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Photo Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

The Way I See It…

Connor McDavid’s comments after he dragged the Edmonton Oilers to the finish line with four points on a record-setting night in a 5-4 overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday say a lot about him. What he said also reminded me what a woeful job the Oilers have done surrounding the best player on the planet with a team that can be consistently competitive.

The Oilers will face the Boston Bruins in their home-opener tonight at Rogers Place with a 2-2 record thanks to McDavid’s heroics – he’d been in on all nine Oiler goals on the season, breaking the old record by Adam Oates to get the Oilers back to 4-4 after they’d trailed 4-1, before Darnell Nurse won it in overtime. Most everybody has heard what McDavid said about his feat by now. For me, it was telling.

“It’s whatever,” McDavid said post-game. “I don’t think it’s a stat we should be proud of. We found a way to get a goal at the end, so we never have to talk about it again.” Well, McDavid did have to talk about it again after practice Wednesday with the Oilers getting ready for a rematch with the Bruins. As expected, he spoke in terms of what it meant to the team when I asked him about what the win meant.

“It definitely feels better coming back,” McDavid said. “Last night could have easily gone the other way where it ended 6-1 or 7-1 and we’re talking about a whole different thing and answering a bunch of different questions today. It definitely helps the mindset and, hopefully, we can keep the ball rolling.”

PUSHING IT UPHILL

Can the Oilers “keep the ball rolling?” Well, I hope so for the sake of long-suffering fans. From where I sit, there’s still a helluva lot of work to do 213 games into McDavid’s tenure with the Oilers – more than there should be at this juncture with Pete Chiarelli at the helm as GM and Todd McLellan running the bench.

“I think you see that in a lot of great players,” McLellan said of McDavid. “They put their teammates, their team, their city ahead of themselves personally. I wouldn’t call Connor shy, he’s been around the media and in the limelight for many years, but he’s not one to try and stick out like a sore thumb. He does his thing, he plays for his teammates, his team, his city, and has a tendency to put all of those before himself.  That’s why we think he’s a tremendous leader for our team.”

Of course McDavid’s been a tremendous leader. At 21, he has already won the Art Ross Trophy twice as the NHL’s scoring leader, the Hart Memorial Trophy as MVP and the Ted Lindsay Award as most outstanding player twice. What he hasn’t done to this point is win nearly enough out on the ice, save for dragging the Oilers two rounds deep in the playoffs two years ago. My question, and I’m not alone, is where’s the help?

I wonder how much that wears on him as he enters the prime years of his career. With his new contract, McDavid has all the money he will ever need. Like all great players, what he wants most is to win. That, not money, is the measure for players like this. Yet here we are, four years since Edmonton’s golden ticket, and McDavid has had to be out-of-this-world to get the Oilers home from the road at 2-2. I shudder to think where this team would be without him. I bet you do, too.

GET IT TOGETHER

The Oilers have already proven you can miss the playoffs even with the best player in the world. Other teams, to be fair, have managed that as well. That said, it’s past time that Chiarelli put the pieces together to come up with a supporting cast that gives this team the chance to contend. You might not be able to win with one great player, but you damn sure better be able find a way to put the right pieces around that player and take a run at things or you’ve failed miserably as a manager.

That win in Winnipeg was thrill-a-minute stuff in the third period as the Oilers roared back. It was fun to watch, in the moment, but moments like that are often fleeting. If that’s good enough, then the bar is set way too low. This is the team Chiarelli has put together, and as it stands today, it’s so lacking in so many areas that it needs a 21-year-old kid to pull rabbits out of a hat to have any chance.

“It’s whatever. I don’t think it’s a stat we should be proud of . . .” That reaction, after a record-breaking performance, is what stuck with me when I walked into the rink Wednesday. If I’m Chiarelli, those words are burning in my ears. It’s been obvious for more than a little while McDavid doesn’t have enough help and the Oilers aren’t good enough. The clock is ticking.

