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WWYDW: Do you have a boiling point?

Over the weekend, an Oilers fan named Brett Barrett wrote a blog post centred around a letter he wrote to the organization and the subsequent response he received from Bob Nicholson.

Barrett mentions a handful of things the Oilers have done over the past few years to kill his fandom of the team. After being gifted Connor McDavid in the lottery, Peter Chiarelli dealt away many of the fruits of the Decade of Darkness for underwhelming returns and the team ultimately put together probably its most disappointing season in franchise history in 2017-18. According to Barrett, listening to Chiarelli and Nicholson shrug off the disaster season and what led to it at their post-season press conference was the boiling point for him.

The post received an extremely mixed reaction from the Oilers fan community. Many laughed at Nicholson’s response which referenced the signing of Mikko Koskinen and re-signing of an AHL depth forward Patrick Russell as reasons to believe in Chiarelli’s plan. Many agreed but said that the Oilers were too much of an addiction to kick even despite the negative effects the team has on their mental health. Many also told Barrett to grow up and that he wasn’t a real fan in the first place.

That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday question. Do you have a boiling point? What would the organization have to do in order for you to just give up? If you don’t, what’s the closest you’ve been to letting go? Or have you taken a hiatus from cheering and paying attention?

It’s been a whirlwind decade for this fanbase. I’m not sure any other fanbase in the league has gone through what Oilers fans have gone through since the 2004-05 lockout season.

It all begins with the massive high felt during the 2006 playoff run. After spending the 90s and early 2000s struggling to scrape by as a low-budget team, the Oilers capitalized on the newly-implemented salary cap and acquired Chirs Pronger. He, along with an incredible series of deadline additions like Dwayne Roloson, Jaroslav Spacek, and Sergei Samsonov, helped lead the team on a wild run to the Stanley Cup Final that ended in Game 7 as the Carolina Hurricanes won their first-ever Stanley Cup.

Shortly after that crash was another shot to the chest. Pronger demanded a trade. I don’t know which was more painful. Watching Dwayne Roloson get injured in Game 1 of the Cup Final or seeing that article in the Edmonton Journal saying that Pronger wanted out. Little did we know, though, it was only going to get more painful from there.

Everything after the Pronger trade was a nightmare. The Oilers disappointed heavily in 2006-07. Despite having playoff aspirations with their young core of players who crushed it during the playoff run, the team couldn’t live up to expectations. The lowest point, though, was trading Ryan Smyth, the heart and soul of the team, at the trade deadline because the team wouldn’t pay him what he was worth.

The post-Smyth Oilers lacked an identity. With his departure, the team seemed to lose its endearing, gritty, workman style that made them a nightmare to play against. Decent players with high expectations came and went like a game of musical chairs. Joffrey Lupul, Joni Pitkanen, Erik Cole, Ales Kotalik, Dustin Penner, Sheldon Souray, Lubomir Visnovsky, Ryan Whitney, and so on were brought in to push the team over the top, but it never happened.

The organization decided it was time for an Oil Change. They tanked in 2009-10 and found their saviour as Taylor Hall became Edmonton’s first-ever No. 1 overall draft pick. They gutted the team and proceeded to build through the draft around Hall. Within a couple years, they loaded the farm with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Tyler Pitlick, Nail Yakupov, and Justin Schultz.

This group was never able to pull it together. General manager Craig MacTavish made an honest effort to augment the team with veterans like Andrew Ference, Benoit Pouliot, and Mark Fayne, but it didn’t work. The Oilers continued to put up miserable seasons despite the talent on the roster.

Amidst the issues on the ice, the organization also tested its fans with terrible PR graces away from the game. Darryl Katz threatened to move the team to Seattle in 2012 if his downtown arena deals weren’t met and Kevin Lowe divided the fanbase into two tiers based on whether or not they actually paid for tickets.

Then came the 2015 draft lottery. With an 11.5 percent chance of winning, the third-last Oilers jumped to No. 1 overall and got themselves the golden ticket. Despite having three first overall picks in a row, this would be the one they couldn’t screw up. All the crap everyone had put up with was going to be worth it. After watching Pronger leave, Smyth get dealt at the deadline, the revolving door of mediocrity that followed, the city get bullied by the owner, getting called a Tier 2 fan, and the Hall, Eberle, and Nugent-Hopkins core fail to push the team over the top, the gift was Connor McDavid.

