Unacceptable

Jonathan Willis
February 01 2014 01:58PM

Without superhuman goaltending from Ben Scrivens (and he was just fine in today's loss) the Edmonton Oilers were on the wrong end of a 4-0 score against Boston. They were outshot, outchanced, somehow outhit despite never having the puck and flat-out out-played.

The Last Two Games

 

Edmonton has allowed 100 shots over its last two contests. They have matched up against the NHL's powers and been found not just wanting but humiliatingly, embarassingly unable to even put in a respectable showing. Team Switzerland has been more competitive in Olympic matches against Team Canada.

The scoring chances today paint an ugly picture of an outsmarted, outskilled and outworked team:

The Problems

 
The problems are myriad. Let's take a quick walk-through:

  • The powerplay. A strength as recently as a year ago - with much the same cast of players - it has devolved into a terrible weakness. Boston outchanced Edmonton 2-0 during Oilers powerplays today, and after a decent start to the night a first period power play sucked whatever energy the team had out of them. This one is on the coaching staff.
  • The Oilers had a top-10 penalty kill a year ago. This year, they sit 17th in the NHL, and they allowed two goals on five opportunities against the Bruins. The cast may even be improved from last season - this one too is on the coaches.
  • The top line. A year ago, the top line was an undisciplined run-and-gun trio that outshot and outchanced the opposition. This year, it's an undisciplined run-and-gun trio that gets badly outshot and outchanced by the opposition.
  • Sam Gagner. Just that.
  • The defence. This one is on the current general manager to some degree, and on the one before him to a much larger degree. A year ago, Nick Schultz and Justin Schultz were in over their heads as the Oilers' second pair. Currently, they're in over their heads as the Oilers' top pair. Andrew Ference and Jeff Petry have good points, but they're being asked to play at levels well beyond their ability to handle. Rookie Martin Marincin is in the top-four on merit. Mark Fraser is just the latest addition to a forgetable group of bottom-pairing blue liners that have demonstrated little beyond an ability to get lit up in the NHL.

Today's loss is yet another in a long series of humiliating low points for the Oilers. There is no excuse. It cannot be allowed to continue. This team desperately needs to turn things around, and soon. Maybe that means reworking the coaching staff so that new assistants can add some outside insight during an Olympic break reworking of team strategy - and provide better support for a rookie head coach. Maybe it means replacing Dallas Eakins with a veteran NHL bench boss.

Maybe it means more than that, or that and more than that. But this team cannot continue as-is. 

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#151 Serious Gord
February 01 2014, 06:38PM
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Ivan Drago wrote:

Because MacT can't go back in time. He can't fix 7 yrs of losing with one off season, when the coming season had a salary cap going down. Hes made mistakes, we all do regardless of our profession. But Perron, Gordon, Ference are all solid additions. Eakins may have been a mistake. Signing Gags was another. Using the word Bold, was prob his biggest. MacT will improve as GM with time, like most of us do when gaining experience.

Let me ask this, what has MacT done or not done to show he is incapable of turning this around? I'd love to hear from all you armchair gm's who played Jr B and think they know it all.

Perron, Ference and Gordon were decent signings - Ference I'm not so sure of long term. But none of those were stokes of genius or mastery of the GM position.

Gagner was a self centered move

Eakins was reckless

Hemsky was a case of over-valuation

Grebeshkov - too loyal

Belov - scout-free apparently he took the lead on getting him.

And on... He has failed so far as GM. And his only qualification over other - proven options. He's a FOK.

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#152 Oliveoiler
February 01 2014, 07:04PM
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Accountability/commitment - players-none Accountability/commitment - head coach-none Accountability/commitment - asst coaches-none Accountability/commitment - goalie coach-none Accountability/commitment - scouts-none "why should we have accountability/commitment when we pick up our pay cheques regardless?"

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Gagner gross, Hemsky hopeless, Ferrance finished, Schultz x 2 shabby, Petry pathetic, Hall horrible,,,,,,,,,,,,,, the list goes on and on and on and on........... only bright light is #30 - so lets see how long he sticks around with this crowd.

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#153 Serious Gord
February 02 2014, 12:11AM
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tileguy wrote:

Very weak brother, that's all hindsight ship except for the Eakins hiring.

Can't speak for Rick Stroppel, but I opposed almost all of those moves at the time they happened. And there were others besides me.

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#154 Loweblows
February 02 2014, 11:47AM
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After Buffalo beats us on Tuesday I wonder if that will be enough to get rid of this clown Eakins. Ever since the swarm debacle I have been posting every day that Eakins is a disaster. The longer he stays the deeper the damage.

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#155 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
February 02 2014, 12:03PM
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I feel like the organization itself is toxic. They need to go total scorched earth: fire everyone. All the coaches, obviously Lowe, completely remove the position of POHO, let the GM have full control.

I'm willing to give MacT a little more time, he's shown he's at least capable of making moves and recognizing team needs.

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#156 Dan 1919
February 01 2014, 02:47PM
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Next Year’s lineup:

(Hall-x-x), (Perron-RNH-x) (x-x-x) (Hendricks/Gazdic - Gordon - x)

( X-X) (Nurse- Marincin) (J-Shultz- Kefbom)

Use current roster players to fill in as many x’s as possible to be a good team. Ready-set-Go MacT.