Previously by Robin Brownlee

  • Here’s a thought: if Lucic continues his renaissance, and but mid-November, he’s still chugging along, adding some points, throwing some hits, showing more speed than he has the last few seasons (or at least last year) and we find a team with interest, do you pull the trigger on a deal as soon as possible? What would we be looking for? A true right-wing threat? A seasoned shut-down defenceman? A goalie? I still believe we have decent players at each position. But we could really use some truly great players…at every position.

    • Corbs

      If Lucic is playing better then doesn’t that prove that last year was the anomaly? Why move him? I think having him around goes a long way in making every player feel a bit bigger and allowing Connor to do his thing without worrying that the other team is going to take a run at him.

      Also, we have so many issues on defence, right wing, and possibly even in goal…Lucic isn’t something to worry about when he’s playing like this.

      • Hey, don’t get me wrong. I love Looch. Have been a champion for him, even during last season’s low point. All I’m saying is, you deal from a position of strength. If Khaira or even Drake can start taking on some of that crashing and shooting role (or if Kassian finds his game again) then the chance to be rid of Milan’s contract while also getting some immediate help might be too great to waste. That’s all. The article seemed to imply that the team lacks depth, and, well…you can’t address that issue without moving someone.

        • Freddie the fog

          Draft and develop. And make incremental improvements to the Roster when you can. You could probably make a trade for a short term solution to fix one hole on the Roster, but it would still leave other areas exposed. And the team would almost certainly have to give up young assets or high picks which is going to hurt the Club in the future. Nobody wants to hear it , and I don’t like it either, but the Oilers put themselves in a position to stay the course. Draft, develop, and try to improve through smallish moves. The Marco Dano waiver wire pickup by Colorado is an example

      • GRC

        I like Lucic as a player BUT the reality is that he will never out perform his contract. With the Oilers being so close to the cap ceiling this matters a lot. If they can move that contract they have to consider it IMO.

        • Glencontrolurstik

          If he can consistently be “Lucic” (like he has for the most part, this season) & get us 35 – 60 points. Then he’ll earn his contract.
          The bonus comes when we make the playoffs & see what that money really buys… Lucic is worth every penny, if we get the real Lucic.
          Bad contracts are Erikkson in Vancouver & Smith, in Calgary…
          Lucic (except for 3.5 months last season, that’s it) is NOT in that aforementioned category. Watch him play, he should be fired up tonight against his old friends?
          I’m happy he’s an Oiler personally.

      • the reasonable person

        All these comments are so sad. Thinking Lucic might be able to fetch a good roster player (scoring winger or decent d man)? LOL what is the point of this forum.

    • Svart kaffe

      If he can play like last period in Winnipeg then having him in the playoffs would be amazing.

      I’ll draw a comparison: Eberle helped the team make it to the playoffs, but once there he disappeared. Lucic works the other way around.

      In a way it feels like Chiarelli’s original vision was to construct a team built to win playoff series against Kings, Ducks and Sharks but kind of fumbled the ball since they can’t even get in.

    • TKB2677

      If by some miracle you can make a Lucic trade mid season – won’t ever happen- you do it. No disrespect intended what so ever man but I think you are hitting the now legal pot a bit hard if you think you are getting an impact right wing or a vet, decent shit down dman. If a Lucic trade actually happens, you are either getting the following:

      – Some kind of a draft pick and a prospect. The highest would be a 2nd and I doubt you get that. Probably a 3rd or 4th.
      – Maybe a NHL bottom 6 forward. Definitely not a center. I would hope it would be a guy who’s at least a full time NHLer.
      – Maybe a 3rd pairing defensive dman. Again, I would hope he’s a full time NHLer.
      – Maybe a tweener forward or tweener dman from a stacked team who is a cup contender. That player would be young, has a lot of potential but can’t crack the line up. Maybe a player with top 6 skill but is behind too many top 6 guys and isn’t suited to be a bottom 6 guy so he struggles.
      – A bad salary coming back. I am not suggesting this trade what so ever but think of a player like a Saad from the Hawks, Eriksson from the Canucks. A player who makes similar money, has a bunch of term left but is grossly under performing for what he makes. The hope being that maybe you are getting a different type of player or the change of scenery might cause you to get more out of him.

