Monday Mailbag - April 14th

baggedmilk
April 14 2014 02:00PM

sexymailwoman

Pull up a chair, stop pretending to work and let's get to learning. It's time for our weekly tradition of taking your questions and throwing them out to our writers to get their feedback. If you want to submit a question, email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com. Be sure to include your Twitter handle (if you have one) for your 13 seconds of Internet stardom! 

Enjoy...

yousuck

1) Martin G asks - Do you think the management cares about the feedback from the oilers fans? Should they?

Robin Brownlee:

They care if that feedback impacts the bottom line. Of course they should care, especially as it pertains to game night experience.

Jonathan Willis:

Not really, no, and not really, no. Hockey operations has been a mess for years in Edmonton, but Craig MacTavish isn't going to fix it by worrying about what the fans as a whole like and don't like.

Lowetide:

I think the Oilers are very aware of their season ticket holders opinion. The club does a lot of things during the year to inform them, and does several surveys to get an idea about the prevailing mood. I don't think they should be concerned about the short term, but at some point (like NOW) patience has to be wearing thin. If—as has been implied by some—the Yakupov selection was in any way influenced by the fans wishes, then that's a dire situation.

Jason Gregor:

I do think management should listen to fans when it comes to game day experience. The fans pay big bucks to go watch and at least the game-day presentation should be better. Music for instance. As for MacTavish, I doubt Ken Holland makes moves based on what his fans think, and I’d hope MacTavish is the same. I’d say the Oilers don’t listen to the fans/media when you look at what moves they’ve made in recent years.

Wanye: 

Never have I witnessed a company earning 9 figures in revenue annually that looks down its nose at its customers more than the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club. Oilers management treats us with complete disdain at worst and moderate distaste at best. Save for MacT who is actually a gem. But it won't always be like this.

Jason Strudwick: 

I am sure it bothers them. Even if many fans don't agree I believe they are doing what they feel is best to create a winner.

Brian Sutherby: 

I'm sure they care and seriously consider feedback that is reasonable. You cannot listen to it all. A sold out barn every night, however, makes things easier to dismiss.

baggedmilk:

#SmyttyForCaptain worked! You know they see the feedback. Whether they listen is a different story altogether. I say keep it coming, say it loud - they can't ignore us forever.


Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 11.08.19 AM

2) @gippygr3wal asks - Do you think Scrivens and Fasth can hold it down in net next year? Is inexperience still an issue?

Robin Brownlee:

Scrivens has a two-year bridge deal to prove he's the guy. Good arrangement. He hasn't given me any reason to think he's not capable of being the No. 1 guy here.

Jonathan Willis:

Probably. Both guys have been in the average starter range in terms of their career numbers, and having two guys introduces both an element of internal competition and a fallback option in case of injury/struggles. But neither has been a quality NHL goalie for long enough to be a sure thing, so the possibility of both falling short exists, even if it is unlikely.

Lowetide:

The goaltending should be solid for a few seasons. The next item is to find an inner solution for the next time goalies cycle through. It's not completely clear to me which of the current goalies will be the starter, and that's a good thing. Competition should allow both goalies to push for better results.

Jason Gregor:

I don’t think experience is an issue. If MacTavish adds some proven vets throughout his lineup the goalie’s job will be easier. I’m not sure either one is a proven 55-game starter, but between the two they should be okay.

Wanye: 

Put it this way - the goaltending of the Edmonton Oilers is no longer the reason we are losing hockey games. This is the first time in 4 or 5 seasons that we can say that.

Jason Strudwick: 

This fall there was one goalie to pin your hopes on, next year there are two. I am not convinced because neither goalie has proven to be a starter in the NHL but I feel comfortable giving them a shot.

Brian Sutherby: 

I like Scrivens a lot. He seems very composed and controlled in the net and has the ability to make that huge save. He appears to be a vocal guy off the ice which can't hurt this team. I didn't see anything this year (with hopefully the worst blue line he will ever see in front of him) that would lead me to believe he can't be the guy they have been looking for.

baggedmilk:

Ben Scrivens is a saint! To think that he has put up numbers behind the shitacular defence that the Oilers have in front of him is amazing. I'm happy he re-signed. Fasth is very handsome. 