Connor McDavid was an Edmonton Oiler. With that, the Old Boys Club got washed out and replaced by Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan, two outsiders with actual pedigree beyond playing on good teams in the 80s were going to steer the ship.

Chiarelli came in and changed the culture quickly. He added Milan Lucic and Andrej Sekera in free agency and picked Cam Talbot from the Rangers for nothing. Some of his moves were controversial and questionable, like dealing Hall for Adam Larsson and acquiring Griffin Reinhart for two top picks, but his decisions helped the Oilers to the playoffs in 2016-17 for the first time in a decade. Still, despite the playoff run, there was a looming worry that Chiarelli wasn’t going to get the most out of the talent he inherited.

There was validity to that anxiety. The Oilers struggled mightily in 2017-18 and ultimately ended up missing the playoffs. The team clearly lacked scoring depth behind Connor McDavid and the blueline that Chiarelli paid a high price to assemble simply didn’t live up to expectations. After the season, Bob Nicholson, as pointed out in Barrett’s post, validated Chiarelli’s work and said the organization had full faith in his plan.

The Oilers have lost a lot of fans along the path of the Decade of Darkness. Whether it was poor management and an ugly on-ice product or insult from the actions and words of Katz and Lowe, people got pushed away from cheering for the Oilers. I imagine many came crawling back due to the advent of Connor McDavid but even more got pushed away when it became evident that management, the same old story, could find a way to mess it up.

As I mentioned earlier, nobody in the NHL has gone through what Oilers fans have the past 12 years. I’ll give an honourable mention shoutout to fans of the Ottawa Senators who watched their team reach the Eastern Conference Final in 2017 and then watched it totally fall apart over the next year, but what Oilers fans have endured over such a long stretch is incredible.

I commend those fans who have stuck by the team through thick and thin. The Oilers are blessed to have such a ridiculously good, loyal, and passionate fanbase that they probably don’t deserve. That said, I also empathize with those fans who have let go, or, at least the fans who have stepped back and gone on a break. Cheering for a team is supposed to give you a positive release from the stresses of life. If it isn’t doing that for you, you absolutely should step away. Everyone is different and everyone likes to consume entertainment in different ways.

So, let’s circle back to the original WWYDW question. What’s your boiling point? Do you even have one? Have you been close to getting there at any point? Or are you all-in for life no matter what? 

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  • BobbyCanuck

    Watching millionaires playing a children’s game to make billionaires richer, should be of no consequence to a thinking man

    ‘The Oilers are blessed to have such a ridiculously good, loyal, and passionate fanbase’

    Good for the Business that is Oilers, note I did not say sport team, because the sport went out of the NHL a long time ago, it is a business like any other, but unlike a normal business this one will never go under due to selling a poor/low quality product for many many years in a row, where is the Quality Control? We do Edmontonians not vote with the wallet?

    An irrational fan base, and a waiting list for said inferior product, where is the impetuous to sell a better product? Hell it sells out, why improve, your season ticket holders are largely to blame for the condition of the Oilers.

    I cheer for the Oilers only because they are my home team, if they do poorly, oh well, there are plenty of exciting teams to follow.

    I have not paid the Oilers anything since Jason Arnott’s first game back as a Devil.

    The final straw for me was the Pronger trade (not holding out for someone of min. of Malkin calibre as a return , coupled with MacT admitting that most of the team played the best hockey of their lives during the ’06 Cup run, and he doubted that this collection players would ever play as good for the remainder of their careers, so what does he do? Sighns Horcoff for what was it? 7 yrs/7 Mill something like that, that is what did it for me

    • gr8haluschak

      Yeah because holding out worked well for how many other teams, I love fans like this and the guy that wrote such a dumb letter who think they actually know anything about the NHL. You are right Kevin Lowe, who won or broke even on far more trades than he lost, said hey I will get a better package but I will “settle” for the equivalent of 4 first rounders – yes because that logic makes sense for a guy that bled Oilers and Edmonton his entire life. The oilers got the second best return for any Pronger trade despite being in the worst situation (and the only better one was because St Louis was desperate to trade Shanahan) despite dumb people like you who think that they could have got Malkin for him (tell me why the hell does Pittsburgh do that when they were in full rebuild and basically tits up financially).