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#157 D-Unit
February 01 2014, 03:00PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT GAGNER

I honestly don't know the answers to these questions. Is his NTC reduced to writing in his contract? Does the NTC remain in effect for the last two years of his contract if he is traded? If so, he is basically untradeable. A team looking at the long term will simply wait for the summer hoping to get him on the cheap after a compliance buy-out. A team looking for short-term help will not want any part of that contract with a NTC.

Can the Oilers trade him and agree to pay part of his contract? Does this count against the cap?

Sorry about the silly questions and thanks for the answers.

According to Capgeek, the NTC in Gagners contract is only 2014-15. This year, it is the "verbal" that MacT gave him, whatever that's worth.

If he gets traded this year, the NTC would still be in effect next year.

According to Elliotte Friedmans 30 thoughts this week, Gagner could not be a compliance buy out, as he signed the deal after the current CBA came into effect.

The Oilers could trade him, and continue to pay some of his salary. Yes it would count against the Oilers cap.

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#158 S cottV
February 01 2014, 04:54PM
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It wasn't appropriate to be negative after Scrivens performance vs SJ, but now - geez - another game where it's just plain embarrassing.

I fully appreciate the magnitude of wanting to avoid replacing the Head Coach will all that has transpired in the past few years.

That being said - its to the point where it has become a necessity and any true hockey guy knows it and feels it in the gut.

There is not one element of play or even an intangible that you can point to and say that Eakins is achieving at - let alone over achieving at. Nothing you can point to and say - you know when this or that comes together, its gonna be great. Nothing...

The Boys on the Bus need to make one more move to see if there is a little magic left from the glory days. MacT - take the bench and bring Messier in as an Associate. See if you guys can give this group a Maurice like bump to restore some semblance of order to this mess.

If you can - maybe that's a sign.

If you can't - maybe it's a sign to move on - once and for all.

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#159 kale
February 01 2014, 06:32PM
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Ivan Drago wrote:

Because MacT can't go back in time. He can't fix 7 yrs of losing with one off season, when the coming season had a salary cap going down. Hes made mistakes, we all do regardless of our profession. But Perron, Gordon, Ference are all solid additions. Eakins may have been a mistake. Signing Gags was another. Using the word Bold, was prob his biggest. MacT will improve as GM with time, like most of us do when gaining experience.

Let me ask this, what has MacT done or not done to show he is incapable of turning this around? I'd love to hear from all you armchair gm's who played Jr B and think they know it all.

Rick Stroppel

"Let me ask this, what has MacT done or not done to show he is incapable of turning this around? I'd love to hear from all you armchair gm's who played Jr B and think they know it all.

good point...he has moved us from drafting 6th overall to 2nd in a half a season

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#160 Serious Gord
February 01 2014, 11:30PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Actually, I'm not sure that management hired a series of incompetent coaches. I think they made a series of incompetent decisions, serially firing competent coaches as scapegoats for their own managerial incompetence.

And I don't think the fans blamed the past coaches. I don't recall a groundswell of popular support calling for Renney's or Krueger's scalp

They really only hired one incompetent coach. And it is on MacT to correct his mistake, as JW points out, sooner rather than later.

Renney was hired almost immediately upon his dismissal by a competent organization, the RedWings. Krueger found work right away with Hockey Canada.

After this audition, I can't imagine what organization will be beating down Eakins door, if MacT does the right thing.

You are correct bad decisions rather than just bad coaches. I think hiring Quinn and kreuger were both. Especially when one takes into account that Rennie was likely fired to make room for messier who refused to take the job and that Krueger was hired as filler.

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#161 Thumby
February 02 2014, 08:25AM
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I wonder where we'd be if we had done this:

Sequin Landeskog Galchenyuk (or Murray) AND don't win 2 or 3 meaningless games last year and get Seth Jones instead of Nurse.

Go for Centers and D and decent sized players.

Not that I think Sequin is better than Hall but I do think he's less prone to the bone head play and he's a center.

And IF we let them have that extra year to mature before bringing them in, we'd have been so far ahead of where we are now.

Surely we'd be somewhere better than we are now...wouldn't we?

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#162 Rod from Viking
February 02 2014, 09:29AM
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merfer wrote:

It just seems to me that Gagner wants to be traded. He has totally checked out with this team and doesn't really care what happens so let's move him out fast. I don't care what we get for him. His attitude is hurting the team. It also seems like maybe the coach wouldn't mind getting fired too. He has never connected with this team and just can't get these players inspired. There is just no way this team should be worse than last year. MacT has provided a better base of players so how could we be so much worse? It has got to be the coaching because the talent is better and our young players are more experienced. Hiring Eakins was MacT's biggest mistake, but for him to fix this, he will need to eat a extra large helping of crow and I'm not sure he is ready for diner yet.

Wouldn't you miss the mouth piece chewing instead of back checking performance every shift?

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#163 Rama Lama
February 02 2014, 10:58AM
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The problem with this team is more obscure than people think.

