2010-11 OILERS: BOTTOM OF THE BARREL

What the Edmonton Oilers might do in the future or what they could’ve accomplished this season had an already thin and raw roster not been riddled by injuries is up to debate. That this edition of the Oilers will set several franchise records for ineptitude and futility is not.

With a 23-42-11 record, a 10-game losing streak on the go after a 2-0 loss to Los Angeles Tuesday and six games remaining, the 2010-11 Oilers will re-write several dubious entries in the team record book.

Unless the Oilers win two of their final six games, this team will end up with fewer wins than a team so devoid of depth a lumbering farmer from Irma named Gord Mark played 12 games on defence. Mark is the worst NHL player I have ever seen.

Unless the Oilers pick up three points from their last half-dozen games, they will finish with fewer points than a team that featured a blue line loaded with the likes of Greg Hawgood, Geoff Smith, Brian Glynn and Brad Werenka. Not the Cape Breton Oilers. The Edmonton Oilers.

Of course those teams did not have the potential and could not sell hope the way this one can . . .

TAKING STOCK

Two years — or is it three? — into a rebuild that will see the team contend in another four to six years, according to the calculations of president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe, the Oilers have set, will set or are flirting with several franchise lows.

— The franchise low for wins in a full season is 25, set by the 1993-94 juggernaut that featured Mark ankling around his own end of the rink and a 33-goal rookie named Jason Arnott.

— The franchise low for points is 60, set a season earlier in 1992-93 by a team whose leading scorer, Petr Klima, managed 48 points with a goofy candy-cane tape job on the shaft of his stick.

— The franchise low for goals in a season is 195, set in 2006-07. The Oilers will need to score 15 goals in their final six games to match that. They’ve scored 11 goals during the 10-game losing streak.

— With just two home games remaining, the Oilers will set a new standard for fewest home wins in a single season. They have 12. The record, set in 1995-96, is 15.

— The franchise record for consecutive losses in one season is 11, set in October and November of the 1993-94 season, the one in which Ted Green got bounced after a 3-18-3 start. They will tie that when they lose for the 17th straight time in Minnesota Thursday.

— By the way, leading scorer Jordan Eberle will need nine points in the last six games to match Klima’s whopping 48. Eberle will be lucky to match the 42 put up by Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky, all out for the season.

WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR

Those entries aside, there’s back-to-back 30th-place finishes. Five straight years out of the playoffs is a franchise first. The old record for missing the post-season is four years, a feat done twice.

As for what could have been without all the injuries this season, where would the Oilers have finished had they not lost Ryan Whitney after 35 games and Hall, Hemsky, Gagner and Shawn Horcoff for big chunks of time? Twelfth in the Western Conference, maybe 13th?

As for what might be next season and beyond, are fans expecting Hall, Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi to build on their rookie seasons or are you allowing for the possibility that one or two of them will take a sophomore step back?

Will the Oilers get anybody with a 2011 lottery pick who can match the impact Hall made this season? Will they even land a prospect who can make the roster out of training camp?

What of Gagner and Andrew Cogliano? As good as it gets? Can Hemsky and Horcoff stay healthy? Will GM Steve Tambellini acquire veterans who will give the kids a fighting chance?

I can’t help but think of that 1992-93 team, and how a talented, young player and future captain named Doug Weight insisted better days were ahead. Then came the 1993-94 team and the 1994-95 team and . . .

There is no question Oilers fans are in for better days because, at least by the numbers, it can’t get much worse. The question is how long the pay off, if it actually comes, will take.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

    • Ender

      Don’t be absurd. Just because the MSM tries to drum up some response on a slow news day from a market segment that has been punished into semi-consciousness, that’s no reason to drink it up. Think for yourself.

      Teams move because they are haemorrhaging money and have no chance of being profitable in that market for at least the next decade. They could win the Stanley Cup every year and no one would notice. That’s why teams move, and that’s why Winnipeg may finally get another shot.

      The Oilers are not even close to that scenario. Heck, if we actually won a Cup the city would riot. Two seasons of making the second round of the playoffs and you could easily bankroll this team for another 3- or 4-year stretch out of the dance.

      We’re not going anywhere.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        I remember that as well Ender. One of the three musketeers waved that relocation flag while they were in Montreal earlier this year. Katz,Laforge and Lowe made a side trip into Quebec city that trip, one of those guys did actually used the words “relocation possibilities” in one of the statements released.

        Even though this is very unlikely to happen, it was a kick in the junk to the loyal fan base.

