Many things need to change

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It is December 2nd, and once again the Oilers’ hope of a playoff spot is officially over. The Oilers have accumulated a paltry 16 points in their first 25 games. They would need 76 points over their final 57 games to reach 92 points, the current pace for 8th place in the west.

It isn’t happening, but what should the Oilers do now?

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Before we discuss what needs to change, I want to share a few observations from my recent trip to Los Angeles. My wife and I spent four days in LA. We went to the Lakers/Timberwolves game on Friday and then watched the Kings/Hawks on Saturday. My wife isn’t a diehard sports fan, but Kobe Bryant is her favourite basketball player and she really enjoys going to live sporting events, so she was pumped we spent two of our four nights going to the Staples Centre.

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Bryant is in his 19th season and watching him live gives you an even greater appreciation of how insanely competitive he is. You don’t become great by being passive. Sitting that close you get to see more of the game within the game. We sat row six at centre court, and the tickets were cheaper than row five centre ice for an Oilers game, and I focused much of my time on Bryant.

He isn’t the player he was when they were winning, age does that to you, but he still had 26 points, on 10 of 18 shooting, but he competed for every inch on the court. On the offensive sets he didn’t have the ball, he worked over Andrew Wiggins. He set hard picks and was constantly challenging Wiggins, who guarded him the most, for every inch of space. The Lakers are not a good team, and it clearly frustrated Kobe, but that didn’t stop him from battling. He doesn’t come across as a great team player, but there is no denying why he is a Hall of Famer. Yes, he is very talented, but he works his ass off, and it is the one thing the young Oilers have yet to realize. Until they start working as hard as the other team, they won’t win. Simple.

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The Hawks/Kings game was electric. The atmosphere in the building was awesome, even though the Kings lost. It is obvious the Oilers aren’t close to either team, but watching them play one another it was apparent what separates these teams from the Oilers.

  • Both teams are accountable. They don’t make glaring mistakes, and if they do, it happens once.
    They get pucks deep when necessary.
    All the players go to the net.
    The support one another.
    The third forward into the zone rarely attacks the defender, unless they are certain they will keep the puck in.
    They rarely went offside.
    Darryl Sutter switched lines regularly to get things going and the players all knew how to play with new linemates.
    When the D-man pinched the forwards covered.
    Duncan Keith spent 30 seconds down low in the offensive zone, and it wasn’t considered a negative. His wingers gladly manned the point and didn’t make dumb decisions to try and get in the play.
    Players stood up for each other, but also themselves. Patrick Kane didn’t like McNabb running at him and he got in his face and gave him a few crosschecks. Both teams have a pack mentality, and both groups battled hard all night.
    It was refreshing to watch two teams compete that hard for an entire game.

ABOUT THOSE OILERS…

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The Oilers can’t stay on the tracks long enough to even see the tunnel, never mind witnessing the light at the end of it. The entire organization is in disarray, but what should they do know?

Many of you might not agree with me, and before you read the next sentence please don’t have any fluid in your mouth. ( I warned you)

The Oilers shouldn’t make any changes right now.

Okay, I hope you listened and didn’t spit out your coffee, tea, water or alcoholic beverage if you felt you needed one to read anything relating to the Oilers, after reading that. Stay with me…

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The season is over.

We all know it.

I agree that changes need to be made, but why not wait until the New Year in the hope the Oilers fall farther behind Columbus, Buffalo, Carolina and Philadelphia. Due to the changes to the draft lottery in 2016, this is the final time that finishing 30th guarantees you a top-two pick, and with Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel touted as generational talents, why make a move now that could jeopardize that?

Honestly, if a new coach can make the Oilers win 4-5 more games that could cost them McDavid. I know it sounds like a loser mentality, but finishing 24th or 25th will not help this organization. I fully realize that finishing 30th won’t guarantee this team improves, especially if the decision makers at the top aren’t changed, but if I’m Daryl Katz I’m not rushing to make a major change right now.

It pains me to write that, but now is not the time to make any major moves.

Outside of losing out on Eichel and McDavid, the other reality about making a change now is that the list of potential coaches, general managers and presidents is much smaller today than it would be at the end of the season.