It's not about winning at this stage. It's about getting the first round draft choice, plain and simple. Our best strategy for this is Dallas Eakins. Now that he has learned who plays where, maybe he can start really teaching and coaching? In any regard all the players are now able to carry water, and chop wood better than any one in the league. Who knew that this was a requirement in the NHL but Eakins did, and now if our players get lost in the woods somewhere, we have the assurance of knowing that they can at least survive.

I for one would start benching players that when presented with a shot, instead elect to pass or overplay the puck. I'm tired of watching cute little plays like toe-drags that lead to nothing. It seems that our top six players feel the need to dangle and put on a show in stead of just shooting the bloody puck. Start by benching players that refuse to shoot or teach players like Eberle to stop relying on a wrist shot each and every time. He has become so predictable in what he does.......this is where coaching comes in.

I highly doubt that our NHL team could beat our AHL team!

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#164 hall the time
February 01 2014, 05:24PM
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Why was Jesse Jouensuu not playing but Jones and Hendrix were. In the San Jose and todays game Jones was one of the biggest problems we were stuck in our own end, sure he made some good plays to keep the puck out of the net but it was his fault we were in our own end in the first place among others, bad positioning.

And why bring in two new body's after the win over San Jose it was a game to work on from a coaching stand point, let just see if it works against Boston...... Bad Bad coaching. I never liked the power play at all this year and still don't.

The good.

The forwards are helping the D but not enough they need to pressure the puck carrier and us their stick a whole lot better that's were coaching comes in.

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#165 Max
February 01 2014, 07:10PM
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We all know K Lowe wont admit his part in all of this, nor will he step aside. It would not hurt if the GM would admit he was wrong regarding the head coach and let him go. Laviolette, Crawford and others are out there waiting to whip this team into shape. Boot camp for the Oilers should be next on the list.

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#166 Grant fuhr
February 01 2014, 07:17PM
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I think that I should be the new gm, I only snorted a little bit of blow, Craig got drunk as a skunk and killed a guy . No more ex cons in the front office.

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#167 Gk1980
February 01 2014, 07:35PM
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Anyone notice ebrrles poor play recently? He is BRUTAL to the point I think he is sabatoging this team. WAAAAAY to many moves before a shot attempt. The guy just needs to shoot the damn luck. The oilers Achilles heal is their lack of producing any sort of consistent offensive pressure. They also looked lost out there, like they have no systems going whatsoever.

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#168 Death Metal Nightmare
February 02 2014, 11:58AM
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why has it taken this long for the media/fans to be out on Sam Gagner? they should have got rid of him 2-3 seasons ago when it was obvious that he cannot create his own offense until chaos by other players gives him space/broken plays/loose pucks. the dude is an absolute passenger in it's purest form and everyone was sold on some Little Boy Named Sam, doe eyes and a super series run against uncompetitive teenagers...

even last season everyone bought into the inflated hype and was cool with giving him way too much money.

everyone around here eat's the long overdue/rotten food well beyond it's due date and then comes around all at once when it's popular to trash a player. reactive, just like the team - instead of proactive. falling in love with bad/mediocre players for over a decade. applaud!

- get Eakins out of here. no one needs a prideful macho dork who lives in denial about his own skill. youve been humbled. swallow it. all the assistants need to go. just a bunch of medicore/bad ex-players who are buddies with the hierarchy. get someone in here who fosters Yakupov instead of giving him Bad Dog discipline.

- get rid of wimps. Eberle is a wimp. send him to the east. Gagner: wimp. RNH is the only wimp worth keeping so far.

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#169 Rod from Viking
February 02 2014, 01:23PM
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@Death Metal Nightmare

I don't think it has taken this long for a lot of people. I was at the draft party at Rexall when they drafted Sam, Plante and Nash in 2007 and was sick about every pick, they had just been to the Stanley Cup finals with a big gritty team with a stud defense man,(don't look who was drafted after them). Ganger and Hemsky are the only two draft picks left that were picked by this team from 2000-2007. who was the GM? I also was a far bigger fan of Cogliano because of his speed and durability. Mac T was in love with Gagner because he was the most skillful player the Oilers had from 07-his leaving the team. He actually played with a lot more heart a few years ago but was never more than a third line player.