        • Gilmore Tuttle

          One would wonder why they would keep playing the moving card. If Gary “the Count” Bettman won’t move Phoenix when they are costing each of his employers at least $1 to $2 million a year, how could he move a team that is paying into the equalization fund? Despite all the copper and blue fanatics, they can only cry wolf so many times before their bluff is called.

  • Bucknuck

    This team better be at least in the running for a playoff spot next season. Selling at the deadline is fine this year, but if they do it next year (trading a real player for futures) I will be pissed right off.

    It’s time now, Tambo. hear me? Start plugging the damn holes. Aiming for last place for three years is not acceptable, even if your fans are the best in the NHL.

    • Sorensenator

      You will be sadly disapointed, the Oilers do not expect to be in the playoffs anytime soon.

      Our biggest holes on the team are at center and top 4 defensemen.

      Larsson will be a good minute eater and defender, but I question his overall ability to truly be a number 1 or 2 pick.

      Good all-around defensemen can be aquired in later rounds – it is a bit of a gamble to draft one that high.

      Colten Teubert is expected to a have a decent shot at making the team next year, as he may develope nicely into a top 4 D-man with size and grit.

      I wouldn’t mind a Brad Richards type player to fill the BIGGEST hole on this team at center. The only problem is, with emphasis on “only” is his lack of size. We are talking about, of course, Ryan Nugent Hopkins.

      You don’t have to be 6’3 220 to be an effective center as there are plenty of examples around the league. RNH is 6’0 right now, but the butter is spread thin – only 165lbs of it.

      He should be another 20 – 25 lbs heavier when it’s all said and done which would put him at the 185-190 mark.

      Still not that big for a center, I know, however his elusivness and phenomenal skating ability should make up for it. Patrick Kane and Tyler Ennis are two players that lack size but compensate with vision, speed, and desire.

      Note: Before I get trolled, I am not directly comparing RNH to Patrick Kane, only in a physical sense.

      • O.C.

        watched tsn when they covered the top ten picks, apparently Nugent Hopkins was comapared to Kane in terms of his balance and lower body strength. The scout on the show said it’s not a big an issue as everybody is making it that Hopkins is only 165. I think that if the Oilers are thinking about what they don’t have Nugent Hopkins fits the bill. The team already has an up and coming two way center in Lander and a potential 2nd line center in Pitlick. What this team needs is an elite offensive centerman.
        Also if he does round out to 6’1 190 thats okay in terms of size. Brad Richards is only that size, Plekanec/Datysuk/Zetterberg/Sedin are only around 5’10-6’1 and 180-190. Size is sometimes overrated, talent and skill are not.

  • Sorensenator

    A bunch of pessimistic, impatient whiners. Most of you!

    Why are you even posting on an Oilers fan website if you can’t stand them?

    Jesus, these are kids we are talking about here, and lately our team make up has been kids from the AHL….like seriously go cheer for the Canucks, they have a very very good chance this year.

    So many variables and factors come into play when assessing a hockey team. I’ll make a mathematical equation for how the Oilers were destined to do poorly, at least for now.

    3 Rookies starting and expected to make up large part of offense + Lose Best Defenseman Early + Really Old Goaltender + Lose Best Offensive forward for 13 games and then rest of season + lose top goal scorer + lose top goal scorer + lose 1st line C + lose 2nd line C + 500 AHL callups + morale kick to the balls = 30th place team and haters that want to cheer for other teams.

    I was thinking about adding “lose Colin Fraser” but his factor is 0 so it wouldn’t affect the equation.

    Wow that equation was balanced!

    • Wax Man Riley

      Props, props, props, props

      @DieHard

      Props, props, props, props

      Thank goodness there are still some people grounded in reality.

      I can build a winning team on NHL ’11 as well

  • DieHard

    Stop with all the moaning and griping. ELPH was the plan – right! Well, there was some EXCITING times watching the trio (plus Omark as well). But actual LAST place would not have happened without the injuries and maybe we would be picking sixth or seventh. Would anyone be happy with that? I remember when the Oilers were very exciting. Were they going to make the playoffs or not? Fun times, everybody was happy when/if they made it (damn Dallas). Reality was we always ended up with a middle of the round draft pick. Year after year mid-round draft picks – why – because we were always just in or out of the playoffs. Well, hopefully Katz and management’s plan is to ice a top end team year after year but that takes time to acquire the personnel. Once you have that you can sprinkle in the UFA’s who would be willing to come to Edmonton for the real chance for the Cup. Also, when you then have end-of-round draft choices you develop them better (ala Red Wings). Image our trio in their mid twenties and the group that follows! I think we are developing nicely and we, as fans, have to give them the time that’s needed. I also believe we should draft Larson (franchise player), leave him in Sweden followed by one year in OKC. If all this means lottery pick next year – so be it . We will have an exciting competitive team relatively soon. RELAX and enjoy the journey.

