BOXED IN AND SNOWED UNDER

As I see it, the Edmonton Oilers are boxed in and snowed under this morning. Although the team won a couple of points on the road trip, and played a good game in Nashville, the season is gone and we’re many miles from halfway home. It’s beyond Groundhog Day—the movie—this is now an historic march through the absolute nadir of a sports team. A generation of hockey players have been picked up, consumed and spit out. Another generation is on its way. The “Gagner era” was a miserable failure but the “Hall era” looks like more of the same.

This morning, the Oilers have very few options available to them in terms of appeasing the fanbase.

  1. Make a significant trade
  2. Fire the coach
  3. Fire the GM and the coach
  4. Have the owner write another apology letter
  5. Explain to the fanbase why losing another year is a good idea
  6. Ignore the fanbase

Some may say the fans have already been addressed via a Toronto radio talk show, but I don’t think that’s close to good enough. The Edmonton Oilers fan, heavily invested emotionally in this team, has a right to know what’s going on. And that means some action needs to take place, or someone from the organization (aside from Dallas Eakins) must step to the microphone and answer for this. Craig MacTavish told us in the fall things would be better, much better than a year ago. He also said they would roll with their center depth chart and address if needed. I think he needs to defend the status quo, address the situation, or make a public declaration that Connor McDavid is now the goal. I don’t see any reasonable alternative and saying nothing is unacceptable.

  • Bob Nicholson“We’re going to have to look at every part of this organization — how we scout, look at players, develop players. The only non-first-round Oilers draft pick since 2007 on the current roster is defenceman Martin Marincin. We need to get more out of those second, third, fourth-round players.” Source.

With respect, Oilers fans have heard this before. We peeled back the onion in 2008 and 2010 and 2013. WHY is this team afraid to ice a balanced team with veterans capable of helping? It’s a mystery. The Oilers and their fans are fretting over the defense, but for me there are five guys (Petry, Fayne, Ference, Aulie, Klefbom) playing well enough and another (Marincin) who should be in the lineup. If the Oilers have the courage of their convictions, then sitting Niki Nikitin and Justin Schultz is the only plan available. The goaltending is better, and the club has (imo) adequately covered for the loss of Benoit Pouliot.

They cannot find it in their DNA to acquire a useful center. Even though a true second scoring line would be a massive item to this team. They desperately need offense, but remain convinced that their skill wingers (Perron, Purcell, Yakupov) can make it go with young Leon Draisaitl and Mark Arcobello. So, once again, the Edmonton Oilers are going to kill a season because:

  • Justin Schultz is part of their inner circle cluster no matter the results
  • Niki Nikitin’s salary trumps his play
  • The management has decided Leon Draisaitl can do this and that’s the end of the conversation

These are the hills the Edmonton Oilers will die on this season. And apparently they will do it without answering for it in public, because there’s no need to address the fans, there’s no need to make a trade, we’ll just have to wait it out.

matheson draisaitl2Craig MacTavish must speak to the fans about the plan. If the plan is “we like our group, and believe in them, and the underlying numbers tell us that if we can get solid goaltending and a little better power play, we could rip off a 6-game winning streak” then he needs to stand in front of a microphone and say it. And he needs to tell us that not getting a center is right thing to do because the possession numbers will eventually result in goals (I don’t believe that btw, the Oilers have GREAT possession numbers relative to their record but can’t cash because they have one offensive center in Nuge).

The problem as I see it: The Edmonton Oilers can’t cobble together a second scoring line because they’ve invested in Leon and Leon is the one and that’s the end of the conversation. And they can’t bench Niki Nikitin for 10 games to see how it goes because they’ve invested in Niki and that’s the end of the conversation.

Craig MacTavish can’t fire his coach because the coach never had the horses. He can’t allow the owner to send out another apology letter because the owner chose him after the last one. I think he needs to tell the fans what he’s thinking.

One final item. We should discuss the possibility that Bob Nicholson may already be in charge. If that’s the case, then Bob Nicholson needs to tell the fans via media conference. In Edmonton.

We wait.

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91 Responses to "BOXED IN AND SNOWED UNDER"

  1. Ben says:

    I agree – it’s absolutely unfathomable that we haven’t heard directly from anyone in management in a month. It almost seems passive aggressive at this point.

    As for finding a C – if I’m considering different options, the thing that probably sits foremost in my mind is finding a match for Yakupov. The kid is dying on the vine (as have so many before him) and desperately needs a big body to get him some better looks out there. Maybe that guy is LD in a couple of years, but they need to give him some help NOW. (And that contract is going to be really tough to hammer out.)

    It’s amazing to me that the team sees fit to use the NHL as a development league – and yet refuses to place their young talent in a position to learn and succeed.

    I don’t think MacT is dumb – far from it – but the decision-making and priority listing continues to be…mind-numbing.

  2. Eastern Oil says:

    For me, and this has been talked about ad nauseam, something needs to be said from higher up because I am not 100% convinced they are doing everything they can. Relying on 2 inexperienced centres, throwing a rookie in the deep end, sending MM down, playing NN, etc. etc.

    All coaches and management groups make some strange decisions (some less than others), we’re not perfect. But Edmonton does not have the luxury anymore of the benefit of the doubt.

    I will always be a fan of this team for some strange reason, but throw me a freakin’ bone here is all I ask.

  3. TemujinBC says:

    The sadist in me wants #4 so very very badly.

    A nice letter from the owner to put everyone in the Christmas spirit.

  4. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I agree with your sentiments LT. This is a nightmare scenario for this management team in my opinion and it’s frozen them. I honestly believe they thought it impossible that a year later they would be in exactly the same situation – out the playoffs at the quarter pole and plumbing the bottom of the standings. It has massive repercussions now on player negotiations with Yak, Petry, and Schultz, player trades and morale for all others.

    I see management as much a part of the ‘winning collective’ as the players on the ice. Attitude and effort count as much as what you demand of a player. The blind stubbornness on direction/tactic and the unwillingness to talk openly with those that pay the freight is akin to managements view that Yak is stubbornly refusing to play a two way game and Petry is stubbornly continuing to play ‘soft’. You have punished those players for their ‘attitude’ and inability to change. What about management? What’s the atonement here? Adversity is a bitch. But….you are in unforgiving results oriented business. Consequence is normally swift and severe. For player and management both. I haven’t been seeing enough for management and their attitude to the situation is now exceedingly poor.

    Your move now management. It is far, far past due. Let’s see if you man up as bravely as Yak has when adversity was shovelled at him. I’m not wagering on it

  5. Sevenseven says:

    Lowetide, I have a suspicion the Oilers Nadir has yet to come. Maybe a bad trade involving RNH or Hall because one, or both, demanded a trade. Or maybe moving the 2015 first, which becomes McDavid.

  6. TemujinBC says:

    Sevenseven,

    Both those scenarios really are a whole new level of Nadir.

    A Nadir’s Nadir, if you will

  7. flyfish1168 says:

    Sevenseven:
    Lowetide, I have a suspicion the Oilers Nadir has yet to come. Maybe a bad trade involving RNH or Hall because one, or both, demanded a trade. Or maybe moving the 2015 first, which becomes McDavid.

    Hope you’re wrong. It’s already unbearable living in cowtown and hearing the yahoo’s.