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#170 Otis Winchester the third
February 01 2014, 03:30PM
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this makes allot of sense today............... We have a roster full of bonafide shooters ,it is the system that dictates who is and isnt a shooter,nothing else.Not the player or his abilitys. If the Oilers play the NewAge Hockey System or a variant this year we will see 45 shots per game over 82 games. The NewAge System spreads offensive accountability 100% across the board like no other system being played in the NHL today.The offensive shot decisions are ALL system dictated and the shot choices are also SYSTEM dictated,many responsibilitys are removed from the players focus,and his game speed is drasticly improved as is his execution of system requirements. If a player like Nail,who I have watched a lot of video on,is allowed to contribute to a system like the NewAge System his speed and instincts will if he works hard enough put him in CONSTANT position systemwise to be releaseing his shot,premier shot positions on a consistant basis.With this system and the Oilers talent it will literally be a matter of who works hardest gets the most goals,the opponent will have virtually nothing to say or do about this outcome,the system is THAT offensive and superior to the "hybrid system"being played by most NHL teams. I recognised the finish but we have at least three guys in that league,with a d-man who looks like a sniper as well in Schultz. Yakupovs sucess will depend on the system the coach chooses to use him in if he makes the team out of camp as we all seem to expect. I created the NewAge Hockey System for the Oilers specificly and presented it to them on-line last year,I read Mr.Kruegers comments related to the type of offense we might see being similar to the PP of the 80s Oilers,welcome to my world,my system is absolutely and completely based off of the Oilers PP execution dureing the 80s,i have converted the core values of that PP to a superior 5 on 5 hyper-offensive system unlike any ever seen before.It is unique ,and it is mine.LA used it last year as did our farm team,the Oilers started to implement it with about 25 games to go and had steady sucess. I posted extensively about my system on the Oilers website over a two year period,in an attempt to have it recognised and implemented,I believe I accomplished that,and along the way LA through Jarret Stoll and co. piggybacked the data from the Oilers site and implemented it,and the farm team also implemented my system data effectively,both LA and the farm team attained the expected results,and the Oilers were righting the ship at the end of the year believe it or not,you could feel it. Players like Nail work so very hard every time they hit the ice that they need to play in a system that allows this extra effort to be immediatly rewarded and consistantly rewarded,they need a system that rewards extra effort and individual efforts that are aggressive and offensive for 60 complete minutes.A system that drains them of offensive energy,not one that stifles it ,not even for 5 mins of a game. If Nail is on the second line consistantly he will push for the team goals lead and walk away with the Calder hands down,possibly by a record margin of points if he stays healthy for 82 games,I believe Sam Gagner is a natural fit with Nails vision and insincts,and because Sam looks to be anchoring the 2nd line their unavoidable chemistry will rear its head through many multiple point games for the two of them,if we see this dynamic for 82 games I peg Yakupov within the NewAge System to score 35 plus goals,if he finds a home on the PP maybe 40---and the 2nd line will propel us into the playoffs with those multi-point games.Remember this is a system specific prediction.If we play a hybrid system like we did most of last year,I say he will be a 20ish goal guy no matter what icetime he gets.i appreciate nails skillset and shot ect. but I still firmly believe that offensive sucess is catalysed by system induced opportunitys---so with an average system he will perform above average for a rookie,with a superior system he will perform above average on the NHL level. Just make sure you remember to not blame Sammy for shooting a lot this year with nail on his line if we use the NewAge System,because the shots will be system dictated not dictated by anyones greed.And there should be 45 per game to go around,and i love the math when I see nails conversion ability,he will get four shots per game average,so it should be interesting. If we play a hybrid system he will get less shots per game by a large margin,I see Nail useing his onetimer on the PP a lot and getting most of his goals from there which is why i pegged him in the 20s,but in the NewAge System he will be generateing his goals off 5 on 5 situations as well as the PP and he will have a constant stream of system induced shooting opportunitys which is why I pegged him at possibly 40 goals. Yes,he is a finisher,yes he has an invisible release,and yes he can score from absolutely everywhere,and yes he will fit in here and have a lot of great young teachers to help him out,like a third born he will talk-walk-and score goals faster because of his slightly older siblings like Hall-Gagner-Nuge-Ebbs ect. But lets remember that he is walking into a room full of high picks with a serious skillset depth---this may be the toughest test he has ever had,and certainly tougher than the fellas before him,he has to compete with the full deck of cards with hemsky-Nuge-Hall-Ebbs-Gagner-Schultz-MPS ect.I dont see there being that much pressure or expectations put on him,we dont exactly need a savior these days with all the young studs we have. As with all our players,as the system goes so goes the players statistical seasons.We can already count on one thing,Nail will be ready to put in the hard work needed to be a system asset,and the system wont matter in that regard,the rest is still unwritten history,and anyone who wants to can pick up the pen and start writeing,they just need the desire---I see a lot of that in this young man.

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#171 **
February 01 2014, 06:23PM
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Ivan Drago wrote:

Because MacT can't go back in time. He can't fix 7 yrs of losing with one off season, when the coming season had a salary cap going down. Hes made mistakes, we all do regardless of our profession. But Perron, Gordon, Ference are all solid additions. Eakins may have been a mistake. Signing Gags was another. Using the word Bold, was prob his biggest. MacT will improve as GM with time, like most of us do when gaining experience.

Let me ask this, what has MacT done or not done to show he is incapable of turning this around? I'd love to hear from all you armchair gm's who played Jr B and think they know it all.

"Let me ask this, what has MacT done or not done to show he is incapable of turning this around? I'd love to hear from all you armchair gm's who played Jr B and think they know it all."

What if I told you I've never played ice hockey in my life. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?????????????

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#172 Dave
February 01 2014, 06:46PM
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Just thought of another KLowe quote: "When I won all those cups, I used to tell Slats that the key was to win at home. For all you second tier fans that don't understand the game, we beat San Jose. It's about the 2 pts, not beauty. And you can thank me because I told Craig to get Scrivens."

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#173 bazmagoo
February 02 2014, 01:50AM
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@Serious Gord

Agreed Gord, the only move I was in favour of was Belov. But I thought the plan was to slot him in the 7-8 spot, and let him earn his minutes. Nope! Just another example of 0 accountability within the organization.

