BITCH

How much time does Craig MacTavish have to turn this thing around? I would have thought 5 years or so, that’s kind of the deal for a General Manager. However, there’s a group (large) who feel the MacT GM regime is more of the same.

One of them is Ray Ferraro.

Twitterer Hope Smoke (a must follow) tweeted out these words attributed to Ferraro this afternoon on TSN (Toronto):

  • “in Edmonton management everybody thinks the same, you need a contrarian to offer a different perspective”
  • “if it took me this long to rebuild my house I would have fired the contractor long ago”
  • “there is a strong tie and love affair with the old Cup teams in Edmonton.”
  • “if Fla or Cbj were being run as poorly as the Oilers were we’d all be calling them a joke franchise.”

I have a great deal of respect for Ray Ferraro, he’s a smart man and very insightful about the game. When he’s on a broadcast, I make a special note to watch the game no matter the opponent—there’s not a hockey commentator alive who warrants that kind of respect (well, Howie Meeker, but I can’t find the channel he’s working for these days).

However, I would argue that the Oilers have been MacTavish’s team for less than a year, that he has added pieces and that the team is going in a good direction (won-loss record aside). I would further argue that firing MacTavish and Eakins might send this thing the wrong way.

Surely we can agree this is better than the Tambellini era.

Or can we?

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126 Responses to "BITCH"

  1. Marcus Oilerius says:

    It struck me as not a criticism of MacTavish, but of the entire organization – an accusation of groupthink and unoriginality.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    It struck me as not a criticism of MacTavish, but of the entire organization – an accusation of groupthink and unoriginality.

    Sure, but why now? Why would Ray Ferraro rip the Oilers now instead of two years ago? Seems unusual.

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “I would have thought 5 years or so, that’s kind of the deal for a General Manager. ”

    Not sure where you got the number from here LT. Seems pretty optimistic to me. I’d say if the first 1/3 of the the 15/16 season is still bad (and next year is too) he’s out, Eakins too if not sooner.

    ————-
    I generally agree with you here. You are evaluating MacT as an outsider; Ferraro is as part of a continuous management team.

    I think — because of the way he was hired and the fact that Howson’s back, KL is still here and the scouts/coaches weren’t overturned or make to re-interview — the answer is somewhere in the middle.

    ———
    Where Ferraro is really off the rails is in thinking CBJ and FLA aren’t considered jokes.

  4. hunter1909 says:

    Obviously he’s got a point. Everyone outside Oilerville probably agrees with it.

    Fans of the Oilers have, a two game win streak that has the team playing pretty well, Yaks is doing better, the new additions seem to be firing the team up, Dubnyk’s gone…

    Oh yeah…Klefbom’s reported to be improving, Marincin looks good, Nurse looks good in juniors and Ekblad’s a distinct possibility…meaning eventually the defense probably won’t be able to not improve by a very large margin.

    It seems that the team has collectively gone crazy, and taken most of the fans(including myself) to the insane asylum. My brain tells me the article is correct, while the idiot fan inside me tells me to wait and everything will soon be alright.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Sure, but why now? Why would Ray Ferraro rip the Oilers now instead of two years ago? Seems unusual.

    He was asked?

    That… and when this shit turns and starts rolling down the hill (I mean media and fan sentiment), it’s over.

  6. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Lowetide: Sure, but why now? Why would Ray Ferraro rip the Oilers now instead of two years ago? Seems unusual.

    I can’t tell you, but I imagine it’s for the same reason everyone else brought their knives out now. Out of patience, I guess.

  7. Hammers says:

    We will see more changes in both the near future and this summer . If it’s enough or not we won’t find out until October but one thing i’m sure of and that is Eakins will be the coach . If McT can add another 3 like or better than , Perron ; Gordon & Ference plus give Klefbom the same oportunity that Marinchin is getting it may be enough to go 1 or 2 more steps . We also have the maturing of the 5 . I’m prepared to see what happens next .

  8. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909:
    Obviously he’s got a point. Everyone outside Oilerville probably agrees with it.

    Fans of the Oilers have, a two game win streak that has the team playing pretty well, Yaks is doing better, the new additions seem to be firing the team up, Dubnyk’s gone…

    Oh yeah…Klefbom’s reported to be improving, Marincin looks good, Nurse looks good in juniors and Ekblad’s a distinct possibility…meaning eventually the defense probably won’t be able to not improve by a very large margin.

    It seems that the team has collectively gone crazy, and taken most of the fans(including myself) to the insane asylum. My brain tells me the article is correct, while the idiot fan inside me tells me to wait and everything will soon be alright.

    See, I think this is exactly right.

  9. Zelepukin says:

    As many have proven before, the best aspect of being an Oilers fan is that we’re all hyper-critical of every action within the business. Debating the pros and cons of every detail still keeps us engaging within a community like this, despite the despair of the past 7 years.

    I genuinely believe the worst thing that has happened to this organization was the 2005-06 cup run. That year Lowe made incredible acquisitions and literally all his reclamation projects worked out. The off-season resulted in the complete opposite, with anyone of any value leaving town or not being re-signed, along with over-valuing players like Horcoff and Pisani, thus crippling our ability to add valuable skilled vets to help along our youth’s development. The next 2 years Lowe continued to hedge his bets on youth up front (Lupul, Penner, Gagner), reclamation projects, along with some experience on the back-end in the form of your Vishnoskys, Sourays and Whitneys.

    Those 3-4 years of bad contracts and failed reclamation projects set us up to have no skilled vets on the roster to really guide the Hall years. Horcoff is not a skilled vet in the same way that a Toews or Kane had Sharp along side them their rookie year, putting up 36 goals.

    Perhaps if during the Tambo years, we did actually get a positive, Edmonton-loving Heatley, our kids would have progressed at a faster, more stable rate, rather than this ridiculous, welcome to the NHL now you have to win us games cause no one else will situation.

    So where am I going with this? I do blame Lowe for a lot of this mess and primarily back to that 06-07 season. He was always a ballsy GM but perhaps hiring Tambo was the worst move of all and in my opinion that has set us up to where we are now.

    I believe MacT is trying to bring back that same KLowe approach to being an aggressive GM, very willing to throw some hail marys on 2nd down with reclamation projects, while also trying to get whatever skilled vets we can afford on the backend.

  10. RexLibris says:

    LT – I’m pretty much in the same boat here with you.

    I like and respect Ferraro in terms of his hockey analysis. But at the same time, and I’m trying not to simply react to criticism, this seems out of left field.

    What have the Oilers done in the last 48 hours that would warrant these statements?

    Did they drop consecutive games by an embarrassing score? Trade a young piece away for a knuckledragger? Throw a UFA overboard for picks and magic beans?

    I understand the media that covers the league getting a little bit of Oiler fatigue because we are coming around to deadline and draft-run-up coverage and lo and behold, here are the OIlers front and center yet again.

    But at the same time, Ferraro seems like one who would know that the current GM has been in place less than a calendar year and the coach is new to the organization and the NHL. He has never struck me as a “throw them under the bus” type of guy. This seems more like something in keeping with Pierre Maguire or Nick Kypreos than Ferraro.

    Maybe we need to question the attribution (not casting aspersions here on Hope Smoke, though, just wondering if we’re dealing with a communication crosswire somewhere here.

    If it is Ferraro, well, Dreger has said some curious things about the team this year as well so maybe we can just add his name to the list of MSM we’d like to see regret their statements.

  11. The Great One says:

    Lowetide: Sure, but why now? Why would Ray Ferraro rip the Oilers now instead of two years ago? Seems unusual.

    Perhaps it’s because MacT has had an influence on the Oilers since 1999 with a brief sabbatical.

    It’s also revealing that , when MacT hired Eakins and ousted Krueger, he made it very clear that he hired Eakins because he thinks the game just like he does,

    There may have been many reasons to punt Pat Quinn, Tom Renney and Krueger but I would imagine their “contrairianism” played a part in their termination.

    Ferraro is no dummy.

  12. Lucinius says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    I find it hard to really argue against Ferraro here. We’ve seen no real evidence that the thinking amongst management has really changed. The team, and the city, does harken back to the ’80′s teams heavily in almost every aspect or pr stunt. And the rebuild has dragged on too long (in part because the team is back-sliding in what was supposed to be the year to take a clear step forward).

    Lastly, the Oilers are a joke franchise. Its just how it is. We hope for improvement but we have yet to see it. We get flashes in the pan that are soon tossed into the trash.

    MacT is new, and he does deserve more time (but then, so did Krueger and he was tossed aside rudely all-too-soon by MacT), but for all his good moves.. there’ve been more than a few utterly craptastic ones (coaching!).

    Of course, imo, the real problem begins and ends with the owner. Batman is the real problem. He doesn’t just want a winning team; he wants a winning team his friends run — and thus far the latter has been more important than the former, especially since the fans in Edmonton are dumb enough to continue making the Oilers money hand over fist.

  13. The Great One says:

    RexLibris:
    LT – I’m pretty much in the same boat here with you.

