THE OILERS STINK BECAUSE . . .

Robin Brownlee
March 10 2014 05:40PM

83-Hemsky-9

Everybody has an opinion about why the Edmonton Oilers have struggled mightily to show significant signs of progress four years into their rebuild, and former Oiler Ales Hemsky added to that lengthy list today. Let's see if we've about got it covered . . .

The Oilers stink because:

  • A.   They have too many small forwards who are too much alike.
  • B.   Dallas Eakins is a lousy coach (and should be fired).
  • C.   They don't have a legitimate first pairing on defense and don't have nearly enough proven NHL defensemen.
  • D.   They don't have enough grit and size throughout the roster.
  • E.    Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger remain employed as assistant coaches.
  • F.    Eakins is in over his head and needs another associate coach, preferably with experience as an NHL head coach, to bolster his staff.
  • G.   GM Craig MacTavish, like predecessor Steve Tambellini, has the wrong mix of players.
  • H.   MacTavish and Tambellini have tinkered too much with the bottom six forwards and third-pairing defensemen without making enough changes with players who get the most ice time.
  • I.       Owner Daryl Katz refuses to fire friend Kevin Lowe, who still has a significant say in player personnel decisions.
  • J.      The team's pro scouting staff couldn’t find a clue with a map and a flashlight.
  • K.   Eakins has butchered a power play that looked to be on its way under Ralph Krueger and has spent far too much time re-inventing the hockey wheel for a rookie NHL head coach.
  • L.    Young core players like Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle haven't yet stepped up and shown the leadership needed to guide the team back to contention.

The latest tidbit is courtesy of Hemsky, who added another item to the pile in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen today. So, does the Dirty Dozen above about cover it or have I missed a reason or two?

THAT WAS EASY

Dallas Eakins 16

Thumb through the archives of sites like Oilersnation and you'll find volumes of loser's lament, venom, fear and loathing and reasons why the Oilers are about to miss the playoffs, by a lot, for an eighth straight season.

Everybody, the writers who contribute here, people who stop by to have their say and fans in general have pointed a finger in the blame game, and with the amount of ineptitude we've seen, there's plenty to go around.

While I lean most heavily on items A, C, D, E, F, G and H – I must admit the Hemsky comments today do cause one to take pause – it's safe to say there's a multitude of issues facing this edition of the Oilers. Pointing at just one or two areas isn't going to solve much.

We're seeing that already with changes made in goal. Ben Scrivens has been superb since arriving, but better goaltending by itself – it couldn't have been worse than what Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera provided – isn’t going to lift this team back into contention.

We're all guilty, to some degree, of over-simplifying the work that remains. "Get bigger and tougher. It'll be fine." "Trade for a legit No. 1 defenseman (and a playing partner) and we'll be on the way." "Fire Eakins . . ."

A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT

Craig MacTavish2

What's starting to sink in is the flaws in the roster and the organization as they are structured now are many and multi-layered. The Oilers aren't just one or two or three players away from contention. They aren't (another) new head coach away from turning the corner. The Oilers aren't a Shea Weber short of being a powerhouse.

The Oilers aren't just a busy of summer of work by MacTavish away from getting this sorted out. When it's been this bad this long, everything from the top down has to be looked at. That will take time. I'm not offering up that observation as a free pass for MacTavish. I'm just coming to grips with how broken this organization is. The closer I look, the more profound it seems.

Now, after much fiddling with the fringes of the roster over recent seasons by Tambellini and MacTavish, comes Hemsky on the kids, the core. They are the one component so many fans out there have considered the one sure thing that so much of the hope being sold is hung on.

Add that to the list.

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 nuge2nail
March 10 2014, 07:59PM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

Since MacT took over 6 months ago he has improved the team.

Second line - Perron.

Third line - Hendricks and Gordon.

Goaltending - Scrivens.

Sadly its made no difference, shows how much work needs to be done still. I'm sure MacT is surprised by this and by how bad of a team he inherited.

Next on the list is the Center position, than Defense.

I would prefer the Oilers overpay for a center like Statsny and keep the pick.

Draft Bennett or Reinhert and we finally have some depth at center.

Hopkins - Statsny - Bennett - Gordan

Trade Gagner for a #3-#4 defenseman.

