BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. KATZ

I often wonder what an Oilers fan would say to Daryl Katz, given a chance to sit down and have a coffee. I mean, aside from the “what the hell have you done!?!?!!” rage moment, what would we say? Mr. Katz isn’t about to lower himself to talk to the unwashed, everything about him suggests he’s not really interested in dialogue and exchange of ideas. In his own way, Daryl Katz is kind of a modern Elvis—you can walk to the gates of Graceland and peer inside—but he’s down in the jungle room and there’s no buzzer to push. KITE

I think there’s some home truths that Mr. Katz could hear today from the fanbase that may benefit him in making his decision about how to proceed. Make no mistake, Saturday night losses to Calgary count thrice in the mind’s eye of Oilers Nation. Losing to THAT Calgary team in THAT way? Added to the histrionics? Well. If I had an opportunity to spend one hour with Daryl Katz, I’d tell him the following:

  • Steve Tambellini is a nice man but a bad hire. He didn’t address jack diddly in the GM’s chair and Craig MacTavish can’t change time in one summer.
  • Steve Tambellini is the ONLY man in the history of sports who felt building the defense last was a good idea. GM and Coach are paying for those sins today, it’s obvious.
  • During the first few Oil Change episodes, Stu MacGregor says something like “guys, we can’t just draft forwards, we need some defensemen!” and later that summer the Oilers selected Martin Marincin. There is help on the way, but may not arrive in time to keep the Hall-Eberle group intact.
  • The GAP in capable NHL defensemen can be traced directly to Steve Tambellini’s choice of Cam Barker as the big free agent signing in 2011 summer. The previous GM signed Sheldon Souray as his option, the following GM chose Andrew Ference, but the guy in the middle chose someone who had recently been bought out AND had no history of defensive success in the NHL.
  • The play here isn’t firing MacTavish or really Eakins. The play here is allowing the GM to improve the defense over the summer—probably at the expense of Eberle or Yakupov or Perron or Schultz—and maybe that first round pick, too.
  • There may come a time, now or in the future, when the front end of the current rebuild—Sam Gagner for sure, but possibly Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle—ask out. I don’t think there’s any real way to convince any of these kids the good times are just over the hill, so the center of the rebuild may at some point center on Nuge, Yakupov, Klefbom, Marincin, Nurse and this year’s first round pick. I’m not saying that will happen, only that it could. Sam Gagner has apparently asked/agreed to a deal, and you can see his point of view. How long until Taylor Hall feels the same way? I think four years of wandering in muck, which represents 25% of a career (or so), might be the outer marker for some of these young men. Can we blame them? I don’t think we can.
  • I don’t see any value in replacing the GM or coach. There needs to be some change, enough to allow for a new power-play solution and something resembling structure defensively. I think additional defensemen with experience and another veteran center would help more than a new coach, and of course that list has to be front and center this summer.
  • Oilers ownership needs to abandon the idea that the draft can offer immediate help. If Aaron Ekblad or Leon Draisaitl are drafted this summer, send them (and Darnell Nurse) back to junior. Solve today’s problems with today’s solutions.

Could I get that all in during a one-hour coffee chat? Probably not, I’d be asking to see the 1979 entry draft list compiled by Barry Fraser. I’m hopeful MacT keeps his job, he’s a good man who has done good things in the last twelve months. I also believe Dallas Eakins is going to be a fine NHL coach, and this season has been a learning experience. I suspect we’ll see new assistants shortly, likely summer but possibly before. Losing to THIS Calgary team like THAT cannot go unpunished. I believe that to be true.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

10 this morning, TSN 1260. A lot to get to and this will be a busy week.

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. We’ll talk Oilers, playoff races and Glen Sather staying on as GM in NYC.
  • Travis Yost, Hockeybuzz. Ottawa’s bizarre season—one that began with such hope—is in the gutter.
  • Mario Puig from Rotowire. NFL draft edges closer, DeSean Jackson cut? What the hell?
  • Kirk Luedeke, Redline Report. Bruins, draft, Stanley.

10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Lots of Oiler talk on the 40′s, please chime in on text and twitter!!!!

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204 Responses to "BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. KATZ"

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  1. Ben says:

    In my humble experience, when the managers are best buddies with the boss, either the relationships or the business eventually crash and burn.

  2. oliveoilers says:

    There will be a show tonight, don’t be late.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCiG7xoEb2Y

    Thanks LT! Gonna be humming it all day.

    And of course Henry the horse dances the waltz.

  3. oliveoilers says:

    Ben:
    In my humble experience, when the managers are best buddies with the boss, either the relationships or the business eventually crash and burn.

    Either the business goes sideways or the friendship does. Or both. You are correct, sir. Have an internet!

    Whatever is happening, even with the best of intentions (highway to hell now paved all the way!) the perception is of a money grabbing owner with his trophy boys on the bus. A clean slate needs to be exactly that.

  4. justDOit says:

    Ben:
    In my humble experience, when the managers are best buddies with the boss, either the relationships or the business eventually crash and burn.

    About the only way it could get worse, is if the boss hires his son to be the manager. That’s not always a trainwreck, but it holds the potential.

  5. Woodguy says:

    Spot on.

    Not a word out of place.

    The fact that MacT managed to fix the goaltending mid-season and on the cheap has me clinging to hope that he’ll fix the D and C situation this summer.

    I think the solutions will be pretty bold too.

  6. Bad Seed says:

    I don’t think MacT is in fear of losing his job. The way this show is run, he’s got it as long as he wants it.

  7. justDOit says:

    I’m not sure if my opinion has been poisoned by reading all the ‘fire Eakins’ comments, but I do worry that he’s not a good coach. The trouble is, we won’t know if he is or not, until he gets a more balanced roster. Once he is handed the reigns to that team, then maybe Eakins gets exposed. That means another high draft pick…

  8. linkfromhyrule says:

    The thing that I do not understand is that Katz is an immensely successful business man, yet he continues to ignore basic management concepts when it comes to the Oilers.

    Unless Klowe hired Grima Wormtongue to whisper into Katz ear, I am at a loss as to how any competent business man cannot see this for what it is.

    Now I’m not usually one to beat the fire klowe drum but honestly how can an organization which is so unbelievably incompetent survive this long with the same person in charge?

    As an Oilers fan, it would be nice to be able to believe that the owner of your team cares about the team as more than just as a financial investment. Does he even care about winning?

  9. PhrankLee says:

    LT you summed up my specific frustration in saying loosing like this to this version of the Flames…

    Heads should roll. They will not. At least MacT is building from G out. That is how a real team is built. Thanks for your lone voice of hope in a dark and dreary world.

  10. icecastles says:

    Bad Seed: The way this show is run, he’s got it as long as he wants it.

    And nobody gets their show run like our Oilers.

  11. Pajamah says:

    Justin Faulk signed 6 yrs 29 million. Good contract for an Olympian, should keep MacT from unloading a brinks truck at Schultz’s door.

    C’mon bridge contract!!!

  12. rich says:

    Great post LT. The hiring of Tambellini set this organization back years and to expect MacT to fix it in one summer would have been nice, but unrealistic.

    I think MacT and Eakins are both on a learning curve this year. The former has learned how to better manage expectations, how to make over a roster and now, I think he’s learning that re: his coach, he better get him help.

    For Eakins, he may come off arrogant, but he’s learning what it’s like to coach in the NHL with a hand tied behind his back (re: his defense) and another tied behind his back (re: his assistants). I hope they get him help and don’t turf him.

    There DOES need to be something said re: Saturday’s debacle though. Maybe they wait 3 weeks until the end of the season and do it quickly then, but that was so bad, even worse when my son came downstairs and asked why I still bothered with this team.

    I’m too invested now, but that game demands answers.

  13. oliveoilers says:

    justDOit: About the only way it could get worse, is if the boss hires his son to be the manager. That’s not always a trainwreck, but it holds the potential.

    Ever heard of the Alberta Rule of Three? Grandfather starts the business, Father builds it and the son destroys it.

  14. danieldelair says:

    “Sam Gagner has apparently asked/agreed to a deal, and you can see his point of view.”

    Is this a new development or harkening back to pre-trade deadline conversations?

  15. commonfan14 says:

    Agree that drastic actions against the future probably wil be taken to make the team a little more respectable next year.

    The real bummer of it though is that the best-case result of such action is probably a team just good enough to just miss the playoffs. And then, as the topper, we’ll all get to watch as Calgary selects the kind of generational superstar at the draft that wasn’t available to us in any of the years we had the first pick.

    Timing is a bitch.

  16. pboy says:

    rich:
    Great post LT.The hiring of Tambellini set this organization back years and to expect MacT to fix it in one summer would have been nice, but unrealistic.

    I’m still wondering why MacT was given any time to fix the problems. He had zero experience in the front office and he’d never ran an organization before. This is still all Darryl Katz’s mess and it will continue to be until he runs a professional organization which includes accountability for ALL employees. Full Stop.

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Great post LT.

    Odd thing… I don’t really think much of this is “new” following the Calgary loss. This — as you laboriously detail… and we could easily go on listing our grievances — mess is structural, systemic and longstanding.

    As much as you hammer home the emotional baggage of the Calgary loss, it is utterly trivial from my POV. I don’t think anyone watching this team with any seriousness (and let’s for charity’s sake include MacT and co. in the serious pile) came to any epiphany during the Calgary game.

    Frankly, I’m far more concerned that such an epiphany happened. It would suggest two things:

    1. perhaps you thought things weren’t very bad (there’s some evidence MacT/Eakins and co. actually did believe things were “getting better”). This would be very poor analysis.

    2. bad cases make bad law. If you are going to make this Calgary loss emblematic of all that is wrong, there is a very good chance that you will miss the forest for the trees and focus on the wrong problems.

    I sincerely hope that MacT sees the forest that is the systemic problem of roster construction, has seen it for the better share of the season and sees this Calgary loss as an entirely minor event in the long despairing march of post 06 Oilers.

  18. sliderule says:

    How much better would our team look with two changes in drafting

    Pick Justin Faulk instead of Pitlick.At the time the oilers were looking to draft D and it was staring them right in the face but as he played in the USHL which the oilers don’t scout well he was passed over.

    Then in the next draft they picked the scouts son who wasn’t even close to consensus over Jenner the big centre we needed.

    With these two moves they would have had the D and centre they are looking for and some are willing to sell the farm for to acquire.

    If that doesn’t show you the importance of good drafting nothing will.

  19. rich says:

    pboy,

    I think this is something else Mr. Katz needs to explain. When he stepped and bought the team, he bought a public trust.

    There have been steps taken at the minor league level that show there is hope for the future. These decisions can’t be ignored. We now have an AHL team, we have a coaching staff that is capable of getting players developed and this is good.

    We have a minor league scouting staff that’s doing better – although it’s still too soon to tell if they are going to at least hit on the NHL average for development.

    The pro scouting staff? I still wonder how good they are.

    But the fact remains that the results at the NHL level have been terrible now for 8 straight years. What should – and probably does – gall many of us was that famous prediction by Burke a few years ago after Vish did the offer sheet on Penner – that he was running the team into the sewer. Remember that? Well, it looks like the Wizard of Oz was right about something and I think Katz needs to explain why the POHO still is employed, still calling the shots and how he’s going to get us out of this mess. Mr. Katz needs to face the heat because he wouldn’t less his managers at Rexall get away with this.

    It may be that MacT’s hiring will work out (and I think he has a better idea of how to build a team than Vish). But, why does Mr. Katz continue to reach back to the past for answers to the future? Is that really the best plan? We are owed an answer given the results.

  20. Clay says:

    justDOit:
    I’m not sure if my opinion has been poisoned by reading all the ‘fire Eakins’ comments, but I do worry that he’s not a good coach. The trouble is, we won’t know if he is or not, until he gets a more balanced roster. Once he is handed the reigns to that team, then maybe Eakins gets exposed. That means another high draft pick…

    In any NHL season, especially with young players, you can expect to see some improve and some regress. With Eakins though, every single player has regressed. Isn’t that the ultimate tell?

  21. knighttown says:

    One thing I’d like to add when you speak to DK is to remind he and MacT to slow down when making crucial decisions. We know Lowe decides things emotionally (Comrie) and there are some signs MacTavish and Katz are similar.

    Perhaps Eakins and MacT were the best candidates for the job but they can’t really know because no formal interview process took place. It is very common for younger managers to freak out in the face of a crisis and find any solution that will fix a problem rather than patients deciding on the best solution. Others want Eakins! He’s the hot name! Panic! Panic! Contract signed…

    A good employee should understand due diligence is crucial in these decisions and in fact, I wouldn’t want to sign with a company that didn’t go through due diligence on me before hiring me.

    “We’re using 4th liners that can play. We’re too far along this track (skilled lineup) to change course now.” Kassian breaks Gagners face! Too soft! Sign MacT! Sign Gazdic!

    With experience comes the understanding that no mater how urgent this crisis seems, this too will pass.

  22. pboy says:

    rich:
    pboy,

    I think this is something else Mr. Katz needs to explain.When he stepped and bought the team, he bought a public trust.

    It may be that MacT’s hiring will work out (and I think he has a better idea of how to build a team than Vish).But, why does Mr. Katz continue to reach back to the past for answers to the future?Is that really the best plan?We are owed an answer given the results.

    I agree but it’s never going to happen. This is Nixon not willing to apologize for Watergate and throw his staff to the wolves when he could have still rescued his Presidency. This is arrogance at work and Darryl Katz won’t admit mistakes or fire his friends or explain himself to anyone.

  23. Bag of Pucks says:

    LT: There may come a time, now or in the future, when the front end of the current rebuild—Sam Gagner for sure, but possibly Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle—ask out. I don’t think there’s any real way to convince any of these kids the good times are just over the hill, so the center of the rebuild may at some point center on Nuge, Yakupov, Klefbom, Marincin, Nurse and this year’s first round pick. I’m not saying that will happen, only that it could. Sam Gagner has apparently asked/agreed to a deal, and you can see his point of view. How long until Taylor Hall feels the same way? I think four years of wandering in muck, which represents 25% of a career (or so), might be the outer marker for some of these young men. Can we blame them? I don’t think we can.

    I know it’s a very old fashioned POV in this day and age, but I’m still of the belief that people should honour the agreements they make and the contracts they sign. So yes, whenever an athlete demands a trade, I feel it’s well within the rights of the paying public to ‘blame them.’ If Hall or Eberle or Nuge or whoever can’t stick this thing out for 6 years, they should’ve signed a shorter deal.

  24. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Clay: In any NHL season, especially with young players, you can expect to see some improve and some regress.With Eakins though, every single player has regressed.Isn’t that the ultimate tell?

    this isn’t even close to being the case.

    D regulars (12-13; 13-14 CF%)
    Petry: 44.4%; 47.4
    Justin: 43.9; 43.2

    F regulars
    Hall: 50.4; 44.3
    Eberle: 50.9; 45.8
    RNH: 49.9; 44.8
    Hemsky: 43.8; 48.3
    Gagner: 43.1; 44.6
    Yak: 42.5; 44.9
    Smyth: 43.3; 46.4

    A quick glance last year the 2 line cratered (see Dellow on why). THis year the 1 line cratered (see Dellow on why)

    Last year at this time people were openly questioning whether Hemsky was still an NHL player. He rebounded just fine.

