Deep thoughts XV: Taking a step back

Steve Tambellini and the dive for five

I’m one of many people who has called for Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini to send a clear message to fans he has a plan in place to rebuild the franchise, but I’m not sure he needs a news conference to do it.

While I get the frustration fans are feeling, that they want and expect to see some kind of blueprint for the future, I’m thinking we’re seeing it unfold now, even without the benefit of a state-of-the-union address.

I’d like to think Tambellini is telling us he’s on board with the DFF and is painfully aware of the overhaul that’s needed already — not so much with what he’s done but with what he hasn’t done.

Namely, that he hasn’t rented a goaltender to take the place of Nikolai Khabibulin. Unless I’m mistaking inaction for a plan, and I suppose that’s possible, the decision has been made to leave the crease to Devan Dubnyk, in goal for a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh Thursday, and Jeff Deslauriers. That, without question, is a good thing.

Not only will staying with two unproven goaltenders all but assure a lottery pick in the 2010 Entry Draft, it’ll also give the organization a better read on both of them before next season.

While I was told Tambellini was on the hunt for a goaltender to bolster the AHL farm in Springfield — the Oilers got Andrew Penner instead of Hannu Toivonen, which is the name I was hearing — I never heard he was looking to replace Khabibulin. Thus, I’m thinking plan ahead of inaction.

I, like Jason Gregor, am also hearing Tambellini might be able to do some business where captain Ethan Moreau is concerned. Between now and the trade deadline, I expect we’ll hear the obvious suspects — Moreau, Sheldon Souray, Steve Staios and maybe Fernando Pisani — are being shopped. 

If Tambellini sticks with the kids in goal and moves even two of the four players I just mentioned to free up cap space and build a stockpile of picks and prospects, no official declaration is needed.

Actions, as always, speak louder than words.

Some perspective

Most of us are guilty of going over the top at times when it comes to a passion like hockey, me included, so I’m not going to preach about keeping a healthy perspective. Still, I think it’s worth a thought.

There’s been no shortage of bad feelings and venom spewed by Oilers fans as this season has come off the rails. It’s understandable, to a point. When things are as FUBAR for the hometown hockey team as they are now, fans who support this team emotionally and financially get wound up. They get pissed off. They get carried away. Some of us who write about this team do the same.

Just this week I was blowing snot bubbles and hacking away at the keyboard, deleting nasty comments about my Bang For The Buck Vs. Getting Screwed story, which was about Oilers fans and drew some pointed reactions, when a couple of situations made me step back.

First, I found out somebody I worked alongside for many years, somebody I respect, is gravely ill. While our relationship was mostly business, there was more to it than that. When my son Sam was fighting for his life in the hospital three years or so ago, he cared enough to make a point of asking how things were going. Now, he’s fighting for his.

When I lost my job at The Sun, he was one of the first people to call and tell me how sorry he was. He didn’t have to do that, but he did. Suffice to say, I didn’t give a rat’s ass about the Oilers power play or that some OilersNation readers think I’m a dummy when I got the bad news about him this week.

In addition to that, and I’m guessing any parent can relate, Sam took a bad fever a few days ago. Hearing him moan and cry, I’ve never cared less about the fate of the Oilers. Thankfully, the fever blew over in 48 hours. Sam is fine. The Oilers, not so much. Now I’m back, hacking away.

I guess the point is, we all lose sight of what’s really important, of what really matters, sometimes. Occasionally, life provides us a reminder that hockey, like a lot of things we get distracted by, isn’t all that important in the grand scheme. No children get sick. Nobody dies. Mea culpa.

What’s in a name?

I get flashbacks to the lousy Vancouver Canucks of the mid-1980s whenever the name Taylor Hall comes up. I’ve already seen Taylor Hall play in the NHL, and he was a flaming dud.

The Taylor Hall I remember isn’t the one the Oilers will pass on with the first pick in the 2010 Entry Draft because they know something about Finnish winger Joonas Donskoi nobody else does, it’s the Taylor Hall Vancouver took 116th overall from the Regina Pats in 1982.

