REASONABLE DOUBT

The young Oilers left our city with purpose and confidence. They will arrive home a beaten group, their hard work and painful lessons having been on display for the watching world for 2 solid weeks.  The first half is done, and the beatings will continue until the lottery show.

RE 12-13 FORWARDS

NAME GP G A PTS DIFF
SAM GAGNER  RE 22 6 10 16  
SAM GAGNER ACTUAL 24 7 14 21 +5
JORDAN EBERLE RE 22 7 9 16  
JORDAN EBERLE ACTUAL 24 6 11 17 +1
LENNART PETRELL RE 16 1 2 3  
LENNART PETRELL ACTUAL 18 1 3 4 +1
TAYLOR HALL RE 20 10 10 20  
TAYLOR HALL ACTUAL 21 4 15 19 -1
NAIL YAKUPOV RE 23 6 7 13  
NAIL YAKUPOV ACTUAL 24 6 6 12 -1
BEN EAGER RE 15 2 1 3  
BEN EAGER ACTUAL 14 1 1 2 -1
DARCY HORDICHUK  RE 13 0 1 1  
DARCY HORDICHUK ACTUAL 4 0 0 0 -1
MAGNUS PAAJARVI  RE 20 2 4 6  
MAGNUS PAAJARVI ACTUAL 19 4 0 4 -2
TEEMU HARTIKAINEN RE 15 3 2 5  
TEEMU HARTIKAINEN ACTUAL 16 1 2 3 -2
ALES HEMSKY RE 18 4 12 16  
ALES HEMSKY ACTUAL 23 8 5 13 -3
ERIC BELANGER RE 23 3 3 6  
ERIC BELANGER ACTUAL 21 0 3 3 -3
RYAN SMYTH RE 20 5 6 11  
RYAN SMYTH ACTUAL 23 2 5 7 -4
RYAN JONES RE 21 3 3 6  
RYAN JONES ACTUAL 8 0 1 1 -5
SHAWN HORCOFF RE 22 3 5 8  
SHAWN HORCOFF ACTUAL 7 1 1 2 -6
RYAN NUGENT HOPKINS RE 21 7 13 20  
RNH ACTUAL 23 1 7 8 -12

A few comments before we look at the defensemen. Gagner is the only guy who is outperforming his RE by any amount, and really 5 points is nothing (I know we should be doing this by percentage points–total points divided by total games, and we will do that at season’s end. But it’s boring).  If we see a bunch of plus and minus one’s, that’s a good indication that we’re projecting reasonable. The only real alarm bell is the Nuge and I’d bet on him delivering 20 points in the second half if he were healthy. I’d bet a 2-4 that he’ll have surgery a few weeks after Horcoff returns–it’s an Oiler tradition. The end of season adjustment will also account for injuries to guys like Horcoff and Jones.

What does this tell us? Well, reasonable suggested the forwards would score 60 goals and they have scored 42. That’s a gap.

RE 12-13 DEFENSE

JUSTIN SCHULTZ RE 22 2 6 8
JUSTIN SCHULTZ ACTUAL 24 5 8 13 +5
LADISLAV SMID RE 22 0 3 3  
LADISLAV SMID ACTUAL 24 0 2 2 -1
COREY POTTER RE 4 0 1 1  
COREY POTTER ACTUAL 14 0 0 0 -1
NICK SCHULTZ RE 24 0 3 3  
NICK SCHULTZ ACTUAL 24 0 1 1 -2
THEO PECKHAM RE 17 0 2 2  
THEO PECKHAM ACTUAL 4 0 0 0 -2
JEFF PETRY  RE 21 1 7 8  
JEFF PETRY ACTUAL 23 3 2 5 -3
RYAN WHITNEY RE  20 1 7 8  
RYAN WHITNEY ACTUAL 17 2 3 5 -3

Justin Schultz wins the first half, the guy would be on pace for a 40-point rookie season if this were an 82 game schedule. As it is, he is the strongest Oiler candidate for the Calder and having a fine offensive season. Defensively we’re seeing what we should have expected: moments of brilliance followed by periods of lost weekends. That’s what rookie defensemen do: they develop.

What does it tell us? No defensemen is really off the pace by enough to panic–Petry didn’t have a crooked number until last week. RE suggested the blue would score 6 goals in the first half and they have scored 10.

It is possible to get something out of a difficult period and the Oilers have such an opportunity with Magnus Paajarvi. Although the team has been struggling, Magnus has been performing well and carving out a role as a 2-way gem. The puck is headed in a good direction and he appears to be close to filling that 2-way role we’ve been talking about for years.

I think the Oilers recognize it–he’s sure playing a lot, 16:55 with three shots on goal last night–but losing organizations often make mistakes on emerging talents. One of the key items to look at now through the end of the year is the club’s handling of Paajarvi. They have a small window now where they can send him down, and I think it remains an option. I also think it would be a terrible decision. We wait.



Plenty of chatter about Steve Tambellini’s job being in peril, and that makes sense. You sure can’t let him hire another coach, the only guy crazy enough to step in might be Buchberger. No, I think the Oilers are at a point now where grade “A” coaching options would be looking for a more stable opportunity. The Oilers are going to get the “Columbus” options at this point, suspect Krueger is better than what might be available.

As for Tambellini’s replacement, I’ve felt all along Scott Howson is a likely option. Lowe and MacT are ensconced higher up and have no reason to  place themselves in the fray–unless they want to do it. I do recall Lowe saying something about a return someday, and MacT has worked hard to get into his current position so maybe there’s a passion to be “the guy.” My guess is Howson and has been for some time:

howson

If Howson is hired, I don’t think much will change. The buck stops at Kevin Lowe’s desk and as great a player as he was, and as tough a defenseman as he was, and as much as he’s done for the community as he has, Kevin Lowe is not a hockey empire builder on the team level. With the exception of a small window in 2006 his team building resume is poor, and I don’t think there’s an argument that anyone–including his closest friends–can make that suggests otherwise. The emotion that gave him his edge on the ice is perhaps not an asset in the board room. The Stanley Cup rings and personal reputation go a long way, but at some point results matter. I believe the fans and maybe the players are long past this point, we are simply waiting for the owner to make a move.

That may come soon.

I’ve been hoping MacT would be elevated to a position where he can impact the roster, but at this point it is probably better to bring in a strong GM with a lot of experience. I’d pursue someone like Jim Nill or Paul Fenton (assistant GM’s, but very experienced) and Katz must make certain that upper management gives the new man some air. I can see Steve Tambellini’s flaws, but am not certain he’s ever had the freedom to arrange a roster that matched his vision.

Either way, I don’t think this happens until season’s end. They’ll send a company man like Buchberger to the draft lottery because Tambellini is scouting in Europe, and then quietly announce that ST is now in charge of “NCAA free agent recruitment” because MacT’s role is changing. Something like that.



The Oilers acquired Mike Brown this week, but that’s not what they needed–despite what a lot of media have been saying. The Oilers problem is that they have too many kids in feature roles and when they run up against good teams it can get away from them in a hurry (that’s what we saw this week). It is NOT impossible to fix this, but the fact that Tambellini chose to address the “replace Darcy Hordichuk” hole before doing something about “man we miss Horcoff” and “the Schultz pairing can’t handle their current role” is another indication that Oilers management either can’t identify and address need or this season doesn’t matter.

At this point it’s beyond the pale. Oilers management is either teasing the fanbase with false hope (and then admonishing them when they fail to see the long term plan) or simply don’t know what makes an NHL team work. Either way, something has to give.

It is possible to fix this thing and have a better second half of the season. It is up to management to find NHL players who can step in to the positions currently occupied by the veterans who are struggling. We talked about this on July 1  before free agency got underway, and the club did add some of the things on their shopping list. We had identified Daniel Winnick, Mark Streit, a goaltender and an enforcer who could play as being elements of need, but the Oilers chose not to look outside for those things.

And here we are. Ryan Whitney’s issues are a major part of this season, the lack of a Winnick means the bottom 6 has no stable forces to help a Paajarvi find his way, and the club continues to pursue an enforcer option that fits their roster.

Other teams can find these player types, why can’t the Oilers? That’s the role of the next GM: the jacks and kings are already here, the role players–the guys who need to play at par or a little better in the secondary minutes–is an entirely doable item.

The fact that Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe have been unable to do it should not cloud our vision. Nashville had this about two weeks after their expansion draft.

Lowetide at High Noon hits Team 1260 today noon to 2 Edmonton time. Our guests:

  • Terry Jones from the Edmonton Sun. We’ll talk brier and the Oilers, specifically this painful road trip. We’ll also discuss implications of another lost season on players and management.
  • Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey. We’ll discuss his zone exits and what they are telling us about the Oilers, the current state of the team and who gets a passing grade through the season’s first half.
  • Kirk Luedeke from Redline Report. Kirk has been a friend of Team 1260′s since the John Short days, and is a splendid resource for the draft. We’ll talk about some of the impressive NY/New England kids this year and get an idea about the depth of this year’s draft compared to a year ago.
  • Darcy “Woodguy” McLeod from all parts Oilogosphere. Darcy has posted guest articles at Copper and Bue and here at Lowetide, the latest being an exceptional defense of Magnus Paajarvi this week. We’ll talk about Paajarvi, measuring success via shots on goal and what the numbers say about fixing the Oilers.
  • Neal Livingston, from Tend the Farm. One of the brilliant people we’ve had a chance to encounter since the Oilers moved their farm team to OKC, Neal’s site is a joy and a valuable resource. We’ll talk about the season for Barons fans, and I’ll ask if any of the current Barons looks like they are matriculating toward an NHL job.

Hope you tune in! The show is brought to you by Western GMC Buick and our sponsors are Kitchen Studio and Wallbeds Etc, The Beer Hunter, Trilogy Oilfield Limited and EMHL.

Comments and questions welcome, best way to reach me with comments and questions is lowetide_ on twitter or in the comments section. Thanks!

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130 Responses to "REASONABLE DOUBT"

  1. hunter1909 says:

    Taylor Hall no longer cares what happens on ice, nor does any of the rest of that line anymore since they know the other players are total shit who can’t play the game to save their lives, and lions led by donkeys comes to mind.

  2. bookje says:

    I like MacT, but if he is appointed GM, the team is doomed through the 2010s. I think he likes the Mike Brown trade and would bring more Mike Browns to the team while losing the Paajaarvis.

