The Oilers asked for this.

During the past few seasons members of the Oilers management have made references to wanting to build their team in the same vain as Chicago and Pittsburgh. I have no idea if they will ever have the same success as those two franchises, but right now they are emulating the struggles and lack of success that both those franchises endured before becoming two of the best teams in the NHL.

I’ve cautioned people who only looked at the rebuilds of Chicago and Pittsburgh as blueprints for the Oilers, because the harsh reality is that for every Chicago there are two franchises like Columbus or Atlanta/Winnipeg, and for every Pittsburgh there is a Florida and the New York Islanders.

It was great for the Oilers to aspire to be like the Blackhawks and Penguins, but that was always the "best case scenario."

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Many readers won’t want to read this, but the truth remains this is only year four of the Oilers rebuild. The previous four seasons were not part of the rebuild. They were four seasons of bad management. That doesn’t excuse the Oilers, specifically Kevin Lowe who has been here for all eight years, but if you are someone who was in favour of the rebuild in 2010 then you have to accept the harsh reality of the current timeline.

It is rare for teams to rebuild in a short period of time. The problem is i’m not sure the Oilers truly understood how hard the journey would be. Did they expect this much losing? If so, why did they change coaches every year? It is fair to question if they truly had a plan, and it is more than fair to question whether they have the fortitude or smarts to follow it through and make the correct decisions to become a winner.

When the Oilers management suggested they wanted to follow in the footsteps of the Hawks and Penguins, I wonder if they knew exactly what that entailed? Did they know that the Blackhawks made the playoffs once in ten seasons between 1998 and 2008?

The Hawks didn’t have a few years of losing; they had a decade of it.

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1998: 9th worst record. Drafted 8th (Mark Bell) after a deal with Toronto
1999: 7th worst record. Won lottery, moved up to 4th spot, then traded that pick for Bryan McCabe and the 11th pick in 2000. McCabe played one season in Chicago before being dealt to Toronto for Alex Karpotvsev and a pick.
2000: 8th worst record. Picked 10th, due to Minnesota and Columbus entering league, and selected Mikhail Yakubov 10th and used the 11th pick on Pavel Vorobiev. 
2001: 9th worst record and they selected Tuomo Ruutu 9th.
2002: Made the playoffs. Finished 5th in the west, four points ahead of 9th. Their top six scoring forward were there in 2001 and Jocelyn Thibault was the starter both years, but they added Phil Housley and Jon Klemm on the blueline. They were #2 and #3 in TOI behind Boris Mironov. They made a very smart pick in the 2nd round selecting Duncan Keith 45th overall.
2003: 14th worst record. They selected Brent Seabrook. They took Corey Crawford in the 2nd round and Dustin Byfuglien in the 9th.
2004: 2nd worst record. Washington won the lottery so the Hawks dropped to 3rd and picked Cam Barker after missing out on Ovechkin and Malkin. The Hawks had 17 draft picks that year and took Dave Bolland 32nd, Bryan Bickell 41st and Troy Brouwer 214th. 
2005: No season, but they picked 7th after the lottery and took Jack Skille. They chose Niklas Hjalmarsson 108th overall.
2006: 3rd worst record. They happily took Jonathan Toews at #3.
2007: 5th worst record. They won the lottery and took Patrick Kane first overall. (Sidenote, the Oilers never would have gotten Kane. Had they lost their final game of the season to the Flames they would have finished with the 4th worst record not the fifth.)
2008: 11th worst record. Took Kyle Beach with the 11th pick.

During the first half of that decade of losing none of the Hawks top picks made an impact in Chicago, however, between 2002-2007 the foundation of their team was built through the draft. Kane, Toews, Seabrook, Keith, Hjalmarsson, Crawford, Bickell, Bolland, Brouwer and Byfuglien were all key players in one or both of their Stanley Cup victories.

However, it wasn’t like they planned to go from being a playoff team in 2002, to missing out by one point in 2003 to being a bottom three team in 2004, 2006 and 2007. You can make a strong argument that their most important decision came from a stroke of luck; winning the draft lottery.

Toews is the heart and soul of that team, but Kane is his deadly sidekick, and I don’t see them winning the Cup without Kane. You need some luck and good fortune along the way to win a Cup, but to become a consistent contender you need to build the majority of the key pieces via the draft.

The Oilers have an excellent chance of mirroring the Hawks decade of losing, but they will be hard pressed to go from being a bottom feeder to a Cup contender like the Hawks, because no two paths to Cup success are the same.