    Some of this is coaching. But it isn’t evenly distributed and fixing the problem isn’t a matter of blanket (and false) assessments.

  25. su_dhillon says:

    Nice post LT, agree with everything,

    I know this matters little now and has been mentioned on this blog many times by lots of people way smarter than me, but it has been clear this team needs a top 2 D men for years and I think clear that it will take 1 of the young forwards(Yak, Eberle, Gagner) Plus a pick or young assets to get it. The play all along was to sign Hemsky to an extension and then move Eberle or Yak. Clearly the hole on back end is way more important & needs to be fixed but when one of 64 or 14 gets moved this team then is going to need to find a 2RW ( A Hemsky type) or 2LW depending where you play Perron. And they had that dude the whole fucking time and pissed him away for nothing.

    Also I agree with Woodguys comment that Mact fixing the goalie situation in 60 games gives somehope, the problem on this team is obvious and the GM knows he probably only has 6-12 months to fix it. We will know very soon if this is on track and if some semblance of a complete NHL team is on the way or rebuild 5.

  26. Esa10 says:

    I have no idea who in their right mind would come here but
    Niskanen and Quincy would go a long way.

    Draft reinhart to replace gagner

    Sign niskanen and Quincy

    Keep nurse in jr.

    My 2 cents.

  27. jbfuzz says:

    I don’t add to the conversation often (though I typically find the threads pretty interesting) but I have a few suspicions about the offseason including:

    a) Lowe resigns; Messier hired as replacement
    b) Buchy/Smith let go; the return of Huddy to work with the D. I would be pretty happy about that.
    c) With D. Brown’s extension kicking in next season, would a Gagner + 2nd for an underperforming Mike Richards be appealing to LA? High risk/reward for both teams.
    d) No idea how blueline gets addressed. It’s been a problem for 5 years and there doesn’t seem to be any urgency about fixing it. I count on at least one more poor d-man signing (i.e. Ference).

  28. frjohnk says:

    We need two top pairing Dman more than we need anything else.
    Marincin, albeit good now, will not be near his top potential for another 2 years.
    Klefbom maybe 3 years. Nurse, IMO, will be a stud, but not until 17-18, maybe even later.

    Waiting for these guys is not an option. Drafting this years top pick is not an option either.

    One of these guys and the pick need to be used to get some good Dmen.

  29. rickithebear says:

    frjohnk: Waiting for these guys is not an option. Drafting this years top pick is not an option either.
    One of these guys and the pick need to be used to get some good Dmen.

    Why cause Calgary dominted us this year?
    Oilers 2 Reg W – 1L – 2OTL 6 points
    Flames 1Reg W – 2OTW – 2 Reg L 6 points

    Alot of flames guys wanting to discuss the game.
    Points and record shut them up!

    Last 5 games
    Edmonton 1GA; 1ga; 1ga; 3GA; 8GA 14 goals Against

    Toronto 4ga; 3ga; 5ga; 4ga; 3ga. 19 goals against.
    Toronto should replace all there d.

  30. book¡je says:

    Bag of Pucks: I know it’s a very old fashioned POV in this day and age, but I’m still of the belief that people should honour the agreements they make and the contracts they sign. So yes, whenever an athlete demands a trade, I feel it’s well within the rights of the paying public to ‘blame them.’ If Hall or Eberle or Nuge or whoever can’t stick this thing out for 6 years, they should’ve signed a shorter deal.

    Unless the contract indicates that the Player is contractually forgoing their right to ask for a trade, they are honouring their contract when they ask for a trade. Just as GMs may ask a player with an NTC if they would be willing to go to another team. Sometimes things change in ways unanticipated when the contract was signed. Signing a contract simply means that they agree to play hockey over the next 6 years for X dollars. There is risk on both sides of that signing and there is a responsibility on both parties to continue to build a mutually rewarding relationship.

  31. gameofstyle says:

    Woodguy’s analysis recently of the D was bang on, not even remotely close to being competitive in todays NHL.

    I am interested to hear everyone’s take on where the 1/2C is coming from. If the idea is to slot the Draisatl kid or Reinhart there it is going to be another long year.

    The Flyer deals are floated often on here, and assuming the Flyers could part with either Couturier or Schenn, what would it take? Eberle +? My preference is Couturier, but I have a feeling Schenn is the one more likely acquired.

    I haven’t had time to scour the NHL landscape, but my first thoughts are that Legwand or Grabovski are not coming here, so who else is out there?

  32. book¡je says:

    Ok, I have a question about that last photo. Is there anyone in the world who actually reads those signs painted on the road from bottom to top. It says “Here Are You” and unless they spread out the words farther, everyone reads “Here are you” and then mentally translates it to “You are here”.

    “Ahead Stop” is the real world example.

    Ok, after googling Ahead Stop, I found this perfect link

  33. rickithebear says:

    look at flames O 27 players.
    Mcgratton 32#12/13 fwd
    Camalerri 31 #2W
    Glencross 30 #3W
    Stajan 30 #3C;
    Hudler 30 #1W;
    D. jones #5W
    Wideman 31
    Giordano 30 #1 D
    Smid 28 #2/3 D
    Butler 27 #6/7

    Edmonton
    Smyth 38 #12 fwd
    Hendricks 31 #11 fwd
    Gordon #10 Fwd
    Jones AHL #13
    Ference 35 #5-7D
    Belov 27
    Fraser 27
    I am more confident in our youth versu the flames.
    Over 27 not even close!

  34. J-Bo says:

    Elliotte Friedman was on 960 this morning and posed two good questions: 1. Why is Calgary’s team better than us (considering who they have on paper)? and 2. Does Colorado really have a better defense then us? If not why do they have 100 points and Edmonton has 50? His answer for the first question was “Buy in” and he suggested that the answer to the two questions should determine the future.

    Calgary brought in a good veteran coach at just the right time and the veterans that were there bought in and the rest followed and they clearly have a cohesive, hard working group. The coaching changes and lack of positive veteran presence have simply destroyed this team. They handed the team to a bunch of young guys who weren’t mature enough to lead and have drowned in the muck and the mire.

    I’m not overly happy with Eakins as coach, but he is Mac-T’s guy and Mac-T since the start of taking over has focused significantly on attempting to fix the problem that Friedman’s questions pose and I outlined above. The new additions (Scrivens, Hendricks, Gordon, Perron, etc…) are buying in and we need the problem players to go this off season. I don’t care if Hall, Nuge, AND Eberle are all a part of the problem. If they are, trade them!

    Folks, this past season is clearly Year 1 of the New Rebuild whether we like it or not. Eakins is preaching defense first and to play as a team. If this turns us into a boring Minnesota/LA type team I won’t be happy, but the truth is at least we have a clear message from GM and Coach and if a player isn’t in line with it he needs to go so the Oilers can become a cohesive team and start winning!

    Lowe isn’t running this team anymore and that is clear. Whether he stays or goes won’t matter except for the sacrificial blood to appease the Oiler fans. This is clear from the moves that have been made. The assistant coaches will be fired and some new ones brought in. The problem players will be traded and about the same time Calgary’s rebuilt team is coming around, ours will come around – sad but likely true.

    Problem players out, assistant coaches/goalie coach/Lowe out, cohesive players and veteran top D and Top 6 player(s) in = A competitive team! Finally!

  35. regwald says:

    Anyone else see the Oil Kings game on the weekend ?

    This was Bob Stauffer’s tweet after Sunday’s game.

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 16h

    Leon Draisaitl of the PA Raiders putting on a show in the third at Rexall Place. A threat every time he is on the ice.

    I certainly saw the hard work on the first goal yesterday when he set it up, but I did not see the “threat every time he is on the ice” part at all.

    I think the Oil Kings kept him in check pretty well both games. Maybe Bruce can add some thoughts ?

  36. gameofstyle says:

    Esa10,

    If Reinhart is playing 2C next year the team will be lottery bound again.

  37. jayzz says:

    I love reading these articles based on hind site. What a wise and well thought out dissecting of the last
    5 years, I think we should have low tide on as the next gm so every move will be perfect and no mistakes will ever be made. We have a collection of people running the show that may not have results yet but it isn’t for a lack of care or trying …..
    Mayhap if edmonton didn’t have such a poor image as a city it would have been easier to get a few free agents to play here, but no let’s throw a person who loves this city and is willing to try/do anything to bring us back to playoffs under the bus.
    You want blood go after Kevin Lowe and ask for his resignation from the team but leave the owner well out of it no matter how much you think he is involved in the operations, and think back to when we came within a hair of losing this franchise to another city. Hind sight is 20-20, I believe the team is in proper hands, let a bad loss go, and get back to reporting on the future.

    Ps . If nurse is better than all the d at camp next year how do you send him down ??

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    J-Bo: The new additions (Scrivens, Hendricks, Gordon, Perron, etc…) are buying in and we need the problem players to go this off season. I don’t care if Hall, Nuge, AND Eberle are all a part of the problem. If they are, trade them!

    This is the kind of thing that people say when they over-interpret relatively meaningless events.

    Culture is not this team’s problem. Talent is.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    jayzz: Ps . If nurse is better than all the d at camp next year how do you send him down ??

    By taking the long-view.

    Don’t buy into small sample sizes. Don’t rush kids. Don’t put players above their established level of ability. Don’t bank on kids filling NHL roles at the cost of actually finding NHL players.

  40. G Money says:

    oliveoilers: Ever heard of the Alberta Rule of Three?Grandfather starts the business, Father builds it and the son destroys it.

    I haven’t heard this as an Alberta rule. I’ve heard it expressed as “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” From back when the Eaton empire was self-destructing.

    J-Bo: Calgary brought in a good veteran coach at just the right time and the veterans that were there bought in and the rest followed and they clearly have a cohesive, hard working group.

    Contextually, this wasn’t true last year under the same coach. The cohesiveness has come together in year 2. The veteran issue is absolutely true though, and Ricki did a nice job showing the difference in the quality of players over 27 contrasting the Lames and Oilers.

    gameofstyle: I am interested to hear everyone’s take on where the 1/2C is coming from. If the idea is to slot the Draisatl kid or Reinhart there it is going to be another long year.

    Draft either the 2C (Draisaitl, Reinhart, Bennett) or the 1/2D (Ekblad). If the 2C, trade Gagner for defensive help. Leave the new draftees in Jr.

    Barring a miracle (or miraculous goaltending), I do not see any way this team is a playoff team next year either. Year 2 is reasonable if the right actions are taken.

    One of the reasons Lowe must go (other than, as Bruce Arthur put it, “… relentless ineptitude from management, and at what point do people above the general manager’s level begin to pay for it?“) is simply that getting rid of him would at least buy the time and patience necessary to take a two-year path.

    Trying to fix what’s broken and missing in one year is doomed to failure, and leaving Lowe in place unquestioningly leaves us with InfiniBuild.

  41. art vandelay says:

    The thing that I do not understand is that Katz is an immensely successful business man, yet he continues to ignore basic management concepts when it comes to the Oilers.

    That’s because he can’t bribe convince 50%+1 of his fellow owners to give him free players. Even if he’s got the ringleader in his pocket.

  42. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis

    Culture is not this team’s problem. Talent is.

    Why can’t it be both?

  43. oliveoilers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: By taking the long-view.

    Don’t buy into small sample sizes. Don’t rush kids. Don’t put players above their established level of ability. Don’t bank on kids filling NHL roles at the cost of actually finding NHL players.

    You don’t say to a professional hockey player “turn up to camp kid, but no matter how well you do, you’re not making the team.” Carrot, meet stick. If the kid’s ready, he’s ready. Let’s judge someone on their actions, it’s the flip side of accountability. (How I shudder every time that word is used in a sports reference.) We can’t know yet how the camp will shake down. Wouldn’t have said Marincin would be ready this year, but here we are….

  44. sliderule says:

    J-Bo,

    If you think you can make a competitive team out of the so called buy in guys good luck.

    Go ahead trade all our first rounders maybe for a third and a fifth like for Hemsky.

    Hartley is an experienced coach who has had success in other cities and gets his players to play hard every night.

    Eakins is an AHL coach with only middling success at that level.

    Eakins was mact’s first big mistake.

    Arrogance and fitness mania does not make you a good coach.

  45. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: This is the kind of thing that people say when they over-interpret relatively meaningless events.

    Culture is not this team’s problem. Talent is.

    Btw, one of the reasons this seems like such a foolish statement to make in such unequivocal terms, is you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that feels the Flames have more ‘talent’ than the Oilers. Everyone picked the Flames to finish lower in the standings this season.

    For the sake of argument, let’s even assume the teams have equal talent (with Calgary having more on the back end and the Oil more on the front end). How then do we explain an 8-1 drubbing?

    The answer is very simply, the Flames have bought in to their coaches system and to a man work their ass off to execute it. By contrast, the Oilers on any given night have some players executing the system and some passengers along for the ride – cheating for offense.

  46. book¡je says:

    Why can’t we all just get along and agree that the coaching, management, kids, veterans, past coaches and management, owner, president, season ticket holders, and tier 2 fans are ALL the problem.

  47. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: Why can’t it be both?

    Sure.

    But, one is a huge festering sore and the other is a hangnail. Focusing on the hangnail is something Oilers fans and mgt. have done exceptionally well.

    Souray, Vis, Hemsky… do we really need to list them all… all left with an aura of “culture” issues.

    Bad analysis. Wrong problem. Hangnail bullshit.

    Drain the festering sore. Fuck the hangnail.

  48. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    oliveoilers: You don’t say to a professional hockey player “turn up to camp kid, but no matter how well you do, you’re not making the team.”Carrot, meet stick.If the kid’s ready, he’s ready.Let’s judge someone on their actions, it’s the flip side of accountability.(How I shudder every time that word is used in a sports reference.)We can’t know yet how the camp will shake down.Wouldn’t have said Marincin would be ready this year, but here we are….

    no. no. no. no. no. a thousand nos.

    You let Nurse fight for it. Obviously. You even give him his 9 game taste. Let him see what it’s like. Keep him hungry.

    Then send him down.

    Following Marincin’s development path is exactly what Nurse needs (slightly sped up to account for talent).

  49. gcw_rocks says:

    I think part of that conversation needs to focus on whether MacT had the appropriate judgement to fix the problem in a reasonable time span. Offs he better than Tambo? Of course. That’s a stupidly low bar to set.

    This is a man that looked at a putrid defence and determined the answers were Belov, Klefbom, Grebeshkov, Ference, Larsen and Fraser. He should get zero credit for Marincin because that’s just been dumb luck.

    After seven years in the wilderness, this man decided to add a rookie coach into mix when veteran coaching options were available.

    This was a man who did not take advantage of a unique buyer’s market this last summer that could have plugged serious holes in the roster.

    This is a man who blabbed about how Horcoff and Hemsky needed top go before they were traded.

    This is a man who retained a group of assistant coaches that have contributed the worst record hockey since they joined.

    This is not a man who should be trusted. But if you don’t have the balls to do something about it go find a new team president and let him evaluate management and make an objective decision. Get someone with no ties to the current management group.

  50. jayzz says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: By taking the long-view.

    Don’t buy into small sample sizes. Don’t rush kids. Don’t put players above their established level of ability. Don’t bank on kids filling NHL roles at the cost of actually finding NHL players.

