer???? Knuckle head move getting rid of such a solid d-man! Ban Lowe!

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#82 Cold Hard Truth
January 05 2014, 07:36PM
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You know what amazes me? After all this miserable losing, not one Edmonton journalist/media member has the nerve to call out Kevin Lowe or Craig MacTavish (with the slight exception of Robin Brownlee).

Also, I just heard Stauffer say that MacTavish should not trade his 1st overall pick for help, and that it is on the team to perform. Really, Bob? What is MacTavish's job, then, if it is not to help the team?

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#83 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 05 2014, 10:03PM
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Also against a top 10 team!!!??!! This is as exciting as the first time my name was in the phone book.

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#84 oilbaron
January 05 2014, 03:24PM
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I feel as tho I may be to blame for the oilers losing seasons. I've watched basically every game since 2006, I've gone to about 6 games a season, I've paid for merchandise and autographed pictures and memorabilia. I feel as tho I may be a jinx to the teams success. I think my only option would be to stop watching, stop paying and stop supporting the team. Maybe this will turn things around, all we can do is try our best right?

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#85 Cold Hard Truth
January 05 2014, 04:22PM
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Edmonton Oilers = career killers.

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#86 Dog Train
January 05 2014, 04:26PM
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Everybody deserves to win some of the time right? Just not the Oilers?

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#87 Rick Stroppel
January 05 2014, 04:33PM
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POSITIVE SUGGESTIONS FOR CHANGE

1. Oilers trade their BAD players for other teams' GOOD players.

2. Oilers trade their SMALL AND SOFT players for others teams' BIG AND STRONG players.

3. Oilers trade their OVERPAID players for other teams' UNDERPAID players.

4. Oilers have two bad goalies, this seems somewhat redundant. Trade two BAD goalies for one GOOD goalie.

I don't have an MBA or six rings, but the path forward seems somewhat obvious. COME ON MACTAVISH! Make it happen buddy!

PS: For those of you who do not understand sarcasm, my point is this. It is really impossible to see how they can fix this incredible mess. It may be 4-5 years before this team even makes the playoffs agai

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#88 D-Unit
January 05 2014, 04:51PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

PLAY BAD FOR EKBLAD

This, right here, is everything that is wrong with the Oilers.

Losing should NEVER, EVER be acceptable or hoped for.

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#89 hockey fan 1976
January 05 2014, 05:12PM
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JERSEY NIGHT!!JERSEY NIGHT!! Say it with me Oilers fan!!!JERSEY NIGHT!!!!!

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#90 Spydyr
January 05 2014, 05:14PM
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K_Mart wrote:

No game day blog?

Oilers lose......again.

There you go.

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#91 RexHolez
January 05 2014, 05:16PM
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K_Mart wrote:

No game day blog?

There needs to be a game for a GDB. This is more of a sacrifice or slaughtering

JERSEY NIGHT!!! JERSEY NIGHT!!!!

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#92 Sofa King Bad
January 05 2014, 05:29PM
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Piles of crap don't bounce too good.

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#93 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 05 2014, 05:49PM
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There seems to be some disparity between the persistently bad teams and the teams that dip into terrible very briefly.

Colby Cosh tweeted this the other day:

Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan Worst NHL teams since start of 2005-06: 1. Edmonton 2. NY Islanders 3. Columbus 4. Florida

Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan Worst NHL teams since start of 2006-07: 1. Edmonton 2. NY Islanders 3. Columbus 4. Florida RT @Toukochan: @colbycosh I sense a trend.

Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan Worst NHL teams since start of 2007-08: 1. Edmonton 2. NY Islanders 3. Columbus 4. Florida

Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan Worst NHL teams since start of 2008-09: 1. Edmonton 2. NY Islanders 3. Florida 4. Columbus

Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan Worst NHL teams since start of 2009-10: 1. Edmonton 2. Florida 3. Columbus 4. NY Islanders

Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan Worst NHL teams since start of 2010-11: 1. Edmonton 2. Florida 3. Columbus 4. NY Islanders

Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan Worst NHL teams since start of 2011-12: 1. Edmonton 2. Columbus 3. Buffalo 4. Carolina

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#94 vetinari
January 05 2014, 06:24PM
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To make some extra money for the team, the Oilers should offer a MBA course to interested fans using their management team's strengths:

"How To Distinguish Tiers of Fans with Kevin Lowe"

"Bold Moves, Bad Moves? With Craig MacTavish"

"Mastering the Grimace with Dallas Eakins"

"Media Relations 101: Open Mikes + Management = Disaster?"

"Jersey Tosses and Home Game Losses-- Keeping the Villagers Away From the Pitchforks"

"Terminate Like the Terminators: How to Fire a Coach Using Technology with Craig MacTavish"

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#95 RexHolez
January 05 2014, 06:51PM
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John Chambers wrote:

The Islanders got impatient halfway through their re-build and traded Chara and a 2nd overall pick that became Jason Spezza for Yashin. Whoops!

They also traded away Roberto Luongo for Oleg Kvasha, and selected Rick DiPietro instead of Dany Heatley.

So in fact the Oilers are nothing like the Islanders because they're not wasting the draft picks they paid so dearly to acquire for enigmatic Russians and hunches with the first pic.

So is that a good thing or a bad thing that this team sucks more than the team that mismanaged as bad as you pointed out?

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#96 Gerald R. Ford
January 05 2014, 07:35PM
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@reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)

In other words, he's the perfect guy to run a business.

Look, don't mistake my admiration for his money-making skills for me liking the guy, personally. Does he have the personality of a greasy used car salesman? Maybe, I don't know him. He brings in the Benjamins, and, so long as he does, Daryl Katz doesn't give a damn what any of us think about the hockey side of the operation. LaForge's success, whether we like it or not, whether you give him credit for it or not, is the biggest impediment to any widespread organizational change. That's the salient point.

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#97 Bryzarro World
January 05 2014, 07:40PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

PLAY BAD FOR EKBLAD

Enough already!

And change your pic. It's more annoying than Samwise chewing on his guard...

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#98 Arius Mumin
January 05 2014, 08:06PM
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The Oilers top-line skates with the urgency of a shinny game.

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#99 Arius Mumin
January 05 2014, 08:09PM
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I don't understand why people keep complaining that the Oilers are run by the boys club: when most of the NHL is run by boys club. If you want to bring them into the picture; Hockey Canada and Hockey USA are the same as the above.

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#100 RexHolez
January 05 2014, 08:28PM
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bulldog12 wrote:

I'm fairly certain Lowe would agree your all of the above.

*you're - I thought we established this

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