The Oilers don’t have a Keith or Seabrook right now. You can argue that Petry could be their Hjalmarsson and Eberle was an outstanding pick at #22, but other than a long stretch of losing, I’ve never made the direct comparison between the two organizations.

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The Hawks stunk for a decade, and if Bill Wirtz hadn’t passed away in the fall of 2007, I wonder if the Hawks would have had the same success. Wirtz was a very generous man who donated millions of dollars to the Boys and Girls Clubs and other charities, but he was incredibly frugal when it came to the Blackhawks. For years he wouldn’t show Blackhawks’ home games on television. He alienated his fans to the point that when the Blackhawks held a moment of silence in his honour prior to a game in October of 2007 some fans booed.

The Hawks success was a combination of good drafting, some lottery luck and a change in leadership.

Will the Oilers do the same?


Most people know that the Penguins had five consecutive top-five picks between 2002-2006, but prior to those five lean years the Penguins were a great organization.

The Penguins made the playoffs for 11 consecutive seasons before missing them in 2002. Jaromir Jagr entered the NHL in 1990/1991 and that is when the Penguins 11-year streak began. They also had some guy named Mario Lemieux who was also pretty good.

Jagr came in when their run started, and when he was traded on July 11th, 2001that marked the beginning of their five years in suckville.

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The Penguins made it to the conference finals in 2001, losing 4-1 to New Jersey, but Jagr was traded that summer and Lemieux only played 26 games in 2002.

2002: 5th worst record. They drafted Ryan Whitney. They also selected Max Talbot 234th overall.
2003: 2nd worst record. Florida won the lottery and had the first pick. The Penguins had the 3rd choicel, and they moved that pick along with the 55th pick (Stefan Meyer) and Mikael Samuelsson to Florida for the 1st and 73rd pick (Daniel Carcillo).The Penguins took Marc-Andre Fleury first overall.
2004: Worst record in the NHL. Washington won the lottery and picked first, (Ovechkin) and the Penguins grabbed Evgeni Malkin at #2. They took Alex Goligoski 61st and Tyler Kennedy 99th.
2005: No season. The history of the Penguins changed due to luck. They won the lottery and had the pleasure of selecting Sidney Crosby. They chose Kris Letang 62nd that year as well.
2006: 2nd worst record. They selected Jordan Staal 2nd overall.

There is no Crosby in Edmonton, and on any other team for that matter, so it is very difficult for the Oilers to follow the Penguins’ path to success. The Penguins drafted three centres, one goalie and a D-man who they used in a trade to acquire Chris Kunitz.

The Penguins went from being very good to terrible in the span of 10 months.

Their five-year drought was painful, but they got Crosby and Malkin; two of the top-five players in the NHL. It is impossible to match that blueprint. The Penguins also got an elite D-man in the 3rd round, similar to the Blackhawks landing Keith.

The Oilers are on pace to grab their 5th consecutive pick in the top-seven, and while that will put them on par with the draft positioning of the Penguins, it doesn’t mean their five picks will be as impactful as the Penguins. Just like the Hawks, the Penguins caught a huge break by winning the lottery and selecting a dynamic and dominant player.

The Oilers have also won the lottery, but Nail Yakupov hasn’t come close to matching the early success of Kane or Crosby. He likely will produce more in the future, but I don’t ever see him being in the same category as those two players.

The one similarity that I do see unfolding with the Oilers, that we also saw in Pittsburgh and Chicago, will be trading away one of their top-five picks.

The Hawks moved Cam Barker for Kim Johnsson and Nick Leddy, while the Pens moved Whitney for Kunitz and after winning a Cup, they had to move (pending UFA) Staal for Brandon Sutter and Derrick Pouliot.

The Oilers are similar to the Penguins in their draft position, and are on the verge of being on par with the Blackhawks when it comes to a decade of losing. Now, it is up to MacTavish to see if he can build this team into a contender. They still have a lot of work to do.