    Nurse has all the quality’s we lack on the back end size(although a tad light) leadership and iq, my only worry is they need a veteran to play with him because i shudder at the thought of him playing with any of the current dmen, but you may be right seeing how peter Angelo evolved, my only worry is what does it do to him mentally when he comes in and out performs everyone and still gets sent down? Do we need another player looking for a trade before his value is set ?

  51. Bag of Pucks says:

    @Romulus Apotheosis

    Except the reality is that ‘culture’ and team buy in are extremely important, hence why it’s rarely the most talented team on paper that wins the Cup. Having a dysfunctional dressing room pulling in opposite direction from the coach is not a recipe for success, and it’s certainly not a ‘hangnail.’

    After Saturday’s game, I truly believe one of this core has to go to get this culture issue sorted once and for all. The question is, which one, and most importantly how does he balance the roster with the return?

  52. jayzz says:

    <blockquote cite="comment-304712"

    Romulus Apotheosis: By taking the long-view.

    Don’t buy into small sample sizes. Don’t rush kids. Don’t put players above their established level of ability. Don’t bank on kids filling NHL roles at the cost of actually finding NHL players.

    Nurse has all the quality’s we lack on the back end size(although a tad light) leadership and iq, my only worry is they need a veteran to play with him because i shudder at the thought of him playing with any of the current dmen, but you may be right seeing how peter Angelo evolved, my only worry is what does it do to him mentally when he comes in and out performs everyone and still gets sent down? Do we need another player looking for a trade before his value is set ?

  53. lance says:

    If I could sit with Katz I’d want to say: “I think your best play is to keep stocking the prospects until the new barn is running. I don’t see value in winning anything but the lottery before that because if it appears, even for a second, that no potential dynasty is coming, your season ticket holders will likely flee en masse.”
    To which he would say, “We are already doing that.”
    “Well,” I’d add, “Carry on.”

    As for reality, I haven’t even streamed a game for months. I like reading here because it keeps me connected to the homeland. Although the tumblr site you suggested years ago, maybeedmonton is very good for that too. Thanks. (Wild rose party leading the polls? Oh my.)

  54. Bag of Pucks says:

    gcw_rocks:
    I think part of that conversation needs to focus on whether MacT had the appropriate judgement to fix the problem in a reasonable time span.Offs he better than Tambo? Of course. That’s a stupidly low bar to set.

    This is a man that looked at a putrid defence and determined the answers were Belov, Klefbom, Grebeshkov, Ference, Larsen and Fraser.He should get zero credit for Marincin because that’s just been dumb luck.

    After seven years in the wilderness, this man decided to add a rookie coach into mix when veteran coaching options were available.

    This was a man who did not take advantage of a unique buyer’s market this last summer that could have plugged serious holes in the roster.

    This is a man who blabbed about how Horcoff and Hemsky needed top go before they were traded.

    This is a man who retained a group of assistant coaches that have contributed the worst record hockey since they joined.

    This is not a man who should be trusted. But if you don’t have the balls to do something about it go find a new team president and let him evaluate management and make an objective decision.Get someone with no ties to the current management group.

    Not to mention the fact that Mason Raymond looks like a much better 3rd line option than Joensu, Smyth, Pitlick, etc.

  55. Hammers says:

    Straight to my comments and hope I’m not duplicating to much . I would also say to him that in any regular business time frames are set out for senior management and running an NHL team is no different . Lowe McT & Howson should be told you have this year to be in the fight for a playoff spot and the year after if we are not in the top 12 teams you will all be replaced .

  56. oliveoilers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: no. no. no. no. no. a thousand nos.

    You let Nurse fight for it. Obviously. You even give him his 9 game taste. Let him see what it’s like. Keep him hungry.

    Then send him down.

    Following Marincin’s development path is exactly what Nurse needs (slightly sped up to account for talent).

    One no is sufficient! And it actually sounds like you agree with me. So, yes, yes a thousand times yes. If you invite Nurse to regular camp with no intention of him getting even his ‘cup of coffee’ then that’s a waste of a PTO invite and missing the point of rookie camp. I am merely saying that it’s time to start judging on merit. Though I’m a thousand time with you for Nurse to develop like Marincin. If that’s what best…

  57. OilClog says:

    My question would be this.

    “Why is the Nuge on the PP2 with Ryan Jones?, why do you hate us?”

  58. Hammers says:

    pboy: I’m still wondering why MacT was given any time to fix the problems. He had zero experience in the front office and he’d never ran an organization before. This is still all Darryl Katz’s mess and it will continue to be until he runs a professional organization which includes accountability for ALL employees. Full Stop.

    If your wondering why you give McT time to fix problems you know nothing about running any organization . ANY G.M. would need time to fix Tambos screw ups .

  59. FastOil says:

    Embarrassments like that game while hard to take are better than meager improvements that prolong things. The whole org needs to take a big shift in a different direction or there is not going to be enough improvement to get where we all want to be (and hopefully Katz does).

    Things can change without Lowe having to get fired if Katz wants it. That is where hope lies more than the old boys all getting turfed. I don’t see that happening very easily even though it is the right thing to do.

    The other hope is that it’s not Katz that likes goons and he demands that they only employ hockey players.

  60. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Good article LT – lots I totally agree with except on one point which has crystallized for me. I went to a game last year to watch Colorado play. Was quite aware of the talent on their roster and looked forward to seeing what that skill could do up close. As I watched the game (they got thumped), I was struck at how lifeless and seemingly disorganized they were. Could see that each player had skill but the cohesion was really a shambles. I said to my buddy, this is the coach. Said Sacco had to go. It was the only conclusion I could draw after watching the game. They just didn’t play for that guy.

    Now, I didn’t want to believe that with Eakins, but I now do. This team does not want to follow this leader. The dynamics are not right. I personally believe its a mistake to carry this coach into next season and make the call (if it needs to be made) 20 games in. This will likely torch next season as well and that would be a shame that there is a) renewed turmoil mid-season, b) players now bogged down with adapting a new system mid-season (will certainly cost games) and c) potentially leaving them on the outside again before Xmas. I hope I’m wrong on all this, but I am having a real hard time accepting the continuity argument if this is the wrong situation. The addition of Patrick Roy fundamentally changed the dynamic for the Avs and unlocked the potential in those guys. They didn’t suddenly get smarter or miraculously found character. It was there. It just needed the right bench leadership to cultivate and unleash it. Eakins doesn’t have that in my newly cemented opinion of him.

    We can conveniently leave this at the feet of defence (its a really big issue), but there are some real issues on the offense. We had one goal against Calgary. It wasn’t 8-4. What’s up with that PP? What is the deal with Yakupov, with RNH? How did Hemsky all of sudden find offense when out of Eakins system? What the hell on Arco? The problems are really on both sides of the ice.

    Who’s neck exactly do we choke for all this? Does this deserve a passing grade and on we go to next year using hope as a strategy?

  61. icecastles says:

    Bag of Pucks: I know it’s a very old fashioned POV in this day and age, but I’m still of the belief that people should honour the agreements they make and the contracts they sign. So yes, whenever an athlete demands a trade, I feel it’s well within the rights of the paying public to ‘blame them.’ If Hall or Eberle or Nuge or whoever can’t stick this thing out for 6 years, they should’ve signed a shorter deal.

    I can appreciate the sentiment but I don’t think the former necessitates the latter.

    Reneging on a contract and bolting for the KHL is not honouring the agreement and acting in poor faith. Trades however are a large and key part of how the NHL labour market works. Teams can trade players where the player has little say, and players can request trades of teams that would rather keep them.

    The one time this may be considered bad faith bargaining is if a player negotiates an NTC, then publicly demands a trade and greatly restricts the teams to which he is willing to be traded. That puts his employer at a massive disadvantage.

    In the normal work world, you can quit your job if you don’t like it and seek employment elsewhere. In a captive market like the NHL, this doesn’t work so the trading system is a functional and honourable way to deal with that.

  62. Bag of Pucks says:

    book¡je:
    Why can’t we all just get along and agree that the coaching, management, kids, veterans, past coaches and management, owner, president, season ticket holders, and tier 2 fans are ALL the problem.

    WG says ‘it’s the roster’ and I that’s nice a catch all.

    That phrase blames the GM that built the roster AND the owner that hired him. It blames the gaps in the roster AND those roster players that are under-performing. It blames ‘Mag B’ for not drafting better players and Eakins for not getting more out of HIS roster. It blames Rick what’s his name for not filing the necessary paperwork re: roster transactions and the Octane for not having more talent in their line-up as well.

    “It’s the roster!” Not as pointed as, ‘this is a complete clusterfuck’ but it does the job.

  63. russ99 says:

    This summer will tell us a ton about MacTavish’s ability.

    Will we get:

    A) An equal purge of the bottom six as we did last season with adding shutdown wingers a top priority; add 3 experienced NHL defensemen; find a solution for 1st or 2nd center; if dealing a core kid, make a smart move for a player who can be a piece of a potential contender; be shrewd and not telegraph moves to the press; replace the assistants and add associate coach to smooth Eakins out a bit

    B) Same assistants; almost the same bottom six; trading away core kids for suspect vets and/or contract problems; Gagner stays and triggers his NTC; announcing to the world how ‘bold” he wants to be; remaking the roster the way Eakins wants adding ex-Marlies and dumping skill for “truculence”; tossing big cash at another big fish ill-suited to fit the mix – like Clarkson last year

    Going to be really interesting. I hope that we get A, as that’s the road to the playoffs.

  64. Bag of Pucks says:

    icecastles

    In the normal work world, you can quit your job if you don’t like it and seek employment elsewhere. In a captive market like the NHL, this doesn’t work so the trading system is a functional and honourable way to deal with that.

    They get paid millions of dollars to play a game. I’m absolutely 100% fine with them having more market restrictions on them as a result.

    Like I said, this is an ‘old fashioned’ belief. People honouring their commitments is a belief system that is rapidly becoming a lost art in the age of entitlement where lawyer speak trumps duty. People used to do things on a handshake, and that actually meant something. Now we expect people to make selfish demands, ‘who can blame them?’

    Btw, when someone says ‘I appreciate the sentiment’ and then proceeds to rationalize the erosion of that sentiment, the disclaimer off the top is rendered meaningless.

  65. WeirsBeard says:

    Agreed it all starts with the silver top hat at the top. When Katz decides that winning is the most important thing, only then can we expect such a commitment throughout the organization.

    For those wanting to blow up the core, I have a question, wouldn’t you want to see how they run with 12 hockey players up front, 6 defenders, and two goalies? A big trade may be necessary, and I think 89 is gone, but wouldn’t it be nice to judge these young fellows from the standpoint of a capable roster?

  66. slopitch says:

    To Tambellini’s defense, you don’t draft a D over Hall or Nuge and he was overruled on Murray. No one would complain about Pitlick if he was Brandon Saad, I think the problem here is just balance. The D is so bad that the forwards aren’t able develop.

    Unless the Habs take Yak for Subban or something, this rebuild will delay. Not McDavid type delay. But after Saturday, its looking possible. I still think 1-2 good adds and this team is fine and that its possible we are all just overreacting.

  67. WeirsBeard says:

    book¡je:
    Why can’t we all just get along and agree that the coaching, management, kids, veterans, past coaches and management, owner, president, season ticket holders, and tier 2 fans are ALL the problem.

    Who do I boo first and where do I throw my Oilers sweater?

  68. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks:
    I think part of that conversation needs to focus on whether MacT had the appropriate judgement to fix the problem in a reasonable time span.Offs he better than Tambo? Of course. That’s a stupidly low bar to set.

    This is a man that looked at a putrid defence and determined the answers were Belov, Klefbom, Grebeshkov, Ference, Larsen and Fraser.He should get zero credit for Marincin because that’s just been dumb luck.

    After seven years in the wilderness, this man decided to add a rookie coach into mix when veteran coaching options were available.

    This was a man who did not take advantage of a unique buyer’s market this last summer that could have plugged serious holes in the roster.

    This is a man who blabbed about how Horcoff and Hemsky needed top go before they were traded.

    This is a man who retained a group of assistant coaches that have contributed the worst record hockey since they joined.

    This is not a man who should be trusted. But if you don’t have the balls to do something about it go find a new team president and let him evaluate management and make an objective decision.Get someone with no ties to the current management group.

    This is true for the most part.

    I pray to all the Gords that MacT learned a ton this year and won’t repeat these mistakes.

    I hope he understands what the holes are and how to fix them.

    If he doesn’t then it’s the wilderness for years and years more.

  69. Hammers says:

    LT it seems most everyone agreed with your analysis and we the fans have another summer draft & free agency period to rebuild our hopes . Mr. Katz & company must realize the critics are all over them , the fans are resorting to dumping there jersey’s on the ice . Hell even the friendly reporters are turning on the team . I won’t be surprised to see McT making his bold moves this summer and they may tell us a lot about the direction he plans on going . Expect the unexpected .

  70. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    @Romulus Apotheosis

    Except the reality is that ‘culture’ and team buy in are extremely important, hence why it’s rarely the most talented team on paper that wins the Cup. Having a dysfunctional dressing room pulling in opposite direction from the coach is not a recipe for success, and it’s certainly not a ‘hangnail.’

    After Saturday’s game, I truly believe one of this core has to go to get this culture issue sorted once and for all. The question is, which one, and most importantly how does he balance the roster with the return?

    By all reports Denis Potvin was a true asshole and Tonelli was a bit of a prick too.

    They won because they were the best players.

    The biggest problem with the culture in EDM is that they lose.

    Losing breeds contrmpt (correct or not) for your co-workers and management.

    Winning solves all kind of fuzzy issues like “culture” because when you win no one really gives a fuck about the little things.

    “Your showers shoes have fungus and they’re gross.
    Clean your shower shoes.
    If you win 20 in the show then you can do whatever you want and will be considered “colorful”
    Until then you’re just a slob”

    Winning changes the perception of everything.

  71. bendelson says:

    book¡je: Why can’t we all just get along and agree that the coaching, management, kids, veterans, past coaches and management, owner, president, season ticket holders, and tier 2 fans are ALL the problem.

    Notwithstanding the humour of your post…

    I was with you until you haphazardly tossed in the tier 2 fans… 6 Rings has already done a wonderful job of informing us that the Oiler management don’t consider these people at all relevant.

    And you forgot the MSM! They are clearly implicit in the madness that is the Edmonton Oilers.

  72. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Btw, one of the reasons this seems like such a foolish statement to make in such unequivocal terms, is you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that feels the Flames have more ‘talent’ than the Oilers. Everyone picked the Flames to finish lower in the standings this season.

    For the sake of argument, let’s even assume the teams have equal talent (with Calgary having more on the back end and the Oil more on the front end). How then do we explain an 8-1 drubbing?

    The answer is very simply, the Flames have bought in to their coaches system and to a man work their ass off to execute it. By contrast, the Oilers on any given night have some players executing the system and some passengers along for the ride – cheating for offense.

    Giordano and Brodie are an excellent top pair.

    They’d be a top pair are more than one playoffs team imo.

    On a generally not good team CAL outshoots their opponents when Gio and Brodie are on the ice and it’s usually against the other team’s best.

  73. icecastles says:

    Bag of Pucks: They get paid millions of dollars to play a game.

    Totally irrelevant.