  • Slapshot

    Robin Brownlee wrote:Unless the Oilers win two of their final six games, this team will end up with fewer wins than a team so devoid of depth a lumbering farmer from Irma named Gord Mark played 12 games on defence. Mark is the worst NHL player I have ever seen.

    Not even close Robin. Jim McCrimmon played for the Oil in the WHA but actually played 2 games for St. Louis in the NHL in 1974 or 1975. I rememeber the best line about him was written by Wayne Overland, the Journal columnist at the time. He said after a wave of injuries to Oiler D-men, “Things are so bad that the Oilers are down to 3 defensemen and Jim McCrimmon”.

    • I didn’t say Mark was the worst player ever to get into an NHL game. I said he’s the worst I’ve seen.

      Mark actually hung around for 80 or so NHL games with New Jersey and Edmonton because he was big and strong and willing to bang.

      I’m sure there were players who got a game or two during the time I covered the league that were worse, but I never saw them.

      • He still played 80 or so NHL games more than any of us. I have huge respect for any athlete that makes it to the elite level. 15 years in my sport and I never got past the AHL equivalent. I would have given my left nut for 1 day, let alone 80 or so against the best in the world.

        In my book, nobody who makes it to the NHL is a failure. NOBODY.

      • Mitch

        I do remember Ray, probably the skinniest d-man I have every seen in professional hockey. I actually remember when he was signed because we were all real excited on account of the fact he had actually played a full NHL season the year before (although I think it was for the California Golden Seals). Then when we saw him he was so skinny he probably had to run around in the shower to get wet. But I remember running into him at the Safeway near our house one day that season and shaking his hand. Nice guy. One of those nice memories. Thanks for reminding me.

  • Wax Man Riley

    It makes no sense in moving the Oilers to Quebec. Not going to happen. Teams with 300 consecutive sell-outs do not move.

    As someone posted on page one: “Give your head a shake”

  • lostdog82

    Has everyone forgot why we had to start a rebuild to begin with? The oilers ownership group ran this team with very little money. They spent so little on the team we lost our farm team and any hope of player developement.Then Kevin Lowe gets a hold of the team and trades away all prospects and draft picks for the magical 06 cup run. So how can we be surprised when we have very little talent coming up. The team was near the cap when tambo took over.What moves was he to make with no cap space and no talent to trade? If all the players on the team are as bad as everyone says who exactly are we going to get in return for all these trades that were supposedly available to tambo.We have 13 draft picks this year(I think), that’s alot of young talent to enter the ranks. Combine that with the fact that we have lots of cap room,an ahl team to provide much needed developement.Maybe tambo gives a huge offer sheet to weber or someone else ? Tambo has some room to make some moves and some good young talent.Give management another summer and we can have a better idea of the vision in September.

    • Wax Man Riley

      I agree with everything you have said except the offer sheet. I don’t think it is offer sheet time yet. Maybe next year will be the time to sign the big free agents or offer an RFA a contract.

      There are some good D that are UFAs in 2012, and some even better RFAs. By then maybe it’s worth giving up some picks to sign an RFA as the cupboards should be chock-full of prospects.

      This is a big maybe. I can see it being better long-term to wait until even 2013 for the big signings.

    • “Then Kevin Lowe gets a hold of the team and trades away all prospects and draft picks for the magical 06 cup run. So how can we be surprised when we have very little talent coming up.”

      Here’s the deals Lowe made during the 2005-06 season leading up to the Stanley Cup final.

      MARCH 9, 2006: Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny and a second-round draft choice in 2007 to the Boston Bruins for Sergei Samsonov.

      MARCH 8, 2006: Traded the Oilers first-round draft pick in 2006 and a conditional third-round choice to the Minnesota Wild for goaltender Dwayne Roloson.

      JAN 26, 2006: Forward Jani Rita and defenceman Cory Cross to Pittsburgh Penguins for defenceman Dick Tarnstrom.

      JAN 26, 2006: Forward Tony Salmelainen to Chicago Blackhawks for defenceman Jaroslav Spacek.