    Its sickening to hear all the time how johnny yahoo is doing better then any of our 1st overalls,

  8. Sevenseven says:

    Im not sure Nicholson is the right solution either. He had success, but when you can pick all the Canadians, it makes it easier.

  9. El Duderino says:

    If they’re going for another very high draft pick, they can’t very well openly admit that. In the long run it would be preferable to finish 29-30 rather than 22-26.

  10. Woodguy says:

    I think MacT wants to make a move before coming out of the cone of silence.

    If he, or anyone talks before then the whole conversation will be about their impotence when it comes to addressing the areas of need.

    He’ll make a move then come in front of the microphones and say:

    “We couldn’t believe our goalies sucked the hind banana again”

    “We had a deal in place for “X” to address C before the season started, but injuries on our trading partner’s team scuttled the deal”

    “Its near impossible to do in-season trades in the salary cap era”

    “We believe in the team and coach, the goalies are better, the powerplay is getting the shots, the goals will come”

    “Justin is a part of our core and we believe in him moving forward, his analytics have improved”

    “Nikki is a pro who is coming out of a rough patch and you need to lean on experience on your dcorps”

    “Blah, blah, blah”

    I’d really like to be surprised by a good trade, see the areas of need addressed, but I doubt its coming.

    The lack of accountability in the org from owner to player is galling.

  11. hunter1909 says:

    Interesting article. Nice and calm. I’ve recently begun disengaging myself from the Oilers, have not seen their last 1-2 games(I honestly forget) and have no intention of watching them so long as Eakins remains coach. I’m mentally preparing for them to trade Yakupov, in yet one more attempt to validate management.

    The entire hockey world can see the team is being run like Nero’s Rome. One idiotic decision after another, compounding to the point where despite enjoying THREE OVERALL 1ST PICKS IN A ROW, they’re sitting in 29th place and aside from stat freak’s opinions appear to be going nowhere.

    It’s sad, pathetic, you pick the adjectives. Insofar as I can see Yaks leaving will do to me what Messier for Bernie Nicholls did; namely, I just stopped following hockey.

    Sad to say, but it looks like it’s all about to happen again. I’ll find other things to occupy my free time. All the best to the Edmonton fans, you really don’t deserve this.

  12. dawgtoy says:

    I must agree that Nicholson may in fact be at the helm.
    He has likely cuffed, shackled and gagged MacT, disconnected the phone line and thrown away the key. Evaluating the lost season, followed by a complete overhaul and reboot. The only question that is left to be answered is how complete a reboot will we see.
    The front office is assured, but could it also include a player named Hall? As I see it, it’s quite possible the only truly untouchable this summer might be RNH. When everything has been evaluated, what happens if the problem that plagues this team is in fact Taylor Hall? This is a very difficult thing to think about, but departing players have eluded to it without naming him specifically. We’ve heard of players not buying into the systems imposed by the coaches? What if the leader of the resistance is none other than the franchise player? It’s scary to think about, but everything else has been debated. I ask you all, could Taylor Hall be part of the problem?

  13. Sevenseven says:

    flyfish1168,

    I hope im wrong too. I think its a good sign Mac T has done nothing. I think it may have been a good move not making a trade this summer too. All that is out there are teams hoping to get Eberle for a 4th line centre with a bad contract. With the season the way it is, bring up Lander, bring in a brodziak for a third round pic. Get Drai back to Junior and sacrifice a veteran nhl or ahl centre to the western conference wolves.

  14. Rebilled says:

    The Lowestown punch gang is embarrassed because they wish they had different brains.

  15. KSC10032 says:

    LT — The song title you may be looking for is Pete Seeger’s “Waist Deep In The Big Muddy”.

    This is the tune he performed on his first TV appearance after being “blacklisted” for many years. It was on the “Smothers Brothers” show, and served as a perfect commentary on the Vietnam quagmire. (I’d post a link if I knew how, but I’m even older than LT).

    It also relates well to the OIlers’ management mantra — “When you’re in a hole, keep on digging”

  16. jake70 says:

    This article, when there was not a bad loss the night before is telling. If LT’s optimism is in the decline then we have a problem. Hmm, fits in nicely with the official Star Wars trailer this week for “The Force Awakens”. Which side of the force? 🙂

  17. Gret99zky says:

    dawgtoy:
    What if the leader of the resistance is none other than the franchise player? It’s scary to think about, but everything else has been debated. I ask you all, could Taylor Hall be part of the problem?

    Hall doesn’t make up the roster.

    The leader of the resistance appears to be the GM and the guy who hires the GM’s.

  18. blainer says:

    LT. No doubt that the season is done. Now there is also no doubt that I have made clear many times my feelings on Yak.. but.. Why don’t they move Yak up onto Hall’s spot to see what they really have..

    Play Yak 18 mins a night and cut Hall’s mins back to 18 and then we’ll see. The season is done so let’s run with Yak to be 100% sure on him before he is moved. This would mean 1st PP time as well. If it doesn’t work well we tried and then get McDavid. or Eichel.. Does this make sense?

  19. VanOil says:

    hunter1909:
    Interesting article. Nice and calm. I’ve recently begun disengaging myself from the Oilers, have not seen their last 1-2 games(I honestly forget) and have no intention of watching them so long as Eakins remains coach. I’m mentally preparing for them to trade Yakupov, in yet one more attempt to validate management.

    The entire hockey world can see the team is being run like Nero’s Rome. One idiotic decision after another, compounding to the point where despite enjoying THREE OVERALL 1ST PICKS IN A ROW, they’re sitting in 29th place and aside from stat freak’s opinions appear to be going nowhere.

    It’s sad, pathetic, you pick the adjectives. Insofar as I can see Yaks leaving will do to me what Messier for Bernie Nicholls did; namely, I just stopped following hockey.

    Sad to say, but it looks like it’s all about to happen again. I’ll find other things to occupy my free time. All the best to the Edmonton fans, you really don’t deserve this.

    I’d say we are currently at the same stage of grief when it comes to the Oilers. I was at the apology letter stage a week or so ago, today I don’t care. I now miss games or parts of games rather than subject myself to the misery. Disengagement, apathy and other interests have now crept in. When they finally crush/waste/trade away for nothing Yakupov I will be upset but expecting it and probably watching more Cricket than hockey.

  20. Kmart99 says:

    LT, you couldnt be more right about Jultz and Nikitin. The Oilers just HAVE to sit those two for at least a couple games … AT THE SAME TIME.

    The problem in goal (hopefully) will autocorrect to .915. I hope and believe. Because the odd man rushes were way down in NSH and I have to believe the oil can play that way more often.

    The d core (on paper) should be able to do a decent job if deployed properly.. Ie with some balls.

    Now, yes Leon is better served in JR. Yes Arcobello is the 5th Centre on pretty much any team in the playoffs, but they are a better combo than Gags/Smytty and despite the damage this may be doing to Drai’s development, the team has been able to win the possession battle more often than I expected with Drai on the ice.

    Lastly, the Oil started with dreadful sv%…. That seems to be coming around slightly, but now the sh% is evaporating. This team is doing the EXACT OPPOSITE of what CGY is doing. The old sv%/sh% fliparoo. I can’t help but think, if they play the way they did against NSH more often , bench NN & Jultz, and deploy the D based on their performance, this team will most likely close out the season with a respectable 29 more wins. 35 total.