At the time Gagner's contract was up for negotiation I suggested (and was subsequently panned for suggesting) signing Mikhail Grabovski & trading Gagner for a young defenceman. I actually was a fan of Gagner at the time I will happily admit, but the idea of turning one asset into two just seemed like something logical to explore. Of course Grabovski had his blow up at the Leafs so he was tarnished with having a bad attitude, you can hardly blame the guy for being upset though as he's a proud, professional athlete. Doubt the Oilers even thought of that option, let alone actually going about exploring the possibility. Wonder what Gagner's attitude towards playing defence is? For some reason I don't think it's all that positive.

Grabovski is proving to be a solid 2nd line centre in Washington, is 3rd in team scoring and is plus 4 on a team with a lot of minus players. And all at the affordable rate of $3 million on a one year contract.

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#174 russ99
February 02 2014, 09:09AM
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Fire Lowe and everyone else in the org is reviewed by the new experienced President or Hockey Operations (hired by exhaustive search and interview process, not if he played with Gretzky) i

Then the new guy does an exhaustive review of the staff and each person keeps or loses his job on merit.

That would clean out 75% of the slackers out.

At this point MacT may keep his job.

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#175 The Soup Fascist
February 02 2014, 09:13AM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

My earlier post was edited. Points were added in that I did not write. Does JW do this? Any of the other writers? Perhaps an editor? This is unacceptable. I have now lost confidence in this site as I now must question the authenticity of any posting placed here. Like the Oilers, this site has now become a sham!

Hmm. Maybe New Age Sys posts were in actuality only one or two paragraphs long, but JW added on the final 237 paragraphs each post to cover up the genius of Momma2.

Or perhaps DSF used to write posts that were actually positive and uplifting but the conspirators at ON twisted them around to make him seem trollish. Note: I miss DSF, a little - turns out he was more right than wrong in terms of management.

Seriously, I am sure you are sincere that something happened to your post but I can't see anyone intentionally editing it. Weird stuff happens on the internet sometimes. But other than " Fist " posts that were pre warned they were going to get edited by certain authors or removal of inappropriate posts - again after warnings, I have not seen or heard of anything as you described. Hopefully a rare glitch.

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#176 Rod from Viking
February 02 2014, 09:26AM
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The Oilers can only beat teams above them that are in a slump,if they get terrific goal tending or the other teams goalie has an off night or is the back up. I think it is all on the coaching no formula for bigger more veteran teams and get out coached every night. They only have average speed except for Hall,Yakapov and Hemsky and the only player's that use their skill in both ends of the rink are Nuge and Perron. The powerplay is brutal and they keep doing the same thing, I believe this is insanity, why not try to have a presence in front of the net that both the goaltender and defense have to worry about like a Hendricks, Ryan Smyth is no longer effective in that role. The entire coaching staff and management is made up of 3rd or 4th liners or stay at home d-men, no offensive genius's or a goal tending coach that has been there or won anything. It is easy for the players to tell themselves that what do these coaches know they were just spare parts when they played. What really pisses me off is I park in the Mount Lawn parking lot and now it is $15.00 as well.

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#177 Oiler Al
February 02 2014, 10:52AM
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The BIG Plan that has "backfired" on the meddling, jock sniffing owner , along with his Fokkers figured that they would build a winning team, like the Penguins, and Hawks,by turtling seasons to draft top picks.[Let Bob McKenzie and boys make the picks for us].

Aided by a stuthering and smiling GM and 4 coaches later , and not seeing the light beyond the 24th basement floor, two rehashed Fokkers are hired to manage the team, and two deadbeat Fokkers are retained to assist the new coach.

With 30 th place in the sights yet again this year, Katz's says everyting is going according to plan.Fourth year on a five year plan, and this is the result.?

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#178 vetinari
February 02 2014, 11:16AM
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Oasis wrote:

Even if we did convince Scrivens to sign here he is not a legitimate Number 1. He is a good back up or a 2nd half of a 1/2 goalie tandem. He has played well for 2 games but don't forget that he is playing for a contract next year (see Ryan Jones play of late). I hope he continues to play well but am I alone in thinking that we have not seen the real Ben Scrivens yet?

Going into next year all the Oilers need is a true Number 1 goalie, at LEAST 1 top pairing defensemen, a big/legitimate #2 centre, and some more size/grit in the top 6. I don't see a problem with us acquiring that at all. Remember, we got "6 rings" and "Bold Moves" at the helm...........we will be fine.

On Scrivens, I know that we only have a "small sample size", but he's definitely better with his positioning than Dubnyk and fights harder to get back in a scramble than Bryzgalov.

I don't see a lot of potential true #1 goalies coming here without a substantial overpay so we either have to take a chance on someone up-and-coming (like Scrivens) or someone else's damaged goods (like Bryzgalov). Maybe go with the guy we know and may have another 10 years in him...

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#179 samurai003
February 02 2014, 11:29AM
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Get rid of Smith and Bucky. Make Eakins an Assistant water boy. Bring in a real NHL coach (like anyone would want to come here in this mess).

Eakins, KActon, Scrivens and now Fraser... how long until they change the name to Edmonton Marlies?

