Let it Bleed

Edmonton Oiler fans enjoyed an outstanding first game of the 10-11 season. Rookie Jordan Eberle scored the goal of the year and the Godless Flames fell in an epic moment of good vs. evil. This season, the team extended the feelgood through a dozen games before going back to the rebuild.

With the Oilers grabbing 13th slot in the western conference and looking like they aren’t going to do much to address injury along the blue, it’s important to keep certain dates in mind as the calendar turns over.


  • January 5, 2012: Gold medal game at the World Juniors. Oiler fans should watch players like Ryan Murray closely, as they look to be a lottery team again this season. If the season ended today, the Oilers would select 7th overall. Oiler fans would do well to read up on this season’s top 10. Murray may be gone by that point, but Matt Dumba and others should still be on the board.
  • February 27 or 28, 2012: Trade deadline (still some confusion on the date on the interwebs). Oilers will be sellers again, with Ales Hemsky the big name (depending on how much and how well he plays in the next 8 weeks) but there could be interest in men like Sam Gagner, Ryan Jones, Andy Sutton and Corey Potter.
  • April 7, 2012: Oilers season ends.
  • June 2012: Coach Tom Renney’s contract expires. Unless I’ve missed a news story, Renney’s original three year deal (signed May 2009 when they brought Quinn in to coach) expires in the summer. There has been no suggestion either way and the Oilers have plenty of time to re-sign him, but it’s a date to keep in mind.
  • June 22-23, 2012: NHL entry draft. Oilers have picked in the top 10 three straight seasons, including two #1’s in a row. The chances of making it four top 10’s in a row are extremely high at this time.
  • July 1, 2012: First day of free agency. If the Oilers haven’t addressed defense (and this includes the worries over Ryan Whitney’s health) by that time then we should expect a major push to add a veteran 2-way defender. And not another Cam Barker type signing, the Oilers need someone who can play major minutes against good opponents.


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  • Jordan Eberle is on pace for 88 points.
  • RNH is a strong Calder contender.
  • Taylor Hall is on pace for 24 goals despite the injury.
  • Ryan Smyth is having a wonderful season and is moving up the Oiler career list.
  • Smid-Gilbert is a sublime pairing and they are having quality seasons. There’s something to build on.
  • Nikolai Khabibulin is a strong contender for comeback player of the year.
  • The elevator shaft road trip added to the poor performance in December should ensure a strong pick for Stu "Magnificent Bastard" MacGregor. MBS is top drawer.


The office tickets will be easier to get, the Hemsky trade will happen and we’ll be able to talk about it and we can cheer for Winnipeg to beat Toronto for 8th in the east. It’s another day in a town called Hope. 

  • book¡e

    Hey, you can cut and paste this stuff from other sites – thanks for the hint.

    My image of Steve Tambellini (and I promise to never use ascii art again…) Stocc made the Oilers fist and that was awesome!

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  • a lg dubl dubl

    The only dudes Id hate to see moved at the DL are Jones, Potter, and Gagner.

    As much as I think Renney is a decent coach, imo the team needs a guy like Torterella to be behind the bench.

    I’m hoping the Oilers pick Reinhart if Dumba & Murray are gone, or heck even use that pick to get a top 2dman…time to get creative ST the time to win NOW is coming quick and the patience of us crazed fans is growing thin with each lose.

    Stocc mad props dude! Raised fist to u!

    I can’t for the life of me remember that fine lady’s name…Mia something, but excellent choice for todays write up LT, double raised fist to you. Isn’t she dating Maculey Culkin?

    Great read as always good sir. Cheers.

  • I have received a message from the Oilers……..and they wish us all a Merry Christmas!

    Here is what they told us to look forward to in the New Year:

    1. There is a covert drive to fail for a lottery pick…….we will probably pick another small fast forward to compliment our numerous hobbits.

    2. Hemsky will not be traded because there are no teams stupid enough to take him.

    3. Renny will continue to play the Horcoff line because we need the best chance to win………what is wrong with this picture?

    4. Our third and fourth line players will get very limited ice time…….and we will all wonder why they have developmental issues.

    5. Our first line players will continue to shine and wonder why management has not surrounded them with skilled physical players.

    6. All the writers and journalists will continue to tell the masses we are in a rebuild and to be patient.

    7. Management will continue to mis-manage our assets until there is a revolt and we all start cheering for the Flames………did I just say that? 30 lashes

    Oh well there is always next year!

    • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

      I had lunch with Katz and Lowe this afternoon and I showed them your post. They both said don’t believe anything that guy says. Below is what they said word for word:

      “No one from the Oiler organization contacted Rama Lama. He is a typical Flames fan. He is like a toilet. He is either occupied or full of sh*t”

  • Jodes

    One player I haven’t heard much about in terms of trading is Khabibulin. Don’t get me wrong, he has played outstanding this year and if he was even 5 years younger I wouldn’t think of trading him. But his value was is as high as it is going to get right now. I’m sure he could help a playoff contending team.

    • Jodes

      Not for the cake and length of contract he has still remaining.

      Plus its starting to sound like he’s having more aches and pains again, so I think its just a matter of time before he’s on the IR as well.

      Another brilliant signing by Tambellini, as I said earlier, does he ever do his homework on players? Obviously not.

      Everyone around the league is saying that the Oilers are rebuilding the right way, but unless they get some quality non-injury prone vets to help the kids, this rebuild will definitely be in trouble, especially on D.

  • Can’t believe how many negative posts are on here! I am not saying the Oil don’t have some issues. For me it is having to watch a no skill guy like Horcoff 20 minutes a night. Most teams put their key guys on the 1stpp, when they were clicking early Smyth was taking the draws and then go to the net. They lose the advantage when the is out there. With him out there so much it hurts the development of the kids.
    On the bright side, the farm team is in fist place overall with alot of prospects!

  • What bothers me most is our compete level. Injuries don’t explain things – other teams get injuries and seem to pull through (Calgagry loses Giardano and Tanguay and goes on a tear – we lose Sutton and Whitney and head in the opposite direction). Watching the dreaded Canucks was soooo painful. They seem to have structure and connection from d to forwards that is totally lacking with us. Is that coaching? Or just a boatload of players deficient in hockey intelligence. Peckham and Petry seem particularly indecisive and tentative. And Gagner and Horcoff create nothing. Watching the Oilers is – Kid line comes on, dominate – then time to go make a sandwich and clean the hamster cage – come back, watch the kids again, then hit the can. Repeat for 60 minutes. Makes for a very long winter.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      Its Coaching

      Young or not these “kids” know the game and how to do what
      they are told. What ever they are being told to do is crap.
      There is no imagination on the coaching staff.
      Come on, Bucky ? Love the guy but.. Smith, Renney ? gimme a break.
      The lack of structure is coaching alone. AV In Vancouver
      as much as i despise the nucks and those sisters whom play there, is a good coach. Henrietta and Daniele deserve all the got from Bolland.
      They are little gayrods who light up the regular season, and disappear
      when the playoffs come. I will always remember Brad Marchand
      bitch slapping a Sedin..Man we need a guy like that.

      Anyway, thats another story….

  • Take the “C” Off Horcoff. Give it to Eberle or Hall and prove to
    them this is their team to carry forward. Eberle is a class act
    carry this team on my talented shoulders kid. Make the future
    now. Horcoff is soooo bad, im sorry. I Like the guy but he is
    over is head and too much is expected of him, no fault of his own.
    Let the young lead this Team.. As JT did in Chi-Town.

    Its time to move forward, no more backward steps. And Uncle Tom must go, the guy is horrid. It looks to me most nights we have no game plan, the boys look lost. Vancouver has a system. We do not.

    I Am all for Don Hay, he is still young enough and has the resepect of the young guys. He is about puck possession and no turn overs. Boy do
    we need some of that. How worse can he be. Renney is another Version
    of MAC-T and HE IS WHERE HE BELONGS. In the minors.

    God forbid we are the LA Clippers of the N.H.L.
    i Wont accept it.

    • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

      I agree with you on taking the C off Horcoff. Although I think they should do that in the off season and I can’t decide if it should go to Hall or Eberle.

      The Clippers have good team this year.

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    Aww, c’mon Brownlee. Those fists are epic, and take some thinking through. Can you at least give the man some credit for technical ability alone?

    EDIT: @ Stocc…Dude, where is the steam coming from the coffee?

    • Clyde Frog

      I would if there weren’t giant internet databases devoted to ASCII art that give you thousands of pictures in easy copy & paste formatting**

      **If he actually took the time to make it, good on him… But why?

      With our decent run this season and the kids set to mature even more next year, am I the only one not looking forward to selling too much of our team this deadline?