  21. Caramel Obvious says:

    Wow, I really disagree. The Oilers should ignore the fanbase and say nothing.

    The only thing that is going to pacify the fans is winning. Talking to them doesn’t help you win.

    It does not good to try and reason with the fans. The fans are a mob. They aren’t rational. If you try and reason with them it will only make them angry.

    The best thing the Oilers can do is to stay out of the news for a while. Right now, apathy would be a good thing.

    If there aren’t any trades out there, and I imagine there aren’t, discretion becomes the better part of valour.

    Do nothing. Keep working hard. Wait for the PDO bounce. That’s the play.

  22. Gret99zky says:

    blainer,

    I don’t think that would sit very well with Hall. Hall is the franchise. Hall has Eakins’ back and Dallas has his. I get what you’re saying but at this fragile point you want to keep all straw away from Hall’s back.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Wow, I really disagree.The Oilers should ignore the fanbase and say nothing.

    The only thing that is going to pacify the fans is winning.Talking to them doesn’t help you win.

    It does not good to try and reason with the fans.The fans are a mob.They aren’t rational.If you try and reason with them it will only make them angry.

    The best thing the Oilers can do is to stay out of the news for a while.Right now, apathy would be a good thing.

    If there aren’t any trades out there, and I imagine there aren’t, discretion becomes the better part of valour.

    Do nothing.Keep working hard.Wait for the PDO bounce.That’s the play.

    PDO bounce doesn’t run on a schedule, and it’s been a month since the organization said a word. It’s time.

  24. thepeetso says:

    KSC10032:
    LT — The song title you may be looking for is Pete Seeger’s “Waist Deep In The Big Muddy”.

    It also relates well to the OIlers’ management mantra — “When you’re in a hole, keep on digging”

    “and the big fool said to push on”

  25. rich says:

    Usually when management has something “worthwhile” to say, it’s a balm to help cool down/sooth an upset fanbase – and give them some sense for what the direction/vision is.

    Given all that’s transpired, I actually believe that this would be the worst thing this management group could at this time. I think the time for words is over, it’s time for action.

    If they say something before a trade is made, it reinforces desperation to other GM’s, making it more difficult to actually make a move that can at least net you dollar for dollar on the transaction.

    Further, you say something before a trade – and then don’t follow it up with a move, it just reinforces to a fanbase that is growing cynical that you are incompetent.

    Rather, at this point, I think the best thing this group can do is shut-up (first) and do something. When you lack credibility (and right now, I’d argue that MacT despite his best intentions is not helping himself at all) just needs to tune out the noise and do something meaningful. Then come out later and say something – whether it’s a mea culpa or an articulation of the vision (or hallucination – choose your own description).

    And I say this as one of the dummies who hollered the other night at MacT in Nashville that if he didn’t see how brutal Nikitin was, he was blind. Usually, I save my frustration for your blog LT, but even my disappointment reached an end. Felt better afterwards being able to vent in a way that was unmistakably clear though.

    Carry on.

  26. thepeetso says:

    Lowetide: PDO bounce doesn’t run on a schedule, and it’s been a month since the organization said a word. It’s time.

    as a fan I would love to see nothing more than Mact/Katz/6rings/Howson squirm in front of the microphones . . .

    . . . but I have to agree with Caramel Obvious, shutting up is the only play at present.

    Talk when you have made a trade or fired somebody or the team turns it around a bit.

    Until then nothing.

  27. blainer says:

    Gret99zky:
    blainer,

    I don’t think that would sit very well with Hall.Hall is the franchise.Hall has Eakins’ back and Dallas has his.I get what you’re saying but at this fragile point you want to keep all straw away from Hall’s back.

    Ya I would think they would need to get Hall behind that decision as well as Nuge and Ebs. Maybe they could Move Ebs to the 2nd PP unit at the very least. I really don’t want Yak playing the point on the 1st PP.

  28. Ben says:

    So…Dubinsky likely back in Monday. Anisimov mysteriously out – being ‘evaluated’ by team doctors.

    Does the legendary Perron for Anisimov and Erixon trade go down shortly, a mere six weeks after it might have mattered?

  29. John Chambers says:

    Lowetide: PDO bounce doesn’t run on a schedule, and it’s been a month since the organization said a word. It’s time.

    I think MacT is going to pop his head out of the hole when the team wins a couple of games. Who would want to face the tomatoes and pitchforks in the middle of this streak, especially if Lowe chimes in some arrogant dim-witted nonsense, and Howson has a booker on this tie during the presser.

    Someone would sarcastically pipe up and say he wished Katz, Lowe, and all would’ve chosen to move to Seattle, and now not only would we need the President and GM to be fired, but for the owner to have to sell the team, and then this mayhem gets launched into the next stratosphere.

  30. Ben says:

    And now Uncle Jesse on waivers. What is up?

  31. blainer says:

    Lowetide: PDO bounce doesn’t run on a schedule, and it’s been a month since the organization said a word. It’s time.

    I think they are also better to just keep their mouths shut. Unless they come out to say they have made a trade I really don’t want to hear from any of them. Talking does more harm than good right now. I’ve been tuning out much of the games lately until something happens… or will tune back in at the draft for McDavid …

  32. Pouzar says:

    Wow

    Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger 3m3 minutes ago
    Oilers place J.Joensuu on waivers

  33. blainer says:

    Pouzar:
    Wow

    Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger3m3 minutes ago
    Oilers place J.Joensuu on waivers

    They must be happy with Gazdic

  34. Gret99zky says:

    I agree with the talk is cheap gang. Don’t say anything, but:

    Quietly send Leon down and bring Lander up.
    Arrange to have NN minutes reduced and HS Jultz when possible.
    Figure out what to do with Yak the player and Yak’s next contract.
    Make the accountability for the players appear more consistent and visible.

    These are actions that can be taken that may appease the fans temporarily and still lead to decent draft position (for those who want it).

  35. Aitch says:

    You’ll have to forgive LT. He’s media. Of course he wants management to talk.

    Dishonour for McConnor. Might be this year’s mgmt motto.

  36. Henry says:

    If they choose option #6 ‘Ignore the fanbase’ and put up a wall between the bar and the dressing room walkway (as they should) the optics won’t look good. MacT really should do an interview with Matty.

    As has been suggested MacT probably has been waiting to do a press conference after a big trade, but can’t find a partner for what he is willing to give up.

    There are struggling teams with centers out there. Columbus, Colorado, Philadelphia.

  37. PunjabiOil says:

    It’s hard to give this organization any benefit of doubt when they send Marincin to the AHL this morning.

    They’re going to either ruin this prospect by killing his confidence or foolishly trade him.

    Fuck off.

  38. Ice Sage says:

    It has to come from the owner (who has broadcast missives to the frozen masses in the past).

    He must say that the current situation and team performance is unacceptable, that it is incongruous with how he runs a business (delivering a product of such low quality for such a high cost) and that everyone in the entire organization is accountable and subject to replacement.

    That would cause a small ripple of care in my rusty (oil-less) heart

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 3m3 minutes ago
    The #Oilers have placed Jesse Joensuu on waivers for the purpose of assignment and assigned Martin Marincin to the AHL’s @OKCBarons.

