Deep Thoughts VII: sick and tired

riddlernation

I was going to go out to Millennium Place today and watch the Edmonton Oilers, but I’ve come down with whatever’s laid the rest of my family low and decided to stay home. Besides, cold sweats, aching joints, fever and the urge to puke or crap myself is more appealing.

With Thursday’s uninspired 1-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the books, the NHL trade deadline looming and my fat head thicker than usual, I’ve got to admit I don’t have any answers.

Not for what ails the Oilers. Not for GM Steve Tambellini. Not for fans still shaking their heads after watching their heroes get outclassed at every turn by the Blue Jackets. I did, however, have a retort for the adult-proof cap on the medicine bottle containing the drugs I hope will lessen the urge I have to establish a new record for projectile vomiting. It’s called a pair of vice-grips.

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No, all I’ve got are questions, observations and complaints, each tainted by nausea and torqued by a ring of fire that makes it difficult to be the positive, care-free guy I usually am.

Still, I’d rather be me than Tambellini.

Just asking…

  • What does it say about the character of the Oilers when a 39-year-old goaltender, who was pegged by many to be kicked to the curb when the season began, is your best player against Columbus? And where would this team, the one that was supposed to be a Northwest Division contender, be without Dwayne Roloson?
  • Anybody who bought the load of bologna offered by Craig MacTavish in pre-season — when he talked about finishing atop the Northwest Division and feeling the need to quell all the optimism he felt — into self-loathing now like a rube roped into a pyramid scheme?
  • Between bloated contracts for the likes of Shawn Horcoff and Dustin Penner and being saddled with under-achievers like Erik Cole and Robert Nilsson, does Tambellini have a player over the age of 22 not named Ales Hemsky who anybody would want at the deadline?
  • Anybody with a functioning brain steam who thinks tweaking this line-up, even with a rental forward good enough to play top six minutes, will be enough to get the Oilers into the playoffs and past Detroit or San Jose in the first round?

Getting here

  • I know this is heresy, but is there anybody from the group of Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Nilsson, Ladislav Smid and Theo Peckham a lock to be more than a good player? Is there a franchise building block in there?
  • Do the Oilers have as much young talent in the above group as Columbus? How about Chicago? Or Anaheim? Phoenix? Nashville? So, is the future, say the next three or four years, really that rosy?
  • How do the Oilers five best players — let’s go with Hemsky, Sheldon Souray, Horcoff, Lubomir Visnovsky and Tom Gilbert — stack up against the top five in San Jose and Detroit? How about Vancouver? Calgary? So, how promising is the immediate future?
  • If Hemsky’s contract is Kevin Lowe’s finest moment, does his offer-sheet to Penner and the stack of dough thrown at Horcoff rate as his biggest gaffes? I know, it’s a rhetorical question…
  • Criticized as a tool, an oaf and a mouth-breathing stooge in his war of words with Lowe, and with reason in terms of STFU Quotient, is bombastic Brian Burke looking a little smarter now? How’s that Bobby Ryan kid?

And another thing…

  • How much, if any, will past moves by Lowe affect Tambellini in trying to make trades? Will Darcy Regier answer Tambellini’s calls? Will Burke, his old boss in Vancouver, talk trade with the Oilers?
  • With the deadline approaching and Marc Pouliot (not to mention JF Jacques and Nilsson) available as a sweetener in deals to anybody who wants them, do you ever imagine Zach Parise in Edmonton silks? And how does someone NOT get fired over that?
  • How much help is on the way when you look at Springfield and prospects still in major junior or college hockey? And, while you’re answering that, are you among the 90 per cent of fans who overvalue the Oilers young talent? Oh, you just wait until Jordan Eberle gets here, Buster. It’ll be different.
  • Is a playoff spot and five-and-out against the Red Wings or the Sharks really enough to make you shrug at the answers to the above questions? Good luck with that.

— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6pm on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.


  • Dennis

    RB: we're up to 24 players tomorrow when 37 comes off the IR. Any idea who's the odd man out? We have waiver rights on both 49 and 85 so the easiest call would be to farm one of them out.

    DO: I enjoy your posts, sir:)

  • Colin

    hey deep oil quit thread crapping every 2 minutes we don't need to hear your drivel that frequently, god it's irritating.

    Can we get a 1/10 min post limit in all non GDB threads? maybe Oil nation contributers could be immune(since they respond to questions and the like), but it would save everyone else from having to slog through pages of deep oil or WT drivel.