      I think you could probably do a bad contract for bad contract trade. Like an Eriksson but I don’t think it helps you, definitely doesn’t help your cap. I think in order to get zero bad money back, you’d have to find a team with space and then basically give Lucic away for nothing. You might get a pick or low end prospect at best back. In order t get any kind of remotely usable piece, you are adding a sweetener to the trade like say a high end prospect or pick to get say a 3rd liner back. Hopefully you wouldn’t have to retain money.

  • Spydyr

    People who say the old boys club has no influence on the Oilers must have missed Mac-T in the press box in Winnipeg right next to Chiarelli. Gretzky flew out to New York with Katz on his jet and was in Winnipeg. I’m sure Lowe has a say in the boardroom on Kingsway Avenue. These friends of Katz (FOK) or as a group (FOKERS) have been a constant in the Katz era. The results speak for themselves. Until the FOKERS are gone and no longer have a voice in how things are run nothing will change.

    • Corbs

      MacT is assistant gm. Obviously he had some say. I think the bigger issue is Nicholson and Chiarelli having the final say. They have proven they can’t get it done.

    • Stinky Mitt to the Face

      Seeing Gretz at all the games lately makes me wonder if he’s not in line for the GM job if, check that, when Chia is fired. I really hope not but I wouldn’t be shocked.

    • QuitForRealThisTime

      Yep…but it is Katz’s team not ours as much as we would like it to be and ultimately he can do what he wants with it. Hire who he wants, and run it how he wants. And no he does not give a rats a$$ about what the ticket buying sheep think because the building is always full. Which to me I would rather have a team that sucks (most years) then no team at all.

      • Glencontrolurstik

        You my friend are right. We really shouldn’t forget what this team was like before Katz came into the picture. In reality we wouldn’t be looking at this web-site now as we’d probably be the Houston Oilers?
        Katz owns the Oilers & really can do what ever he wants. He does have a love for the city & the fans, that’s clear. What more could you ask for…?

        • Spydyr

          OK I’ll play :

          “We really shouldn’t forget what this team was like before Katz came into the picture. ”

          The team was making the playoffs about 50% of the time with a gritty hard working team.

          ” In reality we wouldn’t be looking at this web-site now as we’d probably be the Houston Oilers?”

          It is a falsehood Katz was the Oilers savior.There were other suitors looking to purchase the Oilers. Katz just had the biggest pockets and made some promises he has never lived up too. We are still waiting for the 150 million dollar arena he promised for the U of A.

          “He does have a love for the city & the fans, that’s clear.”

          He lives in Vancouver and just brought a very expensive LA mansion. If I remember correctly is was the most expensive ever in purchased in LA .

          “What more could you ask for…?”

          A well managed team not a place for his buddies to work. A roster that can support the best player in the game. The playoff more than once a decade and finally a Stanly Cup contender.

          • Glencontrolurstik

            You are clearly a Katz hater as noted in 95% of your posts.
            The majority of your rebuttal is “spun”… You make no mention of Katz putting in a majority of the cost over-runs for Rogers Place along with the city, (a fantastic facility I might add) as of today, it’s arguably the envy of the NHL.
            As far as Katz living in Vancouver & LA? What does that have to do with his devotion to the city, the team & fans? Good on him for living in the most expensive mansion in LA. Again, what does that have to do with his devotion to Edmonton & its great fanbase?
            Heck, I live in Whistler & bleed oil. Doesn’t make me any less of a fan.
            Plus, because I can afford a big property in Whistler, it does not reflect in my appreciation of Edmonton, the Oilers & its people… or the fantastic years that I lived there.
            Bottom line is, Katz has and is doing his best, in his perception, of giving the Oilers and their fans the best chance to succeed. We should be grateful for that?
            You may not agree, & that’s fine. But why would he bother to pump his own resources into something that he wants to fail?
            My point being that with all the perceived issues with the Oilers, I don’t think Katz is one of them. I’m sure he wants to become a winning team, time will tell. I will say that the team is much better off than it was 4 or 5 years ago & it’s getting better.