    I’m not sure if your real concern here is with the “honour” element, or the fact that they are making so much money to play hockey. I agree wholeheartedly that it’s ridiculous these guys make millions and millions of dollars to play a game. The defenses about commitment, and careers being shorter are utter BS – its not as if once they retire from hockey, they are somehow unable to work another day in their lives so have to make a life’s earnings in their few pro years.

    Honour is one of those things that’s often thrown out when people don’t want to acknowledge – to others or themselves – that the real issue is envy. Of course we’re envious of them. Of course they get a cushy ride compared to the rest of us. But I’m not about to start calling them dishonourable simply because I’m jealous how how good they have it.

    Bag of Pucks:
    Like I said, this is an ‘old fashioned’ belief. People honouring their commitments is a belief system that is rapidly becoming a lost art in the age of entitlement where lawyer speak trumps duty. People used to do things on a handshake, and that actually meant something.

    Ah yes, the good old days. When every person was equal because anyone less equal wasn’t technically a person. If only we could return to those glory days of indentured servitude, slavery, and only male landowners being able to vote.

    I know I’m being a bit hyperbolic, but this notion of the “good old days” being so honourable and noble are, in olden speak, horse pucky. People seem to think the specific decade of their youth was a golden age: everything before was barbaric, and everything after is hedonism.

  74. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: By all reports Denis Potvin was a true asshole and Tonelli was a bit of a prick too.

    They won because they were the best players.

    The biggest problem with the culture in EDM is that they lose.

    Losing breeds contrmpt (correct or not) for your co-workers and management.

    Winning solves all kind of fuzzy issues like “culture” because when you win no one really gives a fuck about the little things.

    “Your showers shoes have fungus and they’re gross.
    Clean your shower shoes.
    If you win 20 in the show then you can do whatever you want and will be considered “colorful”
    Until then you’re just a slob”

    Winning changes the perception of everything.

    This is such a strawman.

    I’m not talking about putting up with difficult personality types. I’m talking about players refusing to buy into the coaches system. The team is never going to get to point B to test your wonderful theory on talented a-holes winning Cups unless they solve this ‘buy-in’ issue.

    And who WANTS to cheer for a-holes? I’m not cheering for the jersey alone. If I don’t like the people that populate those jerseys, there’s no point in being a fan. And trust me, Eakins is really testing my capacity to support a team when it’s clearly coached by an arrogant lil prick.

  75. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: Giordano and Brodie are an excellent top pair.

    They’d be a top pair are more than one playoffs team imo.

    On a generally not good team CAL outshoots their opponents when Gio and Brodie are on the ice and it’s usually against the other team’s best.

    Do you have a point?

  76. Bag of Pucks says:

    icecastles: Totally irrelevant.

    I’m not sure if your real concern here is with the “honour” element, or the fact that they are making so much money to play hockey.

    You’re right on the money here, specifically the ‘I’m not sure’ part.

  77. stevezie says:

    Bag of Pucks: Why can’t it be both?

    It can be both, but we can only verify one. I can see the talent isn’t there. If you would like to argue that the coaching is not optimizing what talent exists, fill your boots, but I think I am a knowledgeable to confidently say the team lacks good players.

    I don’t know what the culture is like, and neither do you. We have an idea- we can see it isn’t a real physical team, we can see it is somewhat fragile, that it loves garbage time, but those seem more like personnel issues/side-effects of personnel issues than anything else.

    Issues deeper than that, such as leadership, or personal chemistry, or entitlement, or buy-in… all that stuff is pure, 100% conjecture.

    As a fan, I do not enjoy discussing unverifiable ideas. Maybe one guy hates another, maybe someone got with someone else’s wife, maybe religion is an issue… all of this stuff is possible, but we have absolutely no way of knowing, so speculating on “culture” is not moving the conversation forward, it is just whipping it around in a circle.

    If that’s your thing, though, go nuts. We’re fans to have fun, far be it for me to tell you how to do that.

  78. book¡je says:

    icecastles,

    I agree, the good ol’ days were not always so great – indeed, I would suggest we live in the most civil time in all of history.

  79. Bag of Pucks says:

    Stevezie, the coach expects the kids to backcheck. Often they don’t. That seems pretty verifiable to me.

  80. Mr DeBakey says:

    Bag of Pucks: Do you have a point?

    Uh oh
    Someone has embarked upon that Sea of Misery known as a “discussion” with Bag o’ Pucks.

  81. speeds says:

    oliveoilers: You don’t say to a professional hockey player “turn up to camp kid, but no matter how well you do, you’re not making the team.”Carrot, meet stick.If the kid’s ready, he’s ready.Let’s judge someone on their actions, it’s the flip side of accountability.(How I shudder every time that word is used in a sports reference.)We can’t know yet how the camp will shake down.Wouldn’t have said Marincin would be ready this year, but here we are….

    If the Oilers were of the same mind as you, do you think they would (a) have sent Arcobello to the minors or (b) not recalled him as yet?

  82. art vandelay says:

    They get paid millions of dollars to play a game. I’m absolutely 100% fine with them having more market restrictions on them as a result.

    So you don’t have any real principles. You just figure “fug ‘em cause they’re rich.” Nice. Where’s the salary cutoff point in your worldview?

  83. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Couple of sum up thoughts.

    1. Nurse looks like a very good talent. We are a terrible team. THESE ARE SEPARATE THINGS!

    Stopping putting them together.

    You want a better hockey team?

    Stop pulling this crap. Stop giving yourself problems.

    You know what is a real problem? Penciling in a rookie 19 year old with no pro experience against men in the NHL.

    You know what isn’t a real problem? Nurse being upset over being sent down.

    There are ways to make it clear to a young player that he is valuable to the future, that you think he is really good and nearly there and not that far away and also let him know that the present demands are paramount: a) you need to develop; b) we need NHL defensemen.

    2) In the worst case scenario “Culture” is a minor issue. It has no where near the amount of importance granted it. It is a shell game.

    It is either a cynical dodge for failure. Or, a critical failure of analysis.

    It is utterly unserious to allow something as fickle, ephemeral and biased as culture to dominate a conversation about the Oilers.

    These are narratives. We don’t do that here. “They wanted it more” isn’t good enough. Not here. Take that somewhere else.

    3. As WG pointed out the other day, via Parkatti… talent, esp. on the D is the problem:

    https://twitter.com/mparkatti/status/447803301132660736

    Calgary has these guys:

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/596/tj-brodie
    http://www.extraskater.com/player/416/mark-giordano

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/calgary-flames/2013#player-usage-chart

    we have Petry and half a year of a raw, rookie blue.

    we have nothing. we have it because Tambo offloaded every useful D-man he ever met and a lot of fans cheered him on for clearing out “culture problems”

    (stats.hockeyanalysis.com is down can’t do the wowy comparison)

    4. It’s not about culture. It’s about talent.

  84. Bag of Pucks says:

    art vandelay:
    They get paid millions of dollars to play a game. I’m absolutely 100% fine with them having more market restrictions on them as a result.

    So you don’t have any real principles. You just figure “fug ‘em cause they’re rich.” Nice. Where’s the salary cutoff point in your worldview?

    Wow, this community is really specializing in strawmen today. I guess that’s the after effects of a bad loss.

    To be clear, there’s no victims here. Professional hockey players know what the restrictions are when they sign up for this life. Yep, they could get traded. Yep, they could get drafted to play in a city they don’t prefer. If they do, I would counsel them to not sign extended term contracts to play in that market as it’s disingenuous if their intention is to demand a trade midway through the agreement.

    If hockey players don’t like the limitations intrinsic to that career, they’re free like the rest of the world to take another path.

    But, by all means, go ahead and continue to argue the plight of professional athletes as if they’re somehow on the front lines of labour inequity.

  85. stevezie says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I relate that to personnel, but I can see how you could call backchecking a culture issue.

    To reiterate, I am not saying culture doesn’t exist,or it couldn’t be a problem, or it couldn’t be a very serious problem. I am saying we can’t know enough about it to make many meaningful statements. It’s trying to define a fog.

    We can, however, tear the defence up all day long, or wonder why Jones is still on the team, and so on.

  86. art vandelay says:

    The 8-1L has nothing to do with it. Having principles does.
    You see someone making “lots” of money compared to whatever you’re scratching out, and you figure that person shouldn’t enjoy the same kind of freedom to sell his labour to the highest bidder that I do.
    You should run for the NDP in the next provincial election.

  87. VanOil says:

    A win now Summer;

    2014 1st for Tyler Myers
    2015 1st for Dmitri Kulikov
    Sam Gagner for Brock Nelson a larger possession player.

    Tinker with UFA vets for the bottom 6 forwards if you must.

    Myers-Kulikov
    Marincin-Petry
    Ference-Schultz

    That is a big defense that can skate and pass. Nelson is young but is putting up good possession #s on a bad team. Add in WGs with or without analysis of the teams possession #s with a good D this would be a win now and in the future team. With the Young guns still here, home grown Coke Machines being bottled in OKC and lots of defensive prospects. Stu should spend lots of late round picks on European Goal tenders until they luck into one.

  88. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    slopitch:
    To Tambellini’s defense, you don’t draft a D over Hall or Nuge and he was overruled on Murray.No one would complain about Pitlick if he was Brandon Saad, I think the problem here is just balance.The D is so bad that the forwards aren’t able develop.

    The issue with the D and Tambo isn’t related to drafting.

    No one is saying draft Gudbranson, Larsen and Murray (for example) would have worked out better.

    The issue is that he inherited this roster:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000412008.html

    and found a way to turn: Pitkanen, Souray, Gilbert and Lubo (traded to EDM 2 days before Tambo took over) into nothing… absolutely nothing.

  89. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Hmmm. That is too narrow a view. Let’s not use ‘culture’ but systems/morale/cohesiveness/leadership versus talent. Was Philly’s change in results post Laviolette simply talent or something else? Is Vancouver’s demise under a new coach talent or something else? There is a rhythm, chemistry, harmony – whatever you might call it that has to be fused to a collection of individual talents to make it all work. Talent is a really big deal (and Oilers don’t have enough yet – we agree on that), but the other parts are so vital to the process. Compressed tournaments like the Olympics illustrate this in a huge way I think. I know its not measurable, but its very real and very important.

  90. Glock9 says:

    Yup,, Saturday nights game was hard to watch. Getting thumped by one your long time rivals is HARD on the soul.

    The hardest part for me tho was the hissy fit thrown on the bench by the coach (??) You got my suit wet, my hair wet and CBC is here, were on HNIC !!! Sit there until you apoligize to me !!!

    As a lifelong Oiler Fan, THAT was the the ultimate embarrasment !!!

    This is NOT a coach. NOT a leader. Not anyone on this team wants to get behind.

    Draft, acquire whoever the hell you want. Nothing will change as long as the arrogant, stubborn ass is throwing tantrums trying to get HIS way is behind the bench.

  91. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Hmmm. That is too narrow a view. Let’s not use ‘culture’ but systems/morale/cohesiveness/leadership versus talent. Was Philly’s change in results post Laviolette simply talent or something else? Is Vancouver’s demise under a new coach talent or something else? There is a rhythm, chemistry, harmony – whatever you might call it that has to be fused to a collection of individual talents to make it all work. Talent is a really big deal (and Oilers don’t have enough yet – we agree on that), but the other parts are so vital to the process. Compressed tournaments like the Olympics illustrate this in a huge way I think.

    If you want a systems analysis, I’m down with that. Addressed it above in response to another false narrative (that everyone has regressed under Eakins).

    I’m entirely open to taking a look under the hood of the systems of this team and I’m on the record since forever suggesting the coaches all should have been exposed to a rigorous interview process in the Summer.

    This is a separate question. One that demands a lot of careful analysis and attn. to detail. Look at Dellow’s work on Hemsky last year, or on Hall this year. That’s about trying to find out what is causing results to unfold.

    It also has nothing to do with “culture” narratives. It’s empirical, testable, repeatable, etc. ie., it has value and adds it to the conversation.

    “Old manning” a talentless group to grow up or try harder isn’t adding anything.

  92. Bag of Pucks says:

    art vandelay:
    The 8-1L has nothing to do with it. Having principles does.
    You see someone making “lots” of money compared to whatever you’re scratching out, and you figure that person shouldn’t enjoy the same kind of freedom to sell his labour to the highest bidder that I do.
    You should run for the NDP in the next provincial election.

    You seem to be a real big fan of throwing up strawmen and putting words in other people’s mouths that suit your argument. You should grab a green card and run for the Republican party.

    From your comments, am I to deduce that you’re in favour of abolishing the amateur draft, as clearly that flies in the face of non-restrictive labour practices?

    I’m going to boil my point down very simple as people misinterpreting it to suit their own agendas is getting really tiresome. A) Know the rules B) Play by the rules C) Honour your word

  93. Bruce McCurdy says:

    regwald:
    Anyone else see the Oil Kings game on the weekend ?

    This was Bob Stauffer’s tweet after Sunday’s game.

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 16h

    Leon Draisaitl of the PA Raiders putting on a show in the third at Rexall Place. A threat every time he is on the ice.

    I certainly saw the hard work on the first goal yesterday when he set it up, but I did not see the “threat every time he is on the ice” part at all.

    I think the Oil Kings kept him in check pretty well both games. Maybe Bruce can add some thoughts ?

    The Oil Kings, the best defensive squad in the WHL, assigned their top shutdown defenceman (Griffin Reinhart) and their top all-around forward (Curtis Lazar) to match up exclusively against Draisaitl and mates (which in fairness usually included Josh Morrissey as both teams deployed five-man units in the key match-up). Reinhart, Lazar, and Morrissey are all first-round draft choices, and Draisaitl is going to be.

    It was a hell of a battle. Reinhart had a fabulous game yesterday, and still ended up -1 in the 3-1 win. The Oil Kings have more depth than the Raiders, and that showed in both games. But I thought Draisaitl looked mighty good, and it took a good game plan and good players to hold him in check. Oh, and good goaltending too.

  94. Bag of Pucks says:

    Glock9:
    Yup,, Saturday nights game was hard to watch.Getting thumped by one your long time rivals is HARD on the soul.

    The hardest part for me tho was the hissy fit thrown on the bench by the coach (??)You got my suit wet, my hair wet and CBC is here, were on HNIC !!!Sit there until you apoligize to me !!!

    As a lifelongOiler Fan, THAT was the the ultimate embarrasment !!!

    This is NOT a coach. NOT a leader. Not anyone on this team wants to get behind.

    Draft, acquire whoever the hell you want. Nothing will change as long as the arrogant, stubborn ass is throwing tantrums trying to get HIS way is behind the bench.

    But Hall’s tantrum is perfect acceptable?

  95. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: A) Know the rules B) Play by the rules C) Honour your word

    How do you feel about a team that has agreed to a NMC asking a player to waive it so they can dump him?

  96. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy: How do you feel about a team that has agreed to a NMC asking a player to waive it so they can dump him?

    Don’t agree with it. Offer to waive should come at the player’s behest or not at all.

  97. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy: The Oil Kings, the best defensive squad in the WHL, assigned their top shutdown defenceman (Griffin Reinhart) and their top all-around forward (Curtis Lazar) to match up exclusively against Draisaitl and mates (which in fairness usually included Josh Morrissey as both teams deployed five-man units in the key match-up). Reinhart, Lazar, and Morrissey are all first-round draft choices, and Draisaitl is going to be.

