When a team hits rock bottom in the standings like the Edmonton Oilers have twice since the NHL lockout of 2004-05, the silver lining for fans is the expectation short-term pain will result in long-term gain and that the team will eventually pick itself up off the floor.

After seven straight years out of the playoffs, soon to be eight, the Oilers, as everybody is acutely aware, have been selling that hope to the faithful folks who buy their tickets and jerseys for years now – the bounce off the bottom, a rise back to respectability and playoff contention.

If you look at teams that have hit the bottom of that elevator shaft in the eight seasons since the lockout – I’m leaving out the Florida Panthers, who finished 30th overall in 2012-13 because we don’t know where they’ll finish this season — the expectation better times are ahead isn’t unfounded.

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Except for fans of the Oilers, of course, who’ve looked on as their team has gone from being Stanley Cup finalists in 2006 to finishing 2009-10 and 2011-12 dead-last, where they have pretty much stayed.

Where’s the bounce?


Here’s a look at the teams that have finished 30th since the lockout and where they’ve finished in NHL overall standings in subsequent seasons.

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2005-06: ST. LOUIS BLUES 21-46-15 for 57 points

  • 2006-07: 34-35-13 for 79 points – 22nd
  • 2007-08: 33-36-13 for 79 points – 27th
  • 2008-09: 41-31-10 for 92 points – 15th
  • 2009-10: 40-32-10 for 90 points – 15th
  • 2010-11: 38-33-11 for 87 points – 20th
  • 2011-12: 49-22-11 for 109 points – 3rd
  • 2012-13: 29-17-2 for 60 points – 6th

2006-07: PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 22-48-12 for 56 points

  • 2007-08: 42-29-11 for 95 points – 11th
  • 2008-09: 44-27-11 for 99 points – 9th
  • 2009-10: 41-35-6 for 88 points – 18th
  • 2010-11: 47-23-12 for 106 points – 3rd
  • 2011-12: 47-26-9 for 103 points – 6th
  • 2012-13: 23-22-3 for 49 points – 20th

2007-08: TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 31-42-9 for 71 points

  • 2008-09: 24-40-18 for 66 points – 29th
  • 2009-10: 34-36-12 for 80 points – 25th
  • 2010-11: 46-25-11 for 103 points – 8th
  • 2011-12: 38-36-8 for 84 points – 21st
  • 2012-13: 18-26-4 for 40 points – 28th

2008-09: NEW YORK ISLANDERS 26-47-9 for 61 points

  • 2009-10: 34-37-11 for 79 points – 26th
  • 2010-11: 30-39-13 for 73 points – 27th
  • 2011-12: 34-37-11 for 79 points – 27th
  • 2012-13: 24-17-7 for 55 points – 16th

2009-10: EDMONTON OILERS 27-47-8 for 62 points

  • 2010-11: 25-45-12 for 62 points – 30th
  • 2011-12: 32-40-10 for 74 points – 29th
  • 2012-13: 19-22-7 for 45 points – 24th

2011-12: COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 29-46-7 for 65 points

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  • 2012-13: 24-17-7 for 55 points – 17th


Philadelphia’s last-place finish was a blip on the radar as they enjoyed the biggest bounce in a season after finishing 30th when they improved by 39 points. St. Louis is next with a 24-point improvement. The Blues best season since finishing last is 109 points, an improvement of 52 points. Philly is next with a 50-point jump in 2010-11.

Coming into this season, the Flyers have made the playoffs in four of six seasons since finishing 30th. The Blues have made it in three of seven seasons. Even Tampa Bay and the Islanders, who have floundered almost as badly as the Oilers, have made the playoffs once each, and the Bolts are poised to get in again this season.

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

    • Dave, I have season tickets & I’ve already said that I’m not renewing, I can’t see anything changing my mind at this point.

      I’ve enjoyed giving my tickets to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to go to games, at least this way, I think my money is at least spent to make someone happy.

    • Slapshot

      Do you want my Oilers account number?

      All I know is I will be 10k richer come May,I should’ve known better to renew this year, I will no longer buy tickets as long as Lowe and the old boys club are involved with the Oilers and I’ve been a season seat holder since 1999.

      • Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)

        What if they go on a 37-2-1 streak and make the play-offs and win the Cup? The chances are 1 in a million but I/m telling you there’s a chance.
        I share my tickets and I am out for sure unless Katz gets to see lots of jerseys on the ice on National T.V. and decides to make a change at the top or a minimum of the assistant coaches get canned.( 1 in a billion)

  • Spydyr

    Has Stu the not so magnificent bastard drafted one player outside of the first round that has had any impact on this team.I can’t think of a single one.Can anybody?

  • Serious Gord

    “She was alone and still, gazing out to sea; and when she felt his presence and the worship of his eyes her eyes turned to him in quiet sufferance of his gaze, without shame or wantonness. Long, long she suffered his gaze and then quietly withdrew her eyes from his and bent them towards the stream, gently stirring the water with her foot hither and thither. The first faint noise of gently moving water broke the silence, low and faint and whispering, faint as the bells of sleep; hither and thither, hither and thither; and a faint flame trembled on her cheek.

    Excerpt From: Joyce, James. “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.” iBooks.
    This material may be protected by copyright.

    Dude could write…

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

    the fact that they want to trade Gags when his value is so low goes to show you that acquiring an MBA in business really was a waste of money. Allocating assets is about moving pieces at high value which you deem will have a greater impact in the long term, not moving pieces when you realized you failed in your player assessment. Any smart GM (which compared to the Oilers I almost argue all of them are smarter) knows you are at their mercy when it comes players coming back in the trade. Its actual value vs. actual value, not potential value vs. great value. Morons!!!

  • oilbaron

    Do we really want the team to start winning now? Since we are out of the playoffs, let’s stink bad for Ekblad.

    All the pundits are saying he is good enough to start in the NHL right away……..perfect!

    Since Mr. Chop Water drink wood is leading the charge…….I say stay the course.

  • Gerald R. Ford

    The only member of Team Katz whose employment is directly tied to performance is Mr. Patrick LaForge. Since he performs extremely well, in the only capacity that Mr. Katz seems concerned about, I see no impetus for substantive change, vis-a-vis the old boys club.

    “Rock Bottom” was almost two years ago to the day, when Team Chicken S*** let Sam Gagner get the absolute snot beat out of him by Francois Beauchemin, as they all slid down the bench, whistling aimlessly, pretending like he had walked into a door, or something. The Oilers have dug down several strata below rock since then.

    Paraphrasing Brad Pitt as Billy Beane:

    “There are unlucky organizations, there are poorly run organizations, there are absolute jokes, there’s thirty feet of crud, and then there’s the Oilers.”

    I hate what they’ve done to this team that we love. Losing is one thing. This is bi-weekly obliteration, physically and morale wise.

      • Gerald R. Ford

        He makes money. A LOT of it.

        With respect, you, sir, have no clue, whatsoever, what it takes to run a corporation the size of the Oilers. If built-in fanbases were all it took to be successful, Steve Jobs would never have been fired from Apple in the 80s. Or John Scully in the 90s, for that matter.

        Monopolies, contrary to the disparaging cries of Joe. Q. Public, do NOT succeed without talented human capital.

        LaForge, is VERY good at what he does. If you think the fire MacT rally was a bust, I wish you good luck with the fire LaForge rally. Heh.

        • reaperfunkss

          laforge is a typical lying rich guy. Doesnt take genius to tell us that people dont show up cause of snow. remember a year and a half, 2 years ago he tried to tell us the Oilers were losing money and that why they needed public money for the arena. Yet the Oilers were one of the “Have” franchises when it came to money at the time.

          He was one of the architects behind not having a farm team for 2 years.

          Laforge is atypical greedy bitch. He will kiss Katz ass to the extreme and lie his ass off when told to. No ethics. No morality when it comes to the fans. just another douche in a suit.

          • Gerald R. Ford

            In other words, he’s the perfect guy to run a business.

            Look, don’t mistake my admiration for his money-making skills for me liking the guy, personally. Does he have the personality of a greasy used car salesman? Maybe, I don’t know him. He brings in the Benjamins, and, so long as he does, Daryl Katz doesn’t give a damn what any of us think about the hockey side of the operation. LaForge’s success, whether we like it or not, whether you give him credit for it or not, is the biggest impediment to any widespread organizational change. That’s the salient point.

        • Serious Gord

          You have no idea what i do or don’t know about business operations. I have outlined much of my background here in the past before so I won’t repeat it now.

          That you use jobs as an example shows you certainly know jack. Jobs was fired because the company was on the brink of insolvency and he had hired a complete disaster to be CEO (scully). Apples “monopoly” was down to single digit market share and was saved in part by a loan from Microsoft because they needed apple in the market to avoid being regulated as a monopoly.

