SCORCHED EARTH

Lowetide
April 20 2014 06:37AM

parkatti tweet

I believe this sentiment drives much of the discontent in Oilers Nation these days. Why can't we have nice things? Colorado sucked for LESS time and are in the playoffs looking like the Oilers team we were promised!!!! What the hell? Where are the answers? After the break.

souray1

Steve Tambellini authored a devastating period in Oilers history and left a roster filled with forgettable. Tambellini never met an NHL player he couldn't rid himself of, he was quite impressive at the discipline.

  • Sheldon Souray said a few things? OFF to Chocolate City with him!!!
  • Dustin Penner has size, but won't use it? Kick him down the road for a pick that might turn out years from now.
  • His ‘stand and deliver’ July 1st 2011 series of transactions (bought out Souray, signs Cam Barker, Ben Eager, Darcy Hordichuk, Eric Belanger, Corey Potter and trades for Andy Sutton) serves as his nadir.

It's easy to forget just how many useful people were sent away after Steve Tambellini arrived in late summer 2008.

  • Erik Cole, Edmonton gets Patrick O'Sullivan
  • Kyle Brodziak, Edmonton gets two picks (Bigos and Roy). Minnesota also gets a late pick they turn into Darcy Kuemper—who played for them last night.
  • Denis Grebeshkov.  Edmonton gets the pick that turned into Curtis Hamilton.
  • Lubomir Visnovsky. Edmonton gets Ryan Whitney and the Brandon Davidson pick.
  • Steve Staios. Edmonton gets Aaron Johnson and the pick that turns into Travis Ewanyk.
  • Riley Nash. Edmonton gets the Martin Marincin pick.
  • Dustin Penner. Edmonton acquires Colten Teubert and the Oscar Klefbom pick.
  • Andrew Cogliano. Edmonton acquires the Marco Roy pick.
  • Tom Gilbert. Edmonton acquires Nick Schultz.
  • Tobias Rieder. Edmonton acquires Kale Kessy.

RECOVERY

When Craig MacTavish took over this hockey team, they were very weak up the middle. Improvements last summer (Boyd Gordon, Andrew Ference) added to mid-season fixes (Scrivens, Fasth) have Edmonton looking a little better at C, D and G.

There's a long way to go.

However, the scorched earth policy—which involved things like sending a capable defenseman to the minors as punishment for a moment of frustration—delivered an empty cupboard and made certain the early years of Taylor Hall were bleak. 

Steve Tambellini dealt Dustin Penner at the 2010-11 deadline, and the Oilers did not replace him until summer 2013 (David Perron).

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

beer

When looking at a picture, it's vital to identify the real tragedy.

I understand the frustration that Michael Parkatti and all Oiler fans have today. This is draining, especially when Colorado makes it look so easy. But if you look at where they were in 2010 (they had 95 points and made the playoffs) and since then (seasons of 68, 88, lockout 39 and now 112 points), it doesn't compare with the scorched earth Oilers.

The one season that showed promise (2011-12 under Renney) Tambellini fired the coach and brought back Lennart Petrell. !!!!!!.

I know this is a difficult period, but if we're laying blame here let's have the conversation. It's hard to rebuild an empire from rubble overnight.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 dougtheslug
April 20 2014, 07:33AM
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It's a bit of a misdirection play to lay this all at the feet of Tambo - after all, he was a KLowe hire and every move he made was being run past the boss.

Even though you can argue that the team didn't deliberately tank, in the sense that they deliberately threw games, there is no doubt in my mind that they were deliberately built to tank.

The "masterplan",I believe, was to acquire elite players, just like back in the good old days. To do this the Oiler brains figured all they needed to do was finish last for a few seasons, draft what they thought was the equivalent of Messier (Hall), Gretzky(RNH), Anderson(Yak), and Coffey (sign J. Schulz), and presto! Instant dynasty.

I suspect MacT even believed he was bringing in a young Glen Sather (Eakins) to mentor the youngsters into the champions they all knew they would become.

I think that was the plan. In its entirety.

