WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OUT HERE?

It’s that time of year friends, when we discuss trade options and values. This is an interesting deadline, as the Oilers are both historically bad and incredibly unlucky—as they apparently have the one NHL veteran defenseman who can’t play well enough to get traded at the deadline (Nick Schultz) but it’s all in a year’s work in hell.

LAST SEASON’S DEADLINE

My post is here, and I’ll post my guesses for outgoing:

  1. 2013 2nd round pick (ANA)
  2. Ladislav Smid (UFA): Edmonton hasn’t signed him yet and that might mean there’s a gap between agent and team in terms of zero’s on the contract. Smid is going to get paid, the Oilers have to figure out if they want to be the team to pay him. Signed
  3. Ryan Whitney (UFA): Defensemen always have increased value at the deadline.
  4. Mark Fistric (UFA): I doubt the club would get less than the pick they gave up for him (3rd rd pick).
  5. Ryan Jones (UFA): He’s coming off an eye injury, but his wheels are fine. An NHL team might want to increase their offense in the bottom 6F and have a guy who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, either.
  6. Nikolai Khabibulin (UFA): Will the Oilers re-sign him?
  7. Ales Hemsky (UFA 2014): The Oilers were not getting strong offers for him a year ago (the rumored return was a 2nd and a 4th from Nashville).
  8. Ben Eager (UFA 2014): One year left at $1.1M and the concussion issues are a concern. Plus he’s been on waivers.
  9. Eric Belanger (UFA 2014): Makes $1.75M and might fill a need for a 4line C, faceoff guy and penalty killer. Injured.
  10. D Theo Peckham (RFA 2013): Forgotten man among the Oilers, but he’s a defenseman with NHL experience and that has value.

It’s funny, I was wrong about the deadline portion of the list, but the Oilers are no longer associated with all but three players (Jones, Eager, Hemsky) and this deadline could take care of that situation. As it turned out, the Oilers didn’t trade any of those guys, which based on the fact many are no longer in the NHL shouldn’t come as a surprise.

LAST YEAR’S TRADES (DON’T CRY)

  • March 29: Traded Tobias Rieder to Phoenix for Kale Kessy
  • April 2: Traded Dane Byers for Garrett Stafford
  • April 3: Traded 2014 4th round pick for Jerred Smithson

belov4

THIS SEASON’S DEADLINE

  1. Ales Hemsky: I’m still hopeful he signs, this injury is a terrible turn. Mark Spector has his value as a 3rd rd pick, but Ryan Rishaug suggested yesterday the return would be more substantial. I suspect Edmonton will want a player in return, even if it’s a promising minor league player. Ottawa remains the team I’d like to see get Hemsky.
  2. Anton Belov: There were reports that Boston was scouting the big man, and I would think there might be some interest from other teams. I don’t know if Edmonton has plans for him, he has shown some promise this year but it’s hard to assess when things are a mess.
  3. Nick Schultz: He can’t possibly be this bad, but it’s 42/58 Corsi when he’s on the ice 5×5 and lately he’s looked like a gent on his way to retirement. I had hoped they could fetch a second, now thinking 4th?
  4. Ryan Jones: I wonder if his recent fights are in an effort to fit a need for another NHL team. Jones is not my favorite player type, but he certainly has his uses and perhaps there’s a team out there who can use his speed and scoring.
  5. Ryan Smyth: It’s difficult for me to even write his name here, for lots of reasons (including the fact he could eventually break into the top 5 all-time in Oiler scoring) but he certainly has value based on good arrows. If he is sent away, one hopes he wins the Stanley and brings it home for a day. That would be a beautiful thing.
  6. Ilya Bryzgalov:  He’s entered a low ebb for the season, but he is better than he’s been recently and suspect NHL teams will look at him—which is different than trading for him.
  7. Corey Potter: Potter isn’t a terrible option for depth defenseman, and I wonder if the Oilers have any plans for him. At the very least, Taylor Fedun is as easy replacement.
  8. Anton Lander: Hendricks addition made me think Lander is done, and that’s probably true. However, Eakins chose to play the new hire at LW suggesting to me they might see him as a LW next year (depth chart: Hall, Perron, Hendricks, Gazdic) although there aren’t a lot of GF in there. Anyway, Lander looks pretty much ready and should have a good career in St. Louis or Nashville or Phoenix.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT

From McCurdy:

  • #64 Nail Yakupov, 5. Made a key play on the Eberle goal when he made a nice chip up the boards to spring the 2-on-1, though somehow the goal was scored as unassisted. Also set up Eberle for another fine chance out of the corner. His night ended early when he was sent careening into the boards after being smoked by Cooke, not a dirty hit per sé although this player sure does seem to be involved in a lot of injuries. To add insult to injury, the Wild scored while Yakupov was still crawling to the bench, giving him yet another shiny -1 for the night.

Woodguy (in last night’s comments section)

  • So Eakins blames Yak for the 3rd goal via his turn over. Watch the replay (in the boxcar section of NHL.com game stats). Ference backs all the way from the blueline until the goal line and doesn’t engage anyone, including the goal scorer until the puck is in the net. But its Yak’s fault.

