IT’S ONLY WORDS

We are here. This poor fellow represents the Edmonton Oilers fan today. Edmonton’s hockey owner (Daryl Katz) sent off a message to the fanbase that said:

  • we hear you but aren’t going to try a quick fix for cheap applause
  • we have a vision about how to win with this team
  • we are not going to alter course
  • we believe in Craig MacTavish, who is the General Manager of the team
  • we will win this way

Incredibly, I agree with all of the points above. The problem is this: people don’t believe the Oilers anymore. For those not buying, the idea that Craig MacTavish needs time is impossible to embrace for many reasons, the major one being this exchange.

  • Lowe: ”I’ll just add a piece to that, John. You know, fair question. We have two types of fans. We have paying customers and we have people that watch the game that we still care about, but certainly the people who go to the games and support, we spend a lot of time talking to them, delivering our message. I would, uh, I think it’s safe to say that half the general manager’s in the National Hockey League would trade their roster for our roster right now. And in terms of the group that messed things up (voice rising) you’re talking about the group that had the team one period away from winning the Stanley Cup.”

  • MacKinnon: “Seven years ago.”
  • Lowe: “And you know the cycle of that. You know we chased the dream a few year for our fanbase. Like a lot of teams do. And then at some point in that time frame we realized that’s a bad plan and we made a change. We’re finishing year three of that plan. Now you say to me you’re getting impatient after three years?”

  • MacKinnon: “It’s not me. It’s the fans that are getting impatient.”
  • Lowe: “And lastly (talking loudly now) I’ll say that there’s one other guy in hockey today that is still working in the game that has won more Stanley Cups than me. So I think I know a little bit about winning, if there’s ever a concern.”

Oiler fans are unhappy today because:

  • Kevin Lowe remains
  • the assistant coaches remain
  • the losing remains
  • the immediate future is not promising
  • Losing is exhausting
  • tickets are expensive
  • the organization is arrogant

Daryl Katz is not going to sacrifice his friend Kevin Lowe, he is not going to make changes in areas that would please the fanbase. He is gambling that “I hear you” will be enough to sway the public during a very trying time for the organization.

SUMMARY

I believe Craig MacTavish, Dallas Eakins and the Oilers are going to improve this team and build a winner, given time and opportunity. They have been on the job for less than a year. On the other hand, I believe the fans have every right to say enough and walk away.

Will Oiler fans storm the palace gates? Will they find new forms of entertainment? Will the Oilers do something demonstrative like address the coaching and management nepotism? Will the arrogance remain?

For me, the young team that shows so much promise on the ice is worth following on their journey, and I’m interested to see if Craig MacTavish and Dallas Eakins get a full chance to figure out the riddle. Either way, I’m genuinely happy the longest movie since The Godfather is reaching climax. Let’s get this done so we can move on. Either way. The next thing you’ll hear is from the fanbase.

We wait.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

115 Responses to "IT’S ONLY WORDS"

  1. sync303 says:

    The team shows promise? Perhaps certain players do, but the team as whole has regressed.

  2. art vandelay says:

    Just when I was starting to think that this glorious train wreck of a franchise was losing its entertainment value – boom – along comes this letter to make it compelling again.
    I am predicting a record number of comments on this story.

  3. LostBoy says:

    Oiler fans are unhappy today because:
    Kevin Lowe remains
    the assistant coaches remain
    the losing remains
    the immediate future is not promising
    Losing is exhausting
    tickets are expensive
    the organization is arrogant
    ****
    I’m not really unhappy for any of these reasons, individually. I’m unhappy that after three seasons of “rebuild” that have seen steady, if incremental, improvement pretty much across the statistical board, and in points in the standings, the club has crashed back to less than zero this season. A team that virtually everyone expected to take at minimum another incremental step forward has regressed back past the starting point, at least in minor things like goals allowed (284 to 269 to 239; projecting to 291 this season) and points in the standings. I’m just looking for a reason to believe that this constitutes progress.

    I was 13 when the Oilers joined the NHL and I’ve followed them like a religion since game one. I’ll be happy if I’m wrong, and I’ve never joined a fire-the-coach mob previously.

    But I just don’t see what the excuse is, when Renney and Krueger coaxed year to year improvement out of this team, and when MacTavish’s initial raft of changes had people picking playoffs, for them to be this bad. Dubnyk fell apart, okay, but there hasn’t been anything like the significant injuries that have marred those seasons in which they managed gradual improvement.

    But the course is going to be stayed, so I’ll stop whining about it.

  4. Thinker says:

    I have to put my money where my mouth is at this point. So I will no longer have anything to do with the oilers until there is a major overhaul, or the team actually starts to progress. Katz shouldn’t be listening to the fans, and should have his own plan, but when management has proven to be beyond incompetent, it only makes sense to make a change. Most fans are asking for a change in leadership, not to sell out for wins.
    Anyway, thanks for all you do LT. When you start contemplating trading Hall to buffalo for two firsts and erhoff, it’s time to stop following the team. I only made it this long because of you. I haven’t seen the oilers play good since I was eleven, I watch anymore of this sludge.

  5. CM says:

    I bought Gold tickets at a charity event right before Christmas. Gave the seats away the day of the game because I was over at my parents and they wanted to play cards. We don’t have to look very far for other forms of entertainment.

  6. Rondo says:

    Seriously anyone who posts here could have done just as poorly as the Oiler organization has done in the last 7.5 years. The chart has had a downward arrow for a long time. Keeping management means more losing.

  7. Bar_Qu says:

    art vandelay:
    Just when I was starting to think that this glorious train wreck of a franchise was losing its entertainment value – boom – along comes this letter to make it compelling again.
    I am predicting a record number of comments on this story.

    so you figure this will hit 700 comments, wow. That’s alot even for the old site on big game days.

    A record number of comments would imply something other than apathy, which is what this letter will likely generate the most of. There are many who will foam and froth about it, but as stated above, we just don’t believe the org anymore. “Show me the money” is what we are asking, and results not words will fix the problem.

    I don’t argue with people who tell me I am a fool to cheer for this team, how could I really? I just smile sadly and talk about the systemic problems. But most people don’t even razz me anyways. It is too easy and not worth their time. I often wonder why you still try to troll us? I don’t know many if us would bother contradicting you on any but your most inventive and bizarre slams (bookie would make a better court jester for the team than Gongjay! Katz would make his players eat kittens rather than fire a friend!)

    so, in short, Hi Art!

  8. OilClog says:

    Forced early retirement an option for Lowe?

  9. Yeti says:

    I think the general fanbase would believe the Oilers a little more if they owned up to a few mea culpas. If they acknowledged that mistakes had been made, then fine. But it’s this attitude that those that question the management are somehow after a ‘quick fix’ solution and don’t have the perseverance to ‘stay the course’ that really pisses people off. The Tambellini era was a disaster, a clusterfuck of bad ideas held together by cluelessness. It was not a succinctly executed plan towards greatness. Perhaps MacT can right the ship. Perhaps not. But until there is a recognition of culpability then they deserve continued anger.

  10. sliderule says:

    Lowetide you have identified most of the problems but you have not mentioned drafting.

    The top teams like The Ducks Kings and Blues have been able to understand that the draft is important.They have traded to pick up more first rounders while identifying players in later rounds that can help them.

    Then you have teams like the jets /thrashers and the Flames who have failed in drafting.

    The oilers are in bottom third from 2003 -2010 but with the first picks from 2011 to 2013 we should be able to at least be able to move into top third.

    The point I am trying to make is that I hope that oiler management reads this blog and if they focus on being the best in scouting in nhl whether that means more scouts or better scouts they can be the Patriots of Hockey.

  11. Hammers says:

    I’m also a fan from before the NHL started in Edmonton and by my pen name have supported the Hammers threw thick & thin for 65+ years . Part of being a fan is having your say and that is season tickets / shirts etc etc . People speak in different ways. What you let us do LT is vent and in this day and age we need that outlet . There was a time I purchased 6 season tickets (4 sons) but today I only see the odd game but I watch ; complain ; analyze ; argue and most of all I endure . I think its not just the organization that’s arrogant as I see that more in the new coach than McT . I will always support them but at my age the glory days are long gone and the young supporters need to see and here more than there getting .