      Draft picks are fun and all, but take a very long time to turn into anything if they do at all. Should we basically be demanding A & B+ prospects or nothing at all, this round? If its just picks available, should we sit tight and let our team next year not worry about breaking in 7+ new faces?

      I think we may have finally crossed that event horizon that dictates you start keeping and hoarding talent over selling it for magic rainbows and unicorns!

  • That was men against boys last night. When Vancouver hits the gas we are not even in the same league. The first period certainly showed me how far away we are from being a playoff team. It is becoming more apparent with each game that Gagne is too slow and small to help our team down the road. He might be a decent third line centre, however we have a bunch of third and fourth line centres already that we are stuck with (Horcoft). Kessler is a beast for Vancouver. Tough, fast, talented and mean. Hate him, but would love to have him. Could Brule come back and be that guy for us?

  • After watching so far this season, I can accept the Oilers don`t make the playoff. The tease is enough to keep me interested. What I want to see outta this management if they have the ability to transition this team into a contender, or are the building Islanders 2.0.

    The way I see it is the kids are now here, RNH, Hall, Eberle, Petry, MPS(soon), Lander are the here and now.

    Jones, Eager, Smyth are the contributing forwards who should remain with the team.

    Hemsky is simply an unknown. He`s lack of effott to me signifies an extreme lack of confidence. Not ready to make a decision on him
    Horcoff, Belanger, Gagner are expendable. Horcoff is unlikely going anywhere, and you can say what you want in terms of leadership, but hes being carried right now, as he has been since Hemsky dragged him around the last 6 years. These players need to be upgraded for this team to be playoff bound. I`d rather see Belanger here in terms of contract then Horcoff. I don`t know what to say about Gagner any more, I use to be a supporter, but hes too small, slow, and inconsistant.

    The blueline with their apparant injury problems has been decent, other then the turnovers at their blueline, and missed assignments. Oilers may need to sell the farm to get Weber, cause they need a number one desperately.

  • book¡e

    Ok, first, Stocc – no longer impressed – you need to go 3d or lose the market.

    Second, this year may be an intentional dive, but that has to be the end of it. Even if you don’t like the dive strategy, you can appreciate the logic of it. However, there is no strategic approach that would include a dive next year – right?

  • book¡e

    Also upgrade the coach. I remember when Chicago got rid of Savard, and brang in Joel Q., its because they realized that they had a team that was ready to compete. They got rid of the happy, make me feel good coach (remember Patty Kane crying) who was showing signs of success, and brought in the guy who could motivate.

    There oviously is some motovation problems in the room. This team is lucky to have 6-7 forwards giving a consistant effort every night. I agree with the poster who said we need a Tortorella, or someone of that ilk. Renney was a bum coach in Vancouver, in New York he was given two all world players in Jagr and King Henry and could only take that team so far. Slats knew he needed a firy coach. Renney`is a second teir coach, a stop gap. My fears are that Mr. Dithers will be blinded by loyalty, and does not have the ability to get the right guy behind the bench.

    When Tambo saw Hitch or Boudreau unemployed, what made him go, is my guy better then those guys. Probably not.

  • Jodes

    I wonder if this year Tambellini will actually do some research on the health of who he’s going to trade for or sign.

    I’m really getting sick of almost everyone he signs or trades for ending up on the IR sooner rather than later.

  • Jodes

    It’s come to this. Hockey Central is comparing Edmonton to New York Islanders. This is just depressing. It looks like another lottery pick again. Nice off season pick ups Tamby.

  • It looks to me like ST doesn’t believe there is any other route than the draft, largely because they haven’t created a team a free agent will come to (not a bad thing likely), or make a hockey trade (I think he would have if already otherwise).

    Fair enough, but pull some extra high picks and speed this pig up. My fear is that they drag on so long they lose their current momentum with outside opinion. Moving forward consistently is the only thing that will draw high end players to Edmonton, which could be vital at some point, especially in sustaining a competitive team.

    I don’t want to see this disaster again. Twenty years out of a life time is enough.

    • Yes you are correct but if past behavior is an indication of future behavior, then ther will be no signIficant trades made to address our lack of defenseman? ST has shown no courage( at least Lowe tried) to pull off a big trade. I’m not saying we do what Lowe tried to do……….that was just plain stupid. What I think needs to be done is to solidify and expand our scouting abilities so that we can rely on our second and third round picks.