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I realize the last statement only makes sense if the Oilers elect to change their ways. That is a major IF.

The on-ice product is what we witness every day, but many of the off-ice decisions are why the on-ice product is so terrible.

The biggest flaw within the Oilers is their unwillingness to interview people for job openings. How can they say this guy was the best candidate when they never actually interview any.

Kevin Lowe hired MacTavish without interviewing anyone else for the job. Why not take that opportunity to interview some people and hear four or five different perspectives about your team?

They promoted Scott Howson without looking at anyone else for the senior VP of hockey operations.

Craig MacTavish fired Ralph Krueger and hired Dallas Eakins. He didn’t fire Krueger and then go on an extensive search for a head coach. Nope, as he was looking for an assistant, he met Eakins and decided he’d be the best head coaching candidate.

The didn’t fire Freddy Chabot in the summer when they could have interviewed multiple candidates, instead they waited until the season was 20-games old, and already wasted, before canning him and hiring Dustin Schwartz.

To me that is a habit, and a terrible one when you trying to build a winning franchise. Maybe those men were the best people for the job, but the organization never conducted a proper and thorough interview process to determine that. Losing companies do that, not winners.

The other glaring mistake about all of those hires, excluding Howson, was that MacTavish, Eakins and Schwartz were all rookies in their role at the NHL level. You can’t have that much inexperience in one organization and expect to win.

My advice to D. Katz is not to make any major moves today and risk losing your grasp of Eichel and McDavid, but when you finally make a move, please, for the sake of your fansbase, conduct a thorough and professional interview process.

Changes need to be made.

Bring in people from other organizations and listen intently as they tell you what they see wrong with your hockey club, because the people currently running it have been unable to solve the problems, many which they themselves created.

QUICK HITS…

  • Andrew Ference didn’t mince his words last night.

    “We’re talking about things that work, the base of winning hockey. Guys
    who come from different organizations know the difference,” he said when stressing it isn’t the system, but rather the player’s unwillingness to play it.

    He then referred to certain players needing to be convinced to be happy about being in the NHL and not mopping around feeling sorry for themselves. Ouch. There are bigger issues here than just coaching.

  • Please stop saying the Oilers are playing better at even strength this season because the shot metrics and Corsi numbers say they are. You could make an argument about that after 10 games, but it is game 25 now and they have given up the most EV goals in the league. They are 22nd in EV goals scored. Making glaring mistakes every game at EV does not equate to playing well. I’m sorry, but any suggestion that their low (unlucky) SH% will suddenly even out is strictly wishful thinking.

    This team does not compete hard enough. They don’t play smart enough for long enough stretches of the games. IMO, until those two things change, the underlying numbers mean very little.

MONTH OF GIVING…

Let’s end on a positive.

Our 4th annual Month of Giving begins today on TSN 1260 during my show.. During the past three
years we’ve raised over $183,200, including an outstanding $77,150 last year, with all the proceeds going to various Christmas charities to help those
in need.

We have some great packages again this year…

  • A
    high efficiency furnace or Central air conditioning system including
    permits and installation and removal of old furnace from G&H
    Heating and Cooling. Value $7,000.
  • Michelle Derk from Remax Elite has donated her “seller’s commission” on a house.
  • I have some dinner packages with the Eskimos and Oilers…
  • Rush VIP package…Eskimos VIP package
  • Golf packages, jewellery, Wine package
  • Performance assessment and Training package at 4322
  • Oil Kings VIP…
  • Shopping spree at Derks clothing and dinner….
  • And more…

TODAY’S ITEM…

photo-1

Homecrest Outdoor fire
pit courtesy of Dinette & Patio Furniture.

  • 65000 BTUs
  • 20lb tank and metal cover protecting
    glass.
  • 42 inches wide, 19 inches
    high
  • Can be switched to natural
    gas

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or texting 101260 between 2-6 p.m. today during the Jason Gregor Show.

Thanks in advance to all who will bid on these packages over the next
few weeks. 100% of the money raised goes directly to the charities, and
please know that you will be making some people’s lives much more enjoyable
during the holiday season.