  3. mc79hockey says:

    The Oilers problem is that they have too many kids in feature roles and when they run up against good teams it can get away from them in a hurry (that’s what we saw this week).

    I don’t agree with this. The Oilers’ problem is that the bottom half of the team is a trainwreck that’s spurting blood. We’ve been told that to be patient and wait for progress – the kids have progressed, despite Hall and RNH struggling with an injury right now. Gagner and Hemsky are on track. MPS has taken a step forward.

    It is a goddamn disaster below that though.

  4. elgruntus says:

    Thanks to the sponsors and to Team 1260 for bringing the show back. You are truly the voice of the common fan.

  5. Lowetide says:

    mc79hockey:
    The Oilers problem is that they have too many kids in feature roles and when they run up against good teams it can get away from them in a hurry (that’s what we saw this week).

    I don’t agree with this. The Oilers’ problem is that the bottom half of the team is a trainwreck that’s spurting blood.We’ve been told that to be patient and wait for progress – the kids have progressed, despite Hall and RNH struggling with an injury right now.Gagner and Hemsky are on track.MPS has taken a step forward.

    It is a goddamn disaster below that though.

    Tyler, you feel Justin Schultz is able to play a big minutes role? He’s playing 22:40 a night, that’s too much by plenty. RNH is at 20 minutes a night and facing the toughs, I think he would be more effective is Krueger had the horses in terms of protecting him (certainly at home).

    Agree absolutely the bottom part of the roster is horrible but there are issues at the top end too imo.

  6. hunter1909 says:

    Lowe+Mact = Former managers of a small market franchise who both blew it royally when given the chance to step up. There is absolutely no reason for either of these clowns to hold jobs with the Oilers. No good reason, anyway.

    Clever men, they hire Tambellini through their owner/stooge Katz, who already as one poster has stated is fast making Pocklington look like the good old days.

    Bucky and Steve Smith, another pair of assclowns obviously know how to mix a great martini at those Batcave parties, because both are permanent fixtures as assistant coaches, which stinks to high hell from the perspective of any alpha coach coming to Edmonton but of course who needs the ag, says Lowe/MacT.

    Shit at evaluating, their stooge/front man/fall guy/Tambo has assembled a team so horrible that yes, they actually hit California Golden Sealhood last night.

    Next season: Lowe/MacT/Steve Smith+Bucky/Smyth/Horcoff all remain, and the team will obviously continue to flounder, but with the wonderful twist that yes, these fools are really going to destroy the greatest chance for a superteam since the Penguins fluked off Crosby+Malkin.

    Of course we hope it won’t happen, but the the reality is, right now Flames fans collectively understand what’s wrong with the Oilers better than Oiler fans.

  7. leadfarmer says:

    Correction, the Jacks and Kings are not here. They will be here in a few years, but as of right now they are not.

    The go out and score coaching Yak got in junior really is hurting him right now, as is switching sides. He has no idea where to go without the puck, and looks lost out there. But so does everyone else.

    Might not be a bad idea to trade Schultz the elder to someone that thinks he is a top 4 defenseman, cause he is no better than a no 5.

    Everyone always says how great detroit is that they leave their prospects in the A until they are 24 and how we should follow their model, but at the same time freak out if there is a hint that Paajarvi who is 21-22 might be sent down. He has earned to be up on the team, but for his development might be good to shelter him from these savage beatings. Put him on the clear day roster and let him play in the AHL playoffs, get more games under his belt, work on his offense, and work on his upper body strength. He will have a long NHL career, but if you develop him right he might have a very good career.

  8. Radman says:

    Will be hard for an alpha dog like KLowe to admit he has failed . Harder yet for Katz to deep six his buddy. Stir in MacT and we have the makings of something Shakespearian.

    Agree LT. Fenton and Nill would be great choices. Desperately need some outside perspective and some room for them to breathe as you say. Do you think candidates like these would want to come to Edm given who has the corner offices already ?

    Can’t blame the coach (yet) but one wonders what this team might look like a year from now with Nill in the GM chair and Ruff behind the bench.

    Jeebus. Can’t believe we have to focus on draft order again this year.

  9. striatic says:

    leadfarmer: Everyone always says how great detroit is that they leave their prospects in the A until they are 24 and how we should follow their model, but at the same time freak out if there is a hint that Paajarvi who is 21-22 might be sent down. He has earned to be up on the team, but for his development might be good to shelter him from these savage beatings. Put him on the clear day roster and let him play in the AHL playoffs, get more games under his belt, work on his offense, and work on his upper body strength.

    when the team was still in contention, it was justifiable to freak out at the idea PRV might be sent down to make room for a lesser player.

    now that they aren’t, sending him to play in the AHL playoffs makes the most sense and i truly hope the Oilers do send him down, for his own sake.

  10. Ice Sage says:

    Hard to be a fan these days when your beloved team doesn’t subscribe to the values that produce success. If those with executive authority don’t recognize that the Oilers aren’t on the Chicago/Pittsburgh/LA rehab program (rather, tracking into Islanders/Thrashers incompetence) then soon we’ll be back to players wanting out and a talent deficit.
    We still wait and hope the rot doesn’t set in too deep.

    PS – LT, I’ve been anticipating a headline ‘Teenage Wasteland’, love the Who

  11. jfry says:

    i’ve become a fan of franchises that employ business men as managers and coaches as coaches. ex-players, while chalk full of playing experience, rarely perform effectively in other roles. at least it seems very rare that they excel in their first opportunity — which is normal when you’re changing your career as an adult.

    i hope katz sees it that way soon. i’m guessing he doesn’t have a pill popper running rexall because he thinks that’s “game knowledge”.

  12. danny says:

    This team is missing a 3rd line that can saw off against 1st and 2nd lines… and need a defensive upgrade.

    In terms of LTisms, the kids are alright, they’re not being put in a position to kick out the jams.

    Moreau, Marchant, Grier, Peca, Pisani, Stoll, Reasoner, Dvorak…. etc etc etc

    If we had a 3rd line that played a puck possession game, with a bit of physicality we’d be alright. A top pairing Dman added to that, and we’re a playoff team.

  13. Woodguy says:

    leadfarmer,

    Correction, the Jacks and Kings are not here. They will be here in a few years, but as of right now they are not.

    Hall plays the toughest opposition, out shoots them, and every team better has a better shooting rate when they play with him than without him.

    That’s a King.

  14. Smarmy says:

    Do Katz’ other companies have a bunch of old men managers wandering around talking by water coolers but not actually doing anything?

    The whole front office is old hockey players. They’re at the age where the dementia from a lifetime of concussions starts setting in. And they’re running a multi-million dollar business into the ground.

  15. Southern Oil says:

    Smarmy:
    Do Katz’ other companies have a bunch of old men managers wandering around talking by water coolers but not actually doing anything?

    The whole front office is old hockey players. They’re at the age where the dementia from a lifetime of concussions starts setting in. And they’re running a multi-million dollar business into the ground.

    I am not bothered that the management team are old hockey players. I am more bothered that he has kept on / hired a management team based solely on the fact they are close friends. If it was working that would be one thing, but I think we can see that it is not working. I wonder if he runs Rexall like that – old high school friends in high level management positions.

  16. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy,

    While he does push the play in the right direction, a king should have more than 4 goals by this point. In the next few years he will learn how to create that extra second of space to score.

  17. Matt.N says:

    I grew up on a ranch. My people are old school cattle people. One of the ways to halter break a bull calf that has been passed down is to tie it to a donkey. The bull calf is strong headed and wants to charge off furiously. The donkey just sets its heels in and doesn’t move. If the calf gets real ornery it will get a few swift kicks from the donkey to settle it down. Eventually the donkey, through sheer stubbornness will start leading the calf around. The calf becomes compliant and is now broken, no longer trying to get free, and spends the rest of its existence having learned those lessons in youth.

    It’s my opinion that the entire Edmonton Oilers organization is the donkey. Management, veterans, everyone up to, and including the press who give these kids a few good kicks if they get out of line.

  18. Factotum says:

    The last two games reminded me of the ending to this poem, and then it struck me how the beginning verses describe the Oilers management team and the nowhere-near complete roster they’ve built season after season. Seven years of this and counting. Again, I say: FFS Daryl, are you blind?

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats’ feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar

    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralyzed force, gesture without motion;

  19. Woodguy says:

    leadfarmer:
    Woodguy,

    While he does push the play in the right direction, a king should have more than 4 goals by this point.In the next few years he will learn how to create that extra second of space to score.

    Hall’s SH% this year 5.6%
    4 goals on 72 shots

    Hall’s SH% last year 13%
    27 goals on 207 shots

    If you take his career average of 11.4% and apply it to his 72 shots this year he’d have 8 goals.

    There’s your 4 goals.

    You need to separate bad luck from bad play.

  20. bookje says:

    I think the kids would be fine if the bottom half of the roster could pick up the slack on some nights and give them some breathing room. Every once in a while you need Mike Greir and Todd Marchant to win a game for you.

    Added to that is the fact that the entire D are totally unreliable. The kids have to play 5 positions out there – not good.

    The management situation is more complex, but I really feel they need someone who thinks the game at an analytical manner and not just ‘gut instinct’ guys which is all they have now.

    A month ago, things didn’t look bad, but the wheels fell off when Horcoff went down. I wonder if the team rebounds a bit when he returns. Things are bad right now, but they are probably not as bad as they seem. I don’t think its doomsday and I think the future is bright, but it just doesn’t seem like it today.

  21. Radman says:

    Factotum: The last two games reminded me of the ending to this poem, and then it struck me how the beginning verses describe the Oilers management team and the nowhere-near complete roster they’ve built season after season. Seven years of this and counting. Again, I say: FFS Daryl, are you blind?We are the hollow menWe are the stuffed menLeaning togetherHeadpiece filled with straw. Alas!Our dried voices, whenWe whisper togetherAre quiet and meaninglessAs wind in dry grassOr rats’ feet over broken glassIn our dry cellarShape without form, shade without colour,Paralyzed force, gesture without motion;

    Wow. Great job with the TS Eliot, Factotum

    To continue to the end…

    This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.

    Spot on, my friend

  22. vesci says:

    I think we can all agree that this season is lost. MacT use to talk about letting players go so someone else could give a second opinion on them. I think the Oilers should stop wasting time on the Smythes and Belangers because they know what they have (or more precisely don’t have) and look at giving a second opinion on some other teams younger players that are on the outs. What’s to lose?

  23. vesci says:

    In a perfect world the Oilers would be doing this with their own minor leaguers, but the depth just isn’t there, especially at forward.

