IF THERE'S EVER A CONCERN: HANDS ON

Robin Brownlee
January 08 2014 02:18PM

 

 

Frustration within the passionate and loyal fan base of the Edmonton Oilers is growing by the day and by the loss with the Oilers destined to miss the playoffs for an eighth straight season. Rightfully so.

Much of that frustration -- again, rightfully so -- is being directed at Kevin Lowe, the team's former GM who is now owner Daryl Katz's president of hockey operations. There was a sign of that, literally, at Rexall Place during Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. A fan sitting front row displayed a cardboard sign that read: "Fire Kevin Lowe."

The frustration directed toward Lowe is, in large part, because of the perception that, while he's been bumped out of the hot seat and into the background publicly in his position by Katz, he's still had his fingerprints all over player personnel decisions – trades and free agent signings -- made by former GM Steve Tambellini and now Craig MacTavish.

Actually, perception is the wrong word. Lowe confirmed his participation in the decision-making process Tuesday during a wide-ranging interview on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260. While Lowe didn't get specific about how much influence he has, it's obvious he's hands-on – we're not talking about the façade of the "senior advisor" position Pat Quinn was dumped in.

Lowe has been, as has been noted before, the one constant in Edmonton's front office through these eight years of ineptitude and losing dating back to the 2006 Stanley Cup final, and beyond.

WHAT HE SAID

Gregor asked Lowe what role he played as POHO in the decision-making process with Tambellini and now MacTavish.

"I would say that uh, that uh . . . really, it's a tough, tough question," Lowe said. "Craig is the general manager, as was Steve Tambellini. They go about their business and shop around the NHL with the scouting staff and collectively throughout the organization try to come up with ways to make the hockey club better, whether it's signing a player or trading a player or what have you.

"At the end of the way, when those recommendations or when those ideas come up, Craig will talk to me and get my feelings on it and you know . . . we talk enough over the course of the season that I generally know where he's going on things and, you know, there's an owner that has to make a call in terms of whether you're going to spend the money for a free agent or trade an asset that's been part of the organization for a while, so there's a collective decision being made.

"I mean, if there's any concern that our people can't make decisions without me endorsing them, then that's not accurate. We've always had a, taken the approach from the day that I took over as general manager that we're collectively going to make decisions – not that it's a purely democratic process, but it's wise of you to involve as many people in your organization when you are making decisions.

"It's not a fiefdom where one person says, 'No, this is what we're going to do.' It's a collective group decision on any strategy that the hockey team is going to make. It's not easy. We've been in this rebuild and it's incredibly frustrating for everyone. The fans should know that, for the people that are running the show they are probably, I don't even know if you can compare it, but in terms of frustration, it's incredibly frustrating, but we're in it. We are where we are.

"The only thing we can do is continue to work hard and believe that, in time, if we've done the drafting we hope we've done and we are patient with the young players that they're going to become the players we expect them to be and it'll result in a, you know, positive and exciting hockey team."

(Photo via @quickone1 on Twitter)

STARTS AT THE TOP

Lowe was at the top of Edmonton's management food chain as GM for eight seasons – he had nobody to answer to in hockey operations decisions, except ownership, until he was moved to POHO in July 2008. Essentially, anybody Lowe huddled with when making decisions as the GM was an underling – an assistant GM, members of his scouting staff or coaches. It stands to reason Lowe's opinion carried more weight than anybody else's did.

Was that the case during Tambellini's troubled and indecisive tenure in Lowe's former position? I don't know for sure, but I doubt it. Is that the case now with MacTavish? No way. Still, you'd have to be a fool to think Lowe doesn't carry considerable swing in every hockey decision made now.

Simply put, Lowe had more say than anybody else in the organization in building the Oilers from 2000 to 2008 as GM. At the very least, he has had considerable influence in hockey decisions made since then. That's a span of command and influence approaching 14 seasons.

Draw your own conclusions.

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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#251 Sold Tickets
January 09 2014, 11:27AM
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Vinny wrote:

Most businesses want repeat customers. If your customers are not happy with the product, they won't come back. Particularly if it's a luxury product, which is what Oiler games are.