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3) @SMaloughney asks - There seems to be a lot of young defenceman coming up in the system, which youngster do you think is most likely to stick with the team next year? (Marincin, Klefbom, Nurse etc) Can we keep them all? If not, which is most likely to be traded?

Robin Brownlee:

Marincin and Klefbom will stick. You can keep them all, you just can't have all of them here next season. Trade? Why? Are the Oilers going to go from not having enough real NHL defensemen to having too many in one year? I think not.

Jonathan Willis:

Marincin, because Marincin's been the Oilers' best left-side defender this season on merit (which says terrifying things about the Oilers' defence, but that's a different topic). I think it's possible for the Oilers to keep all three of their star D prospects; if Klefbom makes the jump halfway through next year, Marincin should be close to the 82-game mark, and if Nurse makes the jump the next season Klefbom should be near that number too. It's a lot of inexperience, but it's possible.

Lowetide:

I think Martin Marincin should be considered the only lock for next year. If the club can send Oscar Klefbom down, send Nurse to junior, and have Dillon Simpson begin his career in the AHL the team will be better off long term. I do think they will have to deal someone down the line, but wouldn't hazard a guess as to which player it will be—too many variables.

Jason Gregor:

Marincin to start. MacTavish needs to sign some veterans and if Klefbom beats them out of a job in camp, great, but there is nothing wrong if he plays 20-30 games in AHL next year. I’d give Nurse another year of junior. I don’t see why the Oilers can’t keep all three of them, but if they want to acquire a top-pairing D-man then one of them will likely be part of the package to acquire said asset.

Wanye: 

Nurse stays any number of the rest could get packaged up imho.

Jason Strudwick: 

Marincin. The rest I would put where they can play the most. This back end doesn't need all the youth breaking into the NHL at the same time. Spread them out. TRADE -- are you nuts? I wouldn't trade one.

Brian Sutherby: 

Marincin - he needs a few cheeseburgers this off-season but I like his size and poise with the puck, and what he did in his 44 games was impressive.  Klefbom is not far behind. I hope they keep Nurse in junior for another year, let him dominate and play World Juniors.

baggedmilk:

I don't see why they can't keep them all, but they sure as funk better not think it's a good idea to play them all in the show next season. More veterans please. Stop rushing kids into positions they're not prepared for.


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4) Jonathan Milroy asks - Of all of the positions on the ice, which is the most important to build around? (Centre, Wing, Defence, Goalie) Which is the least?

Robin Brownlee:

Centre. Defence. Goal

Jonathan Willis:

Probably defence is the most important. I've seen a lot of teams get by with 'not much' up front with a heavy defensive gameplan, but I can't recall many teams that got by with a weak blue line (the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes excepted). The least important is in net; every year the goalie market seems to be overpopulated and it's consequently not hard to fix problems there (look at what MacTavish added this season - Bryzgalov, Scrivens, Fasth - at virtually no cost).

Lowetide:

I'm going to cheat a little and say "up the middle", as in G, D and C. The Oilers need foundation pieces at each spot, and right now have only Nuge at center. If Nurse or others can develop into franchise defensemen, and Scrivens can become that for the goalie position, Edmonton will push for a Stanley. The least important position is RW, as it is the position with the most 'replacement level' or above options available.

Jason Gregor:

I’d lean towards an elite #1 centre followed closely by a D-man. I’d say wing is the least important of the four, but that doesn’t mean an elite winger can’t have a major impact on your team.

Wanye: 

I think this totally depends on the player. You can build a team around anyone provided they have the talent and more importantly the character to be a franchise player.

Jason Strudwick: 

Wing is the least important. The have the least amount of responsibility on the ice every shift. Goalie/D are the two hardest to play. If you are solid there they can be the foundation for success.