  12. verdad says:

    Firing Lowe should be a no brainer, by any measure of accountability for the positions he has held since the day he bungled the Pronger situation.
    That woudl have been a zero cost option for Katz to do.
    It is incredible that passed on it.
    Lowe has done more to jeprodize this franchise than anyone in the history of the Oilers. That is really saying something.
    Until he is sacrificed nothing will get better for the Oilers.

  13. Dee Dee says:

    I don’t think Katz picked the best way to energize the fan base and get them hyped up for next year. The Oilers can survive one more season without taking some very large financial hits.

    1000 person waiting list for seasons seats can withstand one year. But I’m afraid nothing changes until Batman starts to feel it in his chequebook.

    Now the type one fans will have to decide if they are getting good value for their money spent and the prospective value next year.

    The arrogance at every level of management is astounding. This crew is in danger of becoming the worst franchise in the HISTORY of the NHL. Who would want to own that record and why aren’t they moving the heavens and earth to prevent it?

    Mindboggling.

  14. Mr DeBakey says:

    You know we chased the dream a few year for our fanbase. Like a lot of teams do. And then at some point in that time frame we realized that’s a bad plan and we made a change. We’re finishing year three of that plan.

    Up until this point Lowe’s answer was very good.

    But he just couldn’t contain himself….

  15. Clay says:

    Dee Dee:
    But I’m afraid nothing changes until Batman starts to feel it in his chequebook.

    I’ve been saying this very thing for years. And it’s true. Katz doesn’t understand hockey – he understands economics. And as long as there’s no financial reason to can his bud, why would he? But if this team was loosing 8 figures per year…

  16. Innocent Bystander says:

    While no one should expect them to come right out and explicitly state details such as which players they are looking to acquire, perhaps if they just explained even a tiny little bit of exactly what their plans are, maybe, just maybe, the fan base might be able to put down their torches and pitchforks for just a little while longer.

    Instead, it’s more of the same: Be patient, we have a plan and we’re sticking to it so don’t expect any changes. Period. Oh and, don’t rag on my buddy Kev.

    Groundhog day.

    Ad infinitum.

  17. art vandelay says:

    It would take a lot of losing seasons to negate a free $600M+ hockey arena.
    The letter is just Katz tossing Oiler fan a bone.

  18. HugThePost says:

    I guess this organization is always good for a sarcastic laugh or three.

    What Katz’s plan does not consider is the human element. As in: when do one or more of the WonderKids tire of the losing/ booing/ living in the NHL backwoods and ask to be shipped out of here?

    Sure, we’ve got talent, but they are human and sooner or later, the gongshow is going to break them.

    Katz’s half-hearted letter is kind of like the abusive spouse promising it’ll get better, just stay with me……….

  19. Ice Sage says:

    I think the heat is rising a bit in Katz’ kitchen – revenue trending down at some level. Elsewise, no reason to do this PR. That’s something, I guess.

    Good idea to slide it out in the Tortorella media shadow.

  20. Jordan says:

    I’ve been going to see hockey games for years. My dad’s been finding ways to keep his season tickets through thick and thin since the glory days. Every year around this time (my birthday is in January) we go and grab a bite to eat, watch a game, and enjoy the ambiance of Rexall Place, before we walk our separate ways for the evening.

    This year in September I told my dad, “You know, I don’t need to go to a hockey game this year. The Oilers… they’re kinda terrible, and going to watch them lost for a few hundred bucks seems like a bad plan. So, let’s do something else. How about you find someone to buy the tickets (they’re nice tickets – 3rd row of the first balcony, just off the blue line), and we spend the money going to a nice restaurant, have some drinks, and watch the hockey game in HD at someone’s house.”

    I was more than a little worried about this watching the Oilers through the pre-season. They looked like they would be full value. They might even make some noise in a playoff race. It could have been really tough to swallow, missing an exciting game.

    Suffice it to say, I feel completely vindicated in my decision to date.

    Katz can write whatever he wants – I’ve got better things to do.

  21. Ice Sage says:

    Jordan:
    I’ve been going to see hockey games for years.My dad’s been finding ways to keep his season tickets through thick and thin since the glory days.Every year around this time (my birthday is in January) we go and grab a bite to eat, watch a game, and enjoy the ambiance of Rexall Place, before we walk our separate ways for the evening.

    This year in September I told my dad, “You know, I don’t need to go to a hockey game this year.The Oilers… they’re kinda terrible, and going to watch them lost for a few hundred bucks seems like a bad plan.So, let’s do something else.How about you find someone to buy the tickets (they’re nice tickets – 3rd row of the first balcony, just off the blue line), and we spend the money going to a nice restaurant, have some drinks, and watch the hockey game in HD at someone’s house.”

    I was more than a little worried about this watching the Oilers through the pre-season.They looked like they would be full value.They might even make some noise in a playoff race.It could have been really tough to swallow, missing an exciting game.

    Suffice it to say, I feel completely vindicated in my decision to date.

    Katz can write whatever he wants – I’ve got better things to do.

    When your (Tier 1) Dad doesn’t renew his tix, that’s the start of real change. I didn’t make my yearly pilgrimage to Etown (and didn’t drop 600$ into local coffers) because of the same disinterest as you have. We don’t matter, for now. And I’m sure we’ll be back when the product and pride of being an Oiler fan returns.

  22. bill needle says:

    Anything to make an Art Vandelay prediction come true.
    The real question is: What kind of letter is Katz going to write in two years when the Oilers are still out of a playoff spot, and there is another two years’ proof that the Oilers’ front office is ill equipped to anything but cash cheques from season-ticket holders.

  23. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Was thinking of taking my two boys to a game this year until I saw the ticket prices and the product on the ice. I think we’ll go to Minnesota instead to catch the Wild vs the Preds and the Twins versus the Jays for less money and more entertainment value.
    It’s started, but It will take another 2 years of the same circus until Rexall isn’t sold out. By then the new arena will be near and interest will pick up. Katz has nothing to worry about.

  24. jfry says:

    i was with you until i read “young team showing promise” and then i realized you mustn’t be talking about the oilers.

    how eakins is keeping his job needs to be mentioned with the assistants part. mact jetisoned the starting goalie, our back up goalie and will get rid of our 2C and probably our 2RW (hemsky), but can’t get rid of a coach? this seems wrong.

    i don’t like to applaud Tbay much, but when they knew melrose was screwing up stamkos, he was gone immediately. i just don’t understand any argument for keeping him (and yes i’ve heard them all).

    If people don’t believe that a good coach can make an immediate difference, they haven’t watched hitchcock, boudreau, tippet, burns, sutter bump around the league, obviously. we’re languishing in this rut because of many a bad decision — so why in a year, where the GM is going “change crazy” is the coach off limits?

    93 percent of communication is non-verbal, and all this team does is talk out of it’s ass. not even charles wang would have written a letter to the fans. this is a new low.

  25. soup says:

    Went to my first Oilers game in the early 70′s. My dad was able to get me into the medical room in the Gardens after the game. At that time, the visitors used to exit through the medical room before getting into the lobby. Got to sit with Bobby Hull for a couple of minutes before he went to sign autographs. Been a fan of both Bobby Hull and the Oilers ever since (yeah – I know, why aren’t I a Jets fan?).

    When I lived in Edmonton, I held seasons tickets. Went to most games and gave away tickets for the others. This was in the sad sack 90′s – pre-Cujo. It really was a barrel full of squashed crap back then. (have a great story about sending a fax to Sather to complain about spending all the money on Ranford and nothing on scoring – but for another day perhaps) Hard to admit, but I think that was far worse than what we see today. Today at least there is some hope.

    Love the Oil. Cheer for the Eskimos. Followed the Cubbies and Detroit Lions for a long, long time. Still a fan – guess I have some staying power! Much prefer to follow the drama of a winning team, but I can take this comedy for a bit longer. Easier to laugh…

  26. jfry says:

    souray to hershey was low too.

    fuck, what a crew of idiots. i wish the oilers were publicly traded.

  27. Loxy says:

    I needn’t read more than the title of this post “It’s Only Words” – that’s the problem.

    Lip service isn’t enough anymore. Maybe year 1-7 it was enough.

    We want Lowe’s head.

    And our respect for him is why fans have been this patient.

  28. Oiler Al says:

    Katz feeling the heat on ticket renewals…. thats all the letter is about. Another false promise of better performance, without any real time lines.

    At the same time puts in a plug for his buddy Lowe, asking fans to lay off him, and turned the heat on the more likeable MacT.