    I like and respect Ferraro in terms of his hockey analysis. But at the same time, and I’m trying not to simply react to criticism, this seems out of left field.

    What have the Oilers done in the last 48 hours that would warrant these statements?

    Did they drop consecutive games by an embarrassing score? Trade a young piece away for a knuckledragger? Throw a UFA overboard for picks and magic beans?

    I understand the media that covers the league getting a little bit of Oiler fatigue because we are coming around to deadline and draft-run-up coverage and lo and behold, here are the OIlers front and center yet again.

    But at the same time, Ferraro seems like one who would know that the current GM has been in place less than a calendar year and the coach is new to the organization and the NHL. He has never struck me as a “throw them under the bus” type of guy. This seems more like something in keeping with Pierre Maguire or Nick Kypreos than Ferraro.

    Maybe we need to question the attribution (not casting aspersions here on Hope Smoke, though, just wondering if we’re dealing with a communication crosswire somewhere here.

    If it is Ferraro, well, Dreger has said some curious things about the team this year as well so maybe we can just add his name to the list of MSM we’d like to see regret their statements.

    This comment from Ray is not new.

    I listened to an in depth interview with him a couple of weeks ago where he said exactly the same things so it is not based on anything recent.

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

  14. book¡je says:

    Every single move Tambellini made turned out worse than one would have hoped at the time it was made. He was wrong every time. I excused this for a long time (longer than most) with the arguement being that we didn’t know if the goal was to win or to lose (and get draft picks – note we do know that the first time they lost really bad that they were trying to win, but after that it was uncertain). Given that he was fired and we were told that the plan had been to improve over the last two years, there was no excuse. Tambellini was horrible and his 10′s all turned out to be 5′s and he never found a jack.

    MacT on the other hand has made a number of moves that have turned out better than expected (Arco, Marincin, Perron, dumping Smid before he fell apart, etc). I think MacT is much much better than Tambellini.

    The book is still out on Eakins.

  15. hunter1909 says:

    Lucinius: Batman is the real problem. He doesn’t just want a winning team; he wants a winning team his friends run — and thus far the latter has been more important than the former, especially since the fans in Edmonton are dumb enough to continue making the Oilers money hand over fist.

    Look at it this way:

    Katz is making money right now, and so as a result wants to keep his buddies in positions where he believes(chances are they’re great salesmen) they belong. Whether or not they’re deserving, they’ve certainly convinced Katz they’re the right men for the job.

    If the season ticket holders continue to support the team through the gate, Katz, esthetics aside is under no pressure to implement any change whatsoever.

    If however the season ticket holders are no longer prepared to wait and pay tens of thousands of presumably hard earned dollars down the drain year after year, provided they convince Katz by virtue of declining ticket sales we won’t have to wait long before Katz turns on even his dear old china plates.

  16. oilabroad says:

    I talked to an ex-oiler recently, and asked him what he thought was wrong with the team this year. I expected defence or goaltending to be the obvious answer but instead he went straight to management. Even though he was still amicable with Lowe and MacT, his thoughts were they had all been around too long and there was nothing new coming out of the organization. I really have no idea if he is right or wrong (I have been grinding the Eakins axe instead) but I get the feeling this is what a lot of people outside the team and outside the city think.

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    book¡je: MacT on the other hand has made a number of moves that have turned out better than expected (Arco, Marincin, Perron, dumping Smid before he fell apart, etc). I think MacT is much much better than Tambellini.

    I don’t know how much credit he gets for Marincin.

    The call-up counts mind you.

  18. Ducey says:

    FLA is a model franchise? Who knew?

    The Oilers are more likely to win a Cup before 1/2 the teams in the league, including the team they played last night.

    They have lots of good young players and more on the way. They have cap room and flexibility.

    You can accuse them of being slow to add to their group but I don’t see any moves in the last year that make you question the competence of the group. The Smid deal was a head scratcher at the time but may turn out to be a good deal.

    MacT identified goal as a problem last year and apparently overbid for a top end goalie. He appears to have been in on everything and everyone without pulling the trigger on deals that would set back the rebuild. He was innovative at the draft and has pulled the trigger on some recent deals.

    If they had a whole new regime change, what would change? (other than appearances) Competent management likely should follow the same path MacT has mapped out.

  19. RexLibris says:

    The Great One,

    I hadn’t heard his earlier comments.

    I still respect Ferraro, and like LT, I’ll listen when he speaks on anything hockey-related.

    That being said, I don’t agree with his opinion of MacTavish as GM. If the Oilers are in the same place this time next year, and I’ll grant that there is no reason to believe that it will be any better or worse, then this thing needs to be turned upside down in management and some people need to shake loose.

    But given the shambles this roster was in at the end of last season, it would be prudent to give new management time to repair the damage.

  20. Hammers says:

    I also have a lot of respect for Ferraro especially during games . He calls it the way he sees it good or bad and no matter the team, even the Canucks his home team .Ownership decisions belong to the guy who has his money on the line . Katz will live with his decisions untill we are in the new building so my guess is that’s how long McT has to get us into the playoffs and my guess is that’s when we actually are in the playoffs .

  21. godot10 says:

    Ferraro has been on the Oilers case most of the year, not just today. I doubt he’s seen the last two games, so this is the latest losing streak still talking. But San Jose is tomorrow, and we may all be really drunk again in 30 hours.

    MacT isn’t new. He was really only gone for one year.

    Lowe and MacT and Eakins have to hang with the pack next season. They have to be better than 24th.

    i.e There has to be tangible progress. They have to best Krueger’s result, at a minimum next season.

  22. Caramel Obvious says:

    Anyone who sees no difference between Tambellini and MacTavish isn’t paying attention. The chasm between them is so vast it is ineffable. Tambellini didn’t do make a single intelligent move, at the time or by hindsight, the entire time he was here. They have absolutely nothing in common.

    Not recognizing this is the kind of thing that rules someone out of the conversation in advance. It’s a non-starter.

    And the rebuild comment is ridiculous. Most rebuilds fail. All rebuilds take a long time. That’s a simple fact.

  23. The Great One says:

    Ducey,

    Florida and Columbus have all sorts of issues that the Oilers don’t have to face.

    Florida has recently changed owners (again) and their new owner, Vincent Viola, who was recruited by Bettman, is now promising to fund the team at a level that they can be competitive. They have recently asked to re-negotiate their lease with Broward County so who knows but, in any event, Tallon has not been able to spend to the cap (currently the lowest payroll in the league) while the Oilers have no such issues.

    Columbus, in the meantime, brought in a very smart hockey man in John Davidson who basically built the current version of the STL Blues and then hired Jaarmo Kelkalainen, who has an incredible record in the draft as their GM. That the Jackets are in the playoff mix and are competitive every night is a testament to some pretty good progress.

    I’d put some pretty decent coin on the chances of both franchises showing significant improvement over the net 3-5 years.

  24. The Great One says:

    RexLibris:
    The Great One,

    I hadn’t heard his earlier comments.

    I still respect Ferraro, and like LT, I’ll listen when he speaks on anything hockey-related.

    That being said, I don’t agree with his opinion of MacTavish as GM. If the Oilers are in the same place this time next year, and I’ll grant that there is no reason to believe that it will be any better or worse, then this thing needs to be turned upside down in management and some people need to shake loose.

    But given the shambles this roster was in at the end of last season, it would be prudent to give new management time to repair the damage.

    But it’s not “new” management at all.

    That is Ferraro’s point.

  25. rickithebear says:

    The Great One: This comment from Ray is not new.

    I listened to an in depth interview with him a couple of weeks ago where he said exactly the same things so it is not based on anything recent.

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

    As fans we are dedicated to our team and defend them to the point of kissing…….
    There are some fans who are sheep and to f…..stupid to realize it took Chi 15 years to build a team with 11 years of suck.

    Sather /faser left us Shit.

    EIG/Lowe put there faith in Pendergast.
    Who sucked at picking in the first round but got us the bottom 6 EVG scoring machines we need now.

    brodziak, Cogliano……

    thou lowe chased the cup and gave us the team to win. Minus one Major injury!

    katz took over the team and put there faith in a man who took a team to the cup.
    They picked a GM trained by the Canucks.
    Did not sign glen cross
    Traded brodziak
    Traded Cogliano
    Picked a Scout who made instant impact at the draft.
    with the 22 pick

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-fQJyRpXAk

    Macgregor stocked the prospect cupboard.

    Then we went back to a smart oiler!

    There are fans who live in there teams town and work for MSM.
    they are ……….
    Little ray is upset his aged canucks are turning to shit before his eyes.
    i thought he was a smart man!
    taking to long?
    Dumb as F………..

  26. yawto says:

    Agree with pretty much everything you have said Lowetide. Will go out of my way to watch a game Ferraro is a part of calling and respect the man. Also respect the comment. What I think we must all remember is the cheesy saying that the darkest hour is before the dawn. I truly believe we are in that hour. We thought the sun was going to crest this year and were all horribly mistaken and that is why it hurts so much. It’s dark and we are all wandering around lost and confused.