  24. RMGS says:

    The Oilers PR department, via Stauffer, is letting us know that “the cavalry is NOT coming via trade” and that “the team will have to look within to turn it around.”

    Folks, this is an organization that, from top to bottom (starting with Katz), is convinced its so-called rebuild is on schedule and requires another losing season. Management, with ownership’s blessing, will not address shortcomings as good teams do. Instead, they will “look within” and continue to miscast AHL players and marginal NHL men in the supporting roles for the brilliant collection of first-round picks.

    I honestly think they believe they have players in OKC, in junior, and in the NCAA that will fill the gaping roster holes soon. If this is the case – and I think we’ll have a good indication if they throw Klefbom to the wolves next year as they’re telegraphing – then get ready for another 5-10 years of misery.

    Of course, should Lowe, Tambellini, and MacTavish be relieved of their duties soon, I’ll be glad to be wrong!

  25. Rondo says:

    LT,

    You seem down, I think this video will cheer you up

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4Ezruu1oeQ

  26. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy,

    Hence I said that he plays well. When you are a perimeter team, you take perimeter shots, and you score less.

  27. bookje says:

    I think its time to play “Who is the next person on the Oilers to get fired?”

    I have given it some thought and given the history of the organization, my bets are on the Assistant Coaches. In order of probability from most to least likely, it is as follows:
    1. Assistant Coaches
    2. Pro Scouts
    3. Tambellini
    4. Joey Moss

    62. Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe.

  28. Gret99zky says:

    RMGS:
    The Oilers PR department, via Stauffer, is letting us know that “the cavalry is NOT coming via trade” and that “the team will have to look within to turn it around.”

    Folks, this is an organization that, from top to bottom (starting with Katz), is convinced its so-called rebuild is on schedule and requires another losing season.Management, with ownership’s blessing, will not address shortcomings as good teams do.

    I hope Katz and Co. get what’s coming to them. Whatever that may be.

  29. Southern Oil says:

    bookje:
    I think its time to play “Who is the next person on the Oilers to get fired?”

    I have given it some thought and given the history of the organization, my bets are on the Assistant Coaches.In order of probability from most to least likely, it is as follows:
    1. Assistant Coaches
    2. Pro Scouts, Tambellini
    3. Joey Moss
    4. Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe.

    You forgot the equipment staff and trainers. I’d say they slot in after Tambellini.

  30. commonfan14 says:

    Not sure I’ve seen it mentioned here that the draft lottery has been moved to the day before the draft starting this year.

    Makes the plan to let Tambo do what he does best and then fire him awfully complicated.

  31. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers could find themselves in 30th(1st) place by Monday morning.

    This isn’t real. I’ve been hit over the head and woken up back in 2009.

  32. RMGS says:

    Gret99zky: I hope Katz and Co. get what’s coming to them. Whatever that may be.

    That’s likely a nice paycheque for management and millions in hockey-related revenue for Katz. Isn’t it season-ticket renewal time?

  33. boopronger says:

    Well if you follow the “penguins” model, this is the year we draft our jordan staal at number 2 overall.

    2002 at 5th overall Ryan Whitney (our gagner at 6th overall)
    2003 at 1st overall MAF (taylor hall)
    2004 at 2nd overall Malkin (RNH)
    2005 at 1st overall Crosby (yakupov)
    2006 at 2nd overall J. Stall (??? Jones??)

    There was a GM change near the end of the penguins rebuild and i think tambo needs to go as well.

  34. Rondo says:

    Curing the Symptoms and Not the Disease will lead to the same problems.

    Fire Lowe he is the disease.

  35. delooper says:

    boopronger:
    Well if you follow the “penguins” model, this is the year we draft our jordan staal at number 2 overall.

    2002 at 5th overall Ryan Whitney (our gagner at 6th overall)
    2003 at 1st overall MAF (taylor hall)
    2004 at 2nd overall Malkin (RNH)
    2005 at 1st overall Crosby (yakupov)
    2006 at 2nd overall J. Stall (??? Jones??)

    There was a GM change near the end of the penguins rebuild and i think tambo needs to go as well.

    It’s nice to keep things in some perspective.

  36. Ribs says:

    You have to ask Bruce if he thinks his group had any influence in the Hemsky signing last season! (You know…If he’s allowed to talk about such things). That Friedman article mentioned that statistics played a role. I owe them a round if they helped the swing. Long live Hemsky!

    Buchberger as head coach. Now there’s a scary thought.

    I’d rather see MacT get a go at the GM position rather than Howson. Howson had an extended run in Columbus and came up lacking on many fronts. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in some other role, though.

    I’m hopeful that Captain Horcoff will rally the troops to a regulation win over the Hawks tomorrow and the charge will be on. Jeebus does the rest of the schedule ever look tough.

  37. Lois Lowe says:

    The Oilers are now approaching Pittsburgh Pirates levels of futility. The endless rebound is upon us. Winter is coming.

  38. LP says:

    Excellent post LT.

    I too agree that there are problems in the top 6 and that ‘the kids need help’. (Not even worth talking bout the bottom 6)

    Played hockey for a long time… winning teams always have a ‘Killer Instinct’. This team prefers to roll over and die. I see no killer instinct with the Edmonton Oilers. And I’m not necessarily talking about hitting. Yes, it helps, but it has no direct correlation to winning, (as many of you here are saying) and as opposed to what many MSM have been saying forever in this city. (IE: see the Detroit game a few nights ago)

    Winning above all. Just like going to war. I look at this team and I don’t see the will to fight.

    When will management change? I can’t wait for this day.

  39. LP says:

    bookje:
    I think its time to play “Who is the next person on the Oilers to get fired?”

    I have given it some thought and given the history of the organization, my bets are on the Assistant Coaches.In order of probability from most to least likely, it is as follows:
    1. Assistant Coaches
    2. Pro Scouts
    3. Tambellini
    4. Joey Moss

    62. Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe.

    Ok, so get rid of some people, move some chairs around. Whatever.

    I don’t care if Tambo and Lowe stay with the Oilers in some fashion. But get a real GM in place….

    And I wouldn’t mind MacT as GM.

  40. FastOil says:

    The old boys in the club believe their mythologies, of glorious sacrifices and battles, and they believe the embellishments that naturally enhance legends and really aren’t the key to the story, or even true.

    This is clearly seen bringing in “Mike Brackenbury” because Sather actually played the Curt version 7 million years ago, even though at the time it was joked about that he was the least skilled player in the league. Probably a mistake then too, but when by unimaginable good fortune you end up with 6-7 of the world’s best players in the span of a few years, those gaffs just don’t show up in history’s mirror.

    If by some primal shift in the universe Katz actually does something, I too could not stand if they hired back Howson, who has nothing good on his resume at the pro level. What does he bring? – they already know how to acquire thugs that can’t play hockey.

    What I want to see in any new GM, beyond being able to actually recognize a contributing effective player, is also able to make a deal. I think a lack of decisiveness (based on not knowing what they are doing and fear of screwing up) and the ability to negotiate is currently a serious issue. Every team loses on a deal at some point, the key is winning enough of them, learning and not repeating mistakes. And continually improving the team, it is never a finished thing.

    The team needs a cagey horse trader, I suppose like Sather. It is a skill, it’s unbelievable Sather is still able to do deals. He may be wrong a lot about who he should get, but he doesn’t lose value in them very often, and when he targets a player they seem to end up on his team at some point. Yet his colleagues still deal with him, and still get hosed every once in a while.

  41. stevezie says:

    Great article.

    The lack of offense from the D is unacceptable. Other than not moving the puck as well, how is Schultz different from Gilbert? They’re both soft, shot blocking defenceman, but Gilbert had some semblance of scoring in his past. I’ll bet the forward numbers would be higher if they were getting the puck passed to them instead of rifled off the glass.

    Off the glass is a fine play, but it can’t be your only play. Anyone been scouting Ian White? Detroit clearly wants him gone.

    Even if the GM wants another losing season, he can’t possibly want another lottery season can he? It’s one thing to refuse to replace Horcoff, but surely upgrading VDV couldn’t have been that hard, especially since Belanger is clearly a fine 4th line center but absolutely nothing else? In this deep draft we can be decent and still get a good pick- we don’t have to suck.

  42. stevezie says:

    Oh, and as far as the Pittsburgh comparisons go, when did they draft an Eberle at 22?

  43. rich says:

    LT – I would ask Terry Jones if he’s of the opinion if Oilers management are going to try and say that as soon as Horcoff is back that the bottom 6 will be righted, that we just have to work thru this period (which is why Stauffer is saying the cavalry is not coming).

    This management team is just as bad as Mike Milbury at putting together a winning team. The NYI may have drafted well, but they had no vision for how to put the pieces together and traded players before they reached their prime/added players who did not fit together.

    The Oiler’s major weaknesses are at the top:

    KLowe’s assessment of players and what they can do has grown worse with each year he’s been away from playing the game. This is killing us because where we once had great acumen at picking up FA’s off the scrap heap (a la Staios), we don’t anymore.

    Tambellini’s lack of conviction on pro player procurement – his indecisiveness or just plain in ability to ID players who can work well and execute in today’s NHL is resulting in a team that is completely out-of-balance at the pro level.

    Daryl Katz, a fan with too much money who has put his trust in the wrong people and does not have the guts to hold a guy (Lowe) he idolized accountable is just killing this team. Killing it.

    Until these 3 things change, this team will struggle mightily and it does not matter who is on the bench. Lowe needs to become hockey ambassador, Tambellini needs to become GM of OKC and yes, someone like a Paul Fenton needs to come in and run this organization right. I like MacT as an assistant GM or as a Coach, but he’s not a GM yet.

  44. dessert1111 says:

    Here we go round the prickly pear
    Prickly pear prickly pear
    Here we go round the prickly pear
    At five o’clock in the morning.

    Just some more depressing Hollow Men lines in relation to the Oilers.

  45. justDOit says:

    I posted this incredibly appropriate Zappa song last night, but thinking about NHL realignment brought me right back to it: with Columbus moving east, the Oilers will be the only 3rd tier team in the west. The torture never stops…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8I-3CnmUOQ

  46. Captain Happy says:

    stevezie:
    Oh, and as far as the Pittsburgh comparisons go, when did they draft an Eberle at 22?

    Or Kris Letang in the 3rd round and Tyler Kennedy in the 5th?