    There is no warmth, or honesty in the letter. How can there be, it was written by some PR person.

  29. Thor762 says:

    Katz couldn’t care less about the fans. The Seattle scare tactics alone should have proven that. I know what he’s like. I used to work for the guy.

  30. Wolfpack says:

    I too can relate to other fans not even bothering to razz me about cheering for the Oil. It’s just too easy. I just smile, nod my head, and move on.

    This year I told my wife not to buy me anything Oilers-related for Christmas. Today I got offered gold seats for tomorrow night’s game and I turned them down. I am not one of Lowe’s valued season ticket holders but I hope that Oilers management understands that there is an ugly underside to their quest toward unprecedented futility. This team is as low on my list of priorities as it has ever been.

    The arrogance of this organization is incredible. Katz breaking his pinky-swear promise with Lowe and kicking him to the curb would be such a nice start.

  31. Oilanderp says:

    They are going to wait for the young d-men rather than overpay and jeopardize the ultimate goal of being a perennial contender.

    It sucks, but they might be right.

  32. Mattaklap says:

    I’m pretty happy, but I don’t have to pony up credits for a big arena thing. Just a weird bridge.

    I was just watching Moneyball (I will watch anything baseball-related at this calendrical turn) and impulsively I wish the Oilers were suddenly smaller fish in the pond. With fewer resources, they would be forced to upgrade the brain trust. That’s the script in my mind. Bring back the EIG stranglehold?

  33. Lowetide says:

    Mattaklap:
    I’m pretty happy, but I don’t have to pony up credits for a big arena thing. Just a weird bridge.

    I was just watching Moneyball (I will watch anything baseball-related at this calendrical turn) and impulsively I wish the Oilers were suddenly smaller fish in the pond. With fewer resources, they would be forced to upgrade the brain trust. That’s the script in my mind. Bring back the EIG stranglehold?

    Wonderful post. Joni Mitchell was right.

  34. theres oil in virginia says:

    Tampa Bay Lightning:
    Season G W L T Pts Playoffs
    08–09: 24 40 18 66 Out of playoffs
    09–10: 34 36 12 80 Out of playoffs
    10–11: 46 25 11 103 Lost Conf Finals, 3–4 (Bruins)
    11–12: 38 36 08 84 Out of playoffs
    12–13: 18 26 04 40 Out of playoffs

    Melrose tried to teach them how to play hockey:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/20759/barry-melrose-on-coaching-the-lightning

    I wonder if they’d have had more success if they’d kept him around. At any rate, he sure-as-hell wasn’t fired for “screwing up Stamkos”.

  35. cabbiesmacker says:

    Katz could have saved some typing time and just admitted that the Oilers are a 6 ring Circus and they haven’t got a clue how to go about rebuilding whats broken. Not that he cares of course when an entire city bends over and takes fistings of the magnitude he gives out.

    I wonder what the average citizens receptivity temperature would be to all of those negotiations now? Good thing you got it over with when you did there Bono.

    This management team couldn’t organize a sock drawer and quite frankly it looks great on them. They’ve always been the most arrogant, entitled group in hockey so…. waaa. Karmas a bitch huh boys? Own it..

    Yay we have three 1 OV’s so that’ll guarantee the wins. NOT. Most teams would require two max to get the job done because they wouldn’t just throw the poor kids to the wolves.

    Lowe’s “half the teams in the NHL would trade their rosters for ours” is particularly amusing. Sure they would Kev. Then they’d promptly trade or retire half of the dregs on it and build a real hockey team. A talent you and your cronies can only dream of having. At least he lowered his numbers from the “29 other teams” that’d be in the lineup for MacTavish’s offerings bullshit.

    Oh btw Kevvy? You’re in the 4th year of the rebuild now. It began the second you called out Hall’s name from the podium. Zero improvement. Well done. Tick tock.

  36. jfry says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    you should do some reading on this. look at stamkos treatment, toi, the advertising campaign. the verbal. if you don’t believe that’s the case…okay. we’ll differ on opinions. my point was that the owners felt stamkos was more important than the coach. (or at least the one of the owners if you believe the stamkos to satherland article from earlier).

    to me this year is really coming down to, what are yak and jultz turning into to…and right now the answer is, not enough to even trade.

  37. cabbiesmacker says:

    Lowetide: Wonderful post. Joni Mitchell was right.

    ????

    ” Up there’s a heaven, down there’s a town
    Blackness everywhere any little lights shine
    Blackness, blackness draggin’ me down”

  38. Jigger says:

    I left 2 Oiler tickets on the dash of my car the other day. When I came back after work low and behold I found 4 sitting there.

  39. Mattaklap says:

    cabbiesmacker: ????

    ” Up there’s a heaven, down there’s a town
    Blackness everywhere any little lights shine
    Blackness, blackness draggin’ me down”

    I’m getting the feeling that this may be a dark period for Oiler fandom.

  40. jfry says:

    further on stamkos:

    the marketing campaign for the club that year, which had billboards and bench signs EVERYWHERE in Tbay:
    http://www.thegoosesroost.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/seenstamkos.jpg

    here’s the games from that year. i invite you to have a look at SS’s TOI, shots, etc before mid-Dec and then after. it’s a pretty different story.
    http://lightning.nhl.com/club/gamelog.htm?season=20082009&gameType=2

    handshake deal for stamkos when slats thought he could buy low:
    http://nypost.com/2010/04/04/rangers-had-done-deal-for-stamkos/

  41. Lois Lowe says:

    They paved paradise and put up a pile o’ crap.

  42. justDOit says:

    The fan in the photo, doing a facepalm – does he have a pin head, or giant hands? Or both?

  43. theres oil in virginia says:

    jfry,
    I did do some reading on this. In fact, I posted something I’d read. Also, I remember it at the time (amazingly). Melrose didn’t think Stamkos was ready for the NHL and he didn’t want to damage the player by throwing him in too early:
    “Steven is not ready for the NHL,” Melrose stated on the Fan 590. “Steven is going to be a good player..right now he’s just not strong enough physically to play against defencemen who are 6’3″ or 6’4″ that can skate as good as him.”

    According to Melrose, Stamkos’ TOI went down after Melrose left:
    Melrose…pointed out that Stamkos was now playing fewer minutes than he had when Melrose was coaching…

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=259045

    Your point is that the owners felt that Stamkos was more important than the coach. My point is that the coach wanted to teach the player (and his teammates) how to play hockey in such a way that wins games in the NHL, and the owners couldn’t stomach it. Maybe he wouldn’t have succeeded, but then again, they’ve been no screaming hell since he left. Cooper looks like a keeper though. Anyway, it reminds me of this situation:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/daniel-snyder-robert-griffin-iii-friendship-highlighted-during-redskins-turmoil/2013/12/14/3432964e-6407-11e3-aa81-e1dab1360323_story.html

  44. justDOit says:

    Lowetide: Wonderful post. Joni Mitchell was right.

    Raised on Robbery?

  45. Gret99zky says:

    “I believe Craig MacTavish, Dallas Eakins and the Oilers are going to improve this team and build a winner, given time and opportunity. ”

    Given time and opportunity a thousand monkeys will eventually write the entire works of Shakespeare (or Dickens or all the books in the British library).

    We wait.

    ***

    To tell the truth I am a much bigger fan of this blog than the Edmonton Oilers these last few years.

    I stopped watching all the games but I come here everyday.

    However, I find myself posting less and less because I am so filled with frustration toward the organization I don’t want to bog down the forum with negativity and risk losing something I love.

    Thank you, Allan, for all that you do here. I am a huge fan.

    ***

    All my Oilers gear is in a box in the garage (since the lockout) and there it will stay. I am embarrassed to be a fan of this team. Even my family in Calgary doesn’t bother jeering me about the Oilers anymore.

    I’m not going to wish bad things upon Katz, Lowe, Mact, Eakins, or the players. Katz losing money or employees losing jobs isn’t going to change the way I feel.

    The thing I miss the most about being a fan is the way it feels when the team is in the playoffs. The whole city is electric. It really is magical.

    And it’s going on 8 years out.

    I am confident, given the state of the union, the team will break Florida’s record of 10 years without.

    A full decade.

    Lordy.

  46. justDOit says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=441705

    There’s no doubt in my mind that the man in the photo attached to that TSN story, would clearly not make a bad decision about anything.

  47. cabbiesmacker says:

    justDOit:
    The fan in the photo, doing a facepalm – does he have a pin head, or giant hands? Or both?

