PRENDERGAST GONE

We have to admit that we were a bit surprised when the news hit the wire that Oilers VP of Hockey Operations and Assistant GM Kevin Prendergast has been relieved of his command – a short time after the Oilers had finished 30th in the league and waddled off into the offseason.

We can’t help but think that this is a dash of scapegoating more than anything else and that the real issue lies elsewhere within the organization. However upon further review – and some feverish texting with Gregor – one can see the logic behind the rationale behind the thinking supporting the move.

The Oilers haven’t had a dedicated farm team in over 15 years. This has certainly had an adverse effect on the overall ability to develop players within the organization, notably the lack of NHL ready goaltending and the thinness of the AHL defensive corps. Coupled with the fact that the Oilers have had the ability to attract ZERO free agents of any magnitude beyond Khabibulin –

*cough*

It is clear that the team is going to have to rebuild the team from within if it is to see any playoff action in the forseeable future. Steve Tambellini has alluded to this much in his press conference following the Oilers securing the first pick overall in the 2010 Entry Draft in his "state of the union address:"

"We have to be great at assessing for the draft, of cultivating that type of mindset and so many areas from strength and conditioning to team expectations to work habits to one day getting a chance to play in Oklahoma City to, further than that, getting a chance to play with the Edmonton Oilers. And the development doesn’t stop just because you’ve arrived here."

FACT

Prendergast has been overseeing the farm system for the past three years.

FACT

The Springfield Falcons did their best Edmonton Oilers impersonation with a last place finish in the AHL. 

CONCLUSION

This simply cannot continue with the expected influx of draft picks over the coming years as the Oilers continue to rebuild. The ability to develop draft picks into players who are able to contribute both at the AHL and NHL level is a critical piece of the team over the next 5 years.

Changing Prendergast out – in theory – starts to address this issue.

Today’s announcement can either be viewed as an inconsequential move or part of a larger process to improve the culture of the Oilers entire organization.

We personally have no idea which is the correct conclusion to make.

We will put it to a poll.

      • Deep Oil

        Oilers have a track record of being non communicative and unprofessional on and off
        the ice, this goes back to Sather, where it was his way or the highway, having staff on the payroll that no one knew what they did – and these scouts are not be confused with Barry Fraser, home office Cabo San Lucas.

        The hockey club is handcuffed for the next feew years based on contracts by Lowe and Tambellini that are dogs.

        Oiler fans have been escorted out of the building for signs that were questioning the trade of Ryan Smyth as per GLOBAL TV, I guess if you pay your dollar, you can only holler,
        no jiffy markers.

        When Tambellini was calling out his team to be better, not once in his annual temper tantrum pressor did he state that he would try to be better. Look in the mirror Tambo, as the Oiler kettle is very black.

        Oilers show a pattern here, treat their hockey assets like meat, fire a 20 year employee by media release, and have a disconnect with their customers.

        Arrogant, ignorant, and intimidate – I can find many agree that have no axe to grind with the team. Just ask many vendors / copperjackets that helped the Oilers on an EMERGENCY BASIS when the low bidders were unable to deliver product for the Outdoor Winter Game. Pants on the ground.

        I had to laugh at LaForge promoting LA LIVE to Edmontonian’s on Oiler owned radio time yesterday. Note to LaForge, the rink beside the development was built for $375 million.
        Staples Center was built privately with 15% assistance from the city of Los Angeles.

        $100 million over 20 years from Staples Inc.
        for naming rights.
        $58.5 million from the city of Los Angeles
        Remainder by the teams – AEG

        http://hockey.ballparks.com/NHL/LosAngelesKings/newindex.htm

        LA LIVE was a 2.5 billion development in Los Angeles that received less than 5% assistance from the city in dollars.

        The city of Los Angeles participated in the 2.5 billion development with $30 million in infastructure support and a $70 million REPAYABLE 50 year loan. This represents a 1% to 3% subsidy.