  • Colin

    Robin B wrote:

    @ Dennis:
    I’d guess it’ll be Peckham with the ticket to Springfield, but I wasn’t at the rink this morning to ask.

    Any chance they'll keep Peckham up and put Strudwick in Reddox's spot instead?

  • W.T.

    W.T. just turned the wheel in for the night. W.T. is a huge NHL fan and had to pull over this morning when listening to Bob MacKenzie on the 1260 show. Did you all hear him talk about the Oilers and trade deadline day and the bad contracts the Oilers have. He said Horcoff would be a third line center on the Flyers. But W.T. says the best line MacKenize said was why would the Oilers throw good money after bad. Hey KLowe, what you think that means???? Or for that matter,any you defenders of the Oiler mismanagement want to take a stab at that one.

    Just another hard lesson for you Oiler fans to accept.

  • Pokie Reddik

    W.T. wrote:

    W.T. just turned the wheel in for the night. W.T. is a huge NHL fan and had to pull over this morning when listening to Bob MacKenzie on the 1260 show. Did you all hear him talk about the Oilers and trade deadline day and the bad contracts the Oilers have. He said Horcoff would be a third line center on the Flyers. But W.T. says the best line MacKenize said was why would the Oilers throw good money after bad. Hey KLowe, what you think that means???? Or for that matter,any you defenders of the Oiler mismanagement want to take a stab at that one.
    Just another hard lesson for you Oiler fans to accept.

    Oiler fans will go crazy afera a win on Saturday, MacT's Quote: YAH YAH they were great. Grab me some touch of grey. YAH YAH

  • Deans

    Wow the pitchforks and torchs are out. Enough with all this BS about how you will stop being a fan if the Oilers dont make "signicant changes " to the managment/roster/Mark Shultz.
    I still want the Oilers to make the playoffs and I still think that they will. I know alot of fans want to blow this whole thing up (myself included) but dont delude yourself into thinking that you dont want to see the Oilers in the playoffs. Even if they get shitrolled by SJ in 4, it will be a blast to experience playoff hockey in Edmonton.
    It's fun to play arm chair GM and agrue w/ other fans, but regardless of what changes are made we will still be die hard Oilers fans. Look at the brightside, we have Katz as the owner not Harrold Ballard. This team is committed to winning in a market where hockey demand is high and supply is small. Yah Im dissapionted w/ the season too but dont question the Oiler's managments desire to win. No matter how many sellouts in a row the organization is still commited to winning.

  • moose66

    @ROBIN

    IT"S TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE IN THE OFFICE AND BEHIND THE BENCH!!!
    This team has a complete disconnect with the fans. They believe because the building is full than they are are successful. I argue the notion, they are only full because of the playoff run in 2006. Those 2 months created a rush for even the average fan, the Oilers will always have the die-hard fans that read the threads and post on blogs like this and buy their season tickets. They energized a city BUT, they are losing those same fans that jumped on the wagon during that magical run. Walk into a sports lounge now during an Oilers game and see how many people are there. The in thing isn't to watch an Oiler game anymore for that average fan, they now choose to spend there money somewhere else. If they didn't have that run than how many empty seats do you think would be in the building!!! I had 2 out of my 5 season tickets left for Blackhawks game and i was going to sell them to a scalper for a third of the price, he looked at me and said i was crazy as he couldn't even sell the 30 or so tickets that he had for less than face value. He said "no one wants to watch this team anymore, i have trouble selling tickets every game unless it's the habs, leafs or flames. The only reason they have so many season ticket holders is they all are scared to lose the seats they already occupy if they don't renew. They don't renew because of value they renew because of fear!! If you ask the Fan's if they percieve value in the tickets they have, i bet almost all would definitely say awful entertainment for what we pay. I also own season tickets and i can tell you on one hand how many games were worth the price of the ticket and sadly one of them was the beating the Oilers took from Chicago!!!
    One more thing, we were all told that we needed the lockout for cost certainty. The Oilers always operated on a budget of approx 30 million for players salaries because they told us they couldn't afford anymore. The players stated that the owners were all hiding revenues to be able to get the salary cap. We all believed the owners and sided with them during the lockout. I do believe we needed the lockout to create an even playing field among all the teams. My question is, how can the Oilers operate on a Budget of 54 million for salaries and also help the so-called non-profit teams(Phoenix, Nashville, etc.)with payments from their revenues. HOW CAN THIS TEAM SPEND AN EXTRA 20 MILLION PLUS IN SALARIES AND STILL TURN A TIDY PROFIT LAST YEAR AND THIS YEAR!! My season tickets have gone up a total of 9 dollars per ticket from 2004 and I also don't think they generated an extra 20 million in advertising since the lockout either. WHERE HAS ALL THIS MONEY COME FROM TO PAY SALARIES and MONEY LOSING TEAMS IN THE U.S.????