Spend the remaining 30+ million in cap space on Defense, preferably on 2-3 year deals

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#52 Rick Stroppel
March 10 2014, 07:59PM
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APROPOS OF NOTHING

I am really excited about George Strombolopolous taking over as host of HNIC! The new "Satellite Hot Stove" is going to feature Jann Arden, Rick Mercer, Tegan and Sara, and Steven Harper.

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#53 Hoss
March 10 2014, 08:00PM
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@Robin Brownlee

@Robin

Thanks for the response. I must have misinterpreted it. I am a little pro player, so that is a possibility.

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#54 Gored 1970
March 10 2014, 08:01PM
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C'mon Robin, you're holding back. Tell it like it is!

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#55 Sevenseven
March 10 2014, 08:06PM
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Oil Can wrote:

I said it last year at this time and I will say it again. Hire Brent Sutter before someone else does. Then let him replace ALL of the assistant coaches, including the goal tending coach before he ruins Scrivens and Fasth. Or do we wait until someone else hires Brent and then we are on here saying, look at the job he is doing with his new team, just like Maurice, Hitchcock, and the others in Montreal, L.A., Anaheim, Dallas, ect. All NHL coaches who took struggling teams to almost instant success. Yes we might still need a couple of line up changes, but at least then Mac.T. would know what exactly he has and doesn't have. And maybe Sutter can get the players to play with pride, heart and intensity.

Yup. If a sutter turns this team around, imagine the hate from flames fans!!!

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#56 kale
March 10 2014, 08:14PM
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Hemmer three more points so far tonight....he looks so motivated

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#57 nuge2nail
March 10 2014, 08:16PM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

Hemsky is having another great game for the sens. Another three assists tonight.

7 points in 3 games so far.

Good for him, wish him all the best.

You have to wonder why he played less than 15 minutes a game with the oilers.

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#58 Rod from Viking
March 10 2014, 08:16PM
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Oil Can wrote:

I said it last year at this time and I will say it again. Hire Brent Sutter before someone else does. Then let him replace ALL of the assistant coaches, including the goal tending coach before he ruins Scrivens and Fasth. Or do we wait until someone else hires Brent and then we are on here saying, look at the job he is doing with his new team, just like Maurice, Hitchcock, and the others in Montreal, L.A., Anaheim, Dallas, ect. All NHL coaches who took struggling teams to almost instant success. Yes we might still need a couple of line up changes, but at least then Mac.T. would know what exactly he has and doesn't have. And maybe Sutter can get the players to play with pride, heart and intensity.

Brent was interested when they hired Kruger for the head coaching position and the Oilers never contacted him, at that time he wanted to stay in Alberta. I don't know what he is thinking now but I doubt if he would be interested in an assistant coaching job.I do think he would be a major upgrade because he actually would make everyone accountable.

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#59 Red
March 10 2014, 08:16PM
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Hemsky 3 assists tonight and Oilers are paying half his salary. 3rd pick in 2014 and a 5th in 2014. Joke is on you Oilers.

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#60 Red
March 10 2014, 08:21PM
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@Red

Oilers braintrust.

Ha Ha Ha

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#61 Rod from Viking
March 10 2014, 08:23PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

APROPOS OF NOTHING

I am really excited about George Strombolopolous taking over as host of HNIC! The new "Satellite Hot Stove" is going to feature Jann Arden, Rick Mercer, Tegan and Sara, and Steven Harper.

I can hardly wait until Sean Majumder replaces Grapes, They name would have to change from Coaches Corner to Binder on a Bender.

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#62 Rod from Viking
March 10 2014, 08:26PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

I can hardly wait until Sean Majumder replaces Grapes, They name would have to change from Coaches Corner to Binder on a Bender.

"The" name would have to change. How do you edit your post to fix a typo?

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#63 Rick Stroppel
March 10 2014, 08:26PM
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SPEAKING OF HEMSKY

By now the Oilers will be settled into their hotel in Minneapolis. I hope Eakins and MacTavish are enjoying the Ottawa-Nashville game on TV. Ottawa was behind 3-0 going into the third period. They scored three goals to send it into overtime. Hemsky assisted on all three goals. Ottawa lost in OT, but thanks to Hemsky they get a point they desperately needed.

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#64 mesa
March 10 2014, 08:40PM
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Sevenseven wrote:

Yup. If a sutter turns this team around, imagine the hate from flames fans!!!

i will add the Chicago hawks .Go back when Savard was fired and they brought in joel Quenneville .