No vision, thanks to KBlowe.

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#180 Butters
February 02 2014, 12:05PM
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What happens if/when we trade Gagner and the Oilers still suck? Who do we run our of town next?

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#181 Batfink
February 02 2014, 08:26AM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

My earlier post was edited. Points were added in that I did not write. Does JW do this? Any of the other writers? Perhaps an editor? This is unacceptable. I have now lost confidence in this site as I now must question the authenticity of any posting placed here. Like the Oilers, this site has now become a sham!

dude, I tried to log on one day under my previous user name and was denied. Then posts started appearing under my previous user name always the opposite of what ever the blogger was saying. I don't know if some jerk hacked the site, or this IS the site.

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#182 hark65
February 01 2014, 03:27PM
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Dan 1919 wrote:

Here we are 4 season into the stamped and certified KLowe rebuild and we’ve got 1 good player in Taylor Hall, a few small flashy forwards like Ebs and RNH, and a team no where close to NHL compete level... utter failure.

Hopefully Mac-T can right this ship in the next year or two because if he doesn’t there would be no choice left but to actually rebuild the rebuild, meaning a very long time without watching a real NHL team.

Completely agree. The team is a LONG way from being a solid roster and I don't see any big name FA's coming this summer to help the defence or top 6 (which is where they desperately need help). Unless one considers Ryan Callahan or Milan Michalek "big names". Would they consider signing with the Oilers?

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#183 Show me da Money
February 01 2014, 08:49PM
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max wrote:

2 questions 1-Jets were slumping, obviously didn't get along with the coach - new one hired, Jets soar. Could a respected NHL proven coach help the Oilers? I think yes. 2-Why do the Oilers players think it's okay to have their goalie face almost 100 sots in 2 games? I think they don't care any more.

Answer to question 1, probably.

Answer to question 2, not only do we have a terrible defense but our offensive players don't/won't or haven't been taught how to help their defense men.

If the forwards would come back more often to help out the defense things might not be so hard on our goalies or our AHL quality defense.

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#184 D-Unit
February 02 2014, 09:35AM
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Thumby wrote:

I wonder where we'd be if we had done this:

Sequin Landeskog Galchenyuk (or Murray) AND don't win 2 or 3 meaningless games last year and get Seth Jones instead of Nurse.

Go for Centers and D and decent sized players.

Not that I think Sequin is better than Hall but I do think he's less prone to the bone head play and he's a center.

And IF we let them have that extra year to mature before bringing them in, we'd have been so far ahead of where we are now.

Surely we'd be somewhere better than we are now...wouldn't we?

What games did the Oilers win that were meaningless last year?

They were showing progress. There is never ever any reason not to win. No win is meaningless.

A team needs to progress and win more than they lose. You can't be either 30th place or Cup winner.

Please don't ever post here again if you think the Oilers need to lose more or should have lost more last year or the year before or whenever.

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#185 Oasis
February 02 2014, 10:38AM
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@vetinari

Even if we did convince Scrivens to sign here he is not a legitimate Number 1. He is a good back up or a 2nd half of a 1/2 goalie tandem. He has played well for 2 games but don't forget that he is playing for a contract next year (see Ryan Jones play of late). I hope he continues to play well but am I alone in thinking that we have not seen the real Ben Scrivens yet?

Going into next year all the Oilers need is a true Number 1 goalie, at LEAST 1 top pairing defensemen, a big/legitimate #2 centre, and some more size/grit in the top 6. I don't see a problem with us acquiring that at all. Remember, we got "6 rings" and "Bold Moves" at the helm...........we will be fine.

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#186 T&A4Flames
February 02 2014, 12:12PM
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Pouzar99 wrote:

I am as frustrated as every other diehard Oiler fan, and fixing this mess will be very hard. The number one problem is Lowe, of course, and we need to find a proven experienced hockey man, who is not an ex-Oiler to come in and clean house. The right man might choose to keep a manager or two but all, or nearly all, must certainly go, obviously including the entire coaching staff, apart from our man in OKC. Hopefully there is enough of a core here, with at least a Top 3 pick coming, to convince such a person to take the reins and my God, they better get the right person. That is if they are even thinking of doing this, as who is competent to tell Katz whom to bring in?

Then there are the players, who have to share a lot of responsibility for the mess we are in. We can slam the top line but they showed under Renney and Kreuger that they can be stars in this league if properly coached and managed. Imagine where we would be today if Renney had not been fired, or Kreuger had not been fired? Things have never been worse than they are right now. The compete level is abysmal, the special teams are totally broken and the players, those that are still trying, look utterly lost. Finally the fans are in open rebellion, but powerless to effect anything.

I fear that nothing much will change for next year. Same president, GM and head coach. They might dump an assistant coach or two, pick up a useful piece at the trade deadline, free agency or the draft, and likely be better next year but for the first time I have increasing doubts that we will be even a playoff team in the near future if major managerial changes are not made and that we are years away from the playoffs even if they are made.

Hey guys, Jay Feaster is available. He seemed to do a decent job preparing for our year 1 of the rebuild.

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#187 T&A4Flames
February 02 2014, 12:23PM
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beloch wrote:

The 2014 pick is looking pretty sweet right about now. What they heck. Cash it in.