That Taylor Hall, a right winger who put up big numbers (63-79-143) with the Pats in 1983-84, played 41 NHL games and tallied 7-9-16 before retired in 1995-96. Slow feet. Heart the size of a pea.

Hall’s longest stint with Vancouver came during the 1985-86 season when he played 19 games and scored 5-5-10 on a Tom Watt team that was horrid. As I recall, Tambellini was on that team.

Man up

Somebody who calls himself jumptheshark at HF Boards was taking a run at Bob Stauffer the other day, bitching about his Oilers Lunch show on TEAM 1260 and lamenting how Stauffer has become a shill since joining the company payroll.

Another poster suggested jumptheshark step out from behind the fake name, call into the show and engage Stauffer. I liked the idea. Can’t see that happening — a lot of people would rather take their shots anonymously and swarm with their buddies on message boards — but I wish people would do it more often.

If somebody has an issue with something I write, if you think my take is wrong or I’m just clueless, comment here by all means, but if you’ve got something to say, phone me at Just A Game on Wednesdays or Thursdays at 426-8326. Give your real name. Have your say. It’ll be fun.

And…

  • Dubnyk looked infinitely more steady than Deslauriers has in his last three starts in the loss to the Penguins, but I’d stick with a rotation that sees Deslauriers start against the Sharks. The remaining games aren’t about wins, they’re about evaluation.
  • Shawn Horcoff made the trip to San Jose with the Oilers today but was sent back to the hotel and didn’t practice. Horcoff took ill Thursday afternoon before the Pittsburgh game.
  • Gilbert Brule, who has missed two games after taking sick, didn’t make the trip. I’m not sure what the NHL record is for games missed due to sickness (as opposed to injury), but I can’t remember a more fragile roster.

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

  • Oil UFA signings this summer…

    Fernando Pisani – 1yr, 850,000
    Mike Comrie – 1 yr, 1.25 mil EDIT: didn't mean a raise, made error… GASP
    Georges Laraque – 1yr, 600,000
    Willie Mitchell – 3yrs, 10 mil
    Ruslan Fedotenko – 3yrs, 7.5 mil

    Let me state – this was my prediction, not my plan.

  • Bob has spoken. He has already floated the "if Montreal buys out the last year of Laraque's deal, do you sign him for 700,000?" scenario. Call it a hunch – but with that, Big Georges' relationship with Darryl, the PR spin of bringing in a legitimate good person that loves the city, and the fact that they could use a "heavy" to play give-or-take half the games – ya, I'll bet on it.

    • Ahhhh, I never heard that….it wouldn't bother me to have Georges at a reasonable price as long as he's agreeable to the half of the games scenario and didn't eat up much of the salary structure.

  • Brocktw

    Robin I have enjoyed your writing for over 10 years now. I hope to have the pleasure of reading your thoughts and opinions for another 30.

    As for the anonymity of the internet, it is part of the machine. Any wise-ass can make up a name and attack with their rants and words. But their is still a big place in this world for men who sign their name to what they write. At least their is a place among other men.

  • Lenny, what McDonalds do you work at, because I don't want to eat a burger cooked by you.

    Relax you idiots! KLowe made mistakes but the mistakes aren't going to be made twice.

    Personally I really appreciate the patience that Tambo has, sure I'm unsettled with the Habby contract however I love the 1 year Grebby contract which looks GREAT right now.

  • Oilchange64

    Random thought…similar vein.

    Lots of people have been calling out Katz as well. Clearly this is an owner who does not want to be in the spotlight. But can anyone seriously think this was what he was expecting when he bought the team? Especially when he needs to build some public momentum for a new building? It has been mentioned before – the diehard fans will always be there (even if they are angry) but the reality is that the general population has fallen into apathy – and that has to be the worst thing that could happen from his perspective.

    Robin, your comments ring true, at the end of the day it is only a game.

    Speaking of which, Gregor's comments of an ethical dilema in an earlier post and yours in this one give this long time follower, but seldom poster, the feeling that there is some sad news on the way.