  47. hunter1909 says:

    rich: The Oiler’s major weaknesses are at the top:
    KLowe’s assessment of players and what they can do has grown worse with each year he’s been away from playing the game. This is killing us because where we once had great acumen at picking up FA’s off the scrap heap (a la Staios), we don’t anymore.
    Tambellini’s lack of conviction on pro player procurement – his indecisiveness or just plain in ability to ID players who can work well and execute in today’s NHL is resulting in a team that is completely out-of-balance at the pro level.
    Daryl Katz, a fan with too much money who has put his trust in the wrong people and does not have the guts to hold a guy (Lowe) he idolized accountable is just killing this team. Killing it.

    Yes. I’m already seeing the kids in Ranger jerseys, and I’m perfectly fine with that.

  48. hunter1909 says:

    What’s going to happen to the Oilers, with their shiny new arena, and no team other than the perpetual shambles it’s basically been since 1991?

    I’m down with 17,000 people flush enough to attend the games, but do they seriously want to pay for this never ending Carnival of Tears and Laughter?

  49. TheOtherJohn says:

    Only thing that could cause a wholesale change is if some Katz’ rich boy buddies ridicule the ineptitude of his hockey team. If that happens, all bets are off. The entire hockey ops group including Lowe & MacT could easily get gassed.

    So if you have any rich friends that pal with Katz invite them, hell goad them, to needle Katz on the embarassing abomination that is the Edmonton Oilers. It may work, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titnic, leaving Lowe in place, will not turn the boat around

  50. justDOit says:

    My suggestion for next GM – a straight shooter who tells it like it is and isn’t afraid of a little hard work:

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/53/140590208_f6263845cc.jpg

  51. Gret99zky says:

    although Howson’s resume isn’t very good he does have experience with a franchise player requesting a trade out of town. Hall might like Howson back.

  52. Ribs says:

    “The Lunatic Fringe”! Haha, love it.

  53. Captain Happy says:

    Brian Burke is the answer.

  54. hunter1909 says:

    Gret99zky:
    although Howson’s resume isn’t very good he does have experience with a franchise player requesting a trade out of town.Hall might like Howson back.

    How does Scott see himself working with Mr. Sather, who has kindly stocked all kinds of totally awesome role players to add to the Hall/Eberle/RNH/Yakupov packages?

  55. hunter1909 says:

    Seguin on his inevitable tear.

  56. Gret99zky says:

    Bruce’s voice sounds a lot like Tambi’s.

  57. justDOit says:

    Gret99zky,

    Yikes – never noticed that before. If it wasn’t for all the hockey analysis, I would suspect that this IS Tambi.

  58. CrazyCoach says:

    It is nice to see some progress for some players, but they are too far and too few for my liking. I really am disappointed that from here on in it will be the same old playing out the string and not really giving a turkey attitude from the players. That has to change.

    While I loved the Oilers of my youth, I am beginning to have a growing indifference to them in my middle age years.

    I posted a couple days ago that Mr. Katz needs to come to the hard realization that he will never recreate the boys on the bus. He just can’t. Different time, different era, different hockey world. It’s nice to look back as I often do and remember when Alberta was the Death Valley on any teams schedule. Now, it’s a chance for four easy points and a chance for the rookies to get pissed legally at 18.

    It is a hard thought, but the time has come to start throwing the Boys on the Bus, under the bus. Sad really. Reminds me of having to shoot ol’ Yeller, or when Reggie Dunlop threatens to out Joe McGrath (Who is arguably a better GM than Tambo seeing he won the Federal League). A harsh necessity in order to move forward. Yeah they were part of one of the best ever teams to lace em up, but as Ms. Jackson once sang, “What have you done for me lately?” The answer is, sweet F’all.

    I’ll even drive that bus.

  59. Gret99zky says:

    Advanced stats must be more exciting to read than to listen to.

  60. stevezie says:

    Here’s the thing about Howson: he was actually a pretty good assistant GM.

    When he was here, he was in charge of contracts. He signed that peach of a Hemsky deal, the Pronger deal… probably some other nice deals… I guess he did help overpay Pisani.

    In any case, the wheels sure seemed to come off when he left. That Horcoff contract got signed after he left, as did the Staois and Moreau deals.

  61. godot10 says:

    rich:

    Tambellini’s lack of conviction on pro player procurement – his indecisiveness or just plain in ability to ID players who can work well and execute in today’s NHL is resulting in a team that is completely out-of-balance at the pro level.

    How can Tambellini have conviction in pro player procurement when the pro scouting department are essentially all old guard Lowe and MacT buddies who Tambellini has not been able to fire and replace with his own guys.

    The pro scouting department don’t owe their jobs to Tambellini, and thus, aren’t accountable to Tambellini. Their effective lines of accountability and authority come from Lowe.

  62. Ribs says:

    Re: Hemsky etc – Awesome stuff, guys! Thanks!

  63. hunter1909 says:

    godot10: The pro scouting department don’t owe their jobs to Tambellini, and thus, aren’t accountable to Tambellini. Their effective lines of accountability and authority come from Lowe.

    Shh! Don’t let Steve hear that!

  64. TheOtherJohn says:

    Never, ever. Ever cite Mike Bossy and Craig Simpson as “prolific scorers”. One is not like the other. Mike Bossy scored 50 goals 9 straight times with 573 goals over 10 years. Simpson scored 247 goals over ten years. Only an Oiler fan could use the two names in the same conversation. Simpson’s back was a factor but so was his lack of foot speed

  65. Ryan says:

    The issue that’s escaped this management group is that if you want to build thru the draft, you also have to contemporaneously improve the hockey team via acquiring good hockey players.
    We all know last summer was an inopportune time to improve the team. Yet, the Oilers have had since the Taylor Hall draft year to try to improve the roster.

    Right now, the Oilers are in a situation where they basically have to play out the string and sell (Whitney, Peckham, Potter, Belanger, Pettrel, Jones, and Eager) for whatever picks they can get at the deadline.

    The Oilers lack of depth at centre, bottom six, and defensemen is the core problem right now.

    With the ‘untouchable’ assets, there’s really not much on the table to make a hockey trade that could potentially improve the team (for the future not this season) outside of maybe Gagner and Hemsky.

    Of course, the problem with making trades is the current management group doesn’t seem to be adept at winning a trade.

    I didn’t mind the Oilers going after a player like Schultz sr (though he’s been horrible this season), but trading a puck moving RH dman (Gilbert with all his flaws), clearly wasn’t getting market value.

    The other issue relates to the draft itself. Sure, I’ll agree that you need 5 years in the rear view mirror to adequately evaluate a draft year. That being said, at this point, there’s virtually nothing outside of #1 picks that appears to be trending to a top four dman or top nine forward. That doesn’t help the situation.

    The Oilers right now have a fine young core of talented hockey players, but this management group shows no evidence of ability to build a winning hockey team, win a trade, or simply acquire useful hockey players (outside of the first round of the draft).

    Ideally, the Oilers need a regime change and I don’t care if it happens now or after this season ends.

  66. rich says:

    @ Godot 10:

    Fair question. Tambellini is supposed to have A) an opinion and B) some kind of idea of what he needs. Yes, you pay the pro-scouts to do their job but he needs to do some work as well and challenge what’s going on in the room (given the track record of that group) and not just sit around saying “well what do you think”.

    Whether or not they are crony’s of Lowe he has a responsibility to be more than a nodding donkey.

  67. godot10 says:

    Roman Hamrlik would have been the 50th contract . Right?

    So claiming him would have taken the Oilers out of the US college hockey free agent signing derby.

    Another reason why the Mike Brown CYA trade was so stupid.

  68. justDOit says:

    @LT: Can you use your connections at The Team to see if Romaine could hold a ‘stop sucking’ seminar for the Oilers?

  69. FastOil says:

    stevezie:

    Even if the GM wants another losing season, he can’t possibly want another lottery season can he? It’s one thing to refuse to replace Horcoff, but surely upgrading VDV couldn’t have been that hard, especially since Belanger is clearly a fine 4th line center but absolutely nothing else? In this deep draft we can be decent and still get a good pick- we don’t have to suck.

    IMO the only kind of losing season should be a lottery season. Why be bad and draft too low? A team that can’t get into the playoffs consistently is poorly run. As in the Devils making it so many years regardless of the roster or it’s changes. They may not be able to win it all, but they can at least get there.

    stevezie:

    Off the glass is a fine play, but it can’t be your only play. Anyone been scouting Ian White? Detroit clearly wants him gone.

    LT likes him too. My concern Stevezie is that if the Wings don’t like him, should we? HIs ninja bubbles aren’t the greatest.

  70. Southern Oil says:

    For those that haven’t read it, I think JW has a great article up on Oilers Nation.

  71. cabbiesmacker says:

    With the second overall pick the Edmonton Oilers are SO ashamed to pick……..

    This organization might get it one day if they can figure out it’s a hockey team and not a family reunion.

    Buchberger, Lowe, MacTavish, Smith….LMFAO. What other NHL team does this?

    The only ex-Oiler who might have been smart enough to be anywhere near this team, Craig Simpson, was instead smart enough to get the hell down the road so he wouldn’t have to witness the carnage.

    Teams a laughing-stock.

  72. justDOit says:

    Nice segment on High Noon, Woodguy. I’m always surprised when I meet another Darcy. It’s happened twice now in many, many years.

    Uh – oh, there goes half of my internet anonymity.

  73. Ribs says:

    I think Woodguy might be your guy if you’re ever looking for a co-host for the show, LT. Nice work!

  74. gangplank says:

    Ribs,

    Woodguy has a very intelligent voice, You listen to him and it seems like he knows his shit. Very un-tambellinian

  75. Numenius says:

    I agree with LT that it’s not just the bottom 6 that needs fixing. We need an experienced, tough, skilled veteran in the top 6. Someone whom the kids look up to. Like Jagr. There’s no one like that now. Gagner’s too inexperienced and not tough enough,

    We also need an experienced, tough, skilled top 4 D. Like Bouwmeester.

    Everyone sucked at OKC until they brought in Cheechoo and Clark. All of a sudden everyone started to play well.

  76. cabbiesmacker says:

    BJ’s up on Detroit 3 zip. If they hang on we’re in familiar Conference surroundings. Dead last.

    Well done Lowe and company.

  77. leadfarmer says:

    WOOOOOOT, We made it. The first 3 lottery parties were great and all, but number 4 is going to be EPIC. WOOhoo. Now where is my beer.

  78. sliderule says:

    The oilers are the most penalized team in the NHL .