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#65 Serious Gord
March 10 2014, 09:01PM
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Happy and sad to see you put together this list robin.

Happy because of its comprehensiveness - I have written spoken about all of them including hemskys addition over the years (I really question halls hockey intelligence In particular - he certainly is no Johnathon Toews).

And they are ALL part of the reason for the unprecedented years of failure.

What saddens me is that you avoid agreeing with the the root cause items - ownership, management and coaching. None of the items you do agree with would have been or are the case today if those items had been different or addressed. I think you know that and I regret that you publically don't say as much.

As for blanketly accusing everyone for oversimplifying the situation - i would counter that attacking the very root cause - the basis upon which all of the misery has been built - the hiring and retention and promotion of Kevin Lowe and making it the paramount objective is not oversimplification but FOCUS.

Unloading hemsky (at long last - just 18 games before he was out the door anyway) for example, was a belated treatment of a symptom not the cause. I suspect - in fact I'm quite sure that we will continue to see treatments of symptoms rather than any serious attempt to address the cause(s). And the result I fear will be more years and years of failure on the North Saskatchewan.

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#66 Pouzar99
March 10 2014, 09:10PM
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While 'all of the above' is clearly the best answer, and all these issues must addressed, I think the continued presence of Eakins is the single most important factor.

Under Renney and especially under Krueger the Oiler's young stars were developing well and the top line was more than holding their own against the best lines in the Western Conference. RK had the sense to keep those three kids together and they just got better and better. Under Eakins they have all regressed as individuals and as an entity, an alarming development that cannot be allowed to continue. For that reason alone he MUST be fired, as these players, and you can throw in Yak and Schultz, who are also going backwards, are the core of the team.

OF course there are other reasons, such as the swarm, the 1-3-1, the unending failed experiments, the complete inability to learn from what worked last year, the failure to adjust to changes made by opponents, the obssesive almost shift-by-shift line changes, or the fact that Eakins's supposed specialty is motivating players who look less motivated than at any time throughout the rebuild.

Yes, it is terrible to ask the players to accept yet another coaching change but if they can bring in an experienced, successful head coach the damage would be minor compared to the continuing damage done by Eakins, who is completely overwhelmed by the challenge of being a head coach at the NHL level and obviously lacks the technical capability to make positive strategic decisions. Really, what does the man do well at this level?

MacT must put his pride aside and do what is best for this team. Renney NEVER should have been fired and at the very least RK earned another season. Getting a real NHL head coach is only one item on a very long list, along with Lowe moving on, other changes behind the bench and in the pro scouting ranks, and of course the player personnel changes that are obvious to us all but very difficult to pull off, but firing Eakins is Number One.

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#67 vetinari
March 10 2014, 09:37PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Hemsky is having another great game for the sens. Another three assists tonight.

7 points in 3 games so far.

Good for him, wish him all the best.

You have to wonder why he played less than 15 minutes a game with the oilers.

Don't you mean, "Oiler Self-Destruction to Follow..."?

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#68 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 10 2014, 09:42PM
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mesa wrote:

A,B,C,D,E,F,G ,H,I,J,K .and cause they never mentored by good players i do not agree with L.

I think, in order, it goes M then I then C then K then E then Y.....then MOUSE.

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#69 S cottV
March 10 2014, 09:48PM
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Amazing what happens when you put a skilled veteran winger with a real veteran 1c and legit first pairing dmen.

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#70 Sevenseven
March 10 2014, 09:51PM
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Whatever the problems are, ultimately it falls on klowe. He orchestrated this mess for the last decade. He is the common denominator. Any rebuild should show signs of success this far in.

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#71 jake
March 10 2014, 10:00PM
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"I'm just coming to grips with how broken this organization is. The closer I look, the more profound it seems."

So, there is more wrong with the Oilers than is dreamt of in our philosophy?

Not good. ;-)

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#72 Al Low
March 10 2014, 10:05PM
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It's great that Hemsky let his opinion be known. The top guys aren't held accountable and it's about time they got called out by somebody on the inside. For all of the talk of the D being terrible (which it is), there's nothing set about the top 6. 2 of that top 6 needs to be moved. Gagner and Eberle appear to have the least amount of compete to the game and need to be offloaded. Let's hope Lander and Pitlick can actually make the bottom 6 and join Gordon, Hendricks and likely Smyth and inject some new blood. I can't bear watching guys like Joensuu, Ryan Jones and Gazdic getting completely outplayed everytime they are on the ice. If Edmonton developed their roster correctly, we would still have guys like Cogliano and Brodziak in the bottom 6 and not have to worry about that part of the team. The list is all encompassing and perfect. What an absolute mess.