The 2015 1st round pick? Trade it.
The 2016 1st round pick? Trade it.
The 2017 1st round pick? Trade it.

Burn the ships to show the troops that retreat is not an option. Use those picks to bring back some hard-working defensively responsible players with good work-ethics and decent contracts. To get all that, these guys may not be as offensively flashy as you'd hope to get for 1st rounders, but the goal is to make those crap first rounders.

Next:

-Bench any forward who cherry-picks while the opposing team has possession.
-If Gagner wasn't cherry-picking, bench him anyways for having the most ironic name in the NHL.
-Bag skate. Bag skate. Bag skate.
-Blast off and nuke Lowe from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
-Tell the kids that they're no longer kids with great potential. They're adults who are failing because they're slacking off.
-Ask the players to donate half their salary to charity and apologize to all of Edmonton for not doing more to earn it. Maybe class and accountability can start off the ice.
-If the team doesn't have a sports psychologist, hire one.
-If the team does have a sports psychologist, fire him.
-Terminate Eakins' command with extreme prejudice.
-Pay the ice girls to follow Hall, Nuge, Eberle, etc. around during commercial breaks while saying things like, "Gee you guys are slacking off tonight!" or "Poor baby. Want me to beat him up for you?"
-Save every sweater fans throw on the ice and hang them up in the dressing room. Let the team burn one each time they win four games in a row.
-Instruct hotels used by the team that alcohol is off the room-service menu and send the whole damned team to AA.
-Borrow a hard-hat from the Flames. Leave it hanging on the wall unless somebody earns it.
-Take the 'C' away from Ference. It goes on the wall next to the hard-hat until somebody starts earning the hard-hat on a regular basis.
-Have the video room guys splice scenes from "Rocky" into the review tapes.
-Put the damned Gretzky pictures back in the dressing room.

OMG be loch you just made my day. Frickin' hilarious.

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#188 Zarny
February 02 2014, 12:58PM
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Good grief, the hand-wringing over the same thing game after game is comical.

The problem isn't the coach. The problem isn't the systems they are playing.

The problem is that none of the top 6 F or what the Oilers call top 4 D can play against big, physically strong players.

There are men in the NHL who are 6'4" 225+ lbs who can skate and stick-handle like our smaller, skilled F.

The Oilers have none of them on offense or defense and no one capable of stopping them. End of story. Especially in the top 6/top 4 who are on the ice for 2/3 of a game.

Until that changes nothing will change.

Firing Eakins will do nothing. His replacement will still be stuck putting Petry, Ference or Schultz out for 20+ min a night and Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Gagner, Perron and Yak will still get stopped dead in their tracks against Chara and Lucic.

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#189 Ed in Edmonton
February 02 2014, 01:11PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I feel like the organization itself is toxic. They need to go total scorched earth: fire everyone. All the coaches, obviously Lowe, completely remove the position of POHO, let the GM have full control.

I'm willing to give MacT a little more time, he's shown he's at least capable of making moves and recognizing team needs.

You would think a person with plenty of success in the business world would have concluded his hickey organization, as it currently stands, is dysfunctional and must be changed. Katz needs to bring in an "organization doctor" to advise him on how to fix, who goes, who stays etc.

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#190 Randaman
February 02 2014, 02:46PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

I don't think it has taken this long for a lot of people. I was at the draft party at Rexall when they drafted Sam, Plante and Nash in 2007 and was sick about every pick, they had just been to the Stanley Cup finals with a big gritty team with a stud defense man,(don't look who was drafted after them). Ganger and Hemsky are the only two draft picks left that were picked by this team from 2000-2007. who was the GM? I also was a far bigger fan of Cogliano because of his speed and durability. Mac T was in love with Gagner because he was the most skillful player the Oilers had from 07-his leaving the team. He actually played with a lot more heart a few years ago but was never more than a third line player.

That is because Kane carried Gagner through junior and raised his value. Lowe failed to notice this. Remember Pouliot? Same thing because he played wing with Crosby. Any questions?

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#191 justDOit
February 02 2014, 03:11PM
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Randaman wrote:

That is because Kane carried Gagner through junior and raised his value. Lowe failed to notice this. Remember Pouliot? Same thing because he played wing with Crosby. Any questions?

Crosby: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=73288

MAP: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=61459

MAP was drafted by the Oilers in the summer of 2003, and Crosby joined Rimouski later that fall for the 2003-04 season.

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#192 oilsnc79
February 01 2014, 07:25PM
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Mac T capable, Eakins capable, Being from Ont. I have watched Marlies and he did well. Bucky & Smith - not impressed. Lowe- your call. I have been an oil snc 79 and haven't seen this as bad. Problem ... Katz ... Lowe offered resignation ,, refused!! MacT ... hands tied. New Reality .. get use to it. I appologise for the truth.

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#193 Joe
February 02 2014, 12:33AM
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@dougtheslug

Best take on their conversation ever. And by that, I mean deeply depressing because it's so plausible.