  • Oilchange64

    Just went back and back read the earlier posts. Re: Bob – he is what he is – certainly some of the edge has come off since he moved into the Oiler camp but I have been surprised that he has said as much as he has. I often disagree with him but there is usually some logic to what he says so I can respect most of his opinions. I don't get his desire to bring George back – yes he would be cheap but he has not been effective, has had a back problem, and I just don't see a role for him at present. Bob is a radio guy and I sometimes wonder if comments are thrown out just to get a reaction. The one that gets me is "losing productively". Get real, tanking is tanking, and we all know it.

    • Of course some of the edge has been taken off, but what does anybody expect? Stauffer works for the Oilers now. I don't understand that criticism or people who put it forward.

      Stauffer could easily settle into his role as analyst on CHED and never utter a discouraging word about the Oilers. That's the norm around the NHL. There are radio crews who make your ears bleed because they are so homerish that they never, ever say anything remotely critical of the team that pays their salary. That's what is expected and that's what is delivered. Bob and Rod Phillips are far more critical and honest about the performance of the team than any other tandem I know of. If people doubt that, so be it, but it's true.

      On top of that, Stauffer has gone outside the collect-a-paycheque comfort zone he has as the radio analyst with Oilers Lunch. He enjoys talk radio and he enjoys debate, so the show was launched. People who say he's not as edgy as he used to be or that he's a shill make me laugh. No, he's not as hard-hitting with his criticsms of the team, but even if his vigor is dialled back a notch or two from the Total Sports days, he's still more biting than anybody else in this town and he's providing people a platform where they can have their say. Some people used to complain that he was incessantly negative. Now, they bitch that he's a shill.

        • I think Stauffer is anything but an uber-homer. Listening to his commentary on Ched is great – he always sounds somewhat exasperated with the whole thing, and he's not afraid to throw out some honesty now and again. Personally I don't really like his attitude as an on-air personality, but I couldn't fault him for completely "selling out" they was some do.

          Which leads me to one of my pet peeves/question for Robin: is it just me, or are the Flames' media personalities the most stomach-turning homers in the league? Between that goofy Flames show on Sportsnet where they sit around the table spouting wisdom like they're on MSNBC, or during the game broadcasts on Sportsnet/TSN/CBC where everything the Flames do is simply magnificent, is there any other team's media who are such lackeys that you've come across Robin? Now, granted, I don't read their newspaper columnists or anything like that, so I'm going off of tv broadcasts, but yeesh…

          • If you're talking about Flames TV, I don't watch it so I can't really comment.

            To me, it would be like watching the Home Shopping Network or something like that — it's produced and aimed at selling a product and you have to recognize that. No different than Oilers PPV. No matter what team you're talking about, you're not going to get any hard-hitting honesty from this kind of format and shouldn't expect any.

            I think you have to separate team broadcasters who are rightsholders from the rest because they have a product to sell and it makes no sense to get fired up about them being "homers" because that, by and large, is what the job description demands. Newspapers and non-rightsholders should, and generally do, approach things with a more critical eye.

          • HottScarrison

            Understandable but if you were to compare millions(roger) to quinn(kevin) who would you say is the better of the two at doing their job in selling their respective team?

          • HottScarrison

            My bad. Loubardias is so dry though. I'll show my bias and say Quinn for play-by-play and Gene just cuz he's having a blast most nights and his puns just kill me most of the time. He's had some really bad ones though. Loubardias' tone never changes.

          • Roger Millions is a homer. That FlamesTV show makes me giggle. I can't even watch a whole show. I joke that the host is Sutter's hired hand on the farm – he feeds the cows all week, then does that show on the wknd. Charlie Summer as the color man – give me a break. I do however like Peter Loubardias. He's a pretty smart hockey guy if you listen to him talk hockey, especially Jr. hockey. Eric Francis isn't always pro-Flames. The radio guys at FAN960 – 50/50 for me.

          • Oilchange64

            That goofy Flames shows brass was pretty fast to slam a gag in Theo Fleury huh? Kirstie Day must have choked on her latte when Theo started spouting off at the Flames brass and Craig Conroy.