      I don’t see those moves as Lowe emptying the cupboard and leaving the organization devoid of prospects and draft picks.

      While it can be dicey to trade a first-round pick, as they did for Roloson, what prospects did Lowe move? How did Yan (not Paul) Stastny, Jani Rita and Tony Salmelainen turn out?

      • Dutchscooter

        ‘While it can be dicey to trade a first-round pick, as they did for Roloson, what prospects did Lowe move? How did Yan (not Paul) Stastny, Jani Rita and Tony Salmelainen turn out?’

        C’mon Robin, Rita’s leading scorer on his old-timer’s league team, isn’t he??

    • I don’t get your “except” reference. You’re making my point.

      It was five years until that team turned into the 1997 playoff team. Apply the same time frame to this team, which has already missed the playoffs for five straight years.

      People are saying they’re onside with the rebuild, yet a good number of those same people are saying, “I better see some progress” or “This team better at least contend for a playoff spot next year.”

      Marked progress and contending for a playoff spot could take two or three more years, maybe four or five.

      • John Chambers

        Robin, what do you think is a reasonable timeframe for the Oil to seriously compete for a playoff spot? Ie, what season should Oiler fans demand to be back in the dance?

        I’ll all for tanking it two more years, with an emphasis on developing key players. Once the ’12-’13 season ends though, the team has to make some moves in a hurry and commit to being a good team, converse to how they’re currently committing to be a poorly-performing team.

        • Reasonable? Way too many variables to say.

          Looking at the youth, what were people projecting for Gagner and Cogliano for their second and third seasons after the rookie years they had? Where are they now after four seasons? What are people projecting for Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi next season and the season after based on what they saw this year? Where will they actually be two years from now?

          You’ve already got some people hailing Stu MacGregor as a genius and pencilling in the likes of Pitlick and Marincin and Lander and Hamilton and Martindale for jobs in the next year or two. Maybe yes. Maybe no. Have we really seen enough of these players for long enough to project accurately?

          Looking at the veterans, will Ales Hemsky be here two years from now? How effective will Horcoff be? What about Whitney’s feet/ankles? Is Tom Gilbert a factor in 2012-13? Who will be the goaltender?
          As for free agents and players not in the system now, how confident are you Tambellini will add the necessary pieces to complement the core players and put together the right mix?

          So, you tell me what the timeline is.

    • John Chambers

      Nice post. I remember that year … it was something like the worst year in Oilers history a the midpoint of the season.

      I applaud Sather for having faith in the team and making some key moves that turned the thing around. Arnott for Guerin, and a pile of sh!t for Roman Hamrlik. The Oil ended up something like the 3rd best team in the league over the 2nd half of the season.

      Like Alex Anthropolous or Sather, I’d like to see Tambo step up and make some organization-transforming trades over the next year. That Penner deal was awfully uninspiring.

      • Guerin was a good Oiler and he definitely played a key role in making the team better. Arnott didn’t do so badly after being run off either, with that Cup winner in NJ.

        FYI, from the time Guerin arrived in Edmonton through the rest of his stops in the NHL, he’s had 642 regular season points (161 of those here).

        From the time Arnott went to NJ in the Guerin trade through the rest of his stops, he’s had 663 points.

        • John Chambers

          Stats? Who are you, Willis?

          Both Arnott and Guerin thrived in a different environment. That happens with people in sports, business, relationships, etc.

          I don’t think it’s fair for us to go into the next 3 seasons with the same blueprint. We might end up trading Paajarvi and Cogliano and watching them have successful NHL careers elsewhere, while still having brought back needed assets who contribute to the evolution of the Edmonton Oilers.

          Jason Arnott was going nowhere here. I think the key thing is that we didn’t trade him for Colten Teubert and a 1st.

  • Slapshot

    I hate to say it, but as long as the season seat holders (myself included) keep buying tickets, and selling out the place, there is no urgency on the organization to put a better product on the ice.They have finished 30th two years in a row and missed the playoffs 5 years straight and they have a waiting list for tickets,I still can’t figure this out.Katz is laughing all the way to the bank $$$$.

  • Reality Check to the head

    If I had Girlfriends like that, I would have put a bag on my head as well. Kidding of course. This going to be a long ride and hopefully the Oilers are able to reach their potential.