I don’t know how this ends, but am always reminded of how many nights Shawn Horcoff would be talking to Hall/Eberle on the bench between shifts, helping, mentoring. I wonder if Yakupov could use that kind of personal tutor. I also wonder if Eakins can survive this season, this is a very severe level of horribleness and at some point Craig MacTavish may have to step in.

hall via rob ferguson

CORSI FOR %, 5X5 2013-14 SEASON

  1. Martin Marincin 51.3
  2. Mark Arcobello 48.1
  3. Ales Hemsky 47.8
  4. David Perron 47.7
  5. Anton Belov 47.7
  6. Ryan Smyth 47.7
  7. Jeff Petry 47.5
  8. Jordan Eberle 47.4
  9. Nail Yakupov 46.6
  10. Sam Gagner 45.4
  11. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 45.0
  12. Andrew Ference 43.7
  13. Justin Schultz 43.6
  14. Boyd Gordon 43.4
  15. Taylor Hall 43.0
  16. Ryan Jones 43.0
  17. Jesse Joensuu 42.8
  18. Nick Schultz 42.4
  19. Luke Gazdic 38.8

We’re beyond the point of worrying about Taylor Hall, and have reached an extreme.  The Oilers are in an area where their final record will be historically bad compared to their own history, which includes a couple of 25 win seasons. I don’t know the system that is capable of beating down Taylor Hall to a 43-57 portion of the possession pie, but that system is the devil itself.

Can you keep the coach and save the system? Because if you can’t, perhaps MacT should stop trading the Smid’s and Dubnyk’s and have a good long look at where this team is going. Right now, the long term damage has been negligible (Scrivens is about equal to Dubnyk, and Smid appears to be eroding) but someone left the cake out in the rain and roster melting is possible.

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OUT HERE?

If the team isn’t this bad (projected final record would be something like 25-50-7) and the players  are better (I do think this roster is superior to the Whitney-Petrell-Belanger-Eager group) then what’s the problem?

There’s only a few things it could be:

  • A fracture
  • Quitting on the coach
  • They’re just not that good
  • Injury
  • Systems

That’s all folks. Choose your poison. Do you feel there is a fracture, say between Hall and Yakupov that divides the team? If so, then the body language and comments of the coach mentioned above are perhaps a tell, but that’s reading a whole lot into not very much. Are they quitting on the coach? I’m beginning to wonder, but that’s also a cop out—we’re 50 games in and would have heard something by now. Smid said there would be more trades, and we’ve seen that, but there’s no evidence that a mutiny is taking place.

And yet, we are here. I firmly believe the Oilers are better, much better, than their record. These aren’t stupid men, there’s not a system alive that RNH couldn’t figure out in 50 games. Injury? Bah! That leaves:

  • Fracture
  • Coach

I’m of two minds here:

  1. Stay the course. Hell men, you can’t just keep shooting the man in the suit every summer, it’s a sign of addled thinking. Eakins was hired for his ideas and his inexperience was part of it. I know that his manner and frank talk have made some people angry, but I don’t give one damn about any of that. Give me a straight talk boss any day of the week, and if I’m out, I’m out and let’s move on. This isn’t going to be easy, but the Oilers team that Eakins took over was a combination of an abandoned shack and a house party. What a mess.
  2. Find the fracture, and choose your leader. If there is a problem in the room, and internal fixes aren’t helping, then for God sakes send the problem away. I have a bad feeling the difficulty might be incorporating Nail Yakupov into the group, and if that’s the issue, then for the love of all that is good send the kid to a new town. He doesn’t deserve this, and the Oilers chose their King in June 2010.

The Edmonton Oilers can’t possibly be this bad. Mutiny? Fracture? This is ghastly, and Craig MacTavish needs to fix it before we start hearing reports about Daryl Katz talking to some “mysterious source” about how to get this back on track. That news is usually followed by the hiring of a Craig Patrick and then bloodshed in the big offices.

And perhaps that’s the fix.

blunt222

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A really big shoe, as Ed Sullivan used to say. Scheduled to appear on TSN 1260 beginning at 10:

  • Steve Lansky. Can Eakins survive? Trade deadline and Torts in Van.
  • David Fucillo, Niners Nation. Talking SF-SEA and two teams who have been on a collision course all season long.
  • Ryan Batty, Copper and Blue. We’ll talk Yakupov’s future, Eakins future and what to do at the deadline.
  • Massimo Mirabelli, FC Edmonton. A lot of added pieces during the offseason, we’ll talk about 2014 for the Eddies.
  • Jungle Jim Hunter. Olympics prep for athletes.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ twitter. I’ve made a call to Lombardi, maybe he’ll call me back.

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246 Responses to "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OUT HERE?"

« Older Comments
  1. Ducey says:

    RexLibris:
    gcw_rocks,

    They are at 49 contracts right now, by my count.

    This gives them twelve UFAs this off-season along with the chance they let Abney, Bachman, Hamilton (Curtis) and Miller all go. That would mean potentially 16 contract spots on the 50-man reserve list.

    There is more to it than that, I suspect it is also about getting some veteran help for Todd Nelson.