    Well he doesn’t have 6 rings so he obviously knows nothing about winning.

  48. cabbiesmacker says:

    Lois Lowe:
    They paved paradise and put up a pile o’ crap.

    Hahaha. Major props. Got some salad up my nose though..

  49. theres oil in virginia says:

    jfry: i don’t like to applaud Tbay much, but when they knew melrose was screwing up stamkos, he was gone immediately.

    This statement indicates that you are holding up TB ownership as some sort of model. “They canned the crappy coach when he was screwing up their star player. If only Katz would act like this.” And yet, one of the articles you posted (Slats’ handshake deal for Stamkos) clearly indicates that these guys were a bunch of screwballs and almost unloaded Stamkos for a cup-of-soup. How in the world does this strengthen your argument?

    Furthermore, why did you point me to a link that in order to get TOI one has to click on each game link individually, and then act like you’ve done that? That’s kinda disingenuous.

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/player/gamelog/_/id/5037/year/2009/steven-stamkos

    Looks like a mixed bag all season to me.

  50. jp says:

    OilClog:
    Forced early retirement an option for Lowe?

    Always an option. But your boss has to want to fire you before you get fired.

    Innocent Bystander:
    While no one should expect them to come right out and explicitly state details such as which players they are looking to acquire, perhaps if they just explained even a tiny little bit of exactly what their plans are, maybe, just maybe, the fan base might be able to put down their torches and pitchforks for just a little while longer.

    Instead, it’s more of the same: Be patient, we have a plan and we’re sticking to it so don’t expect any changes. Period. Oh and, don’t rag on my buddy Kev.

    Groundhog day.

    Ad infinitum.

    Didn’t MacT do this back in the spring? I imagine the plan is the same as it was then. We ate it up at the time, but he’s taken a lot of flack for not delivering in the mean time. In hindsight it was a rookie mistake to come out and say “we expect to be competitive” and “this is what we’re going to do”. Turns out the job of building a competitive team out of some skilled kids is tougher than it looks. MacT might be the smartest man in the room, but there are 29 other smartest men (and their associates) trying to do the same thing. The expectations and the plan were laid out, and that doesn’t seem to have helped much at all.

    Honestly those raised expectations are a huge part of why this season has been so disappointing. I mean, the results would have been disappointing regardless, but for me at least they’re much more so because I allowed myself to believe (as I think MacT really did himself), that this team could potentially challenge for a playoff spot. A stance more along the lines of “of course we want to be competing for a playoff spot, but these kids are young and this team has some real big holes to fill. We’re all going to do our best, but Rome wasn’t built in a day”, might have been more prudent looking back. MacT re-stating what the holes on the team are now (basically the same as they were) and that he’s is going to do his best to fill them isn’t going to make me feel any better.

  51. Captain Smarmy says:

    I’ve been a Detroit Lions fan since 1990 (I know, I know) and the parallels between Clay Ford Sr/Lewand/Mllen regime and the Katz/Lowe/Tambi era is startling to me.

    Maybe Mac-T is Martin Mayhew so the fans can have a bit of sugar on their plate of shit.

  52. Numenius says:

    Oiler fans are unhappy today because:

    Kevin Lowe remains
    the assistant coaches remain
    the losing remains
    the immediate future is not promising
    Losing is exhausting
    tickets are expensive
    the organization is arrogant

    ——

    In other words, the problem is, wait for it…

    Lowe morale.

  53. Woodguy says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    the Oilers are a 6 ring Circus

    That’s perfect.

    *slow clap*

  54. Woodguy says:

    Numenius:
    Oiler fans are unhappy today because:

    Kevin Lowe remains the assistant coaches remain the losing remains the immediate future is not promising Losing is exhausting tickets are expensive the organization is arrogant

    ——

    In other words, the problem is, wait for it…

    Lowe morale.

    Lemme fix that for ya:

    In other words, the problem is…

    *puts on sunglasses*

    Lowe morale.

    YYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  55. OilFire says:

    Woodguy: Lemme fix that for ya:

    In other words, the problem is…

    *puts on sunglasses*

    Lowe morale.

    YYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ahhhhhhahhahahahahahahahaahaha!

    Beautiful.

  56. cabbiesmacker says:
  57. Numenius says:

    Woodguy,

    I like it.

  58. justDOit says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    I snortled.

  59. cabbiesmacker says:

    OilClog:
    Forced early retirement an option for Lowe?

    How bout a quick round of Russian Roulette with Christopher Walken?

  60. justDOit says:

    So that’s it. I haven’t watched much of any game lately, but I think this is enough. To have that arrogant letter shoveled at the fans, is the straw that broke the caramel’s back. I don’t have cable, I don’t buy Molson products, I already detest Rogers, and I wouldn’t drive a Ford if I was paid to do so. And now I won’t set foot in a Rexall store unless I’m strapped into a vest of C4.

    I’m going to put together a task list… (what’s that honey – oh, yes, I see it now – on the fridge – yes, thanks…), and knock off one task during every fucking miserable Oy-ler game.

    Burn your tix, people. Don’t spend another dime supporting this bullshit regime.

    /rantoff

  61. cabbiesmacker says:

    I will offer up a $200.00 donation to the charity of ones choosing, plus the $20.00 Kingfisher? King Creole?, owes me for the Oilers falling out of playoff contention around October 6th, to anyone willing to attend an Oiler presser dressed like Joe Flaherty and yelling JACKASS every time one of the brass opens his pie hole.

  62. justDOit says:

    cabbiesmacker: Well he doesn’t have 6 rings so he obviously knows nothing about winning.

    That rules out pin head.

  63. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I must say Katz letter had a tone of scolding to it. It’s his team, I get it, but the perceived arrogance and obtuse acknowledgement of fans discontent is quite startling. If you are finding that you are having to defend your president publicly, you may have your nose squeezed against the bark and not seeing the forest. Another PR stumble I’m afraid. A piece of inky fluff and a seemingly significant misfire.

  64. Wolfpack says:

    Woodguy: Lemme fix that for ya:

    In other words, the problem is…

    *puts on sunglasses*

    Lowe morale.

    YYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well done. I kind of miss Horatio – or “Franklin the Turtle” as he was known in my house. Those with young kids will get it.

    The word “regime” fits this group to a “T”. I can’t believe that Katz sits down with these guys and tells them “You guys keep running this team into the ground every year and I’ll keep writing these apology letters”. Isn’t this letter almost exactly like the one I read in the Journal after last season?

    I keep expecting to wake up to a Sonny & Cher song every morning.

  65. jake70 says:

    Bouchard up 5-2 in 3rd set if anyone’s interested. Could have a Canuck in the semis of a major.

  66. jake70 says:

    jake70:
    Bouchard up 5-2 in 3rd set if anyone’s interested. Could have a Canuck in the semis of a major.

    Edit…Bouchard to the semis….what a gamer.

  67. Lowetide says:

    Bouchard is a winner.

  68. Gerta Rauss says:

    jake70,

    Lowetide,

    The next match against Li Na is winnable…she could get through to the final.

    Heady times for Canadian tennis right now-this fan has lived through the tumbleweeds era for too long

  69. jp says:

    jake70,

    Lowetide,

    So you’re saying she knows a little bit about winning, if there was ever a concern?

  70. Woodguy says:

    Paajarvi starting to play well in STL.

    Beat writer for STL Post Dispatch:

    Jeremy Rutherford ‏@jprutherford 8m
    Hitch like Paajarvi tonight: Paajarvi was excellent. He showed great speed, he was on top of people, put a lot of pressure on people…

    Hitch cont’d: “He’s really gaining confidence and if the coach was a little smarter and played him a little more, we’d be better off.” (2/2)

    That’s great to see.

  71. OilClog says:

    What the letter has done is strengthen the conviction of the Many Tier fanbase. From filthy rich to hungry and broke everyone is sick of hearing excuses. We will always have a place for #4 as a player, the longer this carries out, the more written words that stoke the fires, only further ruins the lasting image of Lowe’s story with the Oilers. From a loud live action, to a sad lonely opera. Kinda epic.

  72. denny33 says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    I love that….

  73. OilClog says:

    jp: Always an option. But your boss has to want to fire you before you get fired.

    It’s not a firing, it’s retirement. It’s hanging out and having an extra drink, making rash crazy decisions with your rich buddies, buying teams and playing settlers of catan with them… Wait.