    I have heard you write for years about a credible third line. I believe I saw that last night. I saw solid defensive play by young players cutting their teeth in the toughest league. I saw a team effort.

    This team is frustrating, we all know that, but why do we look at our team and forget about paths other teams had to follow to achieve their success. The Penguins spent 4 years out of the playoffs. The only reason they were at all credible in the seasons before they missed those four was the return of superstar Mario Lemiuex and a Jagr in his prime. The only reason they were credible after those four were 1st overall pick Fleury, 2nd overall Malkin, and 1st overall and best prospect in a generation Sidney Crosby.

    The Blackhawks made the playoffs once in 11 years before they made the jump back to a credible franchise. They blew top end picks on players like Cam Barker. They luckily had a year where a guy like Jonathan Toews has an off season and slides from a first overall lock pre season to a third overall steal at the actual draft.

    Sure we have had futility, but dammit I haven’t sat through 8 years of no playoffs and 4 years of shit hockey to abandon this team as the sun is about the crest the horizon. I’ll agree with Ferraro pre Mac-t. I will disagree since he has been here and will challenge his thoughts with words like Perron, Gordon and Eakins. Changes that were made for the right reason and changes that will make a difference in the years coming. There is a direction. There is a plan. The dithering is gone and Lowe can be Mac-t’s boss all he wants, you can tell Mactavish is calling the shots. I will challenge that Ray is commenting on the recent past, not the immediate past.

    Just my 2 cents.

  27. Captain Smarmy says:

    I don’t have a problem with it. What is the context? Was he asked to give his thoughts about the Oilers? I’d use the last eight years to say they’re a joke too. Plus the Oilers always make seemingly abrupt changes that not even the media (and therefore the fans) get a sniff of.

    Tambellini’s hire came out of no where. His firing is not surprising based on his track record but it still seemed surprising because Oilers. The Eakins situation went from trying to find Kreuger and associate coach and morphed into a Skype fire and a new head coach.

    As for Tambi. I think the Oilers were deliberately tanking until the year of the lockout. Tambellini got his extension prior to that probably on the basis that he deserved a chance to win after ensuring the team was a big loser and being good lightning rod. I think the lockout threw them for a loop. Kreuger got boned by it. Tambellini was completely baffled. Totally ineffectual in failing to get help when Horcoff and Lander went down and Nuge had a gimp shoulder. Didn’t bother shutting Nuge down. Didn’t cut any bait at the trade deadline. Simply awful GMing.

    Then Mac-T came out and said they were going to win. Which I think they hoped they’d start doing last year. And well that hasn’t turned out well.

    It’s not often in sports that you see the guys who destroy a team get a chance to try and build it back up.

  28. icecastles says:

    I think the most obvious difference between now and then, much as it may sound like a platitude, is the plan.

    Tambelinni didn’t really have one, and what he had was at best a half-baked one: tank, get top picks, get better. If they had moved aging pieces at their max value (Souray, Whitney, etc) for good pics, they could have stocked the cupboard. This didn’t really happen. Most of the trades he made always smacked of desperation and were poorly conceived. Tambo was terrified of risk and of making a mistake, and as such, his inaction and indecisiveness became his calling card.

    The old adage “if you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough” is probably one that applies to MacT’s tenure here. He’s made a few moves that haven’t worked out (Grebs), a few that have (Perron), and a quite a few the jury is out on (Scrivens, lie many, is far too early to tell). But its worth noting that while some of his trades (hello, Perron) have been spectacular successes, it’s hard to point to any that have been spectacular failures.

    MacTavish knows where he wants to go, how he wants to get there, and has articulated it clearly. He is a rookie GM less than a season in – evaluating his success at this point is incredibly difficult but the clarity of vision, the willingness to take calculated risk and the willingness to be active speak well of him, the team’s future, and their gradual turnaround.

    On another topic, the question of my gender was (rather inexplicably) raised on the last thread. I hope this photo of me puts any future questions of my gender to bed. Now you know with clarity.

  29. Lois Lowe says:

    I feel like Ferraro has been ripping the OIlers for years, pretty much from the time he left Sportsnet and joined TSN. I get the feeling that he was left with a bad taste in his mouth after being a part of the media in Edmonton for a couple of years.

    Edmonton, Columbus, and Florida are joke franchises. One need only look at their post lockout records for evidence of that fact.

    I don’t get the criticism of MacT as ‘more of the same’ though. First, they brought in Tambellini who had no connection to the Boys on the Bus and he brought in Quinn, Renney, and Krueger. That was an unmitigated disaster. While MacT was the easy choice, he has made decisions that have distanced himself from the previous regimes. Second, the Eakins hiring was again from outside the franchise, and I would hardly count Acton as more of the same. He’d been with Toronto for a number of years.

  30. book¡je says:

    icecastles,

    Lois explained the gender thing, someone called you a him, and Lois simply corrected that person (perhaps correctly or not) indicating that you were female. Its the nature of pronouns that raised the subject. However, now that your link clears that up, we all know your gender.

  31. icecastles says:

    Lois Lowe: While MacT was the easy choice, he has made choices that have distanced himself from the previous regimes.

    Exactly. Even if he is awful (I don’t think he is), even if he were to bury the franchise (I don’t think he will), the notion that he is not a meaningful change of direction from the previous GM is absurd.

  32. book¡je says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I don’t know how much credit he gets for Marincin.

    The call-up counts mind you.

    I am almost certain that Tambellini would have mucked up Marincin somehow – and we might never have known he did so.

  33. icecastles says:

    book¡je: However, now that your link clears that up, we all know your gender.

    Yup. Don’t think anyone can wonder now.

  34. book¡je says:

    icecastles: Exactly. Even if he is awful (I don’t think he is), even if he were to bury the franchise (I don’t think he will), the notion that he is not a meaningful change of direction from the previous GM is absurd.

    Similarly, the change in behaviour in Oilers management from Lowe to Tambellini was significant. Lowe was very active and acquired a very different type of player than Tambellini did. If Lowe was the ‘puppetmaster’ as many consider him to be, he basically reinvented his entire style of GMing while Puppetmastering.

  35. Dee Dee says:

    The team is under performing, and quite badly at that.

    They are being gifted the best new talent in the league and are getting worse.

    They are not competitive.

    In the 90′s they battled heart and soul to end up fighting for 16th spot and ended up making the playoffs about half the time.

    Mr Lowe announced a grand rebuild to combat this problem and promised a land of milk and honey with a team that would perennially compete, and yea, win, Stanley Cups.

    One man made that proclamation. And since he uttered those words every single person in the organization has been replaced. Except for Mr Lowe.

    Hemsky is the only player left from that time, and he’s all but on the bus and shipped out.

    Leaving one man left from that time.

    He’s the one that made the grand proclamation. And he’s sacked every one around him, multiple times, and they keep getting worse.

    He’s sacked the GM, sacked the coaches, many times.

    Sacked the trainer, sacked the equipment guy.

    Sacked his own brother.

    Owners have been replaced.

    And yet he’s still here, the guy that made the grand promise.

    Everything has been changed, and they keep getting worse.

    There is only one constant, one thing that has never been changed.

    The guy in charge, who I watch make all the decisions on Oil Change, and controls everything. Who apparently doesn’t control anything or make any decisions.

    The guy who hired Tambellini and allowed him to operate as he did for YEARS. Gave him a contract extension (right before firing him).

    The guy who replaced Tambellini with a rookie GM and then allowed the rookie GM to hire a rookie Coach.

    He’s the luckiest guy in the world with the best job ever.

    No accountability, apparently no responsibility either.

    And we wonder why the rest of the league laughs at us…..

  36. book¡je says:

    Dee Dee:
    The team is under performing, and quite badly at that.

    They are being gifted the best new talent in the league and are getting worse.

    They are not competitive.

    In the 90′s they battled heart and soul to end up fighting for 16th spot and ended up making the playoffs about half the time.

    Mr Lowe announced a grand rebuild to combat this problem and promised a land of milk and honey with a team that would perennially compete, and yea, win, Stanley Cups.

    One man made that proclamation. And since he uttered those words every single person in the organization has been replaced. Except for Mr Lowe.

    Hemsky is the only player left from that time, and he’s all but on the bus and shipped out.

    Leaving one man left from that time.

    He’s the one that made the grand proclamation. And he’s sacked every one around him, multiple times, and they keep getting worse.

    He’s sacked the GM, sacked the coaches, many times.

    Sacked the trainer, sacked the equipment guy.

    Sacked his own brother.

    Owners have been replaced.

    And yet he’s still here, the guy that made the grand promise.

    Everything has been changed, and they keep getting worse.

    There is only one constant, one thing that has never been changed.

    The guy in charge, who I watch make all the decisions on Oil Change, and controls everything. Who apparently doesn’t control anything or make any decisions.

    The guy who hired Tambellini and allowed him to operate as he did for YEARS. Gave him a contract extension (right before firing him).

    The guy who replaced Tambellini with a rookie GM and then allowed the rookie GM to hire a rookie Coach.

