It’s a strange morning for Oilers Nation. The things we might like to do–bag skate the management team, for instance–are not available to us. The team has not delivered entertainment for two games now, the coach is running out of positives (and baby that’s saying something) and we are here. Again. What can we do?


The job that has to be done now belongs to a higher power. No,no not him–Daryl Katz! Robin Brownlee wrote a terrific article this week that put things in perspective:

  • Brownlee: Given the record over the previous 11 seasons and what I’m seeing play out so far this season, I know what I’d do if I was signing the cheques in Edmonton and I didn’t have a playoff race on my hands right down to the wire – Lowe and Tambellini would be relieved of their duties. That call, of course, belongs to Katz, and, given his relationship with Lowe, I don’t see that happening. Tambellini, coming off an underwhelming two-year extension as a mandate, will be the fall guy if there is one. That could open the door for MacTavish, now the senior vice-president of hockey operations, but that’s an item for another day.

Robin framed the issue nicely, and I do think this would happen in the spring (after the season) if it happens at all. I know there’s hot and cold running anger in all Edmonton and area homes this morning over the town team, but a hot streak (and we know they’re capable) changes the mood in a heartbeat and the job of an owner is to look at the long term.

Robin’s thoughts above do seem to have a strong logic to them, though. How long do you allow a rebuild to turn the corner? Is this Chicago or is this Columbus?


For Oiler fans this is all too familiar. We’re reaching a point where the lockout is a sweet memory, where other fanbases no longer use their "A" material against us, where someone considers suing someone else for "cruel and unusual punishment."

Collectively, we’re here:

And there’s not much we can do about it. The Edmonton Oilers are telling us there is no help available–no center to shore up that position, no defenseman to help there–so we’re just going to have to endure another season of losing, another night of Steve Tambellini at the lottery show, another spring of knowing more about the draft’s first two rounds than we should without drawing a paycheque.


The road trip to hell lived up to its reputation. The Oilers have been outmatched in the last two games and will head into Chicago facing a Hawks team newly motivated. The major stories for Edmonton were supposed to be Hall going supernova, Yak-Schultz fighting it out for the Calder and much merriment over passing Calgary in the standings.

The actual stories have been 5×5 scoring disappearing, Whitney’s foot and Horcoff’s knuckle. The rebuild began in 2010 and we should expect results in 2015. That’s the message here.

I don’t see much evidence the Oilers ownership and management feel any kind of pressure to improve. Do you?

Maybe they really like lotteries?

All is not lost. There is a tremendous amount of talent here, but adding an enforcer isn’t going to help this team. They need actual NHL players, and the management team to find them. I expect Craig MacTavish will be playing a more prominent role in the organization soon. He’ll have to trade in his NCAA scouting pass for a bigger office and no sleep.

We wait.

Lowetide at High Noon hits Team 1260 today noon to 2 Edmonton time. Our guests:

  • Terry Jones from the Edmonton Sun. We’ll talk brier and the Oilers, specifically this painful road trip. We’ll also discuss implications of another lost season on players and management.
  • Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey. We’ll discuss his zone exits and what they are telling us about the Oilers, the current state of the team and who gets a passing grade through the season’s first half.
  • Kirk Luedeke from Redline Report. Kirk has been a friend of Team 1260’s since the John Short days, and is a splendid resource for the draft. We’ll talk about some of the impressive NY/New England kids this year and get an idea about the depth of this year’s draft compared to a year ago.
  • Darcy "Woodguy" McLeod from all parts Oilogosphere. Darcy has posted guest articles at Copper and Bue and at Lowetide, the latest being an exceptional defense of Magnus Paajarvi this week. We’ll talk about Paajarvi, measuring success via shots on goal and what the numbers say about fixing the Oilers.
  • Neal Livingston, from Tend the Farm. One of the brilliant people we’ve had a chance to encounter since the Oilers moved their farm team to OKC, Neal’s site is a joy and a valuable resource. We’ll talk about the season for Barons fans, and I’ll ask if any of the current Barons looks like they are matriculating toward an NHL job.

Hope you tune in.

  • John Chambers

    Also, perhaps MacT coaches the second half of the year once the team gets home.

    I don’t necessarily want Ralph to go – just have ‘Assistant’ added to his title.

    • I thought when Mac T left that was the right decision, I was not happy to see him return like many of this site, thought it was another step in the wrong direction for the organization because that shipped sailed.

      However if this organization is going to anything that remotely makes sense it would be to bring him in for the short term to show the fans that this organization is willing to do something to show that they are trying to compete. I think if they loose out the rest of the way their is no way they can throw Krueger to the wolves once they come back to Edmonton.

      I can’t help but wonder who I want more, McKinnon or Jones. I got to say I can’t believe we may land another top 5 pick. Can’t decide whether to be excited or angry,

  • horndog77

    Has Ralph already lost the team? Maybe they should fire him and bring in Ruff? These players need a wake up call. Maybe start recalling players from the AHL and send those sucking down there.

  • horndog77

    It has been said that the young players wanted Ralph Krueger for the new head coach, their wish was granted, then they got $6M/year contract extensions and then A’s on their sweaters,I don’t see any leadership or compete and that is scary.
    I just hope the management can bring in a couple veteran players with both skill and leadership for their top six(Scott Hartnell and or Cory Perry)a true # 2 defenseman and a proven goal tender.I have been a season ticket holder for 20 years and not very many hi-lights.

    • horndog77

      Agreed 100%. I just don’t think Perry would want to come here – no matter what the weather is.

      The players not playing for Kreuger is the biggest surprise. It is almost like they are rebeling against his system.

  • As for the Oilers. Ugly last couple of games. Magnified by being on extended road trip. The cavalry is NOT coming via trade. Horcoff will…

    ..Help when he returns but the team will have to look within to turn it around

    Stauffer via Twitter

    The Tank is on.

      • Dangerous Neil

        I agree, those saying that Horcoff will help have not watched the Oil play too much and don’t realize there are often available guys in the off season with his skillsets. I think people are trying to pinpoint what is wrong with the team when they say things that don’t make sense, and its more then an average third line checking center that will fix the multiple holes in this ship. This teams the same with him or not with him and its time to cut bait and use 5.5 million to fill the line-up with players who can make a difference.

        This off season has to be choosing who stays and who goes. Hopefully a new management will be in place that can properly assess the needs of the team going forward. This teams taking a step behind this season, and the end of the rebuild is going to be at least 2 more years.