  • Mitch

    @Brownlee

    The Oilers need another top 3 pick next year as well, this is how you build strong franchises in todays NHL and being in a cold climate. The lottery picks must be HOME RUNS. It’s hard to stomach at times, the problem with the current roster is that there’s to much of the same player. The future is bright but managment must learn not to over value players in a salary cap world. I still feel that there’s 5 to 6 roster players that must be moved out because they don’t provide enough consisant jam to provide a long term winning product. Size is also a major issue, the game today is one in the corners and infront of the net. I see coaching issues, how hard is it to shoot the puck? Really pissing me off that we get out shoot game after game. 2012-13 the oilers should be well on there way to 7-10 good years of winning.

  • Mitch

    The Oilers are going to get Larsson or Nugent-Hopkins in June. From all I have read, or heard, both will be NHL ready next year. Either one fills a positional need and because of that, one of them will most likely make the team better.

    Projecting next year based on the current roster of career minor-leaguers, in-over-their-heads rookies, and miscast veterans doesn’t make sense to me.

    Top 5 pick next year, possilbyh, but as long as the Oilers don’t gas this years picks and the next, I can’t see them as bottom-feeders beyond next season.

  • Mitch

    @Brownlee

    The Oilers need another top 3 pick next year as well, this is how you build strong franchises in todays NHL and being in a cold climate. The lottery picks must be HOME RUNS. It’s hard to stomach at times, the problem with the current roster is that there’s to much of the same player. The future is bright but managment must learn not to over value players in a salary cap world. I still feel that there’s 5 to 6 roster players that must be moved out because they don’t provide enough consisant jam to provide a long term winning product. Size is also a major issue, the game today is one in the corners and infront of the net. I see coaching issues, how hard is it to shoot the puck? Really pissing me off that we get out shoot game after game. 2012-13 the oilers should be well on there way to 7-10 good years of winning.

  • The Farmer

    I am a season ticket holder, and am totally on board with as long of a rebuild as necessary as long as they get it right.

    The only thing I dont understand is with all the short term cap space, why cant we get some short term veteran support. What does it matter if you have to overpay to get a good face off guy to come play for two years until the “kids” ELC’s are burned up. Or a top four D man. Even if it is Edmonton, money talks, and we have piles of cap space to bring in some quality mentors to the young guys that could pay off huge down the road. Just dont sign anybody long term and we wont get caught in the same problem we had last year.

  • Dan the Man

    The only thing that got me through last year was thinking “there is no way things can get any worse”. Somehow they did but yet somehow it doesn’t feel worse.

    Kinda like the first time you get really drunk and bring home an ugly chick from the bar and you think you couldn’t possibly do any worse but then you get even drunker next time and the girl gets even uglier but it still doesn’t feel nearly as bad as the first time.

  • O.C.

    Meh.

    I just need to remember what this team was 2 years ago. Even last year by All Star break, everyone knew it would be blown up, so it was a positive fan vibe in spite of a sorry excuse for professional entertainment.

    It almost went too fast, but it had to be slashed. There was a lot of free loading, negative cancer. Slowly, the new team of strangers has developed an identity.

    When the team was great, Sather always said you need to change at least two players every year. When they suck, clearly a lot more work is needed. But not a lot.

    The injuries are a blessing. The team wasn’t going to make the playoffs.

    “…cuz setting a goal to win, where the best you can do is finish 9th in the conference, is just stupid.”

    Now though, there arent a ton of needs and this has great potential. A couple of forwards, a couple of D, and this team competes. The draftees from this year come in next year, a couple key trades, and a contender is born.

    Then maybe a key FA, or another trade dealine deal…

  • Dan the Man

    Just read via Bob McKenzie tweet that Aaron Ekblad, a 15 year old, 6’3″ 200 lb D-man has been granted early admission into the OHL by Hockey Canada.

    Maybe the Oilers should continue to suck for a few more years….

  • Dan the Man

    Mr. Brownlee please man, Gordie Mark is/was a great guy and very entertaining at the AHL level.

    I’m glad Gordie made a comeback and gave us a few years of great stand up hockey in Cape Breton.

    As for the worst ever, nothing tops Peter Soberlak and his band.

    Some guys get no praise 🙁

  • dubbs44

    Management has a vision that has taken them how long to evaluate ? Each year we continue to get worse instead of better . How much longer can we continue on this course before inevitably we can’t help but get better than previous year one year in the future ? Will it be enough to make us even a top 9 contender ? When has Tams ever shown that capacity as a GM ? So far they have shown little expertise in evaluating talent , developing talent ; and even worse in obtaining valuable talent and holding onto it .

