MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS

Jason Gregor
March 31 2014 03:51PM

huh1

As another season to forget winds down, there are more questions than answers, once again, surrounding the Oilers.

How many will be answered in the off-season, and how many will the individual players elect to try and rectify?

Why does everyone call the final few weeks a death march?

It isn't like they played great all year and are suddenly floundering down the stretch. The Oilers had another pathetic offensive showing last night. They were shut out for the 6th time at Rexall Place. They've been shutout in 6 of 37 home games and in nine others they've scored only once. In 40% of their home games they've scored once. That is horrific.

I can't agree that the reason the Oilers play bad down the stretch is because they just want the season to end. I'm sure they do, as do all of us, but what was the excuse for uninspired play in October and November?

Why is being good offensively not valued?

I read Lowetide's article on Schultz, and while we all point out his defensive issues, which are valid and understandable considering he's only played 115 games, at least he does one thing well: he produces points.

Over the last two seasons Schultz is 29th in points for D-men. He has 56 points in 115 games. I don't expect Schultz to ever be great defensively. I don't need to him to be on the ice protecting a lead in the final minute of the game, because his game is more suited to have helped you get the lead. He is the guy you have on the ice in the final minute if you are trying to tie the game. Only the elite D-men play in both of those scenarios.

He likely won't become a true #1 D-man, because he doesn't have the size or strength to shut down the best, skilled forwards. That is okay, the Oilers have four other young D-men who are 6'3", who skate well and should be looked upon to fill that role in the future. Marincin, Klefbom, Petry, Nurse and possibly Ekblad.

Of course, Schultz needs to improve his defensive zone play, and I believe he has taken small -- I repeat small -- strides this season. He doesn't run around his own zone as much as he did last year, and he takes better angles to pucks. But he has a long way to go to improve. He is only 115 games into his career, and very few offensive-minded D-men excel in their own end early in their career. He must continue to strive to be better defensively.

I'm surprised at how quickly many Oiler fans have written off Schultz, due to his defensive liabilities, but will rip anyone who criticizes one of the young forwards or Jeff Petry.

Petry's support group amongst Oiler fans, especially those who believe strongly in Corsi, is much stronger than the battle level we see on the ice most nights. The Petry supporters go crazy on Twitter if you mention that Petry needs to battle harder.

I've never once said the Oilers should trade Petry -- in fact I've written and said numerous times it would a foolish move -- but that doesn't mean you can't expect more from him -- I'm not asking him to become Jason Smith. However, like many of his teammates, he doesn't battle hard enough on a consistent basis.

This team has too many players who lose battles at important times in the game, or at important places on the ice. Petry isn't the only one, but he is one of them. Asking him to improve in that area is not ripping his overall game, it is pointing out a flaw that needs to be minimized if he wants to help the team succeed. Having the best Corsi rating on a bad team doesn't mean he is free of being critiqued. 

As Petry matures what area of the game do you feel he will impact the most?

The stats guys tell me the Oilers score more when he is on the ice, which is good, but how come he only has 16 points? Is he impacting the play or is he just on the ice? Will he contribute offensively on the scoreboard?

Would you say he is as defensively sound as Jan Hejda or Francois Beauchemin? Those guys have just as many points as Petry and have the same TOI. Will he become a solid shut down D-man?

Coaches say you need to be exceptional at one thing to stay in the league. Some guys can only fight, and they don't last long, but it keeps them in the league for a bit. If you can score goals, but are a defensive liability, teams will still find room for you. If you are a good penalty killer and can go up and down your wing, coaches keep you.

Petry has a good tool box, but I'm not sure we've seen what skill will become his calling card.

Will the Oilers improve if they get a legitimate top-pair blueline?

Of course, but that doesn't mean the rest of the team will magically learn how to be more competitive and consistent. The players have to want that for themselves, and many of them need to look in the mirror over the summer and realize they are the ones who can impact their desire and hunger on the ice.

Asking Petry and others to battle harder isn't asking for much in my opinion, it is pointing out the harsh reality of this team. 

They are not competitive enough on a shift-by-shift basis to win.

The record does not lie.

They aren't 29th by accident.