They never factored in, and I suspect, weren't aware, that the world had moved on. That building a winner in the modern NHL was not the same as it had been back in the good old days, when Bucky and MacT and Smitty and KLowe himself were ripping it up and make believing it was all about their skill and brilliance, instead of what it was - being in the right place at the right time, surrounded by a never-to-be-duplicated group of future Hall of Famers. They never realized that star players today need a certain type of supporting cast to succeed. They never factored in the toxic and corrosive effect that relentless losing has on player development.

The tragedy is there is no Plan B. So get used to more losing, more trying of the same thing over and over and getting the same results. Because the guys who came up with this "blueprint for success" are still in charge.

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#2 dougtheslug
April 20 2014, 07:44AM
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The Beaker wrote:

Once i got to "their young talent is vastly superior to Taylor Hall" I stopped reading. Foolishness.

Foolish of you to stop reading and start posting. The complete sentence was " ...the young talent they have accumulated is vastly superior to Taylor Hall and the two question marks the oilers picked at number one."

Taylor Hall AND the 2 question marks (RNH and Yak) vs MacKinnon, O'Reilly, Landeskog AND Matt Duchene who isn't even playing due to injury. It isn't even close.

Equally accurate was the criticism of the Oilers lacking a scouting department and whiffing on useful picks in the second and later rounds.

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#3 The Beaker
April 20 2014, 07:30AM
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@non descript

Once i got to "their young talent is vastly superior to Taylor Hall" I stopped reading. Foolishness.

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#4 non descript
April 20 2014, 07:24AM
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it is almost pointless to get frustrated comparing the oilers to colorado. the young talent they have accumulated is vastly superior to taylor hall and the two question marks the oilers picked at number one. the avalanche might be the best young team in hockey and the oilers are barely a team. the thing to get frustrated about as an oiler fan is that after hall there is very little. RNH may turn into a two way 80-90 point pivot and he may turn out to be pierre marc bouchard. eberle is a one dimensional complimentary scorer who doesn't really help you win. don't think he ever made the playoffs in regina. perron is a decent scoring option but doesn't really play defense well. yakupov? high bust potential and at the very least a project. there is nothing else at forward and nothing on the way. years of drafting at the top of every round has produced nothing. watching nathan mackinnon be better than any oiler doesn't bother me, but watching boone jenner be a good player in Columbus drives me nuts with david musil plodding around the ahl. this is on the oiler pro and amateur scouting departments, management and possibly ownership. they have done and are doing a bad job. it can be spun however anyone likes, but there is reality to deal with and that is they are no where close to being a competitive nhl team.

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#5 spliff
April 20 2014, 09:27AM
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The Souray debacle, when management let a top pair D-man get away for nothing, instead of sitting him down and having a talk with him, is class Oilers post 1999 managerial incompetence. And it has KLowe's fingerprints all over it.

I don't deny KLowe is super-competitive and bleeds Oiler and all the crap. However, he is too emotional and makes rash decisions based too much on emotion, which hurt the franchise he supposedly loves. The Souray example is only one of many.

We need competent and level-headed management, with a sound plan, to lead this organization. Not arrogant, emotional overconfident ex-players that continually talk about almost winning a cup 9 years ago, and how everyone in the NHL outside of Edmonton thinks they're doing a good job.

What a sh*tshow this organization is.

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#6 Bringbackslats
April 20 2014, 11:54AM
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LT,

I highly respect your writing and on air commentary. You have a great wit, tremendous recall, superb musical preference, and sound knowledge of our great sport. But please... In the name of all that is humane, can you just call it like it is in regards to what's happened? Everyone including you throws Tambo under the bus for every moves he made(or didn't make). To believe that Mr. Dithers was in full autonomous control is even more ridiculous than the notion that MacT has 100% say now. Oilers management does not even feel the need to hide this fact. Watching the propaganda film that they call "Oil Change" it's obvious to all Kevin Lowe is involved in roster moves. Even now we hear he's on the arm of MacT on important scouting missions like the other week when they went down to RD to see Draisatle. Hell, he said on Gregor's afternoon show that the decision making is collaborative. I have no affiliation or affection towards Stevo Tambellini... But blaming him for the state of affairs without acknowledging his boss, amounts to pure foolishness and blatant disregard for the truth.