    By most standards one would have to grade a 5 year excuses laiden bottom feeder as -LOSERS ! If Oilers had the ability to add valuable talent to team outside of draft i’m sure they would have done so by now ? Sure Tams can do a better job , i don’t see how he can continue to make it any worse than he has already – i hope,anyways .

    I suspect by letting Penner go they tried to fill more than just one glaring void with that trade . A defenceman of possible note in Teubert , and an additional defenceman like Larsson and or Musil in upcoming draft . If it be Musil and not Larsson then i’d expect our first choice will be Landeskop, to replace Penner on wing or a centerman like Coutourier (size being a big factor there) or chance it on RNHopkins . The Penner trade might end up being a major step forward if that is their thinking . Still, it could also be a bust knowing our luck . I’d feel much more optimistic with a new managerial team heading up a rebuild .

  • FastOil

    I am not one who buys that rebuilds take forever, or that we have to sit and watch for years and hope it all pans out in the end, that success comes down to uncontrollable events. Good managers build good teams.

    Making the playoffs is not some miraculous achievement. Being a contender should not be a generational event. This is hockey, not a peace agreement for the Middle East.

    Winning the Cup is what’s hard to do, winning it fairly often even harder. Any good management team, supported by a committed owner should see the playoffs regularly, and should be a perrenially “good” team. There are many that do this. The ones who don’t often have ownership issues and/or GM’s that don’t understand the game as it is or what makes a good player.

    The Oilers have a good owner, who spends money. One obstacle gone. There are only 3 other reasons why this team would not begin climbing the standings with the talent that is already here.

    For a team with this skill to remain awful can only be from design, in not acquiring needed role players. Utter failure and collapse is not a strategy to build a team, as many have shown on this site and others. Injuries play a role, but if your team is injury riddled year after year it becomes a management issue – lack of balance, players that need to go, perhaps the style of play. Maybe some coaching on how to be in position to take a hit.

    Good drafting needs to be augmented with good acquisitions, and every successful team has done this. To favour one way or the other too much will keep this farce running far longer than necessary and with a lack of results I’m sure.

    Can you imagine any other management group saying that it will take 5-6 years more publicly after missing the playoffs 5 times? And being mostly bad for years before that?

    I can’t. A sense of urgency is definitely missing. Are we becoming Leafs West? Being this bad is not a necessity.

  • Wax Man Riley

    I have to think that if we went for it and bought free agents and traded picks to get over-hyped free agents then the Oilers would be Leafs-West.

    That is what it sounds like a lot of posters here want:

    “Come on Tambo! Make a big move. Trade some future to get better now and barely compete for 8th like the Flames. Trade 2 first round picks for a big name. Lets start trying to limp in! We want to be the Leafs!”

    No GM….I reapeat, NO GM, not even you NHL ’11 GMs would be able to build a winner from 800 man games lost to injury in 2 years. Having your best players out hurts a team. Having a team that is made up of more than half of AHL call-ups or NHL rookies due to injuries is not a formula for a Stanley Cup. Take 8 starters out of Detroit and tell me how good they are.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Some here talk as though the Oilers are the only team that sustains major and minor injuries and have to use AHL talent . I’d prefer a team , as most would , just missing the playoffs over the years , over a deadlast team any day of the week . Besides we are not the Leafs , we are far worse off . We get over hyped about our 3oth place roster . Fastoil is at least honest and accurate in his assessment . There are other clubs that have had as many injuries as Oilers over the last few years and bigger stars than we have , and yet i don’t see them sitting deadlast hoping to become a contender 5-6 years down the road .

    • Wax Man Riley

      Oops… Double post.

      Edit: Ok, I’ll put something a little more productive. Reddox works hard but has zero finish. Gotta love his heart, but he should stay on the 4th line and the PK.

    • Wax Man Riley

      I completely agree. Vancouver has had a ton of injuries this year too, and they are in first place. But also, they are about 5 years ahead of where the Oilers are now. If 4 years ago they had sustained this many injuries, they would not have been 49-26-0-7.

      Take Daniel Sedin, Markus Naslund, Sami Salo (of course), Mattias Ohlund, Kevin Bieksa, Taylor Pyatt and Alexander Burrows out of the lineup for extended periods.

      Replace them with Nathan Smith, Nathan McIver, Lee Goren, Patrick Coulomb, Brad Moran, Jesse Schultz and Luc Bourdon for extended periods and tell me how well that team finishes.