The Airing of Grievances

Frank Costanza: "And at the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!" On Festivus eve, I thought it might be an idea to get a head start. 

Here are my issues with the Edmonton Oilers hockey club:

  1. Why don’t you address the penality kill? It’s really horrible. Call up Reddox, make a trade or sign one of the many free agents still out there. But do something. I don’t expect this team to make the playoffs (making me more realistic than the coach) but lordy it would be nice for the kids to see how a penalty kill works.
  2. Faceoffs. Win them! I was listening to a Logan Couture interview the other day and he says the Sharks pride themselves on winning faceoffs. It’s a real focus for the entire team, from the coaching staff all the way down to the wingers who don’t take too many draws. They’re all pulling together. What are they doing that the Oilers aren’t doing? Couture is over 50%. Why is that? Maybe someone should look into it since it’s been an issue since 2006 spring.
  3. I don’t like the implied threats about the arena. I trust the Oilers know exactly what they’re doing in terms of public relations, the way an adult female knows exactly what is and isn’t covered with every outfit she owns. There’s an undeniable message being sent when "leaks" about "relocating to Quebec City" are allowed to float out into the ether for a few hours before the "we have no plans to move the Oilers at this time" presser reaches the bloodstream. I hope the Katz group remembers there is an enormous amount of resentment over the way Peter Pocklington went Harold Hill on this city and its residents. Let the giant sleep. If it wakes, you won’t like it.
  4. Be nicer to Northlands. You’re going to be hiring their employees soon. We’re seeing the last few months of Northlands. It’s like one of those nature shows where the cheetah takes a snake bite and dies over 8 hours. Painful. The Katz plan (as I understand it) will render Northlands obsolete, but the employees represent Marian the librarian and could be very important to the finale. Anyway, I hope it works out but we’re miles from ‘Til There Was You.

That’s about it. Happy Festivus, everyone! And best of the holidays to you!

  • BarryS

    By the way, Brownlee said “taking digs at the writers here.” Don’t get ahead of yourself, hombre.

    Do you think it’s at all possible that I wasn’t suggesting that Tencer writes here but, rather, that it’s exceedingly thin skinned to complain about people jabbing you for reporting related matters while you yourself delight in kicking the hell out of some schlub based on how he looks?

    Whether Tencer writes here or not wasn’t my point. Say what you will about Dennis but I don’t recall much in the way of comment about the appearance of people here.

    1) Many fans taking the easy way out and blaming Tambellini instead of the players and/or coaches. He’s the favorite whipping boy of the “Oilogosphere,” and it’s not fully deserved. He isn’t perfect, but he’s not entirely to blame for this debacle.

    I will agree that Tambo isn’t entirely to blame. These “players” and “coaches” you mention though…how did they come to be here? Did Jason Strudwick band together with JF Jacques, Zack Stortini, Nik Khabibulin and the rest and decide to establish a hockey team in Edmonton under the direction of Pat Quinn (I haven’t seen too much heat directed Renney’s way, other than with the PK) and install Tambo as a figurehead, like the Queen? My recollection is somewhat different.

    • BarryS

      One thing I’ve noticed of late. Edmonton is clearly a left wing union town, the problems are always because of the owners/management and never because of the workers/players.

      Some guy gets let go or signs somewhere else and everybody is clammering to get him hired back.

      Rule one, don’t like the working conditions quit.

      Rule two. don’t like the product, don’t buy it.

      That’s why we’re a free country, we can freely exercise both options.

    • GSC

      I will agree that Tambo isn’t entirely to blame. These “players” and “coaches” you mention though…how did they come to be here? Did Jason Strudwick band together with JF Jacques, Zack Stortini, Nik Khabibulin and the rest and decide to establish a hockey team in Edmonton under the direction of Pat Quinn (I haven’t seen too much heat directed Renney’s way, other than with the PK) and install Tambo as a figurehead, like the Queen? My recollection is somewhat different.

      Yes, he is to blame for those players…although I see why Struds was re-signed (can’t be as available and as close to his current teammates as a coach). Other than that, no argument here.

      My beef with the ragging on Tambi is that the good things he has done (revamping the farm club, allowing the scouts to do the drafting work, getting something for Staios and O’Sullivan) have largely gone unnoticed, or have been written off as “easy.”

      I think that the guy deserves a chance to clean up Lowe’s mess, and IMO the damage done by the former GM requires several years of janitorial services.

      • I think what most people fail to consider is that Tambellini IS cleaning up Lowe’s mess. The fact that the team has done nothing to correct obvious deficiencies (PP, PK) is proof. We’re starting to see a growing positive trend in offense, that “just happens” to be balanced off by pathetic PP and PK performance.

        The result? ELPH.

        IMO, the team has a very clear plan. That plan is based on losing our way to a bunch of key assets through high drafting. Just the fact that we haven’t called up any D (Belle) or placed either of Horcoff or Hemsky on LTIR is further proof.

        Personally, this plan makes me sick to my stomach to even think about. But it is what it is. I have little doubt both Katz and Lowe are fully on board, and it wouldn’t even surprise me if it was their idea in the first place.

          • Chris.

            No they need somebody to throw a wrench into things once and a while (you know if the team starts heating up too much)… For example: why not have the coach tell the media he expects these young guys to make the playoffs a couple of days before the team embarks on a very difficult road trip? Increased pressure always leads to increased performance levels right?