Any revenue projections that the Oilers are making today that have all seats being sold over the next few years, are out to lunch. Hope of a winning team has kept the seats full thus far, but I don't think hope will keep the seats full over the next few years. Only winning will do that.

Although Katz could try to hold the team hostage, Edmontonians could do the same to his pharmacy business.

Agreed - also the tickets to games may be sold, but there are quite a few empty seats. At the St Louis game, there were more empty seats than I have seen in a very long time. And I went after I wasn't able to give away my tickets. I am sure the Pens game will be a full building, but now fans seem to show up to see the OTHER team, not the oilers.

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#252 **
January 09 2014, 11:45AM
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I think that if the rebuild was going acording to plan, Renney, Krueger and Tambellini would still be here. The moment Renney was fired Klowe conceded that his master plan was going nowhere. Some may argue that it was part of the plan to have a new coach after the 3rd high draft pick, but what about signing Tambellini to an extension and then firing him just a year later?.

Klowe is not only lying to the public, but to himself, and it seems that he is willing to roll over anyone in order to keep his job.

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#253 camdog
January 09 2014, 03:44PM
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The Barons record last season (during the lockout) on the road with Eberle, Hall, RNH and Shultz was below 500 in the minors last season. Even in the AHL our young guns had trouble winning hockey games when checked by the other teams top line; even under the direction of Todd Nelson. If they can't lead a team to wins in the AHL, how can we honestly expect them to lead the team to wins in the NHL?

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#254 Rob...
January 09 2014, 03:54PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

What else could Loser Lowe do? Be the flu vaccinator at a Rexall pharmacy?

Sounds good. That way he can stick it to Oiler fans for years to come.

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#255 hall the time
January 09 2014, 04:01PM
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Derian Hatcher wrote:

You know those TV shows where a "consultant" of "expert" goes into a business (bar, restaurant etc.) and assesses what is wrong and/or why the businnes is floundering? Now I realize, there is always a flair for the drama on TV, but maybe the team needs a "makeover" starting at the top by someone WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND HAS BUILT SUCCESSFUL ON-ICE PRODUCT IN THE PAST.

Problem is, when the consultant asks "so how are things going?" the response would be - "Great - we are making boatloads of money and are moving into a new building that is mostly paid for by the citizens of this fair land"

"So what's the problem?"

"Oh there's no problem, some of our customers say they are unhappy with our product but they keep paying for it, so things must be good"

"Ok then, I guess I'm not needed here, where is my next assignment...oh here it is, can you tell me where I could find somthing called Alberta Health, or Alberta Education?

It's called "Bar rescue" and its the best show ever. A lot of the time the managers or owner don't even know that their the problem, then they get yelled at by the host John Tafer.

We need a NHL team rescue big time.

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#256 ubermiguel
January 09 2014, 04:15PM
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hall the time wrote:

It's called "Bar rescue" and its the best show ever. A lot of the time the managers or owner don't even know that their the problem, then they get yelled at by the host John Tafer.

We need a NHL team rescue big time.

Love that show. Who would be the host and come into yell at KLowe? I would love to see Messier tear him a new one. Bowman would have the experience and expertise.

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#257 outdoorzguy
January 09 2014, 04:19PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

Love that show. Who would be the host and come into yell at KLowe? I would love to see Messier tear him a new one. Bowman would have the experience and expertise.

I thought that was what Pat Quinn was supposed to do. Is Pat Quinn still being paid? Or is it Mark Messier's job? What does Mark Messier do? This is a very strange organization.

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#258 Ryan2
January 09 2014, 04:40PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Eakins isn't going anywhere. 5 coaches in 6 years, will not become 6 in 6 or 6 in 7 for that matter. That's just ridiculous. The fact that Eakins AHL squad easily adapted his Swarm and was very succesful with it is further proof that the players are the biggest problem with the Oilers. Not to mention that OKC has adapted the Swarm this season with no problems.

The assistant coaches could and quite possibly should be on the move.

Some of the players will be on the move first. It's just a matter of time. MacT doesn't want to make losing trades just for the sake of a shakeup and why should he? The season is lost already anyways.