      Anyone can land a good player if you are picking in the top ten every year. It can’t be that hard to find players like Potter out there, can it? How many other Potters are out there flying under the radar of NHL General Managers?

  • I’ve supported the players on this team for the most part, but the Oilers need to move players before next season. Every defense men not named Smid or Gilbert has to go.

    Send all the AHL players like Peckham, Potter, Petry, Tuebert, Plante, Lander, Petrell, Dubnyk back to continue to develop.

    All the players not named RNH, Eberle, Hall, Jones, Smyth all need to go at the deadline, July 1st or the draft.

    In the mean time take, Horcoff and Belanger off the PP and see how better it can be.

    Bring up Denis and just sink the rest of this season! It’ s clear that was the plan from the start.

    I’ve already said that I’m on the Murray and Dumba train

    Before Tambo goes he better secure us at least 3 first round picks!

    Get us at least 3 proven defense men via UFA

    Trade for a second line center who’s bigger then 5’9 and has a least some type of aggression.

  • It’s no secret what this team needs. They have 1 solid line, 2 NHL defensemen (the other couple are never healthy enough to play). I mean who knows what’s going to happen with goal tending. The impatience is growing everygame with the lack of effort. You can’t show up late against the Canucks and expect a good result. I know in my line of work if there is no results I don’t have a job. Yes I’m talking about you Mr. Renney and ST.

  • kelownoil_fan

    I know people have been venting problems they have with the oilers for years and I usually just bite my tongue and accept how things are but……..

    I am so sick of watching other teams with combinations of either worse players or coaches or injuries or budgets or long home stands or long road trips or learning new systems and yet…….. some of them improve while we (the oilers) do not.

    We have better talent(thank you last place finishes for 1st overall picks) but are we better? Or getting better? I am a oilers fan forever but when they play, I find myself just hoping Eberle and RNH get a point before we lose the game.

    I am so mad at management who are either inept or lying to the fans about their plan. Darn you blue jackets for stealing the 1st pick overall from us this year. lol

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    i think we are doomed.

    The problem comes back to the oilers management.Good old boys pluged in as assistant coachs / pro and amateur scouts{sorry Stu some of your picks other than no brainers are not looking that good}
    Untill Mr Katz stops the boy on the bus hero worship he grew up with.


  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    I think if we do take the C of Horc and don’t give it to Smyth then give it to Smid. I don’t like the idea of give the C to a 20 yr old. Earn the C through grit and determination like Smid,Smith, Smyth, Mess, etc.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    Two more dates to remember:

    Dec. 31, 2011 – This is the last World Junior game (Canada vs. USA) that Edmonton will host in the tournament. The rest are in Calgary.

    Jan. 11, 2012 – This is the next home date for the Oilers.

    I realize that I’m Captain Obvious (or Johnny-Come-Lately) for pointing this out, but whoever put together the Oilers sked this season should be hung by their thumbs.

    When Edmonton/Calgary put together their bid for the WJC, my first thought was, oh great, this tournament is going to sink the Oilers’ season because of all of the road games, but it really didn’t turn out that way at all, did it?

    Between that last WJC game in Edmonton on New Year’s Eve and the next Oilers’ home game Jan. 11, the Oilers have four road games. So, in reality, this seven-game road trip has little to do with the WJC’s, does it?

    I know, it’s pretty pathetic that I’ve only just caught onto this. But what’s even more pathetic is that the Oilers have to play it. Combine the Rodeo Road Trip of November and all of this and no darn wonder they’re on a 5-15 or 5-16 stretch or whatever it is.

    Please tell me there’s an eight-game homestand coming up after this sometime. Good heavens.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    We will lose forever with Renny at the helm. A coach has to know who works best together.

    Taking Jones of the second line seems to be around the time this team started to decend.

    Remember on “Oil Change’ Tambo came into the room and said “you got your centre”? That was Belanger. Renny said he competes. He does. But on most teams, it’s at a fourth line level. And we have 2 more years after this one of his “talent”.

    Sam Ganger was a shootout flash. Can’t skate and don’t headman the puck. Which means the wingers have to wait for him at the opposing blueline. Waste of hockey flesh. AHL caliber at best. Selfish.

    I believe Hemsky does want out. I also don’t believe he is sulking about anything. He needs more time to heal. And I don’t think he has any confidence in Renny’s coaching ability. Or lack thereoff.

    If this group ever becomes a “team”, it will be under new guidance.