Are the Oiler defenders good in the offensive zone?

I ask this because I wanted to see if they have enough offensive instincts to help out in the offensive zone. Here is a quick chart of their 5-on-5 play of the guys who have played 500 minutes.

Player Name TOI Goals Assists Points Shots Missed Blocked Total
SCHULTZ, JUSTIN 1158:24:00 7 10 17 55 37 28 120
FERENCE, ANDREW 1203:42:00 2 11 13 67 20 42 129
PETRY, JEFF 1198:39:00 3 8 11 59 41 57 157
BELOV, ANTON 712:32:00 1 3 4 29 19 37 85
MARINCIN, MARTIN 560:28:00 0 3 3 19 15 22 56

The first thing you notice is how few shots they have. Ference has the most, and I think we'd expect Schultz and Petry to get more shots on goal. Petry shoots more, but he missed the net or had his shot blocked 98 times out of 157. One of the best skills a D-man can have in the offensive zone is the ability to get the puck on net. It isn't easy, but it is something I'd like to see the Oilers work on in practice.

Walking the puck across the blueline and shooting is one thing the Oilers do in practice, but if there is no forward in the shooting lane how does the D-man learn to shoot around or through legs? That might be a small detail, but I wonder if it should be practiced more often.

The Oilers only have two D-men in the top-100 in shots; Schultz is 77th with 97 shots and Petry is 100th with 82. Having more offensive zone time would help, but neither of those two are natural shooters. They are always looking to pass, which is why at 5-on-5 Ference has more shots than both of them.

The frustrating thing is that Devan Dubnyk said Petry had the scariest shot on the team. Schultz has also shown he can fire the puck, and I'm perplexed why neither guy wants to unleash it more often. The Oilers have to find a way to get these guys to shoot more.

What type of contracts will Schultz and Petry receive?

petry1

Schultz shouldn't be paid more than Petry on his next deal, and neither one of them has shown a lengthy stretch of consistency over the past two seasons. I'd give them both a gap contract. If they play great and deserve a big raise afterwards, good on them.

Are they locks to be a top-pair defender over the next two seasons, or beyond? I don't see it, so there is no reason to offer them a long-term deal. Had the Oilers waited until Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were done their entry level deals, only Hall would be making $6 million/season. Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins would likely have signed shorter and cheaper deals.

I'd pay Petry $3.5-$4 million over three years and Schultz should get a two-year deal in the range of $2.4-$2.7 million. Petry is 26 and you might have to pay him a bit more due to his impending UFA status, but I don't see any reason to pay him more than $4 million.

Do you see any comparisons that his agent would use in arbitration that would pay him more?

Will Craig MacTavish move out some friends?

The Oilers coaching staff has 6 years of head coaching experience, while the other 6 Pacific Division teams have an average of 26 years. Will MacTavish let Eakins pick his own staff? Read here. 

Did this "ad" seem legit or fishy to you?

This ad ran in the Edmonton Journal on Saturday? Does anyone know Jay Brown? Do any other fans think the same about being a fan as he wrote in his last line, "Please (Oilers) keep trying your best, and we will try harder to be the fans you deserve." It just seems like something a fan wouldn't say. Smells fishy to me.

Will next year be better?

I'm an optimist, but unless MacTavish manages to make three of four major moves I don't see the Oilers being a playoff team next year. I hope I'm wrong, because everyone is tired of talking about a losing team. I'd expect the Oilers overall point totals to improve, but jumping up 30 points will be tough.

It is possible, Colorado did it this year, but it will be extremely difficult.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR:

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Zarf
March 31 2014, 04:32PM
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That’s a great ad. Kudos to whomever this “Jay Brown” is. And I’m saying this un-ironically. I’m assuming that Brown is sincere.

OK … I don’t particularly agree with the last line of the ad. I don’t think Oiler fans need to “try harder,” but I do think that fans here need to be more realistic.

I moved here from Grande Prairie a few months ago and one of the things that we always assumed up there was that Edmonton had some of the most knowledgeable and passionate fans in the NHL. From a distance, they most certainly are. But, now that I live here, I’m surprised at how remarkably unsophisticated many of them are.