        Infastructure $30 Million
        http://planitlosangeles.blogspot.com/2008/06/30-million-public-subsidy-for-la-live.html

        Why would Katz need to invest $100 million into the development if this turns out to be a Westgate (Glendale) or a Nationwide in Columbus… developers will come on their own, unless The Katz group see’s a profit opportunity with an appreciating development next to a depreciating rink. Edmontonian’s need to see past the smoke and mirrors here.

        Sorry, but the corporate welfare that the Katz group is seeking seems unjustified, as GM PLACE, ACC, SCOTIABANK, and BELL were built with private funds and pay over $5 million per year in property tax.

        LaForge’s mention on the Team 1260 that the brownfield credits for Nationwide Arena helped the city and the team survive. Note to Patty,
        the arena was built with 100% private funds 10 years ago – EPSN reports that the Blue Jackets are have lost $80 million over 7 years.

        Source:
        http://hockey.ballparks.com/NHL/ColumbusBlueJackets/index.htm

        Source: http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2009/06/01/daily22.html

        • Harlie

          why don’t you call into Team 1260 and mention some of these things and open it up for debate? Coming on here and continually singing to the choir is a waste of time imo.

          • Deep Oil

            It appears that a sports radio station would be biased in terms of having a new barn in there city, at any cost. In reality, Rexall Place is viable for all other events except for generating incremental revenue for NHL hockey.

            LaForge seems to be in love with these entertainment districts, but refrains from mentioning the rinks he is citing examples are PRIVATE Developments with minimal public coin.

            If The Katz group wishes to act like Charles Wang – currently developing the Light House project, just get the zoning take the risk yourself. Wang is pleading with Hempstead City council to rezone the area so he can spend his own money.

            http://www.lighthouseli.com/about/faq
            Here is an excerpt from the lighthouse website:

            How much will the Lighthouse project cost Nassau County, and how will it affect the County’s budget?
            Nassau County will NOT be providing ANY financial support for this project. Currently, the County loses $1.5 million on the Coliseum and has no money in its budget to improve the Coliseum or the surrounding area. However, the Lighthouse will help the County’s budget, creating a profit from the lease of the Coliseum and generating millions in incremental tax revenues, putting the Coliseum back on County tax rolls.

            In Edmonton, charge the season ticket holders a declining rate $40K(GOLD) – $5K(BLUE) PSL, and on the backend cut a deal with the city to receive all TIF revenue from the development $14 million per year and no tax ($5 million) per year from the rink. This is not rocket science – http://www.stadiumpsl.com

            The season ticket holders would generate $250 – $275 million in PERSONAL SEAT LICENSES, $100 million from the Katz group, and the rest via naming rights – done deal. This is how it was done in Toronto at $25K per gold seat and higher for suites.

            The Oilers financial sponsor ATB, could underwrite the Personal Seat License loans with a preferred interest rate, as a database customer marketing spiff = 7500 new customers.

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          Rather then this endless parade of whinny, sniviling drivel, why don’t you just tell us what horrible thing the big bad Oilers did to poor little old Deep Oil.

        • Deep Oil

          I think we will never respect Tambo as long as Lowe’s around. Man it’s seems like yesterday when Lowe was getting standing O’s at Skyreach center. Lowe didn’t deserve the Pronger fiasco, and he never recovered from it. One good punch and now he’s got a glass jaw. Tambo reminds me of John Fergie JR….so sad, so irrelevant.

          • Deep Oil

            RUSTY DRAGON WROTE:

            I think we will never respect Tambo as long as Lowe’s around. Man it’s seems like yesterday when Lowe was getting standing O’s at Skyreach center. Lowe didn’t deserve the Pronger fiasco, and he never recovered from it. One good punch and now he’s got a glass jaw. Tambo reminds me of John Fergie JR….so sad, so irrelevant.
            _______________________________________________

            DEEP OIL:

            I think the bad contracts come from the corporate culture at the top. Listed below are published numbers for NHL sales prior to and after the Oiler transfer to the Katz group from EIG.