    The oilers have a goalie who makes a lot of saves but let’s in at least one bad goal a game.For a young team a killer

    The oilers did not add a goalie to compete with Duby.

    The oilers are very young and physically undeveloped

    The oilers did not add a UFA defenceman to help tthe many question marks they had on defence.

    The oilers have a rookie coach who does not line match and seemingly no system.

    It is a wonder they have won as much as they have

  79. Woodguy says:

    mc79hockey:
    The Oilers problem is that they have too many kids in feature roles and when they run up against good teams it can get away from them in a hurry (that’s what we saw this week).

    I don’t agree with this. The Oilers’ problem is that the bottom half of the team is a trainwreck that’s spurting blood.We’ve been told that to be patient and wait for progress – the kids have progressed, despite Hall and RNH struggling with an injury right now.Gagner and Hemsky are on track.MPS has taken a step forward.

    It is a goddamn disaster below that though.

    Horcoff excepted, the bottom 6 is awful and a part of the problem.

    The bigger problem is ham fisted D who either can’t make a pass or have no clue who to pass too.

    Having a rookie play the most minutes isn’t a great idea either.

  80. Woodguy says:

    Thanks for the kind words all.

    Was fun and can’t remember a damn thing I said.

    Want another crack to properly explain the idea behind using attempted shot data as a proxy for puck possession.

  81. cabbiesmacker says:

    WG? Thinking me may have met. Were you ever or are you now at GF’s, (wholesale) on 114th?

    If so you’re a good dude but with the surname McLeod that kinda goes without saying. OKC HC is 1/2 McLeod fwiw

  82. Ryan says:

    Can’t wait to hear WG… Missed the live version.

    WG, do you think Krueger is part of the problem? Sure, this roster is a mess, but I’m not sure he’s helping the situation.

    Also, for the rumor mill.

    The Pens are rumoured to be kicking the tires of a one Ladi Smid. The Oilers are already widely regarded as one of the sellers for the trade deadline.

    Great to hear that the Oilers might be selling one of the few actual defensemen they have… What Ladi for the Pens’ 2nd? LMAO.

    The Oilers are also rumoured to be in the mix for Ryan Clowe. Sure they could use a player like Clowe, but I’d hate to see them pick up Clowe if the tires are already bald. Thoughts on Clowe? He’s also in the last year of his current contract which means this trade would make no sense.

  83. DeadmanWaking says:

    No matter how much long-distance running might suit me, of course there are days when I feel kind of lethargic and don’t want to run. Actually, it happens a lot.

    Today is one of those days in the Oilogosphere. Last night’s game? Before I checked the out-of-tatami scoreboard this morning, my brain was already dialing 1-800-DONT-TELL-ME. Can it be that bad? Oh look–and worse still. 1-800-HIDE-YOUR-EYES. Yuck. I feel lethargic. And yet, I’m lacing up for a difficult hill.

    Almost all of the books I’ve been reading are orbiting around the question “Why do you do what you do?” I’m seeking the most personal answer. Part of derives from the human condition, and the rest is the identity thing.

    A silhouette of that answer revealed its hazy outlines in the morning mist the other day. It didn’t arrive with the sharp crack of perfect wood. That’s not always how it works.

    Part of our identity is the model we use to make sense of a confusing world. Some people gravitate toward a model that simplifies perception and codifies action. What I’m mainly after is a model that helps a bit without getting in the way. I don’t wish to create a glass ceiling on the hardest question I can usefully confront by adopting a cheap plastic lens, no matter the immediate optical benefits. Unfortunately, a trustworthy all-season lens is the devil’s own taskmaster.

    I was planning to use the following as a metaphor a while back, but it never made it into the fold. This morning it strikes me as more descriptive than metaphoric. Painfully descriptive. Footprints of the Lion:

    I tooke a bodkine gh & put it betwixt my eye & [the] bone as neare to [the] backside of my eye as I could: & pressing my eye [with the] end of it (soe as to make [the] curvature a, bcdef in my eye) there appeared severall white darke & coloured circles r, s, t, &c. Which circles were plainest when I continued to rub my eye [with the] point of [the] bodkine, but if I held my eye & [the] bodkin still, though I continued to presse my eye [with] it yet [the] circles would grow faint & often disappeare untill I removed [them] by moving my eye or [the] bodkin.

    Isaac understood that the lens of perception is game-breaker under the celestial tent unless ruthlessly prodded. He didn’t even want his own eyeball to intrude between his mind and the chaos of laws unwritten. Since it was there, he conducted his due diligence with a flat bodkin needle.

    Newton once famously wrote–expressing humility posterity has determined he dined upon even less frequently than his food: If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. Here he’s neglecting to acknowledge blown rotator cuffs and the whimsy of insufficiently sterilized bodkin needles; those black dice zinged right past his ear.

    The Boston Marathon is considered to be one of the more difficult marathon courses because of the Newton hills, which culminate in Heartbreak Hill near Boston.

    In my case, I have no qualms about being lugged up the Newton hills on the shoulders of giants while clad in my oh so resplendent designer sunshades. In truth I mix my Pan Galactic Google Bluster with two parts austerity and one part chickenshit. There–I confessed. Even so, it’s a cumbersome van-sized contraption compared to any sensible person’s contact lenses. My model has grown to a scale where some days I don’t even know what’s in there any more. Of course, every Baroque addition is made with the hope that the Antikythera mechanism will distill itself into a gear wheels divinely meshed, each with a precise and specific purpose. Unfortunately, digressive gears trains and axles abound, intricately wended by the chisel tip of escaping thoughts into blind avenues of purpose mislaid.

    My vision in the morning mist the other day was one of those that limns a dim hand shadow of the larger design. (Yesterday I wrote the word “fulsome” for the first time ever if I’m not mistaken–and even at that contrary to its proper meaning; and now today “limns” dislodges itself from the equipment closet of all things untried–the capacity of the mind to track flavours not yet tasted is truly staggering. A boutique arms dealer in Peshawar no doubt applies the same mental capacity when fishing out of his thick fold of all the world’s ornate currencies a strange and colourful bill of a design he’s not yet had success in pawning to anyone else.)

    So then, what is this larger design newly revealed?

    In the cavernous cellar, there’s the lizard brain. I’ve read a lot about the lizard brain in the last few months. It’s recently been a very active field; an impromptu, sprawling encampment around the master tent of “willpower fatigue”. Turns out that not eating that slice of left-over chocolate cake exacts its vengeance each and every time you defer it for later. Willpower is an imperceptible muscle with finite capacity. If you drain it by not eating that slice of chocolate cake all day, you’ll succumb to poor decisions in other aspects of your life, biasing short term gain over long term pain.

    In paleo terms, the human organism isn’t designed to go through life resisting a fork or a fuck only a twitch of the eyebrow out of our grope. Maybe once a week, at most, you took a Vince Vega body slam on your willpower reserves. So you’re gonna go out there, say “Goodnight, I’ve had a very lovely evening,” walk out the door, get in the car, go home and jerk off. And that’s all you’re gonna do. The kind of doubling-down that Vince wisely rejects is elevating a foot-massage transgression at level 1 into a hard boiling deep-dip level 11–if he’s not already too coked out to man up for action. Daaaaam this survivable willpower moment all to hell! The rest of the week life mainly consists of the seafood diet: I see food, I eat food. Your willpower circuit is not dealing with the twenty page cellphone bill of modern living you can barely peruse, much less begin to parse.

    Okay, we all know this. It goes without saying. Here’s where I begin to slip in some specific cogs.

    Arrow’s impossibility theorem states that, when voters have three or more distinct alternatives (options), no rank order voting system can convert the ranked preferences of individuals into a community-wide (complete and transitive) ranking while also [meeting other criteria that most everyone assumed any fair voting must necessarily have].

    It’s easier to explain this way: if a professor gets a roomful of college students to write down their pizza preferences, very often the class will experience a cyclical majority: the majority prefers flavour A over flavour B, and likewise B over C, and likewise C over A. Majority preference is not transitive. This is a huge idea that we should be teaching our children before we teach them about Washington and Lincoln. In fact, it’s such a big idea that even the Americans should be teaching it teaching it before teaching Washington and Lincoln.

    Why so early so young? Because the lizard isn’t transitive, either; because will-power isn’t transitive; because all too soon that child’s lizard brain will grow up to hatch the master plan of becoming a beach-bikini dreamboat while devouring nothing but chocolate cake. While the lizard brain is many things, consistency of logic is not among them.

    As we become adults, our forebrain (ideally) takes up the task of fabricating the devious lizard into some semblance of right-thinking homo economicus, this teetering synthesis of self-hood that economists self-servingly adopt as a surrogate first principle. In this view, humans have a well-ordered self interest–our self-interest at three a.m. doesn’t completely sabotage our self-interest at three p.m.

    The second specific cog in my mechanism is the Pareto principle, commonly known as the 80-20 rule: that 20% of the fidget often accounts for 80% of the fizz. This is how the economics profession duped themselves into accepting rationality as first principle. Our forebrain manages to conquer some carefully culled and curated 20% of our inner lizard tumult, and we then apply this hard-won 20% to accomplish 80% of our life business. This is how the fellow in the cubical next to yours manages not to get himself fired on a daily basis, when you just know the rest of this life is bat-shit central. Our public identity is a narrow linear facet, which of course dissolves in the bedroom–if you’re doing it right.

    I simplify this by saying that the forebrain “decides” while the lizard “chooses”. A decision is one to eat lettuce and buy a bikini that fits. Choosing (a moment-by-moment affair) is to buy a bikini too small, then pave your way to the beach with chocolate cake.

    I’ve decided to label myself as a Gung-Whoa Hayekian. I’ve resisted labels for half a century. Old dogs can in fact learn new tricks. Gung-Whoa is just a phrase that came to me. It shows up once on Google as the punchline in a Frank and Ernest cartoon. The “gung” part represents my complete faith in markets to efficiently allocate resources when participants decide. The “whoa” part represents my complete lack of faith in markets to do anything but bugger the weak when transactions degenerate into a decision on one side (name any big corporation) and choosing on the other (name any overwhelmed consumer).

    Simplicity, rationality, linearity. Those are all fragile constructs. We eke out a smidgen in our chosen domain–proudly and promptly painting it in the brightest possible colours on our world-domination coat of arms–and then basically trust to hope and habit that our inner lizard doesn’t completely screw us over the rest of the time.