I’m hoping we can reach $75,000 this year.

Recently by Jason Gregor:   


  • hitchikerforajax

    Sorry Gregor, but I gotta disagree with you on your main point. You’re advocating for tanking for the sake of another high first rounder. I agree that it doesn’t make sense to make any major changes with the season lost, but the Oilers are comprised of first rounders and, frankly, they’re losers. They’ve all been handed starting jobs without having to prove anything and it’s not turned out well. This is precisely what Ference was talking about – there’s a sense of entitlement that comes with being an Oilers’ first rounder that is reflected in level of effort, coachability, and attitude. They are losers.

    I know, I know, McDavid is a “generational talent”. BS. I don’t buy it. There was plenty of hype around Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov, and even Nurse too. And none of them have done anything to get excited about. The last thing the Oilers need is an unproven 18 year old indivdualistic prima donna who isn’t willing to do the work that champions demand.

    The Oilers should make a few relatively minor changes. Get Draisaitl out of Edmonton and back in the WHL. No need to expose him to this culture right now. Keeping him here is potentially dangerous to his long-term success. Let him go to a junior team, have some fun, be competitive, and maybe learn about hard work and winning.

    Beg Petry to sign an extension. If successful, move Schultz for whatever you can get for him. Chalk it up to a BCJHL learning experience and never speak of it again.

    Figure out a plan for Nikitan. If he’s injured, let him sit. If he’s not injured…I dunno. I don’t have any Stanley Cup rings or an MBA, but MacT has both so he should be able to figure it out.

    Trade Arco for picks and sign a legit 2-3 centre to a medium length term. Let Lander and Yakimov rotate in/out for the last half of the season.

    Draft McDavid. It’s inevitable.

    • Read Lowetide’s piece on McDavid on his own blog. The difference between him and the second best OHL talent is huge. Much bigger than Hall was and Hall is likely a top 10-20 player in the league.

      Baby Nuge and Yak weren’t even consensus number one picks. I think both are going to be really good but it is apples and oranges.

      I hate tanking. I also think that even if they managed to get Eichel or McDavid they’d ruin them because Oilers.

  • D-Unit

    IF the Oilers are able to draft McDavid or Eichel, what are McDavid or Eichel’s options if they do not want to sign with the Oilers?

    I know if I was an agent for either one of them, I would recommend doing whatever possible to get into a different organization.

    Quite frankly, after watching year after year of trains wrecking into the giant tire yard fire that is the Oilers, I wouldn’t blame either one of them for says, “Hey Oilers, thanks, but no thanks.”

  • hitchikerforajax

    Jason a lot of ON faithful have given up and we have not lost our minds……we know doing something now may cost us a generational player as you mentioned.

    I still believe that the absolute best way to ensure another top pick is Dallas Eakins. His total inability to sell a vision for the team and then back it up with actions……..well is painfully obvious. Having two sets of rules, ( one for the stars and one for everyone else) has cost him the team and caused the current division.

    Why not bench Hall, Ebs, JS, and RNH……..if that is what is required?? Benching third and fourth liners, that make half the mistakes of the top two lines, is NOT a long term solution.

    No one on the team except the guys not getting benched, has come out in support of the coach………he has lost the team plain and simple.

    Now let’s keep him on the bench for the rest of the year so we can get CM!

  • Joe Mamma

    I actually agree with you here Gregor. To a point anyway. I see no reason to make any major roster moves and jeopardize the opportunity to get a generational talent like McDavid or Eichel. Unlike our other (jesus, it was 3, wasn’t it?!?) first overalls, this time we are not just talking about “potential stars”, we are talking about “sure-fire, slam dunk, bona fide superstars.” There were no Crosbys or Malkins or Toews’ in the drafts in which we had our highest picks (is that not just our luck?). There are now, and with another steaming turd of a season already in the bag, to do anything but acquire one of them would be a travesty.

    Where we differ is I don’t think they should wait until the off season to make major changes at the organizational level.

    Kevin Lowe could easily be canned and replaced with Nicholson until a thorough search is conducted.