    He’s the luckiest guy in the world with the best job ever.

    No accountability, apparently no responsibility either.

    And we wonder why the rest of the league laughs at us…..

    Do you mean Joey?

  37. Lois Lowe says:

    icecastles,

    I shall call you Hermaphrodine.

  38. prairieschooner says:

    The Ferraro thing I am pretty sure I heard him make that point on Gregors show recently
    I wonder how much credit goes to Hendricks for geeing up the players? He seems to be having an effect.
    I enjoyed the game last night
    Which way will the parade go?

  39. justDOit says:

    Anyone know how many head coaches are on the payroll this year? Is it three?

  40. theres oil in virginia says:

    book¡je: Similarly, the change in behaviour in Oilers management from Lowe to Tambellini was significant.Lowe was very active and acquired a very different type of player than Tambellini did.If Lowe was the ‘puppetmaster’ as many consider him to be, he basically reinvented his entire style of GMing while Puppetmastering.

    And again when MacT was hired as GM.

  41. The Great One says:

    Lois Lowe:
    I feel like Ferraro has been ripping the OIlers for years, pretty much from the time he left Sportsnet and joined TSN. I get the feeling that he was left with a bad taste in his mouth after being a part of the media in Edmonton for a couple of years.

    Edmonton, Columbus, and Florida are joke franchises. One need only look at their post lockout records for evidence of that fact.

    I don’t get the criticism of MacT as ‘more of the same’ though. First, they brought in Tambellini who had no connection to the Boys on the Bus and he brought in Quinn, Renney, and Krueger. That was an unmitigated disaster. While MacT was the easy choice, he has made decisions that have distanced himself from the previous regimes. Second, the Eakins hiring was again from outside the franchise, and I would hardly count Acton as more of the same. He’d been with Toronto for a number of years.

    Thing is, the team is actually worse than when it was being run by those “unmitigated disasters”.

    Could things get better?

    Sure,

    They can’t get much worse and with new blood in Buffalo, they’d better get better fast.

    Buffalo already has 2 first round picks and will likely get a couple more when they trade Miller, Moulson, Steve Ott et al.

    With great defensive prospects, a new GM and a new coach, they could turn things around pretty quickly.

  42. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    justDOit:
    Anyone know how many head coaches are on the payroll this year? Is it three?

    hahaha… I have no idea. how long was Renney’s deal?
    RK is certainly on the books for this year IIRC.

  43. Ivan says:

    yawto:
    Agree with pretty much everything you have said Lowetide.Will go out of my way to watch a game Ferraro is a part of calling and respect the man.Also respect the comment.What I think we must all remember is the cheesy saying that the darkest hour is before the dawn.I truly believe we are in that hour.We thought the sun was going to crest this year and were all horribly mistaken and that is why it hurts so much.It’s dark and we are all wandering around lost and confused.

    I have heard you write for years about a credible third line.I believe I saw that last night.I saw solid defensive play by young players cutting their teeth in the toughest league.I saw a team effort.

    This team is frustrating, we all know that, but why do we look at our team and forget about paths other teams had to follow to achieve their success.The Penguins spent 4 years out of the playoffs.The only reason they were at all credible in the seasons before they missed those four was the return of superstar Mario Lemiuex and a Jagr in his prime.The only reason they were credible after those four were 1st overall pick Fleury, 2nd overall Malkin, and 1st overall and best prospect in a generation Sidney Crosby.

    The Blackhawks made the playoffs once in 11 years before they made the jump back to a credible franchise.They blew top end picks on players like Cam Barker.They luckily had a year where a guy like Jonathan Toews has an off season and slides from a first overall lock pre season to a third overall steal at the actual draft.

    Sure we have had futility, but dammit I haven’t sat through 8 years of no playoffs and 4 years of shit hockey to abandon this team as the sun is about the crest the horizon.I’ll agree with Ferraro pre Mac-t. I will disagree since he has been here and will challenge his thoughts with words like Perron, Gordon and Eakins.Changes that were made for the right reason and changes that will make a difference in the years coming.There is a direction.There is a plan.The dithering is gone and Lowe can be Mac-t’s boss all he wants, you can tell Mactavish is calling the shots.I will challenge that Ray is commenting on the recent past, not the immediate past.

    Just my 2 cents.

    This. Articulated perfectly.

  44. book¡je says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: hahaha… I have no idea. how long was Renney’s deal?
    RK is certainly on the books for this year IIRC.

    I suspect they get a severance payment as opposed to salary throughout the remainder of their contract. It is probably not the full amount, but something like 75% pay (just guessing at this last part).

  45. Pretendergast says:

    I believe that insulting management was supposed to be Ferraros way to upset more people at Lowe, thus drawing attention away and buying time for McT to build the team his way. unfortunately he’s an analyst supposedly without bias, so I’ll take my crazy theories elsewhere.

  46. book¡je says:

    This quote I just found suggests that they remain on the payroll unless they take another coaching job

    Renney suggests a coaching union could help the profession, along with what he calls a “lame-duck clause” in contracts, regardless if the coach is hired by another team following his dismissal. The clause would act as a severance agreement in which the coach gets another year at his base pay.

  47. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: hahaha… I have no idea. how long was Renney’s deal?
    RK is certainly on the books for this year IIRC.

    I’m pretty sure Renney is off the books. He wasn’t fired, they just didn’t re-up his deal.

  48. Pouzar says:

    Ducey:
    FLA is a model franchise?Who knew?

    The Oilers are more likely to win a Cup before 1/2 the teams in the league, including the team they played last night.

    They have lots of good young players and more on the way.They have cap room and flexibility.

    You can accuse them of being slow to add to their group but I don’t see any moves in the last year that make you question the competence of the group.The Smid deal was a head scratcher at the time but may turn out to be a good deal.

    MacT identified goal as a problem last year and apparently overbid for a top end goalie.He appears to have been in on everything and everyone without pulling the trigger on deals that would set back the rebuild.He was innovative at the draft and has pulled the trigger on some recent deals.

    If they had a whole new regime change, what would change?(other than appearances) Competent management likely should follow the same path MacT has mapped out.

    Well said my friend

  49. oliveoilers says:

    It is just his [Ferraro] opinion. It’s good to get an outside perspective once in a while. As with most things, take his comments, take the biggest Kool-Aid drinker’s comments and go somewhere in the middle. There you should find something close to the actual situation. Perception is a funny thing.

  50. stevezie says:

    icecastles,

    I can honestly, literally say that I have never been more attracted to you.

  51. justDOit says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    Wiki confirms that – and whoever wrote Renny’s wiki article, really enjoys using the word ‘stint’.

  52. blakehavard says:

    If you’re going through hell, keep going.
    Winston Churchill

    Old boys club..new boys club…is it really that black and white?
    What do you want to do?
    Trade a former #1 first round pick with less than one full year experience while his value is low?
    Trade a former number 6 pick while he is finding his footing having missed the beginning of the season with major jaw surgery….value low?
    Trade defensive prospects before they have a chance to develop and potentially become the kind of players we need?

    This has been a brutal season but what if this team finds itself within of all this adversity?
    Did we think we were going to win the cup this year?
    There is the potential for major growth here.

    What if this goalie tandem works out?
    What if Marincin continues to develop and stays for good?
    Just may give some of the other prospects hope.
    What if Yak buys in and becomes a more complete player and puts the puck in the net?
    What if real chemistry starts to form here (ie) Yak and Perron? Marincin and Petry etc…

    Mac T can’t turn this thing around over night.
    I like a few of the moves he made in the off season and the moves he made this year…goalies etc bottom 6. More tweaking will be done and potentially something at the trade deadline dealing from strength.

    Its easy to pile on the oilers right now.
    Maybe Ferraro needed more hits on his facebook page?

  53. Lowetide says:

    stevezie:
    icecastles,

    I can honestly, literally say that I have never been more attracted to you.

    Oh God. :-)

    In the first days of hfboards, there were like 10 of us. redtwilight (rip), Kyle’s Mom (she was an Ottawa fan), Yoekel (he was my favorite) Sean Keough (can’t remember his nick but he ended up writing a lot iirc) and about three Boston fans (DKH? The guy who had the Cheevers mask, dammit! I can’t remember) and Alberta Bruin. Plus a Ranger fan, who was the nicest fellow, had a strange name I’ve forgotten. God bless that guy. Klingsor! That’s it!

    Anyway, some nights the boys would make up peoms for Kyle’s Mom because we all knew she was female. Poor girl, she wanted to talk hockey and we couldn’t resist. I think it’s probably difficult to be a female poster on a blog like this, because men are well, men are, uh, men are predictable. :-)

  54. Ice Sage says:

    MacT did some stuff (MBA, coached AHL) when he was away. He’s not just “old boys club”.

    Ferraro’s perspective on nepotistic rot in the Oilers organization is important but disappointingly narrow. It seems to me that a lot of sports organizations have some degree of this and variable levels of success…

    It’s a shame about Ray

  55. book¡je says:

    Lowetide: I think it’s probably difficult to be a female poster on a blog like this, because men are well, men are, uh, men are predictable.