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#7 Jerconjake
April 20 2014, 12:14PM
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The Oilers are clearly the most poorly managed team in the NHL. From player decisions to contracts to the damn music at the arena. And through it all, the organization treats fans like their infallibility should never be in question.

The real crime of Lowe, Katz, Tambo and the rest is that they've sucked the fun out of having a hockey team and made it something ugly.

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#8 non descript
April 20 2014, 07:46AM
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JitanPren wrote:

Lol. Same.

one team just finished third overall based largely on the play of its young players and one team looks like they don't belong on the same ice as other nhl teams a lot of nights. yup, what i wrote was foolishness. believe me, i hope i am wrong, just a realist.

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#9 Spydyr
April 20 2014, 09:49AM
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"It's hard to rebuild an empire from rubble overnight."

Silly me I thought this was the eighth year outside the playoffs.Hardly overnight.

Anyone with common sense understands this problem comes from the top.Using Tambo as an escape goat is weak.He was Lowe's hire and if one does not think every decision Tambo made did not cross Lowe's desk they are naive.

Now Mac-T is spouting the company rhetoric.They treat their fans like sheep.Some fans are starting to wake up.

The media in Edmonton is scared to ask the tough questions for fear of reprisal.

They turned over half their roster last year and are turning over another half this year there is no plan outside tank and draft high. This organization is the laughing stock of the NHL.

Lowe and Katz are the disease

There is no cure.

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#10 Al Low
April 20 2014, 09:25AM
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The Avs are just simply better built than the Oilers. They've made their 2nd round picks count (O'Reilly and Statsny) and they've done a better job of developing Mackinnon, Landeskog and Duchesne, all 3 of whom any non-Oilers fan would take over any combination of Hall, RNH, Eberle and Yakupov. And, they've actually made 'bold moves' in bringing in guys like Erik Johnson and Semyon Varlamov. Colorado's core will net them a Stanley Cup at some point. It's nice to see one rebuild coming to fruition. I'm happy for their fans.

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#11 The Real Scuba Steve
April 20 2014, 07:50AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

It's a bit of a misdirection play to lay this all at the feet of Tambo - after all, he was a KLowe hire and every move he made was being run past the boss.

Even though you can argue that the team didn't deliberately tank, in the sense that they deliberately threw games, there is no doubt in my mind that they were deliberately built to tank.

The "masterplan",I believe, was to acquire elite players, just like back in the good old days. To do this the Oiler brains figured all they needed to do was finish last for a few seasons, draft what they thought was the equivalent of Messier (Hall), Gretzky(RNH), Anderson(Yak), and Coffey (sign J. Schulz), and presto! Instant dynasty.

I suspect MacT even believed he was bringing in a young Glen Sather (Eakins) to mentor the youngsters into the champions they all knew they would become.

I think that was the plan. In its entirety.

They never factored in, and I suspect, weren't aware, that the world had moved on. That building a winner in the modern NHL was not the same as it had been back in the good old days, when Bucky and MacT and Smitty and KLowe himself were ripping it up and make believing it was all about their skill and brilliance, instead of what it was - being in the right place at the right time, surrounded by a never-to-be-duplicated group of future Hall of Famers. They never realized that star players today need a certain type of supporting cast to succeed. They never factored in the toxic and corrosive effect that relentless losing has on player development.

The tragedy is there is no Plan B. So get used to more losing, more trying of the same thing over and over and getting the same results. Because the guys who came up with this "blueprint for success" are still in charge.

That's why The Old Boys Club needs to be turfed.

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#12 Johnny
April 20 2014, 08:12AM
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@The Beaker

I didn't stop reading, I just assumed he meant Nathan MacKinnon is superior to Taylor Hall, which he is/will be. And that is fine, but disappointing. Not all number ones are created equal. Too bad having 3 in a row does not provide us with a generational. As for the rest of his post, agreed. The cupboards are bare, and if you believe that help is on the way, you are a fool and continue to drink the Koop-aid. Mact - "we are going to get another piece this year.." . What is every other team going to do??!?? They all draft hockey players. Unfortunately other teams do it better than us! Our failed second rounders(Lander, Pitlick,Musil) are our undoing. Grooming Pitlick for 5 years to be a fourth line energy guy isn't the same as adding ROR to your team. Expect very little improvement next year.