    Eakins could be canned and replaced with Ramsay while a suitable candidate is found for next year.

    Amateur and pro scouts with nothing but nepotism as their primary qualification for their jobs could be canned outright, and replacements mined during the remainder of this debacle, er… I mean…season. Give Stu the boot too. Worst case, the first pick makes itself, and we could use Maggie the Monkey or something for the remaining rounds. She couldn’t do worse than the “real” scouts.

    MacT can be relieved in the summer. He should’ve been turfed the minute he made the “jultz has Norris Trophy potential” statement. We are talking about a man that used Tobey Freakin’ Peterson on a 1st unit powerplay folks. We are surprised he can’t evaluate talent? Really? But I guess you kind of need a GM, and I wouldn’t trust Howson to park my car. But I digress.

    This can, and should, be done before Rexall starts to look like it did back in the 90’s. It appears that the last game, while announced as a sellout, was lightly attended. I wouldn’t know, I stopped torturing myself by watching this tire fire of a team some time ago. But from the pics on twitter and online, it won’t be long before the sellout streak is over, and nationally televised games are on with less than 50% of the seats filled. The organization must show it’s willingness to make the necessary changes, or those that haven’t already will simply cease to care. The give-a-crap meter in this town is barely above E already. 5 more months of the status quo would be a disaster.

  • Lowe needs to go now, his departure won’t do anything to change the team’s overall performance for this season anyway but Lowe has to get the eff out of here now for his crimes against humanity. Fire Eakins after January and let Ramsay do his thing until the season ends. Fire Mac T and his management team in April and let Nicholson find the right suits. After Ference’s comments I think Hall, Ebs and Schultz are the mopers. Build around Mcdavid or Eichel for the future but a house cleaning trading some of the core guys getting dealt has to be done. BTW, Justin Schultz has to be the biggest pansy in Oilers history and Eberle isn’t too far behind.

  • I now believe myself to be an idiot.

    After several attempts I finally gave up my tickets to the game but somehow still decided to watch the entire game on TV.

    Then I laid awake in bed for 2 hours pissed off at half the team.

  • Props to Ference! Props to Gregor!

    This is an organization that not-so-subtly tanked for picks for a few years instilling a laissez faire attitude towards losing then (coincidentally?) going into the McEichel draft year, they leave some glaring holes in the roster that hamstring the team’s ability to compete in the West.

    And we should be surprised that there is a lack of competitiveness/execution/fire/grit etc from some of the players on the ice?

    No matter what the current message from the captain or the coaches is, I think that the players in general have gotten the message from management, loud and clear.

    Losing is not only acceptable. It is encouraged.

    I fear that even McEichel won’t change anything of substance.

    Mac T needs to trade guys like Eberle and/or Schultz and/or Hall for someone like Lucic or Gallager. Or else trade them for picks and replace them with players who ache to play in the NHL like Pakarinen or Pitlick.

  • I’ve been saying this for 2-3 weeks. We can’t afford to make a change now. A) The generational talent is the icing on the cake and B) More importantly, any team who makes a trade with us does not have to make a trade with us and we are coming from a place of extreme weakness. The only trade a team will be willing to make with us is one that we grossly overpay in, and definitely come out in a losing capacity. When you’re as weak as we are, you can’t afford to be on the losing side of any deal. Changes do need to be made, but anything that is done now will ultimately make us worse, perhaps a little more balanced, but definitely worse. Pick up the icing on the cake now, and actually deal with obvious team weakness in the summer. Banking on two unproven center and a franchise full of unproven everything everywhere else is insane.

  • Micbilly99

    Jason, you are correct in calling it a loser mentality. But it’s more than that. We have all criticized the Canucks players and Canucks organization as being arrogant. Can we not say that the Oilers organization is also arrogant? Lowe thinks he is a winner but he can’t recognize desire or heart in the players he drafts. MacTavish and his scouting group cannot draft players beyond the 1st round that can contribute to the team. When was the last 2nd round player that made the Oilers roster? When was the last time the Oilers found a diamond in the rough off of another teams roster? And yet, all of these individuals remain employed with the Oilers. There is zero accountability within the front office, so why would the players be held accountable for their actions? Lowe, MacTavish, the scouts, Eakins all say that they know how to fix the problem and yet they created the problem in the first place. It’s time for a new direction…..and especially new leadership on the ice but more importantly off the ice!