    It was a hell of a battle. Reinhart had a fabulous game yesterday, and still ended up -1 in the 3-1 win. The Oil Kings have more depth than the Raiders, and that showed in both games. But I thought Draisaitl looked mighty good, and it took a good game plan and good players to hold him in check. Oh, and good goaltending too.

    I wish one of the major networks would show these games.

    I had to read the boxcars listings on the WHL website.

    I thought the goaltending must have been a story as the Raiders broke even with the OKs, which is a feat in-itself for the Raiders. Not only are the OKs a much better team, they have a much better goaltender.

    Still, sounds like one of those late 90s Oiler teams vs. Dallas playoff series… as in the Raiders may get swept but it doesn’t sound like they are getting embarrassed.

  98. Bag of Pucks says:

    stevezie:
    Bag of Pucks,

    I relate that to personnel, but I can see how you could call backchecking a culture issue.

    To reiterate, I am not saying culture doesn’t exist,or it couldn’t be a problem, or it couldn’t be a very serious problem. I am saying we can’t know enough about it to make many meaningful statements. It’s trying to define a fog.

    We can, however, tear the defence up all day long, or wonder why Jones is still on the team, and so on.

    Fully agree, adherence to system and personnel are closely related.

    I can fully appreciate how a discussion of this lacking the proper context is aggravating. I feel the same way when I read the same knee jerk comments calling for Eakins’ head after every loss. I’ve yet to deduce how firing the HC stops Schultz from giving the puck away or Gagner from losing a faceoff, but I’m sure there’s a correlation there somewhere.

  99. FastOil says:

    Woodguy: By all reports Denis Potvin was a true asshole and Tonelli was a bit of a prick too.

    They won because they were the best players.

    The biggest problem with the culture in EDM is that they lose.

    Losing breeds contrmpt (correct or not) for your co-workers and management.

    Winning solves all kind of fuzzy issues like “culture” because when you win no one really gives a fuck about the little things.

    “Your showers shoes have fungus and they’re gross.
    Clean your shower shoes.
    If you win 20 in the show then you can do whatever you want and will be considered “colorful”
    Until then you’re just a slob”

    Winning changes the perception of everything.

    Chicago, Pittsburgh, LA, Boston all sucked fairly recently. 5 average NHL players and 2 competent assistant coaches make this a respectable team. The fact this seems like climbing Mt Everest says a lot about the org.

  100. Halfwise says:

    So last year around this time the Oilers go in to YYC and wipe the Flames 8 – 2.

    This year the Flames come here and return the favour. But somehow there is something significant about the Flames that the Oilers should learn from.

    And Eakins is blamed for showing no emotion, except when he shows emotion, whereupon he is blamed for not controlling himself.

    Tambellini dug a huge hole. I am embarrassed that there were times I defended him. His errors were mostly sins of omission as waiver players strolled past. Oh, except for all the times he traded actual NHL players for hope ‘n’ change.

    MacT has made a few mistakes but they are sins of commission, taking actions that were the best he thought he could do at the time. The Eakins one is the most debatable decision he made; what if he had gone for Tortorella instead? Structured, experienced NHL coach. Of if he’d left RK in place? The team would still be broken for lack of an NHL calibre defense.

    Do whatever it takes to get someone better than Giordano on defense, preferably LD, before training camp and see how the Oilers compare to the Flames next season.

    Winning cures all sorts of conflicts, and this team can’t win without a proper three-discipline first defenseman with a left shot.

  101. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bohologo: I salute your creative solutions here BoP, but here’s the flaw with this suggestion for Art: nobody on this side of the border is going to vote for a dirty foreigner immigrant.Especially among the GOP.

    What about Ah-nold?

  102. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bohologo: So…maybe that was a rhetorical question back there, but I do. Really.

    Esa Tikkanen.Mark Messier. Even Glen Anderson.

    Raffi Torres. Mike Peca. Bill Guerin.

    Ken Linesman!

    Dave Lumley.Marty McSorely. Jaroslav Pouzar.

    MF Chris Pronger.

    I have been proud to cheer for all of these arseholes. (Especially Linesman, he drove the Flames insane.) As many of them left town, I found them much less appealing, which kind of proves the point.

    If they can play hockey, I welcome a bit ofbad manners on game day. Show me a Cup winning team with an arsehole shortage, and I will recant.

    I realize that metric is somewhat hard to quantify, but there’s got to be a dude with a graph who can prove this.

    I don’t necessarily equate ‘hard to play against’ with ‘a-hole’

    When I say a-hole, I mean the Sean Avery’s, John Rocker’s, and Allen Iverson’s of this world.

    I’ve never had a problem with cheering for a player with a nasty side on the hometeam.

  103. icecastles says:

    Bag of Pucks: who WANTS to cheer for a-holes?

    Vancouverites and Jason Greggor.

  104. icecastles says:

    Glock9: The hardest part for me tho was the hissy fit thrown on the bench by the coach (??) You got my suit wet, my hair wet and CBC is here, were on HNIC !!! Sit there until you apoligize to me !!!
    As a lifelong Oiler Fan, THAT was the the ultimate embarrasment !!!

    Oilers lose 8-1 to the Flames and the biggest embarrassment was two frustrated guys acting frustrated?
    You have a… ‘unique’ perspective on hockey.

  105. Numenius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    I’m entirely open to taking a look under the hood of the systems of this team and I’m on the record since forever suggesting the coaches all should have been exposed to a rigorous interview process in the Summer.

    It also has nothing to do with “culture” narratives. It’s empirical, testable, repeatable, etc. ie., it has value and adds it to the conversation.

    “Old manning” a talentless group to grow up or try harder isn’t adding anything.

    You go too far with this. Culture in the sense of morale makes a huge difference and is indispensable for skill and systems to be effective.

    Ask anyone in the military. Smaller and technologically inferior “insurgents” can beat larger, technologically superior militaries if they have sufficient will (see Afghanistan). Have a look at Clausewitz’s On War or David Hackworth’s Steel my Soldiers’ Hearts. The importance of morale in war and knowing how to inspire it is something that anyone knowledgeable about it acknowledges and preaches.

    That’s why hockey coaches regularly talk about regaining the players’ “swagger,” which is not simply done by winning. That gets the cart before the horse. Winning helps, but you have to get the swagger back to win consistently, you can’t demand that the team win consistently to get the swagger back.

    Krueger had his deficiencies and wasn’t always effective even at this, but this was his bread and butter. You can debate about how central it is, but I think there’s no question it’s pretty darn important.

  106. Caramel Obvious says:

    Glock9:
    Yup,, Saturday nights game was hard to watch.Getting thumped by one your long time rivals is HARD on the soul.

    The hardest part for me tho was the hissy fit thrown on the bench by the coach (??)You got my suit wet, my hair wet and CBC is here, were on HNIC !!!Sit there until you apoligize to me !!!

    As a lifelongOiler Fan, THAT was the the ultimate embarrasment !!!

    This is NOT a coach. NOT a leader. Not anyone on this team wants to get behind.

    Draft, acquire whoever the hell you want. Nothing will change as long as the arrogant, stubborn ass is throwing tantrums trying to get HIS way is behind the bench.

    So many of the criticisms of Eakins boil down to this kind of nonsense, that have the logical structure of: since I hate the coach, therefore, everything the coach does is wrong.

    I am 100% certain that if Eakins had done nothing this very same poster would be complaining about that.

    Criticizing everything undermines all criticisms. There is a segment of the fanbase that has reflexively criticized every thing Eakins has done since he arrived.

  107. nelson88 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: 2) In the worst case scenario “Culture” is a minor issue. It has no where near the amount of importance granted it. It is a shell game.
    It is either a cynical dodge for failure. Or, a critical failure of analysis.
    It is utterly unserious to allow something as fickle, ephemeral and biased as culture to dominate a conversation about the Oilers.
    These are narratives. We don’t do that here. “They wanted it more” isn’t good enough. Not here. Take that somewhere else.

    Please post more often with this kind of thing. I am always looking for reasons to encourage me to spend less time on this site.

  108. icecastles says:

    Caramel Obvious: So many of the criticisms of Eakins boil down to this kind of nonsense, that have the logical structure of: since I hate the coach, therefore, everything the coach does is wrong.

    Completely, totally, 100% agree. This is what I hear when people get their pitchforks out over such arbitrary things.

  109. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bohologo: A puissant response, but I will play the Everything Is Different In California card here.

    Sorry man.

    No need to be sorry. I learned a new word today. Better yet, it’s a word I can use in mixed company that sounds vaguely like pussy. That’s a find.

  110. OilClog says:

    My pitchforks are out for Eakins because he’s a terrible coach for this team.

    Last year we went into the offseason thinking.. Were almost there! A few pieces.

    Now here we are talking about life with only possibly the Nuge left when all is said and done.

    As a fan that has been waiting for 20yrs to see some sort of Oiler success again.. This is unacceptable, this is largely on the coach being in over his head.

    This team isn’t even competitive!

    The Omark led Oilers of a few ugly seasons ago seem like Christmas! This is wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

    Every year this team has progressed in the last few season, this season.. Worse then ever before!

    We have a mismatch for a head coach.

    Yes all the assistants need to go, but so does Eakins.

    I’m not going to ever sit here and agree we now need to ship out or talent to match our new coach! That’s horseshit! We got this incredible talent to keep it! Not have some Toronto Media hype roll in to town and crush everything we’ve been building! FFS!

  111. linkfromhyrule says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    In a sense, it is almost as if a large portion of the fan base has been trained to automatically blame the coach when things go wrong. It is Eakins’ unfortunate situation, where he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. He can thank the previous regime and KLowe for that.

    I feel for Eakins, it is not his fault that he has been unfairly thrust into this situation. When I heard about people heckling his kids and yelling insults at him I was ashamed to call myself an Oilers fan (moreso than normal).

    The torch and pitchfork segment of the fanbase is shameful. People need to realize that a rookie gm, a rookie coach, incompetent assistants, and a horrid defence is bound to fail. Most of the onus on that is on Tambo

  112. book¡je says:

    Ok, I am on record as saying that I would keep Eakins around for another year (or at least a part of year) and see how he does with a better team and better assistants. I also somewhat like the guy in interviews.

    With that said, I do think he was overly dramatic on the bench about a little bit of water – shake it off and get on with it.

  113. Caramel Obvious says:

    I should add that I’m amenable to hearing actual criticisms of the coach. They aren’t generating enough shots and the team hasn’t gotten any better.

    I’m just not willing to accept the blind assertion that this must be the fault of the coach since:

    1) this is a longstanding problem. This year the Oilers at even strength have 26.4 shots/60. Last year it was 26.3. The year before it was 26.8.

    2) Moreover, if you use goals instead of shots, they have still not regressed offensively. This year they have 2.15 goals/60, last year it was 2.07.

    3) It’s not true that every single player has regressed offensively under Eakins. If the shots are the same and the goals are up then everyone can’t be regressing.

    All that said, they haven’t really improved either. Maybe that’s on the coach but it seems to me that requires a counter-factual assumption that can’t be demonstrated empirically. Now that doesn’t mean it isn’t the case, however, it does mean that it requires a theoretical explanation that specifically identifies what Eakins is doing wrong and how doing things differently would provide a different outcome.

    The criticisms I’ve read mostly amount to retrospectively arguing he should have chosen option “B” instead of option “A, conveniently ignoring that option B has its own set of problems. Moreover, insofar as there is an issue with Eakins it isn’t with his lineup choices (other than Arcobello) but with the general disorganization of the team especially in regard to:

    1) zone exits (by far the biggest problem in my opinion)
    2) holding the zone (this has gotten better of late in my opinion)
    3) generating chances off the cycle
    4) zone entries (I’m not convinced the Oilers are worse than other teams at this but they aren’t better either).

    So that’s the bar. If you want to criticize Eakins I’d like to hear how he is responsible for the problem with zone exits. It’s very conceivable that this is the case but we can’t assume he is just because the team is bad.

  114. book¡je says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Eakins holds his marker wrong, that’s enough for me.

  115. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Numenius: You go too far with this. Culture in the sense of morale makes a huge difference and is indispensable for skill and systems to be effective.

    Ask anyone in the military. Smaller and technologically inferior “insurgents” can beat larger, technologically superior militaries if they have sufficient will (see Afghanistan). Have a look at Clausewitz’s On War or David Hackworth’s Steel my Soldiers’ Hearts. The importance of morale in war and knowing how to inspire it is something that anyone knowledgeable about it acknowledges and preaches.

    That’s why hockey coaches regularly talk about regaining the players’ “swagger,” which is not simply done by winning. That gets the cart before the horse. Winning helps, but you have to get the swagger back to win consistently, you can’t demand that the team win consistently to get the swagger back.

    Krueger had his deficiencies and wasn’t always effective even at this, but this was his bread and butter. You can debate about how central it is, but I think there’s no question it’s pretty darn important.

    The writing on partisan warfare is pretty extensive. It has a great deal more to do with leveraging the tactical inefficiencies in the arena of warfare than it does with overarching moral narratives.

    http://nunia.freeshell.org/pdf/cschmitt-theory-of-the-partisan.pdf

    http://smallwarsjournal.com

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=vRg2GDIohVcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=guerrilla+warfare&hl=en&sa=X&ei=f40wU_7zJqWYyAGS9oDoBg&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=guerrilla%20warfare&f=false

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=7mV0j9dpSqsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=guerrilla+warfare&hl=en&sa=X&ei=f40wU_7zJqWYyAGS9oDoBg&ved=0CEQQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=guerrilla%20warfare&f=false

  116. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    nelson88: Please post more often with this kind of thing. I am always looking for reasons to encourage me to spend less time on this site.

    make an argument or don’t bother.

  117. hunter1909 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: The writing on partisan warfare is pretty extensive. It has a great deal more to do with leveraging the tactical inefficiencies in the arena of warfare than it does with overarching moral narratives.

    Nam wasn’t very kind to you, was it?

  118. icecastles says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: make an argument or don’t bother.

    Always so much anger.

  119. Bag of Pucks says:

    book¡je:

    With that said, I do think he was overly dramatic on the bench about a little bit of water – shake it off and get on with it.

    It’s interesting how often in hockey AND life, we take a dimmer view to the retaliation and not the original infraction.

    I agree Eakin’s reaction was excessive, and the results speak for themselves. The team didn’t exactly rally around him after that. Imagine an alternate reality where Eakins laughs it off and says something like “ffs Taylor, it’s not bad enough we’re losing 5-1, now I have to take backwash from you?’ What looked to be divisive, could actually become a team building moment.

    But it’s bears emphasizing that the event never occurs if Hall is able to retain his professionalism. His actions were petulant and counter-productive. Hall’s had a few incidents like that this season and I worry about what it says to his team-mates. What’s implied in the frustration is that he think he’s doing his part, but the rest of the team isn’t pulling their weight, and that frustrates him. That is not leadership – not by a large degree. Leadership is saying ‘the whole team needs to be better, starting with me’ and that’s a narrative I don’t see Hall throwing out there. Watch his press conferences. When the team is failing or under criticism, he uses a lot of ‘we’ and very little if any ‘I’

    I’m not throwing Hall under the bus here. He’s my favorite player (though he is losing some ground to Scrivens on that front), and most of this is the immaturity and impetuousity of youth. Gretzky threw his fair share of tantrums in the day (hence why Cowtown dubbed him ‘Whiner). But I’m not going to apologize for Hall either. The behavior is what it is. It didn’t help the situation Saturday night and it’s not helping the team overall. Taylor needs to channel this frustration into playing better, not throwing water bottles. Hopefully once their cornerstone starts to act like a real ‘pro’ the rest of this young core will follow suit.