    Looks like Steve Pinz eventually won the job he lost in training camp.

    And… Gazdic (who’s not in competition with these two in the Oilers’ eyes IMO) regains permanent job security.

    Reminder that Gazdic played 67 NHL games last year (missed games due to shoulder).

    ———
    I continue to have no idea what the plan for Marincin is. Why was Klefbom send down two weeks ago or whatever and Marincin now?

    No body knows. It just felt right at the time I guess.

    ——–
    We should watch for JJ being bought out or failing to report.

  40. Pouzar says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers3m3 minutes ago
    The #Oilers have placed Jesse Joensuu on waivers for the purpose of assignment and assigned Martin Marincin to the AHL’s @OKCBarons.

    Looks like Steve Pinz eventually won the job he lost in training camp.

    And… Gazdic (who’s not in competition with these two in the Oilers’ eyes IMO) regains permanent job security.

    Reminder that Gazdic played 67 NHL games last year (missed games due to shoulder).

    ———
    I continue to have no idea what the plan for Marincin is. Why was Klefbom send down two weeks ago or whatever and Marincin now?

    No body knows. It just felt right at the time I guess.

    ——–
    We should watch for JJ being bought out or failing to report.

    Well that does it for me. I will continue to follow here but I am done watching this shit show.
    Martin Marincin is an NHL d-man full stop. This mgt team is certifiably insane.

  41. blainer says:

    Didn’t know about MM. Well if they are gonna keep sitting him I would rather he be playing some games. Its painful though watching Shultz instead.

  42. 9,998,383,750,001 says:

    For three days I felt my mind slowly sliding into the ditch the way it always used to do as I went through the back half of night mode. Then this morning I hit a dry patch of pavement, the steering wheel suddenly became responsive again, and now I’m nicely aligned with the yellow and white lines once again. That used to happen before, as well, but not until I was so far through the ditch that I was beginning to slide into oncoming traffic.

    I just can’t find it in my heart right now to be angry about anything. Woohoo! I’m not going to spend an entire week sliding into oncoming traffic. Just a brief lull and then right back to all circuits normal. For twenty years my life was like of those marble mazes where you move the marble around by tilting the whole contraption. I would get a regular good patch, but the tilting never ceased. The leaves on the trees would begin to turn red and yellow while my tulips were freshly blossomed. Traversing four full seasons every sixteen days, there was a lot of Salvador Dali seasonal overlap. One type of bird would still be migrating north while another type of bird had already begun to head south again. Those were the toughest days. I don’t miss them one bit.

    ———

    If there was a Vollman chart for the GM, the distressingly empty quadrant for Edmonton—during a rebuild—would be labelled “cost-effective shelter”.

    It’s not second line center where we’ve failed. It’s cost-effective shelter. Horcoff provided decent shelter. He wasn’t terribly cost effective. We’ve got a few guys on the roster right now under the shelter overpay program, not all of whom are working out.

    It doesn’t matter whether you bring a prospect through his rookie season at age 18 or 19 or 20 if can’t provide the right combination of structure and shelter. We are presently providing DrySaddle a good combination of structure and shelter on the ice, with the result that the team as a whole is now at a profession sports nadir. Can Eakins shelter him from the mood in the room?

    Taylor didn’t need a lot of shelter. Nuge needed more, while he grew into his adult body and a more difficult role on the ice. Yak is still on the tit, so large now can no longer sit on his mother’s lap.

    The problem when we argue BPA is that we presume shelter grows on trees. Prospects are into their money years under the new CBA before the skin is dry on their adult wings. You can’t dig too deep a financial hole on the shelter overpay program before you run out of cap space to accommodate your maturing stars.

    Management then gets the idea that if you generate enough hope in your young cluster, the shelter premium will diminish: the Pouliots of the world will want to play here at market rate.

    But then Yak and Jultz take a sideways turn (if they were ever pointed down the highway in the first place) and the little confidence bubble evaporates. You’ve now got a nucleus that needs more shelter than ever, with the shelter premium at an all time high.

    Then we as fans sit here and imagine that shelter is magically created by the simple measure of letting your top prospects stew longer in the development leagues, at great cost in total career earnings for these players and their representation (upon whose good will you depend when it comes time to sign the term at value commitment). If they come up older and just as badly sheltered, I don’t think it’s a win for anyone at the table.

    We did not do ourselves any favour in choosing Yakupov. We needed a Landeskog instead. If you switch Yak and Kog so that Yak was drafted behind Nuge and Kog was available in Yak’s year, we would not presently be languishing where we are, still stuck in the shelter famine zone.

    When we drafted Yak we were playing a confidence game. We were counting on our nucleus looking so wonderfully shiny that we could import shelter by the barge load from the cost-effective shelter quadrant.

    Yak’s first season numbers were a bit of an illusion, because we let him go out there and play Yak hockey. This was part and parcel of the confidence trick, of looking like we were soon to turn the corner, so as to attract a better grade of nursemaid for the same dollar.

    When you’re in shelter debt, you need your prospects to look shiny right away. The way to achieve this, is to give them a lot of rope and not much structure. Then in subsequent seasons, you hire Eakins to back fill what should have been imposed in the first place. The player appears to go nowhere in the shiny stats column, while becoming less of a liability in the possession column.

    Unlike what Willis was implying in his piece yesterday, the player actually is progressing. By letting the counting number get ahead of merit, it’s the coaching staff who end up looking bad.

    50 points, 40% possession
    50 points, 43% possession
    50 points, 46% possession
    50 points, 49% possession

    One year of experience times four, or the world’s most sluggish leash?

    The tiny amount of anger I can manage to muster is mainly directed at BPA.

  43. Caramel Obvious says:

    Lowetide: PDO bounce doesn’t run on a schedule, and it’s been a month since the organization said a word. It’s time.

    Honest question. What possible good can come of it? I see no upside. It will only inflame fan anger.

  44. Ben says:

    I think sending down Marincin is a good move — otherwise he’d just be taking a valuable NHL development spot away from a less qualified player.

  45. Gret99zky says:

    Ice Sage:
    It has to come from the owner (who has broadcast missives to the frozen masses in the past).

    He must say that the current situation and team performance is unacceptable, that it is incongruous with how he runs a business (delivering a product of such low quality for such a high cost) and that everyone in the entire organization is accountable and subject to replacement.

    That would cause a small ripple of care in my rusty (oil-less) heart

    I agree to a point.

    Katz needs to go further though. He can’t just repeat “everyone in the entire organization is accountable and subject to replacement,” he needs to say, “everyone in the entire (upper) organization has been made accountable and is currently being replaced.”

    Put the temps in place and get the new management/scouting team in place for the draft.

    Anything else is lip service.

  46. flyfish1168 says:

    Sevenseven:
    flyfish1168,

    I hope im wrong too. I think its a good sign Mac T has done nothing. I think it may have been a good move not making a trade this summer too. All that is out there are teams hoping to get Eberle for a 4th line centre with a bad contract. With the season the way it is, bring up Lander, bring in a brodziak for a third round pic. Get Drai back to Junior and sacrifice a veteran nhl or ahl centre to the western conference wolves.