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#194 bazmagoo
February 02 2014, 11:48AM
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Well as depressing as it is to admit, having Eakins behind the bench will likely lead to getting Ekblad who is undoubtedly the best defence prospect in this years draft. If the Oilers wait until next season to get rid of this dummy it's going to be too late though and we will end up missing the playoffs for 9 straight seasons, if not more. As many other posters have pointed out, it doesn't take a legitimate NHL coach years to right a sinking ship, it only takes days/weeks. Fire Eakins MacT, or dig your own grave. Carry water, chop wood!

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#195 Sisyphus
February 02 2014, 12:09PM
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What I find most interesting about all the commentary is all the "Fire Eakins" I see. Granted, I am not a fan of his, and don't believe he's the right coach for the job.

That said--I think its time to accept that this isn't an issue of having the "right" coach. Yes, a different coach might help, but ultimately, this is about our PLAYERS.

Yes, our POHO and GM have made this roster, but from the top to the bottom, "star" players to AHL call-ups, they just aren't very good. You can keep changing the coach every season, even get a new POHO or GM. But until 1) the players we have start to play like they actually belong in the NHL EVERY NIGHT, and 2) we get quality supporting cast that doesn't look like its "bring your AHL players to work" night, this team is going to continue to embarrass itself.

The coach may not have the room, but its the players who have outright refused to listen to the guy who is trying to make them do some hard learning.

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#196 Ed in Edmonton
February 02 2014, 12:59PM
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Lower than lowe wrote:

As a lifelong fan why do I want my team to lose every game? Odd.

I know the feeling. Perhaps it has something to do with "experts' lecturing Oiler fans about has unacceptable it is throw jerseys on the ice etc. As the Oil continue to flounder "the experts" refuse to call a spade a shovel and preach patience and that KLowe is a good hockey man. If the Oil implode even more severely in the last 25 games the "experts" may be forced to give the Oiler's long suffering fans their due and agree that tossing jerseys and putting up billboards are well justified.

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#197 Randaman
February 02 2014, 02:41PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

You would think a person with plenty of success in the business world would have concluded his hickey organization, as it currently stands, is dysfunctional and must be changed. Katz needs to bring in an "organization doctor" to advise him on how to fix, who goes, who stays etc.

So what makes you think this rich glorified groupee would listen to any advice given when the building is sold out night after night? He has his money and gets to keep his former coattail riders as friends! All is good in his eyes, as his letter stated. The man is dilusionall at best so enjoy being in the bottom fifth of the league for the forseeable future. This is sooooooo frustrating! Good thing my mother is looking over my shoulder or I would be banned!!! What a pathetic gong show as tomorrow will show when Buffalo kicks our weak pathetic asses! Gagner and Eberle lead the parade.

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#198 Rod from Viking
February 02 2014, 03:07PM
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@Randaman

Exactly, you would hope a decent scouting staff would realize that, I still remember the TSN insiders were shocked with the Oiler picks

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#199 T&A4Flames
February 02 2014, 12:08PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

I think the problem with the oilers is that the team sucks.

I think the problem with Eakins is he only seems to think Yakupov sucks.

I can't seem to understand why only Yaks gets benched and no other Oilers. How does Eakins approach help preach accountability?

Not like Yaks was on the ice for all 100 shots or something... Love to see Eberle benched once in a while for a behind the back pass on the tape of the opposing team.

You can't bench an entire team. Although, why not try?

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#200 cccsberg
February 02 2014, 02:18AM
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blue31 wrote:

THEY DO HAVE ENOUGH TALENT! On paper, the Oilers roster should match up with most teams in the league.

They have a bunch of highly skilled first over-all draft picks. They have a player who has scored 8 points in a single NHL game. They have a player who was money in the WJCs. They have a record setting goaltender. They have a Stanley Cup champion defenceman. They have another D-man who was the most sought after free-agent a couple years ago. They have world class skills in Hemsky and Smyth. Marincin is in the Olympics.

They are looking completely confused, disoriented and apprehensive.

THAT is coaching failure of the highest degree.

As they say, the proof is in the pudding. All this "great talent" is second worst in the league and heading to the bottom. Sure there are some very talented players, and sure coaching may be (?) a problem, but when you start with a dysfunctional "team", with a bunch of overpaid prima donnas who don't want to/can't play even the basics consistently, do you really think its JUST the coaching?

Just because someone was first overall doesn't guarantee anything. Players have to continue to develop and grow into the NHL game...

8 pts in any game is great, but a career isn't a single game. What has he done since /lately? Past, one-time glory is meaningless unless you can follow it up...

Money in the WJCs? That's about the same level he's providing now. Unfortunately this isn't Juniors, though some nights you'd think many of the Oilers still think it is...

See above comment about "8 pts", though Scrivens does seem to be playing well so far. Unfortunately he's UFA and highly doubtful he'll re-sign unless management shows they are serious about correcting the team's major issues.... (team defence)

Different team...

Why do you think he refused to honour the draft and sign with one of the best teams in the league? Perhaps he knew he was crap on defence and still wouldn't be playing? You really REALLY think that was a coup?

Right.

Rookie, hope he turns out in a couple years. Once he and some other prospects are ready for the big show the Oilers can claw their way out of the basement...

Summary, yes there is talent, but that talent isn't good enough and some significant pieces need to be moved to get a better balanced core.

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