  120. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    icecastles: Always so much anger.

    I ain’t mad.

    “I’m on top of the world, ma!”

  121. Lloyd B. says:

    Fasth had collision with Lander in practice and reports suggest a sprained neck. You can’t make this stuff up.

  122. Derek says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    @Romulus Apotheosis

    Except the reality is that ‘culture’ and team buy in are extremely important, hence why it’s rarely the most talented team on paper that wins the Cup. Having a dysfunctional dressing room pulling in opposite direction from the coach is not a recipe for success, and it’s certainly not a ‘hangnail.’

    After Saturday’s game, I truly believe one of this core has to go to get this culture issue sorted once and for all. The question is, which one, and most importantly how does he balance the roster with the return?

    Concluding a sample size of 1, you have determined that one of the teams best players must be moved for the team to improve.

    You could be right, Chicago really took off after they dumped one of Toews or Kane after giving up 8 or more to one of the worst teams in the league.

    Wait…..

    Mr DeBakey: Uh oh
    Someone has embarked upon that Sea of Misery known as a “discussion” with Bag o’ Pucks.

    Oh … Oh god what am I doing?

  123. Caramel Obvious says:

    OilClog:
    My pitchforks are out for Eakins because he’s a terrible coach for this team.

    Last year we went into the offseason thinking.. Were almost there! A few pieces.

    Now here we are talking about life with only possibly the Nuge left when all is said and done.

    As a fan that has been waiting for 20yrs to see some sort of Oiler success again.. This is unacceptable, this is largely on the coach being in over his head.

    This team isn’t even competitive!

    Every year this team has progressed in the last few season, this season.. Worse then ever before!

    We have a mismatch for a head coach.

    Your mistake is in the operating assumption that this team was improving and was close. As has been painstakingly demonstrated over and over again this is not the case. In this case it actually turns out that we have always been at war with Eastasia.

    So the problem might be the coach (see above) but anyone who fools themselves into thinking this team was close and just needs the right guy is in for a rude awakening.

    The bad news is that for all the good MacT with Perron, Gordon and the goalies the continued presence of Jones and Fraser on the roster at the expense of Arcobello and Fedun does not bode well for the future. There’s hope but it is very much tempered.

  124. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: This is such a strawman.

    I’m not talking about putting up with difficult personality types. I’m talking about players refusing to buy into the coaches system. The team is never going to get to point B to test your wonderful theory on talented a-holes winning Cups unless they solve this ‘buy-in’ issue.

    And who WANTS to cheer for a-holes? I’m not cheering for the jersey alone. If I don’t like the people that populate those jerseys, there’s no point in being a fan. And trust me, Eakins is really testing my capacity to support a team when it’s clearly coached by an arrogant lil prick.

    Why is it a strawman?

    Why do you think players refuse to buy into the system? Proof?

    I just think they’re not that good at it.

    And who WANTS to cheer for a-holes?

    I cheered pretty hard for Pronger.

    Biggest prick to play in the NHL since Potvin. Maybe worse.

    He was a prick, but he was our prick.

  125. Andy P says:

    I don’t think there is anything we know that Katz doesn’t. But there is a ton of stuff that Katz knows about the Oilers and the NHL, that we don’t.

    The best that would come out of the conversation, would be for Katz to let us know his rebuild strategy, and the degree to which he has adjusted it since buying the team. Which will never happen, for a variety of powerful reasons.

    So all we can do, as Tier 2 fans, is huff, puff, fart, throw up, curse, swear, argue with each other, and perhaps stop watching the Oilers play in the hope the ratings drop, which will only serve to reduce the cost of advertising on Oilers games as they get shifted to the “off” times or cancelled altogether.

    Tier 1 fans can stop buying tickets, giving fans from opposition teams the opportunity to watch their team come and kick Oiler A$$.
    Perhaps they will lose interest too, and only then will Katz see a significant drop in revenue.

    But before all that takes place, I think he will more likely bail on Edmonton and/or the team, and off the Oilers will go.

  126. icecastles says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I ain’t mad.

    I know, but I wanted to use the link. :)

    I think you’d agree that you don’t like the soft side of things: quantifiability is the litmus test of validity for you. Sometimes this ends up with throwing the baby out with the proverbial bathwater and you discard the soft side (emotion, morale, confidence etc) more than is fair. They can be misleading and overvalued, but I think they can also be undervalued.

    Me, I’m all about soft fluffiness…. think that’s why I liked Penner. Especially when he’d grow that soft fluffy beard….

  127. RT26 says:

    My comments have been said before, but need to be repeated:

    1) Fix the D, Fix the D, Fix the D
    > Sign or trade for two of Markov, Gilbert, Coburn, Hainsey, someone from the Pittsburgh D.
    > Put J Schultz and Marincin on 3rd pair, Coburn and the captain on the second pair with Markov and Petry on the top pair.
    > If I recall, the zone exits were an issue underneath Krueger last year as well.

    2) It’s OK to trade from our surplus of small, skilled forwards to accomplish #1

    3) Sign or trade for a good 2 way #2C. Couturier if you can, Bolland maybe. I am sure that others out there are available.

    4) Let some hungry young forwards like Pitlick, Lander and Horak fight for bottom 3 minutes and sign Winnik and one more tough defensive forward for 3rd line.

    After giving Eakins his choice of assistants and one more full year to make this work, then make judgments about his ability.

  128. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Do you have a point?

    You said:

    Btw, one of the reasons this seems like such a foolish statement to make in such unequivocal terms, is you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that feels the Flames have more ‘talent’ than the Oilers

    And I am pointing out that in one of the most important spots, (maybe the most important spot) CAL’s talent puts EDM in the shade.

    Top pairing D cures many ills.

    See: Pronger and Spacek getting the Oilers to one game from the Cup

    See: Pronger taking 3 different teams to the Cup

    See: DET being amazing with Lidstrom and average without him

    Etc, etc

    CAL’s first pairing D is pretty damn good and has much more talent than EDM.

  129. icecastles says:

    RT26,

    Why do they need to be repeated? I think everyone here is saying more or less the same thing with the exception of keeping Eakins, and at least 1/3 of us are still saying that too.

  130. book¡je says:

    Woodguy,

    But what about fighting, the Oilers are better with fighting with Smac and Gadzic in the lineup.

  131. icecastles says:

    Woodguy: Bag of Pucks:

    I would just like to make the point that I have steadfastly avoided ever making any point whatsoever. Any resemblance to good ideas, current or past, is purely coincidental.

    book¡je: But what about fighting, the Oilers are better with fighting with Smac and Gadzic in the lineup.

    If fighting the puck counts, I’d say we’re among the best in the league.

  132. flyfish1168 says:

    I believe a good owner of any sports team keeps a certain distance away from the team. Most owners know business but don’t know enough to dictate how a team is run. That is why you have a POHO. Owners that are hands on often gets their arrogance get in the way and destroys the team. JMO.

    On another topic. I have been critical about Eakins but today I really feel for Eakins after hearing his interview today. He touched on a few things that sounds humbling and how he talks to his players/family. I hope this is the bottom for him and now the team can move forward. The reset will happen this summer but I hope they give him help and at least a good chunk of next year to straighten this out.

    Hear is the interview.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=46897

  133. G Money says:

    Why is it that so much of the discussion centres on assigning ONE reason why this team is bad (or alternatively, allowing that there are many things wrong but ONE is the most important and all the rest are “hangnails”?)

    This is a 29th place team FFS. There are many things wrong. These are probably the top five:

    - The D is obviously the place to start. Two AHL defensemen, and four defenders playing one pairing higher than they should. It looks like the forwards play OK hockey in front of the one decent D pairing that we have.

    - Roster age. Still too young at the most critical positions.

    - The roster age imbalance is a problem. Not enough grizzled vets with man strength and wile to protect the pups.

    - The roster size imbalance is a problem. Not enough size across the board to hang with the big Western teams.

    - The coaching may or may not be a problem. Eakins may not be *the* problem, but on the other hand, the roster has not in fact progressed since Krueger (who was a truly terrible coach whose roster did regress mightily from Renney), suggesting that Eakins hasn’t demonstrated that he’s part of the solution either.

    Of the above problems, only one will fix itself on the Tambo plan.

  134. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: You said:

    And I am pointing out that in one of the most important spots, (maybe the most important spot) CAL’s talent puts EDM in the shade.

    Top pairing D cures many ills.

    See: Pronger and Spacek getting the Oilers to one game from the Cup

    See: Pronger taking 3 different teams to the Cup

    See: DET being amazing with Lidstrom and average without him

    Etc, etc

    CAL’s first pairing D is pretty damn good and has much more talent than EDM.

    No, what I said (in full) is this:

    Btw, one of the reasons this seems like such a foolish statement to make in such unequivocal terms, is you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that feels the Flames have more ‘talent’ than the Oilers. Everyone picked the Flames to finish lower in the standings this season.

    For the sake of argument, let’s even assume the teams have equal talent (with Calgary having more on the back end and the Oil more on the front end). How then do we explain an 8-1 drubbing?

    The answer is very simply, the Flames have bought in to their coaches system and to a man work their ass off to execute it. By contrast, the Oilers on any given night have some players executing the system and some passengers along for the ride – cheating for offense.

    So, I guess what I’m to glean from your point is that either A) you believe the Flames have more talent than the Oilers or B) they have less talent overall, but more in two crucial positions that swings the balance in their favour?

    Even were I to concede the Flames have the talent advantage (which completely overlooks the Oilers having the better pedigree forwards and goaltending), you’ve yet to address how this explains an 8-1 drubbing?

  135. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    We all need some southern love today.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abwC5mwlg94

    That Calgary game doesn’t matter. Forget about it. Enjoy the draft, enjoy Toronto going into an epic tailspin, enjoy Vancouver finding so much sour luck people have already stopped talking about them.

    There’s lots to enjoy.

  136. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: … Toronto … Vancouver … There’s lots to enjoy.

    For Oiler fans, translates as “misery loves company” and “karma’s a bitch.”

  137. flyfish1168 says:

    RT26: My comments have been said before, but need to be repeated:1) Fix the D, Fix the D, Fix the D> Sign or trade for two of Markov, Gilbert, Coburn, Hainsey, someone from the Pittsburgh D.> Put J Schultz and Marincin on 3rd pair, Coburn and the captain on the second pair with Markov and Petry on the top pair.> If I recall, the zone exits were an issue underneath Krueger last year as well.2) It’s OK to trade from our surplus of small, skilled forwards to accomplish #13) Sign or trade for a good 2 way #2C. Couturier if you can, Bolland maybe. I am sure that others out there are available.4) Let some hungry young forwards like Pitlick, Lander and Horak fight for bottom 3 minutes and sign Winnik and one more tough defensive forward for 3rd line.After giving Eakins his choice of assistants and one more full year to make this work, then make judgments about his ability.

    All good ideas. But we have been at this painful rebuild awhile and maybe a little longer would help us sustain a very long run. I rather this than trade away key pieces and have a short run and then we are right back at another rebuild/ retool. The Wings and Sharks have two of the longest runs of success. That is because they build their depth through the draft and are able to trade that depth for key pieces. We can’t make a trade at this moment and get 1.25 to the dollar. As painful as it is we can’t panic and trade away for other teams spare parts. They see value in Eberle, Schulz and Yak. We don’t because we are losing.

  138. flyfish1168 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: We all need some southern love today.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abwC5mwlg94That Calgary game doesn’t matter. Forget about it. Enjoy the draft, enjoy Toronto going into an epic tailspin, enjoy Vancouver finding so much sour luck people have already stopped talking about them.There’s lots to enjoy.

    So true. people forget how we humbled them phlegms last year back to back with a 8-2 beatdown at the saddledome. So payback is a bitch. One game so what. This is just another lesson for a young team.

  139. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: Why is it a strawman?

    Why do you think players refuse to buy into the system?Proof?

    I just think they’re not that good at it.

    And who WANTS to cheer for a-holes?

    I cheered pretty hard for Pronger.

    Biggest prick to play in the NHL since Potvin.Maybe worse.

    He was a prick, but he was our prick.

    It’s a strawman because my point was not talking about the Oilers’ difficulties as they related to difficult personalities or personality types.

    It was talking about when culture issues prevent individuals from adhering to a system and/or team philosophy – and how that ultimately impedes positive results.

    You want ‘proof’ of this. Ok, coach tells the team they have to shoot the puck at the opposing net to have a chance at winning. Team chooses to shoot pucks at their own net instead.

    You do the math.

  140. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    icecastles: I know, but I wanted to use the link.

    I think you’d agree that you don’t like the soft side of things: quantifiability is the litmus test of validity for you. Sometimes this ends up with throwing the baby out with the proverbial bathwater and you discard the soft side (emotion, morale, confidence etc) more than is fair. They can be misleading and overvalued, but I think they can also be undervalued.

    Me, I’m all about soft fluffiness…. think that’s why I liked Penner. Especially when he’d grow that soft fluffy beard….

    I don’t discount this stuff… I just refuse to give it the time of day while I don’t have a roof over my head, I’m eating day old rats and I haven’t been able to find a decent relish over the past 8 years.

    Sort out the real problems. Make the playoffs on true talent with some consistency, then we can start worrying about the misspelled tattoos on the kids

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/brad-marchand-confirms-his-stanley-cup-tattoo-wasnt-spell-checked?urn=nhl,wp13420

    and whether they party too much

    http://www.torontosun.com/2013/08/01/emotional-kaner-apologizes-for-party-hard-past

    or whatever. Until then… it’s just all so much nonsense.

  141. Numenius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: The writing on partisan warfare is pretty extensive. It has a great deal more to do with leveraging the tactical inefficiencies in the arena of warfare than it does with overarching moral narratives.

    I don’t see how you get that conclusion.

    I agree that tactics are huge.

    Hackworth was at the cutting edge of counter-insurgency warfare during the Vietnam era and he stresses them repeatedly, especially the fundamentals. http://www.amazon.com/The-Vietnam-Primer-David-Hackworth/dp/0974099600

    But if you read his first person stories about fighting a war day to day (Korea, ‘nam, …), they’re loaded with everyday examples of improving morale (sometimes related to tactics, sometimes not) and stories of morons who undermine it. http://www.amazon.ca/Steel-Soldiers-Hearts-Transformation-Battalion/dp/0743246136

    I didn’t look closely to confirm in every case, but the books/articles you mention seem specifically to be about tactics, not about whether tactics are more important than “overarching moral narratives”, which are more general to war, not specific to counter-insurgency/insurgency/partisan war.

    I’m no expert on this stuff though.

  142. vangolf says:

    icecastles: I know, but I wanted to use the link.

    I think you’d agree that you don’t like the soft side of things: quantifiability is the litmus test of validity for you. Sometimes this ends up with throwing the baby out with the proverbial bathwater and you discard the soft side (emotion, morale, confidence etc) more than is fair. They can be misleading and overvalued, but I think they can also be undervalued.