Brian Sutherby: 

Defence for me then Centre. I think if you have a great blue line it makes everyone better. Think about what Pronger did for teams he was on. The Devils with Niedermayer and Stevens. Lidstrom's impact in Detroit. Are the Bruins really where they are without Chara? Even the Preds, before Suter left, made the playoffs more often than not with a deep blue line and not much else. Start on the back end and build around. Wing is the least important.

baggedmilk:

I think Centre is most important because they have a lot of responsibility out on the ice. A very close second is Defence. A good defenceman can make a lot of problems go away. I guess my answer is, get better players than what we have now. Thank you.


puzzle

5) Patrick Goon asks - Why do you think Colorado's rebuild came together so quickly compared to the Oilers? Was it Nathan Mackinnon outperforming our draft picks? Or did they have better overall pieces in their puzzle?

Robin Brownlee:

Better complimentary players in Colorado.

Jonathan Willis:

I think there are a few different ways to look at that. For one, a lot has gone right for Colorado this year - I think we'll see that team's performance dip in 2014-15. Another comes down to goaltending. Last season, Colorado's starter had a 0.903 save percentage; this year he's sitting at 0.927. Last year, Edmonton's starter had a 0.921 save percentage; this year he's the third-best goalie for the Hamilton Bulldogs. So last year, the Avs and Oilers were neck-and-neck while Edmonton had great goaltending and Colorado had terrible; in other areas the Avalanche were a better team even then.

Lowetide:

For me, people sometimes look at one season as being 'established level' of ability. History tells us that three seasons of a certain level—be it player or team—gives us an indication of actual ability. I would suggest Colorado is extremely likely to fall back next season and be one of the major disappointments of 2014-15.

Jason Gregor:

The Avs haven’t missed the playoffs eight years in a row. They missed playoffs in 2007 (with 95 points), made them in 2008, missed in 2009, made them in 2010, then missed in 2011-2013. They’d go from being competitive to brutal and that allowed them to grab Duchene in 2009 and Landeskog in 2011. They also did a great job of drafting different positions and different types of players in the first round. They didn’t draft all skilled wingers with their first pick four out of five years. That has allowed them to have a good mix in their top-six now. 

O’Reilly and Stastny are great two-way players, while Duchene and MacKinnon are very good offensively. They made a great trade when they moved their 2012 pick for Semyon Varlamov. It was a gutsy trade, but it worked out and got them a very good goalie.

Wanye: 

I think Colorado had a much more able management team that got the job done faster while Tambo twiddled his thumbs and Kevin Lowe was busy counting his cup rings. The Oil and the Avs have access to the same salary cap and amateur draft and just flat out beat us in the rebuild.

Jason Strudwick: 

The right combo of picks coming together. All their top guys have different skill sets.

Brian Sutherby: 

Coaching obviously played a big part but they also have great group of young forwards that can really play. They have solid goaltending, something the Oil didn't have early in the year. The Oilers don't have a Landeskog in their top 6 that plays a hard nosed style up the middle. The Avs also have a very steady and underrated defenseman in Erik Johnson, a 6'4 230 pound defenseman that has 40 points and plays 23 minutes a night. Don't see that on the Oilers either. Lastly, Nathan Mackinnon is going to be, or you could say already is an absolute superstar. That kid was incredibly impressive last Tuesday. Adding him to a team that already had more building blocks in place than Edmonton didn't hurt.

baggedmilk:

There is no one better at sucking than the Oilers. If we can't win the Stanley Cup, we always do our best at embarrassing ourselves.

Nation Charity Playoff Pool

Tomorrow is your last day to sign up for the Nation Charity Playoff Pool. All it'll cost you is $10 to sign up and have a shot at prizes, Internet superstardom, and bragging rights for life! As always, we'll be giving a portion of the proceeds to the Inner City Children's Program. Our goal is to raise as much money as possible, for a great cause, and have some fun while doing it. Head over to nationdrafts.com to sign up and choose wisely, we've thrown some wrenches in the mix this year.

94ea28cbbd0f9fe4153692bb3e38b40c
Twitter tyrant for @OilersNation - Resident Jackass - Poor vessel for carrying milk. Follow me on twitter (@jsbmbaggedmilk) - Instagram (@himynameisbaggedmilk) or email me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com.
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#1 RexHolez
April 14 2014, 02:17PM
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How come no one asked when Kevin Lowe will be fired?