          The oilers do indeed have a strong regional monopoly in professional hockey in one of the most hockey crazed and well-heeled markets in the world. How well would laforge fare in a tough market like Phoenix or Columbus?

          Neither you nor I know.

          But to say he’s doing a super job here is just as impossible to say.

          As someone who has been to more than few oilers games and can compare it to other markets and sports I would say that much of what the oilers do for entertainment off the ice surface is pretty miserable – I’m assuming that is laforges beat – so if that’s anything to go by I think he is below average at the job.

          • Gerald R. Ford

            Apple HAD a monopoly, and it was eroded. THAT’S the point. It takes the right person, with the right plan, at the right time to make a business successful. You don’t rest on your laurels, and you don’t just make money on a brand. If you’re a successful businessman, you should know that there’s no luck involved. It’s hard work, preparation, and constant learning and adaptation. A legacy only gets you so far.

            Gord, considering how much of your life you waste plaguing us and the Edmonton airwaves with your incessant, epic whining, I have a pretty good idea you’re not running a Fortune 500 company. Or maybe you have a dim-witted lackey running it for you whilst you’re gracing us with your insights?

            Now, THAT would totally validate your theory, in which case, I humbly apologize! A pox upon me for a clumsy lout, sir.

          • Serious Gord

            Apple has never had a monopoly in any of its endeavors. In the halcyon days of the personal computer they maybe got to 20%. The “I”s – pods, phones etc have never had much more than that.

            Meanwhile Edmonton has the contractual monopoly for nhl level hockey in this region and the Katz group owns the only other pro hockey team in the area. Now that’s a monopoly.

          • Gerald R. Ford

            Apple dominated the academic and creative markets for years. If you were a teacher in the late 70s or throughout the 80s, you had an Apple computer. If you were a designer, you had an Apple computer.

            If you don’t buy that one, ever hear of Canada Post? How many years even BEFORE email and UPS did they run massive deficits?

            I don’t know what else to say, Gord. If you really think any random idiot can generate that much revenue simply based on having an allegedly captive audience, we are at an impasse, sir.

          • Serious Gord

            Apple’s dominance of a small slice of the PC market was transitory. And they abused their clients and lost them even faster as a result.

            Canada post is a crown corp and loses money for two reasons – unions and political imperatives like keeping to the door service in place. Its ‘owner’ was prepared to stroke a check to cover the losses rather than let the corp charge the real cost for postage. With the cpc in place that has finally begun to change. Also the monopoly it has – is far less powerful than it once was in no small part because of its marketing incompetence.

            True monopolies are very rare particularly ones that aren’t regulated. The oilers are one. It is telling when a monopoly gets broken – as it did in telecoms – or in a monopsony like the cwb and the sloth and incompetence is exposed. In fact outside of pro sports there are almost no such unregulated situations.

            In sports an example would be the Yankees in the sixties when they lost their monopoly when the mets were created. In a very short time the mets became the bigger draw – so inept were the Yankee owners CBS. That all changed when a new owner group led by Steinbrenner bought the Yankees for 8.3 million.

            One wonders what would happen if a second nhl team moved to EDM…

          • Serious Gord

            And no, I don’t work for a fortune five hundred company, but I do retail products for some of the largest insurance companies in the world and consult to them on marketing initiatives in western Canada and the country as a whole.

            Oh!! And thanks for listening and reading!!

  • It’s just terrible to say right now, the only two things that are going to have any chance of getting the Oilers out of this mess is.

    The Oilers continuing to lose & fans not showing up.

    The only thing that will get the attention of this owner, god knows nothing else has.

  • TayLordBalls

    Rock Bottom is trying to read this dribble about how the Oilers have peed in your cereal.

    I can assure you this, MacT is doing all he can to find value players without emptying the cupboard.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    There seems to be some disparity between the persistently bad teams and the teams that dip into terrible very briefly.

    Colby Cosh tweeted this the other day:

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2005-06: 1. Edmonton 2. NY Islanders 3. Columbus 4. Florida

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2006-07: 1. Edmonton 2. NY Islanders 3. Columbus 4. Florida RT @Toukochan: @colbycosh I sense a trend.

