70

Happy New Year!

From all of us at Oilersnation, I wanted to take a quick minute this morning to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. I hope that whatever you got up to last night when the clock struck midnight hasn’t handed you a hangover that will keep you frozen in your bed like a statue until the early hours of the afternoon.

Needless to say, it’s been a strange year (I feel like that’s being nice) for Oilers fans that were expecting to be watching their team contend by now. Over the last 12 months, the team has made all kinds of strange choices that seem to come without results or consequences and that’s left the playoffs in limbo for the third time in the first four years of Connor McDavid’s career. For Oilers fans, 2018 has been a rollercoaster through disasterland and I, personally, won’t be sad to see it go because there’s no way next year could possibly be as bad. Right? RIGHT?! As is the case with any new year, there will still be plenty of questions that need answers as the Oilers start to turn the pages of the new calendar. How long will they allow this management team to continuously fail at basically before making the changes that are desperately needed? Will Peter Chiarelli get to make even more bizarre trades to try and save his job? How long will ownership allow this to go on? Will Hitchcock be able to turn things around for the second time? Who will SIUTBOHC? Only time will tell, but we’re all fortunate that we’re able to navigate those waters together.

As I do every year, I wanted to end things off with a few New Year’s resolutions for the Edmonton Oilers in the hopes that they will have a much better 2019 than they did 2018. Is that too much to ask? No, I didn’t think so either. Happy hangovers, everybody.

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

  • You will clean house on this management team. YOU MUST. They’re setting the Oilers back years.
  • You will respect Connor McDavid’s career by surrounding him with GOOD players
  • You will NOT treat the best players on this team as whipping boys when the team is struggling. Sometimes depth matters.
  • You will support the goaltenders with adequate defensive zone coverage
  • You will purge the dead weight from this roster, clearing millions of dollars in cap space in the process
  • You will not be surprised when your favourite childhood movie/TV show is remade into a CGI version because there are no more good ideas apparently
  • You will still be down with O.P.P.
  • Kool-Aid Man

    Happy New Year BM and to all the writers here at ON! You guys do a great job keeping Oilers fans entertained dispite the garbage organization we cheer for.

  • bcoil

    My New Years wish is that the Media be it print or internet folks that cover this team realize that constantly chasing players, coaches ,gm’s or what have you out of Town is not being productive to the growth of this team .The are Gm’s in this league who have been with teams for decades thru good and bad times without being drummed out of town by the media every time their team runs into injuries . This negative journalism is starting to sound like the crap we listen to coming out of the White House every single day . What is today’s conspiracy .i.e who is making the decisions behind the scenes in oiler management that are hurting the team , who is not talking to whom on the team in the dressing room , etc, etc .This team is getting better but to think it is going to happen over night or not have its losing streaks just because the media in this town want it to is delusional . There are al ot of hockey players that want nothing to do with this city because of the vicious yes vicious media reporting o whom ever is this weeks whining boy .What p…s me off is most of the people that whip up this negative frenzy have never laced up a pair of skates or played organized hockey ..To the Media in Edmonton in 2019 .JUST STOP IT

  • ellebee

    Things that weigh heavily on my mind going into 2019/20: 1)Lucic. 2)Puljujarvi is Nail Yakupov. 3)Hitchcock & management made it clear that Hitchcock is here short term & likely leaving after this season. 4)Chiarelli still has a job & ended his presser yesterday by foreshadowing that he’s cooking up another one of his “big trade deals”.. be afraid, be very afraid…

    • Soccer Steve

      Re your #4. I’m terrified that he has privately been confirmed to be around still next year. The people who run the Oilers are known smartest-men-in-the-room and with the media and us fans circling like vultures I’m so afraid that we embolden them to be even more stubborn.
      Life-long Oiler fan here, but like others have stated, I am very much starting to tell myself “where Connor goes, I go.”

  • Wadentheshade

    Bcoil it’s nice to know you are still inebriated from last evenings festivities. You have not watched the same Oilers the rest of us have. The same team that has made one playoff appearance in 13 years. Sorry but unacceptable. The fellas at ON tell it the way it is with great insightful articles. Keep up the great work fellas. Let’s hope Katz wakes up in 2019 and starts with a management flush.

  • ed from edmonton

    Other than the Golden Bears winning another national championship, 2018 might be the worst sports year in Edmonton in many years
    For 2019 Golden Bears will vie for another national crown and the Oil Kings are better than most would have thought. However both the Esks and Oil have more questions than answers.

    • ellebee

      If Chia were out tomorrow (although I prefer yesterday), Hitch could take on dual role GM/Head coach & take us through trade deadline and draft, then use his reputation, influence & connections to bring in the right coach and maybe stick around for a year as GM.