  • deepoil

    W.T. wrote:

    W.T. just turned the wheel in for the night. W.T. is a huge NHL fan and had to pull over this morning when listening to Bob MacKenzie on the 1260 show. Did you all hear him talk about the Oilers and trade deadline day and the bad contracts the Oilers have. He said Horcoff would be a third line center on the Flyers. But W.T. says the best line MacKenize said was why would the Oilers throw good money after bad. Hey KLowe, what you think that means???? Or for that matter,any you defenders of the Oiler mismanagement want to take a stab at that one.
    Just another hard lesson for you Oiler fans to accept.

    MacKenzie gets paid to speak the truth on the team 1260 while pierre macquire has to watch his p and q's on corus – same tsn – different outlet feed within edmonton

  • W.T.

    W.T. says Pokie Reddik is one of the funniest bloggers in North America. You all could learn a thing or two from Pokie.

    W.T. says hair dye is available at Rexall. You get a special deal if you can prove you watched the Oiler game last night.

  • pmg2

    This Oilers team is a disgusting, pitiful, sad, uninspired, and shameful joke !! Period. A Real Pro Team does not display all the aforementioned attributes (or lack of) on such a consistent scale. These guys (well – most of these guys) lack any "consistent" gamesmanship, pride, motivation, and professionalism in preparing themselves to come to work.
    Most people can accept the degree of losing if players come to the rink and give a decent and consistent effort game-in and game-out. We can accept the rare game off as we do understand the nature of being human.
    But these guys have clearly taken it to a new level.

    And for some of the decisions which management have made, they ought to be ashamed of themselves too. The over-priced contracts which have been paid out for 1 good playoff run, and loyalty, ….speaks volumes in being short-sighted. They need to give their heads a serious shake !!
    I have never been a bandwagon jumper. Always pleased for the team when they did good or when they didn't do so good despite decent efforts. But what we have now is a new height of futility and mediocrity which has lasted for a number of years (excluding 1 year).

    Merely being in a battle toward fighting for a playoff spot isn't good enough !! Their current position conceals many problems despite the standings. Anyone who thinks different (including the media and talk show hosts) are foolish !!

  • W.T.

    W.T. watching Sportsnet on his Sling Box. They are saying Oilers need a top 6 forward and a goalie. Wow, who would of guessed. Maybe they have one top six foward so they really need 5 top 6 fowards and a goalie. But hey, you Oiler fans will once again but all your faith in KLowe and Tambo. Sleep well knowing your team is in great hands.

  • W.T. wrote:

    W.T. watching Sportsnet on his Sling Box. They are saying Oilers need a top 6 forward and a goalie. Wow, who would of guessed. Maybe they have one top six foward so they really need 5 top 6 fowards and a goalie. But hey, you Oiler fans will once again but all your faith in KLowe and Tambo. Sleep well knowing your team is in great hands.

    Because clearly, the goaltending has been a major issue.

    I don't care what prattle Bill Watters spews from his pulpit, or however many folks like yourself gobble it up, but drinking the Sportsnet Koolaid is equally as stupid as blind faith in Kevin Lowe.

    Dwayne Roloson lets in some weak goals, but he's been above average this season.

    And while we're at it, name ten teams where Shawn Horcoff and Dustin Penner couldn't crack the third line. Seriously, you're embarassing yourself.

  • And while we're at it, why doesn't everybody who's really worked up just step back from the ledge a little… let's try and remember that the Oilers are pretty much league-average at this point; 13 teams are tied or below them.

    It's parity. That isn't to say that Lowe, Tambellini, MacTavish and everybody else shouldn't be called out for their errors, but this team is hardly the Islanders or the Thrashers.

    They're mediocre. Unfortunately for fans, the current NHL system punishes mediocrity and rewards lousiness.

  • yo

    If those who have posted here are in fact true Oiler season ticket holders who are taking a pass on playoff tickets I am only surprised that they are the only ones doing it and saying so publicly. The Oil haven't got the roster or the balls to make the playoffs. One very bad sign is the fact that KLowe and MacT are willing to drag the teams reputation through the mud so they can keep their jobs. Their collective departures will not have the honor or recognition attached to them because of their feckless incompetence. I think their reputations are somewhat in jeopardy because they have overstayed their welcome and performed very poorly. The only question is how long will it take to right the ship.