    Seems like a pretty minor move, but it is somewhat close to the Kessy/Rieder move in that it takes out skill (albeit marginal and undeveloped) in Martindale and replaces it with toughness…dare I say…truculence.

    I don’t think it was about contracts. Martindale is out but the new guy has one. Both can be let go at season’s end. (RFA’s are let go if not given a qualifying offer). The other two guys swapped were on AHL deals – I think.

    They gave up on Martidale. He just won’t make it. And the other reasons you cite.

    Edit: Whoa, start of a new page of comments. So much responsibility. I should have dressed better.

  2. russ99 says:

    spoiler:
    Secondly, this team needs to grow up.They need to mature physically, emotionally, and experience-wise.This maturing wasn’t going to happen from December to January or even October to January. It is a long slow process that is irrelevant to who is coaching.If you don’t have the patience for that process–and evidently in the immediate-gratification- internet-amplified modern world it seems little do–then maybe sports, or this sport, or this team, is not for you.

    And without talented vets to shelter young talent, benchings beyond missing the odd shift or being pulled from the powerplay for a game or perhaps a line demotion are just not going to happen because the coach has no other options. Not to mention he can’t lose the room. So we can we stop it with the ridiculous requests for more punishments for the young talented stars?

    Thirdly. they don’t have enough players yet.They decided to draft forwards ahead of defensemen and wingers ahead of centres.It’s going to take awhile for the blue line half of prospect development to catch up with the forward half.Again that is going to take patience.Again not patience till next week or next month, it is going to take longer than that.

    As to the wingers… everyone has said take BPA in the drafts and then re-balance with trade later.Only problem is wingers can’t be traded for defensemen or centres of equivalent quality.They aren’t worth as much… as MacT no doubt is finding out, but unfortunately he has to dine on a supper he hasn’t cooked.That is going to take added time to fix.Again patience and again we are not talking game-to-game patience or week-to-week.It is a travesty they didn’t see the need to rebuild in the Gagner draft and unfortunate that the #1 prospects weren’t C or D two of the years they picked first overall, but sometimes that’s the way the cookie crumbles. And again MacT didn’t cook this meal.Such draft choices aren’t irreversible but it adds time to the rebuild.

    And as a final reminder… it took Yzerman years to accept he had to change his game. Years.

    This.

    However, knowing all of the above to be true, why does Eakins continue to force the team to play this way?

    Teach lessons when they’ll stick, not force everyone out of their comfort zone and hope somebody gets it.

    That’s how you alienate players, not build a good team.

    You play with the horses you have, not the ones you wish you have.

  3. Oilanderp says:

    There’s something wrong in the locker room. These guys don’t like each other. You see the result of this on the ice. No one stands up for anyone. Guys get run and there is no response. Our goalies get run and there is no response. Robots are adept at many things, but you need more than autonomous circuitry executing lines of code to win a team game.

    No, I am not suggesting we need more fisticuffians. I am suggesting that the single most important aspect of a team is its willingness to be emotionally invested in its self. Becoming a team comes FIRST, and winning will come from that, not vice versa.

    I’ve said this before. MacT needs to choose a circle of trusted members whose emotional investment in the team concept is beyond reproach. He then needs to use them to identify who in that locker room is not willing to buy in. Get rid of these guys NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE as soon as possible. It would suck if it were, for instance, Hall and Ebs, but it would be no less necessary.

    One good thing about extreme losing is that the guys who haven’t ‘bought-in’ will identify themselves pretty easily. Move them, move every last fucking one. The sooner it’s done the sooner this build will be done correctly.

  4. LostBoy says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    You cast this as an argument to fire the coach. I haven’t argued that the coach should be fired. In the same thread last night, and previously when I’ve commented on it, I said I have no idea whether Eakins is a good coach. I’m making an observation based on several decades of history in the NHL: it is vanishingly rare for a rookie coach to take a team with some modest and reasonable expectations, deliver the worst record in franchise history, and survive.

    It’s not unreasonable, given the situation, to wonder what tangible evidence exists to suggest the outcome will be different. From where I sit, the only realistic answer is the circumstances of Eakins’s hiring and MacTavish throwing in his lot with him.

    If there’s a syllogism in what I said, it’s something like:

    Dallas Eakins is a rookie NHL coach.
    Rookie NHL coaches who post all time franchise worst records are in danger of getting fired.
    Therefore, Dallas Eakins is in danger of getting fired.

  5. hunter1909 says:

    LostBoy: If there’s a syllogism in what I said, it’s something like:
    Dallas Eakins is a rookie NHL coach.
    Rookie NHL coaches who post all time franchise worst records are in danger of getting fired.
    Therefore, Dallas Eakins is in danger of getting fired.

    Close, but this might also be considered:

    Dallas Eakins is a rookie head coach.
    MacT hired him on a whim to appear decisive before Kevin and Katz.
    Therefore, Bucky always makes amazing daiquiris.

  6. LostBoy says:

    hunter1909: Close, but this might also be considered:

    Dallas Eakins is a rookie head coach.
    MacT hired him on a whim to appear decisive before Kevin and Katz.
    Therefore, Bucky always makes amazing daiquiris.