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#13 JitanPren
April 20 2014, 07:38AM
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The Beaker wrote:

Once i got to "their young talent is vastly superior to Taylor Hall" I stopped reading. Foolishness.

Lol. Same.

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#14 Sean17
April 20 2014, 09:18AM
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Nobody in the yak draft year is setting the world on fire...

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#15 Jeffff
April 20 2014, 10:11AM
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I don't care whose fault it is. Edmonton is the worst run team in the NHL. I could pick at random any person who posts here and they could do just as poorly as the Oilers management has done in the last 8 years.

I can't believe they pay these guys.

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#16 kale
April 20 2014, 11:17AM
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I remember in the olden days when I could not wait to get home from work to watch a meaningful Oilers game

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#17 pelhem grenville
April 20 2014, 07:58AM
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...watching the playoffs requires an ability to 'let go' of pent up frustrations...I've stopped thinking of the what ifs and started to just appreciate the nature of well built well coached hockey teams...its no longer about anything oiler to me...pretty much done

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#18 the tikk
April 20 2014, 07:09AM
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Ugh. In hindsight...if only he had dithered more.

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#19 50 in 39
April 20 2014, 07:09AM
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Scorched earth indeed. It would be nice to at least get to a point where the team is filled with players that unquestionably belong in the NHL.

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#20 Pat
April 20 2014, 06:25PM
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Lowetide wrote:

One would hope that Lowe would be looking to improve the team in other areas. The hiring of Bob Green last summer might be an example, and of course overseeing what is a pretty damn big hockey ops department must take all day.

Howson is MacT's right hand man, Olzcyk does the cap stuff, Carriere, Sillinger, there's a lot to oversee.

He may also be involved in recruiting new coaches and scouts, as an example.

And of course, MacT and Lowe are tight so discussions about hockey players, trades, etc no doubt take place.

I don't have any evidence Kevin Lowe is in charge. And I haven't seen any. Until then, I think we're just running around in circles about things that really don't matter.

It's a mess. EVERYONE involved has to take some blame, including Katz, Lowe, MacT, and really going back all the way to EIG if you want to begin at the beginning.

LT,

Forgive the short essay. I've long been a big fan of your work, but I think that your article here re: Tambellini weaves a narrative that is in no small part fictitious. At the same time, it's a narrative that loyal fans HAVE to bring themselves to believe, because the alternatives are too repugnant for many dedicated fans to swallow.

As you suggest, I suppose that there is no evidence that KL is technically "in charge." But you know it's not that simple. In fact, that suggestion seems to be a pretty common trope for alleviating Lowe of significant responsibility for this mess. In fact, going back to his 2008 'promotion', I think that this is precisely one of the things that Katz had in mind: put him in a role where he still has influence, but where he can be much more immune from responsibility. In other words, get him out of the line of fire. This of course is hardly an original suggestion -- I believe you've recognized it in your own work, LT. Regardless, the gambit has worked brilliantly. When Lowe is criticized, we routinely hear the defence of "Kevin Lowe isn't in charge, he's not making the decisions anymore." I think that your comment is a species of that type of defence. I also think it's an oversimplification.

As others have pointed out here, it's pretty clear that Lowe is still a significant player in managerial decisions. That's not to say that MacT has to clear all player personnel decisions with Lowe. But I think it's difficult to deny Lowe's ubiquity in this organization -- look at episodes of Oil Change, he always seems to be on the front lines of management discussions. Look even at his official profile on the Oilers site, which describes him as "an integral part of the management and scouting team that selected Taylor Hall with Edmonton’s first ever number one overall draft pick in 2010, as well as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011 and Nail Yakupov in 2012." (http://oilers.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=33071 ). He's not just a figurehead.

You clearly realize this, given your concluding comment above, namely that 'everyone involved has to take some blame'. Indeed, the problem is systemic, as most of us recognize. But it seems to me that 'taking blame' isn't really synonymous with truly being accountable when it comes to this organization. For the Oilers, taking blame means writing a letter and promising that the future is bright (a promise that has now become strikingly similar to the predictions of apocalyptic groups concerning the return of Jesus and/or the end of the world).