      I also love how you say you were done yet you come on here to run your mouth.

          • Frustrated Fan in Calgary

            Agree. Laughable trades and signings. I see comments about “no one was complaining when they had 103 points”. I felt strongly that team had over-achieved and that terrible management decisions would hold team back. I have given up on this group. Amazing how they could get gifted MxDavid, have Draisitl coming up, and still make a mess of it!! Close to completely giving up. Don’t follow any sports talk shows any more, watched much fewer games on TV, only went to one game live last season. No interest in going this upcoming season. Obviously things could change, but that is where I am right now. Passion gone.

    • sweetweb

      You mentioned “where is the impetuous to sell a better product?” There is something called playoffs? Playoff home games generate over a million dollar in revenue so I would say the Oilers need a better product.

  • nqmt

    I may be the only one here who thinks this but I do not have a boiling point. If they win, I’m happy, if they lose, oh well. They can trade Connor McDavid and I’ll still cheer for them because they’re my hometown team. The moment I stopped taking the ebs and flows of the hockey team to heart and just enjoying them as entertainment, my enjoyment during the season and off-season grew incredibly.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      You know what? In reading your post I realized (not a knock at all against you) that there is an entire generation of Oiler Fans that haven’t seen a winning season (except for last year)… I think I keep on routing for the Oilers, so in some way I can share what it’s like to that massive demographic? To say, see, we told you so. This is what it’s like to win a cup… I think the Leaf Fanbase is growing (for 50+ years) because of a similar feeling?
      I never really realized this before, until after reading the article.
      I just never really thought about it?
      Leaf Fans through the 80’s & 90’s can probably relate? Those Alan Bestar years were terrible.

      • nqmt

        I’m 35 so I’ve watched the tailend of the dynasty and I know what a winning season feels like. I just don’t take whatever this team does to heart. Fan is short for fanatic and I feel that rings true for a certain section of people out there where every good or bad move affects their day so much. I believe I fit in the another section of people as a supporter. I support the team. I will go to the games when I’m free. I will cheer for them when they win but if they lose or makes an unpopular move, it would not affect my mood. It’s entertainment.

      • Odanada

        Leave Bester alone.
        He made the show, had a good, though brief run and hopefully saved some of his money. He was never gonna be a Hall of Famer, but gave it his best shot.
        Teams win from the top down; leadership flows downhill.
        Hire smart guys at the top, good horse traders to stock the farm and smart motivators to lead the troops. The players will fall in line because it’s what they’ve been trained to do all their lives.

  • Soundwave

    Two words: Dallas Eakins
    Stopped watching during the back half of 09-10 season too.
    With McDavid on the team I’ll never not watch/follow. If they every trade him, I’ll go full Jets fan.

  • Frooples

    I don’t post much, but I have followed the Oilers closely just about every year since moving back to North America in 2000. And as painful as it’s been since the 2006 Cup run, I continued to watch them closely and read and watch stuff like Oilersnation. But I hit my breaking point in February this year. It was just too painful. Year after year of thinking, “Maybe this year.” Then finally a reset with the best player in the league, getting back to the playoffs and thinking, “Ok, maybe it was worth waiting,” only to go plummeting back into the basement. That was worse than if they hadn’t made the playoffs the year before. I got to the Olympics, and for the first time in almost 20 years, just stopped paying any attention the NHL. I’ve been slowly coming back as the season ended and free agency and stuff went through because hope springs eternal, I guess. But if they start this year poorly, I’m out again right away. There are better things to do with my time… (there probably were a long time ago too, I guess)

  • Spydyr

    I’ve been an Oilers fan since before they were in the NHL from back in the WHL days. if I could stay a fan through Gretzky being sold I think the only thing that would discourage me would be McDavid being sold.