  • rnj

    If Katz was going to fire anyone in the OBC it would’ve happened already. Face reality – they are and always will be part of the Oilers until Katz is gone, and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

    Realistically we’ll be stuck with them for 10-15 more years and they’ll retire. Chiarelli will get canned but his replacement will be more of the same because the same guys are doing the hiring. They can’t see their mistakes or why the criteria they use to evaluate management ability is outdated.

    Look at the difference between Lou and Dubas in Toronto. The culture that Babcock brought in after Carlyle.

    Most importantly look how Shanny did a rebuild from the ground up instead of slowly bleeding assets in an attempt to make the playoffs now. That’s our biggest mistake – no one wants to bite the bullet, admit things are a mess, and do it properly. Pete set this club back 3-5 years with his brutal returns on picks and awful development of prospects.

    We’re back to square one. Best outcome here:

    -Fire Pete and STOP TRADING! Middle picks for trash and overpays destroy the future and cause cap hell.

    -Send the kids back to the AHL. Make peace with the fact that Connor isn’t winning any cups in the next two years. Stop trying to torch the future and force it now. Build a contender for 2020-2021 and beyond

    -Keep our picks, draft, and develop properly. Our draft prospects won’t help until two to three years after the draft. Yeah it sucks and yeah it’s BS, we’ve been waiting since high school and shouldn’t have to anymore but it’s reality

    -Send Lucic to the minors, fake an injury, do whatever you gotta do to sort it out. Worst contract in the league

    -Clean up the extra 6-7 dmen. Stock up on some middle and late round picks

    -Stop signing overpay contracts. Stop signing overpay contracts. Stop. If you don’t want to play here, go somewhere else. Enough of creating the perception that this club sucks and you can cash in and check out. We do suck – but until someone sends the message that we believe things are getting better this will keep happening. You’re buying into something when you come here, if you don’t believe in that we don’t want you. Have some respect for the heritage of this team and make it what it should be

  • oil.99.97.11

    This whole mess is on Katz (and to a lesser extent the NHL draft lottery). The ‘business’ of hockey has never been about wins or losses to him, that’s just for 2nd-tier fans, to him it’s really only another business where what matters is that revenues well exceed expenses and asset values rise. In Edmonton, unfortunately, those things just aren’t negatively impacted much by the win/loss record.

    And if it wasn’t for draft lottery ‘luck’, the ineptness of the organization wouldn’t be overshadowed by the ‘shiny new things’ that bring a little (or a LOT in McDavid’s case) hope and excitement to the fan base. Again, unfortunately, it also brings substantial revenue to Katz. No disincentive to not suck year in and year out.

    Katz doesn’t care about wins or losses because he doesn’t have to. The Oilers make money regardless and it’s fun for him to own his home-town team and surround himself with ‘legends’. Helluva ego stroke. Think this is bad?? Just wait ‘till he gives it to his bozo-the-clown looking spoiled rich kid who shows up annually to have his picture taken with hockey’s latest version of the Oiler’s ‘next top models’.

    • Serious Gord

      He would have to be pathologically delusional not to see the mess this team and organization is AND that the fault lies with him.

      I also think that at least in the early years of his ownership he did give a damn about the team. You probably recall the nasty texts etc that he sent through his proxy Bob Stauffer back then.

      But in recent years I am less confident of his passion for the team. He seems to have delegated the decisions to his white wine caucus. And he certainly seems pre-occupied with life and events a thousand-plus Miles away most of the year – some of it at least hinting of salacious scandal.

      Regardless, the core problem with the team remains evergreen – a perennial that has been hardy for over a dozen years: his obsession with his youth and his undying love of the heroes of that youth and his fawning over them and their friends that clearly blinds him to what must be done to get this organization on a firm footing – climbing the rungs to cup contention quality.

      And I don’t think a talk with mcdavid will shake him of that. Or anything else.

      I am at a loss of what will.

      We are looking at the possibility of decades more of dysfunctional, nepotistic management. Philip wrigley died at 85 with his hands still on the reins of the cubs. Katz likely will live many years beyond that.

  • 50 Flex

    McDavid, Draisaitl, Hall, Nugent Hopkins, Eberle, Klefbom, Schultz, Talbot. This team was literally 1 d-man away from an elite core and Chia just completely dismantled it.