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#73 dougtheslug
March 10 2014, 10:09PM
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I believe it was Albert Einstein who said "you can't fix problems with the same mindset that created them."

Watching Calgary come back and nearly tie the game tonight against LA (like they seem to do nearly every game) despite having a roster riddled with injuries and probably third best in the province ( Golden Bears, followed by Oil Kings, neck and neck with Oilers), makes me shake my head.

There is no way Oilers, even with all the holes in the roster, should be playing such aimless, dispirited hockey.

That has to fall on the management and coaching. Hemmer himself said it was nice to be playing for something. Eight years of crap and the same guys are still in charge? A losing culture is not going to be fixed by the same minds that created it.

And the change will never happen. We know that.

It's beyond frustrating.

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#74 Striker
March 10 2014, 10:09PM
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C

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#75 Randaman
March 10 2014, 10:16PM
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Al Low wrote:

It's great that Hemsky let his opinion be known. The top guys aren't held accountable and it's about time they got called out by somebody on the inside. For all of the talk of the D being terrible (which it is), there's nothing set about the top 6. 2 of that top 6 needs to be moved. Gagner and Eberle appear to have the least amount of compete to the game and need to be offloaded. Let's hope Lander and Pitlick can actually make the bottom 6 and join Gordon, Hendricks and likely Smyth and inject some new blood. I can't bear watching guys like Joensuu, Ryan Jones and Gazdic getting completely outplayed everytime they are on the ice. If Edmonton developed their roster correctly, we would still have guys like Cogliano and Brodziak in the bottom 6 and not have to worry about that part of the team. The list is all encompassing and perfect. What an absolute mess.

Agreed to a point. Gazdic has been above and beyond. He might not be sound defensively but he is getting better and I don't see anybody else in this pathetic, weak group standing up for each other. We must have that from someone! Gazdic stays. Have you noticed how a lot of guys shy away from him now? That is one of the few small victories this year and Lord knows we need something

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#76 kale
March 10 2014, 10:18PM
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@nuge2nail

It is more than 6 months , its one year next month since he declared his impatience and the team was ready to take steps forward

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#77 YAKCITY64
March 10 2014, 10:19PM
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I have to go with B. I have given Eakins every chance in the world and I really think putting all of the blame on the coach isn't right either. The problem with Eakins is he came in and acted like he has everything figured out that his systems and philosophies would take over and winning would follow. Its called tact and professionalism and he lacks in these areas. He comes in and he believes the SWARM will solve the fact we have 7, 6&7 dmen. He also told everyone that the oilers were going to be a team that Plays a 200' game. Are you kidding me we have 7 midgets playing forward and couldn't win a battle again Midget AAA players. Once again he shows his arrogance trying to be something we are not. Until we change personnel on this team we need to play a regroup/transition game like the Detroit Redwings used to play.

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#78 nuge2nail
March 10 2014, 10:32PM
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vetinari wrote:

Don't you mean, "Oiler Self-Destruction to Follow..."?

Oiler Domination To Follow

I truly believed this at different stages of the rebuild..

When I saw Eberles first career goal against the flames.

Moments during Hopkins rookie season when I thought we had the next Datsyk.

When Yakupov scored the game winner and slid to center ice, I thought he was going to be the next Bure.

Over the years I blamed certain players for the Oilers struggles...Cogliano, Gilbert, Horcoff, Hemsky, Dubnyk, Petty, and now Gagner. There was always a player responsible for the team sucking.

I'm not so sure if the domination will ever follow... I'll keep hoping though. Maybe if I say it long enough the universe will respond.

On the bright side, Oilers are 7-3-2 since MacT addressed the team toughness and goaltending problems.

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#79 dave
March 10 2014, 11:19PM
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@Pouzar99

YES !!! What happened to that chemistry.