    • Completely different set of pockets financing this . Don’t think we have to worry about them selling him, but a couple of more years of this nonsense and he will want out anyway. He is obviously an intelligent young man. He will not waste his career just for money.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      what he said ^^^… But add to that I didn’t live in Alberta in the WHL days…
      I moved to Edmonton when they joined the NHL… In those next twelve years, we were the luckiest Hockey fans in history, to that point & arguably ever… When you consider the product we watched & the price we paid…

  • Chris Prongers Rake

    The minute they start winning again every fan with a boiling point will come back, jerseys will be dug out, or rebought and the sentiment will be that it was worth it. If they struggle, they struggle, if they win, great but don’t let it run your life. I don’t have a boiling point, will support the team win or lose, because to invest so much emotion into something you have no control over is ridiculous. If we are frustrated as fans just imagine how pissed the players are that’s why reactions like Brett Barrett, and the loser that through his jersey on the ice are ludicrous.

  • mroiler

    There are a lot of low T, beta victim types on this post. If you don’t like the team, go. No one is stopping you. The incessant whining is dull and shows a lack of character.

    • Gravis82

      The team is awful. Connor McDavid was the only thing keep it from last place last year. If you feel like cheering for a last place team be my guest, but until they shape up they deserve to hear it. Discontent with the team is commented here as its literally the only way to voice concerns if you are a Tier 2 fan…in a way that will actually be read by more than one pair of eyes. If I sent a strongly worded letter to head office, it would likely be promptly deleted.

    • The Future Never Comes

      People are beta for wanting their hometown team that they grew up watching 10, 20, 30, 40+ years to actually come within a spitting distance of at least making the playoffs and not deflating by December? What am I missing here, you make me feel delusional for your arguments shortcomings.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    It’s not clear to me if this guy was a season ticketholder or not. If he wasn’t, it’s a bit weird to write a letter to the Oilers throwing his metaphorical jersey onto the ice. But, alas and alack…

    I don’t have much of a problem with a fan voting with his feet or his heart or his head and deciding he’s had enough of the Oilers or NHL hockey or whatever. It’s his right as a consumer.

    Make no mistake, that’s all of us really are in this, people. We can talk about a fandom and loyalty and all of that but at the end of the day, we’re consumers of a product. That’s why, a few years ago, I took no offense to Kevin Lowe’s labelling of fans being in Tier 1 or Tier 2 or other tiers. The truth is, those distinctions do better to describe any fandom than anything else. Some people are emotionally invested in the team. Some people are financially invested in the team. Some are both. And everyone gets to decide how much and when it’s time to pull the plug.

    What this guy did isn’t much different than a disgruntled Chevy pickup owner ranting about never buying another GM product in his life because he was tired of it breaking down. Or an iPhone user declaring he was switching to Samsung. Or whatever.

    But I don’t have to agree with his reasoning.

    The problem I have is giving this guy electronic ink. I’m a former newspaper reporter, so I do understand that, sometimes, you’re forced to do stories on what people are talking about (i.e. like the weather or the price of gasoline on a long weekend) versus what you think is a real story.

    But I hope the folks at ON understand that providing a platform to thin-skinned fans who opt to cut-and-run when the going gets rough tends to be a slippery slope. You’re only helping encourage the jersey-tossers and that’s a sub-species of fan that needs to go the way of the Do-Do.

    I don’t want to sound like an old guy or turn this into a generational rant, but a few things in his manifesto caught my eye:
    – He compared running an NHL team in real life to running an NHL team in a video game.
    – He wrote his letter in April – before the draft, before July 1.
    – He gave all of his Oilers stuff to his parents.

    To me, those are signs that he’s a young guy who:
    – Despite his insistence of the contrary, thinks that success should come as instantly and as easy as making trades in NHL 2018.
    – Couldn’t be bothered to be patient or wait to see how the franchise would respond.
    – Doesn’t have the courage of his convictions to light his Oilers stuff on fire and go all the way.

    To me, he sounds like one of those “win-or-tie” fans that Steve Shutt talked about in the 1970s in Montreal. Should the skies clear and the sun shine again, I’m sure he’ll be heading over to his parents’ house to retrieve his stuff or, better yet, running out to buy more of it on Whyte Avenue in May and June. Bandwagon jumper. Instant gratification.

    Again, that’s his right as a consumer. But if he considers himself to be more than that, I hope he understands how rash and foolish he’s being. On one hand, if you’re at a point in your life when your sports team’s machinations are getting inside your head to a point that you’re willing to cut-and-run at the first sign things go sideways, you probably do need to choose a new hobby. But if you’re choosing a new team … well … then you’re a fair-weather fan, my friend. And that’s the worst kind. No one will mourn your defection.