    I woulds bring up Lander and tell him you are on the team just go and play. Not all this play get points or your back at the A. I have always felt the Canadian boys have less accountability than the rest of he players. MPS, Lander and Yak never gets the extra push. I always felt for Magnus when he was here. When Hall went down he would fill in for two shifts then get sat down or down to the 3rd line. What extra push was that.

  47. cabbiesmacker says:

    The only changes they could possibly consider right now is the HC and getting Petry under contract.. I don’t believe Eakins has the room despite player statements to the contrary. Scorched earth is probably not a good plan when you’re this far down the ladder. Use the wasted year, sigh, to determine once again the core you want to move forward with and use the trade deadline and offseason to build around that core.

    The time for BOLD moves is at the trade deadline and though the offseason and for the first time in EVER I’m starting to believeEberle should be in play. He, Jultz, and Petry are the only players on the roster capable of fetching the sort of decent returns this team needs to reinvent itself. Offseason is the time to move Eberle if it’s going to happen so the summer can be a time of healing for his pals

    Management may also be waiting for the salary cap number to be announced because there are teams i.e. the Blackhawks that will be forced to make significant moves if the cap raise is minimal. Seabrook and/or Oduya, and maybe Sharp/Bickell will be moved with Toews and Kane’s ridiculous contracts kicking in and Saad requiring a new version.

    This team needs players who contribute SOMETHING every game. There are wasted spots on the bingo card and the most glaring to me, outside of the obvious D & G deficiencies, are Yakupov and Arcobello. Is Arco anything above a mediocre 4th liner on any other team, and is Yakupov going to ever become anything at all? I get there is going to be all kinds of trashing these comments but I don’t see YAK fitting into what the Oilers are trying to build here. Purely supposition on my part but I don’t think he’s all that loved by his teammates. Numerous times this season I’ve seen players passing up simple passes to him for the one timer and for me that’s telling. What exactly is he contributing to this team right now?

    At some point between now and mid July, and for different reasons, I think all of Eberle, Yakupov, Schultz, Petry, Perron, and Arcobello need to be “redefined” and dealt with. Do I trust this teams management to do it properly? Not a chance. There’s no history of capability.

  48. Henry says:

    Gret99zky:
    I agree with the talk is cheap gang.Don’t say anything, but:

    Quietly send Leon down and bring Lander up.
    Arrange to have NN minutes reduced and HS Jultz when possible.
    Figure out what to do with Yak the player and Yak’s next contract.
    Make the accountability for the players appear more consistent and visible.

    These are actions that can be taken that may appease the fans temporarily and still lead to decent draft position (for those who want it).

    I agree with much of what you suggest however I think that Jultz will be better with fewer minutes. The full Yandle until his confidence returns.

    Nikitin has been a real problem. He just doesn’t look like the player I remember in St. Louis and Columbus. There he would play the right side and was particularly good at holding the offensive blue line from his backhand, transferring quickly to his forehand and getting off a laser on goal. He was also ok at holding his blue on the rush. He’s done that a bit recently, but for the most part he’s indecisive like he’s a rookie and isn’t playing strong enough particularly against the cycle for a guy as big and experienced as he is. He’s playing like he is playing through pain, either from his back spasms or the awful buckling of his leg he took in the preseason. With his next back spasm they should IR him for a spell and then give him a conditioning stint in the A. He’s an important bridge to Nurse/Klefbom but hasn’t been sturdy yet.

  49. Cameron says:

    flyfish1168: Its sickening to hear all the time how johnny yahoo is doing better then any of our 1st overalls,

    Well…he is.

  50. blainer says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    The only changes they could possibly consider right now is the HC and getting Petry under contract.. I don’t believe Eakins has the room despite player statements to the contrary. Scorched earth is probably not a good plan when you’re this far down the ladder. Use the wasted year, sigh, to determine once again the core you want to move forward with and use the trade deadline and offseason to build around that core.

    The time for BOLD moves is at the trade deadline and though the offseason and for the first time in EVER I’m starting to believeEberle should be in play. He, Jultz, and Petry are the only players on the roster capable of fetching the sort of decent returns this team needs to reinvent itself. Offseason isthe time to move Eberle if it’s going to happen so the summer can be a time of healing for his pals

    Management may also be waiting for the salary cap number to be announced because there are teams i.e. the Blackhawks that will be forced to make significant moves if the cap raise is minimal. Seabrook and/or Oduya, and maybe Sharp/Bickell will be moved with Toews and Kane’s ridiculous contracts kicking in and Saad requiring a new version.

    This team needs players who contribute SOMETHING every game. There are wasted spots on the bingo card and the most glaring to me, outside of the obvious D & G deficiencies, are Yakupov and Arcobello. Is Arco anything above a mediocre 4th liner on any other team, and is Yakupov going to ever become anything at all? I get there is going to be all kinds of trashing these comments but I don’t see YAK fitting into what the Oilers are trying to build here. Purely supposition on my part but I don’t think he’s all that loved by his teammates. Numerous times this season I’ve seen players passing up simple passes to him for the one timer and for me that’s telling. What exactly is he contributing to this team right now?

    At some point between now and mid July, and for different reasons, I think all of Eberle, Yakupov, Schultz, Petry, Perron, and Arcobello need to be “redefined” and dealt with. Do I trust this teams management to do it properly? Not a chance. There’s no history of capability.

    I have also been noticing and have mentioned that Yaks teammates have not been passing the puck much to him and also wonder if there is a disconnect there. Glad to see somebody else noticing this…

  51. FTO says:

    So I don’t get why we just sent Marincin down, like has he been playing bad to anyone else’s eye? Because I don’t get it, IT FEELS LIKE IM TAKING CRAZY PILLS RIGHT NOW!

  52. "Frank The Dog" says:

    I’m seeing a perfect storm developing and I don’t like what I see. I think so many are in such a frenzy over losing that we are right on the verge of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    Slow down FFS! After the mauling Nashville gave us at home, and with the strength of St Loius, to take a Bettman point from each is a long way better than the overwhelmed loss to Nashville and the loss to the Devils prior.

    MacT has improved the roster by all accounts. It’s quite likely that he’s not being offered any viable trades, and as such would be worse off making a trade than keeping his powder dry.

    Drai is improving by leaps and bounds by LT’s account. Dallas has the solid backing of Taylor Hall, which makes a mockery of any suggestion that Hall is the problem.

    I’m as critical as anyone about the inexplicable decisions on D that we’re all aware of and the hole at C, but even with those deficiencies we still took two strong WC teams to OT.

    I don’t think Dallas has an eye for talent or an eye for offence. He clearly has an ability to ingratiate himself to management and selected players just as Chabot did. He also seems to hav epicked some good ‘uns to make up for his own lack of insight with Dellow and Ramsay. I give Dellow the credit for his O deployment but the D deployment remains a mystery.

    Seems to me that all roads do lead to Katz. Who thinks he does not have to ok contracs before they are signed? Of course the lawyers vet them but do you think he does not expect MacT to put his head on the line with his big contracts and express confidence in their success?

    If MacT’s job depends on him causing a larger % of his big, high profile contract players to succeed, then he will be in a pretty tough situation. If the same expectations were mad eof Tambo that would also explain his unwillingness to make trades.

    We have a Daniel Snyder when we need a Robert Kraft.