    Actually, yeah, yours is better.

  7. bendelson says:

    stevezie,

    I like to think most people are aware that we all have our personal biases. I am often disappointed.

    The particular biases we take ownership of (such as your acknowledged personal bias towards Eakins) are the easy ones.

    The biases that we own but are not necessarily willing to acknowledge are far more interesting…

    I believe your friend Žižek called them the “unknown knowns”.

    Go Oilers! lol

  8. Bar_Qu says:

    If the Oilers were to go a mid-step between firing Eakins and going status quo, I would be on board with firing Buchberger & Smith, while taking on Nelson and maybe someone else. There definitely needs to be some sort of shake-up.

    I am stumping for Nelson to come up to the show, I know.

  9. Old School G says:

    Nashville was patient with Barry Trotz, I believe they missed the playoffs for his first 5 seasons.

    Just to toss that out there.

  10. PREDICKTER says:

    What kind of return would MacT get if he traded Hall? Being such a good young player on a great contract, that would be selling high which is what everybdy advocates here.

  11. Showerhead says:

    hunter1909: Close, but this might also be considered:

    Dallas Eakins is a rookie head coach.
    MacT hired him on a whim to appear decisive before Kevin and Katz.
    Therefore, Bucky always makes amazing daiquiris.

    This is an absolute gem. A slow clap for you, sir.

  12. Colieo87 says:

    We all feel in love with the oilers for one way or another. But as i look at team in despair now my questions arise in many different aspects of the team makeup.

    1) We to put blame on the players for not believing each other there the only ones that are going to put an positive spin in this lack luster season.

    2) Like many listeners already mentioned we need to change the development aspects of the players, that means the assistants couches, goalie development at the NHL level. Im going to praise what Tod Nelson has to deal with the AHL and where he puts players to succeed it is obviously what he mentioned to Ralph Kruger and he implemented it to shelter the offensive and defense to help the players develop at this level. Its a suggestion to Eakins/ Mac T to do for the remaining of the season to bring each player back from pits of hell and give them some success. Maybe even bring up Tod Nelson as assistiant couch cause i a firm believer two heads are better then one.

    3) Line should look like:

    Hall-Gordon-Perron
    Yak/Hemsky-Nuge-Eberle
    Smyth-Gagner-Hendricks
    Joensuu-Arcobello-Jones

    with saying that our defensive is a crap shoot we need to get a Dustin Byfuglien, Dustin Penner (which i know hes a forward but have forwards become two way players and understand the the defensive game) cause with saying that Ference, Belov, Petery, Schultz jr and sr are all liabilities on the ice and we need to teach themselves as players to become a better player strengths for strengths so everyone on the team can help out when put in difficult positions.

    4) Drafting has been in the pits for years, i dunno if that has something to do with EGI management but enough is enough when it inst working for 15 plus years, but i must point out i have some positive praise for steve tambellinithat really got the ball rolling for AHL team and EHCL for a place we can send our players to develop. With saying what do you consider is adequate time
    for drafting head team scout to be graded on there reports over so many drafts?

    5) Patience is a delicate word around Edmonton now a days but enough is enough already and the old boys club has to end in this organization A new direction has to happen cause we don’t have alot of time 4-5 years left before our top pick may want out of Edmonton due to the lack luster years.

  13. RexLibris says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    I am very happy and proud that you are an Oilers fan.

    Thank you.

    BTW, I also read Devil’s Dictionary. My personal favourite, off the top of my head, was “ice – water al dente”.

  14. RexLibris says:

    Ducey,

    Yeah, I don’t think it is either. I think the OKC angle is the closest real reason.

    After that we are guessing.

    My take? MacTavish has been talking to Tallon for some time (remember the mid-range deal rumoured to be following the small deals?) about Gagner. Hopefully for Kulikov, but Tallon is stalling or they aren’t connecting on value. In the meantime, these names came up and this is a way of doing business that suits both sides while they keep the lines of communication open.

    The contract thing is just something that I always keep an eye on. The Oilers were at the ceiling a few months ago and are getting close again, but I suspect that deadline day is going to fix that problem and then some.

  15. LostBoy says:

    Old School G:
    Nashville was patient with Barry Trotz, I believe they missed the playoffs for his first 5 seasons.

    Just to toss that out there.

    Well…yeah, but it hardly needs to be said that “reasonable expectations” were a tad different. Nashville was an expansion franchise working from a standing start and the warm bodies they got from the expansion draft (one of which was admittedly Vokoun). They drafted Legwand (and had the good sense to send him back to junior) and had to start grinding their way forward. We’re supposed to be in, what, the fourth official season of our rebuild? With three first overalls in the lineup. And we’re headed for a lower point total than Nashville managed in their expansion season.

    Then again, we’ll see. Eakins may well get a very long rope indeed.

    Almost diametric opposite ways to build franchises. Nashville built from the goal and D out, but almost never really have had any depth in skill at forward.

  16. hags9k says:

    Bag of Pucks: Hags, out of curiousity, are you a young guy by chance?

    There’s absolutely no disrespect intended with the question, I’m just really curious as to whether there’s sometimes a direct correlation between lack of accountability and age/maturity?