    • The Future Never Comes

      I’ve been sitting here watching dreadful hockey for the last 13 years, watching 75% AHL rosters on an NHL team, L.A pin us in our zone for periods at a time, Watching Nikitan make 5 million when he’s not even an NHL regular, us draft and develop players like Petry and Cogliano for the other teams taking, the BOTB club have zero clue how to run a non laughable franchise, and rebuilds 1,2,3,4. Is that enough patience for you there bud? You want me to wait 30 years until I have dentures and can’t even pick up a cold one because it’s to heavy? What should I wait for, my coffin to be decked out with a 60 inch surround sound getup for my skeleton to watch the games 6 feet under?

  • Jaysdude

    I’ll always be a fan. I may check out sometimes, like I did last season for a time, or when things got really bad in the DoD. But I’ll always be an Oilers fan.

  • bcoil

    Although I read with interest the various thoughts and opinions of the numerous oiler bloggers I have never and will never define my happiness in life on how well the oilers are doing .If some of you are living your lives hanging on to every little move or lack of moves that the oilers and their players make to define whether you had a good day or not well I suggest you need to step back ,take a deep breath and assess what else you could be doing with your lives to create some balance and that includes the bloggers .

  • 18% body fat

    chai needs, to come forward and admit the following mistakes, than we will maybe believe again.

    1. keeping mactavish employed
    2. trading for reinhart
    3. minimal return on hall trade
    4. trading eberle to sign russel
    5. signing lucic
    6. thinking the oilers need to play heavy hockey when all the needed to do when you have connor mcdavid is play capable hockey and he will cover the rest

    Admit, you are 10 years behind the time, and you made mistakes and move forward.

    Also, i dont care how good you are at drafting and filling the farm team. yes we are more deep in the minors, but that again is the minors. If this is what he is good at than he should be the armature scout, not the GM.

    • rdebruys

      I am sick and tired of people repeating the same issues. no one was complaining about the hall trade or lucic the year the oilers were winning. they have an off year and all of a sudden PC’s an idiot.

      I can tell you this, the oilers wouldn’t have survived the decade of darkness, or whatever you want to call the 90s, if all of their fans felt as entitled as some fans apparently do now.

      • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

        Agreed. I did not hear any complaints about these “mistakes” when the Oilers cruised to 103 points and good riffing away from the conference finals. But now that the team had an off year, all of a sudden EVERYTHING Chiarelli does is a “dumb” move.

      • 18% body fat

        Actually I was. I said they were horrible moves. And the point is that his track record is not good. If he admits the mistakes and proves that he is not still doing this crap than maybe we will believe in his plan.

        And get your head out of your butt if you think his moves other than talbotade this team better. Connor had support because everyone play to a career level that year. Nothing to do with the moves chia made.

      • Gravis82

        I was. We may have had a cup with hall on the team that year instead of lucid. 80% of what Larsson brings could be found elsewhere for much less cost. Heck, even Davidson was almost there. Would
        Have been nice to have had him as option when Sekera went Down. just sayin

  • Goon

    I gave up on the Canucks after three years of Benning. Team stunk on the ice and it was clear that Canucks management had no idea what was wrong and no plan to fix it. I continue to follow blogs, but aside from the final two Sedin games, I didn’t watch or attend last year. I used to watch ~80 games, including travelling to Vancouver to see a couple games in person, every season.

    There’s no sense wasting your time on a garbage product when the people peddling the garbage won’t even admit it’s garbage.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Jumped on the 06 bandwagon and they’ve yet to give me a reason to get off. While I did lose track of what was going on when I moved back to Toronto, I’ve not stopped cheering for the team, especially now that McDavid is the new face of the NHL.

    EDMONTON OILERS FOREVER!!!!!!!!!

  • Tubby

    Being retired military, I have come and gone from Edmonton several times in my career but I have been a fan a long time. I love the Oilers but I do not like being sold a pig and being told it is a beautiful pony. Admiring your mistakes is perhaps the hardest thing to do in life and one thing the Oilers ownership and management is so very bad at. The amount of blatant nepotism that occurs with this franchise is appalling and embarrassing. Their mistakes are legendary but no one ever falls on their sword and accepts responsibility for their miserable performance. I have sadly come to expect the Oilers to have a losing season but what really gets me and brings me to my boiling point is when the players don’t give 100 % every shift. They are being paid to play the greatest game in the world and it absolutely jars my preserves to see the opposition roughing up Connor while Lucic er al skate casually to the bench. Wit every last one of them who doesn’t give 100 % every shift.