          • Shameless Plugger

            @ Spydyr

            Who were these other suitors you speak of? It’s easy to spit rhetoric without any concrete evidence to support your claim others were interested in purchasing the team.

            Where were you game day when they pulled the rabbit out of their hat? Nowhere that is where, because you’d have been shut right down spitting your constant negativity while everybody else was celebrating a nice comeback. One thing I’ve noticed about you Spydyr is you only comment when there’s a possibility to spew negativity. You’re never around when there are wins or anything positive to talk about. Says a lot.

          • Glencontrolurstik

            Thanks Shameless, negativity is not what this organization needs…
            I find a lot of this comes from the “Eastern Scribes” that really don’t have time to watch Oilers games because of the time-zones…
            They just feed off of one another & blow outdated issues out of the water by trying to “out write” each other. Then before you know it, everyone believes it… Heck, just this week they were saying Austin is the best hockey player of this era… yeah, right.
            I don’t know if anyone actually remembers but, Chiarelli was nominated for GM of the year in his first year, as well as Todd for the Jack Adams (is that coach of the year?). Lucic was the best UFA pick-up in a long time & we felt great about the future.
            This team does have a supporting cast, we just have to be positive & believe in it.
            I know it’ll come & Spydyr will probably be saying, “I told you so”?

          • Well said. He fled the city as soon as the taxpayers got hosed on the deal. The U of A arena will never be built, some people even believed he would take care of cost over runs. Not true, it is a matter of public record, most just dont take the time to look up the facts before they shoot their mouths off. Taxpayers got hosed , period.

          • Spydyr

            I lived through the ownership process. Gary Gregg wanted to purchase the team. Katz’s deep pockets won. I post positive things all the time. The thing is living through decades of failure during the Katz era brings out strong you may call them negative opinions on how the franchise had been run. Just look at the teams record. Results matter.

          • Glencontrolurstik

            Oh man give us all a break… The following from Wiki…
            Katz (in several forms) & the City decided to split the cost.
            They did, there were over-runs and Katz created Edmonton Arena Corp. to pay for these over-runs.
            The city’s portion came from: Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) and other incremental revenues (increased parking revenue, reallocation of existing subsidy paid to Northlands and new taxes from business in the arena)

            Since Roger’s Place, this happened…:
            The arena triggered a “hospitality explosion” downtown before ground was even broken, as businesses competed for properties around the arena site. In early 2014, there were far fewer options to lease or purchase as competition mounted,including Brad J. Lamb, who announced a $225 million pair of new condo towers.
            By December, it was estimated that $2.5 billion in downtown development had been directly connected to Rogers Place. On July 13, 2015, it was announced that the arena district would be officially branded as Ice District, spanning from 103rd Avenue to 106th Avenue. Ice District has ranked as the fastest growing arena district in the history of similar projects.
            So, clearly the “taxpayers did not get hosed”… PERIOD.
            You, “just dont take the time to look up the facts before they shoot their mouths off.”
            ever…

          • Freddie the fog

            He owns the team and we’re lucky to have him committed to keeping it here. Who cares where he lives ? Not me. Neither should you. You’re a billionaire. Are you going to live in Edmonton in the winter ? Not me. Doesn’t mean I don’t love the city of Edmonton, I do.