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  • It is great to have a goal to strive for, but the I’ve always felt it was a bit of pipedream to believe you could emulate the road to success of the Penguins or Blackhawks. The fact is there is no guarantee of success in the NHL.
  • Having consecutive top-five picks should give you a good base, but only if you use the picks properly. Either you pick the best combination of players, or you pick the ones that you will be able to move for assets in the future. The Oilers aren’t in a position to trade one of those picks today, but they will need to in the future.
  • The other difference between the Oilers and the Hawks and Penguins thus far is drafting depth outside of a top-ten pick. The Blackhawks built the depth of their team through the draft, and many of them were a bit more mature by the time Kane and Toews burst on the scene.
  • The Penguins surrounded their young players with productive and experienced players. In 2008 when they lost in the Cup final, they added Hal Gill, Pascal Dupuis and Marian Hossa. The next year when they won the Cup they acquired Kunitz, Bill Guerin and Craig Adams. The Oilers will need to make smart moves and acquire some veterans to support their young stars.
  • The Penguins Cup winning blueline consisted of draft picks, Letang, Rod Scuderi (134th pick, 1998) and Brooks Orpik (18th, 2000), acquired Gill and two free agent signings in Sergie Gonchar (2005) and Mark Eaton (2006).
  • The Hawks also had three drafted D-men on their blueline in Keith, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson.
  • The only drafted D-man the Oilers curently have on the roster is Petry. We expect Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and possibly Martin Marincin to play in the future, but if the Oilers are going to succeed then one of those three will need to be an impact player within three seasons. That is a lot to ask of a young D-man.
  • If I had to pick, I’d say the Oilers have a better chance of following the Penguins path than the Blackhawks, strictly because the Hawks D-men were more mature than their forwards when they won. The Penguins went out and signed a veteran top-pairing D-man in Gonchar, which is a more realistic option for the Oilers. They either trade for one this summer or try and sign one via free agency this summer.
  • Trading or signing an elite D-man is going to be extremely difficult. If they don’t go that route, I don’t see how this team can take the steps needed to becoming a competitive team.
  • I understand the frustration amongst Oilers fans. You are sick of watching a losing product, and you should be. However, the Oilers haven’t been rebuilding for eight years. From 2007-2010 they tried being competitive, but they failed. They made some questionable trades and free agent signings, and the only reason they actually went into a rebuild was due to numerous injuries to key players during the 2009/2010 season. They didn’t plan to rebuild, it just unfolded that way.
  • That doesn’t excuse Kevin Lowe, far from it, but the biggest mistake the Oilers could make today is to try and speed up the rebuild. If they need to fire someone within the organization to appease their fans, then they have to do it, but if they try to deviate from their original plan, or try and speed up the process, then there is a very good chance they will end up driving this team into an even longer cycle of losing. They have to see the process through, and accept that there might be some empty seats in the process. If they try to change the plan now, they likely will screw it up even worse.
  • Eakins was pretty fired up about the fan who threw his jersey on the ice. "That’s a bunch of bull crap. Whoever through that jersey on the ice is a quitter and they’re out. I never want our players to quit," said Eakins. Every sports team values the jersey, it is very symbolic and I see why the coach didn’t like it. He was okay with fans booing, said his team deserved it, but the jersey was offside. I’m guessing this will be a hot topic amongst Oiler fans. Some I spoke to loved it, while others felt it was disrespectful to the jersey.
  • My personal opinion on it is this. Eakins is in a no win situation. They didn’t need another distraction, although I’m guessing that was his plan. Have fans hate him, not the team.

    Also…If the fan who threw it is officially done with the Oilers, then he went out with a bang. If he threw it on the ice, but will be back watching them tonight then it was just a moment of dumb frustration and rather bushleague. You can be upset at the Oilers, yell at them because they haven’t improved, demand that Lowe be fired. That is fair game. Tossing a jersey, or anything else on the ice, other than a hat after a hat trick, should not be applauded.

    I do believe many fans are fed up and likely won’t go to any games or watch any until the Oilers improve, and if you are strong enough to stay away I tip my hat to you. I’m a diehard Dolphins fan, and my team has stunk for the most part of the past two decades, yet everytime I think I’m done with them they win a few games and I get sucked back in. It is very hard to stop cheering for a team, and if you are able to do it then you are stronger than me. Good on ya.


It shouldn’t matter who they play with, the entire team’s focus should be about working hard and competing. If they don’t instill that into their foundation this team will never improve. Eakins juggled his lines and came up with these new combos at practice yesterday.


Ference-J Schultz
N Schultz-Potter


GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers worst game of the year was the 5-0 loss to Detroit. They rebounded three days later and beat Florida on the road. Tonight is different. They are at home and their fans are frothing at the mouth in frustration. If they have any pride they will put forth a good effort. If they don’t, the fans won’t hold back their displeasure. The Oilers avoid a raucous round of boos with a 4-3 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers announce a sell out, but there will be some empty seats. Whether they are paid for or not, the message should be clear to the Oilers; patience is wearing thin amongst Oiler fans.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The powerplay doesn’t give up a good scoring chance.