If the organization was truly devoted to accountability , I simply don't see how so many of the same old faces would be around (Lowe, Buchberger,and to a lesser degree Smith), or get recycled (MacT, Howson), after so many years of abysmal failure. On top of that, I genuinely wonder where these guys would ultimately land if they were suddenly let go. I just can't see them being serious candidates for high-ranking positions in other NHL organizations. What this reflects of course is something that people have pointed out repeatedly: many key players in management/coaching have not earned (and *retained*) their positions on merit, but rather on account of the systemic cronyism in this organization.

Ultimately, I think it's right to lay this at the feet of Katz. When he bought the team, I naively thought that he would not only infuse more money into the team, but also ensure that management didn't get a free pass. I was obviously wrong. It's a toy for him -- he gets to work with his heroes from the past, and maybe he'll eventually even win with them ("even a squirrel finds a blind nut..."). That's his prerogative to take that approach -- it's his team. But I can't bring myself to support it anymore. Not that it matters. Until recently, I would only take my son to a few games a year anyhow, and I know there's a waiting list for season tickets (I also doubt that more losing will have much of an impact on attendance, as we're all ecstatic about the very existence of a new arena).

But make no mistake, our franchise has become a joke. Just think about it. If we transplanted our set of circumstances to the Canucks, the Leafs, or the Flames, for example, we would rightfully have a hayday ridiculing them. It's tragic, but when we look at ourselves honestly in the mirror, this franchise has, in terms of respectability, been at its nadir for some time. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

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#21 merfer
April 20 2014, 09:14AM
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Colorado is going to be a force for the next ten years. Does anyone think our talent even comes close to theirs? If we want to go to a Stanley Cup final we will have to get through Colorado. My opinion is we need to draft Bennett and hope he turns into the Gilmore type player they say he will. We will need as many super competive players as we can get, full of piss and vinagar, if we ever want to get through Colorado. That Mackinnon will be as good as Sid, and he makes the rest of his linemates so much better. Very scary team.

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#22 Rama Lama
April 20 2014, 11:53AM
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Allan you give this guy too much credit.......he did no follow any scorched earth policy. In fact, whet he did is called bliss policy.

You know what they say being an idiot is bliss. This guy was purposely hired by Lowe because he was very controllable. Lowe know all along that Mac T was going on a walkabout..........what he needed was a useful idiot, and along came Tamby......Idiot to the core.

Blaming him is useless as everyone in the league knew who was really behind all this........yes KLowe.

I may sound like a Conspiracy theory but until Tamby was hired no one knew he existed.

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#23 rokwilder
April 20 2014, 08:07AM
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tobias rieder for kale kessy. disappointing. rieder is 5'11 and 190 lbs. not overly big, but plays a strong/up tempo game. reminds me of brad marchand but less of the after the whistle stuff.

this is one of the most frustrating trades tambo made during his tenure.

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#24 gcw_rocks
April 20 2014, 09:33AM
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The Beaker wrote:

Once i got to "their young talent is vastly superior to Taylor Hall" I stopped reading. Foolishness.

If you watched Nathan MacKinnon and Landeskog the last two games you might rethink that.

I would not trade MacKinnon and Landeskog for Hall and either of RNH or Yakupov. Probably wouldn't trade those two for all three of the Oilers first overalls. That's not to say Hall isn't great. He is. But odds are MacKinnon will be better and his position is more important.

Add in O'Reilly, Duchenne, Statsny, Johnson, Varlamov, and Barrie and you have one great young core.

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#25 David S
April 20 2014, 12:13PM
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Hanging our situation on Tambellini just perpetuates team management's narrative.

PLEASE STOP THIS!

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#26 Gk1980
April 20 2014, 11:23AM
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How can any oiler fan be optimistic of going into next year. Does anyone really believe it will be any different. Our "core" has not shown me anything to believe they can get us into the post season. Man I like RNH but he just looks average now. I'm not getting caught up in the excitement if a new season. It will only disappoint again. Not too sure what to think if my oilers now.

Nice to watch some good hockey again though. Go St. Louis!

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#27 RexHolez
April 20 2014, 04:55PM
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I've been to enough draft parties, can't wait to go to a "Lowe is finally gone party"

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#28 slopitch
April 20 2014, 07:17AM
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Worth noting that MacT dumped Horcoff, Hemsky and Smyth. I include Smytty to make a point. I do realize he retired and it is likely for the best.