            I can just imagine the conversation…. you **!%#*+!_+)_#)$+ idiot, many of the people buying our book happen to like the Flames.. so STFU, read this apology and STFU.

      • x2

        I like that we get to hear Oilers Lunch with Bob more than I'd like not hearing him at all. I've listened to Bob for 5+ years. He's come a long way in that time, and even longer if you go back further.

  • Oilchange64

    R.B. – Would it be that out of line for Lowe to step before a camera somwhere and take responsibility for the situation surrounding the Oilers personnel and contracts? I realize communication from Rexall brass is virtually non-existent but really, would it take some of the pressure off Tambellini with the press and fans if he manned up and did that or even some slightly watered down version of that gesture?

    Right at this point Tambo looks like someone with a serious vitamin deficiency…a deer frozen in the headlights…if you know what I mean.

    • What could Lowe tell you that isn't obvious to fans now?
      I think, if fans are honest about it, that they're less interested in taking the pressure off Tambellini than they are in getting their pound of flesh from Lowe. The team is bad right now, fans are frustrated about it and pointing their fingers at Lowe. They want him to validate that blame by saying, "Yes, I screwed things up."
      Would it make them feel better? I guess so. Does it accomplish anything beyond that? I think not.

      • I think a large part of the frustration amongst the fans is that there is alot of "I won't be fooled again".

        The team has under delivered on managements public expectations for a number of years and finally this year they have fallen off the cliff all together.

        People are taking stock in how they want to support the team moving forward…which shouldn't be confused with not caring for the team.

        They just want reassurances from the decision makers that they know where the problems lie, know what they want to do to get out from under those problems and that they aren't simply flying by the seat of their pants.

        Giving a state of the union does two things. It offers that reassurance (even superficiously) and, perhaps most importantly, it gives us something to guage them against.

        After MacT was let go Tambellini laid out what he saw, then didn't deliver. Now he is saying nothing and no one knows definatively if that's by plan or by incompetence. This is the type of stuff that erodes a fan base.

        The Oilers may be reaching a cross roads that will be the difference between fans showing patience and seeing empty seats as a regular thing at Rexall.

        I think it's important for management to give a state of the union and then in short order make decisions that indicate that they are following up with it.

        There are only two logical reasons I can see that they wouldn't want to do that, one is to not throw any individuals under the bus on the way out of town. That's fair but it's also not necessary if they word their statements properly.

        The second assumption is that they still haven't crafted a plan moving forward. I think that this is the assumption most of the really frustrated people have made, and it has history on it's side when looking at this management group.

        A question for you Robin;

        Do you find the Oilers management operating differently, in terms of making themselves available to fans through the media, under Katz's ownership vs when it was the EIG?

        It seems to me that when the EIG was in control we would hear KLowe on the talk shows or through newspaper columns a few times a year talking about the state of the team and yet the last couple seasons there has been hardly a peep.

        I'm not sure if that is a difference in ownership, a difference in personality between KLowe and Tambellini or just a fabricated perception through my growing frustration.

        • Access to management (and players) by media has been tightening for years, dating back to the EIG. I don't think it's a product of Katz, but rather a continuation.

          Up until 10-12 years ago, the beat writers would wander into the dressing room before practice, have a coffee and shoot the breeze with players, coaches etc — just talk hockey — without even a formal interview being done. The team was the most accessable in the NHL. The beat guys regularly chatted with the GM or head coach on the phone, doing interviews and touching base as we saw fit.

          Now, there's no access to the room until after practice, players are often in the back and don't come out unless an interview is requested. Players are hearded out, they get scrummed and everybody gets the same thing.

          As for management, we're directed by the Oilers media relations staff to run all interview requests through them. Calling anybody like Lowe or Tambellini directly — even if they've provided us their numbers and have known us for 20 years — is discouraged and gets you a lecture from the PR staff.

          The lack of access isn't a product of Katz ownership style, but a long-term trend.