    Bear in mind I’m discussing a model, one that I’ve consciously fashioned to explain the kinds of things that I most wish to explain. It’s as much captive to its chosen domain as any other model adopted by anyone else. It happens that some domains reward a bigger contraption, and these are the domains I tend to pursue. In other situations, Laertes cuts to the case with less fuss and bother. If a ghost appears telling Laertes to do what his lizard brain wanted him to do in the first place, well, he’s not the kind of man to look a gift-ghost in the mouth.

    Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked meats
    Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.

    I’m flagging a bit on this steep incline. One final push, and we’ll rest half-way.

    The new protuberance revealed in hand shadow is what I wish for from life. Here’s the thing: What I do when I write is stretch language across the forebrain/lizard divide. Our perception of straight cognitive lines is a forebrain construct. We present our constructed forebrain identity in public most of the time–nearly all the time in our employment if we wish to keep it–and the patterns of language in this domain begin to sound like language itself. I’ve learned to view this world more like a well-groomed hedge maze of right-thinking, much manipulated by vested interests. Up above this hedge maze are the lizard vines, the 80% of everything we hide inside. A charming image for this is a Gothic castle with revolving fireplaces. Or even Hogwarts. There’s the 20% of the castle that most of the inhabitants and guests think of as the castle: the main rooms and broad hallways and sweeping photogenic staircases. These hallways form the direct routes from one room to another and one social context to another.

    Yet for someone who learns how the revolving fireplaces are activated, there are indirect routes from place to place: though the fireplace, down the narrow twisty passage, into the trophy room, under the bearskin rug, down another secret passageway, etc. And if you’re quick, you pop out at the other end in your smoking jacket with a warm cognac and a lit cigar before your guest arrives having traveled the main hallways, who greets you as your twin brother.

    Most of what I do when I write is work to master those lizard vines, to find a way to digress from point A to point C (via rotating fireplaces connecting the clock tower to the inner dungeon to the outer moat) with greater impress and legerity (another plumy cherry broken) than by swishing along with metronomic jackboot heel strikes following the dull and ordinary and common and seemingly efficient line of thought. This is mainly possible because of sex. Sex serves as Tarzan’s jungle roundhouse.

    Okay, if I take one more step, it’ll be the closest to not resuming I’ve ever been. Next stop, Heartbreak Hill and some choice comments on Oiler’s management culture.

  84. stevezie says:

    FastOil,

    You make a solid point about White. To be honest I haven’t seen him play at all this year and very little last. I mostly remember at the time of the Phaeuf trade thinking that White was the best player involved in it (at that time, for reasons beyond my control, I was watching a lot of Calgary and a lot of Toronto games. I was a dark time.) One must always be wary of another team’s rejects, which is why I am one of the few who is not too bothered we didn’t take The Roman.

    As far as losing goes- I agree that in general, if you’re going to lose you might as well lose big, but I think two things change that for us:

    1) The new draft format. I love it because I hate tanking- it is just a middle finger to paing custumers.

    2) We have already had three lottery picks, I think the time has come to show signs of improvement. Not a lot of teams can go from outhouse to penthouse- it often takes young players time to adjust to being expected to win, not being able to catch teams offguard, even how to ride out the highs of a winning streak. This would be a fine bridge year. It woudn’t have been hard either- if we had signed just one D-man we could have been decent.

  85. Ryan says:

    Good points, except maybe one.

    You can’t honestly fault a coach for not line matching when he has this roster to work with. :O

    I’m not sure that Scotty Bowman could hide our 3rd and 4rth lines along with our bottom pairing.

    If we had a #1 and #2 d and RNH/Hall/Eberle were all over 24, then it might be possible.

    sliderule:
    The oilers are the most penalized team in theNHL .

    The oilers have a goalie who makes a lot of saves but let’s in at least one bad goal a game.For a young team a killer

    The oilers did not adda goalie to compete with Duby.

    The oilers are very young and physically undeveloped

    The oilers did not add a UFA defenceman to help tthe many question marks they had on defence.

    The oilers have a rookie coach who does not line match and seeminglyno system.

    It is a wonder they have won as much as they have

  86. godot10 says:

    If Krueger line matches, he then becomes complicit in how horrible Lowe’s pro scouting department has been.

    If you want to get better, why try making the bad hockey players look less bad. That might justify the dufuses upstaris giving you the same bad hockey players next year.

    Krueger is revealing the ugly painful truth. This is a good thing, not a bad thing.

  87. Ryan says:

    That makes absolute sense and is probably why Tencer is softly throwing Krueger under the bus:

    “There were a lot of Oilers players that pushed for Ralph Krueger to get the job. Right now, a lot of the same guys are letting him down.”

    That was also my take on the 4rth line center position–whereby Krueger would alternate or vacillate VV with Ryan Smyth–much like using a flash light for Morse code.

    Maybe someone smarter than I could decode the signal made from Smyth and VV alternating in that position. My guess: “SOS” :p

    godot10:
    If Krueger line matches, he then becomes complicit in how horrible Lowe’s pro scouting department has been.

    If you want to get better, why try making the bad hockey players look less bad.That might justify the dufuses upstaris giving you the same bad hockey players next year.

    Krueger is revealing the ugly painful truth.This is a good thing, not a bad thing.

  88. justDOit says:

    godot10,

    Possibly the sanest comment on coaching I’ve seen yet.

    Wait – no, not possibly. It IS.

  89. Hambone678 says:

    LT, good honest post about the dire situation. I think I can already smell the molten polyurethane from Steve Tambellini’s office chair…

    I remember a few weeks back near the start of the season you made a post in which you mostly tried to be fair to Tambellini and pointed out some of the good things he has done of late. Now it seems you don’t think the Oilers can succeed with the current management group.

    I think your view has dovetailed with that of most fans, some of whom were willing to be patient with the “rebuild” up to a few weeks ago but have since agreed that there must be changes in the front office (even the Sun readers I suspect).

    Why do you think there has been such a drastic change of heart? Lord knows this isn’t our first cellar-dwelling season. Is it because we’re coming up on five years with Tambo at the helm with precious little to show for it? Maybe it’s something about that half-decade mark that puts folks in a mood to reflect…

  90. Woodguy says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    WG? Thinking me may have met. Were you ever or are you now at GF’s, (wholesale) on 114th?

    If so you’re a good dude but with the surname McLeod that kinda goes without saying.OKC HC is 1/2 McLeod fwiw

    Nope.

    I run a wholesale company near there though on 116 ave and 163 st.

  91. stevezie says:

    Hambone678,

    I blame “the period” against Minnesota. That killed a lot.

  92. jake70 says:

    Nice job today WG on the show. You have a posted a great blog article (Paajarvi) and appeared on radio show with much insight, LT has taught you well.

    The Sith Rule of Two – “Two there should be two; no more no less. One to embody power, the Master, the other, the Apprentice, to crave it”

    This transfer of power would only take place when the Apprentice eliminates the Master. Ouch…watch your back LT…lol. ;-)

  93. Lowetide says:

    Hambone678:
    LT, good honest post about the dire situation. I think I can already smell the molten polyurethane from Steve Tambellini’s office chair…

    I remember a few weeks back near the start of the season you made a post in which you mostly tried to be fair to Tambellini and pointed out some of the good things he has done of late. Now it seems you don’t think the Oilers can succeed with the current management group.

    I think your view has dovetailed with that of most fans, some of whom were willing to be patient with the “rebuild” up to a few weeks ago but have since agreed that there must be changes in the front office (even the Sun readers I suspect).

    Why do you think there has been such a drastic change of heart? Lord knows this isn’t our first cellar-dwelling season. Is it because we’re coming up on five years with Tambo at the helm with precious little to show for it? Maybe it’s something about that half-decade mark that puts folks in a mood to reflect…

    I think it’s my annual realization that the Oilers aren’t going to make any real in-season changes to help the team. Center badly needed help when Horc and Belanger went down and there was none. If that happened in Calgary they would have addressed need.

    Part of it is the rebuild, I understand that. But part of it is management style and I’ve always found it galling. The Edmoton Oilers will not help themselves in any real way until the deadline.

    And this year, again, it will be too late.

  94. Ripoux says:

    Well it’s in the books – Columbus beat Detroit 3-0. Welcome back to exciting last place hockey. Are we being filmed a la Blair Witch Project?

  95. bendelson says:

    Two players that would go a long way to addressing the significant and well documented problems in the bottom 6 would be (as previously mentioned) Abdelkader and I’ll add Korpikoski to the conversation.

    There is something about 26 yr old established two-way players that take the body, skate very well, PK and play multiple positions 5×5 that appeals.

    Did I mention their value contracts?

    They are not ‘sharpshooters’ to be sure but they can take/make a pass a full speed… and we have developing said ‘sharpshooters’ already.

    We need to support our top players not necessarily add to them.

    And I feel I must mention, MPS is also a great fit.
    I have noticed his net presence as of late,
    And I am loving his explosive ‘yeahs’ after each goal this year.
    I believe I see moxie.

    Great article LT – as per usual.

  96. Woodguy says:

    Ryan:
    Can’t wait to hear WG…Missed the live version.

    WG, do you think Krueger is part of the problem?Sure, this roster is a mess, but I’m not sure he’s helping the situation.

    Also, for the rumor mill.

    The Pens are rumoured to be kicking the tires of a one Ladi Smid.The Oilers are already widely regarded as one of the sellers for the trade deadline.

    Great to hear that the Oilers might be selling one of the few actual defensemen they have…What Ladi for the Pens’ 2nd?LMAO.

    The Oilers are also rumoured to be in the mix for Ryan Clowe.Sure they could use a player like Clowe, but I’d hate to see them pick up Clowe if the tires are already bald.Thoughts on Clowe?He’s also in the last year of his current contract which means this trade would make no sense.

    Mostly I like RK, but a coupke things bother me.

    1) Knowingly putting the 4th line out for a dzone draw when they’re not matched against the other 4th.

    2) Not keeping 91 w/ 89-83 when he seemed to help stop bleeding chances

    His system of up-ice pressure with the F’s covering for pinching D’s often isn’t working great either. Lazy/slow (of mind oe body) F’s are letting too many odd man rushes.

    Inexpeirenced and slow (mind and body again) some time pick the wrong times to pinch.

    2 really had problems with the system to start but seems to have found his groove.

    Its a new system with young players. With no pre-season to teach/learn it, it’s taking a while for it to take hold.

    Mostly its a roster issue. Too many bad players.