Throwing a jersey on the ice is full of symbolism… but only in the eye of the beholder.

To some fans, it’s a wonderful act of defiance – but really only if it’s an act of finality. If either of the two jersey-throwers have come back to watch a game, then tossing a jersey was a hollow gesture. To other fans, it’s a shameless waste of an expensive jersey that a lot of poor kids would die to have (the fact that the first jersey toss took place a few days before Christmas made it a shameful symbol of jingoistic petulance that could only happen in a fat-cat province). To some fans, it was an act of disloyalty.

To the players and coaches, it most certainly is. The defiant reactions of both Eakins and Scrivens speak volumes. In the hockey culture, there are no more sacred symbols than the logo and the jersey. Never mind the NHL media, ask any reporter toiling away at a small town on the Prairies what happened to them when they walked across the logo on the dressing room carpet of the local Junior A team. They would have been chewed out right then and there by a trainer or coach or player. It’s not something that’s done. Oiler fans should know that. Not understanding that speaks volumes.

Meanwhile, the other night, some bozo in Calgary threw an Oilers jersey on the ice during a game in which the Oilers weren’t even playing. And, given the amount of creativity and original ideas flowing out of the Calgary fandom (it’s been chanting “Shoot!” at every Oilers defenceman wearing No. 5 since April 1986), I imagine Oilers jerseys will be catching snow on the Saddledome ice quite a bit over the next couple of decades. Hope it was worth it.

Is Jay Brown a “real fan?” I believe he is. And I think he represents the common-sense element of the Oilers fandom who just stuck his neck out.

For the most part, he speaks for me. I have no problem admitting that.

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#2 Soccer Steve
March 31 2014, 03:58PM
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Flush our D down the toilet and get 6 new guys.

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#3 Spoils
March 31 2014, 04:36PM
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props if you want Eakins fired.

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#4 rickithebear
March 31 2014, 08:26PM
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Jason; the instant your station became TSN. you became a maple leaf apologist. Draw attention from the laughs.

Edmonton oilers versus the east last 10 5-3-2 .600 % last 15 8-4-3 .633%

Toronto versus the east last 10 2-8-0 .200% Last 15 4-9-2 .333%

there are a lot of eastern teams that are not in our league!

There are 7 teams on a different level. SJS, ANA, CHI, STL, COL, LAK, BOS

The oilers are better than .500 against the rest.

Hall-Arco-XXX Perron-XXX-Eberle XXX-RNH-XXX hendricks-Gordon-XXX

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#5 oilguy
March 31 2014, 04:56PM
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Hall-nuge-perron Yak- Anisimov- couturier Pitlick -Gordon - Bolland Hendricks- Boyle- Gazdic

nikitin-schultz Ference-Markov Marincin-Petry (Klefbom, Ekblad, Nurse)

Scrivens Fasth

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#6 Max
March 31 2014, 07:11PM
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Rumor has it that David Booth could be bought out at the end of season by Nuks - he's the right age, has made some great plays lately. He could be a good fit on our 3rd line.

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#7 Oiler Al
March 31 2014, 10:02PM
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PapaMike wrote:

What the heck happened to Gadzic? Shoulder surgery and out for six months?

Not sure if its shoulder or brain surgery?

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#8 Oilerboy1112
March 31 2014, 06:10PM
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Prop if you think there is a higher chance of getting McDavid next year

Trash if you think there is a higher chance of making the playoff next year

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#9 blainer
March 31 2014, 06:19PM
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oilguy wrote:

Hall-nuge-perron Yak- Anisimov- couturier Pitlick -Gordon - Bolland Hendricks- Boyle- Gazdic

nikitin-schultz Ference-Markov Marincin-Petry (Klefbom, Ekblad, Nurse)

Scrivens Fasth

Take out Gazdic and that team not only makes it to the playoffs but could do some damage.

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#10 RexHolez
March 31 2014, 04:00PM
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You forgot a question....

How many years of absolute failure will it take before Lowe is removed?

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#11 Spydyr
March 31 2014, 04:39PM
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Spoils wrote:

props if you want Eakins fired.

OK I will play props if you want Lowe fired.