  • GK1980

    It started after Christmas this year with several disgusting performances by the team and I have not completely cooled off. I’m neutral this year on how this team will perform. I just don’t know.

  • CalOil

    Why would you reach a boiling point with your home team?
    New arena, exciting players to watch, an owner spending to the cap, the brand has never been worth more – Relax enjoy the team, cheer when it is good, cheer louder when it is not good…the fans could make our rink way tougher to play in.

  • Kepler62c

    True fans don’t have a boiling point. I’m 25 and all I remember are snapshots of that 05-06 cup run – mostly Roloson getting injured. Basically I’m an Oilers fan who’s never really had anything to cheer about, but I support them all the same. That 16-17 playoff appearance was incredible, and I’ll keep cheering for them no matter what.

  • Serious Gord

    They will remain the team I follow/care about as long as something truly awful happened off-ice. What exactly that would be I do not know – but I will know it if I ever see it.

  • Butters

    I watched every game during the DOD. I thought; when the Oilers win the Cup, it will be so sweeeeeet. 2015, before the draft I was thinking that this draft would setup the Oilers for a decade. After drafting McDavid they made one of the stupidest trades in Oiler history. We got a generational talent, and still found a way to **** up the day.
    I still cheer for the Oilers and watch(fewer) games.

  • Odanada

    I was a Hab fan for over 40 years.
    There were quite a few Cups and some real dogs too.
    The Habs never knew what to do with a player who coloured outside the lines.
    First they lost Roy (he thinks he’s bigger than the team!) then Subban (he thinks he’s bigger than the team!). Both times they were fleeced.
    Their Franco-centric thinking made me crazy.
    Now they have a banged up Weber and a Price contract that will be a back breaker for years to come. Bergevin. Oy!
    I jumped to the Oil after the 2014 season.
    It’s early days for me but: Chiarelli. Oy!

    People get divorced every day, but if you think about leaving your team, you’re a traitor? Everyone has a breaking point. I didn’t bail on the Habs. They wore me out and life’s too short.
    Go Oilers Go!

  • ROILYDoGG$

    We went through the rough patch but seeing the light now with Chia and some great drafting, pre Chia was brutal and yes he made 1 poor rushed trade with Reinhart to imediately make the team better and didnt work out. Fans cannot blame him for the mess of no prospects in the ahl system that would make this team which not his fault but no GM makes perfect trades. The hall trade was needed and because they had drafted J Puljarvi and signed Lucic, Hall was expendable in a Trade for Larsen .
    Another issue is our fans and some lack of respect and maners for the players and staff. Some Our fans are insane and over the top disrepectul causing players and Ufa players to not want to day or come here but this is a deeper issue of class …

  • Ted

    Brett Barrett doesn’t know how to be a fan! Run run away Brett. Once you have grown up with boys on the bus there is no letting go even if you haven’t sniffed playoff hockey for a remarkable stretch of 10 years straight and being in it once in the last 12. This a hockey town and we deserve way better. But the buffoonery that has run the team into the toilet for such an eternity should have had my faith flushed along with it many years ago. Sadly it seems the buffoonery is continuing. It will be five years before the ship is raised to a level that it will float properly. Yet we stand by and wait. Loyal. Never wavering. Frustrated. Dumb founded …. with Hope that someday I will see Connor McDavid hoist The Cup above his head wearing an OILERS JERSEY! BOOM

  • Harry2

    Ill always watch this team. But if anyone wants to really hurt ownership to the point where changes would have to be made its so incredibly simple, stop attending games. Stop buying merchandise. Thats it. Thats all it takes.

    You can still cheer the team on and watch from home but stop financially supporting this team if you truly want a change of culture. Cause thats all that Katz understands. Money

  • Little Buttcheeks

    If I have a breaking point, I feel like I should have reached it by now. I don’t have much respect for the Oilers but they are my team and I’m sure they always will be. If they continue to soil the sheets, I just won’t spend my hard earned money on them and support them from a distance. There will be a day when the Oilers do their fans proud. That may be many moons from now but everybody has their day.
    Besides, any team with Connor McDavid on it is worth watching. There have been darker days. I just hope we get our crap together so we don’t come to a point where McDavid pulls a Tavares and leaves for greener pastures.