  • MrOiler

    The players are taking the brunt of criticism , yet they are all being expected to do more while accomplishing less because management built this team with too many non gritty and diminutive players . Our club for the last 3 seasons has not been one that in reality can/ should be competitive defensively with such a massive emphasis on less than adequate size and grit in a very physical division . Most of our problems are managerial, and their inability to give the veterans and team bodies with skill to compensate for our lack of size and grit !! Veterans are frustrated trying to compensate for those glaring holes that have never been filled by management to help them regain their game and not be always put in the position of doing more with less . It's obvious it's taken a toll on their games, bodies ( constsnt infirmary problems ) and physche . They are basically burnt out by seasons end with no relief from management to be honest whom almost never is filling voids with any efficiency . Gutting the team may not be the right answer and may make rebuilding process that much longer . The team is about 1 goal a game away from still being a contender( over .500 again) even with all the glaring voids we have . Fill those voids first and then assess veterans and club before gutting the veterans and team might just be the most effective course to take . Our current goalies as an example are mediocer at best – yet the last couple of years we have had next to stellar goaltending , and it's obvious in the ratings and standings . Fill that void to make a future proper assessment first . Also fill the faceoff void , etc .. , and trade some dimiutive players for some with size , skill and grit ! Lack of good management has made assessing veterans having to play beyond their comfort and skill levels for far too long and it's continuing to destroy their usefullness and effectiveness . It's not for lack of trying by the players . We are where we are in standings more because of a lack of effective management , than player personnel that they have stuck the team with and seem to delight in blaming the players , injuries and not themselves that put this team together to begin with !! Having the coaches rant incessantly about the players mistakes isn't exactly helping either at this stage !! What can you honestly expect from these players with a team sadly lacking size, stellar goaltending and overall grit to begin with – not to even mention all the glaring holes management has been lax in filling over last 3 seasons ?? Fix management problems first , then maybe fixing the team will follow swiftly .Financial woes, etc. are also managerial gaffes that they have done nothing about for far too long – it's intolerable and unacceptable by any standards and has kept our club mirred in a downward spiral with little hope or light to the future success of the team .

  • Gerald R. Ford

    Re: Stauffer

    The difference between Oilers Lunch and Total Sports doesn't really boil down to "shill" accusations for me. I've always liked Stauffer, and I can't blame him for wanting to advance his career in a more "corporate" direction. That said, the new show has a very different tone to it, and I just don't think it's as entertaining a radio program as TS was in its prime. It just isn't as much fun. I get the sense that Stauf feels more of a direct responsibility to the Oil to provide them with a good marketing product, than he does to the audience to entertain them. Doesn't mean he's a shill, but it does feel like he's more rehearsed. I miss the non-sequiturs, the endless monologues on the virtues of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being", the trivia contests, Train-wreck Tuesdays with Ken Reid live in the studio, and everything else that he doesn't have time, or an inclination, for now.

    I do not, however, miss Serious Gord mouth-breathing into his cell phone at 102 decibels.

  • HottScarrison

    Yes Ferraro was very good. That is why he is on tsn now. How Mact got on there? wow. That horcoff olympic comment fast-tracked him off of there in a hurry.

  • HottScarrison

    First time poster as I just signed up to the nation!

    I will comment on a number of topics:

    1. Stauffer – I only catch about a half hour of the show week days as it does not come on the air until 4:30pm here in St. John's. Of what I hear I like because Bob lets people have their say and then offers his rebuttal. Does he defend the Oilers? Yes but thats his job and he's a fan of the team. I think he's 10 times better than Dan Tencer.

    2. The goaltenders – I have the Centre Ice package so I've watched at least bits and pieces of every televised Oiler game for the past 2 seasons. This year I've watch all 3 goalies play. I think all 3 have played well at times and stunk the joint out at times. Last summer I did like the signing of the 'Bulin Wall but I think it was 2 years to long. I hope he makes a full recovery and comes back next season. JDD has played well in stretches and shows a competitive nature on the ice, makes 3-4 brilliant saves per game but he always seems to let in that one deflating goal and that kills any momentum the team may have. Until he can correct that aspect of his game he cannot be a #1 goalie. Dubnyk, on the other hand, has had a ridiculous amount of bad luck in his 3-4 appearances in the Oiler net. What I like about him over JDD is that he seems more calm in the net and lets the game/puck come to him. In my humble opinion neither of the 2 prospects (JDD or DD) will become an elite goaltender based on their current development path. However, if I had to pick one to keep it would be Dubnyk as he is more technically sound.

