Players need to do more

In a decade of bad losses, last night’s 3-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs with a goalie playing his first NHL game ranks near the top. 

The Oilers are not a good team, again, and while it is nice to assume they will eventually climb up the NHL standings, until it actually happens this group of players need to take a long look in the mirror.

Every player can do more.

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This team does not work hard enough. They are not competitive enough, especially to the level necessary to compete and win games, and once again this team is without an identity.

These traits have zero to do with coaching. Coaches don’t play the game.

The players are the ones losing battles.

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The players don’t stand up for themselves or each other regularly enough.

The players don’t play with urgency.

The players are consistently inconsistent.

I recognize this team does not possess enough good players to be a playoff team, but they sure as hell shouldn’t be in 30th place, again. 

Their play on the ice suggests losing has become acceptable. I’m certain they don’t think it is acceptable, but their performance reflects the true personality of the entire team.

They have to stop waiting for someone else to solve the problem. Sure, a trade or two could help the team, but as individuals they need to do more and stop waiting until a new arrival who will do the dirty work.

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I don’t believe this team is playing their best. As stated earlier, I believe their best is still not playoff worthy, but on too many nights their effort and execution does not equal their actual ability. This team is underachieving and what is most disturbing for me is how little push back and competitiveness they have when they are losing.

This has been an issue for years in Edmonton, and until the group of players decide anything less than being 100% committed on every shift and every game is unacceptable, they won’t improve.

One trade won’t solve the issue. The return of Connor McDavid will not solve the issue. 

The players on the ice need to decide. They can’t be out worked by teams like Carolina and Toronto and other below average teams. The Oilers aren’t skilled enough to win games on skill alone. They need to work harder, smarter and more consistently.

They don’t have the talent to suddenly leap up the standings, but the results through 25 games is beyond disappointing. 

It is time to look in the mirror, rather than wait for others to cure all the losing.

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Our fifth annual Month of Giving begins today. Every weekday from today thru to Wednesday, December 23rd, we will be auctioning off a package on my radio show with all the proceeds going to various charities including Santas Anonymous, Operation Friendship Senior Society, The Christmas Bureau and a few others.

We will have a new package every day, and packages will include sports memorabilia, signed jerseys, golf packages, wine packages, jewelry, training sessions for you kids, dinners and much more.

Package #1….

The-Base-Alternate1 - Copy

Courtesy of The Base by RVH….

  • A 12-week (3x per week) training program: Option of:

12-week summer hockey dry land program (Bantam-College
players) in June-August.
12-week Power Training Program- For power sports or anyone looking to build
strength and power. All ages and levels.

You will also receive two Limited-Edition Oil Kings Teddy Bear Toss Jersey:


And a pair of seats for this Friday’s Oilers/Stars game. You can watch Seguin/Benn vs. Hall/Draisaitl

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or text 101260 between 2-6 p.m. today.

Thanks in advance. All proceeds will help out The Christmas Bureau.

Recently by Jason Gregor:    

  • LordVallko

    Thank you Gregor for all the good you do. Not sure how you find the time.

    Regardless, this team is bi polar and needs adjusting but. Patience is a virtue and you always buy low and sell hi. Chi will deal from a position of power which Mclellan will eventually provide. Be patient fans.

  • Speed Junky

    Another year of (cough cough) nhl hockey
    Another year of gutless players
    Soon to be coming…. Another full page ad by the owner in the local papers apoligizing with a promise of better things next year
    Really tired of listening to these guys whine about losing in the press but not willing to do what it takes to win in the NHL
    I love love love the Edmonton oilers and that’s why this is hard to say but move this team to another city….. We obviously can’t pay these guys enough money to play with some pride for our city

  • This piece as a whole is pretty funny. A week ago the narrative was, “this team is obviously better than last year because they never give up and fight to the end”. Now suddenly they are quitters who give up when they are behind. What a difference a loss in Toronto makes right?


    The Oilers brass has the recipe for success. Five Stanley cups and a game 7 loss in 05′. Imo, we picked the best player in the draft rankings, but it wasn’t the position we needed (defenceman).Yes, we got our talented centres, but besides McDavid who on our team can resemble anything like Smyth, Pronger,J.Smith, Tikanen(not even mentioning our legends). Our championship teams were a pain in the a$$ to play against and they were like brothers. The current team is built on first rounders not built by strategic trades needed by position.They were handed a Brinks truck before they hit 20. We have no choice,but to trade key players that fit our “Oilers” style of play if we want to hoist the cup ever again. Stats are great, but a player with heart, mean streak and passion for the game is more dangerous. Look what Coyotes are doing, are they full of 6 million dollar men NO.

  • bradleypi

    Effort is not there by certain players. I think the oilers set a team record versus the Leafs for one handed stick checks and carrying no speed while doing it. Are they afraid of getting sweat on themselves from the other teams?

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    Agreed. I seem to think that certain players have been given to much money on their contracts for what they produce or are producing. Some have lost the passion for the game and are sidetracked with tv commercials. Many big sports stars that reach celebrity status with big endorsements, commercials and sponsors end up losing their passion it seems. Look at what happened to Anderson Silva and Ronda Rousey to name a couple. It’s too bad players don’t get paid by ‘”piece work”, making them work hard for their pay cheque based on their performances. Obviously it’s not gonna happen, just a rant.

    • hitchikerforajax

      When you pay a player who scores 20 goals & 60 points & are a minus at even strength, yet are given $6 million/yr, then this is what you get. Why the Oilers signed Sekera for another $6 million, then this is the team you get. Overpaid 2-3rd line players making the money they haven’t deserved. It seems Kevin Lowes’ outrageous trades & signings, has yet to leave management!!