  • Gravis82

    Here is a honest to goodness real take:

    Oilers are fine on defence in next 3 years. They need to draft 1 top pairing d man this draft though

    Puljujarvi can be a really good 3rd line player. Rest of these lines can be built with random prospects, minor trades and free agency fairly easily over 5 years with the right gm. As long as we fire Chiarelli that will be fine

    Lucic is done, we need Seattle to take him

    We need a second line with players who can be counted on for 20 goals. If we can ditch Lucic, one can be found in free agency. Yamamoto or benson may turn into another . Luck will needs to gift us the third

    A goalie needs to appear for almost no money

    That all has to happen in next 3 years.

    Otherwise a 10 year rebuild is required where we do nothing but draft.

    • MrBung

      There is foundation to this. This team is a mess and now patience and honesty is needed. BUT with competent management. The damage Chia has done will take time to fix and will not be done with a trade or signing. It is sad it has come to this yet again. But here we are. Bad contracts, urinated away draft picks, bad trades and loss of value, …

    • Serious Gord

      The defensive future of this team is not going to be mature enough to make an impact for at least three more seasons plus the remainder of this one.

      If mcd is still around he will be entering the sixth year of his eight year contract.

      Jesus.

  • KootenayDan

    I agree with all the posters and all the bloggers but it seems we are in this disturbing loop of mismanagement and 12 years of soul crushing Oiler hockey. I am almost 60 I was a young man the last time I was proud of this team. I feel bad for the core players especially Nuge who has had to endure the suffering the longest.

    • rnj

      That sucks man, I feel for ya. My father came to Canada in the early 70s and went his whole life without seeing the Leafs win. It means something to people. I never got to sit with my old man and watch our team in a meaningful playoff run. I don’t think these owners appreciate the connection people have to their teams

  • Real Oiler Fan since 83

    “I will end with this there is only one other guy left in hockey who has won as many Stanley cup rings as ME… so I think I know a little bit about winning if there was ever a concern”

    • rnj

      Yeah congrats to Lowe for being a good player riding along with some of the greatest of all time. Too bad he’s never going to be honest enough with himself to admit being lucky in his playing career doesn’t translate good to management

  • Real Oiler Fan since 83

    “We have two tiers of fans.. those who are a paying customer at the games then those who just watch from home”

    Wtf wtf wtf wtf wtf this is the most embarrassing thing I have ever seen in all of professional sports. How is this MF still employed.

    • Kool-Aid Man

      That’s what 6rings said at the press conference introducing MacT as GM. As far a Lowe’s concerned, you are not a paying customer unless you buy season tickets. All the Oiler merchandise that’s been bought by teir 2 fans doesn’t count as a paying customers. What a fine message to send to all the fans and, fans wonder why were in the position we are today. What a POS!

      • Serious Gord

        It was the aftermath of that presser that day and the following day when the reaction of fans was so harsh that klowe put out a press release that many saw as an apology when it was nothing of the sort – but it did the job it was meant to do – took the heat off – giving the supplicant media (much more so back then than it is today) something to call an apology and move on.

        That klowe wasn’t fired that afternoon tells you everything you need to know about how this owner “thinks”.

        • Serious Gord

          Here’s the transcript of his “apology”:

          “Yesterday was a day full of excitement and passion and emotion, and I must admit my emotion ran a little high, and I have a few things to say to our fans in particular to clarify,” Lowe said in a video posted on the Oilers website (www.edmontonoilers.com). “First of all, we are appreciative and are grateful to every one of our fans who cheer for us through good times and bad. We understand that we see many of our fans at Rexall Place, but we have hundreds of thousands of fans that never get to Rexall Place, and we appreciate each and every fan. “I did not make that clear yesterday and if I offended anyone, I apologize.”

          Note he did not say he comments were wrong. Or that he made a mistake in saying them – just that he’s sorry they “offended anyone”.

  • Rama Lama

    I have resigned myself to the fact that our Stanley Cup is the draft……….where we have had many many opportunities to change the fortunes of this team.

    The only problem is we cannot as an organization recognize talent in spite of having at least a half a dozen hall of farmers at our disposal. I would say we need a GM that has a great track record of identifying talent at the draft………and then having the courage of his convictions to make the necessary changes.

    In my mind one of the great disappointments is how Bob Nicholson has handled PC………fire him already!

  • a fish rots from the head down

    I am curious as to why anyone would feel confident that this team will be turned around. Who from Katz down do you think can do that?

  • Soccer Steve

    I don’t ever see Connor requesting a trade. I absolutely see Draisaitl doing it though. Germans in sport have a culturally ingrained winning mentality. This isn’t a generalization. It must kill him to watch his team be run the way it is.

  • KennyG

    How long before our future number one draft picks refuse to play in Edmonton?? Remember the look on Mcd face when the Oilers won the lottery? I bet he was thinking #(***k this.