  • Chongler

    This team doesn’t deserve generational talent. Losing via ignorance and sheer stupidity should not entitle the oilers to any sort of leg up!

    You mean to say that this current core group are supposed to just roll over in Dec, burn the rest of yet another season away hoping to not end up 25th so that they can just hand the spotlight over to saviour McDavid?

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    What this organization NEEDS to do, is pull it’s head out of its ass, fix what’s broken NOW, retain its fan base and get on a roll to continue to build on next year!

    Buffalo and Columbus can have their generational talent…We want to proudly watch Oiler games once again.

    • Joe Mamma

      Please fill us in on the marvellous trades you have in mind to make the Oilers a competitive team? The Oilers have no L-E-V-E-R-A-G-E. The Oilers have no P-I-E-C-E-S that anyone wants. And anything they do have, they will get fleeced because they are dealing from a position of W-E-A-K-N-E-S-S. Does it compute, now that I spelled it out for you?

      There is no quick fix for this disaster of a hockey team. Make the changes upstairs. Build around a real talent like McDavid or Eichel. “Deserve” has nothing to do with it, them’s the rules. Trade the pieces with value in the off season (or possibly the deadline) when the standings are not a weight around our neck and get real returns. That is the best we can hope for.

      • Chongler

        Yes, you have dickishly made some very good points, that having been said, it’s not my job to fix this mess..I can only hastily give my biased opinion based on not wanting to see another season prematurely W-A-S-T-E-D, complete with all the incessant B-I-T-C-H-I-N-G that will ensue for another nine months! What good is generational talent if the decision makers learn nothing and do nothing to fix this downward spiral? It’s easy to say that it can be remedied in the off-season, but pardon me for not having much faith in that department…

        • Joe Mamma

          I am sorry to be the harbinger of bad news… but the season is already wasted.

          These clowns got us into this mess, and I for one don’t trust them to get us out of it. Fire the whole lot of them, burn the team down, and start again. This time we have some valuable pieces that might actually get us NHL players in return. But doing it now will only guarantee more sub-par returns and magic beans, and an even longer wait for a return to respectability.

          I don’t think we actually disagree all that much, I think I’m just farther along the grieving process than you are bud. I’m at “acceptance”, you’re still at “anger” or “bargaining.” I’m really not trying to be a prick, just trying to inject some reality to the situation.

  • bwar

    Our defence are so bad that no goalie on the planet could save this dumpster fire.

    Fix the defence, fix the special teams, and figure out the best way to develop Draisaitl because we need him.

  • Joe Mamma

    so what happens in 3 years when the oilers are around 10 – 13 in the west and another “generational” talent comes along? Do they tank for that prospect as well? that way they’ll have two… just like the penguins? At what point do you stop playing for the draft and start playing for the Stanley cup?

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Agree 100%. Now is not the time to make changes and jeopardize a shot at a generational talent. I wouldn’t have said this at the 10 game mark but where we’re at now, its clear the season is unsalvageable.
    So expect the Oilers to make multiple moves within the next week.

  • charlie manson

    Something needs to be done now here’s why:

    -They are killing the fan-base. I have already heard people say they are done with the franchise. The arrogance that they display by not doing anything should be insulting to the fans who fork out $100 bucks to go see a game. The longer they wait, the more attendance will go down.

    -They are killing the players. The longer this goes on, the more likely that someone will request a trade.

    -The Oilers aren’t going to be able to attract any good UFA’s in the off-season. It’s a tough sell as it is, who wants to play in Edmonton with all the drama?

    IMO, they shouldn’t even be thinking about drafting McDavid.. there is enough skill on that team, change needs to come from the top down.

