The Edmonton Oilers (MacT as GM edition) are 3-10-2 fifteen games in, and OilersNation has gone from anger to real disillusionment. Up next for the fanbase is indifference, but before they get there is there anything the GM can do?


  • Darcy Regier: "These GM jobs, they’re good jobs. But waiting for a GM opportunity that’s structured for success? I’m not sure it exists. When I was assessing the problems in Buffalo before I joined, Al Arbour said to me "Darcy, do you think there would be an opportunity there if there weren’t problems? Go in there and do something about it.’" (from the book Behind the Moves).

I’m sure Craig MacTavish knew there were problems (he was part of the organization before agreeing to the job in spring) but there are elements out of the control of the GM that have (at least to this point) conspired against him. His new coach has gone from being seen as confident, fresh and relentless to another in a ever lengthening line of failed coaching hires in Edmonton.

His club has been rocked by injuries (two more last night, and as Robin Brownlee tweeted that Belov injury looked bad) goaltending maladies and confidence issues. I haven’t seen locusts, but haven’t been looking either.

It’s a team in a bad way.


As the playoff hopes unhook and release (November 3rd!!!!) there’s a sense that the club should do something–anything–to improve things. There are options:

  1. FIRE SOMEONE! Age old solution, find some poor schmuck who was in the room at the time. Candidates often include assistant coaches, pro scouts, the guy who brings the towels and people with one eyebrow. It usually doesn’t help.
  2. HIRE SOMEONE! Oilers have already hired Messier, we just don’t know what he’s going to be doing.
  3. TRADE SOMEONE! Good idea, but you can go from ‘we can’t trade that guy’ to ‘no one wants our crap’ in a heartbeat and the reality is that it’s really early for a significant deal. Besides, the Oilers have traded Mike Brown which means they’ve used their "Steve Tambellini trade chips mid-season" allotment.
  4. CALL SOMEONE UP! They could call Omark, but I suspect he’s broken his phone.


Probably. However, there’s very little that can be done about things as they stand today. Firing the coach would be crazy, trading players when you haven’t actually seen your entire team healthy is equally addled and despite being 3-10-2 after fifteen games you could make a case that with goaltending and better luck they could be 6-7-2.

That may sound like sunshine, and hell maybe it is, but from here there’s not a lot going on here that some timely goaltending, a better penalty kill and better health can’t fix.


The plan is on fire, the season is gone, but there’s still a chance to get something out of it. Fix the PK, find useful 6’s and 7’s and 9’s for the 3line with Gordon and the 4line overall. Get Yakupov scoring, get everyone else healthy, find a way to finish above Calgary and then work like buggers next summer to make certain that 2014-15 is the year we see a second season.

Sound horrible? It is. It’s also the truth.

Or the owner can fire everyone again.

  • I Remember the Orange Jerseys

    Folks who are old enough. Me. Will remember the 11-0 loss way back in the day to the mighty Whale We sucked big time. It was a time when the Oilers team included HOF KLOWE,Coffey,Fuhr,Gretzky,Messier,Anderson and Kurri. Just a god awful bunch of players. We should have traded them all. Yup.

    Do the Oilers current woes have anything to do with those times. Nope. Do they have anything to do with 6 years ago? nope. Times have changed. Players have changed. Coaches. GM’s. Training staff. What else is requires to satiate the fan base. Lets fire KLOWE ts all his fault. You blame one guy for the performance of 23 players? I am certain the “puppet master” KLOWE has the uncanny ability to manipulate 23 players at the same time. Yup it must be Halloween. Next thing we know Chuckie will be appearing at a news conference being introduced as our new GM.

    The Oilers current woes are on the them. Not last years team. Coach or GM. Them. Ference is right. The individual accountability has been limited. The players trust in one another is not there. At all. The end results are lack of cohesion on the ice. This far into the season I expected to see some growth in the systems play by this team. Well I am stunned by the lack of PP and PK. These 2 areas have been at least in the past respectable. Now. The word pathetic applies.

    This week we play Florida and Philly. Either this team Cowboy’s UP or not. For me what is missing is Hall’s heart. His fire. His reckless Anderson like abandon. We need Perron’s net prescence. We need Yakupov to be given free reign to create. I think at times Eakins is trying to take a diamond and turn it into a piece of charcoal. Rather than vice versa.

    I see a good week. Oilers come home 2-2.With an SO loss in Chicago.

  • I Remember the Orange Jerseys

    well… I was living in canucks country for such a long time, never once did I cheer them on. I will always be true to my oilers…. I’m not a die hard hockey fan knowing all these names like you guys obviously do… but Im not retarded when it comes to the game…

    My workplace… I was always the only one wearing an oilers jersey holding my head up high… just recently, I still wear my jersey but not with my head held high.

    this team is a disgrace!
    we have all the young talent, have for the past years…. isn’t it obvious that something must be wrong?

    trading more players would be stupid.. lose the talent we have??
    paying them more?? HELL NO, they get paid enough to skate and do what they love…

    perhaps it could be the way they’re managing their team???

    just some food for thought…