Colorado picked up Eric Johnson and didn't waste their 2nd round bullets. Stasny and ROR are quality.

I think the oilers will turn the corner once they find that top pairing D. MacT is doing some good things and reinforcements are on route.

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#29 tileguy
April 20 2014, 09:04AM
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@dougtheslug

As usual you are spot on with your comments, observations and theories Doug. You make more sense than most including the writers. Please don't fade away like DSF, a voice of reason is so appreciated. "All hat and no cattle"

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#30 Karma
April 20 2014, 06:36PM
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Shredder wrote:

Any idea while a bunch of the Oilers declined to play at the worlds'?

Cuz they don't play for less than 74grand a game. Plus they don't like playing in spring

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#31 Lofty
April 20 2014, 08:59AM
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non descript wrote:

it is almost pointless to get frustrated comparing the oilers to colorado. the young talent they have accumulated is vastly superior to taylor hall and the two question marks the oilers picked at number one. the avalanche might be the best young team in hockey and the oilers are barely a team. the thing to get frustrated about as an oiler fan is that after hall there is very little. RNH may turn into a two way 80-90 point pivot and he may turn out to be pierre marc bouchard. eberle is a one dimensional complimentary scorer who doesn't really help you win. don't think he ever made the playoffs in regina. perron is a decent scoring option but doesn't really play defense well. yakupov? high bust potential and at the very least a project. there is nothing else at forward and nothing on the way. years of drafting at the top of every round has produced nothing. watching nathan mackinnon be better than any oiler doesn't bother me, but watching boone jenner be a good player in Columbus drives me nuts with david musil plodding around the ahl. this is on the oiler pro and amateur scouting departments, management and possibly ownership. they have done and are doing a bad job. it can be spun however anyone likes, but there is reality to deal with and that is they are no where close to being a competitive nhl team.

I would also point out that they brought in a vocal coach with passion. Not a statue that's drier than melba toast.

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#32 The Beaker
April 20 2014, 10:53AM
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@admiralmark

Tambellini was horrible. Horrible.

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#33 Oilbaron
April 20 2014, 12:42PM
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Mackinnon is scary. Last year was definitely the year to win the draft lottery

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#34 tileguy
April 20 2014, 10:18AM
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Question, Do you think Lowe feels embarrassment? What about Katz? Should they?

My opinion is Lowe should because he gave it his best try, failed, and still hangs on.

Katz should as well, his friends must look at him and snicker that he is a jock sniffing cling on that can't right a ship and is destined to be the worst owner ever, surpassing suck legends as Ballard and Wertz.

Gawd I'm frustrated.

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#35 Reggie
April 20 2014, 04:01PM
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C'mon man,

These people are suppose to be professionals and getting paid for it. 8 years of this . This must be a comedy because no one would believe this is non-fiction

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#36 Rick Stroppel
April 20 2014, 08:18PM
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Shredder wrote:

Any idea while a bunch of the Oilers declined to play at the worlds'?

In an INCREDIBLE coincidence, Hall, Eberle and RNH all suffered nagging injuries toward the end of the year. These injuries prevented them from playing ZERO games in the last month of the season, but they will not be able to play in the world championships...with two weeks to overcome whatever problems they had.

Perron and Scrivens said yes. If the US team asks Matt Hendricks to play, what do you think he will say?

Is it not telling that a huge part of what little leadership and grit the Oilers had this year came from three players who been with the team for less than eight months?p

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#37 BC BOY
April 20 2014, 08:54AM
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Reading this article makes me despise Kevin Lowe and Darryl Katz. How could they not see the moves Tambellini was making? If either of those two were somewhat competent they would of fired Tambellini a long before it got to that point!!!! and who knows maybe the oilers would of been competitive this year.

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#38 Athabascajim
April 20 2014, 07:38AM
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Interesting how you praise MacT for the Gordon signing and knock Tambo for Belanger. Check out Belangers yr 1 stats with the Oil. Gordon had a few more points (mostly in the first two weeks) but had a lower face off %. Not much to choose from. I certainly don't put this signing on the plus side of MacT's ledger yet!

