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No Moral Victories

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Photo credit:Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
Robin Brownlee
7 months ago
No moral victories. No argument here.
While some people might consider losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champions two post-seasons in a row as a positive, that’s no consolation for Edmonton Oilers’ captain Connor McDavid, playing in Zach Hyman’s golf tournament today with Leon Draisaitl in Toronto.
The history we know. Two seasons ago it was the Colorado Avalanche beating the Oilers in the Western Conference final before sipping suds from the Cup. It was the Vegas Golden Knights beating the Oilers in the second round this season before taking out the Florida Panthers to cop the silverware. Not bad, no? No.
“Well, we know what it feels like to play against a team like that,” McDavid said. “Obviously, Colorado was elite. I think we felt like we were right there with Vegas, so those are good signs, but there are no moral victories in professional sports.”
Fans around here had to choke back a steady diet of silver linings during the Decade of Darkness with teams that got no sniff and there’s no appetite for any of that. As it should be.

WHAT A MESS

Shutout twice in six weeks and 0-8 on the season, it doesn’t take a vast intellect to understand the Edmonton Elks are in a world of hurt and that isn’t going to change any time soon unless they make significant changes. Replacing OC Stephen McAdoo with Jarious Jackson is a start, but that’s all it is.
As bad as the team is on the field right now, this is a franchise that’s been in decline for several years. As I said in the Monday Mailbag, I look at the decision by Len Rhodes to fire Ed Hervey and hire Brock Sunderland as GM in 2017 as a big miss-step – not the only one. Why would anybody let Rhodes make any football decision, let alone one as important as that?
I’m not around the team like I once was – I’d help on the EE beat during my hockey off-season and wrote up until 2019 – but I do know this isn’t the same organization it once was. Talk to former EE personnel, and this isn’t the same outfit in the way it treats its people. Big picture, there’s more to worry about than this 0-8 record. From EE alumni Jed Roberts on Twitter:
“Rock bottom is beyond even this. The #elks are legit flirting with disaster. Defence may win championships, but offence sells tickets. Zero points scored equals no fans. No fans equals no money. No money in a gate-driven league equals no team. Dangerous game of chicken.”

WHILE I’M AT IT . . . 

  • Ryan McLeod’s arbitration hearing with the Oilers is scheduled for Friday and we know he’s going to get a big raise on the $798,000 he earned last season. The question is how much of a raise, and can the sides work out something before the hearing? We know GM Ken Holland is up tight against the salary cap with a contract still to be done for Evan Bouchard, so what’s your number for McLeod?
  • Seeing photos of McDavid and Draisaitl at Hyman’s golf tournament today reminded me that Friday marked the two-year anniversary of him signing with the Oilers. That’s a stretch in which Hyman has had back-to-back career highs for points in a season, including 36-47-83 last season and he has tallied 63-74-137 in 155 games.

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