Today is our final day, so if you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping you could do it during the show and help out Santas Anonymous and The Christmas Bureau at the same time.

Package #1: Update your wardrobe.


  • A $1,000 shopping spree at Derk’s Mens Wear
  • One Derk’s Black Label Suit.
  • $300 in tailoring to help with your new wardrobe.
  • A wardrobe consultation. Derks will come to your house, go through your closet and asses what you need or what pieces need to go.

Package #2: Tee It Up.

  • 10 rounds of golf at the Ranch Golf and Country Club (hole 14 above)  with a power cart with each round and use of driving range before every round.

 Package #3: For your special lady.

  • A pair of white gold diamond earrings. Beautiful floral type deign with micro pavee set diamonds on lever backs, they are a stunning dangling style with .30 carats of diamonds. Courtesy of Michael Anthony Jewellers. 

Package #4:

  • Two pairs of seats to watch the Flyers/Oilers on Saturday.
    Row 23 seats 1,2 and seats 5.6  with club access courtesy of Nation reader VK63!

You can bid between 2-6 p.m today by calling 780.444.1260 or 1.800.243.1945.

Thanks in advance…


  • Zarny

    Harsh realities. The mouth-breathers don’t like those.

    I thought the jersey on the ice was pathetic. That’s probably a bit harsh; I can appreciate the frustration. Smacks of a temper tantrum though. “Waah! I want my rebuild!”. “We have #1 draft piiiicks!!”. Pfft…he’s got 4 more jerseys at home.

    No one with an honest assessment of the Oilers at the start of the season is panicking right now. A variation of the last 48 hrs was published in August. Not new information.

    The first 20 games showed how thin the roster is. When healthy they go 6-3-1 against the bottom of the league and are outclassed against contenders.

    They don’t need to push the panic button. They don’t need to drastically change course. The draft picks remain a good foundation to build around. We’ve seen they aren’t the solution themselves.

    They do have to start trading picks and prospects for proven NHL players. They can’t wait for Klefbom, Nurse or some hypothetical draft pick.

    That was the case last year and Tambo dithered so he was rightfully fired. MacT added a few pieces last summer. He needs to add a few more by the trade deadline and a few more in the summer.

    Until then nothing changes. 6-0 loss against teams like StL. 6-2 wins against teams like Jets.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Zarny……Serious question……are you a woman?…….because if you are, you know more about hockey than any woman I’ve ever met. Just curious.

      Edit: I think someone trashed me for being sarcastic or sexist or something…….not trying to be….just see the picture and the name Zarny….and would like to know….honest question.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Our idiot coach is sticking his foot in his mouth again I see…. Eakins doesn’t see the difference between the fans and the players. He throws that quitter word around like it’s sacred or something. Doesn’t he realize that if these players weren’t being paid millions per yr, everyone of them would have quit on him long ago as well? They are paid to care until the money runs out, and not for a second longer.

    One has to pay to be there, and the other is well paid to be there. The leader of Gong Show Productions needs to be reminded the paying customer is always right. Today was just another example of the many stupid mistakes Eakins will make as his team plays out the string. We can put this quote right up on the shelf next to Kevin Lowes “I think I know a little bit about winning” quote. What a bunch of bozos….

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    If we ever become a contender, 10 of these 12 guys won’t be here. Lander, Gagner, Jones, Hemsky, Smyth,Potter, N Schultz, Dubnyk,Acton, Belov, Larsen, Arcobello………that’s a lot of turnover…could take awhile.

    • Jason Gregor

      Seven of those guys are UFA and Lander, Larsen, Arcobello are RFA…

      Those pieces could be switched out sooner than you think if they wanted to, and only Gagner and Acton have contacts after this season.

      • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

        Fork in the road Jason……here’s praying that they want to!

        Yogi Berra?…..”if you come to a fork in the road….take it!”

    • Jason Gregor

      Explain to me how beating up a Flames team that has many of their best players injured will be a “set the tone’ game. Beating a depleted Flames team will give them the boost they need? I sure hope they have higher standards than that.

      Why resort to “what if they lost” arguments. Weak, very weak, since what ifs only lead to impossible to prove speculation.

      You can keep trying to overhype the jersey toss all you like.