The fact that the SWARM does not work in the NHL is an indictment of the coach, not the players, as it is a flawed strategy that only works against less skilled players in the minors or juniors. It was a farce watching how many wide-open chances other teams had because the Oilers would overcommit under the SWARM. All of the ex-coach and player talking heads in the media that I heard commenting on it said the same thing - the SWARM can work in juniors, and maybe the AHL, but in the NHL it means that someone is always open and the players are good enough to find them. All it takes to beat the SWARM is two quick passes and you will find the open man in the high slot.

Eakins came into the big leagues with an AHL system and approach that would not work and the team was burned by it. That shows his inexperience. The question now is whether he is able to adapt and grow. So far, he has not shown that ability.

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#259 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 09 2014, 05:14PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Not defending Krueger - I think he was a mistake - but take a look at the schedule and the last ten games of this season:

SJ Anh NYR SJ Anh Pho Anh Col La Van

How many of those games is an Eakins-coached team going to win?

Had to trash on the Krueger comment. in that you think he was a mistake

He did a good job considering he had no real training camp.

He asked for help during the season (mact confirmed this after eakins hire) and didn't get it.

He was a rookie head coach who actually got some results (yes on a minor scale but compared to what is going on right now it looks miraculous)

He was building and espirit de cour within the team some guys were liking it (Yak said he loved the atmosphere under krueger) some may not have liked it I have never heard anyone being negative about him that way.

Krueger certainly not perfect but was only gonna get better.

So Detroit brings in Renney and looks like they are gonna bring in krueger. Not saying it will work but i trust the job the wings have done over the last 20 years. they have proven to be faily intelligent. Makes Lowe and MacT look aweful right now

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#260 S cottV
January 09 2014, 05:18PM
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Ryan2 wrote:

The fact that the SWARM does not work in the NHL is an indictment of the coach, not the players, as it is a flawed strategy that only works against less skilled players in the minors or juniors. It was a farce watching how many wide-open chances other teams had because the Oilers would overcommit under the SWARM. All of the ex-coach and player talking heads in the media that I heard commenting on it said the same thing - the SWARM can work in juniors, and maybe the AHL, but in the NHL it means that someone is always open and the players are good enough to find them. All it takes to beat the SWARM is two quick passes and you will find the open man in the high slot.

Eakins came into the big leagues with an AHL system and approach that would not work and the team was burned by it. That shows his inexperience. The question now is whether he is able to adapt and grow. So far, he has not shown that ability.

Exactly - his admitted trial and error learning curve cost this team points to the extent that they were out of any kind of playoff contention by mid Nov.

The swarm - for one of several things, was and still is a disaster in its mutated form.

I never thought the team was good enough to make the playoffs from the get go, but thought that they would at least stay in hopeful contention for much of the year. Play some meaningful games based on some even feint hope to go on a run and maybe get some help - to squeeze into an 11th hour playoff spot.

Now - we are in 29th place and could even slip to 30th by the end of the month, with who we are playing and with games that Buffalo has in hand.

The players know that this is worse than it needed to be.

It wont take much more adversity before things go too far and Eakins will lose that room.

If he is adapting and growing it will start to show. Not so much just in wins and losses but how things look to be shaping up for the better.

At this point - I am not sure anything looks better....

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#261 Byks
January 09 2014, 05:18PM
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"Who wants to be responsible? Whenever anything goes wrong, the first thing they ask is: who's responsible for this?" - Jerry Seinfeld

If you had a very, very large role in what's gone on over these past several years, and you're still involved (promoted, even, as some others have already mentioned), then you should be gone. Sorry, Mr. Lowe. But you're responsible for a LOT of this mess.

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#262 madjam
January 09 2014, 05:19PM
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Despite the terrible results over last 8 years one thing has remained escalating - the attendance of hockey fans dying to see NHL hockey in Edmonton . They want NHL hockey here and it is almost irrelevant that they have an upper eschalon team themselves . Not even management felt they would support hockey here through many bad years and teams . Yet they still do and come in in droves to support NHL hockey here . It is acceptable and not necessary to run a winning club here any longer . Those that complain or pull out are readily snapped up by others that are happy to watch the rest of NHL play here . At least occasionally we put up the odd good game to fill the stomachs of the avid die hard fan .