            With the Minnesota Wild being sold for $163 million with an arena lease, Tampa Bay for $110 million with 5.5 acres of land and arena lease, and the Glendale Coyotes being sold for $100 with no money down and a $65 million gift / bribe from the city of Glendale to save their economic multiplier in the area…..
            it is obvious that Katz paid $40 – $60 million to much for the team, with no rink lease long term, meaning they have kiss Northlands and do not control their building or destiny. Depreciating team asset based on external liability of no rink to play after 2014.

            If EIG was going to transfer retire shares to one another for $135 million team value prior to Katz pounding his chest with a boatload of borrowed money, bidding against himself, then let stupid do as stupid does.

            So if the owner is throwing around money, with a $100 million loan from CIT group, then the increase in budget from the mid $30’s to the max CAP is an extension of the ego of the owner, just spend BABY. Another example of bad corporate culture is allowing the Baccarat land option to fall from Rexall to WAM DEVELOPMENTS and then the Katz Group having to pay premium (ransom) money to get it back in their hands….. this is just bad business, drunken sailor money – a six million dollar mistake, or profit to WAM.

            Tambellini has stated culture has to change, the question is until you change the corporate culture people or philosophy (Katz and Lowe), the team culture will be poison for a very long time.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            And taking a grain of the truth and stretching it to the point of complete non-sense continues.

            Which contracts are “bad” are open to discussion, but over the last couple of years the consensus was Horc/Bulin/Penner/Souray.

            Only Horc and Bulin have been signed under Katz watch.

            Assuming:

            “then the increase in budget from the mid $30’s to the max CAP is an extension of the ego of the owner.”

            Is talking about the teams payroll coming out of the lockout (under the EIG) vs it’s payroll today…it’s another great example of your shenanigens. The teams has been roughly a cap team since the cap came into play and the teams payroll has increased (roughly) in lockstep with the increase in the cap, and league average salary

            Why these guys let you continue to post on here is beyond me.

          • Deep Oil

            Thank you for agreeing with me that the Horcoff contract was not a positive signing.
            I don’t understand why Lowe would bend over so many times after the failed cup run…. and why Tambellini would sign an over 35 UFA with an irrevocable effect on the cap.

            Maggie the Monkey could spend to the cap and be right 50% of the time.

            As a season ticket holder of both the Coyotes and Oilers, it appears that the $44 million dogs are having more success and will have more cap freedom in 2010 – 2011.

            I am just amused that a business person would bid against himself, spend $200 million on an
            asset with no lease in place and no rink to play after 2014. As mentioned in the past, the Wild were dumped for $163 million with a lease in place, the most hockey crazy city in the United States, noting that Detroit is in the finacial sewer.

            Every year the Oilers miss the playoffs, according to budgets from Sportsnet.ca, the Oilers will lose around $10 million per annum.

            I guess the Oilers will become the Columbus Blue Jackets of Canada both on and off the ice.

  • Destroyko

    To be fair, the Falcons did better than the Oilers even in finishing last. They came in 29th in their league, not 30th.

    KP was probably fired for not engineering a way for the Falcons to finish in 30th, thereby one-upping the big club.

  • OilCrazy

    Anyone else figure this is to make room for Quinn as his replacement and Renney will be the head coach next year?

    Tambellini didn’t hire Prendergassed, so the summer of Steve (per Gregor) is just beginning.

    Quinn was great with the kids at the World Juniors and would do a great job of player development from an executive level while overseeing the Oklahoma team. He’s also getting up there in age, and this would be a logical progression.

    How about them apples?

    • danjo1

      wow… interesting… This thing about communication or lack thereof sure got more interesting. This, along with the story on coppernblue.com about Tabmo “not speaking clearly” certainly lends more credibility to Souray’s arguments.

  • OilFan

    What was the big deal? You fire a guy it’s over. KP needed to be let go. Great guy I’m sure but it’s business. Get over it. Players get traded, staff gets fired part of Hockey. I won’t lose sleep!