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2007-08: 1. Edmonton 2. NY Islanders 3. Columbus 4. Florida

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2008-09: 1. Edmonton 2. NY Islanders 3. Florida 4. Columbus

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2009-10: 1. Edmonton 2. Florida 3. Columbus 4. NY Islanders

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2010-11: 1. Edmonton 2. Florida 3. Columbus 4. NY Islanders

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 3 Jan
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2011-12: 1. Edmonton 2. Columbus 3. Buffalo 4. Carolina

  • Sevenseven

    You know things are bad for the oilers when they dont even bother to do a gdb at thr oilers nation anymore. Talk about apathy, hope katz hears about this…

  • Arius Mumin

    The effort and the context of the latest articles on ON, show: if they aren’t already-the writers definetely could and should be employed by the Oilers.

  • reaperfunkss

    The frustrating thing about Oilers management is that they don’t get it that being impatient will only regress any development.

    This is still a young team, what they need is to let youngsters polish their games and gain some confidence by doing the best in their own department.

    Instead, they hired a fancy-pansy coach that wants to introduce a “system” when most of the players are still learning the basic. It is like trying to teach bunch of elementary calculus.

    Roy’s successes in Colorado was that he simplify the game, keep doing what his player can do best, play hard, and keep the puck out of their own zone, be more aggressive when the team is behind, taking care of the puck, and shoot more shoot often. How many of those messages have delivered by Eakins? Forget about the defense, the team are not even trying to shoot and surely are not taking care of the puck.

    The team is not that bad, at least it is not last place kind of bad. It is up to management to fully understand about how this team is and how to get each player individually better instead of rushing the development of bunch of kids.

  • vetinari

    To make some extra money for the team, the Oilers should offer a MBA course to interested fans using their management team’s strengths:

    “How To Distinguish Tiers of Fans with Kevin Lowe”

    “Bold Moves, Bad Moves? With Craig MacTavish”

    “Mastering the Grimace with Dallas Eakins”

    “Media Relations 101: Open Mikes + Management = Disaster?”

    “Jersey Tosses and Home Game Losses– Keeping the Villagers Away From the Pitchforks”

    “Terminate Like the Terminators: How to Fire a Coach Using Technology with Craig MacTavish”

    • Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)

      Or this award winning Kevin Lowe course:
      WARNING: Consumption of alcohol. Will make Kevin Lowe believe that NHL GMs are dying to call him at four in the morning!

  • Shawn Cronin

    Oilers win this one, in keeping with their trend of losing 4-6 games in a row then winning 1. Fans hop back on bandwagon, which is also part of the trend. Oilers lose next 5 after this one (STL, PIT, CHI, DAL, MIN) before beating Jets in the 6th game. The cycle repeats……

  • Gerald R. Ford

    Quit your whining and crying in your beer. The Oilers need what everyone else either has, wants or needs. If you already have the big Centremen,bigger bodies or the #1 dman the only reason you trade them is if you have cap issues. See Pronger and Perron. With the cap going up that’s not going to happen anytime soon. The only way to build is thru the draft and every manager will tell you that. Now you want to trade a 24 year old Gagner and complain because they traded a young Cogliano. You don’t think MacT knows this and tried all summer to acquire these types of players. Patience you idiots. Half you guys are either really stupid or just like complaining and reading each others dumb repetitive comments.

  • Shawn Cronin

    Get rid of Kevin Lowe tomorrow! He’s clearly telling Eakins how to coach this team, practices and games! Lowe just cant let it go! Hall would be better without Lowe in management! period!

  • Arius Mumin

    Bolts tieing goal- another shift of players chasing the puck around, slow footed Smytty gets stuck in no mans land and in!… . shaping up to be MV(Moral Victory)Win!!

  • Serious Gord

    You know what amazes me? After all this miserable losing, not one Edmonton journalist/media member has the nerve to call out Kevin Lowe or Craig MacTavish (with the slight exception of Robin Brownlee).

    Also, I just heard Stauffer say that MacTavish should not trade his 1st overall pick for help, and that it is on the team to perform. Really, Bob? What is MacTavish’s job, then, if it is not to help the team?

  • Slapshot

    There’s a Kevin Lowe has to go page on Facebook ,it was started 2 hours ago and it has over 1200 likes,let’s get this page to over 100,000 like’s and see if the Oilers start paying attention.

  • Arius Mumin

    I don’t understand why people keep complaining that the Oilers are run by the boys club: when most of the NHL is run by boys club. If you want to bring them into the picture; Hockey Canada and Hockey USA are the same as the above.