If it were necessary to have a winning club here to survive , I am sure Katz would have cleaned house by now .

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#263 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 09 2014, 05:22PM
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@Consultant

What position do you hold within the Oilers management? Just curious

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#264 Anton
January 09 2014, 05:31PM
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The truth is that in NHL, you don't need fancy strategy because they are NHLers that are the best of the best hockey players in the world. Due to the talents that NHLers have, the simple strategy is good enough for most of the players. What is coach supposed to do? Find your opponents' weaknesses and attack in those fields. Not reviewing the tapes is irresponsible and unacceptable, but apparently that Oilers coaching staffs rarely review the tapes.

The reason I can see about why that team is regressing this year because that they cannot attack as efficiently as last year. If the team can shoot for more than 35 times and still lost then it is just an unlucky night, otherwise a team can shoot for more than 35 times on nightly bases rarely lost. If a puck has to play inside of your own zone then it is a terrible defense. A good forechecking is better than any defensive strategy that any coach can come up with. Simplify the play, let the players to figure the game on their own, let them do what they can do best, we can talk about how bad the defense that Oilers have and how many holes we had at the bluelines but how many of the contenders' D-men weren't came out of their own farms? Developing the players on the right track is much more important than constant wheeling and dealing to try to find the right fit, no smart and capable managers willing to give up those pieces because those players are the reason why that they are winning too.

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#265 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 09 2014, 05:33PM
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Anton wrote:

That is truly debatable, if you are looking at just the W-L column then yes that Oilers is a poorly run franchise. In business standpoint that considering the team is still making profit and has tons of marketable pieces within the franchise then it is not a "toxic organization".

If a team doesn't need to win and still manage to pull in the profit, then why the ownership need to concern about how the image of the team is representing? We can only assume that if the team kept on this downward spiral that eventually the franchise will see the deficit. However if the team is start losing money that Katz may even reconsider his relocating plan that he has suggested in the past. Sadly, he is holding this team hostage against the fans of Edmonton by not stopping being a vicious malevolent businessman.

may have been said but it does not take a genius to make money on the NHL in Edmonton when the economy is rolling. It is a no brainer only the truly insipid could screw this up.

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#266 Deke Rivers
January 09 2014, 05:33PM
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It's not really a question of whether or not Lowe has a say, too much say, a group decision, a love in or whatever. He's the President of Operations and he's the one accountable. End of story. I can't believe that Katz became a billionaire by having executives stay in positions they were no longer effective in. Even the best executives, players, employees run their course with an organization. Scotty Bowman has moved on several times.Lowe is responsible, he's had his chance to make changes. It's time to try something new. Katz is too smart to not make the change while allowing Lowe to save face.

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#267 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 09 2014, 05:45PM
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Deke Rivers wrote:

It's not really a question of whether or not Lowe has a say, too much say, a group decision, a love in or whatever. He's the President of Operations and he's the one accountable. End of story. I can't believe that Katz became a billionaire by having executives stay in positions they were no longer effective in. Even the best executives, players, employees run their course with an organization. Scotty Bowman has moved on several times.Lowe is responsible, he's had his chance to make changes. It's time to try something new. Katz is too smart to not make the change while allowing Lowe to save face.

It's been said here before....hockey is a business...as long as the business is making money hand over fist the POHO is probably secure in his position....in business it's called "the bottom line"

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#268 Rod from Viking
January 09 2014, 05:55PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

What position do you hold within the Oilers management? Just curious

Cold Beeeerr, ice cold beeerr.

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#269 Dave
January 09 2014, 10:15PM
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steelymac wrote:

Eakins as a coach in the NHL has to adapt and not at the 28th game mark.He blew smoke up MacTs ass as to how he would do it and you know what he should sell used cars on Jasper ave.

Edmonton Motors can do better.