    To say “it’s not the players’ fault” when they’ve signed multi-million dollar contracts that are almost 100% related to their performance on the ice, sounds completely astounding to me.

    Maybe it would help if you elaborate on what you feel is the unfair level of responsibility being handed to them? Do you think they should be playing soft minutes against lesser opposition, not being expected to play a 200ft game at this point in their career, not be expected to show leadership, etc.?

    What has the team asked them to do that’s unfair?

    3 of these players have the big 6M contracts and they should absolutely be expected to earn those dollars. Simply, I think they are. This mess is not the fault of these core talents. We have no defenders, 2way checkers, toughness, or goaltending.

    What is unfair is that the team and some fans are asking them to do is sail this ship with huge holes into the playoffs at 19,20,21,22 yrs old. So yes to answer your question I think they should not have had to be facing this quality of comp this early. That is unfair and to blame them for where we are is IMO crazy. Should they be expected to play a 200 foot game? Yes, of course. Show leadership? Sure, they are the highest paid players. But let’s remember that most top end elite talents are being paid north or far north of 6M per, so they are performing commensurate with their deals, in the ball park for sure.

    So if I’m hearing you correctly, we are where we are because our best players are not elite talents and not on par with the other top teams’ top players. To that I’ll say that you could trade 4-93-14-64 for Crosby, Ovechkin, Datsyuk, and Zetterberg, and they will still miss the playoffs with this defence, goaltending and coaching.

    I’m 34. If we are going to hold Hall, Nuge and Ebs accountable for this before Lowe, MacT and Eakins, you’ve lost me. They are playing their best, and will be able to saw off then beat the big dawgs soon. They are still just too green.

    And I agree with your calling out of the captain Ference. He has been invisible, and you wonder how bad the room must be. Don’t know if it’s the coach or a fracture, but clearly this isn’t a “team”.

  17. meanashell11 says:

    I’ve whipped this dead horse before but here we go again; square peg, round hole. Eakins came in and decided the team was going to play a certain system/style, the one that got him from the AHL to the NHL come hell or high water. With no concern as to whether that played to the strengths of the team he was taking over. Disaster.

    On the other hand there’s a pretty good NFL coach down here who each year sees massive turnover in his team. This season he started with basically no receivers and this was a team that lived by the pass. Well they are playing in the AFC championship for like the hundredth time it seems. Bill Belichick fits his systems to the players he has at his disposal. His is a winner. Eakins tries to fit a square peg into a round hole, he is a failure. Not to mention his selective holding players accountable, it’s despicable. It is apparent to me that Eakins is too stubborn to understand, he has to go.

  18. gcw_rocks says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    There is no evidence the young core tuned out Renney or Krueger.

    Renney was sacrificed to the lions to distract the masses and for his bizarre love of the fourth line.

    Krueger was fired because he wasn’t MacT’s guy, he had to coach the worst defense in the history of hockey, and because the defensive zone exit strategy he implemented wouldn’t work in the NHL.

    The kids were fine under Renney and Krueger. Let’s be careful with the narrative.

  19. denny33 says:

    mumbai max,

    Did you watch the game?

    Taylor was facing a Wild team *without* its 1st line….

  20. Ducey says:

    RexLibris:
    Ducey,

    Yeah, I don’t think it is either. I think the OKC angle is the closest real reason.

    After that we are guessing.

    My take? MacTavish has been talking to Tallon for some time (remember the mid-range deal rumoured to be following the small deals?) about Gagner. Hopefully for Kulikov, but Tallon is stalling or they aren’t connecting on value. In the meantime, these names came up and this is a way of doing business that suits both sides while they keep the lines of communication open.

    The contract thing is just something that I always keep an eye on. The Oilers were at the ceiling a few months ago and are getting close again, but I suspect that deadline day is going to fix that problem and then some.

    Pinizzotto was with the CHI Wolves near the time MacT was, so it may be another Brad Hunt special. Pinizzotto does have some NHL games with the Nucks, so it looks like an upgrade. Martindale will have to clear waivers next year anyway.

    It looks like they are at 48 contracts now. Take out Jones, Nultz, Larsen, Potter, Grebs, Eager, Pinizzotto, SMac, and Abney (the worst Oiler draft pick signing ever?) and that would leave them at 39.

  21. icecastles says:

    LostBoy: You cast this as an argument to fire the coach. I haven’t argued that the coach should be fired.

    If you read through the comment threads, you may notice that people other than yourself have posted. Many of them have advocated firing the coach.

    Honestly, is this what we have been reduced to having to explain?

  22. stevezie says:

    godot10,

    Well I’ll give you this: the internet is no place for reserved behaviour.

  23. RexLibris says:

    Ducey,

    Can we use all remaining 11 on defensemen?

    Gotta be able to find a 1D in there somewhere, right?

  24. LostBoy says:

    icecastles: If you read through the comment threads, you may notice that people other than yourself have posted. Many of them have advocated firing the coach.

    Honestly, is this what we have been reduced to having to explain?

    Maybe we have to explain reading comprehension, too.

    DeadmanWaking quoted me to begin his post, and directed his comments specifically at what I said.