  74. VOR says:

    I just want to point out that there are a few new myths taking hold around here.

    The first is that the Oilers are somehow in the running to be the worst team in hte history of the NHL. They may, only time will tell, be having the worst year of any Oilers team but it is close. They are nowhere near the worst team in the history of the NHL. In fact, at the moment they aren’t in the bottom fifty of all time. A win or two we don’t expect here and there and the Oilers might not be in the 100 worst teams in a single season. Right now statistically (and on other ways) they look like this team:

    22W 46L 14 OL 58 Points

    That team added one player (a rookie) and the next year went:

    47W 24L 11OL 105 Points

    They also went from 303 goals against to 236 goals against. One player. No change on defence or goaltending of importance.

    The next year they went to the Stanley Cup Finals and the year after that they won the Stanley Cup.

    I mention this because here is the other myth; we are a long, long way away from good.

    The 2005-2006 Pittsburgh Penguins prove that sometimes all you really need is Evgeni Malkin!

    Is such a turnaround common and how is it usually acheived? I encourage you to go look at hockey reference and decide for yourselves.

    In summary, many teams have gone from very bad to very good in a single year or over several years. If you look at enough of those turnarounds you can’t help noticing that most of the teams add a player or two, though some add no player of significance. Only a very few teams burnt it down to get better.

    So if you are like the Oilers, bottom of the barrel and looking likely to stay there the smart money bet isn’t a total makeover. It is to find, by trade, free agent signing, or draft the one or two players that change everything. Draisaitl or Dal Colle both have the sort of numbers that say they could be game changers. Maybe one of them can do for Edmonton what Evgeni Malkin did for Pittsburgh.

    Maybe all we need is to improve to around .584. In which case we could go the Dallas Stars route and sign an aging scorer (Pat Verbeek) as a free agent and trade for a very odd #1 D, Sergei Zubov. .402 to .634 an improvement of .232. Which would make us .584 next year. One trade, one minor free agent signing. Go MacT go! I am guessing Paul Stastny and Dustin Byfuglien would make the Oilers a completely different team.

  75. PunjabiOil says:

    When your (Tier 1) Dad doesn’t renew his tix, that’s the start of real change.

    That line made me laugh.

    Kevin Lowe has provided a bundle of internet and meme’s.

    “I think I know a little bit about winning, if there is ever a concern.”

    Thoughts on the Katz Letter:

    1. Served several purposes:

    a. Season ticket renewals coming up – provide a connection to the (tier 1) fan, even if taking a hit in the dignity department.
    b. Defending his buddy Kevin Lowe, a memo that he isn’t going to be fired – while at the same time, taking some heat off him by suggesting MacTavish is the key figurehead making the decisions.

    2. Interest is wading. Apathy has settled in the city. Fans aren’t making the Oilers a priority – they’ll (including diehards) watch if they are home, but won’t go out of their way to watch games. Been offered tickets 5+ times by my firm – clients don’t want to watch the product. If you’re customers don’t want the product, in the long-run, you can’t justify the cost of the tickets.

    It may be very close, 8 years of missed playoffs, that the long-run is in near vicinity.

    __________________________

    From a personal perspective, obviously will bleed Oil til I die. It’s become too painful to watch game anymore, and when they win, it evokes no joy. Just a neutral state of mind. It shouldn’t be that way 10-15 games into the season.

    It just shouldn’t.

  76. Woodguy says:

    Pat’s got a pretty good post up:

    http://www.blackdoghatesskunks.blogspot.ca/2014/01/lowe-dont-go-away-mad-lowe-just-go-away.html

    My favorite part:


    Get good players and keep them.

    The Oilers have done the opposite of this for years and no matter of spin from Katz and Laforge and their B team of flackeys and PR people can disguise the fact that the franchise is a disaster and the people running it are abject failures.

  77. Young Oil says:

    Woodguy:
    Paajarvi starting to play well in STL.

    Beat writer for STL Post Dispatch:

    Jeremy Rutherford ‏@jprutherford 8m
    Hitch like Paajarvi tonight: Paajarvi was excellent. He showed great speed, he was on top of people, put a lot of pressure on people…


    Hitch cont’d: “He’s really gaining confidence and if the coach was a little smarter and played him a little more, we’d be better off.” (2/2)

    That’s great to see.

    TSN reporting today that he could be on the trading block (although they say something new that never happens every single day).

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=441685

    It would be hilarious if they traded Bryz for Paajarvi. Never going to happen, but one can dream.

  78. vangolf says:

    Lowetide:
    Bouchard is a winner.

    She is not hard on the eyes…

  79. spoiler says:

    That letter reads like ad copy. Well done, Katz.

  80. hunter1909 says:

    The second I read the name Eakins I stopped reading.

    Katz needs to stop booking bird call impersonators.

    Sometimes I look at a Katz type hair system and wonder whether I’d want to use a variety of them, depending on mood if had one myself. Different colors, styles, and with Katz’s money everyone around him will be forced to pretend it’s not even happening. That’s real power, lol.

    I know a guy who got one. He walked into the restaurant and in 3/100-’s of a second we both had to make a decision whether or not to talk about it. I chose not to, and the lunch proceeded without incident.

    Once I had an enormous shiner style black eye, the result of a well deserved kicking no doubt and the interesting part was that learned quite a lot about human nature. Some people would comment, others just went on like nothing was happening.

    Eventually, everyone turns into Deadmanwalking.

  81. cabbiesmacker says:

    hunter1909:

    Katz needs to stop booking bird call impersonators.

    Sometimes I look at a Katz type hair system and wonder whether I’d want to use a variety of them, depending on mood if had one myself. Different colors, styles,

    When I was a kid there were these woodpecker bird thingys with absorbent beaks and thin glass tubes running through them to a bowllike body. You set a glass of water in front of them and dipped the bird forward til his beak touched the water. Let him go and he’d rock back and forth absorbing water until the bowl filled and he stood straight up.

    Haven’t seen one in ages but thanks for reminding me of where I’d seen Eakins before.

    And you’re saying you can see Katz sitting alongside Chaz Dean schlocking the WEN hair care system on late night tv? Excellent. Maybe he can have his Harpo Marx lookalike son with him as a model.

    Maybe he and Bono pitching their sunglasses line too? Dude reminds me of Snoopy on his doghouse some days, goggles on, piloting his Sopwith Camel.

  82. spoiler says:

    I am cheering for MacT to trade Smytty to the Sharks or the Ducks at the deadline for say a 5th. I’m sure Smytty would swap a few months away from home to have a final chance at a Cup. And Gord willing, a chance to finally drink from Lord Stanley. It happened for Weight… “Take a load off Fanny Smytty”.

  83. Dee Dee says:

    VOR,

    The NHL record for a team missing the playoffs is 10 seasons in a row. The Oilers are at 8.

    This season may in fact turn out to be record breaking in itself, sure.

    But the current managements “solution” to digging itself out of a giant massive shithole is for the owner to write a public letter professing his man love for his boyhood idol and guaranteeing his job.

    Remember back around year 5 or 6 when the team would actually get angry about being so lousy? Those days are long gone.

  84. spoiler says:

    cabbiesmacker: When I was a kid there were these woodpecker bird thingys with absorbent beaks and thin glass tubes running through them to a bowllike body

    I remember those… dippy birds?

  85. hunter1909 says:

    cabbiesmacker: Maybe he and Bono pitching their sunglasses line too?

    Stylistically, they’re emulating Cecil Rhodes/Ernest Hemingway’s generation of world beaters – who in comparison make them look like the frightened little boys they know they really are.

    That’s the trouble with today’s world – no more Africa to go and shoot 295 large animals during a single expedition. Political Correctness works wonders in controlling the submerged 99%, but can be a real fucking pain when a man really wants to rip. A real man, like Daryl Katz is.

    So instead, It’s just another private jet ride to another boring hotel soiree, followed by hookers and coke. In short, nothing anyone who’s returned from up north cannot achieve, however briefly.

  86. Bad Seed says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    That’s gold, man.

    I like this – everyone piling on a bunch of arrogant, unlikeable pricks. Like a poster who mentioned earlier, I find myself getting more enjoyment out of LT’s blog than watching games. This whole Oiler organization is so fukken unlikeable right from Katz to Lowe to that prick Laforge with his hipster old guy goatee & stupid rectangular glasses. I’ve bled Oiler blue and orange from 79 when I was 14 & it’s been pretty much 20 years of crawling through shit since those golden years. Almost hard to believe that we’ve been terrible a hell of a lot longer than we were a winning franchise – unless you live here.