    • I agree, does not matter who they trade, demote to the minors, waive , whatever, until the 80’s gang is removed, everything will stay pretty much the same. Have not watched a game this year, but did catch a glimpse of Mac-T in the booth with Chia on the highlights on Sportsnet. Not involved in hockey ops my arse. Insulting to a knowledgeable fan base. I’ve been hanging on by a thread, just cant watch this garbage anymore.

  • Homer

    It’s obvious even to a casual observer that PC and TM have jumped the shark and are no longer NHL material. The Katz era has been nothing but hot garbage and everyone below Katz needs to go. This franchise is stuck in the ditch as long as the 80’s guys are still getting to have input.

  • Ratt McNuge

    The team around McDavid is not good enough. That much is evident. But the real culprit, to me, is the 2016-2017 season and playoffs. It provided a false sense of security for Chiarelli and he basically just threw cash at McDavid and Draisaitl and did nothing else to improve the team.

    • Dave2

      McDavid’s contract was very reasonable. Draisaitl had yet to prove himself. It was an overpayment but not huge. 2.5 million for an unproven back up seems too much but time will tell.

      The Winnipeg game says that this team has the potential to be good. This next stretch will tell us if they have playoff potential. They probably need one or two D men that are NHL caliber and a Kassian replacement.

      • Rock11

        I despise the not too much of an overpayment argument. Its an over payment of about $1.5m. That is huge. Bigger problem is we hear that from the apologist types all the time. Oh Russell wasn’t too much of an overpay and neither was Benning or Caggiula or Kassian or Lucic or Strome. Maybe on some of those guys it is only $200-400K but when you add it all up this roster has a hole the size of the $4-5m player that could have been signed or acquired had all of those “minor” overpays not occurred.

        • palmnickl

          Jason Gregor broke down city tax rates in an article earlier this year. The synopsis is Edmonton ranks 22nd. In other words the players you listed can make the same take home money as some of their comparables in other cities that have a lower cap hit.
          Besides Maroon this year I can’t think of many role players taking any form of discount.

    • cupcontender

      The 16-17 season proved what this team could accomplish, when healthy and playing to their abilities. Now did we miss Ebs scoring on the right wing last year? Absolutely. I believe the fans and media pretty much drove him outta town, put undue pressure on PC to move him one year to quick. The defense played better then which proves how much we are missing a HEALTHY Sekera. There’s a decent team here when there’s no passengers. We seen it against Winnipeg in the 3rd period, Everybody was involved and that’s what we need to succeed. The quicker the they figure that out the better and we’ll be fine and compete for a playoff spot.

      • Mr. McDavid

        here’s a thought
        get every stinking media
        the bleep out of town
        they … all of them except 3
        have been negative and cry baby’s
        because the Oilers with Bob Stauffers
        help has them on the outside
        and they have been crying …and witching every chance they get
        us true Oilers fans don’t need to hear
        them witch and moan for years!!!!
        leave town and go cover something
        else if you don’ like it leave
        No one is making you cover Oilers
        however no one is making you
        cry for 7 years leave
        Gregor and browned and the rest
        of you negative losers
        enough

        • Media is too negative? I thought the media was too positive, bought and paid for, a bunch of team fartcatchers? This is Chiarelli’s team. Only four players — RNH, Klefbom, Nurse and Draisaitl — remain from the roster he inherited when he became GM. Chiarelli built what you see now. On his watch, the Oilers have won 134 of the 250 regular season games they’ve played, including the 47 they won during the one season they made the playoffs. If that’s good enough for you, fine. If my take is too negative for you, too bad. I don’t have any skin in the game. I’m commenting on what I see.

  • Chiarelli has put the pieces in to support Connor. Rattie, Lucic, Larsson, Caggiula, Brodziak, Rieder, Kassian, Russell, Garrison, Benning, and Talbot via trades and signings. Yamamoto, Puljujärvi, and Bouchard via the draft.

    Just seems like the pieces he’s added so far are either too old, too young right now, too costly, or just not good at the hockey.