    • ubermiguel

      There is not enough talent on this team, period. People need to stop the love affair with these high draft picks and come to some logical conclusion that they the players are not that spectacular. Hall, Ebs and yes the cherub-faced Hopkins are not that great. They are outclassed on a regular basis. I sometimes wonder what people are watching or drinking for that matter. The blueprint is there for a successful team (see most western conference teams) the issue is that the Oil management seems to think the game is still played as it was in the 80’s-90’s.

  • When is it going to occur to most of us all that it is not the player producing the statistics but the process,the player is like the anal orfice he just closes the deal and spits out the stats.

    Tobias didnt majicly evolve and disenfranchise the Oilers scouts Coaches and development System as well as the GM,not at all,Reider was simply closing the deal after specific processes had been executed.Last season Dubby was the recipient of the stats caused system constipation that de-railed his oilers career,this season it is the PP getting lit up,but the causality of those two problems is identical, stats influences.

    During the 1st intermission the Yotes assembled a lethal gameplan to dismantle the Oilers System .They seem to have found that 1st period intermission “something” .

    The Oilers and their System were executed with execution in a very short timespan last night.That was optimal performance by Silent Sam and the Yotes.

    The Oilers need to reposition the “process” to score goals not the shots.They are doing everything right just not moving their impacts around creatively.

  • Gordie Wayne

    I blame us.

    Getting excited and lapping up the “promising young players” stuff. Convincing ourselves Hall is a star when he’s actually a head down, turnover machine. Or Eberle is a great, first line scorer when he’s a soft Houdini. Tempting karma by having draft parties to celebrate a first overall pick when we should have been quietly hanging our heads in shame.

    Now here we are again, actually suggesting nothing be done so as not to lose a chance at McDavid or Eichel?

    Good gawd, no.

    no

  • camdog

    @Gregor,

    You’re wrong. The Oilers need to fire Lowe and Howson ASAP in order to get a proper read on the situation. They need the time to evaluate. I agree on player transactions. Why not get a generational talent? But it’s hard for a new GM to come in cold and not know what he’s dealing with exactly. He needs time. Plus, having a highly competent, veteran, hard-ass silently evaluating for 55 games will either unnerve or motivate the right players.

    Then, in the summer, trade a sizeable bunch of them plus the next two first round picks. Only bring in vets from winning organizations. Make sure you get a stable, vet goalie.

    How did the Oilers to outbid NYI for Leddy and Boychcu? Both are winners, are hard-nosed leaders and are way more talented than Fayne or Nikitin. Not even an attempt at a guy like Hiller in net.

    Management ineptness, 100%, is the Oilers’ problem.

  • Joe Mamma

    Can the Oilers bid on the charity package – Performance assessment and Training package at 4322?
    I can’t think of an organization more in need of that service.

  • Joe Mamma

    Now finally the media is waking up…..3 years too late….guy who hired tambo should have been changed before tambo…..any how no guarantees that losing will get you mcdavid…show a will to win….people might want to come here to play

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Flame fan here… not trolling, just sitting back watching this Oilers team implode like a bad car wreck you just can’t help staring at.

    I have to disagree with Gregor’s take. One thing the Flames did at the start of their rebuild was to set expectations. The fans heard it right from the get go: the goal was to win even though we were rebuilding. I have to admit at the time I thought “ya, ok… I’ll believe it when I see it”, but by damn they’ve been doing it – and I’m starting to believe!

    I’ll also point out that there are no #1 picks on the roster. Our core going forward is Gio (undrafted), Brodie (4th round), Gaudreau (4th round) and Monahan. It’s a good bet to say Bennett will also thrive, given the environment? Will the Flames win like this all year – probably not, but it’s what their building towards that gives me hope and we can see the change on the ice each night.

    Gregor’s take is the same story Oil fans are told every year… “just wait till the next top pick”. I get that MacDavid could be heads and shoulders better than past #1 picks, but what message are you sending? How long before Hall and the Nuge want out after yet another high draft pick and no change to management?

    Fire Lowe right away. This will at least send the message that changes are coming and this will no longer be tolerated.

      • Bean-counting cowboy

        If the scouting, drafting and more importantly the development doesn’t change – how far will having that talent get you? How far has it gotten you already?