  25. commonfan14 says:

    RexLibris,

    Maybe if you put them together Voltron-style…

  26. Alpine says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    That last sentence about Seguin et al just feels like a “grass is greener” argument. Its as hard to make the case on draft day that those guys were better than the guys we took. Would Seguin be as good getting Nuge’s and Hall’s matchups against the other team’s best in front of a bad defense? Maybe Landeskog puts up the mere 2nd line production he was projected to do playing with Sam Gagner or Shawn Horcoff? Ryan Murray playing against top lines with Petry or whoever else instead instead of being insulated by Tyutin, Wiz etc? How about Nichucshkin getting 3rd line minutes behind Ebs and Hemsky and minimal PP time? You have to wonder if any of those guys would look as good on a team with what’s described to be a “developmental ghetto”. Maybe these guys all would have been better choices, but I have my doubts that whatever advantages they have over the current core would blossom in a team like this with bottom barrel talent in semi-important roles.

  27. denny33 says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    I’ve been a big defender of Eakins but this team hasn’t been getting better.
    ********************************************************************************

    Yes, your support and adulation for Mr. Eakins has been duly noted.

  28. Bag of Pucks says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Bag of Pucks,

    There is no evidence the young core tuned out Renney or Krueger.

    Renney was sacrificed to the lions to distract the masses and for his bizarre love of the fourth line.

    Krueger was fired because he wasn’t MacT’s guy, he had to coach the worst defense in the history of hockey, and because the defensive zone exit strategy he implemented wouldn’t work in the NHL.

    The kids were fine under Renney and Krueger.Let’s be careful with the narrative.

    The point I was making with that post is this core has consistently lost under 3 consecutive coaches. Presumably they should be further along in their development this year and starting to climb the hill, but still the losses continue and somehow Eakins is the problem? I’m not sure how that conclusion is tenable?

    Hall is the only player that seems to be taking his play to an elite level. I don’t think that’s all on Eakins. Eberle doesn’t go the hard areas. J Schultz is a turnover machine. RHN needs to put on weight or he’s doomed to be a periphery player. Yakupov is lost in space. etc.

    Conclusion? This is going to take time. Firing the puppet-master yet again doesn’t help lessen the development curve imo.

  29. Bag of Pucks says:

    Alpine:
    Bag of Pucks,

    That last sentence about Seguin et al just feels like a “grass is greener” argument. Its as hard to make the case on draft day that those guys were better than the guys we took. Would Seguin be as good getting Nuge’s and Hall’s matchups against the other team’s best in front of a bad defense? Maybe Landeskog puts up the mere 2nd line production he was projected to do playing with Sam Gagner or Shawn Horcoff? Ryan Murray playing against top lines with Petry or whoever else instead instead of being insulated by Tyutin, Wiz etc? How about Nichucshkin getting 3rd line minutes behind Ebs and Hemsky and minimal PP time? You have to wonder if any of those guys would look as good on a team with what’s described to be a “developmental ghetto”. Maybe these guys all would have been better choices, but I have my doubts that whatever advantages they have over the current core would blossom in a team like this with bottom barrel talent in semi-important roles.

    Nature vs nuture? Always a good debate.

  30. denny33 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Bring in a new guy and let him get some quick introductions……meet your new captain!

    As Rob Ramage said when the leafs made him captain before he stepped in the locker room – Awkward….

  31. Bag of Pucks says:

    hags9k: 3 of these players have the big 6M contracts and they should absolutely be expected to earn those dollars.Simply, I think they are.This mess is not the fault of these core talents.We have no defenders, 2way checkers, toughness, or goaltending.

    What is unfair is that the team and some fans are asking them to do is sail this ship with huge holes into the playoffs at 19,20,21,22 yrs old.So yes to answer your question I think they should not have had to be facing this quality of comp this early.That is unfair and to blame them for where we are is IMO crazy.Should they be expected to play a 200 foot game? Yes, of course.Show leadership? Sure, they are the highest paid players.But let’s remember that most top end elite talents are being paid north or far north of 6M per, so they are performing commensurate with their deals, in the ball park for sure.

    So if I’m hearing you correctly, we are where we are because our best players are not elite talents and not on par with the other top teams’ top players.To that I’ll say that you could trade 4-93-14-64 for Crosby, Ovechkin, Datsyuk, and Zetterberg, and they will still miss the playoffs with this defence, goaltending and coaching.

    I’m 34.If we are going to hold Hall, Nuge and Ebs accountable for this before Lowe, MacT and Eakins, you’ve lost me.They are playing their best, and will be able to saw off then beat the big dawgs soon.They are still just too green.

    And I agree with your calling out of the captain Ference.He has been invisible, and you wonder how bad the room must be.Don’t know if it’s the coach or a fracture, but clearly this isn’t a “team”.

    Well aside from Hall who had clearly outlived junior, I’m a huge proponent of the slow development model and would have returned RNH and Yakupov to the minors and kept J Schultz and Paajarvi in OKC at the start. If you agree with that as well, we’re likely in agreement that mgmt rushed these players.

    I think the Oilers are creating huge entitlement issues by handing these young phenoms lottery lifestyles fresh out of junior before riding the bus in the minors or committing to a 200ft game.