    • Sekera was a good signing…. but just bad luck with the injury. A healthy Sekera from 16-17 would absolutely be the difference between making the playloffs and missing them for this team.

  • Hemmercules

    Anyone see little Jonny get pasted last night?? I thought it was a legal play, the puck was at his feet and he was looking for the rebound. Little high up but the kid is like 4 feet tall and McAvoy had his arm flat to his body.

  • The future never comes

    Katz might as well change the name to the Edmonton Mcdavid’s. On a serious note, the poor guy is going to burnout carrying his entire organization and their deep flaws around.

  • Van isl Oiler

    I’ve been screaming from a mountain top for a while to fire Chiarelli NOW! The team is worse off now than when he took over, so lets fix the obvious. No the team won’t be instantly better by firing the gm, but this clearly has no clue how to fix this mess and I’m very agraid that he’s gonna make a desperate trade. Need a new gm to start evaluating this team/situation right away….not at the end of the season.

    That leads to the discussion of who. Who should be the next Oilers gm?

    Just spit balling here, but Lou Lamoriello? I don’t know of anyone who has a good track record and is currently unemployed. Lets start getting some names rolling here people.

    • jesse says yep

      Strongly disagree. Chia brought in lil gretz and together they have massively upgraded the prospect depth. Just because we arent seeing the results yet (Even though the Oil are .500 after 4 games)I believe this team will be more then respectable this season. I would upgrade on yamamoto and the 3rd pairing (bear and …..) but other then that this team will be competitive this season.

      • Van isl Oiler

        @ Jesse says yep….I’m very curious which prospects are bubbling under. Who in the system do you foresee being a difference maker in the near future? So far they are no where near competitive enough for my liking. The Oilers have the best hockey player in the world on their team and he seems to be the only offensive catalyst they have. (aside from one goal) So far they’ve squeaked out a win against a weak Rangers team and Connor almost literally threw the team on his back to beat the Jets. Their current record of 2-2 isn’t nearly as important as what’s actually been going on on the ice. Too many rose colored glasses being worn by too many people…both fans and team management alike. When a guy like Khaira is seen as a good player on any team there’s a problem. That guy skates hard and throws some body checks out there, but what does he actually accomplish….not much by my eye. This is professional hockey…RESULTS MATTER!

        • Glencontrolurstik

          Khaira has speed, a decent set of hands & can find space in the offensive zone. Take a look tonight at Chia’s work after 4 years of peculation…
          I’m talking about the Bruins, mostly the work of Peter.
          Give the Oilers time. They are close…

          • Van isl Oiler

            Hmmm, I will do some research on the Bruins and figure out just how much of that team was put together by old Chia Pet. I have given some thought to the Oilers prospects and I don’t feel there are more than 2 or 3 that might become NHL regulars…maybe. As far as Khaira goes, all NHL players have a decent set of hands…they are NHL players. The Oilers would be doing not too bad if a guy like Khaira was their 13th forward or the first minor league callup, but the fact he’s pushing for 3rd line minutes is not a good situation to be in.

          • Glencontrolurstik

            Just thinking about it, also check out the Senators?
            Chia & Benning were also there drafting away, I believe?…
            That duo also may have put together the often forgotten Sens that went deep in the playoffs 2 years running? I’m not sure?

  • Serious Gord

    Not sure if Connor has thought a lot about his and the team’s future but I think he has and judging by his comment (…could have gone the other way…) he may be getting frustrated with how weak the team is.

    Is he mortified that he will have the career that Marcel Dionne had – great individual stats but no cup because the team around him was never good enough or similarly Dan Marino (whose legacy / ranking definitely suffered as a result)?

    Mcd is signed with the oil until he turns 29. Almost certainly the very best years of his potential are in that time period. Is that a point of optimism for him right now or a point of discouragement?