      • OilFan

        Ignorant why ? Your family is the most important thing in your life. Do you think he doesn’t talk to them on holidays? No cell phone? The Oilers don’t spill the beans some one else will and then they look like asses

          • OilFan

            That is fair in our lives. You have to agree that had Tambo waited someone would have came out? How would the Oilers look then? I wouldn’t like to tell my family over the phone but I’d find it hard not to if I wasn’t able to see them in person. 20 years I don’t think I’d be able to hold that in. I just hope KP takes the high road. Nothing worse then being that guy that was fired and rips the company you worked for so may years for., then you look like a ass

        • Manson

          Agree with you whole-heartedly…no one about to be skidded gets to issue their own dismissal terms…let alone ask for 3 days. KP needed to go, now we can move on.

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          Exactly, some would have caught wind (like Flaming did) and it would have eventually been leaked.

          for some reason everyone just wants to pile on.

          • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

            Ah that is what they were biatching about. I wonder if Tencer likes to drink, he seems to get into it with a few people in the evenings.

  • I have never been a fan of Prender. I feel we could’ve drafted better and we could’ve developed players better. In today’s NHL you either make it or break it with superior drafting and player development. In the Prender era, this team was historically average to below average in that critical dept. I reiterate the standard line: “thanks for the many years of service and good luck in your future endeavors”. Is that line a bunch of croc…

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    So it was KP’s fault that all his good players were taken from him leaving him nothing to work with in the AHL? Maybe Tambo should see what happens when you take away their top offensive player and goalie, oh wait.

  • Deep Oil

    Maybe just a case of downsizing and duplication of duties that needed to be trimmed down to have a leaner faster more communicative managerial staff . To much beauracracy maybe in Oiler organization slowing decision process, etc. down ?

  • Deep Oil

    Khabibulin will be in court on May 11.
    90% plead guilty with jail time.

    His contract is irrevocable, so anyone that calls into Gregor and suggest that we buy him out should read page 190 section 4 of the CBA

    Source: http://www.nhl.com/cba/2005-CBA.pdf

    2020 hindsight, Craig Anderson sure looks good for the Avalanche, with Rollie only wanting two years for less money.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Well done ,as are most of your remarks, postings and research are . Some of us appreciate your refreshing different slant on subjects .

  • SquidRx

    Deep thoughts by Deep Oil:

    Note to LaForge, the rink beside the development was built for $375 million. Staples Center was built privately with 15% assistance from the city of Los Angeles. = by my calculation 56.25 million

    $100 million over 20 years from Staples Inc. for naming rights. $58.5 million from the city of Los Angeles Remainder by the teams – AEG. Now it is up to 58.5 million

    The city of Los Angeles participated in the 2.5 billion development with $30 million in infastructure support and a $70 million REPAYABLE 50 year loan. This represents a 1% to 3% subsidy. = if my math is correct the city is contributing 100 million.

    So, the only thing I can determine from your research is that different sources provide different dollar amounts that the city contributed. I suggest then that no one is really sure what the city is on the hook for? Maybe Mr. Deep Oil, you shouldn’t use this example as your rock of support.

    I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

    Now that the Ontario government has ripped the profitable kickbacks from the wallets of pharmacies, Mr. Deep Oil, do you believe that Mr. Katz may in fact be required to look for even more money from the city of Edmonton as he must certainly be on the verge of declaring bankruptcy? (please note my literary tongue in cheek)

  • Deep Oil

    @ SQUID

    $58.5 million for Staples Center
    Project was $375 million – city input was 15.6%

    $30.0 million for LA LIVE
    $70.0 million loan over 50 years for LA LIVE
    Project was 2.5 Billion – city input on cash was less than 1%, city input on 50 year loan
    under 3%.

    • SquidRx

      I’m still confused, sorry for belabouring the point. When I read your response I interpret it as a $158.5 million total commitment from the city. I understand that some of it is loan, but it is still initial money commited by the city. Is this not right?

      • Deep Oil

        $30 million infastructure cash gift outlay for lalive – roads, interchange, sidewalks

        $70 million repayable loan – 50 years amortization for lalive

        $58 million gift to AEG – staples centre payment