  • wiggs22

    I read on another web site an idea oon trading schremp and/or pouliot to pitsburgh? pouliot played with crosby way back and they'd have chemistry and lets face it…. schremp will never play as long as macT breathes. Could be an incentive peice in a deal.
    What about Frolov. He's got 25 goals so far and plays left wing. We already have a good relationship with LA. What would it take to get him?

  • Bruno

    moose66 wrote:

    the Oilers will always have the die-hard fans that read the threads and post on blogs like this and buy their season tickets.

    Thats the problem! I just think we need change.. A new begining. But not now . Has to be in the summer. We are still in the hunt for a playoff spot.
    CLEAN THE OUTHOUSE it stinks!

  • Pokie Reddik

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    And while we’re at it, why doesn’t everybody who’s really worked up just step back from the ledge a little… let’s try and remember that the Oilers are pretty much league-average at this point; 13 teams are tied or below them.
    It’s parity. That isn’t to say that Lowe, Tambellini, MacTavish and everybody else shouldn’t be called out for their errors, but this team is hardly the Islanders or the Thrashers.
    They’re mediocre. Unfortunately for fans, the current NHL system punishes mediocrity and rewards lousiness.

    Well this management is the reason the Oilers are where they are. I truly applaude the EIG for thier hockey savy where there was a power strugle where the majority wanted to get rid of LOWE, they did not want to sign an extension. For people who have never played pro hockey and well in thier years they knew a lot more than present company including all the promoted do called asstG.M.'s. Sadly to say there is no hope in the future for Oiler fans, all you can do is voice your displeasure, which will fall on deaf ears or skip the games, there will be someone else to take your place but this is dwindling too where half price tickets for some games go on sale a few days before the usual(nashville was mostly promo nite, but St.louis is another example).Tampa fans had thier say and they listened, Tampa, and her 5000fans! Maybe just boycott Rexal Drugs and Katz will feel the pinch like the rest of the country, and he can take away Lowes 56million toy away.

    Pokie

  • yo

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    They’re mediocre. Unfortunately for fans, the current NHL system punishes mediocrity and rewards lousiness.

    Jonathan,
    Sadly you are right. The scary big picture is having Bettman saying the situation is not the situation and teams like Phoenix are going to lose $30 large for a total of $200 large. (Read millions of dollars lost during the current ownership.) Who can continue to do that just to have NHL hockey in Arizona? Bettman's penchant for medling is putting the league in considerable jeopardy.

    The scary small picture is the Oil are the very definition of mediocrity. I'd say 18 of the last 19 seasons make this pretty much an undisputed fact. I could handle mediocrity for a time if the team went out and busted their asses and brought as much as they could every night. This team with 30-40% AHLers doesn't even come close. Penner may be the new prototype of an Oiler player. Heartless, gutless and useless. If Clarkenstein is for real then the day may be coming when there will be a backlash of unknown proportions by fans and commercial sponsors.

    Did the Oil not raise ticket prices for '09/10? What a slap in the face to the fans. How far will Katz let this situation go? What do you think it will take for Katz' to react?….empty seats that's what.

  • David S

    yo wrote:

    If those who have posted here are in fact true Oiler season ticket holders who are taking a pass on playoff tickets I am only surprised that they are the only ones doing it and saying so publicly. The Oil haven’t got the roster or the balls to make the playoffs. One very bad sign is the fact that KLowe and MacT are willing to drag the teams reputation through the mud so they can keep their jobs. Their collective departures will not have the honor or recognition attached to them because of their feckless incompetence. I think their reputations are somewhat in jeopardy because they have overstayed their welcome and performed very poorly. The only question is how long will it take to right the ship.

    So I guess if they DO make the playoffs, your whole argument is pretty much blown outta the water, right?

    Man, the amount of couch GM's on this site is amazing.

    Guys. The team is pretty much where most informed bloggers put them at the beginning of the year. 3 more wins and you'd be planning the parade right now. I'll admit that MacT screwed up by letting his enthusiasm get the better of him at the beginning of the year, but I don't think that's enough to hang him quite yet.

    We're running in a whack of young guys, probably more than any other team in the league, and we're still in it. I checked the 07/08 stats a few days ago, and we're about 7 points ahead of last year. Hate to break it to you, but we're not winning the cup this year. Given that, it seems a bit premature to bring out the lynching squad just yet.