  • tkfisher

    Honestly being a fan for the past 12 years has been death by a thousand cuts. I remember the joy of 06, and then felt very disappointed by the handling of the pronger trade. I started getting concerned about managements decisions when Pisani and Horc got the contracts they were given, loved the players, but hated the over pays for a playoff golden boy and someone who extremely unlikely to ever live up to that contract. I was disgusted by the handling of Smyth and his subsequent trade, especially in light of the the Horc and Pisani deals. I really began to question the team when MacT drove a Mac Truck into his starting goalie to start the season and then hung a bad season on a promising young goalie when the team had no veteran presecence and an AHL defense Corp. I. Hindsight, Duby did alright for himself. I began shaking my head in disbelief when we started shipping out top ten picks in Sam Gagner for Teddy Purcell after rushing them to the league and expecting rookies to carry the load. I never understood trading Cogs, part of first rebuild out for a 2nd pick instead of actually playing him where he could succeed (despite him wanting to play center, a veteran leadership group of players can really help show kids that the team comes first and we do what we can to help win, period). From there things accelerated into Nikitin who no one else except for the oilers seemed ready to back up a semi load of dollars for. Playing JF Junk on the first line and many other strange experiments. Mark Fayne. Obviously the lack of regard for fans was mind blowing when it came to Katz and Lowe. It was disconcerting with the rumours around the Yak pick, but I still liked the pick at the time. The handling of him afterwards was questionable and taken in a bubble we’re excusable, but with a been there done that with overplaying and rushing rookies it was sad to see. For me, one of the biggest blunders was being gifted a talent like July’s, and then watching Jultz create a mess. Taking a rookie offensive Dman with no mentorship and playing him in a #1 role in shutdown situations with no cover, and slowly watching his confidence erode and fans turn was the biggest screaming indictment of terrible management I’ve ever seen. Fast forward and the Oilers could desperately use a Shultz for 2RD. Cogliano would be a great fit and the list goes on and on and on. The Shultz situation was so preventable and foreseeable I’m not sure what to say other than it takes a real special talent to let things gifted to you blow up in your face. But things really went intergaltic stupid when Hall was moved straight up for Larsson. Larsson is a fine player but you don’t trade a top 3-5 LW in the league for a guy who maybe, maybe is a top 50-60 defensive D. In my opinion a smart GM and what I was yelling about 1-2 years prior to the Hall (and Yak trades) was trading Yak for Larsson when Nail was starting to show cracks and Larsson was fresh off time in the AHL in 2014. People we traded Hall for a guy who was playing in the AHL two seasons prior. Then signing Lucic to what was universally considered too much contract for an aging powerfoward when anyone with any knowledge of big men peak performance and age could tell you was a bad bet. Then Eberle. Having a fourth line consisting of Cag and Kass when both one is over paid by a million and the other by 500k. Buying out players who shouldn’t have been bought out both last year and then again this year and replabcing them with players who are nearly the same “quality of player”. Then paying a back up goalie with no experience 2.5 mill to be a back up when you’re already up to the cap and wondering why you’re up against the cap. Now watching JP get treated similar to Gags, Cogs, MPS, Nilson, Yak, Duby, and Shultz and rushed and wondering why they, the player, isn’t developing into the players they should be. I am an Oilers fan. Always have been and always will. Connor McDavid is a gift to have in this city and a blessing to the team. A true, generational players who will one day bring the cup back home. The only thing that makes me sad about the entire debacle of a decade plus is I feel like management has soured the McDavid experience by pushing me away from the game. Not so much pushed me away as an Oilers fan, but as a fan of hockey in general. After so much abuse, disappointment and misplaced trust it’s only natural to put up a bit of wall for self preservation. It’s natural to explore other avenues of joy. After so much head shaking I find myself today as more of a casual fan, than rabid hockey crazed boy and teen. I watch less hockey today than ever before and I feel like I’m mossing out on Connor, and that makes me a little sad. Maybe one day management will learn. Maybe they won’t. Go Oilers Go.