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#3 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 14 2014, 02:38PM
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One question I would like to ask is " why do the reporters in this town not make a BIGGER deal about the censorship that occurs in Rexall Place? In other barns they can wear bags on their heads, throw jerseys on the ice, chant Fire Wilson or Fire Gillis..or have signs that say the same thing...and there is no censorship or strong arm tactics. Do you not speak out stronger because you don't consider yourselves Journalists...but just sports reporters? Doesn't this muzzling of free speech anger you guys?" And, if it's not the job of the sports reporter, can you not bring it up amongst you're colleagues whose job it is?"

I'm asking respectfully....not intended to call you out or embarrass you...but genuinely curious why this doesn't cause more outrage amongst your profession.

Thanks,

Old Retired Guy.

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#5 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 14 2014, 02:47PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

Hey. Can you email me your question? I want to make sure I don't forget to add it to the list. baggedmilk@oilersnation.com

Done. Thanks.

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#6 Ambassador humantorch
April 14 2014, 02:54PM
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Never have I witnessed a company earning 9 figures in revenue annually that looks down its nose at its customers more than the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club. Oilers management treats us with complete disdain at worst and moderate distaste at best.

This infuriates me to no end. The Edmonotn Oilers, as a franchise, actively seem to hate their fans and I can't imagine just how arrogant a bunch of cockbags you have to be to treat your paying customers this way.

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#7 VK63
April 14 2014, 02:54PM
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do you think someone will stuff Sam Gagner into a garbage bag by mistake?

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#8 tileguy
April 14 2014, 02:56PM
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So judging by Lowetides answer on Colorado, he thinks they will go no where in the playoffs. After all, the intensity gets dialed upin spring and since they are falling back and going to be a big disappointment next year, why should they advance. We'll see.

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#9 tileguy
April 14 2014, 02:59PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

One question I would like to ask is " why do the reporters in this town not make a BIGGER deal about the censorship that occurs in Rexall Place? In other barns they can wear bags on their heads, throw jerseys on the ice, chant Fire Wilson or Fire Gillis..or have signs that say the same thing...and there is no censorship or strong arm tactics. Do you not speak out stronger because you don't consider yourselves Journalists...but just sports reporters? Doesn't this muzzling of free speech anger you guys?" And, if it's not the job of the sports reporter, can you not bring it up amongst you're colleagues whose job it is?"

I'm asking respectfully....not intended to call you out or embarrass you...but genuinely curious why this doesn't cause more outrage amongst your profession.

Thanks,

Old Retired Guy.

I know JG had the guy they kicked out for wearing his jersey inside out on his radio show and got his side of the story, what I want to know is did the oilers respond to this? Perhaps JG will be kind enough to let us know.

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#10 Shredder
April 14 2014, 03:08PM
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Hey Baggedmilk! Thanks for publishing my question. Stickers came in the mail too.

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#12 mr common sense
April 14 2014, 03:13PM
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amazing that the canucks finished the season over .500 but all hell is breaking loose, firings, trades, negative press and swift counter reaction. lol amazing. in Edm, no accountability. same happened in Mtl, one season in the basement and they cleaned house and look at them now. oilers are a joke and get what they deserve

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#13 bazmagoo
April 14 2014, 03:20PM
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Personally I'm thankful MacT is our GM, I actually have confidence he can right the ship. Team seems to be playing for Eakins now so he gets another season as coach I guess. It will be an interesting season next, I'm just hoping to be battling for a playoff spot near the end. Whatever it takes to win I'm on board!

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#14 Will
April 14 2014, 03:28PM
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There are a lot of fans clamouring for some big name free agent signings this year. But after watching Minnesota and Calgary try for years to build using free agency, are there any big negative economical impacts to this strategy? When is the right time to start grabbing pieces from free agency? It seems like trade is usually a better option, especially in the recent era of bad free agent overpays: Brad Richards, Heatly, Parise, Boumester, Kovalchuck, J Stall. etc.

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#15 RexHolez
April 14 2014, 03:29PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

Because we all know the answer. At the end of days there will be cockroaches and Kevin Lowe in his POHO Office.

This makes me sad. Everyone better just get use to it is the answer?