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#270 jay
January 09 2014, 10:20PM
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RSD wrote:

You missed Die Nasty's point. He is saying that it doesn't matter what the fans have to say about how D.Katz's company is being ran. If the fans were revolt, Rexall would be 3/4 empty. Throwing a jersey on the ice is not revolt it is a gesture of disgust. If someone gives up their season tickets because they are fed-up with the hockey based results, then why is there 10 people in line to buy them. That my friend is the exact results that Mr.Katz cares about. Hockey based results are for fans, stats people and the media.

No I understand DieNastie's point. He's good stuff. I understand that $ is the bottom line. I just think the growing resentment etc. is reaching a breaking point and that Mr. Lowe's time is limited. Thats all, just another point of view.

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#271 Ryan2
January 09 2014, 10:33PM
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camdog wrote:

I am not an expert on the Swarm, but if what you are saying is correct, it's just as much on Mact as it is on Eakins.

It is on MacT as well, but if you want to watch a clinic on how to beat the SWARM there is the Detroit game (5-0 loss). Watch how they would move the puck quickly and in two or three passes have a wide open lane for a forward or d-man to take a pass in the high to low slot. There were a number of other games that it was brutally evident as well.

The simple fact is that Kruger got more out of a weaker roster last year than Eakins is with a stronger team this year. That comes down to coaching.

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#272 mayorblaine
January 10 2014, 05:49AM
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it is the job of Patrick LaForge to make money for this organization, despite the best efforts of Lowe, he continues to do so.

Lowe is hockey. the hockey sucks. has for a long time. accountability. the word needs meaning.

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#273 RSD
January 10 2014, 07:07AM
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jay wrote:

No I understand DieNastie's point. He's good stuff. I understand that $ is the bottom line. I just think the growing resentment etc. is reaching a breaking point and that Mr. Lowe's time is limited. Thats all, just another point of view.

Fair enough, however I don't think that K-lowes time is coming to an end just because the majority of the fan base is convinced otherwise. If he does go I believe that he'll resign before he is fired. He will be allowed to go out on his own terms.

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#274 camdog
January 10 2014, 08:58AM
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Ryan2 wrote:

It is on MacT as well, but if you want to watch a clinic on how to beat the SWARM there is the Detroit game (5-0 loss). Watch how they would move the puck quickly and in two or three passes have a wide open lane for a forward or d-man to take a pass in the high to low slot. There were a number of other games that it was brutally evident as well.

The simple fact is that Kruger got more out of a weaker roster last year than Eakins is with a stronger team this year. That comes down to coaching.

Was at that game and understand exactly what are you speaking of. The high slot was open for the talking each and every game for the first quarter of the season.

What I don't understand is how Mact could have bought into the swarm when he hired Eakins? And no doubt about it the Swarm would have been discussed. If the system is so bad and no other NHL team in the NHL would play it how could Mact have hired a coach for selling it? Was this the Bold move Mact was speaking of? Why doesn't anybody in the media bring this up?

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#275 BIngBong
January 10 2014, 09:24AM
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camdog wrote:

Was at that game and understand exactly what are you speaking of. The high slot was open for the talking each and every game for the first quarter of the season.

What I don't understand is how Mact could have bought into the swarm when he hired Eakins? And no doubt about it the Swarm would have been discussed. If the system is so bad and no other NHL team in the NHL would play it how could Mact have hired a coach for selling it? Was this the Bold move Mact was speaking of? Why doesn't anybody in the media bring this up?

If you remember, after a month or so of the "swarm" Eakins finally canned it saying that the team had no idea how to play "basic defensive hockey", so properly executing the swarm was an impossibilty.

There's so much wrong with all this that I don't know what to say.

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#276 S cottV
January 10 2014, 09:50AM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

Just read an interesting article about the Oilers issues from the dressing room. Apparently Hall, Ebs and the kids effing hate Eakins. Apparently they liked Krueger but hate Eakins and that Mac-T, Lowe and company are behind it all trying to keep the kids in line. Apparently Katz is on the kids side but for some reason the whole mess is going sideways under Lowe, Mac-T and Eakins. Apparently handing the reins over to the kids under a good players coach like Krueger benefits the play of the team. Go figure. If that is the case then it just adds validity to the argument that Lowe, Mac-T and Eakins should be let go, with good experienced management put in place, with a good players coach. Makes sense to me. No where in the league is there an old boys club like Edm. Its a joke. Lowe. Mac-T. Bucky. Smith. Eakins. Should all be fired. Period.