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#12 book¡e
April 01 2014, 10:56AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

well, back in January there was a tidbit floating around the interwebs (hfboards, calgarypuck etc)

I have it on very good authority that the Oilers have hired a private PR/Social media company based out of Vancouver. The goal of the campaign is to promote the promise and the upside of the Oilers, while highlighting the great work of the management team under difficult circumstances and the respect of the Oilers management team around the NHL. The firm has talking notes from the Oilers and were given a list of message boards to visit and post. These are third party so called social media experts working on behalf of the Oilers. The responses will be very generic and pro Oilers

perhaps "Operation Jay Brown" is phase 2 of the project? you know, after phase 1 went over like a fart at the massage parlour?

Really, I think this is a good strategy by the management team under difficult circumstances. While we like to dwell on the on-ice challenges of a young team progressing towards future success, the management needs to continue its great work in maintaining a good public opinion of the team and organization. I, for one, am glad to see that the Oilers management are going the extra mile to do this. This is probably why they are respected leaguewide. That is if this rumour about paid comments were true, which it probably isn't.

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#13 Zarf
April 01 2014, 11:22AM
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RexHolez wrote:

Is there anything more emberassing than being an oiler fan? I'd rather be seen walking down the street in a too too and high heels than anything with an "ILOSER" logo on it

Um… OK. Great scoop.

Here’s the thing, dude: EVERY COMPANY, EVERY SPORTS TEAM AND EVERY GOVERNMENT ENTITY hires PR firms to accentuate the positive and minimalize the negative.

Everybody spins. Everybody.

But I think you’re being a bit cray-cray if you’re thinking that the PR firms are taking time to buy ads in local papers or posting counter-revolutionary stuff on the message boards.

I worked in newspapers and now I work in PR and I can tell you that if Jay Brown was not real, we’d know by now. How? Because sales reps at newspapers are always floating story tips to editors at the same newspapers. Hell, that’s how we got half our story tips – sales reps are often the eyes and ears around town (they pound the pavement far more often than the reporters do) and if they sold an ad to someone who was connected to the Oilers, even indirectly, they’d find out. And it would get outed. No sales rep would ever stand for anything that makes their paper look bad. No way.

And here’s another thing you all have to realize: The world isn’t as exciting as you think it is. Conspiracy theories are, more often than not, the product of active imaginations. That’s one of the first things you learn when start working in the media – almost always, the plain-old boring explanation is the truth.

In this case, I believe the boring explanation is the truth. It’s a real ad from someone who has no connections with the Oilers. It’s a brave person, no doubt … but one who probably is a bit too scolding of the fanbase right now. I think it’s a bit foolish to say that the fans should be better … but, like I said earlier, I do understand where he’s coming from.

Living in the natural habitat of the Edmonton hockey fan has provided an eye-opening display of jersey-tossing, public billboards calling for the firing of the team’s president and claims that pro-Oiler newspaper ads are fake simply because they aren’t angry enough.

And just when I thought I’d seen it all, someone pines for the days of Peter Pocklington.

Dude, if Peter Puck were the owner, players would be getting time-shares in Barbados as signing bonuses in lieu of actual money, guys like RNH, Hall and Eberle would be bolting after their rookie contracts expired, and the downtown arena project would be a complete pipedream.

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#14 mayorblaine
March 31 2014, 04:08PM
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Jay Brown does NOT speak for me.

do what you wish fans, it is your right and responsibility to demand value for your money.

i see Schultz as a young Duncan Keith. there is plenty of upside.

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#15 2015Playoffs?Nope!
March 31 2014, 04:13PM
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Listen Jay, Edmonton is/was called the City of Champions for a lot more then just a few Stanley Cups. Dont pretend that this city is only obsessed with the Oilers. There was a dark day when a tornado tossed this city around like every NHL team does to the Oilers and how the city came together and got through it and rebuilt is why we will always refer to us as the City of Champions.

Not because of a tired organization living in the past glory days of retired athletes.

Edmonton is much more then the City of the Oilers.