    Yeah, this discussion of there being girls around makes me think I should start wearing clothes or underwear while posting, or at the very least stop eating Cheetos.

  56. Lois Lowe says:

    book¡je,

    I have never been offended by your Cheetos breath or your tighty whiteys.

  57. prairieschooner says:

    Lowe, Mac Tavish, Buchberger, Smith, Howson, Messier (maybe Acton)
    Eakins (More Likely Acton in this group) Mac Gregor,
    I am beyond railing against the old boys club I want results end of

  58. theres oil in virginia says:

    book¡je: Yeah, this discussion of there being girls around makes me think I should start wearing clothes or underwear while posting…

    Do it for Mittens’ sake, man. We can handle it, but he’s looking a bit frazzled:

    Bookje’s faithful cat, Mittens

  59. justDOit says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    We had a cat for a while, until we conveniently had to move into a pet-free house. I never felt comfortable being naked around it – I never trusted that damn thing, and would lock it in the hallway before nook¡je time.

  60. flyfish1168 says:

    I think we should offer Ferraro a job and see what happens. Associate coach, consultant, assistant G.M. maybe even secretary.

    On another note. Watching after hours this past Saturdays with Perry and Getzlaf was very insightful. their comment “Playing together I know he would be there without looking”

    We need to start having minimal changes. Especially top 6. Unfortunately our dmen needs half of it overhauled. Consistency now starts at coaching.

  61. stevezie says:

    Ice Sage: It’s a shame about Ray

    Great album.

  62. theres oil in virginia says:

    justDOit:
    theres oil in virginia,

    We had a cat for a while, until we conveniently had to move into a pet-free house. I never felt comfortable being naked around it – I never trusted that damn thing, and would lock it in the hallway before nook¡je time.

    Ha! I know what you mean. We had a cat up until a couple of years ago (died at age 19). Every time we tried to get things going (nook¡je time), voila! appears the cat on the bed or sofa. I guess she was just trying to get in on the action.

  63. Ice Sage says:

    stevezie: Great album.

    Yes! LT should check out the Lemonheads before next Ferraro piece

  64. justDOit says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    I’ll have to put my reply to this on reddit, or I’ll get banned by LT.

    I’m wondering if the title of this article has influenced the banter, to a degree.

  65. Gerta Rauss says:

    I think MacT needs a little more time–and he’ll get it–but the early returns show that the MacT era is definitely better than the Tambellini era. That being said, I don’t find the Ferraro comments too far off base-I think that is how others view the Oilers.

    —————-

    A couple of quotes from Bob Mac I found interesting..specifically the Girardi quote. Both those players have been mentioned around these parts. Is Callahan a $6M a year player..?

    “Callahan is searching for a seven-year deal that is worth more than $6 million per season. Callahan will get that type of contract as a UFA”. (McKenzie)

    “Dan Girardi is looking for a long-term deal, seven-years, and upwards of money similar to what Jay Bouwmeester is being paid, $5.4 million. Girardi will get that type of contract if he becomes a UFA.” (McKenzie)

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Jan-Levine/Callahan-and-Girardi-Contract-and-Trade-Possibility-Updates/89/57565

  66. The Great One says:

    Teams that have changed their GM’s in the last 12 months:

    Colorado .683

    Toronto .564

    Dallas .528

    Columbus .528

    Calgary .413

    Edmonton .364

    Buffalo .343

  67. theres oil in virginia says:

    justDOit: I’ll get banned by LT

    He’ll do it, too. Then you’ll read something on here about how “it’s strange, I can’t figure out what’s wrong…he says his posts won’t load, but everything looks good on my end.” That’s when you know…NO SOUP FOR YOU!
    :)

  68. Gerta Rauss says:

    The Great One,

    DSF…is that you..?

    …if it is you welcome back.

  69. Ice Sage says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    The Great One,

    DSF…is that you..?

    …if it is you welcome back.

    Good grief!

  70. oliveoilers says:

    Ice Sage: Yes!LT should check out the Lemonheads before next Ferraro piece

    You could try ‘I’m Seriously Worried About Ray’ by the Hoosiers.

  71. flyfish1168 says:

    According to Bob Mackenzie if Stamkos not able to go to Sochi, Giroux, Neal, St. Louis, and Eric Stall would be considered as the replacement.

  72. steveb12344 says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    The Great One,

    DSF…is that you..?

    …if it is you welcome back.

    It would appear that you are correct.

    You guys just had to go and ask for it….

    Very good eye, btw.

  73. Ice Sage says:

    oliveoilers: You could try ‘I’m Seriously Worried About Ray’ by the Hoosiers.

    Thanks – good tune, nice sound

  74. steveb12344 says:

    I will admit, I’d rather read his posts than some of the verbal diarrhea going around these boards lately. ( Not so much here though LT )

  75. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Great One:
    Teams that have changed their GM’s in the last 12 months:

    Colorado .683

    Toronto .564

    Dallas .528

    Columbus .528

    Calgary .413

    Edmonton .364

    Buffalo .343

    Goaltending mirages, goaltending slumps and terrible.

    What a deplorable list. gross.

  76. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    We are indeed, but for the sake of making everyone comfortable, I will awkwardly make sure we all understood that I was talking ’bout the picture.

  77. Lowetide says:

    stevezie:
    Lowetide,

    We are indeed, but for the sake of making everyone comfortable, I will awkwardly make sure we all understood that I was talking ’bout the picture.

    Oh yes. I knew that, should have been more clear.

  78. stevezie says:

    flyfish1168,

    I know they’re both wingers, but I remain amazed Neal and St Louis didn’t make the team. I’m amazed so little was made of Neal’s ppg.

  79. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I want to take another run at this.

    We’ve got some pretty luke-warm and strong anti- opinions on Belov around here. And, the deadline is coming up/he’s a UFA.

    So, what are we going to do here.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1802&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    http://public.tableausoftware.com/shared/JKFT3CSD4

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=EDM&f7=10-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

  80. spoiler says:

    When did Icecastles become a woman? Did it hurt?

  81. flyfish1168 says:

    quick question. where and how do you add a profile picture. I have one that I hope everyone will like

  82. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    I thought you probably did. How awkward. As promised!

    We’ve mentioned the Lemonheads, but I’m surprised there was no Stones reference in this article.

  83. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ok. So, we can see that by the WOWY numbers he’s helped and been helped in turn by 19 and 2. Both pairs came out strong (77 and 19; 77 and 2).

    In both cases, each did worse apart (15 plays bad cop in most cases).

    So, he’s holding his own and helping with two of our future blue.

    ————
    By the Vollman, he’s in the “less sheltered” lands. He’s way down on the qual-comp but not exactly getting superior zone starts. The smallish bubble represents TOI/G. He’s 3rd pairing minutes. The color shows he’s under 50% CFON, but not as severely as some of our other friends.

    ———-
    The BTN numbers show in 3rd pairing TOI and limited competition he’s come up with 3rd best shot metrics on the team.

  84. Gerta Rauss says:

    flyfish1168,

    read through the game day thread yesterday starting around 530pm-there appears to be a couple of ways to add a profile pic

  85. Hockey in Palm Springs says:

    First time responder, as Lowetide makes Edmonton hockey tolerable these days. I am not responding to this particular blog but want to make general comments. I read your comments on a fairly regular basis as you have some knowlegable followers, some emotional ones as well, however, it is difficult to remain patient but we must. A lot of the pieces are in place but tweeks are a must. I believe CT has the balls to make the big move to turn the corner. We wait patiently! New York is at a crossroads, decent team, cap issues to sign 2 players, Callahan and Girardi. Just what we need. Give then what they want, Hemsky, Petry, plus! Bottom line, do not panic, we will make it .

  86. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I’m looking at this and thinking 3 things:

    1. This is a useful item and he may well get better as he gets away from 15 and gets more comfortable with NHL hockey

    2. Having a useful 3rd pairing guy like this would really help keep the kids on the farm next year.

    3. We can upgrade the top pairing, keep the kids on the farm (keep one up, probably Marincin) and still find a use for Belov

    I re-sign him. that said, I’m open to counter-arguments. But, I’d like to hear some reasons and alternatives.

  87. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    My favorite “Bitch” song, if ever there was a question about it:

    http://vimeo.com/56707479

    ps. that late 90s lady empowerment song “Bitch” was really the pits.

  88. flyfish1168 says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Thanks

  89. Gerta Rauss says:

    flyfish1168,

    your welcome, but I gotta say your new avatar is coming in a little grey…looks a lot like mine…

  90. stevezie says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    You win this round.

    P.S Yeah.

    EDIT: Oops, forgot the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TSk__S7X9Q
    A solid if unspectacular cover from the band that would break up to form both Mudhoney and Pearl Jam, making it possibly the most fruitful breakup since The Fall of Man!
    (Because of the fruit involved. It was kind of a pun, I think. You do better.)