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#16 Will Colford
April 14 2014, 03:31PM
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Also off topic but a few years ago when discussing how to fix the D (still), the name Carlo Colaiacovo was thrown around a little. He ended up getting nabbed by St Louise. But after his lack of production this year I don't think they resign him. Not to mention he's already making league minimum. But he's 31 has okay size, and has had some decent production in the NHL. Would this be a nice number 6 defender target? We still obviously need a top 2 guy, but in the interest of not having a bunch of green on the blue, this could be a really cheap pick up.

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#17 RexHolez
April 14 2014, 03:33PM
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Will Colford wrote:

Also off topic but a few years ago when discussing how to fix the D (still), the name Carlo Colaiacovo was thrown around a little. He ended up getting nabbed by St Louise. But after his lack of production this year I don't think they resign him. Not to mention he's already making league minimum. But he's 31 has okay size, and has had some decent production in the NHL. Would this be a nice number 6 defender target? We still obviously need a top 2 guy, but in the interest of not having a bunch of green on the blue, this could be a really cheap pick up.

You want another top 6 d-man? We already have 7 of those

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#18 bazmagoo
April 14 2014, 03:38PM
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UFA Wish list this off season - Andrei Markov, Paul Statsny, Mason Raymond, Benoit Pouliot, Daniel Winnik, Devin Setoguchi, Matt Greene, Kyle Quincey, Andrej Meszaros, Dan Boyle, Dave Bolland, Steve Ott.

If we could land 1 or 2 of those guys that would be helpful to the cause. Would also like to see MacT attempt a trade for Tyler Myers, I think he'd be a great fit for our team. Like others I would like to see Nurse and Klefbom developed properly instead of being thrown to the wolves Oilers style.

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#19 The Fasthest Man Alive
April 14 2014, 03:55PM
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HEY! I'm not, not working...

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#20 Will Colford
April 14 2014, 04:10PM
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RexHolez wrote:

You want another top 6 d-man? We already have 7 of those

Well, I think the team is going to need both a top pairing guy, and an upgrade in the bottom pairing because we have so many rookies, the team will need depth throughout the D line up. They'll also need vets that can mentor the new kids coming in.

The one knock on Carlo Colaiacovo is that he shoots L. Marincin, Klefbomb, Ferrence, Nurse, and a guy like Markov all shoot L.

Now depending on who they draft and then which D prospect develops first, that might not be a bad thing. I don't think I'd mind Markov/Petry - Ferrence / Ekblad - Colaicovo / J Schultz. And then you could switch J Schulz, Petry, and Ekblad as necessary. But if it's Nurse, Klefbomb, or likely Marincin they want to develop that are next to bring up, then the organization would be better served bringing in right shot D men.

That means you'd be looking at free agents like Matt Niskanin, Marick Zidlicky, Dan Boyle, and Tom Gilbert. Not terrible choices I guess but none are very big. Gilbert is actually the largest of the group.

The Left shot free agent D are much bigger, with guys like Mezaros, Orpik, and Niktin. It's kind of a crap situation that is probably better served through trade. Although if they can't get Markov, hen the three I just listed would be nice targets.

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#22 backup bob
April 14 2014, 04:23PM
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Did Ryan Smith finally stop crying?

Get that blubbering mess off the ice.

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#24 Craig1981
April 14 2014, 04:50PM
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@backup bob

Smyth is a player like Sakic, Yzerman, Iginla, Roy. Even if they played on a team you cheered against in the end you respect them. Its because there is nothing purer than to not only find your passion in life, but also give everything you have to it.

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#25 madjam
April 14 2014, 04:56PM
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Looks like new Gm and New coach managed to turn our club around . To bad we ended up back in the cellar deeper than the year before . Next season more AHL promotions - makes me wonder if basement is the goal for next season ? It's a goal they are pretty good at obtaining , as results point out .

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#26 brad
April 14 2014, 06:11PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Smyth is a player like Sakic, Yzerman, Iginla, Roy. Even if they played on a team you cheered against in the end you respect them. Its because there is nothing purer than to not only find your passion in life, but also give everything you have to it.

Please don't EVEr put Roy in any list of players to respect, may as well put Claude Lemieux, Hextall and Ulf Samuelsson too...