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#16 120 stitches
April 01 2014, 10:50AM
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I strongly feel the entire managerial and coaching staff should be let go at the end of the season. The case against Kevin Lowe and Dallas Eakins has been well made. What bothers me is a significant portion of the fan base seems to have more tolerance for McT staying on. I think he is as big a part of this mess as anyone else. You have to look at his whole body of work. Due to his closeness with KLowe you would think most of the personnel moves when he was coach occurred with his input and concurrence. Second, when he came back as assistant manager he would have been heavily involved in personnel decisions during this time because they admit to taking a collaborative approach. I would be willing to bet Tambellini was a minor player in the decision making made during this time McT was asst. gm. You know what it is like when you have someone looking over your shoulder who is the heir apparent to your job. As far as his tenure since being appointed GM 1) he has proven to be a very poor talent assessor. He was willing to give Clarkson even more money and term than the Maple Leafs. What a disaster that would have been? His recruitment of grebeshkov instead of Gilbert another serious mistake. His free agent piickups Joennssu and Belov we're poor decisions. Bringing in 3 Toronto Marli players who are not NHL caliber. The trade for Fraser will come back to haunt the Oilers when Hartakeilan is playing effective 3rd line minutes for the Leafs next year 2) hiring an experienced coach on a 4 year contract and then not letting him hire his own assistants. Whatt were you thinking Craig when you gave an untested coach a 4 year contract? There were so many solid coaches available last summer. 3) then the long term contracts for Eberle, Hall and Hopkins. You said it was a no brainier for everyone in the organization to give Hopkins that contract. Have you watched him play recently? Any parent knows you don't spoil your children. You don't buy them a BMW for their 18th birthday. A bridging contract would have been much wiser until you saw what you had with these players. Now you have Hopkins going around town buying race horses. 4) the Gagner contract- he is untradeable because of that decision unless the Oilers take significant money back 5) missing out on picking up Joe Colborne and Patrick Holland , big centermen,who could have been picked up for a song.. Colborne has played very well for Calgary.Holland has strong potential to be a top six centre. He is caught in a numbers game in Toronto but will play for them next year.

5) Andrew Ference -quite frankly I have been very unimpressed with his play-- it is going to get worse as we have 3 more years where his play will decline further because of his advancing age. Another untraceable contract because of the term and money left on it. Taylor Fedun can play as well as this guy has shown

I could go on further but I do not want to hog the space. I have been disgusted by the lack of effort of this team particularly over the last few games. Serious changes have to be made.

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#17 backup bob
April 01 2014, 08:49AM
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The Montreal La Presse reported this morning,that UFA Hayley Wickenheiser has been signed by the Edmonton Oilers. Wickenheiser is expected to center the second line. Terms and conditions to be announced.

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#18 Spydyr
March 31 2014, 04:51PM
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Only an arrogant out of touch organization like the Oilers would run an advertisement like that.

Speaks volumes to the mindset of "The Braintrust".

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#19 jdaly
March 31 2014, 04:56PM
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I would keep Schultz, Petry, Ference in the top 6. I would sign Belov as my 7th D. The other 3 we need fresh blood. Klefbom and Nurse should develop in the A and OHL respectively. If we sign Ekblad, he would be best of back i Junior. Young D seldom have good stats if put into the show to early. We need some more good Vets!

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#20 He Who Knows
March 31 2014, 05:14PM
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The biggest disaster in Oilers history was Katz. That fateful summer of 2008. We were duped.

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#21 oilguy
March 31 2014, 05:14PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

You forgot Crosby and Suban.

Not sure how this is unrealistic. Over pay a bunch of FA than use gagner, eberle, Gernat or other d prospects to get couturier and anisimov.

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#22 hagargt
March 31 2014, 08:37PM
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Oilerboy1112 wrote:

Prop if you think there is a higher chance of getting McDavid next year

Trash if you think there is a higher chance of making the playoff next year

Props if the oilers finish out of the top 5 bottom, and trash if they miss the playoffs by 3 spots.

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#23 Spydyr
March 31 2014, 04:35PM
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"Please (Oilers) keep trying your best, and we will try harder to be the fans you deserve."

Should read:

"Please (Oilers) START trying your best,and try harder to appreciate the die-hard fans you don't deserve."

Fixed it

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#24 james_dean
March 31 2014, 09:04PM
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Who will manage a cup finals first?