  87. hunter1909 says:

    Dee Dee: The NHL record for a team missing the playoffs is 10 seasons in a row. The Oilers are at 8.

    I can see that dude Nigel from Spinal Tap doing a “go for eleven Oilers” kind of thing.

    Make it happen Daryl!

    Lowe helping to breaking yet another NHL record.

  88. justDOit says:

    hunter1909,

    Nigel and Dah-rill share at least one flowing characteristic – locks. Katz and Klowe (trademark), share another: job permanency.

    This 8 years of misery, brought to you by Katz and Klowe (well, mostly Klowe, but Katz bought in, so screw him to0!

  89. justDOit says:

    hunter1909: I can see that dude Nigel from Spinal Tap doing a “go for eleven Oilers” kind of thing…

    Dis rebiwld gawes tah eelev’n!

  90. KatznKlowe says:

    justDOit:
    hunter1909,

    Nigel and Dah-rill share at least one flowing characteristic – locks. Katz and Klowe (trademark), share another: job permanency.

    This 8 years of misery, brought to you by Katz and Klowe (well, mostly Klowe, but Katz bought in, so screw him to0!

    You spellet ‘two’ wrong. Second tier trash…

  91. VOR says:

    Dee Dee the problem is that the record you are eluding to is not exactly a level playing field. There are more than 20 (i stopped counting) 8 season streaks of ineptitude worse than the Oilers in terms of winning percentage where the team wasn’t out of the playoffs all 8 years. Vancouver avoids a run of 8 in a row for example by making the playoffs with a .369 winning percentage. New Jersey would share the record at 13 seasons if it wasn’t for making the playoffs at .369.

    I am just saying the growing meme here of the Oilers are epically bad is not supported by the facts. You can spin it any way you want. The Oilers didn’t deserve to get into the playoffs in the last eight years but the only reason they don’t have far more company in this category is because some years .369 gets you into the playoffs. Otherwise they wouldn’t be in the top twenty in this category either. They are bad but they are not California Golden Seals, Kansas City Royals, New Jersey Devils bad. They aren’t even Detroit Red Wings or Boston Bruins bad.

  92. art vandelay says:

    bill needle,

    Thanks. Bill.
    But we’re several hundred comments short of making my prediction come true.
    Maybe apathy has set in among Oiler fan.

  93. gogliano says:

    Young Oil: TSN reporting today that he could be on the trading block (although they say something new that never happens every single day).

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=441685

    It would be hilarious if they traded Bryz for Paajarvi. Never going to happen, but one can dream.

    Wait, they need help in net and are dangling Halak? Has he been doing that poorly? From the outside he has a 0.913 save percentage and ten more points than the Oilers. Not great but not terrible.

    In any event, if they need help in net I don’t think Bryz is the answer.

  94. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Seems like a lot of people suffer from ” I hate rich guys syndrome” because they will never be rich . Maybe DK should step down as owner , sell the team, forget about the new building and maybe someone else will move the Oilers. Give me a break, I don’t even live in Edmonton but DK is the best thing to happen to the Oilers since Wayne. Ya the team sucks, so what. The core of this team is 21 years old.

  95. gcw_rocks says:

    I don’t think Katz knows what accountability means. It does not mean identifying an annual scapegoat so you can protect the boys on the bus.

  96. hunter1909 says:

    teddyturnbuckle: Seems like a lot of people suffer from ” I hate rich guys syndrome” because they will never be rich .

    A lot of “Communist International” sentiment still lingers around the fan base. Lazy bastards who probably haven’t worked an honest day in their life.

    teddyturnbuckle: Maybe DK should step down as owner , sell the team, forget about the new building and maybe someone else will move the Oilers.

    I do believe Katz is allowed to sell the team(it’s his property), but he’s signed an agreement to stay in Edmonton and so he no longer has that option.

    teddyturnbuckle: Give me a break, I don’t even live in Edmonton but DK is the best thing to happen to the Oilers since Wayne.

    This is a sensationally mental sentence. Of course I’m only an “outside the door” fan myself, but prefer to rate the 1990 Stanley Cup win over Daryl Katz’s doing anything whatsoever in his entire fucking life. But, that’s me.

    teddyturnbuckle: Ya the team sucks, so what. The core of this team is 21 years old.

    Valid point. With the good old Reserve Clause in place.

    PS: This is a Rexall Place employee posting, amiright?

  97. book¡je says:

    Dear Edmontonians,

    Your pissing and whining about my nice friendly letter really annoys me. In response, I have instructed MacT to trade Taylor Hall for draft picks and prospects and maybe a 35 year old on a 5 year contract. If you don’t like it, I suggest you go buy your own NHL team. Sorry if your too poor to do so.

    Regards,
    Daryl Katz

    P.S. Thanks for the new arena.

  98. DeadmanWaking says:

    Yeti: I think the general fanbase would believe the Oilers a little more if they owned up to a few mea culpas. If they acknowledged that mistakes had been made, then fine.

    How far can the team really go getting into the nitty gritty with the mea culpa without naming names? There’s the bus of a bad ten-game stretch. And then there’s bus of a bad ten-year stretch–a very large bus which delivers spare parts to Cape Canaveral in the off season. Throw a player (or a coach or a scout) under that bus, something ugly and decaying will wind up stuck between the rubber nubbins for a decade or more, unless CERN has a power-wash wand fitting I’ve never heard about, and those giant tires are more seaworthy than they look.

    Do Not Throw Skeletons Under The Bus. Sheesh. And we worried that MacT was ruining Dubs because he was openly shopping for an upgrade at the position if he could get it.

    The mistake we made giving Gagner the peach-fuzz turn–if that’s the story you buy into–occurred before we drafted Taylor Hall. And he’s still on the current account.

    You can’t even hint at a rough timeframe of mea culpa mistakehood without those big wheels mulching upon shallow graves.

    sliderule: The oilers are in bottom third from 2003 -2010 but with the first picks from 2011 to 2013 we should be able to at least be able to move into top third.

    Read Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing. Remember the coke machines? Clearly that was a flaw in the ointment: drafting aerodynamic cement mixers for need. This is why the reach pick for Moroz instantly caused a billion boiling zits to hit the bathroom mirror.

    As recently as two infinitely-long months ago, Lowetide wrote this:

    His NHLE for this season is 82, 16-9-25. That should be considered the extreme outer marker offensively. However, the absolutely noxious putdowns of Moroz in his draft season+ have been answered with a nice ‘f-you’ start from this player.

    I for one am extremely pleased by this result.

    You know what? We still need this player type, even after all those busted-out coke machines went to freon heaven. Did they get a bit better in their fishing methods, or just luck out?

    Read Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing.

    Definitive assessments not included.

    Once upon a time there were these people who loved bacon. Soon they over-fletched the bacon supply and there was a severe bacon shortage. Mutiny was brewing. Then a mighty voice grabbed both sides of the stone lecture and bellowed out “Enough with all this going walk-about for a pig’s rump! Best berries available! Pigs are filthy animals. We shouldn’t eat filthy animals. We won’t eat filthy animals. Never again shall we eat these filthy animals!”

    And to this the chisel-master added “Amen!” while whispering to the senior mullet “book it” and so the carving began.

    Chastened, but wiser, the citizenry went about their business with their sleek-boned rib cages rippling under their supple, satiny, berry-fed epidermises. One such fellow sat down, crossed his legs with fine pen strokes, and begin to emit a long hum of baconless patience with life the universe and everything–nevermind the beating Sun–but that’s a story for another time.

    Dee Dee: I don’t think Katz picked the best way to energize the fan base and get them hyped up for next year. The Oilers can survive one more season without taking some very large financial hits. 1000 person waiting list for seasons seats can withstand one year. But I’m afraid nothing changes until Batman starts to feel it in his chequebook.

    You hit the nail on the head. Batman is thinking with his pocketbook. If Batman truly believes the team is on the path to becoming competitive on the ice, his best strategy is to bite the bullet and hold firm. He might take a minor hit in his pocketbook for a year or two, but the fans will return in droves once the winning begins.