    Me, I’m all about soft fluffiness…. think that’s why I liked Penner. Especially when he’d grow that soft fluffy beard….

    I think sometimes it just boils down to tone. Rom’s “These are narratives. We don’t do that here. “They wanted it more” isn’t good enough. Not here. Take that somewhere else.” comes off a bit more arrogant than perhaps he wanted it to. Given the many posters who argue the subjective, I’m not sure they can be excluded from the “we” and be told leave the discussion.

  143. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Here’s a Draisaitl video for all you enthusiasts:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=583895&catid=4

    I literally don’t see how anyone could manage to not swoon over this kid.

  144. Bag of Pucks says:

    Also, those kind of comments seemingly ignore the fact that ‘qualitative analysis’ is a valid science and methodology. Good qualitative analysis should shed additional light on quantitative analysis and vice versa.

    There’s things we can’t quantify in this existence with math and it doesn’t stop us from acknowledging their existence.

  145. fifthcartel says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/03/23/hockey-world-big-centre-draisaitl-would-be-perfect-fit-for-oilers/

    Matty wrote about him again here.

    “Unless both players are gone by the time it’s their turn to pick on June 27, the Oilers will sing out the name of Draisaitl or Barrie Colts defenceman Aaron Ekblad.”

    I feel like he’s gonna be the pick.

  146. jake70 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Here’s a Draisaitl video for all you enthusiasts:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=583895&catid=4

    I literally don’t see how anyone could manage to not swoon over this kid.

    Hey, I know you have mentioned more than once Barbashev in draft talk in here. Just got a free ticket to tonight’s game vs. Blainville. Buddy of mine’s girlfriend is the team physio for the Wildcats and “found him a couple of tickets” ;-). Seems I was 4th on his call list..lol. Anyway will take some mental notes on Barbashev. 5 points in 2 playoff games so far. Maybe the Oil win out the string and will be in his range? Nah, maybe not.

  147. regwald says:

    Bruce McCurdy: regwald

    Thanks for your comments Bruce. I wasn’t as gushing and definitely knew they Oil Kings deployed their best against him.

    Thought Jarry was not as sharp on Saturday afternoon as he was last night.

  148. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Numenius,

    Well, I’m no expert either.

    But from my limited reading, even from recent first person narratives:

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=d2Ux1lz0PUgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=sling+and+stone&hl=en&sa=X&ei=raAwU6H5H6rQ2wWn-IB4&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=sling%20and%20stone&f=false

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=evtlSoQIAdcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=utility+of+force&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pKAwU6uJDa-H2AXDq4DICg&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=utility%20of%20force&f=false

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=X0jMW5GdWIwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=this+man's+army&hl=en&sa=X&ei=vKAwU8uOA8Sd2QXvuYE4&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=this%20man's%20army&f=false

    the revolution in limited/partisan/small warfare was driven largely by structural and tactical advantages seized upon, part of which is weaponizing civilian and troop sentiment.

    I’m not really sure how far to stretch the analogy… but as a heuristic recall that various arguments against female and homosexual forces are almost entirely reliant upon narrates related to “troop cohesion and culture”

  149. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Here’s a Draisaitl video for all you enthusiasts:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=583895&catid=4

    I literally don’t see how anyone could manage to not swoon over this kid.

    This is how it started with me and Pouliot.

  150. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    you’ve yet to address how this explains an 8-1 drubbing?

    The puck went in the net.

    A lot.

    I’m pretty comfortable that Fasth won’t put up a .688 and Scrivens won’t put up a .800 on a regular basis.

    It was a close game until the 1st goal in the 2nd, the (weak call) penalty shot, and then every puck was a seeing eye puck and the balloon was deflated.

    Shit happens.

    Ask CHI was they let Gagner put up 8 on them one night.

    They’d probably give a similar story.

    Shit happens.

    I don’t know why people need more explanation.

    They Oilers fell apart.

  151. icecastles says:

    Lowetide: This is how it started with me and Pouliot.

    Burn!

  152. VanOil says:

    The Team culture debate bores me. Winning solves everything. The two ‘Faces of the Franchise’ Hall and Eberle have not had much NHL success but have shown significant desire to win in there previous careers.

    To start wining the team needs to fix its defense, as LT stated this is something a rebuilding team should do first. Fix the D and the kids are likely to stop kicking the dogs so much, as per Parkatti and WG.

    My bid to fix the D this afternoon based on Dellow’s Schultz/Petry article http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6825 is:

    Trade Schultz for Kulikov. Both RFA both possible 1st pairing D. Kulikov closer to achieving this, Schultz with higher offensive upside. Sign Kulikov to a long term medium money contract.

    Trade the 2015 1st round draft pick for Tyler Myers. I believe Gords will not bequeath us McDavid and with adding these two NHL defenders it should not be a top 5 pick. Making it fair value for Myers.

    Sign Petry for medium term medium money. Sign Simpson.

    Draft the German Cowboy. Trade Gagner now for a different player type or in the future to restock the prospect/draft pick pool. (I would keep him to shelter the German)

    Myers-Kulikov
    Petry-Marincin
    Ferrence-Kelfbom/Belov

    A real D men on the power play, even if it is only one of them, should help. It can’t get worse.

  153. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Scrivens worth a watch (increasingly we need to say “as always”)

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=585336&catid=4

    he’s got a real good handle on “luck” and he’s smart enough to be actually saying it with feeling rather than mouthing words.

  154. Thinker says:

    Taking emotion out of it, i think the right move is to trade hall, eberle and gagner for defence. I won’t for a second knock the choice of bpa at the draft. The time may have come to cash out picks out for defence, and surround that defence with forwards from this years draft. Just as an example, Hall probably gets you back more than fowler today. Maybe we go hall for OEL and sonething, eberle for cobourn and something, and gagner for gardiner and something. Then we would draft reinhart or other bpa.
    Thats all just conjecture though, and i think the smartest move is to reshape the organization. I would clear out the front office, and bring in all knew guys from the gm down to assistant coach. Unfortunately MacT would get caught in the crossfire. I would give those new guys a year to tweak the team without making major moves, and if after that give them a chance to make bigger deals. The reason for the assessment year is to prevent a gm from trying to put his stamp on the team ala the Ricky Ray deal.

  155. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    jake70: Hey, I know you have mentioned more than once Barbashev in draft talk in here. Just got a free ticket to tonight’s game vs. Blainville.Buddy of mine’s girlfriend is the team physio for the Wildcats and “found him a couple of tickets”;-). Seems I was 4th on his call list..lol. Anyway will take some mental notes on Barbashev. 5 points in 2 playoff games so far.Maybe the Oil win out the string and will be in his range?Nah, maybe not.

    He looks like a gem.

    LT has him around 7 and that’s around where I’d be happy to take him too… but most of the services have him in the teens. He could end up being a steal.

    I look forward to your scouting report! enjoy the game.

  156. Numenius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Here’s a Draisaitl video for all you enthusiasts:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=583895&catid=4

    I literally don’t see how anyone could manage to not swoon over this kid.

    I admit it, I’m an enthusiast.

    Any concerns about his skating? Draisaitl himself says it’s a weakness. The Matheson article poo poo’d it (listing successful slow NHLers, e.g. Kopitar), but that could be letting one’s enthusiasm get ahead of one’s rational faculties.

  157. denny33 says:

    Agree with G. Money that there is no way this all lies at Eakins feet,with that said:

    1. No sane person can say our – elite ? – young core has made any gains this year.

    2. Sean Horcoff, Eric Belanger, Ryan Whitney and MPS – nobody can convince me that Dallas does not have a better roster to work with. I think Sean will retire this summer.

    3. Oilers sit 29th in the NHL. ( every professional coach will say you are paid to win games )

    4. Name one area of the Oilers that has improved? (besides goaltending ) Incredibly lengthy training camp followed by mini-camp post Olys.

    *********************************************************************************************
    The Pitsburgh Penguins had so many injuries on D this year – they were dressing fans in the stands some nights….funny thing happened – they kept winning. I believe at one point their whole top 4 D was out …..All of them.

    Nobody believes more than me how many holes we have in our roster…..however, there is NOTHING in the roster makeup to justify 29th in a 30 team league.

    Which is why – even in Winnipeg – the tire fire in Edmonton is much discussed…..

    Just to reiterate – this is not to lay total blame for this disaster at the feet of Eakins but like G Money says -there were no solutions from Eakins this year. Tip of the cap to Arco.

  158. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    fifthcartel:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/03/23/hockey-world-big-centre-draisaitl-would-be-perfect-fit-for-oilers/

    Matty wrote about him again here.

    “Unless both players are gone by the time it’s their turn to pick on June 27, the Oilers will sing out the name of Draisaitl or Barrie Colts defenceman Aaron Ekblad.”

    I feel likehe’s gonna be the pick.

    That’s a fun read. This stood out:

    ““Draisaitl sometimes looks like he’s cruising, but his top-speed is fine … they said the same thing about Kopitar,” said a veteran NHL scout, who figures Draisaitl will grow into his body.”

    and this for the meat enthusiasts:

    ““He likes to come down the right side and he’s got a great backhand … you should see his stick blade. It’s long and fat, like a paddle,” said one longtime NHL bird dog. “Really powerful, strong … when you get a piece of him, he keeps on going. He doesn’t get knocked off stride like a smaller centre.””

    Sounds like he’s “physical” enough.. just not in the “taking names and killing guys” way.

  159. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Numenius: I admit it, I’m an enthusiast.

    Any concerns about his skating? Draisaitl himself says it’s a weakness. The Matheson article poo poo’d it (listing successful slow NHLers, e.g. Kopitar), but that could be letting one’s enthusiasm get ahead of one’s rational faculties.

    No. I think it’s a real concern.

    BUT… we need to be clear about a few things.

    1) from the sounds of it, he isn’t fast. speed kills in the NHL.

    2) skating, as RNH and Gazdic both show, can mean a lot of things. Gazdic is a lot faster than RNH, but RNH can do pirouettes around him.

    From all accounts, Draisaitl is very strong at protecting the puck, positioning and getting into areas of need… that would seem to indicate his brain and edge work are very good.

    3) some players die for a lack of speed. Others manage to “slow the game down” because they are so good at the possession game. Kopitar comes to mind.

    The question isn’t so much, is he fast, but can he compensate for it? sounds like the scouts think he can… but it is certainly a item to keep an eye on and to invest in some power classes.

  160. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Sounds like he’s “physical” enough.. just not in the “taking names and killing guys” way.

    That’s the kind of physical we need. Not face punching physical, but can’t-be-knocked-off-the-puck physical.

    Hope we get him. Let the Hall-RNH-Ebs trio run, and in a few years we can try to create jokes that start with “A French-Canadian, a German, and a Tatar walk into a bar”.

    denny33: 1. No sane person can say our – elite ? – young core has made any gains this year.

    This is true, BUT bear in mind – our veterans did improve from last year (e.g. Hemsky), and the veteran guys who were already schooled in defensive systems (Gordon, Perron, Hendricks) appear to be having excellent seasons. Perron’s scoring at a career high.

    That’s part of what makes assessing Eakins so difficult.

  161. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy:
    Bag of Pucks,

    you’ve yet to address how this explains an 8-1 drubbing?

    Shit happens.

    Ask CHI was they let Gagner put up 8 on them one night.

    They’d probably give a similar story.

    Shit happens.

    I don’t know why people need more explanation.

    They Oilers fell apart.

    Explanation is needed because there are folks that like to bandy about absolute truths like “it’s the roster” and “culture is not the problem, talent is” but when confronted with examples of results that don’t jibe with these absolute truths, they then fall back on ‘shit happens’

    The problem with these ‘absolute truths’ in a human endeavour like professional athletics is these maxims don’t take into account the variance associated with the intrinsic imperfection of human beings.

    This hypothesis that talent will always win out CAN be a reliable proxy for results when the endeavour is purely mechanical. The faster car DOES consistently win in F1, but it doesn’t always work this way in human endeavour.

    Drafting the biggest, fastest physical specimen doesn’t guarantee the best player/production on the field/ice/pitch. By the same token, there have been numerous examples of teams that have stocked their roster with expensive free agents achieving the veritable best team on paper – only to fail at the most opportune time.

    Talent is HUGELY important. You don’t get in the conversation without it, and yes, having it provides the opportunity for consistent contention which maximizes the odds of winning it all.

    But it’s not the ONLY thing upon which team success is predicated and it’s especially ironic that someone would argue it is, in relation to the Edmonton Oilers, when this team has provided a textbook example of an org drafting the most ‘talented’ player each season, the additions of which have done absolutely nothing to improve the bottom line results.

    If the argument is that talent is all that matters (i.e. culture does not), then the Oilers should be achieving incremental gains with each incremental addition of talent. The fact there has been no incremental gains despite the obvious talent infusion tells us there are other factors that are equally if not more important to be considered.

    Ever heard of Todd Marinovich?

  162. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks: I know it’s a very old fashioned POV in this day and age, but I’m still of the belief that people should honour the agreements they make and the contracts they sign. So yes, whenever an athlete demands a trade, I feel it’s well within the rights of the paying public to ‘blame them.’ If Hall or Eberle or Nuge or whoever can’t stick this thing out for 6 years, they should’ve signed a shorter deal.

    They don’t have no trade clauses. So it is perfectly fine to request a trade (as long as you don’t threaten to sit out a la Pronger.) Particularly if management and team direction has changed. However, if you asked and received a no trade clause, then it is a different story.

  163. commonfan14 says:

    Bag of Pucks: When I say a-hole, I mean the Sean Avery’s, John Rocker’s, and Allen Iverson’s of this world.

    How did Iverson get in there?

  164. denny33 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Ever heard of Todd Marinovich?
    ***********************************

    Did not consume a Big Mac until College….blew out his knee when he came to Winnipeg

  165. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money: Hope we get him. Let the Hall-RNH-Ebs trio run, and in a few years we can try to create jokes that start with “A French-Canadian, a German, and a Tatar walk into a bar”.

    I like this. I like this a lot.

  166. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: Explanation is needed because there are folks that like to bandy about absolute truths like “it’s the roster” and “culture is not the problem, talent is” but when confronted with examples of results that don’t jibe with these absolute truths, they then fall back on ‘shit happens’

    What absolute truths?

    Put a new needle in your phonograph.

    It’s a simple idea: This team is ailing from a systemic, structural roster problem. Whatever culture issues this team may suffer from are so radically secondary as to be rendered trivial.

    This isn’t a proof of the existence of God. It is a simple empirical statement. It is open to all forms of contest.

    Neither you, nor anyone else has offered a contest formidable enough to justify so much concern over secondary matters.

    We’re out in the open here folks. This isn’t dogma. If you have a credible argument, it will be taken seriously.

  167. Bruce McCurdy says:

    regwald: Bruce

    What impressed me about Draisaitl in 3 out of 3 games that I watched him in the last week was his passing ability. Very calm with the puck, even under pressure, picks out his target and hits it. He didn’t win all his battles, especially vs. Reinhart, but when he gained possession he showed a real knack for finding a teammate in decent-to-excellent position.

  168. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    vangolf: I think sometimes it just boils down to tone.Rom’s “These are narratives. We don’t do that here. “They wanted it more” isn’t good enough. Not here. Take that somewhere else.” comes off a bit more arrogant than perhaps he wanted it to.Given the many posters who argue the subjective, I’m not sure they can be excluded from the “we” and be told leave the discussion.