    3. Management – Its amazing how just a few years ago KLowe was considered a brilliant GM. Its just as amazing that a couple years ago most fans seemed happy with the appointment of Tambo as GM. Now both men are cast as villains.
    In KLowe's case he rewarded the pieces of '06 cup run with new contracts. I believe all were justified however the term is what was wrong. The thing is had KLowe let those players walk away for nothing he would have ripped in the media/fans for not trying to keep the team together. The unfortunate part is that the two key pieces, Smyth and Pronger, were moved and never really replaced. Tambo, on the other hand, has come into a situation that is hard to rectify over night. Very few trades are made in the NHL anymore because its a cap system. He has made some 'interesting' decisions with adding 'Bulin and O'Sullivan but other than that I think Tambo has done ok. I'm sure that neither men (KLowe or Tambo) are sitting on their hands. Both are doing what they can to try and make something happen. Unfortunately, its going to take time and we have to be patient. I believe this season, while crappy for us fans, is what needs to take place. The team needs to fail, be knocked down and start to build it up again.

    4. Coaching Staff – I think the Quinn-Renny led staff are fine. I believe that they will find a way to get this team to overachieve —- but it won't be this season. This season is a groundwork season and if you watch closely you can see signs of the groundwork taking place. The unfortunate thing is consistency….its just not there yet.

    5. The current roster – Take the starting goaltender and best player out of any line-up in the league and there will be problems. Have a season of injury, illness and players playing through things they probably shouldn't and there will be problems. That being said there are pieces to work with. I like Gagner, Cogliano, Penner, Brule. Smid, Gilbert and Potulny as guys who can play well here going forward. The return of Hemsky and 'Bulin will also help. One of Souray or Vishnovsky should be kept on the back end and there will always be room for bangers like Jacques and Sotrtini. I would also keep Pisani if he could stay healthy and if he would take a pay cut. The rest of the players like O'Sullivan, Staios, Grebeskov, Stone, Moreau, Nilsson etc need to move on and be replaced by better players. The sad thing to me is a player like Horcoff. I think he is a good player. Unfortunately, his salary and injury problems this season have made him a lighning rod for criticism. It may be best if he could be moved for another forward who is considered overpaid as well.

    Thats enough for now…love to hear what your thoughts are Mr. Brownlee.

    Oh and remember if the Oil don't win a game the rest of the season….who cares! When we compare the Oilers results with what the people of Haiti are going through the performance of a hockey team is very very insignificant.

  • james_dean

    Lowe has hurt the team similar to the way Junior Fergie did in the center of universe. Similar in a way because of contracts given to players ie:

    (Blake – Horcoff)
    (Tucker – Moreau)
    (Mcabe – Staios) imagine if pies didnt score that SH OT beauty in game 5 of finals

    Its too bad to even put those players in the same brackets because all three of them (2former/ 1current) are better overall then what we got right now.

    Both GMs did their job with the same idea of

    "We have to make the playoffs"

    So the quick fix signings to never risk losing what you have, turned out to be a sham for the most part; (he didnt want horcoff to get 75 points in 08-09 and lose him to a high free agent contract as they did #94 in 06-07)

    Burke (what a goof) came in and got rid of who he could quickly, but made a mistake in the kessel deal (I cant wait for Boston to get a top three from that pick)

    Point is: Lowe offered Tambo the job to clean up the talent pool here and that will happen soon enough. What burke did with the fire sale so soon into his tenure backfired.

    You all will soon see;

    "In the next 5 years the Oil finish with more playoff wins than the leafs" (my quote)

    So Burke won a stanley cup, thats great. Lowes' won 6 cups, want to count rings?

  • Jodes

    Okay, since there was a request for it… Hope this helps ya David S!