        What if you finish 29th and draft third? What if Hannifin might not be making an impact for 2 to 4 more years? What if the Oil keep losing between now and then?

        You can’t keep banking on 18 year olds to turn things around. The problems are systemic.

  • Spiel

    No. Lose some trades on purpose to tank further.

    All the stat heads are saying that this team should be better.

    The worst thing that can happen to the Oilers is not finishing at the bottom and guaranteeing McDavid or Eichel.

    10 losses in a row, and the Oilers are still barely ahead of Buffalo and Carolina.

    Time to do what the Oilers do best, full tank mode.

    • Sheckey

      Wow, the losing streak and 30th place position are bringing out the tankers in droves. Too much effort to argue against tanking and looking for a “saviour” player who’s suddenly going to get added and save the Oilers from all their problems… Fools. Losers. You deserve what you get…

  • It is called the “culture of losing” that has been created by Lowe.

    All problems lead to Lowe.

    Agree we can’t risk any improvement with this draft year.

    Also, we can’t risk having a high draft and let Kevin Lowe and his organization fail to develop the player.

  • Young Oil

    I’m sorry JG, I usually agree with you, but I couldn’t disagree with you more on this. Throwing another season is the last thing the team needs. If the entire team sucks for the remaining 57 games with no accountability, without working hard, without developing their abilities through playing meaningless games, that will cause irrevocable harm to the team. It causes a step back in the development for all players, makes them fed up with their teammates and organization even more, and decreases their trade value. On top of that, it will eliminate any possibility of free agents wanting to come to this gong show. An 18 year old Connor McDavid isn’t going to change that.

    Furthermore, even if we finish last, and the only way to guarantee that is to basically throw every game possible, there is only a 20% chance that we will draft first overall. Then, when we lose the lottery, we would have a chance to draft Eichel, who is an American kid, who just saw the Oilers have a terrible, terrible season, and kill the development of anyone they touch. I would be surprised if he doesn’t do to us what Justin Schultz did to Anaheim. Who could blame him?

    The organization needs change RIGHT NOW, to show that they have a pulse. Starting with an apology to all of the fans for making us put up with this for another year.

    It’s not going to happen, but this organization needs a culture change. Anyone who has a job that their only qualification for is being with the team in the glory days needs to be fired, along with anyone that they hired. Any player who is “moping around” and complaining that they have the chance to play a game for millions of dollars needs to be traded immediately, along with anyone who doesn’t give it their all every single shift.

    I am tired of having to go through all of Jr High, High School, and soon to be University without seeing the Oilers play a playoff game. I am tired of looking around the classroom and seeing more people supporting the Canucks and Flames than the Oilers. Most of all, it makes me sick that every losing season means another year of kids that will grow up to be completely indifferent about hockey in Edmonton, or seeing the Oilers as a laughingstock, and not taking pride in their beautiful city.

    I’m sorry, but I can’t believe that any Oilers fan would support not even trying to get better for even one game, let alone 57.

  • Joe Mamma

    You really have to ask yourself this question first:

    What player, in their right mind, would want to come play here? Other than having their hand forced by way of the draft…..no one who isn’t a sinking ship them self (NN) would come here to punish and devalue themselves even more.

    We are a team of soft draftees and spare parts!

    PS I think Ference was talking about Hall. Taylor really broke off the suck knob last night and I think that might have been the last straw for Ference.

    • BubbaZanetti

      The problem is soon it will become evident to rest of the league and we’ll have another high draft pick / future star value plummet. Pretty soon we won’t be able to give away some of these guys. Or worse you end up with these guys demanding trades which will make more difficult to get fair value. All of this nonsense is a recipe for disaster. Don’t know the answer but what we have now sure in the hell isn’t working.
      I only have two questions…hypotheotically speaking, ” What would Taylor Hall plus other assets be worth ?
      and “What is that first rd pick worth ?, just asking…..

  • mesa

    you will see the oilers will draft 3 or 4 .bufflo or carolina will draft first and second.because the oilers will win one or two meaningless game at the end of the season.so the suckness will be for nothing.