Props for sather trash for mact

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#25 RexHolez
March 31 2014, 09:52PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Of course it's advertising bought and paid for by the Oilers - if a fan wanted to express his opinion, he'd write a letter to the editor and hope it gets published for free, not pay big money (several thousand dollars by today's rates) to publish such a transparent pile of pig manure. "Jay Brown", give me a break. "Jay Brown-nose " more like.

This is what Oiler management thinks of us, the die-hard fans. "Buy our tickets (fourth most expensive in the NHL), pay our freight, put up with us mailing it in on a nightly (yearly) basis, let us, by our sheer incompetence, turn a glorious franchise into the laughing stock of North American professional sport, but don't you dare criticize our performance. You haven't earned the right to do what you want with the jersey you bought with your hard-earned money . If you use a jersey that you bought with your money to express your dissatisfaction, then you aren't a "real" fan."

Wow. Every time I think this team has hit rock bottom, they swing open another trap door.

Peter Pocklington, a man I had very little respect for, once said something that made sense. He said a person doesn't own a hockey team - he holds it in trust for the community it represents. He, of course, betrayed that trust. But this group of clowns have taken betrayal to another level altogether.

"We'll try harder to be the fans you deserve". The fans you deserve? After missing the playoffs for 8 years? You think you deserve fans?

As sad as it is, I miss Peter Pocklington

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#26 Shifty203
March 31 2014, 04:09PM
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So Lowe takes out an Ad under the guise of a fan. Proabably buys the first copy on Sunday, highlights it, and sends it to Katz?

"See Daryl, the fans love us. Just some bad apples".

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#27 tealyn
March 31 2014, 04:12PM
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pretty sure that ad was most likely paid for by someone in the oilers organization.

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#28 jonrmcleod
March 31 2014, 05:59PM
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"Petry's support group amongst Oiler fans, especially those who believe strongly in Corsi, is much stronger than the battle level we see on the ice most nights. The Petry supporters go crazy on Twitter if you mention that Petry needs to battle harder."

No one says Petry is perfect. Obviously there's room for lots of improvement. But people do get annoyed when he's not identified as the Oilers' best defender. It should be noted that he often faces the opposition's best forwards.

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#29 Milos
April 01 2014, 08:46AM
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Spydyr wrote:

OK I will play props if you want Lowe fired.

props if you want Katz to sell the team to a new ownership group.

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#30 Will
March 31 2014, 04:17PM
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Colorado is a tough comparison since they've looked like a team for a few years now just waiting to put the pieces together. Strong goal tending is what helped them do that this year, but that won't likely be a recipe for playoff success.

The Oilers, by contrast have been sold as a team that just needed to put it all together, but are really a team in need of two or three key pieces.

Of all the moves Mac T can make in the off season, I hope he realizes that this team is never going to win with the same player at every top six forward position, and no legit top pairing D men.

He desperately needs to bring in some stop gap D men to mentor the huge influx of young talent coming up that will one day make up our D core. And he needs to shake up the top six by adding some still young veterans, who want to be apart of the team going forward, and demonstrate a compete and work ethic not seen in 80% of our young talented forwards.

These players all seem readily available in free agency, otherwise it might be time to bite the bullet and take a deal that is high cost, but beneficial long term. As in maybe it's time to see what a first round pick + a wonder kid can actually get us.

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#31 Ed in Edmonton
March 31 2014, 04:18PM
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I'm quite confident that the current Oilers (and when I say current Oilers I mean everyone from Owner on down)are relieved they are not getting the fan support they deserve.

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#32 Oiler Al
March 31 2014, 05:11PM
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oilguy wrote:

Hall-nuge-perron Yak- Anisimov- couturier Pitlick -Gordon - Bolland Hendricks- Boyle- Gazdic

nikitin-schultz Ference-Markov Marincin-Petry (Klefbom, Ekblad, Nurse)

Scrivens Fasth

You forgot Crosby and Suban.

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#33 Robin Brownlee
March 31 2014, 05:52PM
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oilguy wrote:

Not sure how this is unrealistic. Over pay a bunch of FA than use gagner, eberle, Gernat or other d prospects to get couturier and anisimov.