    This is a very welcoming place. It puts up with me posting here about a lot of nonsense a lot of non-hockey nonsense even. Sometimes we argue about those things too.

    But, one thing that makes this place special is that we hold each other to account. That’s what happens in a really good argument (I don’t mean a husband-wife yelling festival; I mean a bunch of smart people with theories and facts and taking each other seriously). Sometimes the tone of “step up your game” is off… maybe I was here.

    But… we (as a general rule) don’t traffic heavily in rumor and narratives around here. That is a good thing IMO. In either case, you are going to have to show your work.

  169. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10: They don’t have no trade clauses.So it is perfectly fine to request a trade (as long as you don’t threaten to sit out a la Pronger.)Particularly if management and team direction has changed. However, if you asked and received a no trade clause, then it is a different story.

    I’m not making the argument that they’re indentures servants. I’m making the argument that they should honour their promises/agreements/contracts. The ‘trade request’ through back channels (i.e. not a public trade demand) is acceptable if the situation has evolved to the point where the athlete feels a change is merited. If ownership wants to grant the request, and it’s amicable, this can be a win/win for both parties. The Colts parting ways with Manning to draft Luck is a good example of this.

    If however, ownership is not amenable to a trade, and has done nothing of significance to diminish the player’s working environment, I’m of the belief the player should feel obligated to do the right thing (i.e. honour the contract term). And the team not being competitive enough isn’t reason enough imo to demand a trade. Players can develop by sundial, get injured, or never reach their potential and ownership gets the short end of the stick in all those scenarios. Why should ownership accept all the risk for player development and then be witholden to the player’s personal timetable on top of it?

    Realistically, if a player requests a trade, you’re going to do it anyway cos of the detrimental impact of a potential malcontent.

    The Oilers have promised Taylor Hall $42 million. In return, they expect 7 years production from this player, and most likely their expectation is Taylor’s production will be far more valuable to them towards the latter part of the contract (i.e. in his prime) than during the development phase. If Hall were to demand a trade in year 4, he completely breaks with the spirit of the agreement. Does he have the ability and legal right to do this? Absolutely. Does it make it the honourable thing to do? Imho no.

  170. Younger Oil says:

    Brossoit brought up on emergency recall basis…let’s hope it’s just to give him a couple practices with the big club to get a taste of the NHL.

    Good to see them leave Bachman in the minors to give OKC a better chance at the postseason.

  171. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis

    We’re out in the open here folks. This isn’t dogma. If you have a credible argument, it will be taken seriously.

    Great, then take the argument seriously and respond to it. If talent is the only pertinent factor preventing improved performance, why has the consistent annual input of additional talent achieved no incremental gain?

  172. Numenius says:

    In case I haven’t beaten this to death yet… :)

    When I talk about the importance of culture/morale, I mean primarily what Ference says here:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=585336&catid=4

    He talks about not getting too emotionally high in the good times and low and down on yourself or your team in the bad times. Scrivens says that same thing in the interview Rom posted. It’s how you get consistency, they both say.

    That’s the essence of proper culture/morale for me. It’s not whether someone’s an a-hole, gets a tattoo, parties hard, or doesn’t do any of these things. It’s whether they’re consistently competitive night in and night out, regardless of whether things are going well or badly, always learning from mistakes and being motivated to improve.

    I think Eakins gets this too, since that’s exactly what he preaches.

    That’s why I’m not strongly anti-Eakins and pro-Krueger, despite believing that Krueger is better than Eakins in this on the whole. It’s also why I’m pro-Ference (despite his flaws) and especially pro-Scrivens. Scrivens is the ideal representative of this because he has the skill to back it up.

    The question is whether Eakins can deliver.

  173. FastOil says:

    Numenius: I admit it, I’m an enthusiast.

    Any concerns about his skating? Draisaitl himself says it’s a weakness. The Matheson article poo poo’d it (listing successful slow NHLers, e.g. Kopitar), but that could be letting one’s enthusiasm get ahead of one’s rational faculties.

    Don’t forget Kopitar is also a lot taller and bigger framed. It makes a difference. Draisatl is the same height as Reinhart. I worry he fills out more and gets slower. I don’t watch him but I would have the same concern that some have about Ekblad, that his success in junior is based on that he’s 20-30 pounds heavier than a lot of players, a pretty big advantage. That advantage goes away at the next level.

  174. godot10 says:

    J-Bo:

    Calgary brought in a good veteran coach at just the right time and the veterans that were there bought in and the rest followed and they clearly have a cohesive, hard working group. The coaching changes and lack of positive veteran presence have simply destroyed this team. They handed the team to a bunch of young guys who weren’t mature enough to lead and have drowned in the muck and the mire.

    Renney relied on veterans for leadership. They led the team to 30th and 29th.

    Krueger handed the reigns to Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle with essentially the same roster, and led the team to 24th. Hall, freed to lead, had an incredible season. His Corsi was fine relatively, he was 2nd in scoring in the big boy conference,

    MacT and Eakins yanked the leadership back from Hall, and gave it to a new group of veterans, and we are back in 29th.

    Instead of getting Hall and the young guys and Krueger help, MacT screwed up. The team isn’t better defensively. It is worse. Krueger certainly needed help to continuously improve the weak 5×5 play, but MacT set everything back with his impulsive bull-in-a-china-shop return.

    Hall was ready to lead. Lowe and MacT weren’t going to get the credit, so they had to put Hall in his place first.

    Hall has bought in. Eakins has even said so. And MacT and Eakins have made him an ordinary hockey player, instead of the exceptional one he was becoming the previous season, when he had begun turning the ship.

  175. Bag of Pucks says:

    commonfan14: How did Iverson get in there?

    For douchebaggery above and beyond the call of duty. Guy has a rap sheet a mile long, threatened people with guns, beat his wife, etc.

  176. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: Great, then take the argument seriously and respond to it. If talent is the only pertinent factor preventing improved performance, why has the consistent annual input of additional talent achieved no incremental gain?

    1. “the consistent annual input of additional talent” this is a seriously contested statement.

    define this input.

    2. “no incremental gain”

    define gain. define the factors we might consider relevant.

    3. “why”

    assuming we’ve defined 1 and bracketed off things like variance from 2…

    we are left to do things like Dellow has (which I’ve mentioned repeatedly here), i.e., it sure looks like the structural change Eakins/MacT tried to make with Hall and his mates really hurt the team, just as the changes RK made with Hemsky and his mates last year really hurt the team.

    those are tangible explanations for poor performance. They’ve been discussed relentlessly here. We aren’t afraid to discuss shortcomings of the limited talent available to us.

    We are interested in questions about deployment here. That’s why we discuss Gordon’s hellacious zone-starts; Hendricks joining him in the pit of despair; Yak’s sheltering; the weird use of RNH on the PP; etc.

    4. “then take the argument seriously”

    I’m still waiting for an argument to come forward that actually defends the idea that the, or even a, major problem with this team is it’s culture.

  177. G Money says:

    godot10: Krueger handed the reigns to Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle with essentially the same roster, and led the team to 24th. Hall, freed to lead, had an incredible season.

    Uh huh.

    Or maybe the fact that Hall, RNH, Eberle, Schultz all played in the AHL for several months of ‘training camp’ while the rest of the NHL was getting fat sitting on their couches made the difference.

    I would believe your version of the story if the rest of the team also improved, but they didn’t. They fell off a fucking cliff. There was an article posted by (I think Vollman) that showed the line-by-line Corsi of every team in the NHL. The Oiler second through fourth lines under Krueger were the worst in the NHL by a wide wide margin. It wasn’t even close. Players who had previously done fine at possession (Gagner at just shy of breakeven and Hemsky a plus) fell through the floor.

    Your mancrush on Krueger is getting a little embarassing. That team was disorganized and unmotivated pretty much every night. The guy was a fucking awful coach. Just awful.

  178. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosisdefine…etc.

    1. BPA (consensus draft rankings) in the draft
    2. Points in the standing. Goal differential

  179. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    FastOil: Don’t forget Kopitar is also a lot taller and bigger framed. It makes a difference. Draisatl is the same height as Reinhart. I worry he fills out more and gets slower. I don’t watch him but I would have the same concern that some have about Ekblad, that his success in junior is based on that he’s 20-30 pounds heavier than a lot of players, a pretty big advantage. That advantage goes away at the next level.

    Kopitar is 2 inches taller. That’s significant. Not sure if it counts as “a lot” but your mileage may vary.

    I think your concern is valid. Frankly, if I have a Draisaitl concern it is his birthday. Bennett is the youngest of the Cs by some margin.

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=9593

    One thing to keep in mind is these kids are in their draft eligible years. They are dominating leagues with kids older than them already.

  180. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Explanation is needed because there are folks that like to bandy about absolute truths like “it’s the roster” and “culture is not the problem, talent is” but when confronted with examples of results that don’t jibe with these absolute truths, they then fall back on ‘shit happens’

    The problem with these ‘absolute truths’ in a human endeavour like professional athletics is these maxims don’t take into account the variance associated with the intrinsic imperfection of human beings.

    This hypothesis that talent will always win out CAN be a reliable proxy for results when the endeavour is purely mechanical. The faster car DOES consistently win in F1, but it doesn’t always work this way in human endeavour.

    Drafting the biggest, fastest physical specimen doesn’t guarantee the best player/production on the field/ice/pitch. By the same token, there have been numerous examples of teams that have stocked their roster with expensive free agents achieving the veritable best team on paper– only to fail at the most opportune time.

    Talent is HUGELY important. You don’t get in the conversation without it, and yes, having it provides the opportunity for consistent contention which maximizes the odds of winning it all.

    But it’s not the ONLY thing upon which team success is predicated and it’s especially ironic that someone would argue it is, in relation to the Edmonton Oilers, when this team has provided a textbook example of an org drafting the most ‘talented’ player each season, the additions of which have done absolutely nothing to improve the bottom line results.

    If the argument is that talent is all that matters (i.e. culture does not), then the Oilers should be achieving incremental gains with each incremental addition of talent. The fact there has been no incremental gains despite the obvious talent infusion tells us there are other factors that are equally if not more important to be considered.

    Ever heard of Todd Marinovich?

    Its like you climbed up a tree and now have no idea how you’re going to get down.

  181. alice13 says:

    I don’t understand or share the ‘Nurse Must return to junior’ business.

    Agreed: what should happen is what’s best for Nurse’s development and not simply because there’s a vacuum on the roster that he could fill (The Sam Gagner).

    However, if you look at OEL (drafted 6th) and Karlsson (15th) they both started in their draft+1 season, so there should be no categorical presumption that he can’t handle NHL minutes either.

    He might use another year of seasoning in the OHL, or he might have got all he’s going to get at that well, and next year could just be “last years experience one more time”. Whether he lands in 2014 or 2017 or someplace in between there will be an adjustment period regardless. What’s important is that he comes when he’s ready.

    And none of us here know right now whether he’ll be ready or not this fall, but it certainly is within the range given his place in the draft and the possibility shouldn’t be condemned out of hand.

  182. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I was ice fishing at Lake Wabamun February 12, 1984.

    We kept the door open on the truck and listened to the Oilers take on the Whalers.

    EDM got hammered 11-0.

    This was 1984.

    Please enlighten me to the culture, roster, coaching etc. problems that the Oilers had then that would cause such a debacle.

  183. justDOit says:

    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    Follow
    #Oilers have brought up goaltender Laurent Brossoit (@LBrossoit) from the AHL’s @OKCBarons on an emergency recall basis.

    Jeepers Gords – enough already?

  184. russ99 says:

    justDOit:
    Edmonton Oilers✔ @EdmontonOilers
    Follow
    #Oilers have brought up goaltender Laurent Brossoit (@LBrossoit) from the AHL’s @OKCBarons on an emergency recall basis.

    Jeepers Gords – enough already?

    Lol! What took them so long? I thought they’d rush him to the bigs next year…
    I hope he’s just an emergency goalie and they’re not actually thinking of feeding him to the wolves.

  185. godot10 says:

    flyfish1168:

    On another topic. I have been critical about Eakins but today I really feel for Eakins after hearing his interview today. He touched on a few things that sounds humbling and how he talks to his players/family. I hope this is the bottom for him and now the team can move forward. The reset will happen this summer but I hope they give him help and at least a good chunk of next year to straighten this out.

    Hear is the interview.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=46897

    Cry me a river. Eakins is great at seduction. He manages up and outwards, and bullies down and inwards.

    We saw the real Eakins Saturday night on television when he let his guard down. Actions reveal character.

  186. russ99 says:

    godot10,

    Yeah, but if anything’s going to get him off his high horse and get to the hard work of working with these guys rather than preaching at them, it’s the Calgary game.

  187. denny33 says:

    G Money,

    Disorganized and unmotivated you say……i agree.

    However, going to suggest those words also fit this year……

  188. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: Its like you climbed up a tree and now have no idea how you’re going to get down.

    Weak

  189. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy:
    Bag of Pucks,

    I was ice fishing at Lake Wabamun February 12, 1984.

    We kept the door open on the truck and listened to the Oilers take on the Whalers.

    EDM got hammered 11-0.

    This was 1984.

    Please enlighten me to the culture, roster, coaching etc. problems that the Oilers had then that would cause such a debacle.

    To recap your responses today. Strawman. Misdirection. Quotes out of context. Repeat.

  190. hags9k says:

    Nurse just has the look of a kid who is going to get even bigger. He may keep growing, and could be scary scary, big tough and good. Then again he could totally whiff! lol fuck

  191. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: To recap your responses today. Strawman. Misdirection. Quotes out of context. Repeat.

    Beats the hell out of what you put up.

  192. G Money says:

    denny33,

    Yes. I have no problem with folks getting on Eakins’ case, he hasn’t done anything to prove them wrong.

    I just find it bizarre that anyone could pine for Krueger.

  193. bendelson says:

    Woodguy:
    Bag of Pucks,

    I was ice fishing at Lake Wabamun February 12, 1984.

    We kept the door open on the truck and listened to the Oilers take on the Whalers.

    EDM got hammered 11-0.

    This was 1984.

    Please enlighten me to the culture, roster, coaching etc. problems that the Oilers had then that would cause such a debacle.

    Firstly let me say I have no intention of getting into this WG / BoP ‘conversation’ but wanted to respond nevertheless.

    I remember that game Woodguy!
    A classic to be sure.

    Please do correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t that debacle fueled by a wild night on the town in Hartford on Feb. 11th?

    Not culture, roster or coaching problems – just alcohol.

    To be clear, I’m not suggesting the Oilers were drunk last night… They just played like it.
    Shit happens.

  194. Woodguy says:

    bendelson: Firstly let me say I have no intention of getting into this WG / BoP ‘conversation’ but wanted to respond nevertheless.

    I remember that game Woodguy!
    A classic to be sure.

    Please do correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t that debacle fueled by a wild night on the town in Hartford on Feb. 11th?

    Not culture, roster or coaching problems – just alcohol.

    To be clear, I’m not suggesting the Oilers were drunk last night… They just played like it.
    Shit happens.

    Pretty much spot on.

    I have no idea about the night before.

    Shit happens.

    The need to read so much into one game with horrible results, or even one coach pissed a player is just not smart.

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