    As posted by madjam

    The players are taking the brunt of criticism , yet they are all being expected to do more while accomplishing less because management built this team with too many non gritty and diminutive players .

    Our club for the last 3 seasons has not been one that in reality can/ should be competitive defensively with such a massive emphasis on less than adequate size and grit in a very physical division .

    Most of our problems are managerial, and their inability to give the veterans and team bodies with skill to compensate for our lack of size and grit !! Veterans are frustrated trying to compensate for those glaring holes that have never been filled by management to help them regain their game and not be always put in the position of doing more with less .

    It's obvious it's taken a toll on their games, bodies ( constsnt infirmary problems ) and physche . They are basically burnt out by seasons end with no relief from management to be honest whom almost never is filling voids with any efficiency .

    Gutting the team may not be the right answer and may make rebuilding process that much longer . The team is about 1 goal a game away from still being a contender( over .500 again) even with all the glaring voids we have . Fill those voids first and then assess veterans and club before gutting the veterans and team might just be the most effective course to take .

    Our current goalies as an example are mediocer at best – yet the last couple of years we have had next to stellar goaltending , and it's obvious in the ratings and standings . Fill that void to make a future proper assessment first . Also fill the faceoff void , etc .. , and trade some dimiutive players for some with size , skill and grit ! Lack of good management has made assessing veterans having to play beyond their comfort and skill levels for far too long and it's continuing to destroy their usefullness and effectiveness . It's not for lack of trying by the players .

    We are where we are in standings more because of a lack of effective management , than player personnel that they have stuck the team with and seem to delight in blaming the players , injuries and not themselves that put this team together to begin with !! Having the coaches rant incessantly about the players mistakes isn't exactly helping either at this stage !!

    What can you honestly expect from these players with a team sadly lacking size, stellar goaltending and overall grit to begin with – not to even mention all the glaring holes management has been lax in filling over last 3 seasons ?? Fix management problems first , then maybe fixing the team will follow swiftly .

    Financial woes, etc. are also managerial gaffes that they have done nothing about for far too long – it's intolerable and unacceptable by any standards and has kept our club mirred in a downward spiral with little hope or light to the future success of the team .

    Hope you don't mind me doing this Madjam.

    Does anyone else contemplate "what might have been" if JDD (not sure about Dubnyk) would have entered into the Oilers system and we had a "real" farm team and not had to share one with someone else who put their goalie before ours?

    Still not sure who to blame for that one, some say EIG, others say Lowe.

    Robin, who would have been in charge of the farm teams back then?

    Thanks!

  • Jmask5

    I think all the Canadian teams are forced to make bad moves to be honest. The last Canadian team to rebuild from the draft was the Ottawa Senators and look at the results. The team could have and should have won the cup at least 2 times in the early 2000s. The Other teams have too much pressure on them to make the playoffs every year, and so they are forced to make a bad move in order to try and better the team.

    Some of those moves are better then others and that is pretty much the difference between these teams. I mean if Vancouver didn't get a freebee superstar goaltender from Florida they'd probably be in the same position as us. Calgary is a team that also relies heavily on their Goaltending but have managed to also make some good moves on D. They still can't score to save their life and that's why the won't win the cup anytime soon. As for the eastern teams. Toronto is always one bad move after the other because the media and fans there would never accept a rebuild and same with Montreal.

    THe Oilers are no different ofcourse and have made moves under pressure that have bit them in the ass. I think its safe to say that the Oilers will be the next Canadian team since Ottawa to start from the begining and I also think they will be the next Canadian team to win the Cup.

  • Well great news for the DFF….

    Pisani and Stone are now out with the flu. The Oil are going to ice a partial line up this afternoon by the sounds of it. I think 10 forwards, if I'm not mistaken.

    Edit: actually they just announced that Horcoff is in.. so that's 11 forwards.

    P.S., where is your GDB, you lazy bitches? 😛

  • Greg MC

    A lot of flu cases. Can't believe they haven't had their shots, as there is enough vaccine for everyone.