    Contrast that to gutting the current management. Are the free agents we need going to jump to sign here with the chaos of new bodies positioning their favorite family photos at the corners of unfamiliar desks? No. They’re going to think to themselves, “well, let’s wait and see whether this new management group comes together and shows some evidence that they actually know what they’re doing, and that the problem doesn’t originate from Katz himself”. Free agents can wait. That’s why they call them “free”. Is our best next move to increase their incentive to wait and see?

    Or are you thinking the scuttlebutt on the market will sound like this: “with the unbelievable talent Kevin amassed over the past five years, all this team needs is a new guy in the management office whose has done a single thing right in the last seven years to unbuckle his day timer, and they’ll be contender for the cup five minutes later”?

    If he believes the current management group can deliver the goods, he’d be insane to clean house and risk the new management group extending the futility streak to record proportions making a blunder or two coming to terms with the din of the bleachers bleating for bold moves That’s not just red ink, that’s the death of the franchise.

    Katz has his own skin in the game on this one. There’s no accountability greater than skin in the game. Check out Skin in the Game.

    If Katz is wrong, and MacT face-plants the product on the ice for another two years, I think he’s almost out of the hockey ownership business. But you don’t get to where he’s at in life without staring back at the gaping downside and biting the bullet to the best of your convictions.

    Mr DeBakey:
    But he just couldn’t contain himself….

    There’s a simple cure for a simple failure. Step away from the microphone. Feisty is in the man’s DNA. That’s what made him what he was all those years.

    Peter Drucker says that there’s no such thing as a person whose equally good in all dimensions. You find a person’s excellence and you stick him in the job where that excellence shines. Don’t put him in a job where his worst quality is an inch away from a noose of his own making.

    So now the organization has two guys who are first rate at standing in front of a microphone in the glare of the bright lights, and the complaint is that the organization hides its failings under manly man posturing. Eakins biggest verbal blunder in front of the microphone was “My bad.”

    Why do you think Eakins presumed the players knew how to play basic defense? He’s brought in with a mandate to compete for a playoff spot as deep into the season as he can manage (actually making the playoffs was a stretch goal). He’s told before the season: This is where we’re at. We know there’s a lot of work to do. But if we all jump into this, we can bring it together, and pull this off.

    So he prepares a plan to get the team from C- to B then a month into the season, he gets the standardized scores, and discovers the entire team is reading a grade level or two below what he was lead to believe coming into this gig. The group was C- on Dick and Jane.

    Here’s the other approach. Don’t prepare a specific plan based on what you’ve been told. Watch some film. Arrive. Get to know the players. Continue the previous system. Watch the wins slip away while you decide what to do. Evaluate. Figure the guys out. Formulate. Then blast out of the gate on the first of January hell bent for leather. “My good. I knew exactly where the team stood, and I crafted the perfect plan to take the next step. Too bad those first thirty games registered on the official transcript. Look how much ass we kicked in the second half.”

    Personally, I would have watched some film, but none of the rest. In watching film you run the risk of replicating the previous dysfunction. You only have fresh eyes for a situation once in your tenure. There were advantages to Eakins approach. His approach became exceedingly brittle when sleep-deprived Dubnyk showed up after drawing the short straw.

    MacT was nervous about firing Krueger because he couldn’t assess how much magic motivational fairy dust Krueger had put into the water supply to get the results he did. What fresh GM on a failing team wants to walk onto the job and decide his coach is his star asset?

    When odds are thin, it’s not wrong to base your strategy around the assumption that a certain thing breaks in your favour. This is called seizing the main chance. This is called pulling your goaltender (necessary assumption: we win the face-off).

    If Krueger had in fact been our best asset last year, our chances of making the playoffs this year were dead in the water, as Krueger good implies talent bad.

    From Dellow about the 45 seconds of failure in the Krueger regime:

    When I try to imagine in my head what this might look like if it was converted from an Excel spreadsheet into the form of a hockey game, I get an image of a team that’s about the same when it comes to moving from winning the faceoff to entering the offensive zone to creating a shot but got worse at preventing the other team from recovering the puck, heading down the ice, entering the Oilers’ zone, creating a shot attempt and then creating another shot attempt.

    How much does a coach own this? When does it become a flaw with the actual players? If it’s a battle of wills, with the coach saying the right thing, and the players ignoring the directives, how far is the coach allowed to go to gain the upper hand? Eakins shows up and decides to squeeze Nail with the iron glove.

    The organization simply has to win this fight, no matter how much talent falls by the wayside, until you have a culture where its non-negotiable and all the players know it to the last bone in their body. Once this takes hold, the new guy in the room joins the program or faces the ire of twenty guys in the room, who aren’t going out there night after night to do it the hard way while some glory-seeker pads his boxcars by declaring xmas for odd-man rushes the other way.

    The only way I can make sense of our Hendricks is that MacT believes Hendricks willingness to scuffle is not confined to the ice on game day. MacT must believe Hendricks is a big teddy bear of ire incarnate with benchmates who succumb to the sirens of boxcar bingo. It’s always nice to add a finger to the iron glove that leaves less of a welt. That impression was based on one articulate post-game interview.

    HugThePost:
    What Katz’s plan does not consider is the human element. As in: when do one or more of the WonderKids tire of the losing / booing / living in the NHL backwoods and ask to be shipped out of here?

    You can’t win with this argument. By postulating fragile assets, you can argue the management into conforming with your wishes as a fan. Then your fragile assets go four-and-out in the playoffs year after year.

    Oh, but they are only fragile when I need them to be fragile in order to argue my case. As soon as I get my way, the fragile asset becomes an invincible hero able to surmount any hardship and score game winning goals with two guys draped on his back while breathing through gushing stumps with the croupy sound-effects of Darth Vader having his head pushed into a toilet boil.

    Maybe pro sports really is riven with Sulky Heroic Personality Types all on the same page when the chips are down. Could that be the case? Twenty guys sustaining this on the long grind to 16 W? No, I think in the NHL the limit is one per team. And that guy had better be Patrick Kane.

    VOR:
    I am just saying the growing meme here of the Oilers are especially bad is not supported by the facts. You can spin it any way you want. The Oilers didn’t deserve to get into the playoffs in the last eight years but the only reason they don’t have far more company in this category is because some years .369 gets you into the playoffs. Otherwise they wouldn’t be in the top twenty in this category either.

    People don’t think clearly enough about the old sad-sack subsidy. Before parity, there were always some door mats to pad your winning percentage for any team flirting with credibility. The league added four teams in the last fifteen years, yet not once did an additional team make the playoffs.

    It doesn’t help that once your season is shot, less is actually more, for the first three dunks. Then it starts to get old.

  99. Dee Dee says:

    VOR,

    It’s only 8 this season. Are you suggesting the team makes the playoffs next year? The year after?

    Right now the Oilers are the worst team in the league over the last 8 seasons.

    They are knocking on the door of the all time worst ever record, which they will hit, because the owner refuses to do anything about it.

    I was holding a tiny bit of hope that the team had finally hit rock bottom and the owner would be forced to do something about it.

    But I realized after reading Katz’s letter that he is drinking even more Koolaid than the fans, and that the team is f**ked.

  100. Clarkenstein says:

    “I’m upset, you’re upset, but I’m gonna do fuck all about it”!
    ….Katz

  101. Woodguy says:

    Clarkenstein:
    “I’m upset, you’re upset, but I’m gonna do fuck all about it”! ….Katz

    Ha!

    “and everyone who got us into this mess? They’re staying!!! “

  102. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I really don’t care about these letters and interviews aimed at assuaging fans.

    I’m not sure of their usefulness beyond letting the crowd know that the guys up top hear your rumblings.

    I’d much rather here MacT offer some reasoning behind his moves and a sense of where he’s going. That Staples deal was fantastic for that.

  103. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’d much rather here MacT offer some reasoning behind his moves and a sense of where he’s going.

    I don’t know about this. I’d prefer MacT STFU for a bit and stop telegraphing his strategic thinking to the rest of the league (and his players, for that matter). We can glean sufficient information from his actions, the latest being rather uninspiring.

  104. russ99 says:

    At least last year we at least acted as if we had a shot at the playoffs for a few nights, and played exciting almost-last place hockey.

    This year we’ve regressed, are playing boring hockey with a better roster due to the whims of our coach who think’s he right about everything despite being a rookie coach, and has sapped the fun out of the game for the players and the fans. Remember the time Renney got injured with the puck and Ralph took over and the offense suddenly woke up? We need something like that again.