  91. stevezie says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    On a more relevant note, I think it makes sense to plan on the reigning “best D-man in the NHL” improving on his first-season numbers. Hockey is hockey, but there was a lot to get used to.

    I understand his speed isn’t great, but I’ll bet on him anyway.

    Of course, I still pencil him on the bottom pairing. I wonder if he was of any use to Yak?

  92. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Ice Sage,

    Nice reference…

  93. flyfish1168 says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Ok I just add one. Hopeful it works

  94. Zangetsu says:

    I think this blog has too many optimists. It seems to me that Tambo didn’t get the treatment he deserved until midway through 2013. That was quite a few years of looking the other way.
    Luckily, I volunteer to act as sober second though. I will not support anyone until they prove they deserve my support. MacT isn’t a major target, but I wouldn’t be opposed to him and Eakins being lost in a river of flowing heads. IMO, the whole franchise has to have a culture change starting at the top. I would bring in as many new management types as I can, and let them decide whether to follow the old regimes template or not.

    In other news, I thought of a new fancy stat today. I’m gonna take a look at it, hopefully on the weekend. REVOLUTIONARY I TELLS YA!!! Stay posted

  95. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    So… what? are we signing Belov for 15 years at 20M per or what?

  96. Gerta Rauss says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’d engage you but I’m largely indifferent to Belov- he may be an option in the 2nd week of July, but we need to aim higher.

    If we add 2 dmen above the current group- 1LD and 1 RD…and then Ference Petry as the 2nd pair, and Marincin Jultz and the 3 pair, we’re now into the 7D slot. Maybe that’s Belov..I don’t know.

    We need to add 2 NHL dmen, if there is still room for Belov after doing that then I’m OK with offering him another contract

  97. flyfish1168 says:

    Gerta Rauss: flyfish1168, your welcome, but I gotta say your new avatar is coming in a little grey…looks a lot like mine…

    Not sure why it didn’t work. Anyone with suggestions

  98. stevezie says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    I agree it is silly not to upgrade if the upgrade is there, but I am unwilling to put all our eggs in the off-season’s basket. History has shown it is (supposedly) harder to chase multiple targets than one might think. If Belov is a capable 3rd pairing guy, let’s give ourselves one less thing to worry about it July.

  99. Ducey says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    So… what? are we signing Belov for 15 years at 20M per or what?

    You might have missed a decimal or something there Rom.

    Assuming Klefbom and/or Fedun get some games after Nultz is traded, the Oilers can see what they have and decide from there.

    They know they have Petry, Marincin, Jultz and Ference. If Klefbom or Fedun might be ready and they add a higher end defenseman, do they need Belov?

    Even if they needed another vet, could they upgrade on Belov in free agency? I think they could.

  100. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Hi LT and friends – I read everyday and post rarely. I thought I would write a lengthy perspective of hockey and a hardcore Oiler fan from the west coast.

    My wife grabbed me some tickets for last night’s game off of craigslist and went with my buddy (who is a Habs fan) as a celebration of end of semester (we are high school teachers – me theatre, and he math)

    I usually go to one game a year. I live in Abbotsford, so it is about an hour-90 minute drive in. I have a great spot to park that only costs 9$ for the evening. I always go to the Library Square Public house for a few drinks before. (Don’t want to wait in the mammoth Costco hotdog line across the street from the stadium) I don my Oiler gear year after year, and when I get around the arena there are always plenty of Oiler faithful for support.

    For the last 7 or so years, it felt like GM Place (we all call it that still) was an inpenetrable fortress. A Stalingrad led by the glimmer twins and a bushell of the most unlikable players one can imagine. Typically it would seem the Oil would hang in for a bit, and as soon as the pisscutter went on the PP the game would take a turn. The fans are boorish, they should Loooouuu even if he touch a puckon a dump-in and that god forsaken WOOOOOO like Ric Flair when they score is only slightly lamer then the fact so many people drink their 9 dollar beers out of a straw. Yes…a straw.

    Now, around Vancouver and area there are plenty of fans. I see much more Canuck apparel on a daily basis then when I come back to visit a few old friends from when I lived in Sherwood Park. (Grad ’90! – my best year of sports for me with the Oilers, Liverpool and Germany all winning majors) But the general lack of knowledge about hockey is limited. Almost no one plays – hockey and soccer run at the same time in the lower mainland, and many make the economic choice. Many of the hardcore fans in the lower mainland are of Punjabi decent, although few play. Fans here turn on their team after two losses in a row, but there are also many teachers at my school that have been through the heartbreak – 1994 (“we were a post away!!”) Cloutier letting in that shot from the Red Line after being up on Detroit. Loss to Boston. I do meet many fans that recognize my love for the Oil – and with terrible year after year, many are positive while recognizing that “Canucks are done…why did they ever trade Hodgson?” Players get run out of town here just like in all the big markets. Didn’t like Gilbert? Ask people around here about Ballard!

    Last night was different. Canucks now have a tarnish in their armour. Like Smaug the Terrible, they are not invincible, and for the first time in as far back as I can recall, I didn’t have an onslaught of hate thrown at me (Wore the Messier last night just for a “Discussion piece”…man they hate him around here). The stadium was like a library as usual, but when the common “lets go Oilers” chimed in, the Canucks fans chanted “Go Canucks Go”, instead of the usual “Oilers Suck”.

    They seem beatable. The defence was opening up like the Red Sea. Anytime the Dys wanted to get something going they would go offside. Kassian basically lost the game for them. (yay!) And luckily Booth can’t score on a breakaway.

    As everyone said, the boys looked good. The giveaways are still the biggest problem. The ice was really bad loast night and plenty people were falling and the puck jumping. Never seen it like this here.

    The walk back to the car was quiet and reserved with no slagging of the mighty Oil.

    The window hasn’t just slowly closed. It’s been slammed shut so the Gimp doen’t get out.

  101. Mattaklap says:

    Zangetsu:
    I think this blog has too many optimists. It seems to me that Tambo didn’t get the treatment he deserved until midway through 2013. That was quite a few years of looking the other way.
    Luckily, I volunteer to act as sober second though. I will not support anyone until they prove they deserve my support. MacT isn’t a major target, but I wouldn’t be opposed to him and Eakins being lost in a river of flowing heads. IMO, the whole franchise has to have a culture change starting at the top. I would bring in as many new management types as I can, and let them decide whether to follow the old regimes template or not.

    In other news, I thought of a new fancy stat today. I’m gonna take a look at it, hopefully on the weekend.REVOLUTIONARY I TELLS YA!!! Stay posted

    Apparently the Sandanistas have arrived…

  102. Gerta Rauss says:

    stevezie,

    While I agree that MacT has a lot of items on his “to do” list, I’m still aiming higher than Belov on the 3rd pairing.

    Honestly, my 3rd pairing in a perfect world is Ference/Jultz(despite what I just typed above)..we desperately need another RD that can play 2nd paring minutes(and push Jultz down a pairing)

    LT mentioned my ideal acquisitions a couple of weeks ago-Erhoff and Z Michalek(Phoenix)
    I think we need 2 NHL D men…1 puck mover that can run a power play, and 1 stay at home/physical shut down type of guy.

    Belov does have a couple of positive items…he plays both RD and LD, and he may help attracting Nikitin if he becomes a UFA target for the Oilers. But that being said, I think I’m aiming higher than Nikitin as well.

  103. Ducey says:

    BUF didn’t dress the Might O’mark tonight. He has been scratched 2 of the last 3.

  104. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Buffalo and Florida will probably see the post season before we do. Their drafts have been just as high end and they don’t need to compete against the insane West competition. This is just a tough time in history to be in a rebuild. We can probably predict 7 of next years playoff spots in the west right now.

  105. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    stevezie: “best D-man in the NHL”

    Ha! nice typo.

    stevezie: Of course, I still pencil him on the bottom pairing. I wonder if he was of any use to Yak?

    3rd pairing is right. He’s handling 2 pairing with a 2 and/or 19 ok now, so 3rd pairing with not 15 should be fine. in fact, 77 and 19 as a 3rd pairing at 5×5 next year would be fine IMO.

    Gerta Rauss: I’d engage you but I’m largely indifferent to Belov- he may be an option in the 2nd week of July, but we need to aim higher.

    These aren’t mutually exclusive, though, right?

    Regardless of who occupies our 5-8 spots, the 1s and 2s need to be sorted out. Doesn’t mean we can’t spend our time looking around to see if any of this junk is worthwhile. Bad NHL teams throw away useful items. We don’t want to be a bad team anymore.

    Now… is Belov a useful item…? that’s open to debate. I think he is, but I’m not firm on it yet, we simply don’t have the at-bats.

    I also agree that we need 2 new top pairing dudes… but reality says we’ll be lucky to get one. So we need to factor that in.

    Also, it’s been shown that 8th D play more historically than most 4th line forwards. And we need to have some real depth next year. no more Grebs. No more Nick Schultz.