A lot of signs point to Eakins on the verge of losing the room.

Next 30 days will probably tell a lot.

Whether for some of the right reasons or some of the wrong reasons, when the coach loses the room - he's done.

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#277 LOWEBLOWS
January 10 2014, 10:02AM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

Just read an interesting article about the Oilers issues from the dressing room. Apparently Hall, Ebs and the kids effing hate Eakins. Apparently they liked Krueger but hate Eakins and that Mac-T, Lowe and company are behind it all trying to keep the kids in line. Apparently Katz is on the kids side but for some reason the whole mess is going sideways under Lowe, Mac-T and Eakins. Apparently handing the reins over to the kids under a good players coach like Krueger benefits the play of the team. Go figure. If that is the case then it just adds validity to the argument that Lowe, Mac-T and Eakins should be let go, with good experienced management put in place, with a good players coach. Makes sense to me. No where in the league is there an old boys club like Edm. Its a joke. Lowe. Mac-T. Bucky. Smith. Eakins. Should all be fired. Period.

where can we find this article?

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#278 tileguy
January 10 2014, 10:29AM
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@LOWEBLOWS

Yes I would like to read that article as well. It could clear up a lot of things and shut some mouths on here, or more speculation, ie fuel on the fire. But lets have the link, PLEASE.

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#279 camdog
January 10 2014, 10:29AM
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BIngBong wrote:

If you remember, after a month or so of the "swarm" Eakins finally canned it saying that the team had no idea how to play "basic defensive hockey", so properly executing the swarm was an impossibilty.

There's so much wrong with all this that I don't know what to say.

Thing is I believed Eakins when he blamed the players for the system failing. Don't remember him acknowledging that the system was the problem...I also now understand why the players needed to be more fit to play his system, I guess if you are going to skate in continous circles for the entire shift when the pucks in your zone you are going to be bagged.

Still don't understand how Mact thought this could have worked?

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#280 BleedingOil
January 10 2014, 10:39AM
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ok, so I just read the article and not going through 270+ comments, and this may have been talked about already but here it goes: TIME FOR A BOLD TRADE MACT. BOLD! Our 2 weakest areas are Goal and Defense, and we have an abundance of goal scoring (should be) elite players. In order to get the ball moving on the weak areas, lets move one of our untouchables now. Who can it be? Hall, RNH, Ebs, Yak, JSchultz, Gags, Hemmer, KBom, Nurse? Gags NTC kicks in this year and he is not a fit so he can be packaged. Hemmer is UFA and probably wont sign here again so lets get him out too. If we are looking at a Dman in the likes of Letang, Karlsson, Keith, Subban

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#281 bleedingoil
January 10 2014, 10:47AM
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BleedingOil wrote:

ok, so I just read the article and not going through 270+ comments, and this may have been talked about already but here it goes: TIME FOR A BOLD TRADE MACT. BOLD! Our 2 weakest areas are Goal and Defense, and we have an abundance of goal scoring (should be) elite players. In order to get the ball moving on the weak areas, lets move one of our untouchables now. Who can it be? Hall, RNH, Ebs, Yak, JSchultz, Gags, Hemmer, KBom, Nurse? Gags NTC kicks in this year and he is not a fit so he can be packaged. Hemmer is UFA and probably wont sign here again so lets get him out too. If we are looking at a Dman in the likes of Letang, Karlsson, Keith, Subban

forget last post. posted in error. All I wanted to say was EBS, GAGS, Hemmer, JSchultz and 1st rounder all need to go to get us a starting true #1 Goalie and an elite puck moving Dman that can play D.