    If the Oilers trade Smid its a tell that the deal for Jack Johnson is done.

    Just like the Gilbert trade was a tell that J.Shultz was coming.

  97. "Steve Smith" says:

    Woodguy: If the Oilers trade Smid its a tell that the deal for Jack Johnson is done.

    Just like the Gilbert trade was a tell that J.Shultz was coming.

    Except much worse.

    The Gilbert trade was wretched, but was more that counter-balanced by the acquisition of Schultz (although I don’t accept that the first was a prerequisite for the second).

    On the subject of Smid, I seldom hear him named as a possible alternate captain – any idea why that is (apart from that he’s apparently getting replaced by Jack Johnson)? From what little I know, it seems to me that he’d be a good choice.

  98. godot10 says:

    Woodguy: Mostly I like RK, but a coupke things bother me.

    1) Knowingly putting the 4th line out for a dzone draw when they’re not matched against the other 4th.

    2) Not keeping 91 w/ 89-83 when he seemed to help stop bleeding chances

    His system of up-ice pressure with the F’s covering for pinching D’s often isn’t working great either. Lazy/slow (of mind oe body) F’s are letting too many odd man rushes.

    Inexpeirenced and slow (mind and body again) some time pick the wrong times to pinch.

    2 really had problems with the system to start but seems to have found his groove.

    Its a new system with young players.With no pre-season to teach/learn it, it’s taking a while for it to take hold.

    Mostly its a roster issue. Too many bad players.

    If the Oilers trade Smid its a tell that the deal for Jack Johnson is done.

    Just like the Gilbert trade was a tell that J.Shultz was coming.

    But is there a method to Krueger’s “madness”. Protecting bad players when your team isn’t good enough to be competitive doesn’t help get you better hockey players.

    Now even Taylor Hall (and Eberle and Schultz and Nugent-Hopkins) knows that the clowns at the bottom of the roster are not good enough, and that the overlords may be clowns too.

    And if Taylor Hall knows it, it means management cannot escape accountability.

    Krueger is empowering Hall to be able to demand management accountability, and get him (Hall) better players.

  99. hunter1909 says:

    godot10: Krueger is empowering Hall to be able to demand management accountability, and get him (Hall) better players.

    This is my monkeys with typewriters moment.

    While everyone else waxes and wanes along the normal channels, at last some original thinking.

  100. Smarmy says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    With the second overall pick the Edmonton Oilers are SO ashamed to pick……..

    This organization might get it one day if they can figure out it’s a hockey team and not a family reunion.

    Buchberger, Lowe, MacTavish, Smith….LMFAO. What other NHL team does this?

    The Gretzky Coyotes were a sewer of nepotism and cronyism. They were also terrible.

  101. hunter1909 says:

    Smarmy,

    I particularly enjoyed that Rick Tocchet/Janet Gretzky gambling ring scandal.

    Speaking of, it kind of dawned on me last night that were these clowns ever to tank again just like they’re doing, that when they finally get good the league might have to step in and break up the team, citing the overall integity of the game etc.

  102. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    I really hope you are correct.

    Now we need to stop the Jack Johnson trade.

  103. stevezie says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    With the second overall pick the Edmonton Oilers are SO ashamed to pick……..

    This organization might get it one day if they can figure out it’s a hockey team and not a family reunion.

    Buchberger, Lowe, MacTavish, Smith….LMFAO. What other NHL team does this?

    The only ex-Oiler who might have been smart enough to be anywhere near this team, Craig Simpson, was instead smart enough to get the hell down the road so he wouldn’t have to witness the carnage.

    Teams a laughing-stock.

    I actually like the “Once an Oiler, always an Oiler” thinking. It makes me feel like I’m not just cheering for laundry out there; like “The Oilers” are actually a real thing, with a real connection between past and present.

    Of course, I like it the way I like high scoring hockey- It’s awesome to the degree that you can pull it off and, y’know, win the odd hockey game.

    I would love to know what they told Darryl Katz. Obviously he was onboard with sucking for awhile, but how long? Are MacTamboLowni falling short of their own expectations, or is this the plan? I don’t like it if this is the plan, but if it isn’t the plan… what then Darryl? If Lowe told you they’d be competitive this year, how can he justify his job?

    What did Lowe tell Darryl?

  104. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    godot10,

    I really hope you are correct.

    Now we need to stop the Jack Johnson trade.

    MacT’s big brain didn’t stop the Mike Brown trade from happening.

    MacT’s big brain didn’t find Hamrlik on waivers an enticing idea.

    MacT’s big brain thought Ladi Smid was a left wing. Sorry Ladi. MacT’s return pretty much means that you are toast.

    So good luck with stopping the Jack Johnson trade.

  105. Ice Sage says:

    boopronger:
    Well if you follow the “penguins” model, this is the year we draft our jordan staal at number 2 overall.

    2002 at 5th overall Ryan Whitney (our gagner at 6th overall)
    2003 at 1st overall MAF (taylor hall)
    2004 at 2nd overall Malkin (RNH)
    2005 at 1st overall Crosby (yakupov)
    2006 at 2nd overall J. Stall (??? Jones??)

    There was a GM change near the end of the penguins rebuild and i think tambo needs to go as well.

    You missed a year (Oilers drafted Paajarvi) so they should be done and on their way by now.

  106. bendelson says:

    Great link to Psycho Killer LT.

    I can still remember the day my older brother, who worked suit and tie in the Woodwards record department, brought home London Calling and Talking Heads 77. I was young. It was transformational.

  107. "Steve Smith" says:

    bendelson:
    I can still remember the day my older brother, who worked suit and tie in the Woodwards record department, brought home London Calling and Talking Heads 77.I was young.It was transformational.

    If you’re what it transforms people into, I want no part of it.

  108. vishcosity says:

    This is hilarious for me. I checked out on the Oilers and this blog for the first time in years, about a month back. A month ago, pushing for the playoffs the sphere was awash with hope for the future, mere weeks later the unilateral call seems to be for Lowe’s head. God loves the masses, but not for any reason we would hope.

    I’m washing rat schit in LA, or I’m cleaning a beach house with an ocean view. If Taylor Hall and his 6 large doesn’t want to play, then hit the bricks bitch. Say hello to Charles Wang for me.

    If the memo from Katz to Lowe says, “As long as we’re sold out, I want the best pick possible every year until the new barn is done” then Hunter you’d better find a new team or change your interest level now because this combination will kill your liver else.

    The sun is setting through the palm trees, and while the rats clearly did run the porch of the old lady who has a new knee, I’m constantly astounded that the hose water is warm. I saw a picture from Edmonton this morning. I’m outside in a tshirt running warm water through a hose. If taylor hall can’t play because he’s pissed at the overlords, then I’d suggest he find a way to relish the concept of warm hose water in early March and blast out the next cabinet instead of bitch about the fourth line guys who’s contracts he cannot control.

    Get to work boys. Its an honour to be able to hang in Manhattan beach regardless of the perceived circumstance.

  109. "Steve Smith" says:

    vishcosity:
    This is hilarious for me.I checked out on the Oilers and this blog for the first time in years, about a month back.A month ago, pushing for the playoffs the sphere was awash with hope for the future, mere weeks later the unilateral call seems to be for Lowe’s head.

    In fairness, even back when some of us (including me, in a moment of enthusiasm not substantiated even by the facts reasonably understood at the time) were saying playoffs, I think most of us were also calling for Lowe’s firing; that’s been more or less the consensus position around here for years.

  110. Captain Happy says:

    If, as some are hoping, that Hall asserts himself to Lowe, I would expect he should brace himself to get Sourayed.

  111. bendelson says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    It is often challenging to determine the motivations behind your ‘comedy’.

    Are you Steve Smith – the amusing, witty character that likes to be a jackass?
    or…
    Steve Smith – a total jackass who happens to amuse?

    So without further adieu,

    Fuck you Steve Smith!
    Fuck off and die Steve Smith!

    (to be taken in the exact same spirit in which it is so often given)

  112. Lowetide says:

    Captain Happy:
    If, as some are hoping, that Hall asserts himself to Lowe, I would expect he should brace himself to get Sourayed.

    And I would gladly follow Hall to any of the other teams. Seriously. THAT’S the hill I die on.

  113. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide,

    You’re getting trolled.

  114. geeker99 says:

    Unless this team gets proper puck moving defenceman the kids are gonna be injured more than healthy. They are not going to win dump and chase battles for a few years yet. i get really nervous when they are in a close race for a free puck.
    Watch the shoulders boys.

  115. G Money says:

    Woodguy: Mostly I like RK, but a coupke things bother me.
    1) Knowingly putting the 4th line out for a dzone draw when they’re not matched against the other 4th.
    2) Not keeping 91 w/ 89-83 when he seemed to help stop bleeding chances
    His system of up-ice pressure with the F’s covering for pinching D’s often isn’t working great either. Lazy/slow (of mind oe body) F’s are letting too many odd man rushes.
    Inexpeirenced and slow (mind and body again) some time pick the wrong times to pinch.
    2 really had problems with the system to start but seems to have found his groove.
    Its a new system with young players.With no pre-season to teach/learn it, it’s taking a while for it to take hold.
    Mostly its a roster issue. Too many bad players.
    If the Oilers trade Smid its a tell that the deal for Jack Johnson is done.
    Just like the Gilbert trade was a tell that J.Shultz was coming.

    In a perverse way, I have been enjoying the mood on the Oilogosphere after the two shutouts – unprecedentedly black humour abounds.

    That said, the real fake world that is Hockey goes on. The mood is calling for Lowebellini’s head as the answer.

    I’m beginning to think it is NOT Lowebellini, but RK that will go first. I don’t necessarily disagree, and you spell out some of the reasons why.

    WHY RK MAYBE SHOULD GO:

    - It’s clear that the new “pre-gapping” system is not being absorbed. Maybe just maybe it was a mistake to implement a brand new system with a bunch of young players in a shortened season with virtually no training camp and no practice time? That’s on RK I think.

    - A good coach adapts his system to his players. Does RK’s system fit the players he’s got? I would think a poorly matched system will outlast a coaches ability to get players to fit and/or new players.

    Bottom line is that as shitty as the team has been this year, and as truthfully AHL-calibre the fourth and most of the third line are most nights, the big problem is that it is the same team as last year AND VIRTUALLY EVERY PLAYER not a hobbit has gone backwards.

    Doesn’t that point to the coach?

  116. "Steve Smith" says:

    G Money: Doesn’t that point to the coach?