Under Renney and especially under Krueger the Oiler's young stars were developing well and the top line was more than holding their own against the best lines in the Western Conference. RK had the sense to keep those three kids together and they just got better and better. Under Eakins they have all regressed as individuals and as an entity, an alarming development that cannot be allowed to continue. For that reason alone he MUST be fired, as these players, and you can throw in Yak and Schultz, who are also going backwards, are the core of the team.

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#80 dave
March 10 2014, 11:23PM
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@Pouzar99

YES !!! What happened to that chemistry. Quoting Pouzar..

Under Renney and especially under Krueger the Oiler's young stars were developing well and the top line was more than holding their own against the best lines in the Western Conference. RK had the sense to keep those three kids together and they just got better and better. Under Eakins they have all regressed as individuals and as an entity, an alarming development that cannot be allowed to continue. For that reason alone he MUST be fired, as these players, and you can throw in Yak and Schultz, who are also going backwards, are the core of the team.

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#81 bwar
March 10 2014, 11:45PM
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I can't wait until we get to do this all over again next year.

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#82 bazmagoo
March 10 2014, 11:51PM
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Personally I'm starting to think Eakins is the new Tambellini, brought in to get us another high draft pick or two. He'll be the new fall guy to deflect attention away from the maestro of the "Never Ending Rebuild®".

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#83 bazmagoo
March 10 2014, 11:53PM
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@bwar

At least I'll go in with Lowe expectations next time around.

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#84 albertabeef
March 11 2014, 12:08AM
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mesa wrote:

i will add the Chicago hawks .Go back when Savard was fired and they brought in joel Quenneville .

Last I looked, Chicago was doing pretty good with Quenneville.

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#85 Striker
March 11 2014, 12:24AM
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You could have Scotty Bowman behind this bench but with a defense corps that might be hard pressed to stack up against some of the better AHL teams, the Oilers will be going nowhere fast. That's the problem, it just happens to be one that is not easily solvable.

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#86 City of Champignons
March 11 2014, 09:06AM
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What has been the constant? Gagner, Eberle, Hall, RNH, Schultz,and Yakupov. All of these players are, or have been, considered untouchable. They're considered the core of the team. The reality is that they're children. They're dragging the organization down and the organization just keeps propping them up and touting them as the future - long term contracts to go with them. Oilers management bet on the wrong horses - these aren't the guys. Tinkering with the bottom 6 hasn;t made a bit of difference. Time to tinker with (blow up) the chosen ones.

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#87 Zarny
March 11 2014, 09:23AM
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People need to get a grip.

If the first 20 games were pre-season and we were only 44 games into a 62 game season the Oilers would be tied with four teams for 24th and only 2 pts behind 20th place.

Obviously in real life those first 20 games count; but it shows while the Oilers were nowhere near as good as some wanted to believe in September and they aren't as bad as the chicken littles want to believe now.

Unrealistic expectations. A few draft picks over 3 years is not a rebuild. Chi, LA, StL, Ana, Bos, SJ...all have core pieces that were drafted at least 5 years apart. Chi and LA won the Cup 8-10 years after acquiring their first piece.

Pit is the only team to buck the trend. They did it by having a roster where the ONLY players who were younger than 28 were Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Fleury, Goligoski, Talbot and Kennedy. There is probably a lesson in that for MacT.

A, C, D and L are the main reason the Oilers stink. The rest is white noise.

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#88 BigE91
March 11 2014, 09:42AM
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The myriad of problems really dates back to the point and time this team decided not to maintain an AHL franchise. That put a serious damper on player development and this team is still recovering. Sure the farm club is ok and fighting for a playoff spot but in terms of player development you can't rely on a farm club run by a competitor to bring your players along.

The club preaches patience because that's all they can ask for now. There's no white knight riding in to save things, "Being bad for Ekblad" isn't going to turn the corner. Quite frankly Justin Schultz has the makings of a point producing d-man but should have remained in Oklahoma for a full season before being brought up to the big roster.

This is going to be a long process and we'll soon see one or more of Eberle, Yakupov and Gagner on their way out in hopes of building a better mix in the top 6 but let's not hold our breath Cup Run 2019 is a long ways away.

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#89 Zarny
March 11 2014, 10:22AM
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City of Champignons wrote:

What has been the constant? Gagner, Eberle, Hall, RNH, Schultz,and Yakupov. All of these players are, or have been, considered untouchable. They're considered the core of the team. The reality is that they're children. They're dragging the organization down and the organization just keeps propping them up and touting them as the future - long term contracts to go with them. Oilers management bet on the wrong horses - these aren't the guys. Tinkering with the bottom 6 hasn;t made a bit of difference. Time to tinker with (blow up) the chosen ones.