          • It can be. Think about it. What does Renney say? “Sometimes you have to give the puck up to get it back”. I’d bet some serious cash that a bunch of key moves we’ve all been hoping for will be made this summer. You might even see some hint of this master plan leading up to the trade deadline this season.

            The failing is the easy part. Anticipating the right time to turn the power back on takes some skill. Personally, after the emergence of our rookies (which as a group must be exceeding expectations), I really thought the plan would be accelerated and we might see some moves to give the team a chance to make the playoffs (a pretty decent carrot, and a damn good learning experience). But so far a big NOPE to that idea.

          • Failing is easy to be sure, and in some contexts much more fun. That said, I agree that the next offseason will be revealing in regards to the larger “plan.” I suspect some minor pieces (Vandermeer, Cogs, Brule, Foster) might be in play but the big decisions (Hemsky/Penner) will be made when Tambo has more spare time for assessment. If the glaring holes that every single MSM pundit, blogger and casual fan aren’t addressed in a significant fashion then all Tambo doubters (of which I’d include myself) will become unbearably obnoxious.

  • BarryS –

    I don’t think Edmonton’s a “Blame management” city at all. The media know who is likely to be here in three years and it’s not the players. The media, IMO, set the tone for the fans. If the screw has turned at all lately, it’s only been in the past year or so, when they’ve really bottomed out. In any event, blaming JF Jacques for not being a first line forward is, IMO, silly. Blame the guys who thought he was one, were proven wrong and brought him back anyway.

    Pajamah –

    For a blog that nobody reads, it was sure mentioned a lot on TSN, CBC, Yahoo! and most major national newspapers in the past two months.

    • BarryS

      In my experience, since year one Alberta Oilers, the fans set the tone for the media. When the fans are upset the media gets upset, when the fans realize they risk loosing the team, and begins following it again, for example, the media suddenly becomes all positive.

      As for JFJ, don’t blame him for not bring first line, do wonder about his committment when he doesn’t seem to want to change his game to stay in the league. For all his lack of success, at the moment, at least, Gogs, for example, seems to be trying to make a place for himself.

  • Grievances:

    1)The Mighty Oil are too good to be a lottery team, yet not ready to make the playoffs. Either make it or tank if you please.

    2)Stupid Logan Couture and his 18 goals are putting Eberle’s Calder win in mild jeopardy.

    3)The Arena debate. Kindly enslave us to higher taxes for a generation with a $300 million dollar taxpayer funded arena and get on with the show.

    4)Brule. Pick it up Cuz. Everyone is cheering for you.

  • Chris.

    I think Tyler, Dennis, Gregor, and Brownlee should get together for the Feats-Of-Strenght portion of Festivus. I think Wayne should stream the encounter live on this site… AND I think Archeologuy should be commissioned to design a video game that commemorates the event.

    That is all.

  • Horcsky


    1) When you dump the puck in and every player on the ice goes for a change, it is a turnover. Make smarter dump-ins.

    2) Make smarter changes. There are usually a handful of odd-man rushes that come after a slow change and turnover that fans can see coming every game.

    3) Half of the shots in the Sharks game were us just sliding the puck along the ice to the goalie. Shoot with purpose.

    That is all, everyone else already covered my other grievances. Merry Xmas!

  • Chaz

    The Music at Rexall. Horrible

    Vancouver fans chanting Lou. In my world, being a loo=loser. Any wonder they have had a decent club for about 8 years, and no SCFinals to show for it? All of them, loos.

    That being said, the music in Vancouver’s arena 10x better than ours.

    And I generally agree with Lowetide’s grievances, and forgive him for all things Pouliot.

    It would please me to see Doobs play more in 2011. I sense Toonces evaluating again……..

    Merry Merry to the baby Oil, the Oilers Nation and YOU!

    • Agreed! It’s like redundancy has some magical power of persuasion that evades those who may consider themselves sane.
      But I digress.

      In honor of our dear friend LT I crack open a festive treat.. Glenlivet French Oak reserve. Salud!

      Festivus bitches I have Tencer and Loubardious. ………Auditory trauma.
      I’m good thanks.

  • Chris.

    Oiler lineup now playing above expectations over last 20 games with a large part of that group playing as well as can be expected of late . Still 15th spot . but when you consider Hemsky , Horcoff injured long term , and Souray shipped to Neverland , they still look like a very competitive team getting better rapidly as season progresses . My only beef is upper management innate ability not to address long standing upgrades and voids to help our club more .

    Keep your eyes on David Musil for Czechs in junior tourney – have a feeling he could be on Oilers radar and within where we might finish this season .

    Tambellini a good delegator as most GM’s ?

  • Dan the Man

    I’d be curious to see how much effort teams like Chicago and Pittsburg put into addressing weaknesses in their rosters while they were in the middle of rebuilds.

    I’m feeling way too lazy to analyze their rosters during thoses times so I’m just going to assume that because both teams were so bad for so many years that they probably didn’t do much either.

    Does that make it OK for the Oilers to not address things like the PK and faceoffs?

    I guess it depends whether you want a top 5 draft pick or an opportunity to squeak in to the playoffs.