  53. Zangetsu says:

    Somethings going on…

    I am still support firing eakins. Always have. It’s understandable that he can’t make ice cream out of poop, but he is making diarrhea. Both years this team has been significantly better than what he has put forward. Even during the reney years we didn’t go into the top teams place thinking that we would lose 6-0. Never should have fired renney. That was tambellinis move to save his butt.

  54. Kmart99 says:

    Maybe another shoe is about to drop. From a ‘winning’ stand point, the JJ and MM waivers make little to no sense.

  55. Surly says:

    The only press conference I want to see is from Katz, stating publicly that he has learned a hard lesson that you cannot create a winner by allowing your friends to run your business. It creates blind spots. Fires Lowe and hands over the keys to a respected man in Bob Nicholson.

    Joensuu, another misfire by Dave Semenko and the rest of the Oiler pro scouts.

  56. Kmart99 says:

    WTF IS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD!?!

  57. Kmart99 says:

    Connor is the plan. As is perpetual top 3 selections.

  58. blainer says:

    Kmart99:
    Maybe another shoe is about to drop.From a ‘winning’ stand point, the JJ and MM waivers make little to no sense.

    That makes a lot of sense. They may need room on the roster. No call ups and two going down..

  59. Oddspell says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Martin Marincin’s management mucking is par for the course, but why potentially lose a useful bottom six piece in Joensuu when we’re under no pressure? I don’t really get the moves unless they think they need the roster space for… a thing.

    Am I reading too much into this?

  60. Woodguy says:

    Here’s something I fear.

    What if Nicholson isn’t up to the task?

    Hockey Canada has been another under-performing organization for year and years as well.

    With the wealth of hockey talent at its disposal, they manage to post good results, but they should be dominate results.

    He ran Hockey Canada from 1998-2014

    Here’s a list of the winners during that time:

    1998  Finland (2)
    1999  Russia (1/10)
    2000  Czech Republic (1)
    2001  Czech Republic (2)
    2002  Russia (2/11)
    2003  Russia (3/12)
    2004  United States (1)
    2005  Canada (11)
    2006  Canada (12)
    2007  Canada (13)
    2008  Canada (14)
    2009  Canada (15)
    2010  United States (2)
    2011  Russia (4/13)
    2012  Sweden (2)
    2013  United States (3)
    2014  Finland (3)

    6 of 14, all during one run.

    Here’s the list for the 10 years previous to him taking over:

    1988  Canada (3)
    1989  Soviet Union (8)
    1990  Canada (4)
    1991  Canada (5)
    1992  Soviet Union [6](9)
    1993  Canada (6)
    1994  Canada (7)
    1995  Canada (8)
    1996  Canada (9)
    1997  Canada (10)

    8 of 10.

    There’s an argument that the other countries got their shit together in terms of development of young hockey players, but Canada still has, by far, the largest pool of hockey players to choose from.

    I’m pissed off and want Lowe, Bucky, Semenko and every other old Oiler not named MacT out of the org.

    I want all the amateur scouting overhauled, I want the development system looked at under a fine microscope and I want pro scouting burnt to the ground and the ashes gathered and shot into space.

    I’m just not sure Nicholson is the guy to steer that ship.

    Note: I don’t want to turn over another GM because all the ex-GM’s that are available have awful track records and I think most of what MacT has done is good.

    His blind sports are just galling (Jultz, C) and he needs someone to give him marching orders occasionally,

    I don’t think developing another bloody rookie at a key position is the answer for this mess.

  61. magisterrex says:

    Caramel Obvious: Wow, I really disagree. The Oilers should ignore the fanbase and say nothing.The only thing that is going to pacify the fans is winning. Talking to them doesn’t help you win. It does not good to try and reason with the fans. The fans are a mob. They aren’t rational. If you try and reason with them it will only make them angry.The best thing the Oilers can do is to stay out of the news for a while. Right now, apathy would be a good thing. If there aren’t any trades out there, and I imagine there aren’t, discretion becomes the better part of valour. Do nothing. Keep working hard. Wait for the PDO bounce. That’s the play.

    Completely agree with this analysis. There is very little to be gained for MacT by talking about the situation, and much to lose. Wasn’t the cry last year that MacT was too open about his plans and processes? Now we expect to nitpick every move and have the arrogance to believe that we are capable auditors of the process simply due to the team’s current standing, and that we are somehow owed an apology or an explanation of why the team sits where they sit.

    Sorry, don’t buy the argument.

  62. Washingtron says:

    We talk about accountability – by what metric has any member of this organization’s management or coaching staff done even the barest, slightest, sliver of a good job?

    Zangetsu:
    Somethings going on…

    I am still support firing eakins. Always have. It’s understandable that he can’t make ice cream out of poop, but he is making diarrhea.

    This made me laugh.

    I agree though, stepping to the mics hasn’t ever helped in the last ten years other than at the draft and the day Perron got on a plane here. The mgmnt has a penchant for putting their skates in their mouth. We just have to convince them all to swallow!

  63. Pouzar says:

    Zangetsu:
    Somethings going on…

    I am still support firing eakins. Always have. It’s understandable that he can’t make ice cream out of poop, but he is making diarrhea. Both years this team has been significantly better than what he has put forward. Even during the reney years we didn’t go into the top teams place thinking that we would lose 6-0. Never should have fired renney. That was tambellinis move to save his butt.

    I am convinced MacT is behind the D deployment in terms of NN and JS being penciled in every night. I am so f^ckin pissed right now I have no words.

  64. Oddspell says:

    Pouzar,

    I know everyone thought that he would be one of the shining spots on the team’s coaching staff but why is it that no one levels the blame at Craig Ramsay? Eakins was straight at the start of the season about how Ramsay would handle defensive deployment and power play, two areas that the whole (enlightened) internet has been on about. If both have been particularly awful this year, and it’s Ramsay’s first year, then it seems to me as though it follows.

  65. Woodguy says:

    Re: PDO

    Stephen Burtch ‏@SteveBurtch 2m2 minutes ago
    EDM ranks 21st in the NHL in Score Adjusted CF% at 49.1%, but their SV% and SH% are far worse than that… tied for 30th ranked PDO.

    James Mirtle ‏@mirtle 2m2 minutes ago
    @SteveBurtch Their PDO is so low you have to go back a ways to find a team that started a season that badly.

  66. McSorley33 says:

    We drafted our 2C last June. We have some promise on the farm with Yak2.

    And here is the kicker, even if we improve somewhat this year, we are likely getting an outstanding C this coming June 2015.

    So, given the season is way lost, why would we trade for a C NOW?

    The only thing this group should be doing is resigning Petry and trying to trade NN and or Ference for 2nd Rd picks, while retaining some salary.

    If Mac T lets Petry walk his tenure will be at an end.

    Indeed, I am not so sure it has not already ended. Nicholson looks to be carrying a BIG broom around.

    We may be in store for a house cleaning of epic proportions.

  67. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Whatever the Oilers do they can’t trade their 1st round pick this year. That is the only thing I will give credit to this organization for. They didn’t give up two 1st rounders for Phil Kessel.

  68. Gret99zky says:

    “Frank The Dog”,

    Throwing the baby out with the bathwater would be trading Hall, RNH (core) or Yak and Ebs at their current value and firing the coach (again). Not a good idea.