    It seems to me that this season will come to be seen as one of THE most critical in mcdavids career. So far it seems like he is truly reaching the zenith of his potential certainly without peer save perhaps Austin Matthews. This level of play likely (hopelfully) will remain for five or more seasons. Meanwhile the team looks like it may be going the other direction: possible failures both big lucic, draisaitl and small kassian, pulju, yama on the ice and in management with the cap cloud ceiling colouring the mood of everything (connor is the first generational player to feel the full weight of the cap system – some young journo should write at length about that). A disaster season will mean yet another multiyear rebuild under extraordinarily adverse circumstances – a rebuild that eats into the very heart of mcdavids career arc.

    I wish only the very best for mr mcdavid. I just hope he achieves it with the oil. I am not at all confident that he will he able to do both.

    • jesse says yep

      Rebuild? What are you thinking? Tinkering with the wingers and 3 rd pairing is where this team is at. The club is .500 after a horrible starting schedule and you are throwing them under the bus already.

      • CMG30

        Umm, what? D is horribly inconsistent, We’re still experimenting with our TOP line (Rattie) and our 2nd line has done nothing of note this season. Drisitle needs to get going as he’s been lost without McDavid. Lucic has been better but nowhere near the player he should be.

        The only reason we’re 500 is because we barely beat one of the worst team in the league and McDavid pulled a rope-a-dope against the Jets. For the majority of the season, every player not named McDavid, has looked horribly disinterested in competing. Hopefully this comeback win sparks something inside these guys but don’t drink the kool-aid just yet…

  • Glencontrolurstik

    The Oilers better bring their A game tonight against Boston. Their top line is dangerous. Kudos to Calgary. In that game last night, the first period was some of the best hockey I’ve watched… If the Oilers can show well against them, they’re are a long way to gelling as a team… This game will be a true test of the “supporting cast”. Lucic will be a star tonight.

      • Glencontrolurstik

        It sure is… As they only have one game “Rubin.”
        “The next one”. That’s the way this team needs to look at it.
        When I coached I broke the season down into 7 game series.
        If you think you have a whole season ahead of you, and while you are trying to get things together you realize that it’s “American Thanksgiving” and your season is done… So yes, tonight will show the Oilers how they can bounce back agaist a team that they recently lost to, as well as beat a team that has something to prove from their loss the night before.
        The Bruins are a great team, a playoff team, a “TRUE TEST.”

  • JC1982

    Damn, Robin. In my opinion, you’re one of the more knowledgeable and honest hockey scribes when it comes to the Oilers. I haven’t written on ON for a few years, but I rarely miss one of your articles.

    This particular one stands out to me most, though. It’s one where the truth is so obvious and so painful at the same time. We’ve been blessed with an opportunity to have the best player in the world AGAIN. It’s what we’ve all wanted since 1989. Now that it’s here, it’s so painful to watch is waste away under the horrible guidance of management.

    How many teams get the best player in the world? How many get the best player in the world twice (other than us and Pittsburgh)? It’s sad to see us waste Connor during the prime of his career.

    Good article! I hated every minute of reading it… because it’s the damn truth.

  • CMG30

    This team is an indictment of Chirelli. He’s continued the grand Oiler tradition of shipping out real NHL talent for spare parts. This wasn’t what he was brought in for. We have McDavid, perhaps the best player since Gretzky, and 4 years later we still are nowhere near good enough. Fire Chirelli.

  • tkfisher

    Help? Help was hear, on this teams roster, and had been in this city before an inept group of managers slowly eroded that supporting cast. Losing Hall will haunt this team for a decade plus. Adding Larsson was excellent, and much needed, but not at the expense of Hall. Anyone who claims that’s the only trade that could have possibly landed that RD help is either naive, lacking brain cells, or is our current GM. Further down grades to talent, poor trades, and poor signing that ate away at the cap only further depleted the roster of “help” or created anchors. Heart breaking to watch what our GM and his predecessors have done, and it’s sad to see carnage they have created.