    That said, once they put pen to paper on those big contracts, they are making a commitment and they have to honour that commitment with results imo. The verbal from Hall, Eberle and the Nuge indicates they realize this. But aside from Hall, the consistent results aren’t there and thus, they have to own their underwhelming performance and work harder to improve it. As we all know, this is one of the toughest parts of being an adult. Good intentions alone are no longer enough. You have to earn your keep.

    I would be exceedingly optimistic about this team if our core was developing slowly but the effort was consistently there every night. But that’s not the case. There have been more than a handful of games this season with a lot of passengers on the bus. One wonders about the need to institute the 8am practices?

    I know Eakins is working his butt off to get this turned around. Once I see the core doing the same thing night in and night out, I’ll be more inclined to get onboard with an assessment that it’s ‘not their fault’

    In short, youth does give you a ready excuse, but it doesn’t make you blameless.

  32. Bag of Pucks says:

    denny33:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Bring in a new guy and let him get some quick introductions……meet your new captain!

    As Rob Ramage said when the leafs made him captain before hestepped in the locker room – Awkward….

    Naming a Captain is often a political appointment and I hate politicking. Ference may or may not be the best choice, but I agree, they didn’t have to make the decision when they did. It seemed rushed.

  33. hags9k says:

    Bag of Pucks: Well aside from Hall who had clearly outlived junior, I’m a huge proponent of the slow development model and would have returned RNH and Yakupov to the minors and kept J Schultz and Paajarvi in OKC at the start. If you agree with that as well, we’re likely in agreement that mgmt rushed these players.

    I think the Oilers are creating huge entitlement issues by handing these young phenoms lottery lifestyles fresh out of junior before riding the bus in the minors or committing to a 200ft game.

    That said, once they put pen to paper on those big contracts, they are making a commitment and they have to honour that commitment with results imo. The verbal from Hall, Eberle and the Nuge indicates they realize this. But aside from Hall, the consistent results aren’t there and thus, they have to own their underwhelming performance and work harder to improve it. As we all know, this is one of the toughest parts of being an adult. Good intentions alone are no longer enough. You have to earn your keep.

    Yes, agreed they were rushed.

    Yes, agreed we may have created some entitlement but if we didn’t lock these guys up we would be hearing about how we can’ t keep players. So a bit of a catch 22 for the club when the cupboards are completely bare. We had to hitch our wagons to somebody.

    I think the effort and results for all 3 have been good. 82 games is a tough slog no matter who you are in the league. (Should be a 65 game sched IMO) There are going to be bad showings, but on good teams a first line player or players might get by and still win a game without their best stuff. When our young guns have a bad night, it really shows because there is no help from the rest of the roster. I don’t see it but if there are commitment and effort problems from these 3 then Eakins also shares that.

    All the effort in the world can’t turn them into 26 year old men. They need help, it takes all 20.

  34. denny33 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    The point I was making with that post is this core has consistently lost under 3 consecutive coaches. Presumably they should be further along in their development this year and starting to climb the hill, but still the losses continue and somehow Eakins is the problem? I’m not sure how that conclusion is tenable?
    Hall is the only player that seems to be taking his play to an elite level. I don’t think that’s all on Eakins. Eberle doesn’t go the hard areas. J Schultz is a turnover machine. RHN needs to put on weight or he’s doomed to be a periphery player. Yakupov is lost in space. etc.
    Conclusion? This is going to take time. Firing the puppet-master yet again doesn’t help lessen the development curve imo.
    *********************************************************************************
    Let me preface this with the statement that I don’t think Dallas Eakins is a very good coach.

    There is no way we can lay all the blame at Eakins ( see prior years of ineptitude ) or fire him though. (see Mac T’s astute move to lock him up to a long term deal )

    However, I also feel that Craig M. has been revealed as a poor GM already – a man that has hired a rookie head coach and – with specific intent – obtained a 33 year old forward for the continuing rebuild.

    Some of our core players are failing us – probably because they should not be in the league.
    I mean – RNH is 20.

    Said from October – David Perron and Boyd Gordon stick out like sore thumbs on the team.- they are viscous battlers in one on one puck battles. ( Game 1 vs Winnipeg – 3 elite – small – Oiler forwards *peck* at 19 year old teenager Jacob Trouba’s skates as the Jet -teenager – kills of final 40 seconds withe puck between his feet against the boards)

    The debate today over the coach, managment and players…..ALL THREE.

    1. Is there any doubt Craig is simply a continuation of Lowe and Tambelini?

    2. Dallas Eakins has made some very interesting decisions on player personnel and game management ( Arco, Acton, etc, ) Sam Gagner continues to play on the top 2 lines.

    3. There is a reality that most fans rankle at – our core is small and not very eager for puck battles.

    In addition – they have NO idea about playing in their own end – except for RNH – I find him to be keenly intelligent for the most part. Yak has never played Defence in his life – not blaming him.
    * Jim Nill – cruel to play kids under 20 in the NHL.