    MacT’s moves appear lateral at best. Better than last year’s Oilers but not nearly good enough against Western Conference teams.

    Lowe, MacT, Howson, and the scouting staff are the bath water not the babies.

  69. Henry says:

    Oddspell:
    Pouzar,

    I know everyone thought that he would be one of the shining spots on the team’s coaching staff but why is it that no one levels the blame at Craig Ramsay? Eakins was straight at the start of the season about how Ramsay would handle defensive deployment and power play, two areas that the whole (enlightened) internet has been on about. If both have been particularly awful this year, and it’s Ramsay’s first year, then it seems to me as though it follows.

    If Ramsay has helped, they really were starting from a dark hole.

    The powerplay has not been good, but has been getting too few chances recently to improve.

  70. blainer says:

    This team needs new blood at the top.. Someone who is not married to Jultz like MacT or Katz with Yak.. Is it just me or is NN looking a lot like Whitney was on that bum ankle..

  71. flyfish1168 says:

    Cameron: Well…he is.

    Don’t need to be reminded. flame fans may need it pointed out

  72. teddyturnbuckle says:

    When is the last time this team drafted and developed a top pairing defencemen? Can anyone recall off the top of their head? Probably have to go back to the eighties.

  73. teddyturnbuckle says:

    blainer,

    When NN falls down in his own zone while killing a penalty with no players near him to give up a grade A chance, then he will be Ryan Whitney.

  74. letmycamerongo says:

    Could it be that hard to get Richards and Brodziak. What could it possibly take?

    Hall Nuge Ebs
    Pouliot Richards Yak
    Leon Brodziak Purcell
    Hend Gordon Pinno

    I know armchair GMing is easy, and these deals will have implications over the next couple seasons, but at some point dignity counts for something right?

  75. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy:
    Re: PDO

    Stephen Burtch ‏@SteveBurtch2m2 minutes ago
    EDM ranks 21st in the NHL in Score Adjusted CF% at 49.1%, but their SV% and SH% are far worse than that… tied for 30th ranked PDO.

    James Mirtle ‏@mirtle2m2 minutes ago
    @SteveBurtch Their PDO is so low you have to go back a ways to find a team that started a season that badly.

    I feel the take away from PDO stats after analysis should be, a measure of quality and distance of shots taken verses oppositions. If all other things equal. Our shooting percents low because we shoot from the periphery and we rarely have net presence or take many shots from the kill area. Our goalie often faces more shots with net presence and from the kill areas. JMHO

  76. fifthcartel says:

    McSorley33,

    Agreed. The defense without Petry will be brutal, especially considering Ference, Nikitin, and Fayne are all signed for next year. Signing Schultz is pretty much a given, so that’s 4/6 of the defense with Klefbom/Nurse probably taking the last spot, and Marincin moved for center help.

    Klefbom-Schultz
    Nikitin-Fayne
    Ference-Aulie/Nurse/whoever.

    If MacT expects that group to make the Oilers competitive it’s hard to see him surviving next season.

  77. Woodguy says:

    flyfish1168: I feel the take away from PDO stats after analysisshould be,a measure of quality and distance of shots taken verses oppositions. If all other things equal. Our shooting percents low because we shoot from theperipheryand we rarely have net presence or take many shots from the kill area. Our goalie often faces more shots with net presence and from the kill areas. JMHO

    Not really.

  78. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy: Not really.

    I realize PDO is save percentage verse shooting percentage. I’m looking at what else can you take away from this stat with some things being equal. Basically an excuse for our poor shooting and save percentage. my own explanation with by eye and stat combined. JMHO

    If you have another take away or what else this stat tells you please share.

  79. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:

    What if Nicholson isn’t up to the task?

    Nicholson would be POHO, not the GM. He would hire a GM. Like he “hired” a GM for Canada’s Olympic teams in Gretzky and Yzerman.

  80. rickithebear says:

    CBJ current roster:
    Howson:
    Nash for
    Dubinsky
    Anisimov
    Erixson
    2013 #1 (rychel)

    Vermette for
    Mcelhinney and 2012 2nd
    2nd traded for
    bobrovsky

    Methot for
    N. foligno

    T. Sestito for
    Chaput

    Zheredev and fritshe for
    Tyutin and Backman

    voracek; (2011 1st Couturier); 3rd
    For Carter traded for
    J. johnson: 2013 1st Dano

    2012 4th for
    letestu

    Atkinson (draft 08)
    Calvert (D08)
    Goloubef (D08)
    Savard (D09)
    Johanssen (D10)
    Prout (D10)
    Jenner (D11)
    Murray (D12)
    Wizniewski (UFA)

    Bolle (D05) Maclean

    Davidson and GM
    Horton (ufa)

    Umberger for
    Hartnell

    Skille (UFA)
    Tropp (UFA)
    Gibbons (UFA)
    Craknell (W)
    Connauton (W)

    2016 5th for
    Leopold

    Howson Built the playoff blue jackets.
    Davidson and Gm on there way to F it up!

    The carter trade created terrible optics for Howson.

    but he built a playoff team!

    MacT VP OPS
    Schultz; Arcobello
    2012 Draft
    Yak
    Moroz
    Khaira
    Laleggia (considered best off/def player in gamNcaa)

    MacT GM 2013
    2013 draft
    Nurse
    MOR
    Yakimov
    Slepyshev
    Platzer
    Chase

    MP and 2013 2nd for
    Perron

    Ference UFA
    Gordon UFA
    Jeonsuu UFA
    Gazdic waiver

    Smid / roy for
    horak and brousoitt

    Nisbett and martindale for
    pinozotto and coombs

    Dubnyk for
    Hendricks

    pick for
    Scrivens

    Bryz for 5th

    3rd and 4th for
    Fasth

    2014 Mact

    Draisatl
    Lagesson
    Nagelvoort
    Vesel

    5th for
    nikitin

    Gagner for
    Purcell

    Irro Pakarinen UFA
    Fayne UFA majic W/ nikitin 1.41 EVGA/60
    Pouliot UFA magic with RNH-Ebs
    Aulie UFA magic without Schultz 0/00 EVGA/60

    Get rid of Mact and Howson?

    now i can use the word MORONS!

  81. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Nicholson would be POHO, not the GM.He would hire a GM.Like he “hired” a GM for Canada’s Olympic teams in Gretzky and Yzerman.

    He hired GM’s to run Canada’s junior team.

    That is what I’m talking about.

    He has a poor track record of identifying hockey management talent.

  82. Woodguy says:

    flyfish1168: I realize PDO is save percentage verse shooting percentage. I’m looking at what else can you take away from this stat with some things being equal. Basically an excuse for our poor shooting and save percentage. my own explanation with by eye and stat combined. JMHO

    If you have another take away or what else this stat tells you please share.

    You’re assumption that the Oilers have a low SV% because they give up more high end shots is erroneous.

    I posted a few day ago the shot volumes each team is giving up in high, medium and low percentage areas and the Oilers are middle of the pack in terms of high end chances.

    They do give up more medium chances (I think they were 27th)

    Not coincidentally their goalies were shitty at stopping medium percentage shots compared to all the other goalies.

    Higher volume of medium shot PLUS shitty sv% of those shots is what has sunk the Oilers.