Good grief, get a grip.

Hall has 109 pts in his last 102 games. That puts him in a group of about 9-10 players in the entire league who average more than a pt/gm.

Nuge, Yak and Schultz have played 165, 107 and 105 games respectively. Hall and Eberle just passed 200 games this year.

These aren't the guys? How the f*ck would you know? They've barely got their feet wet in the league.

The problem is the vast number of fans who thought a bunch of kids whose experience ranged from 48-195 games played at the start of the season were going to carry a team fully AHLers on their back.

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#90 loweblows
March 11 2014, 10:41AM
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I see no reason to keep Eakins. I will use an analogy for his continued presence. Lets assume the Oilers rebuild is a house. The old property manager Klowe hired a new property manager Tambellini to rebuild a modest bungalow. Despite maintenance man Renneys repeated attempts to maintain the house he was thwarted by Tambellinis insistence to do nothing. The house fell into further disrepair. The house was condemned, the old property manager took over and hired an experienced contractor from Switzerland. He saw that the house needed to be rebuilt so he bulldozed the foundations and began the process of laying a solid foundation. The old property manager hired his old buddy who although he wasn't experienced as a property manager was an old buddy who he used to build houses with. The new property manager got rid of the Swiss contractor and decided to bring in this up and coming maintenance man from Toronto. Although he came highly recommended he had only done bathroom renovations and not home construction. The new maintenance man had to go buy all his code books because he didn't know anything about home construction. As can be anticipated the foundation quickly became a muddy, disorganized quagmire. The new maintenance man Eakins can regularly be seen standing knee deep in the mud unable to decipher the master plan. Despite the rookie property managers best attempts to thwart the problem he brought in more plumbers instead of cribbers and carpenters. Today the construction site is over budget and well behind schedule. The foundation was reassessed by landlord Katz who determined that everything is proceeding as can be expected and that no further changes are required.

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#91 BobbyCanuck
March 11 2014, 11:08AM
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Oiltown3000 wrote:

Too long don't want to read that

Yeah Cervantes, quit making sense with these long posts...We have the collective attention span of a gnat

We do not mind posts as long as yours, as long as they make no sense, and trash the team. Note all your thumbs down, we simply cannot handle the truth...leave us alone

and remember the Oilers are only 4 players away from winning another handlful of cups (Gretzky, Kurri, Coffey, and Muni)

Wild sarcasm by the way, keep up the good thoughts Cervantes

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#92 John
March 11 2014, 11:17AM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

APROPOS OF NOTHING

I am really excited about George Strombolopolous taking over as host of HNIC! The new "Satellite Hot Stove" is going to feature Jann Arden, Rick Mercer, Tegan and Sara, and Steven Harper.

That would actually make for a pretty fiesty "Hot Stove".

Or Fiest-y

Sorry.

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#93 Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)
March 11 2014, 12:27PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

You're calling for yourself to be fired?

That had "walked into that one" written all over it! LMAO

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#94 2004Z06
March 11 2014, 01:28PM
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The biggest reason this team continues to suck is unfortunately the fans.

As long as we continue to fill the arena, purchase the gear and drink the kool-aid, there will be no change, no improvement, no incentive to achieve.

Any NHL city other than perhaps Toronto or Montreal would have abandoned this organization by now.

Does that make us the best fans in the world? Yes....Does it doom us to continued futility?

Hell yes!

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#95 Bonvie
March 11 2014, 01:41PM
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Zarny wrote:

Good grief, get a grip.

Hall has 109 pts in his last 102 games. That puts him in a group of about 9-10 players in the entire league who average more than a pt/gm.

Nuge, Yak and Schultz have played 165, 107 and 105 games respectively. Hall and Eberle just passed 200 games this year.

These aren't the guys? How the f*ck would you know? They've barely got their feet wet in the league.

The problem is the vast number of fans who thought a bunch of kids whose experience ranged from 48-195 games played at the start of the season were going to carry a team fully AHLers on their back.

I think the truth is found somewhere in the middle of these two comments. The problem definitely lies within our top 6 forwards and our top 3 defense.