    * Incompetent Management
    * Poor ( rookie ) coach
    * Young Players have no clue on to play structured team defence ( how many outsiders will have to comment on this for people to start believing this ? )
    * Quite Simply poor talent – especially on Defence. ( Petry a #4 / Ference #6 – no idea what to do with J. Schultz )

    To suggest it could be just one or two of the above would be sill, no? All of these are at play to be this bad.

  35. hags9k says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I would say given our record, the apparent disconnect between coach and players or possibly even players and players, and also the given the pitiful level of moxie/spirit we have shown this year, that we can only look at Ference as a poor choice for captain.

    I don’t know how much of an impact this really makes at the end of the day, just that the results are in front of us and this has never looked like a team with good leadership.

  36. gogliano says:

    Give this core a couple years, they’ll be fine. I don’t see the need for all the drama. They’re playing terribly at present but it won’t last. They’re mostly kids.

  37. Caramel Obvious says:

    stevezie:
    godot10,

    We all like to think we’re impartial but really there is no such thing. I’ll be honest, I’m am biased toward cheering for Eakins for 3 reasons:
    1) We share a physical resemblance,
    2) I like his interviews, and
    3) I want so badly for you, Godot, to realize how full of shit you are. Even if you’re right, you’re wrong. Eakins may be a horrible coach*, but you “called it” before any evidence was in on the strength ofnonsense, conjecture, and voodoo bs.

    Just so we’re clear, I’m not mad, and I know you won’t listen. It only seems like I’m talking to you, I’m really talking to them. Hello, LT & Friends. I want to admit my biases up front so that when I defend Eakins in the future you know where I am coming from.

    Words cannot express how much I agree with this, though I am better looking than Eakins.

    BTW, in case it was not obvious, love your posts stevezie. We should meet sometime.

  38. leadfarmer says:

    gogliano,

    Said every oiler fan the last 3 years.

    This team will get better, but how much better is the question. I know people dont want to get rid of Eakins because of the high coaching turnover rate on this team, but other that can anyone make a solid argument for why they should keep him. Every single player other than Smyth and Hemsky is having a subpar year. Special teams are in the gutter. The team is doing the same or worse than previous years and Eakins has had by far the best and healthiest lineup than any of his predecessors. Still can’t believe MacT gave a rookie coach with no NHL coaching experience a 4 year contract.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Caramel Obvious: Words cannot express how much I agree with this, though I am better looking than Eakins.

    BTW, in case it was not obvious, love your posts stevezie.We should meet sometime.

    Part of the reason we come here is to laugh, and man did I laugh at that. Godot10 is a welcome member here and I sincerely hope he didn’t take offense, lordy that was funny from Stevezie.

  40. book¡je says:

    I know I am right about Eakins because I have argued both sides!

  41. gogliano says:

    leadfarmer:
    gogliano,

    Said every oiler fan the last 3 years.

    This team will get better, but how much better is the question.I know people dont want to get rid of Eakins because of the high coaching turnover rate on this team, but other that can anyone make a solid argument for why they should keep him.Every single player other than Smyth and Hemsky is having a subpar year.Special teams are in the gutter.The team is doing the same or worse than previous years and Eakins has had by far the best and healthiest lineupthan any of his predecessors.Still can’t believe MacT gave a rookie coach with no NHL coaching experience a 4 year contract.

    I don’t think reasonable fans expect RNH or Yakupov or or Jultz or even Hall to be playing their best yet. 3 years ago it was reasonable to think that we had years left of suffering. Add in some bad luck (the collapse of DD), a few bad bets or good bets gone bad, and we have what we have. No real biggie, unless they ill-advisedly blow it up.

  42. delooper says:

    Hey all,

    I’m a little surprised at all the hyperbole here. I think we should have expected the Oilers being what they are.

    Progress is rarely in a straight line, as some well-known blogger likes to say. IMO the whole narrative that you can throw very talented forwards straight into the NHL without any AHL prep is flawed. You can do that with very few players at any one time, and the Oilers are well past that threshold. The Oilers are going to have Nordique-levels of stink on them for yet a while longer. Looking forward to when they start looking more Avalanche-like.

  43. stevezie says:

    Caramel Obvious,
    Lowetide,
    bendelson,
    You guys made me blush. Especially Bendelson, bastard that he is.

    Ditto, CO. As a philosophy minor I would love to exploit you knowledge, assuming you aren’t catfishing us on that one. I do love exploiting things.

  44. stevezie says:

    delooper,

    I think if the just lost last night your attitude would be the standard here. They came out and gave themselves the finger, so everyone is apoplectic. I want to see them do it twice in a row before I get around to composing my letter bomb.

  45. Caramel Obvious says:

    stevezie:
    Caramel Obvious,
    Lowetide,
    bendelson,
    You guys made me blush. Especially Bendelson, bastard that he is.

    Ditto, CO. As a philosophy minor I would love to exploit you knowledge, assuming you aren’t catfishing us on that one. I do love exploiting things.

    You’re still in school, right? May I ask where?

  46. stevezie says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Yes, but don’t be fooled by that or my youthful good looks, I am actually HBomb’s age, as disgusting as that is.

    Memorial, out in Newfoundland. I am from Alberta, but I felt they owed us at least one going the other way.

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