  106. Lowetide says:

    Pacific: Last 19

    ANA 15-4-0 30 pts
    SJ 13-6-0 26 pts
    VAN 7-8-4, 18 pts
    PHX 7-8-4 18 pts
    CGY 6-10-3 15 pts
    EDM 6-10-3 15 pts
    LA 6-11-3 14 pts

  107. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ducey: You might have missed a decimal or something there Rom.

    Assuming Klefbom and/or Fedun get some games after Nultz is traded, the Oilers can see what they have and decide from there.

    They know they have Petry, Marincin, Jultz and Ference.If Klefbom orFedun might be ready and they add a higher end defenseman, do they need Belov?

    Even if they needed another vet, could they upgrade on Belov in free agency?I think they could.

    We may not get that far. It is possible MacT trades Belov at the deadline.

    We don’t need to sign him now, but we need to figure out of we are going to trade him or not.

    I agree the post deadline era is going to be call-up city… but I think even if they showed well in a limited stretch having all of Marincin, J Schultz, Klefbom and Fedun in your NHL roster is a terrifying thought. No more rooks.

    Whether they can upgrade on Belov and for how much is a good question to open up… I’m not as convinced as you they can for a 3rd pairing guy at the rate he might command.

  108. Ice Sage says:

    Suntory Hanzo:
    Hi LT and friends – I read everyday and post rarely.I thought I would write a lengthy perspective of hockey and a hardcore Oiler fan from the west coast.

    My wife grabbed me some tickets for last night’s game off of craigslist and went with my buddy (who is a Habs fan) as a celebration of end of semester (we are high school teachers – me theatre, and he math)

    I usually go to one game a year.I live in Abbotsford, so it is about an hour-90 minute drive in.I have a great spot to park that only costs 9$ for the evening.I always go to the Library Square Public house for a few drinks before. (Don’t want to wait in the mammoth Costco hotdog line across the street from the stadium)I don my Oiler gear year after year, and when I get around the arena there are always plenty of Oiler faithful for support.

    For the last 7 or so years, it felt like GM Place (we all call it that still) was an inpenetrable fortress.A Stalingrad led by the glimmer twins and a bushell of the most unlikable players one can imagine.Typically it would seem the Oil would hang in for a bit, and as soon as the pisscutter went on the PP the game would take a turn.The fans are boorish, they should Loooouuu even if he touch a puckon a dump-in and that god forsaken WOOOOOO like Ric Flair when they score is only slightly lamer then the fact so many people drink their 9 dollar beers out of a straw.Yes…a straw.

    Now, around Vancouver and area there are plenty of fans.I see much more Canuck apparel on a daily basis then when I come back to visit a few old friends from when I lived in Sherwood Park. (Grad ’90! – my best year of sports for me with the Oilers, Liverpool and Germany all winning majors)But the general lack of knowledge about hockey is limited.Almost no one plays – hockey and soccer run at the same time in the lower mainland, and many make the economic choice.Many of the hardcore fans in the lower mainland are of Punjabi decent, although few play.Fans here turn on their team after two losses in a row, but there are also many teachers at my school that have been through the heartbreak – 1994 (“we were a post away!!”) Cloutier letting in that shot from the Red Line after being up on Detroit.Loss to Boston.I do meet many fans that recognize my love for the Oil – and with terrible year after year, many are positive while recognizing that “Canucks are done…why did they ever trade Hodgson?”Players get run out of town here just like in all the big markets.Didn’t like Gilbert?Ask people around here about Ballard!

    Last night was different.Canucks now have a tarnish in their armour.Like Smaug the Terrible, they are not invincible, and for the first time in as far back as I can recall, I didn’t have an onslaught of hate thrown at me (Wore the Messier last night just for a “Discussion piece”…man they hate him around here).The stadium was like a library as usual, but when the common “lets go Oilers” chimed in, the Canucks fans chanted “Go Canucks Go”, instead of the usual “Oilers Suck”.

    They seem beatable.The defence was opening up like the Red Sea.Anytime the Dys wanted to get something going they would go offside.Kassian basically lost the game for them. (yay!)And luckily Booth can’t score on a breakaway.

    As everyone said, the boys looked good.The giveaways are still the biggest problem.The ice was really bad loast night and plenty people were falling and the puck jumping.Never seen it like this here.

    The walk back to the car was quiet and reserved with no slagging of the mighty Oil.

    The window hasn’t just slowly closed.It’s been slammed shut so the Gimp doen’t get out.

    Nice writeup and way to keep the faith. If it’s safe to wear a Messier jersey to a Vcr game, then the fire has surely gone out. It is a weird and wonderful new dawn (I’m in rural BC where some folks play and know their hockey shit) to no longer see those dorky car flags.

  109. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ducey:
    BUF didn’t dress the Might O’mark tonight.He has been scratched 2 of the last 3.

    Nolan is rotating Scott and Omark in and out of the 4th line.

    Omark needs to pot a PP goal and throw a talked about hit. That will earn him some more steady work.

    I’ve watched a couple of BUF games since the trade. He’s the same impressive guy I always liked. But he’s on a crappy team with some rough linemates and having some shitty luck.

    I hope it works out for him.

    ps. 4 more games for the Sabres and that pick comes through.

  110. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Ice Sage,

    Often wear my Gretzky instead of a newer player just to take some of the heat off.

    I’m mixed.

    As a Canadian and generally polite person, I feel I should be allowed to express my Faith in the sports world.

    As a fan though, if I were in Edmonton, we should be like beantown and make everyone be as uncomfortable as possible. (without crossing certain lines..)

  111. Suntory Hanzo says:

    If this does turn out to be the turnaround of the Oilers, some may give a variety of reasons why it happened.

    For me, it was clearly when Jones called out the players 2 games ago. That was poignant shit.

  112. Ducey says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: We may not get that far. It is possible MacT trades Belov at the deadline.

    We don’t need to sign him now, but we need to figure out of we are going to trade him or not.

    I agree the post deadline era is going to be call-up city… but I think even if they showed well in a limited stretch having all of Marincin, J Schultz, Klefbom and Fedun in your NHL roster is a terrifying thought. No more rooks.

    Whether they can upgrade on Belov and for how much is a good question to open up… I’m not as convinced as you they can for a 3rd pairing guy at the rate he might command.

    I thought about that but how many playoff teams are going to want a 3rd pairing “rookie” from a 29th place team?

  113. stevezie says:

    Ducey,

    Gerta Rauss,

    So the thinking is Ference, Petry, JSchultz and Marincin are our bottom 4, so MacT needs to add the top two and our best farm hand can be 7?

    That makes sense, I’m not saying it doesn’t, but it’s optimistic. What if MacT can only find one top 2? What if he can’t find any?

    Let’s say he does sign two more, but they’re your personal definition of solid second pairing guys. I’d rather Belov be my bench-somebody option than Fedun or some kid. (Sorry Fedun, I like you fine as #1 call-up.)

    The injury problems to Potter and Larssen could easily have been Ference and Petry. I like having extra D, and I don’t mind keeping the kids down. I’m not ready to call this Marincin’s “established level” either. I’m right there with you guys on aiming high, but I see no harm in a safety net.

    I doubt we’re offered more in trade than a deep pick. I’d rather sign him; we can just as easily trade him next year when Klefbom shows us our caution was not warranted. Someone always wants a d-man.

    Hey what do we do with Larsen? I’m assuming we let Potter walk? I’d give either guy a two-way. Let’s say Larsen thinks he’s earned a one-way, it’s him or Belov then, right? (Or neither).I still think Belov’s KHL (aha) performance shows a higher upside than Larsen has, but man that dude can skate and Eakins seems to like him.

  114. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ducey: I thought about that but how many playoff teams are going to want a 3rd pairing “rookie” from a 29th place team?

    If Bos is seriously considering Nick Schultz for rental duty, they probably aren’t alone. The D pickings are going to be really slim at the deadline for rentals, esp. if big cats like Girardi re-up before hand (BM tweeted about it today).

    Belov may well be one of the best available Ds at the deadline, and he’s remarkably cheap, his deal is expiring and there is re-up potential.

    Not to mention he was heavily scouted last year and actively chased by a number of teams — the Pens thought they had him in the Summer. And he’s going to be on team Russia at the Olympics. So, I think he’s got some rep. around the league.

    I think we are really under-valuing the player here.

  115. Gerta Rauss says:

    stevezie:

    So the thinking is Ference, Petry, JSchultz and Marincin are our bottom 4, so MacT needs to add the top two and our best farm hand can be 7?

    Yes
    I think there is room for Belov, but he’d be 7 on my depth chart

    That makes sense, I’m not saying it doesn’t, but it’s optimistic.

    I said we need to aim higher, I didn’t say we are going to hit anything..:)

    What if MacT can only find one top 2? What if he can’t find any?

    It may come to that- MacT has his work cut out for him

  116. G Money says:

    The teams management is exactly the same if you believe MacT is still the same.

    I don’t. Since he was previously an Oiler, he’s gotten a variety of experience, exposure to hockey in different organizations and at different levels, and a level of education well beyond the typical “hockey man”.