    I am thinking more along the lines of food poisioning, as they eat out together a lot, I read! Hope it isn't an Edmonton restaurant…

  • Greg MC

    @BrockTW

    As for the anonymity of the internet, it is part of the machine. Any wise-ass can make up a name and attack with their rants and words. But their is still a big place in this world for men who sign their name to what they write. At least their is a place among other men.

    It is also called \"My boss could read this site and know what I do all day\". What is in a name anyway? I could post my name, and it still means nothing to you just like an online alias (unless Im special, which I am not). I always find it amusing when RB bashes the fact people use online aliases when the people who run the site do so too.

    @RB Sorry to hear about your friend, thoughts and prayers with him. I disagree with calling the radio station to bicker over if you are clueless or not as it is not your analysis of that most people disagree with but \"Robin\'s Rage\". Would make for boring and childish radio. If I wanted that Id listen to FM.

    Apology accepted.

    My name is Derek.

  • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

    DougieF89 wrote:

    Oh and remember if the Oil don't win a game the rest of the season….who cares! When we compare the Oilers results with what the people of Haiti are going through the performance of a hockey team is very very insignificant.

    I don't mean to come across as insensitive, so please avoid excessive inference when reading these next statements:

    What's happened in Haiti is tragic. Perspective is important, but don't go overboard with 'putting things into perspective'.

    My dog died yesterday, for instance. Are you going to tell me that's insignificant, too?

    • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

      Hmmm how to start the rebuilding process.
      first Visnovskii and stone to Florida for Mac intyre and Vokoun. Next Staios and Delaurier to Montreal for Halak and Laroque. Why bring back Macintyre since he left this team has played scared , remember at start of the season they hit everything that moved now……? How to Fix the scoring issue i don't know where to begin. this team needs size and aggression. not a bunch of guys who defend thamselves with their purses. a captain who plays on the fourth line. And lets find a real effective disturber. Zack Stortini is not a tough guy his fights are like watching two prepubecent kids make out. i really weep for you season ticket holders because when my family had season tickets from 1973- 1990 we never paid more than 2k a year including playoff and we saw success. you poor suckers.

  • Lofty

    Oh and remember if the Oil don\'t win a game the rest of the season….who cares! When we compare the Oilers results with what the people of Haiti are going through the performance of a hockey team is very very insignificant.

    Yes, it is perspective. I donated to the Haiti relief at work (where they matched dollar for dollar donations, good on em) so I am not heartless. However, Haitians mean little to me whereas the Oilers mean more. It\'s a sad fact of our society that most people think the same way I do. If I had the choice of Haiti getting 10 more earthquakes= Oilers win the cup, well, I don\'t want to answer that because I\'d get flamed. When QC was hit with ice storms I saw nothing of a \"Haitian relief effort for Canada\". Sure we have more money than them, but I am lucky I do not have relatives that are affected by the disaster, I would feel differently if I had ofc. But to dismiss others feelings as trivial because something bad happened doesn\'t make sense. Someone is being tortured right now to death as we speak, so we shouldn\'t care about the Haitians? There is always something worse.

  • MrOiler

    Brownlee, if you keep making good points in your articles you'll get banned from the Internet.

    a) some much needed perspective on life vs. hockey

    b) Stauffer is a pro who really gives a damn about his job

    Sometimes the anonymous blogger/rant thing just brings out the worse in human behaviour. I get wistful for the old days when you had to stand up for what came out of your mouth.

    The Oilers suck, there's a lot of work to do, but I won't stop being a fan … it's just not a lot of fun right now.

  • Greg MC

    Oilers second last overall, Falcons last overall, Thunder second last overall. This organizations first priority needs to be a complete overhaul the scouting staff…starting with Prendergast and MacGregor.

    • MacGregor isn't the problem. He's only been in charge for two years – Eberle & Svensson is a decent start. He's about the only guy that deserves a pass. Prendergast on the other hand should be gassed!

      • MacGregor has only been head scout for two years but he's been part of the scouting staff for eight so he's been involved in a lot of their crap picks over the years and also deserves to be gassed.