    The volume of medium shots and the shitty sv% are pretty independent variables.

    Other goalies who faced high volumes had pretty good sv% of those shots.

    Its those two thing combined and shot volumes does not mean low sv%.

    Its been studied to death.

    Shot volume doesn’t affect sv%.

  83. TheOtherJohn says:

    MacT

    Signed Acton, Ference 4 yrs NMC Garbagekov, -Belov, R Hamilton R Jones, signed Gagner 3yrs $4.8m per, traded Horcoff for Larsen, traded Smid without testing market for a 5th round goaltender that his amateur scouts didn’t draft for 5 rounds, traded for and assigned Nikitan to a colossally stupid contract. Traded Gagner for an equally bad contract attached to T Purcell. Traded for 2 backups cheaply neither of which has covered the bet. Unless the bet was to get cheap goaltending. We covered that bet. asked a 19 yr old to play 2C which has not worked out. At all

    Great moves- signed Gordon

    Good moves: signed Fayne, Pouliot, tradefor Hendricks., traded for Perron— the 33 pick in draft could get you a quiality piece if you had good scouts:,STL: Barbashev. Us, not so much

    Oh yeah we are quite near the salary cap with a 29th place team so MacT & Howson have pissed away a low payroll as an asset to acquire good players with large contracts. Our cap management with a team this bad is atrocious

    Other than all of the above, I think they are doing a great job

  84. SwedishPoster says:

    I don’t think MacT should get in front of the press to please the fans or try to calm things down. I think he should stand there to show the players and coaches that management are prepared to hold themselves accountable as well. If you preach like MacT did that certain players need to step up and show leadership he needs to practice what he preach. It’s a way to show the players you’re prepared to take some of the heat.

  85. godot10 says:

    Eakins has failed to develop two elite prospects in Yakupov and Schultz. The Oilers are trying for an Eakins’ hattrick with Draisaitl.

    He is now also screwing up Marincin.

    Has there been any visible development coaching of Schultz (and Marincin) from Eakins? None. Nada. He just throws them out there, Schultz for 20 something minutes per game, Marincin from the AHL to shutdown NHL defender to the AHL to shutdown defender to the AHL (as if there were not anything inbetween).

    Yakupov, Belov, Lander, Nikitin, Joensuu are all Europeans. Eakins has no people skills. He is a provincial American yahoo. Not much point to a European or Russian pipeline if your coach only speaks red,white, and blue.

    Draisaitl should go to the world juniors, then to the CHL, then to the AHL with Nurse next year. Draisaitl, Yakimov, and Nurse will be able to help two seasons from now.

    Petry is a UFA after this season, and Perron after next season. There is a lot of wheel spinning in the ditch just to prevent sliding further down the embankment for the next two years. Hope-based GM’ing has its consequences.

    A public announcement that Lowe and MacT no longer have any decision-making power or input into hockey operations in the organization has to come soon to begin the rebuilding of credibility.

    Or there will be no chance at Babcock or McClellan, and I expect that the agents for McDavid and Eichel will be quietly communicating their feelings to Bettman and Katz. It is easier for Eichel than McDavid. He can just say he loves college. Same with Hanifan.

    Removal of Lowe on the QT, I don’t think will cut it, as in Nicholson just starting to speak for the organization. Lowe’s removal has to be a public removal, a public exorcism or agents and players will not believe it.

    As long as the guy is around, you cannot move forward.

    Lowe should just announce his retirement. Katz can then announce a #4 jersey retirement ceremony for next year. Hall (a la Ray Bourque) will surrender his #4. It all can be turned into positive PR. Gretzky and Meesier will be around for the jersey rising to the rafter.

  86. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy: You’re assumption that the Oilers have a low SV% because they give up more high end shots is erroneous.

    I posted a few day ago the shot volumes each team is giving up in high, medium and low percentage areas and the Oilers are middle of the pack in terms of high end chances.

    They do give up more medium chances (I think they were 27th)

    Not coincidentally their goalies were shitty at stopping medium percentage shots compared to all the other goalies.

    Higher volume of medium shot PLUS shitty sv% of those shots is what has sunk the Oilers.

    The volume of medium shots and the shitty sv% are pretty independent variables.

    Other goalies who faced high volumes had pretty good sv% of those shots.

    Its those two thing combined and shot volumes does not mean low sv%.

    Its been studied to death.

    Shot volume doesn’t affect sv%.

    Yes I do recall reading your write up on shots faced. Nice work on it by the way. Much appreciated. But the people that like to use by eye will say stats does not show chaos or net presence in the stats. So I’m trying to marry this stat some how to these fans. Unfortunately nothing is perfect.

  87. AZOIL says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Wow, I really disagree.The Oilers should ignore the fanbase and say nothing.

    The only thing that is going to pacify the fans is winning.Talking to them doesn’t help you win.

    It does not good to try and reason with the fans.The fans are a mob.They aren’t rational.If you try and reason with them it will only make them angry.

    The best thing the Oilers can do is to stay out of the news for a while.Right now, apathy would be a good thing.

    If there aren’t any trades out there, and I imagine there aren’t, discretion becomes the better part of valour.

    Do nothing.Keep working hard.Wait for the PDO bounce.That’s the play.

    Yes, he has nothing new for the fans, so why give them anything other than noise. Sit tight and wait for a team to up their offer.

  88. sliderule says:

    Well at last someone other than me and a few others on this board says their scouting sucks.

    If they can fix that it will only take three or four years to bear fruit.So, I wouldn’t hold my breath on it.

    I was driving and listening to NHL network and they were crapping as usual on oilers for all first picks and no results.They are wrong though as it’s not the first picks that are the problem .if you look at our first round picks from 2008 on the forwards are in the top three in scoring for their class except for MPS.

    I think our only second round or later playing was MM and he has been sent down.

    You combine bad secondary drafting with poor coaching and goaltending and you have the oilers.

  89. kooler says:

    2 down and no anyone coming up or coming in….Perron fetching two players? Deep down hoping for Schultz trade though.

  90. GCW_69 says:

    Woodguy:
    Here’s something I fear.

    Note: I don’t want to turn over another GM because all the ex-GM’s that are available have awful track records and I think most of what MacT has done is good.

    His blind sports are just galling (Jultz, C) and he needs someone to give him marching orders occasionally,

    I don’t think developing another bloody rookie at a key position is the answer for this mess.

    I don’t understand this at all. Most of the major issues with this franchise right now land at MacT’s doorstep.

    Schultz contract and ice time – MacT
    Petry contract – MacT
    Lack of expereince at centre – MacT
    Continuing to use the NHL as a development league – MacT
    Nikitin contract and ice time – MacT
    In fact, the shit show that has been the defence the last two years – MacT

    The list goes on and on.

    The right move is likely to blow out the management team and bring in a care taker for the rest of this season whose job is to not make a stupid trade and try and create as much flexibility for the next guy as possible. Marching orders – find a way to get rid of Nikitin. Give Ference soft minutes and see if a contender will take him at the deadline. If that’s someone like Neil Smith, so be it. As long as the mandate is tight and the oversight is appropriate, the risk is manageable.

    Then, do a proper search in the summer. Find the best available GM and hire him. Find the best available assistant GMs and hire two of them. Find the best available pro scouts. Set the bar damn high and hire to it.

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