      • Serious Gord

        It is not the toss it is what it symbolized for a very large cohort of oilers fans. And that is clearly demonstrated by the ensuing reaction. To the act.

        And the same goes for the game against cgy. that cgy is in a weakened state is irrelevant. It is relevant that the flames are our biggest rival.

        Our foil to which everyone compares the oil and derides the oil for not meeting expectations while cgy exceeds theirs (which they did again tonight).

        Friday really seems to me to be a put up or shut up game for the oil.

        Lose and I think all is lost.

        Win and maybe.

        Just maybe.

        They can have a successful second half.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    I think it may be too soon to assess the impact of the Jersey incident but I do know that it certainly motivated the team tonight. IT may have done much more than that-I have not seen the team play this cohesive this season. And tonight was an example of why I scream when people say trade YAk.

      • Serious Gord

        Further to my Churchill reference above:

        “The Hinge of Fate describes how the tide of the war gradually turned for Britain and its allies from constant defeat to almost unbroken successes – Japan’s successful assault on the Pacific, Britain’s attempts to aid a beleaguered Russia and the defeat of Rommel at the Battle of Alamein.”

        From an amazon synopsis of WCs six volume history of f the war. (Fantastic read BTW)

        Perhaps cgy on the 27 is the oils El Alamein…

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      I’m conflicted. I like QSB and the dark presence he brings to the site……but Gregor is the best writer on the site……….hhhhmmm……I need to consult with nacho Jesus.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    On a positive note: I loved the shot of Gazdik putting his arm around Yak and encouraging him on sticking up for himself (in te penalty box)……i hope that events of tonight galvanizes the team and the Oilers take on the, “its us versus the world” mentality and stick up for each other

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      That…and he played smart…..he waited until we were up 5-2 before exacting revenge on Stuart for his hit from behind on Gagner.

      Gadzik is part of the solution.

  • Jason Gregor

    Gregor’s analysis does not take into account that the Oiler fans have been putting up with a “rebuild” for 20+ years, other than one fluky run, with excuse after excuse. We are tired of being the only ones bleeding orange and blue.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Honestly….pretty much every Oiler looked good tonight. From what I saw Justin played pretty good tonight…no glaring mistakes….not trying to do to much.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      well, if you go by the theory that even wins must be picked apart, over analyzed and ruined, he probably wasnt nearly good enough. no chance he is a #1 pairing d-man on an elite team.

      if you go by the “holy shat the Oilers finally won!” fan analysis of the game, he was pretty good. had his misses for sure but was much better then he has been recently.

      now, if you will excuse me, i need to get back to focusing on why Friday is now THE most important game of the year, and how Churchill, Einstein, Doc Brown and Inspector Gadget all have some theories about horse racing and nose picking and how it ties into an NHL hockey season.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The reason the Oilers are the worst organization in the NHL is that they are the worst run organization in the NHL and have been for years. They are not a terrible hockey team by accident. Six Rings is a blithering idiot, Bold Moves is in way over his head and Eakins is incompetent. They might win 20 games this season and I don’t remember a version of this “Team” where unless they are playing a fellow bottom feeder, you don’t wonder if they will win, you wonder if they will score a goal. The Oilers are a f#&king joke.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Wow the Oilers beat the Jets, crisis over team is on the right track, great coaching, rebuild complete. ha ha Too funny Guess if they could play a team in the bottom 5 or 6 in the league every night they would be competitive.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Don’t blame the players for the Oilers struggles (at least not entirely). They are who they are and the Oilers knew who they were and their playing style when they drafted them. I have been rough on Eakins but he can only coach what he is given. It’s tough to win in this league without a good defense and good goal tending – of which the Oilers have neither.

    No, the blame should be placed squarely on the shoulders of Kevin Lowe, his GMs and the scouting staff because they aren’t doing enough to find better players. Just picking from Central Scouting’s list come draft time isn’t doing the job. Oilers don’t have a competent starting goalie – go find one. Both Vancouver’s Eddie Lack (6/2, .928 PCT, and 1.93 GAA) and LA’s Martin Jones (8/1, .953 PCT and 1.31 GAA) were not drafted. These organizations have done their homework and have found and signed these and other undrafted players. I know nobody likes the Canucks but they have three other starters in Tanev (top 4 D), Stanton (top 6 D) and Burrows (top 6 fwd) who were not drafted. That’s an organization that is working hard to find better players. Time for the Oilers to quit relying entirely on the draft, roll up their sleeves and find better players. If your scouting network can’t find them either expand the network or replace them.