    I haven’t agreed with everything he’s done or hasn’t done this year, but he seems to have done pretty well for a rookie.

    He was a smart man before he left and a smarter one when he came back. I suspect he’ll have this team a significant notch better by next year.

    I would be delighted if the Oilers hired Ray Ferraro as Assistant GM.

  117. Ducey says:

    G Money,

    I wouldn’t want Ferraro as an assistant GM. He is a good talking head, but he has no experience at all.

    If they want to add to the team, get someone out of a good organization with some experience and knowledge how another team does things.

  118. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Lowetide:
    Pacific: Last 19

    ANA 15-4-0 30 pts
    SJ 13-6-0 26 pts
    VAN 7-8-4, 18 pts
    PHX 7-8-4 18 pts
    CGY 6-10-3 15 pts
    EDM 6-10-3 15 pts
    LA 6-11-3 14 pts

    That doesn’t prove we’re swimming with the pack if that was your intention. We’ve won 3 games all year against Pacific Division teams. Two of them came against Calgary, and the third took untill game 55 to get against an 8th place team. Jeez is that correct? 3 wins all year and 2 came from the Flames?

    That’s bad.

  119. gcw_rocks says:

    Lowetide,

    A little late to the party here, but what would you expect him to say? The oilers are trending to a last place finish, again. The oilers hired their new GM without due process. They hired Howson without due process. They fired a head coach who was hired without due process after half a season and replaced him with another coach hired without due process. They retained a group of assistant coaches that have contributed to the worst record in hockey repeatedly.

    I have no doubt Ferraro is hearing the same things from players that cassie Campbell heard – players around the league think these guys are stuck in the eighties and will fail.

    As for MacT having five years, you need to read the Katz letter again. This is year four of a rebuild plan. A plan, if I remember Lowe correctly is supposed to deliver a Stanley Cup contender by year six. MacT does not have anywhere close to five years, not should he.

  120. Captain Smarmy says:

    Ducey:
    G Money,

    I wouldn’t want Ferraro as an assistant GM.He is a good talking head, but he has no experience at all.

    Well neither did Lowe and Mac-T and look at them today!

  121. G Money says:

    Ducey:
    I wouldn’t want Ferraro as an assistant GM.He is a good talking head, but he has no experience at all.

    If they want to add to the team, get someone out of a good organization with some experience and knowledge how another team does things.

    I find that Ferraro is one of the few talking heads these days that has actual insight into the game and is willing to express his resulting opinions, even though (and this is what makes him interesting) those opinions are often different or even counter to the nonsense spewed by others.

    If, as Ferraro suggests, severe groupthink has settled into the Oiler braintrust – and as per my post, I don’t necessarily agree but it’s still not an unreasonable conclusion – then Ferraro’s insights would be particularly valuable. Hence Assistant GM.

    Sure, as you say he’s got no experience, but every GM started somewhere, and it seems he does have both insight and intelligence. Though there is no substitute for experience, I do think the former two are actually harder to find.

    Steve Tambellini had plenty of experience and knowledge of how another (mostly successful) organization does things. Unfortunately, without insight or intelligence, it didn’t really seem to stick.

  122. Pouzar says:

    LT,

    Please add a new entry so we can talk hockey FFS.

  123. FastOil says:

    I like the line LT used a while back “in 5 years a person can gain 5 years experience, or 1 year’s experience 5 times”. So true.

    In my experience people are either good at things or they aren’t. If they aren’t and try hard and have a good attitude and aren’t in a key position they can do ok. Being ‘smart’ doesn’t matter, being effective does unless it’s an IQ contest. In any field the top 5% is always the cream and there is a descending level of competence from there down.

    Managers, coaches, players, it’s the same for all. Hoping someone makes a change and does better usually drags the entire effort down a notch. This is different than needing at bats, which is simply practice. It’s about not having aptitude or having fatal flaws at the NHL level. Those won’t go a way with time or practice.

    This is what a good evaluator can do. They know what they are looking at, what matters. They can’t be right all the time and things like health can change, but the better the prospect or player the less error there should be.

    Eakins seems to be adapting quickly, good. Marincin seems to have a great tool kit and has learned what to do, great (maybe the Oilers should hire Crazy Coach). Even better when his man sized body arrives.

    Lowe assembled a decent roster and, despite the narrative, with an amazing confluence of hot streaks and absolute horseshoes in the dark luck went to the finals. His efforts since and the team’s performance bring his genius into question.

    MacT did a few good deals (that really were no brainers) and more that were really questionable for me. If we call last summer his at bats we can expect mostly good from here on out, if he has what it takes to be a good NHL GM. He’s had time to make personnel changes etc., If he needs more learning on the job or they need to ‘evaluate’ any more it would not be a good sign. The team may still do fairly well, but things won’t be as good as they might be.

  124. theres oil in virginia says:

    FastOil: MacT did a few good deals (that really were no brainers) and more that were really questionable for me.

    Wait…Perron for Paajarvi was a no-brainer?

    I can’t think of any of his deals that didn’t pan out that really cost the team anything. Have I blocked one out of my memory? (Honest question, not being pissy.)

  125. DeadmanWaking says:

    Zangetsu:
    I think this blog has too many optimists.

    I would argue–to balance the force–that you’re the most optimistic person here.

    When the new management bumbles their first season (players the GM brings in are not exactly the players the coach wanted–they think the game slightly differently and they just don’t know each other well enough yet to have fully sorted this out) and then with no immediate sign of turning the corner a bit of panic sets in and they begin to swing for the fences (if you can’t get good, you can always get lucky), and then finally with the scent of fear in their nostrils they make a BOLD move of one of our centerpieces–it must be Hall, we’ve never won since his draft year–the wreckage is now prime to lather, rinse, and repeat the management shuffle, with the peat bog now deeper than ever.

    How is the cycle broken?

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Some lucky GM scores a Sid the Kid, or a wild swing for the fences actually works. Laurel wreaths are passed around to the new dim-bulb lifers whose future performance is distinctly average (at best). Then as the briefly promising flicker begins to fade, a new bulb or two is brought into the fold in a last gasp effort to save the day who possibly know what they are doing (we wait) only it’s already too late–the wholesale cry has gone out to clean house. Again. Even the reliable Ferraro tom-toms echo the tribal drums.

    There’s a certain kind of person for whom a management sackathon can never be wrong–no matter how many times it doesn’t work (nor is this a cheap throw: three to fives years in purgatory per iteration).

    I’m not even sure anyone here is going to live long enough to see your hypothesis throughly debunked by the harsh light of morning. Fifteen years from now are you going to still be around to confess “perhaps all these management changes didn’t help the cause?”

    I suspect I’m still going to be here a year from now to confess “MacT is a flawed cookie, despite my best judgement” if that’s how this cookie crumbles. I’m nervously optimistic. This is already a huge upgrade from my recent stint of despondent optimism.

    When does anyone cleaning house ever eat crow? And you think we’re the optimists? Tell me you haven’t ascended all the way from optimism/pessimism all the way to blind faith? Of course, if the iterative river of management blood doesn’t fix this thing in another decade or so, we can always Wangifiy Mr Katz. Your position still won’t be wrong, will it? “Well, it was unfixable, no matter what we did.”

    The thing is, Mr Katz likes his current group.

    What makes you think he’s going to be magically better at assembling the next team? If he assembles what he clearly likes, he’ll bring in new people who think like he does, just like the present management group (that’s what MacT did when he hired Eakins). The alternative is that he brings in a management group with totally different view of things that he doesn’t understand at all. Then how does he decide to hold anyone accountable? He’s got final authority over people he doesn’t grok.

    Then there’s some tension within the management ranks and Mr Katz has no real insight into how either side thinks the game. He probably sits there thinking “man I wish I still had Kevin and Craig, at least I knew what those weasels were all about”.

    If we had a new owner on the horizon, I’d be far more receptive to flushing the current management group.

    A whole new management group every three to five years is an order of magnitude worse than our recent coaching roundhouse. Not just the product on the ice might fail, but the entire franchise. One your side, it appears your optimistic guillotine doesn’t worry about this kind of thing.

    One can fall into the trap of listening too much to the smartest guy in the room. It can be equally devastating to fall into the trap of listening too much to the newest. guy in the room, just because the fresh breath of air is the new shiny.

    One sees this in consumer preferences all the time. There’s a certain kind of person who believes the cure for every lemon purchase is another helping of new shiny, where the analysis pretty much ends at “what’s new is better”.

    This is great for retailers. Tomorrow’s lemons don’t fly off the shelves all by themselves. How I cringe at the eternal optimism of these consumer lemmings.

    When one guy goes “with these sharp sticks I like our chances against the lion” and the other guy goes “you’re insane!” it’s often because the second guy has yet to suss out that retreat offers certain escape from the lion in the form of a sheer cliff.

    What’s the problem, you ask? Don’t you watch the movies? These canyons always contain wall to wall whitewater (strangely deep) that never fails to spit the unconscious onto a calm shoal of faithful livestock–just half a mile downstream at the first bend.

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