    Maybe. But like I said earlier, if Tambellini fires his fourth coach, then either he’s right and the club has had four consecutive lousy coaches, in which case it’s on management, or the coach isn’t the problem, in which case it’s on management.

    I’d be okay with Tambellini’s replacement firing Krueger. I am not okay with Tambellini firing Krueger.

  117. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”: h coach, then either he’s right and the club has had four consecutive lousy coaches, in which case it’s on management, or the coach isn’t the problem, in which case it’s on management.

    I’d be okay with Tambellini’s replacement firing Krueger. I a

    This. Tambellini isn’t exactly bona fide.

  118. G Money says:

    “Steve Smith”Maybe.But I’d be okay with Tambellini’s replacement firing Krueger.I am not okay with Tambellini firing Krueger.

    Here’s the thing though – and this is why I think RK might go before ST or KL.

    Strategically speaking, I cannot believe that Katz or KL did not buy into the idea of letting the kids run on their own this year, even if it was ST’s idea (which I doubt). There’s no way that he skates out of the summer with no meaningful adds to the team other than the two lotto prizes, unless it is part of the strategy.

    I hate to ascribe intelligence to the management team, but a. maybe the above is even a legitimate and supportable long term strategy, and b. Katz has built a business worth $4B (?), which would be worth about $3.9B more than all the posters here put together. He just may know something about long-term strategy.

    There were a lot of questions about this team going into the year:
    - Is Whitney back or done? (Done).
    - Is Dubie a starter? (Despite recent letdowns, he is in the top half of all goalies who have played a decent number of games. So far the answer is a qualified yes.)
    - Will Yak and Jr demonstrate NHL level skills? (Yes.)
    - Good Potter or Bad Potter? (Bad.)
    - Theo Peckham or Teddy Peckman? (Fat Albert.)
    - Samwise or Gags? (Wise offensively, still gags defensively.)
    - Hemsky 2006 or Hemsky 2012? (mostly 2006 but clearly needs a defensively responsible centre and a mucker on his line.)

    IF one were to ascribe intelligence to at least one of Katzlobellinivish, you might argue that they wanted answers to the above before deciding priorities for signing free agents this summer under the new CBA. Yeah, I know, huge IF.

    That said – the worst part of watching the Oilers this year is seeing how badly the team has regressed, when everyone expected at least progression as a result of skilled new kids coming in and the existing youngsters growing (e.g. Lowetide’s entirely reasonable hope that Hall would go supernova). Even more painful is watching veterans like Sr and Smyth look so lost.

    So again – I THEORIZE (only a theory) that RK might be the [first] one to go because it is entirely possible that
    a. the ‘do nothing’ approach is an agreed upon strategy by the entire management team up to Katz
    b. the regression in players, young and veteran, is entirely unexpected, unreasonable, and easy to lay on the coach

  119. G Money says:

    Lowetide: This. Tambellini isn’t exactly bona fide.

    Note – I should be clear, I am not suggesting that ST shouldn’t be fired. For the reasons I laid out in my response to SS, I am theorizing a backstory that fits the observations. If the backstory has any resemblance to reality, then I am suggesting that we should not be surprised if RK goes, or at least goes first.

  120. "Steve Smith" says:

    G Money,

    If all you’re trying to do is construct a narrative that explains why Krueger might be the first to go, I think you can start and end with “Darryl Katz does not appear to hold the senior management of the Edmonton Oilers accountable.”

  121. G Money says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    G Money,
    If all you’re trying to do is construct a narrative that explains why Krueger might be the first to go, I think you can start and end with “Darryl Katz does not appear to hold the senior management of the Edmonton Oilers accountable.”

    No, I”m trying to construct a narrative that fits the facts. It’s easy to say ST is an idiot and KL is incompetent and Katz doesn’t know how to manage. That’s an understandable response, and certainly there’s lots of evidence to suggest that is the case – but nonetheless, the thought process is an emotional one, not a rational one. On the aspect of Katz in particular, you simply can’t build a multi-billion dollar business without getting really good at holding senior management accountable.

    That’s what leads me to believe that the complete inactivity we’re seeing from the Oilers, an approach that was reconfirmed by a tweet today (which is what got me thinking about the whole thing), is deliberate and not (necessarily) a result of incompetence.

    And if that’s the case, then RK will be the one to take the fall first.

    Not saying it WILL happen – just saying it won’t surprise me if it does.

  122. "Steve Smith" says:

    G Money:On the aspect of Katz in particular, you simply can’t build a multi-billion dollar business without getting really good at holding senior management accountable.

    I agree with that, and I never suggested that he didn’t hold the senior management of Rexall accountable. But it does not follow that he would do the same with the Oilers, because i. there is anecdotal evidence that he is friendly with Lowe and MacTavish, and that indeed this friendship informed his decision to buy the team in the first place; ii. sports team owners often treat their teams as playthings rather than primarily as investments, and often apply different management techniques to them than they do to their primary businesses; and iii. Katz’s ability to hold senior management of Rexall responsible may well arise from some expertise or natural ability he has in the pharmaceutical business, which skills are non-transferable to the management of a professional hockey team (and in particular to the on-ice aspects thereof).

    In summary,
    1. There is evidence (at least in the form of a presumption) to suggest that Katz is good at holding the senior management of Rexall accountable.
    2. There is no evidence that the relevant skills are transferable to holding the senior management of hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers accountable.
    3. There is some evidence, in the form of an unholy streak of ineptitude, that Katz is not good at, or simply not interested in, holding the senior management of hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers accountable.

    Your narrative still could be right, of course, but I don’t think it’s at all accurate to say that it better fits the facts than mine does, and Occam’s Razor prefers mine.

  123. G Money says:

    "Steve Smith": …
    Your narrative still could be right, of course, but I don’t think it’s at all accurate to say that it better fits the facts than mine does, and Occam’s Razor prefers mine.

    We’re expending a lot of words on a topic on which we don’t actually disagree very much. That said, I think your assessment of Katz’s approach to the team is reflective of the prevailing view of the last few years, at least for those who have wanted to get rid of Tambowe since the beginning.

    My narrative starts, and where I think the prevailing narrative that you expressed starts to fail, with today’s tweet from Stauffer (a mouthpiece for the organization):

    Bob_Stauffer
    ‏@Bob_Stauffer
    As for the Oilers. Ugly last couple of games. Magnified by being on extended road trip. The cavalry is NOT coming via trade. Horcoff will…..Help when he returns but the team will have to look within to turn it around

    That’s where I think your narrative (the prevailing consensus) risks running afoul of ol’ Occam … I just can’t see how the above tweet is sent in the context of “not holding accountable”. I interpret that tweet as a direct, in-your-face to Oiler fans that says “this IS the plan, whether you like it or not.”

    That’s why I postulated an alternative narrative… If five straight lottery picks is indeed the plan – and again, I acknowledge it is a BIG IF – that combined with what I think ARE in fact some very significant issues with RK (as Woodguy articulated and I followed up on) means that I will not be surprised if Ralph is shown the door but ST and KL are not…

    But to be clear – I will not be heartbroken if all of them get shown the door!

  124. "Steve Smith" says:

    G Money: I interpret that tweet as a direct, in-your-face to Oiler fans that says “this IS the plan, whether you like it or not.”

    I have no doubt that that’s the current plan. I strongly doubt that getting a first overall pick in 2013 was the plan back in 2010, or whenever we’re retroactively setting the beginning of the rebuild this week. That the senior management has been allowed to redefine the plan like this is, in my view, supportive of the lack of accountability.

  125. G Money says:

    “Steve Smith”: I have no doubt that that’s the current plan.I strongly doubt that getting a first overall pick in 2013 was the plan back in 2010, or whenever we’re retroactively setting the beginning of the rebuild this week.That the senior management has been allowed to redefine the plan like this is, in my view, supportive of the lack of accountability.

    Hmmm, not sure about how retroactive it is, but it seems to me that recent history suggests that an actual rebuild starts with your first lottery pick … it ends (if it ever does) with the playoffs five to six years later.

    We don’t know what the Oiler rebuild plan actually is, or even if they have one – good for management, bad for us as fans.

    But without knowing the plan, we don’t know if the lack of activity we’ve seen over the last few years is wise patience, or utter incompetence coupled with lack of accountability. There is evidence pointing to both – I guess that’s my point. Changing the plan (if that’s whats happened) isn’t a mortal failing either. As Moltke said, “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” We just don’t know if our enemy is other GMs or Tambellini himself!

    I don’t want to fall too easily into the now prevailing “they just all suck” view, one that is coloured heavily by the poison-coloured glasses that inevitably come from watching our team play heartless, gutless, brainless hockey and be shut out two games in a row.

    Yes – someone probably *should* lose their job.

    I just think it’s worth remembering that if Chicago and/or Pittsburgh are truly the model(s) being used by Kambowevish, let’s not forget that Chicago picked lottery 4 years in a row (2003 to 2007) before finally picking at #11 in 2008, and PIttsburgh picked lottery five years in a row (2002 to 2007) before jumping to #20 (aided mightily by Crosby and Malkin). So it is not inconceivable that lottery for this year is and has been the plan for a while … in which case, if there is fallout from the regression this year, RK, will lose, not ST and KL.

    Reasonable possibility or rose-coloured excuse glasses? You decide. I gotta go do the one thing that is more painful than watching the Oilers right now – collecting information for taxes for my startup business. Sigh.

  126. stevezie says:

    bendelson,

    Hell yeah Bendelson! Vive le Bendelson!

  127. stevezie says:

    On a lighter note, remember when Lowe was on CBC afterhours (the hockey show, not the pornography) and said the plan was for the rebuild to take years? At the time the fanbase let out a collective groan, but he has stuck to his easily executed plan and it has taken years.

    The question I’m asking is does anyone remember how many years he said it would take?

  128. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    stevezie,

    He has said on more then a couple occasions that the rebuild should take 5 years, that was after we drafted Taylor Hall, because apparently that wasn’t part of the plan and the rebuild technically started after that.

  129. tcho says:

    Wes Mantooth-11,

    Then why aren’t they straight up with fans now? For the last two seasons, they’ve basically said (I can’t remember the exact words) that the organizational goal is to make the playoffs, or at least be competitive for a playoff spot down to the wire. Which is it – still part way through the rebuild to be competitive, or competitive now? If you’re saying the latter and (to view through rose-coloured glasses) your team is achieving the former, then you are sure to generate frustration and disappointment.

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