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#282 hall the time
January 10 2014, 11:09AM
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BleedingOil wrote:

ok, so I just read the article and not going through 270+ comments, and this may have been talked about already but here it goes: TIME FOR A BOLD TRADE MACT. BOLD! Our 2 weakest areas are Goal and Defense, and we have an abundance of goal scoring (should be) elite players. In order to get the ball moving on the weak areas, lets move one of our untouchables now. Who can it be? Hall, RNH, Ebs, Yak, JSchultz, Gags, Hemmer, KBom, Nurse? Gags NTC kicks in this year and he is not a fit so he can be packaged. Hemmer is UFA and probably wont sign here again so lets get him out too. If we are looking at a Dman in the likes of Letang, Karlsson, Keith, Subban

Read through comments man your so off topic right now.

When Eakins said they don't know basic defensive hockey he's throwing all previous coach's under the boys on the bus.

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#283 Oilbaron
January 10 2014, 11:50AM
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@madjam

I'm thinking trolling

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#284 morgie
January 10 2014, 12:15PM
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Brian wrote:

Katz is reportedly worth $4 Billion. Oilers are worth reportedly $400 million. A nice toy for Harrison to enjoy, and provides a job for some of the Boys on the Bus. If Katz looked at the Oilers as something other than a vehicle to fleece Edmonton then changes would be made.

Well Said sir!

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#285 Rod from Viking
January 10 2014, 12:19PM
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Oilbaron wrote:

Did anyone actually think this team was improving last year? Would have been interesting to see where they would have ended up after a full 82 games.

Krueger was more amiable, and set less restrictions on his players for sure, but his team couldn't hold a candle to the rest 5x5.

OH NO, the players don't like Eakins (by the way there is no evidence to back up this claim), maybe its because they already got their 6 million and they've never had a coach tell them they weren't working hard enough before.

The way I see it Krueger's 'eventual' Oilers would make it into the playoffs by way of their special teams, and get knocked off by the first big team they faced (a la Toronto or Washington style).

Eakins' would be Oilers will compete 5x5 with the big dogs, and will be a team that has a chance to win against anyone on any given night.

Maybe I have too much faith in Eakins, but for a team whose management has basically hung them out to dry, there are many positive signs early in this BRAND NEW NHL coach's career

They did improve last year their special teams but that was it. The moves by Mac T ,(Eakins, Gordon and Ference)were made to try to change the "Losing Culture" on this team as much as anything. It was a major mistake handing the keys to the city and the huge contracts over to the kids prematurely. Bob Stauffer last year alluded the kids were influential in the hiring of Kruger as well and that is complete insanity. The core of young guns is going to have to to be altered if this ship is ever going to be righted. Eakins message and coaching worked with AHL players, he is having a really tough time making it work with players that already have millions.

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#286 Rod from Viking
January 10 2014, 01:26PM
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camdog wrote:

Craig Button on Stauffer's show just threw Eakins under the bus "the swarm was never going to work".

He blamed it all on coaching for the Oiler's p-poor performance this year.

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#287 Tikkanese
January 10 2014, 01:27PM
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camdog wrote:

Craig Button on Stauffer's show just threw Eakins under the bus "the swarm was never going to work".

Just like Craig Button's Flames.

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#288 KenL
January 10 2014, 04:11PM
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As the old saying goes, it might not be Kevin Lowe's fault, but it's definitely is his problem. I've never been on the "fire Lowe" wagon until this year. Enough is enough, and a total house cleaning is long over due.

I'm ok with MacT staying on as GM - grant him a sample size of more than a year. But if Lowe has to go, so too should Kelly Buchberger, Steve Smith, Dave Semenko, and any Boys on the Bus that have been around the last 8 straight seasons without playoffs.

It's ironic this organization loves the "old boys network", never bother to hire an Oiler from the glory years who is actually having success in the coaching ranks. How on earth is Bill Ranford the goalie coach of the Kings and not the Oilers???

While we're at it, get rid of Freddy Chabot too! He hasn't made Duby a better goalie.

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#289 outdoorzguy
January 10 2014, 08:58PM
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camdog wrote:

Craig Button on Stauffer's show just threw Eakins under the bus "the swarm was never going to work".

And Button was justified in his opinion!!

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#290 outdoorzguy
January 10 2014, 08:59PM
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WTF is a swarm anyways??

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