That's the problem. You think it could happen.

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#34 Serious Gord
March 31 2014, 06:52PM
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Chri$t Jason you are a sports journalist and you have a radio show. Go hunt down this Jay Brown. Do some investigate journalism. Be a journalist.

If you find him to be a real person then get him on the air - he bought an ad you would think he would love the attention.

If he's fake - If this is PR stunt of the most odious kind by the oilers then expose it and let's tell the world what frauds this teams management is. At the very least someone should get fired for it. The humiliation - no doubt it would make sports headlines across North America - may even bring about some change.

...

There is a reason to call it a "death march" - its probably the toughest part of their schedule:

Here are the last ten games and their conference rank in the league standings:

SJ-3 Anh-2 NYR-5 SJ-3 Anh-2 PHX-8 Anh-2 Col-4 LA-6 Van-10

Only van isn't going to the playoffs. It's entirely possible they don't get another point or may not get another regulation win.

All the more damning that they have as bad a record thusfar and have yet to play the hardest part of their schedule.

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#35 kale
March 31 2014, 09:34PM
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Dang I bet the Senators and their fans are loving having Hemsky...Hes been over a point per game and was the first star again tonight..Ottawa wants to sign him and I bet Spezza decides to stick around along with Michalek

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#36 China town man
March 31 2014, 10:08PM
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Next year's plans should be, allowing Dallas to hire his own staff and bring some players that he needs to play his weird system that none of the current oilers understand, than fire him one after going losing 20 straight games, then mac T can coach this Team because he is the only option left, because no One else will dare come into the oilers organization because it will then be a curse to any coach who stand behind the oilers bench!!!!

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#37 Ed in Edmonton
March 31 2014, 04:09PM
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Ferraro hit the nail on the head (as he usually does) on your show today.

The Oil cannot be afraid to trade on of their prized young assets because he might be great somewhere else. You must assess a trade on only if it helps your team, what the player(s) traded away may do is of no importance.

I always find it odd when fans (or even media sorts) say so and so cannot be traded, as Gregor does wrt Petry above. Any player is trade-able if the deal is right.

Even Gretzky was traded (i.e from the Kings to the Blues, I am not referring to the sale from Pocklington to McNall).

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#38 Jay87
March 31 2014, 04:14PM
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Not that I need to say anything but just in case that jersey throwing post I made in the heat after that 1-8 loss comes back to haunt me again... I just wanted to say even though I'm a brown Jay, Jay Brown isn't me.

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#39 hemi
March 31 2014, 07:09PM
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That is one beauty of an add. The writer(s) of the Oil’s PR team has really come together to hopefully try and shame the everyday disgruntled Oil fan. Perhaps there fans amongst us that are pure enough to buy into this bedtime story. I have exactly zero proof that this was written by the Oil organization which leaves me to my opinion only.

I have seen more than a few seasons pass me by and like most, I have been fooled a time or two by friends and foes and of course the odd car dealership but this add is so far removed from truthfulness that even the most naive person with pure thoughts can see the falsehood.

Would the Oil PR sink this low?

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#40 Pouzar99
March 31 2014, 07:19PM
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It is true that the Oilers are woefully short of coaches with NHL experience. The solution is not to beat the bushes for experienced, proven NHL coaches to help Eakins. It is too find such a coach to REPLACE Eakins and bring in his own assistants.

Eakins has had an easier schedule, a better roster and far less key injuries to deal with and the team, especially the key young players, have significantly regressed under his leadership. Stop making excuses for him. He has failed abysmally by any measure and things are obviously not getting better.

No, Eakins and his assistants are not solely to blame. The organization as a whole has obviously been incompetently run for years. Really, at this point, what aspect of it does a reasonable person have confidence in? The president? The pro Scouts? The amateur scouts? MacT has gotten some things right, but hiring Eakins is a huge black mark against his name. And yes, the players cannot escape responsibility either. Their overall work ethic this season has been far, far short of acceptable, although I think a total absence or structure is part of it. I thought Eakins' ability to motivate player was supposed to be his calling card. What happened to that. Next there will be a suggestion that he needs to bring in a motivational coach as well as a special teams coach and a strategy 101 course.