  • deepoil

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    W.T. wrote:
    W.T. watching Sportsnet on his Sling Box. They are saying Oilers need a top 6 forward and a goalie. Wow, who would of guessed. Maybe they have one top six foward so they really need 5 top 6 fowards and a goalie. But hey, you Oiler fans will once again but all your faith in KLowe and Tambo. Sleep well knowing your team is in great hands.
    Because clearly, the goaltending has been a major issue.
    I don’t care what prattle Bill Watters spews from his pulpit, or however many folks like yourself gobble it up, but drinking the Sportsnet Koolaid is equally as stupid as blind faith in Kevin Lowe.
    Dwayne Roloson lets in some weak goals, but he’s been above average this season.
    And while we’re at it, name ten teams where Shawn Horcoff and Dustin Penner couldn’t crack the third line. Seriously, you’re embarassing yourself.

    explain yourself here – horcoff is making first line money and penner second line money – where does your third line reference have any weight

  • Peter Pan

    deepoil wrote:

    sorry oilers can lose a portion of funds as long as the nj accountants approve the cross branding of the conglomerate – when you have a company called rexall that is profitable and is paying corporate tax – rexall sports is the ying to the yang and sometimes the expenses of an entertainment entity are positive to have in the term of checks and balances – making money is not primary – capturing the brand name and association with non taxable benefit is KEY – you can hide a lot of cash in a hockey team with losses – great tax avoidance vehicle…. really

    Hey Deep Throat. As smart as you try to make yourself sound, please explain to me the last 17 years prior to Rexall owning the team, which hasn't even been a full year yet? Quit trying to be smart. Everyone has access to a thesaurus.

  • @ W.T.:

    Good for W.T. As anyone who has read me regularly knows, I have a ton of respect for Bob McKenzie. Of ocurse, I don't contract out my thought processes to him, so maybe that's the difference.

    Now, you aren't answering my question, which was aimed at your ridiculous claim that the Oilers only have one top-six NHL forward, but I'll give you another one – who would you say the Flyers top three centres are?

    Personally, I'd go with Richards – Carter – Briere, although my understanding was that Carter had been playing on the wing. If Carter's up the middle, McKenzie is right, if not, he's wrong, because Shawn Horcoff is a far superior player to Daniel Briere. On the other hand, if Carter's listed as a centre, the only Flyers wingers I see as clearly better than Dustin Penner are Simon Gagne and… Simon Gagne. Does that make Penner a #1 winger?

    You claimed the Oilers had only one top-six forward. I claim that's hyperbole, and wrong.

  • W.T.

    W.T. after he stops laughing would suggest that if, as you say, Dustin Penner is a #1 winger for a team like the Flyers, who by the way are 11points ahead of the Oilers and will make the playoffs, then he must be carrying the team he is with now.

  • @ W.T.:

    I didn't say Dustin Penner was a #1 winger. I extended your argument to it's logical conclusion, and suggested you were wrong.

    Which you are.

    Still, I see you have no real desire to try and defend your argument, and that's probably wise; indefensible positions are no fun at all.

  • Deep Oil

    Deans wrote:

    Wow the pitchforks and torchs are out. Enough with all this BS about how you will stop being a fan if the Oilers dont make “signicant changes ” to the managment/roster/Mark Shultz.
    I still want the Oilers to make the playoffs and I still think that they will. I know alot of fans want to blow this whole thing up (myself included) but dont delude yourself into thinking that you dont want to see the Oilers in the playoffs. Even if they get shitrolled by SJ in 4, it will be a blast to experience playoff hockey in Edmonton.
    It’s fun to play arm chair GM and agrue w/ other fans, but regardless of what changes are made we will still be die hard Oilers fans. Look at the brightside, we have Katz as the owner not Harrold Ballard. This team is committed to winning in a market where hockey demand is high and supply is small. Yah Im dissapionted w/ the season too but dont question the Oiler’s managments desire to win. No matter how many sellouts in a row the organization is still commited to winning.

    IS being silent better than being vocal (at least once) – Katz – ….. Gene Melnyk is right twice as
    day accoording to his watch.

    Oilervision will get you either way with Mark Schultz in the house or Gene P on the tube – too bad the oil could not provide some compensation for this corporate shilling by MS – and provide some ice ambassodors – but that would violate Northlands marketing policy – who controls the ice in conjunction with oilers operation