    The Oilers missed Stanton when Chicago placed him on waivers. The Canucks grabbed him and felt so strongly about him they made him a top 6 D immediately. He played in Moose Jaw which is only an 8 hour drive from Edmonton. If the Oilers had done their homework instead of sitting around the boardroom in their expensive suits feeling smug their positions, they would have known about Stanton and picked him up.

  • **

    Light of a new day brings renewed hope to ON. The team was lead by Hall and Yak. Yak stepped up his game to a level he has not done yet in his short time in the NHL. Wow. I saw him channeling the ghost of ESA Tikkanen last night. He had the Jets in high dudgeon. The chicken wing was nasty. Then the melee. Wow.

    Gazdic stepping in for Yak on Stuart. The guy has shown willingness to do the job. 10 fights this season so far. The comments from Yak show how important Gazdic has become to this team.

    When were evaluating MacT’s moves this season the acquisition of Gazdic has to be right up there with the signing of Gordon.

    MacT deserves credit when credit is due.

    I have to also say that MacT has made some questionable moves in signing a unproven NHL dmen in Belov and having him play the kind of minutes he has this season. Grebeshkov was a head shaker. I would have preferred Fistric resigned. There is definitely room for improvement on the backend this coming offseason.

    I did like Eakins adding Joensuu upfront last night. Did his job by deflecting the brunt of the Jets physical play. It resulted in Gags and Ebs having more space. As much as I like Joensuu there is a need for a better more skilled big man. He is big but he is no Chris Stewart.

    Overall the Oilers go in to the holidays on a positive. Friday night will be fun against fun.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Interesting…like you…the highlights of the night for me were Yak and Gadzik. Let’s hope the coaching staff tell those guys that that’s exactly how we need to see them play. Agree with everything you said. Too bad everyday can’t be Christmas….let’s see how they do Saturday night!

      And don’t shuffle the lines, same roster and lineup for Saturday night please!

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Jason, I just about always agree or respect what you have to say here and on your show but you’re way out to lunch here.

    You’re scrambling for some reason. That’s not like you.

    The jersey thing was a significant gesture. It made national news and was a reflection of many fans frustrations.

    The Oilers now are maybe a very talented group of individuals but going into the game yesterday, they looked like the worst team in Oiler history.

    I hope they pick it up in the second half. They have the ability. We’re still looking for the compete.

  • Rdubb

    Jason, I sort of agree, but also disagree with you. What the Hawks and Pens did @ the draft is get Centre’s, something the Oilers HAVE NOT DONE as of yet. And they SHOULD HAVE!!!
    Maybe Yak was the best player in the draft, maybe not, but the Oilers had a huge hole and needed it filled @ Centre and should have taken any number of guys over Yak, I personally felt that the Oil should have taken the kid the Habs took, Galyenchuk (you know who I mean). So what if he missed 95% of his draft yr, his previous season was outstanding and he was a 2 way player, not to mention that he had a bit of size to him, something else the Oilers needed…
    & last yr, maybe Nurse will be a #1 D-man, and I hope he is, but after that, the Oiler scouting staff dropped the ball, just like the previous 8 drafts, anyone can pick at #1 and not really mess up too bad…but, the Oilers had needs and didn’t fill any of them. They needed a big C and didn’t take one. They could have taken any one of 3 goalies, and let them all pass by, the worst being the Oil Kings tender. That hurts because of the close relationship between the two clubs…& the size the Oilers did take, well, they just opted for size, & size alone. None of their big guys they took where very impactful in their draft season, and I cannot see being impactful for their clubs this season either. And I have gone back and looked @ those whom I could find numbers on & or any articles.
    The Oilers do need to clean house, and it’ll start with Lowe, and than the scouting staff, fire most of them, if not all. Over pay for a good Head Scout if needed.
    Why can teams like NAS draft so many good tenders and D-men, or the LAK drafting good goalie’s too. These are just examples of teams not getting lucky once, but drafting for need, and doing a very good job at it. NAS has ALWAYS had an abundance of good goalies and are forced to trade one away every 3 or 4 yrs, but a very good one always steps in to replace, WHY CANT THE OILERS DO THAT? How about all the good D that the Preds draft? And they aren’t always top 5 picks either, WHY CANT THE OILERS DO THAT EITHER?
    Because our scouting isn’t good!!! Other than Eberle @ 22, I cannot think of one other late 1st rounder, or any other rounder to be a difference maker on this team, can you w/o looking it up?