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#41 Brian
March 31 2014, 07:24PM
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That ad stinks worse than KLowe's denials that he has his hand on daily operations of this Titanic-like team.

Start a fundraiser: 50% to charity and 50% to Jay Brown. Flush him out if indeed he exists.

We'll try harder to be the fans that the Oilers deserve? As Ozzie Guillon would say; "Please".

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#42 Brian
March 31 2014, 07:44PM
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And they thought of everything. Sign it Jay Brown, Canadian instead of Edmontonion, Calgarian , Torontonian or any other specific location just makes it harder to find the guy, if he exists. And thd name is like one would use checking into the No-tell Motel.

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#43 Oilerboy1112
March 31 2014, 08:43PM
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hagargt wrote:

Props if the oilers finish out of the top 5 bottom, and trash if they miss the playoffs by 3 spots.

This is a hard one.

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#44 tileguy
April 01 2014, 10:37AM
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backup bob wrote:

The Montreal La Presse reported this morning,that UFA Hayley Wickenheiser has been signed by the Edmonton Oilers. Wickenheiser is expected to center the second line. Terms and conditions to be announced.

An excellent gristled vet we have been searching for, well done MacT.

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#45 RexHolez
April 01 2014, 10:42AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

well, back in January there was a tidbit floating around the interwebs (hfboards, calgarypuck etc)

I have it on very good authority that the Oilers have hired a private PR/Social media company based out of Vancouver. The goal of the campaign is to promote the promise and the upside of the Oilers, while highlighting the great work of the management team under difficult circumstances and the respect of the Oilers management team around the NHL. The firm has talking notes from the Oilers and were given a list of message boards to visit and post. These are third party so called social media experts working on behalf of the Oilers. The responses will be very generic and pro Oilers

perhaps "Operation Jay Brown" is phase 2 of the project? you know, after phase 1 went over like a fart at the massage parlour?

Is there anything more emberassing than being an oiler fan? I'd rather be seen walking down the street in a too too and high heels than anything with an "ILOSER" logo on it

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#46 Zarny
April 01 2014, 02:52PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Zarny, don't be such a KNOB!This is a hockey blog, and not a grade four spelling bee.

What's the big deal... you get the message!

If spelling is your thing than find another site to sheet on people over nothing. You think it makes you look smarter by putting other people down.

You're right this isn't a grade four spelling bee.

Otherwise he would have spelled the word embarrassing correctly.

It doesn't make me look smarter; it simply makes you look stupid.

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#47 Ryan
March 31 2014, 04:27PM
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I was watching 30 for 30 on the NYI ownership scandal in the mid 90s and there was an interesting interview portion with Wayne Gretzky. He talked about that he thought he knew what it took to win a cup, but never truly knew it until 1983 when the Islanders swept the series. He said he remembered walking by the isles dressing room after game 4 and the door was open, he looked inside expecting celebration and emotion, but what he saw was a group of thoroughly beaten down men who were physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted to a degree greater than he could ever imagined. He went on to say that was when he fully realized what is needed to win a championship in the nhl. the following year the oilers won their first cup.

That story really resonated with me and made me think of the current issue oilers. Yes they are young and small and inexperienced, but i think above all else they have absolutely no concept of what it takes to be successful in the nhl. That's not to hate on the oilers, because i wouldn't necessarily expect them to, but it just goes to show that we still have a looooooong way to go as a hockey club.

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#48 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
March 31 2014, 04:43PM
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This Jay Brown thing has to be a poorly timed April Fools joke right?

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#49 The Real Scuba Steve
March 31 2014, 06:37PM
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tealyn wrote:

pretty sure that ad was most likely paid for by someone in the oilers organization.

Just talking about this Jay Brown is what the Oilers what. It's B.S.

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#50 6 ring circus
March 31 2014, 08:18PM
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Jay Brown is one of the following:

A. Does not exist. B. Patrick Laforge. C. Kevin Lowe. D. Daryl Katz's son. E. This is what the brain trust of the Oilers organization thinks of Oilers fans, to make up a phoney name and write a fictitious advertisement. BRUTAL just like the hockey team.

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