As far as the top 6 forwards part of the problem is within the makeup of the top 6 lacking the size and grit its obvious to most that we have been lacking. You cant change the fact Eberle is a small skilled player you cant tell him to go out their and play like he is David Clarkson, the GM needs to balance these lines and be able to add that element within the top 6. That being said we have to keep in mind our top 6 is very young and all the veterans are 3rd or 4th liners or depth defenseman. Its the top 6 forwards and top 3 defenseman that decide how good your team is. Tweaking the depth defenseman and the fourth line amount to incremental changes that may result in your team edging out another playoff team that are equally matched, but these players cant impact a team enough to be able to get them out of the basement. All of theses players on our fourth line and depth d can be replaced by waivers or free agent signings cheaply or by wasting good draft picks to trade for these roll players, but in the end the changes will not impact the team in a meaningfull way.

When Eberle, Hall, Nugent and company get a bit older it will be easier to shoulder that load and outplay the other teams top lines. That line they made up of Eberle Nuge and Yakapov says it all such young players with no element of grit and strength to win battles. The other coach will continue to target that line to throw out his best line against them. They will get buried partly because of the youth ( they are barely out of junior) and partly because of the makeup lacking size and grit.

People need to stop believing our depth is hurting us because its basically a non factor like thinking if we had a better third line and our current third line played on the fourth line this would somehow make us so much better but in reality is that improvement would be very incremental.

When the team drafted Yakapov they went with bpa knowing they had too many players that matched his skills set and knowing that their weakness was on defense and center yet they grabbed him anyways. Two years later they still have not made a trade to compensate for that choice to balance out that makeup of the top 6 and lack of a top pair defense.

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#96 Oiler Al
March 11 2014, 02:29PM
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Good list but I would start with Lowe and then make the sweep down the line.

There is an old saying .. the fish rots from the head. ...

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#97 HemskyFan
March 11 2014, 02:57PM
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Very happy to see Hemsky getting some success and finally getting some fan love that was never found in Edmonton.

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#98 Towersofdub
March 11 2014, 03:20PM
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@Oil Can

Brent Sutter's NHL coaching career is over.

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#99 HardBoiledOil
March 12 2014, 05:51AM
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HemskyFan wrote:

Very happy to see Hemsky getting some success and finally getting some fan love that was never found in Edmonton.

you kidding? most Oiler fans wanted to resign this guy.

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#100 Rdubb
March 12 2014, 07:34AM
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One thing I am tired off is people who are bashing MacT, and the players whom are on the team, G & H, why? Because he was given this roster. He took over a roster that was assembled by his predecessor, so what has done? Well, he has been the most active GM in the NHL this season. He traded away Horc and got something back w/o having to retain salary. He moved Hemmer, all be it a little late. He, & the organization owed it to these two to move them somewhere else, good moves... He brought in a capable back-up tender, or at least 95% of us thought so, but it turned out BAD, as did our starter, what did MacT do? He moved them both and brought in 2 solid tenders, signed one and has the other for next yr, while only paying >$6M for the two, and they've both proven to be very good thus far... He has tried to add some size and grit, bringing in Hendricks, which was a great move in my opinion, and he is now wearing an A. Gordon has been nothing short of spectacular for what he was brought in for, winning draws and playing good defensively, Belov should have worked out, but hasn't, perhaps next yr he'll be more comfortable. He also traded for perhaps our future tender (5yrs away) and a goalie he and the organization knows very well. Yes, a few bad signings, but they were all cheap & inexpensive... Edmonton hasn't has a "pipeline" to the NHL for many yrs, and OKC seems to be helping out our young players as they can learn and play the system in which the organization wishes. Not to mention that it is much easier to get them playing time... This summer, and draft, will be a defining time for MacT and the Oilers, as he'll have to decide whom to move and whom to trade for and sign via FA, what parts CAN he add... My prediction is that he'll continue to tinker with the line-up, but will be able "move" things around in the top 6 and add a Fraser type D-man but with quicker foot speed and more skill. A trade with OTT will happen, and Lazar will wear Oiler silks next yr too... What we need is a big physical C, maybe a big LW (or RW), and a nasty D-man and a shut down D-man. Maybe Nurse is that "Nasty" guy, and I think he'll be an Oiler next yr. Whomever we draft, we'll be happy if he can step in and play like CGY's Monahan...

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