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#27 Katz Maid
April 14 2014, 06:12PM
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Daryl Katz should go into the Vacuum business. He sure likes sinking his money into things that suck. "Cough"Kevin Lowe"Cough"

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#28 Taylor Gang
April 14 2014, 06:20PM
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backup bob wrote:

Did Ryan Smith finally stop crying?

Get that blubbering mess off the ice.

You obviously don't understand the fact that he has spent half his life playing hockey, and most of his career playing for the Oilers. The rink is his comfort area, and it's his home away from home. Now that he's calling it quits, you call him out for being emotional about that?

Give your head a shake.

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#29 CMG30
April 14 2014, 06:24PM
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I, for one, am excited to see what MacT is going to do this off season. Watching how active he was during the season gives me hope that he will be aggressive in plugging our many holes.

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#30 Saytalk
April 14 2014, 06:48PM
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Loved the question and responses regarding most important position to build around. Tambellini was the hockey equivalent of Matt Millen... he kept drafting wide receivers and looked where the team ended up.

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#31 Alsker
April 14 2014, 07:09PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

Because we all know the answer. At the end of days there will be cockroaches and Kevin Lowe in his POHO Office.

Very probable BUT which one's in charge?

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#32 John Kirsch-Brooklyn
April 14 2014, 08:55PM
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mr common sense wrote:

amazing that the canucks finished the season over .500 but all hell is breaking loose, firings, trades, negative press and swift counter reaction. lol amazing. in Edm, no accountability. same happened in Mtl, one season in the basement and they cleaned house and look at them now. oilers are a joke and get what they deserve

A voice of reason. Great post, but Y'ALL might want to work on CAPITALIZATION and punctuation, all good though.

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#33 RexHolez
April 14 2014, 09:49PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

Not saying that. I'm just saying that's why I haven't sent this questions off to the writers when we all know he's not going anywhere.

Why does everyone simply accept the fact that Kevin Lowe will be here no matter what?!?! Under his management this team has become one of the worst teams in NHL history. Why should we feel comfortable that he can administrate a championship team when his vision of a rebuild can't even dig their way out of the basement 5 years later?

If not for his history of failure, can we atleast let him go to appease the fan base? The only argument against releasing him is that's he no longer in control of roster moves, so its not his fault. Perfect!!! Then he's not important to the actual success of the team anymore, and he can removed if not for any other reason then to shut me up!

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#34 RexHolez
April 14 2014, 09:52PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Why does everyone simply accept the fact that Kevin Lowe will be here no matter what?!?! Under his management this team has become one of the worst teams in NHL history. Why should we feel comfortable that he can administrate a championship team when his vision of a rebuild can't even dig their way out of the basement 5 years later?

If not for his history of failure, can we atleast let him go to appease the fan base? The only argument against releasing him is that's he no longer in control of roster moves, so its not his fault. Perfect!!! Then he's not important to the actual success of the team anymore, and he can removed if not for any other reason then to shut me up!

Can you send that to the writers for next week's mailbag?

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#35 RexHolez
April 14 2014, 11:30PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Can you send that to the writers for next week's mailbag?

Maybe correct my grammatical errors when you send it in so they can't cop out by being grammar nazi's. I get so worked up just thinking about Lowe collecting paycheques for this debacle I forget to proofread

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#37 Jason Gregor
April 15 2014, 04:47PM
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tileguy wrote:

I know JG had the guy they kicked out for wearing his jersey inside out on his radio show and got his side of the story, what I want to know is did the oilers respond to this? Perhaps JG will be kind enough to let us know.

Oilers said nothing to me about having him on.

I ripped on Oilers when they took people's signs away during Pronger's return. They are extremely sensitive, but outside of the inside out jersey, I haven't had any stories told to me recently.

Until I get them from fans, or see them first hand it is hard to comment on them.

If someone wore a bag on their head and got kicked out recently I never heard about it.

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#38 tileguy
April 16 2014, 01:17PM
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cheers

@Jason Gregor

That was a burning question for me, thank you so much for answering. It will help with shaping my opinion of management. Keep up your good work JG, I enjoy all your opinions.

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