The Edmonton Oilers have had an uneven ownership history. Oilers owners often leave the town poorer, paranoid and perplexed. From Bill Hunter through Daryl Katz, the personalities change and the relationship between owner and fanbase has changed too. We’ve never been through an era like the Katz regime, though.
“Success comes from ownership, goaltending, and I’ve always been thinking that you can have a fire-wagon type of hockey but your ability to play good defence has got to surface. The thread that ran through all of my success was undoubtedly ownership’s commitment to win. I’ve been quite close to some of the owners, and the Bronfmans’ passion for the game as owners in Montreal and the Ilitches’ commitment to create a winning team in Detroit contributed greatly to our success.”
July 2, 2008 was a long time ago in counting time. Since that day the Edmonton Oilers have been poor:
- 38-44 under Craig MacTavish in 08-09
- 27-55 under Pat Quinn in 09-10
- 25-57 under Tom Renney in 10-11
- 32-50 under Tom Renney in 11-12
If we put this in baseball terms, Edmonton’s record is 60-102 .370. In real hockey math, the club is 122-206 during this time (.372). I know it looks less ghastly with the OTL but as a matter of fact the Oilers have been losing 50 games a season since MacT left the building. Incredible.
What’s more, the venom from fans has been placed almost exclusively at the feet of GM Steve Tambellini, coach Tom Renney and veterans like Shawn Horcoff. Incredible.
We’ve seen Mr. Katz a few times–most often in regard to the new arena–and for the most part we get information via the management group and various media in town. However, this year–after another 50 loss season–fans don’t know if the GM or the coach will return, don’t know that the organization is in any way discontent with the season past, don’t know if there’s any real appetite to improve the team this coming season.
I sincerely believe the Edmonton Oiler fans deserve some words from ownership about what the future holds. We have questions, like:
- Taylor Hall’s media conference after the season was telling. Losing does not sit well with him and it sounds like there’s a sense of urgency with #4. Does the organization have a matching sense of the moment?
- Is that the message you are sending to management?
- Are you confident it is getting through?
- What are the checks and balances?
- What things can we look for over the summer to verify this sense of urgency?
- Will this be a cap team?
- When do you plan to sign the GM to a new contract?
I am once again reminded of Bowman’s money quote:
“Success comes from ownership, goaltending, and I’ve always been thinking that you can have a fire-wagon type of hockey but your ability to play good defence has got to surface. The thread that ran through all of my success was undoubtedly ownership’s commitment to win.
Nation Radio is back on the air at noon today, Team 1260. We welcome your questions and comments on this blog, via email firstname.lastname@example.org and you can send me a tweet @lowetide_ if you like. Scheduled to appear:
- Julie Veilleux will help us understand the season past in Montreal and what the Habs are doing about it. Montreal’s ownership over the years (including the Bronfmans, Charles Bronfman”s photo is above) has been mostly stable. The current group (Molson again) appears to be reaching into their own past with Serge Savard’s recent emergence and we’ll explore some of the similarities between Edmonton and Montreal in this area.
- Gabriel Desjardins from behind the net. Gabe will be by to talk about the Jets season, the electric start to the playoffs and answer your questions about advanced stats, etc.
- Corey Graham, voice of the Edmonton Oil Kings. We’ll talk about the incredible run for this gifted young team and discuss another long layoff. We’ll also discuss some of the prospects eligible for this year’s draft.
- Tom Lynn is a player advisor, agent and attorney, certified by the National Hockey League Players Association. He has acted as General Manager and Assistant General Manager of the Minnesota Wild and we’ll talk about the playoffs, the draft and other subjects. I’ll also ask your questions so make sure to pass them along.
Hope you tune in, should be a fun day.