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#39 Butters
April 20 2014, 12:24PM
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The main difference between the Oilers and playoff teams is the latter seem to be able to find gems in the later rounds, the Oilers, thus far, not so much.

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#40 Quicksilver ballet
April 20 2014, 12:27PM
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Anyone who doesn't feel the 18 yr old in process, and players who don't compete out, may want to rethink their position this team is only a second line center and a top pairing blueliner away from competing again. This team needs impact players no matter how old they are. Edmontons only shot at this is by selecting half a dozen more entry level players who can step right in. Overcome the stupidity of this management group.

The Oilers distribute icetime to players who haven't earned it. The haven't a clue what's involved in developing players. Kevin Lowe rubs his 6 rings in each new kids face and says, this is what I did, lets see what you can do. There's little doubt now that Hall, Hopkins and Yakupov would've all be doing much better in a different organization. This management group has soiled this market for entry level players now, let alone established players.

In two years when that new building opens, probably with the highest ticket prices in the NHL, and a half empty building......it will spell doom for NHL hockey in this market. Fanboy Daryl Katz will be taking his toy to Quebec City before the concrete in the new building has cured.

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#41 Pinder
April 20 2014, 05:11PM
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Someone tweeted the hope that Mact could be a ' magician ' at the draft and presumably after the start of free agency. All Mact and his man on the job, Eakins have done that is magician-like is to make talent and established success ' vanish '.

Even after the Oil started to give up man advantage 2 & 3 on 1 chances Eakins refused to adapt and the Oil started setting records for short-handed goals against. THAT is magical. To coach at the NHL level and be that inept is amazing.

When coaching is the weakest link in your oganization you are destined to ape the Oiler's performance this season and probably for several seasons to come or until changes are made. Based on Mact end'o disaster message I hold out little hope of that happening.

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#42 RexHolez
April 20 2014, 06:12PM
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@Dog Train

This team wasn't very good before the cup run either. Pronger fell into KLowe's lap and they went on 1 miracle run. These guys have been living off that ever since

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#43 Jackson
April 20 2014, 10:08AM
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Worst team in the NHL for the last 8 years.

You can do all the mental gymnastics you want but Oilers should be in a different league compared to Colorado.

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#44 zoolander
April 20 2014, 12:54PM
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I must say that the biggest difference I see between the Avs and oilers besides management is coaching.

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#45 Fresh Mess
April 20 2014, 07:55AM
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Weren't you excitedly proclaiming at that time that it was "the summer of Steve" LT?

Tambellini executed the plan he crafted with Katz and Lowe.

and even after MacT was canned as coach, he remained on the Oiler payroll as a consultant while he worked at TSN. MacLooselips has had input in designing this team all along.

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#46 the tikk
April 20 2014, 08:20AM
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@Fresh Mess

"Rogers is going to need to woo Cuthbert and probably find some emerging talent from regional brodcasts."

TSN locked up Cuthbert for six years last week.

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#47 David S
April 20 2014, 12:49PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Anyone who doesn't feel the 18 yr old in process, and players who don't compete out, may want to rethink their position this team is only a second line center and a top pairing blueliner away from competing again. This team needs impact players no matter how old they are. Edmontons only shot at this is by selecting half a dozen more entry level players who can step right in. Overcome the stupidity of this management group.

This is the freakin' NHL. The best league in the world. There's no such thing as "half a dozen entry level players who can step right in". Just because a kid is knocking it out of the park with the Oil Kings doesn't mean he's ready for prime time in the big show. That's high school lunch talk.

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#48 Quicksilver ballet
April 20 2014, 10:59PM
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Mike Brown 5'11" 195 lbs.

Raffi Torres 6"0" 201 lbs.

Who knew smurfs like these could contribute....

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#49 Costanza
April 20 2014, 07:40AM
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"Gordan and ference improvements..." Horcoff was a 3. Replaced him with Gordon who's a 4.

Ference is a 5D

You were probably apart of the playoff belief. At the start of the year

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#50 OilersDynasty
April 20 2014, 11:33AM
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I'm still pissed about the Rieder trade. The guy put up almost 30!!! goals in his FIRST PRO season. Kessy? 2 F'IN GOALS!!!!!!

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