    We’ve taken a big step backwards. Katz could try to sell us on staying the course if we saw any thread of progression but we don’t, and it’s primarily due to hiring practices in the organization, i.e. there are none. And if there is shred of accountability in the organization, why do our pro scouts and assistant coaches still have their jobs?

  105. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RMGS: I don’t know about this.I’d prefer MacT STFU for a bit and stop telegraphing his strategic thinking to the rest of the league (and his players, for that matter).We can glean sufficient information from his actions, the latest being rather uninspiring.

    Sure. But after a deal is done he could say more about why it was done.

    At any rate, even conceding that, I find those deal much more interesting/useful.

  106. hunter1909 says:

    I want Kevin Lowe, President of Hockey Operations to stand up and talk to us fans from Tier One down to the poor kids who’s Mom’s can barely afford milk.

    Kevin Lowe speaking to everyone, in as much detail as p[ossible, open mike, unscripted, is what everyone craves.

    Come on Kevin! Talk to us fans! If anyone can tell us how to cope with this season, new head coach having destroyed the team inside 10 games etc, it’s got to be THE MAN with 6 rings.

  107. Factotum says:

    “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”
    - Elie Wiesel

    After bleeding Oiler colors since Ryan Smyth was in diapers, a curious thing has happened to me. The Oilers, for years a source of embarrassment rather than pride, are now neither. Daryl Katz wrote a letter to the fan base. And I can’t seem to make myself care about it.

    I wouldn’t have thought it possible, Daryl. But you’ve done it. Nice work.

  108. theres oil in virginia says:

    russ99: Remember the time Renney got injured with the puck and Ralph took over and the offense suddenly woke up?

    Yeah, I remember that. They scored: 3, 2, 4 (OT), 3, 1, 2, 6 (!!), and 2 (8 game ave=2.88 gpg), for a 3-4-1 record. Right before Renney went out, they scored: 2, 3, 8 (!!), and 4, for a 3-0-1 record. Right after he came back, they scored: 1, 5, 2, and 1, for a 1-3 record (8 games before and after Krueger ave=3.25).

  109. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    Pat’s got a pretty good post up:
    http://www.blackdoghatesskunks.blogspot.ca/2014/01/lowe-dont-go-away-mad-lowe-just-go-away.html
    My favorite part:

    Get good players and keep them.
    The Oilers have done the opposite of this for years and no matter of spin from Katz and Laforge and their B team of flackeys and PR people can disguise the fact that the franchise is a disaster and the people running it are abject failures.
    **************************************************************************************
    Good Post…Here is my fav part:

    Its the Hendricks thing, a small move the apologists say, they always say that, what does it matter, except guys like Hendricks are a dime a dozen and somehow MacT thought that picking up one with a four year contract was a good idea.

    There are *always’* apologists for Oilers transactions….people forced to even try to tie separate deals together just so they make some sense…

  110. kosiork says:

    I feel that this current season has provided somewhat of a fan watershed moment.

    Just like the Gretzky days and the Dallas-playoff years drew in many new fans, I think this season sees a shedding of many casual and even long time fans. Dispirited and without much hope, Oiler fans are finding other things to do.

    I notice I am watching just about anyone else on Centre Ice, and was mostly people watching when I saw the Oilers-Jets game with Denny33.

  111. FastOil says:

    Be sure that Lowe and MacT ‘know’ they are on the right path and will succeed. They have the personalities of successful athletes from a dominant team. Supreme confidence.

    Supreme confidence crosses the line easily to arrogance. Those into advanced stats know how big a role luck plays in things, anyone’s arrogance is unwarranted, and to me ugly. It’s an off switch for the brain.

    This next 5 months is it. If they can’t turn the corner on the roster in a real way (and there are many ways to get were you’re going), the dream of being a dominant team like the Wings or Black Hawks is done. It has been many years and the reset button is broken now.

    They will have proven the thinking is flawed and/or the execution below standard. I’m not saying they won’t be good, but I see it maxing out as another can’t quite get there team, because they can’t quite get it right enough.

  112. rickithebear says:

    justDOit:
    hunter1909,

    Nigel and Dah-rill share at least one flowing characteristic – locks. Katz and Klowe (trademark), share another: job permanency.

    This 8 years of misery, brought to you by Katz and Klowe (well, mostly Klowe, but Katz bought in, so screw him to0!

    Klowe brought us: 2000-july 2008
    A cup run

    these players from
    11 1RD picks
    HEMSKY UFA
    DUBNYK Traded
    COGLIANO Traded
    GAGNER 2yr left
    EBERLE Katz pick

    12 2ND RD picks
    WINCHESTER 4th line
    STOLL Traded
    GREENE Traded
    PETRY RFA

    8 3rd RD picks
    STORTINI out of league

    51 other picks
    Lombardi Not signed
    Markenen out of league
    Brodziak traded

    I spouted some of the hardest Vitrol on here RE; KATZ
    I was way wrong!

    Katz: June 18 2008 1rd to 3rd
    EBERLE
    MP
    LANDER
    hesketh out
    Abney
    HALL
    Pitlick 6’2″ 195lb
    MARINCIN
    Hamilton 6’2″ 215lb
    Martindale traded
    RNH
    klefbom
    Musil
    Perhonen
    Ewanyk 6’2″ 195lb
    YAKUPOV
    Moroz 6’3″ 215lb onpace for 40G 150 PIm Chl (S. Ott, B. Morrow0
    Khaira 6’4″ 215lb
    Nurse
    Yakimov 6’4″ 220lb
    Slepyshev 6’2″ 195lb
    Chase 6’0″ 205lb

    08-09 katz/Tambi
    signed Horcoff to chase Hossa
    Neglected Glencross
    traded Stoll Greene for Vish which has zero asset value.
    traded for kotalik, POS
    torres for Brule
    signed Strudwick

    09-10 Katz/TAMBI
    sign KHB, Comrie,
    Grebs for 2nd,
    Vish for whit,
    jones off waivers
    10-11
    unload souray to minors
    Foster, Vander meer, Fraser
    Penner for Tuebert, 1st (klefbom) 3rd (Zharkov)
    11-12
    Belanger, Petrell, Eager, Hordichuk, Barker, Potter
    traded for Smyth
    traded gilbert for Schultz
    12-13
    signed J. schultz (MacT driven), Fistric, Arcobello
    traded for Brown, Smithson
    traded rieder for kessy

    Katz/MacT

    Non tender Peckham, Tuebert, Plante, Cornet
    offered Fistric 3yr contract
    Traded horcoff for larsen and 7th
    traded MP and 2014 2nd for Perron
    Signed Gordon, Ference, Belov, Jeonsuu, Acton, Hamilton, Jones
    Claimed Gadzic
    Traded Smid & Roy for Horak and Brousoitt
    Signed Bryzgalov
    Traded Labarbera
    Traded Dubnyk for hendricks
    Traded For Scrivens

    Signed next year.

    Forwards
    Hall 6M 1 LW Katz/tambi
    Eberle 6M 1 RW Katz/tambi
    RNH 6M Katz/Tambi
    Gagner 4.8M EIG/Lowe
    Perron 3.8M 2 LW Katz/MacT
    Yak 3.775M 2 RW Katz/MacT
    Gordon 3M 3C Katz/MacT
    Hendricks 1.825M 4C Katz/MacT
    Jeonsuu .925M 4LW Katz/MacT
    Arco RFA C Katz/tambi
    Gazdic RFA 14fwd MacT

    Defence:
    Ference 3.25M Katz/MacT
    Marincin .73M Katz/tambi
    Petry RFA EIG/Lowe
    Larsen RFA Katz/MAcT
    J. Schultz RFA Katz/MAcT

    goalies None

    Starting next yer this will be a katz team.

    from the 08-09 season it has been 6 years to get us to
    Hall-XXX-Yak
    Perron-RNH-Ebere
    XXX-Gordon-Gagner
    XXX-Hendricks-XXX
    Gazdic-jeonsuu
    Arco RFA

    XXX-XXX
    Ference-XXX
    Marincin-XXX
    XXX

    Petry RFA
    J. Schultz RFA

    XXX
    XXX

  113. Edmonton Notes for 1/26/2014 - MasterMaq's Blog says:

    […] The best part about the Katz letter has been reading the responses. Here are some of my favorites: Edmonton Journal, Copper & Blue, OilersNation, Lowetide. […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca