Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

by Lowetide

Edmonton is a city of 1.8+ million (CMA) but it’s really a series of neighbourhoods and towns that have been building in all directions since about 1795 when Fort Edmonton was built. That was about 40 years after Anthony Henday mapped out his freeway, but he didn’t get to hang around for another 220 years to see how it turned out.

I’m not sure how much of Edmonton, the real Edmonton, Peter Chiarelli saw in his time with the Oilers. I hope he can see our city up close and personal in the decades that will roll out from this one.

For the city itself, which houses most of the Oilers fanbase, today comes as a relief. This is the day when the club can renew itself, to bring hope back to the conversation. Me? I am once again thinking of the Star Trek episodes entitled “Year of Hell” when Voyager tangles with the Krenim whose ultimate weapon-ship manipulates time to erase their enemies. Over and over again.

THE ATHLETIC

The Athletic Edmonton is going to bring it all season long. Proud to be part of a lineup that is ready to cover the coming year. Outstanding coverage from a large group, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis, Lowetide, Minnia Feng and Pat McLean. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance. Outstanding offer is here.

  • New Lowetide: Peter Chiarelli’s inability adjust, poor trades and free-agent misses at the centre of his firing.
  • New Jonathan Willis: Rushed Mikko Koskinen deal was one Peter Chiarelli should not have been allowed to make.
  • Lowetide: Oilers sign Mikko Koskinen long term, signalling the end of the line for Cam Talbot in Edmonton.
  • Jonathan Willis: Waiving of Ryan Spooner is another black mark on Peter Chiarelli’s Oilers resume.
  • Lowetide: If the Oilers are sellers at the deadline, expect a Condo of Condors heading north.
  • Lowetide: Jay Woodcroft’s usage of Tyler Benson and other young forwards in Bakersfield is both welcome and encouraging for Edmonton Oilers fans.
  • Tyler Dellow: After 47 games, the Oilers’ 5-on-5 scoring woes stand out.
  • Lowetide: The Oilers’ way forward and the smartest route to finding an impact winger this summer.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Goalless Tobias Rieder hopes to follow Zack Kassian and Milan Lucic and end his offensive funk.
  • Jonathan Willis: Why the Oilers should make a decision on Peter Chiarelli this week.
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018

OILERS AFTER 50

  • Oilers in 2015: 19-26-5, 43 points; goal differential -26
  • Oilers in 2016: 27-15-8, 62 points; goal differential +15
  • Oilers in 2017: 22-24-4, 48 points; goal differential -30
  • Oilers in 2018: 23-24-3, 49 points; goal differential -13

OILERS IN JANUARY

  • Oilers in January 2016: 4-5-2, 10 points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in January 2017: 7-3-1, 15 points; goal differential +4
  • Oilers in January 2018: 5-5-0, 10 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in January 2019: 5-6-0, 10 points; goal differential -7

WHAT TO EXPECT IN JANUARY

  • On the road to: Arizona, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 2-2-0) (Actual 2-2-0)
  • At home to: Florida, Arizona, Buffalo (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 2-1-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: Calgary, Carolina, Detroit (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-3-0)
  • Overall expected result: 4-5-2, 10 points in 11 games
  • Current results: 5-6-0, 10 points in 11 games

I promise not to brag, but that’s pretty close to a direct hit. Edmonton is exhausted now, the last three games saw a group of great players unable to pull the big part of the roster over the line.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

CHIARELLI’S FIRED

My piece at The Athletic this morning gives you an idea about Chiarelli’s time in Edmonton and the reasons for his firing. Stay tuned for more all day at The Athletic from Jon, Daniel and our national writers. We’re going to cover this story from all angles.

One thing I couldn’t find room for in my piece was the noxious trivia item involving the Oilers having to give up a draft pick (represented in human form by Jack Studnicka) for the right to hire a guy who had been fired. The mind boggles.

In the days to come, we’re all going to have a lash at what can be done to improve this team, and about what should be saved and built on from the current club.

I would like to see this team get it right, but am unsure of what that might look like. For me, the wish was always hire a general manager with experience and that didn’t work. They can’t go back, but the way forward must be unique compared to the past.

We can say “hire an analytics team” but you also need a general manager and coaching staff who are willing to apply those things to real life day to day.

We can say “do it like Detroit” or “Winnipeg has the best plan” and I absolutely agree. Question, though: Do fans have the patience? Does Nuge? Does McDavid?

The more I think about this team, the more I think the way forward might be trading the first-round selection this summer. I don’t view this year as a ‘must’ to make the playoffs, but next year must rhyme.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We will carry today’s media avail live at 10 on TSN1260 and then it’s going to be a moving target in terms of guests. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey will be on, I expect we’ll reach out to Ryan Rishaug who is always generous with his time. It’s what we call ‘all hands on deck’ and I hope you make us your destination this morning. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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Andy Dufresne

From Shane Sander at The Hockey Writers (From March of 2018)

5 potential candidate to replace Chiarelli

Bill Zito
Current Team: Columbus Blue Jackets (Assistant GM)

Tom Fitzgerald
Current Team: New Jersey Devils (Assistant GM)

Mike Futa
Current Team: Los Angeles Kings (Assistant GM)

Julien BriseBois
Current Team: Tampa Bay Lightning (Assistant GM)

Paul Fenton
Current Team: Nashville Predators (Assistant GM)

Bill Zito
Current Team: Columbus Blue Jackets (Assistant GM)

“Bill Zito has followed the path of other agents turned managers like former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis. The Columbus Blue Jackets hired Zito as their assistant GM in August 2013. Prior to that, he represented a prominent list of NHL players like Antti Niemi, Brian Rafalski, Tuukka Rask, Kimmo Timonen, and Tim Thomas. With Columbus, Zito manages their very successful AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters.

Zito helped lead the Monsters to the 2016 Calder Cup championship. Prior to that he was apart of USA Hockey’s national team program and helped them win a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships. He has quickly become highly regarded since jumping into a managerial spot. Before the Buffalo Sabres named Jason Botterill as their GM last spring, Zito was in the running for that job.

One of the problems for the Oilers is their cap management and Zito might be an upgrade on Chiarelli. He’s driven a hard bargain in the past and was key in getting guys like Niemi, Rafalski, Timonen, and others, big money deals. Zito’s experiences on both sides of the fence might help the Oilers get out of their current salary cap woes. He also played a key role in helping the Blue Jackets get out from under the David Clarkson contract last summer. Maybe he can do the same with Milan Lucic.”

OmJo

Chiarelli being fired is just step one.

A little closure for the fans.

But fire those who allowed him to continue his reign of terror on the roster and the salary cap.

That’s probably asking too much.

But good riddance.

OmJo

Andy Dufresne,

Why not both?

Pretendergast

Andy Dufresne,

Isn’t Brisebois the GM now? Yzerman stepped down, great succession planning.

Andy Dufresne

OmJo:
Andy Dufresne,

Why not both?

Just realized Fenton is with Minnisota now. And with Stevie Y disappearing Brisbois is the new GM in Tampa.

But it makes the point that the deepest prospect pool for GM replacement is other teams Assistant GMs.

oilfan9911

Andy Dufresne,

That article is way out of date. Both Brisbois and Fenton are now GMs.

jtblack

REBUILD 4.0 has arrived !!

I disagree LT. Keep 2019 1st. Sell at the deadline for as many picks as possible., Talbot and whoever else. Make ALL The picks …

Try and trade Lucic and retain $3 Million (it’s like a buyout but not as costly and then Lucic won’t hurt us on the ice anymore) ….

There is no quick fix. To me if you trade the 2019 1st (which will be Top 10), you are just kicking the can down the road. 2015 should have taught us all, not to risk trading a HIGH 1st round pick.

Almost all of the 1st round picks that will be moved at the deadline are by contenders. The picks will be 25 and higher.

zatch

LT, I need your honest opinion: Can Edmonton change the management culture and get read of the OBC? Or is that a pipe dream? I genuinely don’t believe that anything will change until Lowe, MacT and Nicholson are off the payroll and K. Gretz is in his proper place away from the GM chair.

LMHF#1

Peter, Kevin, Craig and now presumably Keith have managed to take what should have been a pretty amazing thing and ruin it. An utter shame.

Makes me appreciate how good Sather was even more than before. Imagine what these clowns would have done to the Gretzky teams…

LMHF#1

Lowetide: I don’t have an answer. I don’t know if they can.

Can? Yes. Will? Probably not. They have no incentive to.

leadfarmer

Getting rid of Chia is just ripping off the bandaid. The whole brain trust needs a purge

giddy

One of the most painful parts of the current play is the Oilers of the past five games haven’t looked any different than TMac’s Oilers and the worry of Hitch’s impact being limited to the temporary coach change boost is beginning to loom. Still guys getting caught puck watching in the d-zone, still ripping it off the glass in-lieu of a proper breakout pass, still chip and chasing into the o-zone, still struggle to make simple tape-to-tape passes, etc. Lines still being thrown into the blender in blind hope that anything even remotely good comes of it.

I suppose that is the result when you lack the talent to compete in the NHL outside of your top three centers.

jtblack

Some of the misses during PC’s time are almost inconceivable. The keys could have been given to 90% of average Oiler Fans and surely the results would have been better.

In my 35+ yrs of following hockey, I can only think of 1 other GM who eroded so much talent. Mike Milbury in NYI. That is though! PC will go down in history as one of the worst GM’s (even with the Cup win) ..

LMHF#1

So…everyone that defended it ready to admit the summer was a failure and Chiarelli should have been gone last spring? I mean…if he wasn’t fired days into his term after the Reinhart trade…

Professor Q

LMHF#1:
So…everyone that defended it ready to admit the summer was a failure and Chiarelli should have been gone last spring? I mean…if he wasn’t fired days into his term after the Reinhart trade…

He should have been fired then.

Everything was a mistake.

McTavish and Lowe…need to go.

giddy

Andy Dufresne:
From Shane Sander at The Hockey Writers(From March of 2018)

5 potential candidate to replace Chiarelli

Bill Zito
Current Team: Columbus Blue Jackets (Assistant GM)

Tom Fitzgerald
Current Team: New Jersey Devils (Assistant GM)

Mike Futa
Current Team: Los Angeles Kings (Assistant GM)

Julien BriseBois
Current Team: Tampa Bay Lightning (Assistant GM)

Paul Fenton
Current Team: Nashville Predators (Assistant GM)

Fenton would have been a good target until he was hired to be the GM of Minny. And then after that Niederrieter trade, I am happy he isn’t available lol

jtblack

REINHART TRADE – remember the 1st couple games Reinhart played? Immediately I was like oh oh ..he doesn’t look very good

HALL TRADE – remember watching Larsson right away and thinking, he’s good but has Zero Offense ..

EBERLE TRADE – remember watching Strome and thinking he is one of the most Vanilla players I have ever seen

Most people called those trades “Lopsided” AT THE TIME OF THE DEAL. and quickly it became apparent that they were.

Once PC re upped Russell at 4 x $4 Mil that’s when I wondered what his plan was???

oh well. REBUILD 4.0 has arrived.

Scungilli Slushy

Pretendergast:
Andy Dufresne,

Isn’t Brisebois the GM now? Yzerman stepped down, great succession planning.

He is, then it’s Fenton.

Scungilli Slushy

Scungilli Slushy: He is, then it’s Fenton.

Or not

Woodguy v2.0

The culture of the Edmonton Oilers has not changed with this firing.

Unless the next GM is given the ability to build the organization the way he wants and eliminate all old voices that haven’t changed over the past decade then it doesn’t matter who they hire.

stephen sheps

Interesting how you referenced a Voyager ep. LT, yet your title is also a reference to an episode from the Original Series.

The episode itself was a little on the nose, with two people locked in a centuries-long battle for control over a long dead world as well as racial supremacy of that world. One fellow was black on the right and white on the left, the other reversed.

While the racial component of that episode is not applicable here, the fight for control over a long-dead world sure seems to be.

The questions for me range from simple to complicated:
1) ‘will the next management team be able to fix the mess they inherit?’
2) ‘will the next management team be given the control they need to fix the mess?’
3) ‘will the next management team be able to completely clean house, which must include getting rid of the OBC in order to have the control the need to fix the mess they inherit?’
4) ‘will the OBC fight to the death in order to keep their symbolic power and perceived control while still allowing for the team to improve in spite of their presence, or will they cede control and back away gracefully?’

As our kind host often says, we wait

—-

And now for a very brief weekly Yak:

SKA played 2 games since my last report. Yak, now wearing #65 for some reason played in both, registering 1 assist.

His season total is now 36GP- 16G-9A-25P.

My son is still 2nd in on the team in goals and 8th in points.

His 16 goals puts him in 21st in the entire KHL in goals, and is one of only 4 players in the top 25 in goals with under 40 games played.

Go Yak!

This has been your weekly Yak.

End transmission

OriginalPouzar

I’m all about talking about the plan forward and really have no interest in re-hashing the mistakes of management – of course, the re-hashing will be in full force now but, hopefully, fairly soon, that will disipate and we can focus on the way forward. I think I’ve stated my personal preference at naseum (and you all will hear about it many times in the upcoming days, weeks, months, etc.).

Anyways, I did just want to speak to one future looking point that seems to pop up in various fans “plans” for the future and that is “LTIR Sekera”.

For one, the player himself wants to play hockey and has been working his ass off (from accounts) to get back to the game. To the extent he’s healthy enough to play, he’s not going to sit back while the team stretches the rules to keep him on LTIR for 2 more years.

Further, him being on LTIR or the next two years is a horrible way to manage the cap. It reduces our cap space by $5.5M each and every summer as we need to be compliant by day 1 of the season including Sekera’s cap hit (or use off-season LTIR which is even more inefficient and further limiting).

Sure, once we are compliant on day 1 and place the player on LTIR, then we will get a cushion to go over the cap but its already October and, further, going over the cap and using LTIR relief will greatly inhibit the ability to make in-season moves as the team will not accumulate any cap space on a daily basis to bank for use later.

LTIR is a terrible way to manage the cap – the above are just a couple of the high level reasons.

The hope and, yes, at this point its just a hope, is the player comes back and is at least a serviceable 2nd pairing d-man and, given Nurse and Klef, we will be able to play that 2nd pairing d-man on the 3td pairing, potentially with Caleb Jones – that’s a great third pairing. Or, perhaps he can supplant Kris Russell as the 2RD until we can finally acquire a proper 2RD – of develop Bouchard in to the same).

Heck, there is a chance that Sekera is even be better than a “serviceable 2nd pairing d-man” but I won’t bank on that at this point.

Professor Q

That’s another thing about Larsson.

He’s good in Edmonton, but yes lacks offence.

However, he plays differently when playing for Team Sweden. Has more offence and confidence. Many other players also play poorly in Edmonton yet play very well elsewhere.

Something is clearly wrong in Edmonton, then, and has only changed by a minor amount today.

Dicky94

It’s a good day. Now Oiler fans can relax knowing Chia isn’t going down with the ship. Time to start plugging the holes that Chia created and I too believe this can be turned around quickly with the right GM. Lots of work to do starting right now. Ride out the rest of the games and sell sell sell at the deadline. Even if they are in the playoffs at that point. Realistically we are 3 or 4 loses away from lottery pick territory. This could also be a really good thing in speeding up the process. GO OILERS!!!

Andy Dufresne

From Shane Sander at the Hockey Writers,

Tom Fitzgerald
Current Team: New Jersey Devils (Assistant GM)

“With the Carolina Hurricanes looking for a new GM to replace Ron Francis, Fitzgerald was interviewed for the position. However, Fitzgerald withdrew his name from the candidacy stating that it just wasn’t the right time for him to leave New Jersey. Maybe it’s because the Devils (were) vying for a playoff spot or maybe because the Hurricanes GM job is believed to be a grossly underpaid position.”

“Carolina’s new owner Tom Dundon will be hardpressed to find an astute GM and wants to be more hands-on than other traditional owners. If he’s anything like Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, you can understand why so many are turned off. But what about a position where money wasn’t an issue, like in Edmonton? Oilers owner Daryl Katz would be willing and able to pay top dollar for a smart guy like Fitzgerald.”

“In July 2007, Fitzgerald joined the Pittsburgh Penguins as their Director of Player Development. His name is on the Stanley Cup from the 2009 championship and that summer he was promoted to the Penguins’ assistant GM next to Ray Shero. After Shero was fired and signed with the Devils, Fitzgerald followed in 2015. Together the two robbed the Oilers of Taylor Hall and have turned the Devils back into a potential playoff team with speed, skill, and a healthy prospect pipeline.”

LMHF#1

Professor Q: He should have been fired then.

Everything was a mistake.

McTavish and Lowe…need to go.

Props.

giddy

Woodguy v2.0:
The culture of the Edmonton Oilers has not changed with this firing.

Unless the next GM is given the ability to build the organization the way he wants and eliminate all old voices that haven’t changed over the past decade then it doesn’t matter who they hire.

This really is the case.

I hope in a year, when Chiarelli is doing well, that he full out puts the Oilers organization on blast, saying how much his hands were tied when it came to trying to build the team in that environment.

I mean, Chiarelli was not a good GM in Boston outside of some dumb luck, and I fully believe he would not have done a stellar job here regardless of whether the OBC was intact or not, but I do think things would be looking much, much better. If nothing else, at least the Reinhart trade likely would not have happened. That out of any move had the stench of KLowe/MacT all over it.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I predict Paul Coffey as the new GM.

godot10

giddy:
One of the most painful parts of the current play is the Oilers of the past five games haven’t looked any different than TMac’s Oilers and the worry of Hitch’s impact being limited to the temporary coach change boost is beginning to loom. Still guys getting caught puck watching in the d-zone, still ripping it off the glass in-lieu of a proper breakout pass, still chip and chasing into the o-zone, still struggle to make simple tape-to-tape passes, etc. Lines still being thrown into the blender in blind hope that anything even remotely good comes of it.

I suppose that is the result when you lack the talent to compete in the NHL outside of your top three centers.

Hitchcock has been missing Klefbom for a month.

Russell has made the same massive blunder two games in a row, on the opening goal against Carolina, and the 2nd goal last night, surrendering the blueline when the Oilers had a forward coming back hard tracking the forward. (Hitch wants and has his forwards tracking back hard, but this is pointless, if the defensemen doesn’t stand up and challenge at the blueline).

Surrendering the blueline will put the tracking forward out of position. The point of tracking is to have the D stand up the attacker at the blueline, forcing him to dump the puck or turn it over, which your tracking forward can then recover The tracking forward creates a mismatch. It becomes a massive blunder to surrender the blueline like Russell did in that situation.

The D not consistently challenging the attacker at the blueline creates confusion as to what your tracking forward is to do, and inevitably puts the forward out of a good defensive position. What is the point of back pressure if the defenseman doesn’t stand up at the blueline?

godot10

Woodguy v2.0:
The culture of the Edmonton Oilers has not changed with this firing.

Unless the next GM is given the ability to build the organization the way he wants and eliminate all old voices that haven’t changed over the past decade then it doesn’t matter who they hire.

Six rings and five Pulfords.

Réal Goudenyéu

OBC still in control this firing changes nothing.

tileguy

I hope the new gm brings in a new coach. I bet 97 would be pleased.

CMcD4PM

Dr. Taboggan,

That would be so Oilers. And Bucky will be assistant GM.

giddy

Professor Q:
That’s another thing about Larsson.

He’s good in Edmonton, but yes lacks offence.

However, he plays differently when playing for Team Sweden. Has more offence and confidence. Many other players also play poorly in Edmonton yet play very well elsewhere.

Something is clearly wrong in Edmonton, then, and has only changed by a minor amount today.

If the year were 1692, we would be about to prepare to begin the Edmonton Witch Trials to determine who was the sorcery-enabled wench that cursed this team to a lifetime of ineptitude, only alleviated every 10 years by a playoff berth that ends in incredibly terrible luck.

Conveniently, the opening of the new platform on the “End of the world” lookout on old Keillor Rd should provide us with an excellent jumping off point for the determination process. Put ’em on Koho twig and see if they can fly!

Trapper42

Hello Everyone,

Long, long , time reader; first time poster.

Lowetide, I would like to thank you for writing here and being the voice of reason throughout these many, many years, but ,especially through these Chia years. That’s an incredibly difficult task to have undertaken. Remove the passion from the argument ,and use objectivity, to find what is true and real. You have done that ,and it is most appreciated by this fan.

I have never cheered for, or wanted the Oil to loose, but for the first time I found myself wishing for a loss last night ,in that somehow, some way, that would be the catalyst to have Chia fired, and for the organization to take a long deep breath and look at what a horrible mess he made.

I didn’t watch the game last night, but watched a documentary with the misses on Netflix called ” FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened “. The whole time I was watching it, it was like watching the Oilers organization planning a party, it gives you a feeling of impending disaster right in the first minutes of the show. The comparisons to the Oilers Management team were inescapable.

McSorley33

If they hire Keith Gretzky as GM this summer – I suspect that will just be a tell that Craig McTavish and Scott Howson are still procuring players for us.

Would love to know who played a part in wanting to bring in Manning.

Does Bob Nicholson even have the authority to CLEAN HOUSE?

I mean – everything that walks or crawls in management.

Andy Dufresne

Professor Q:
That’s another thing about Larsson.

He’s good in Edmonton, but yes lacks offence.

However, he plays differently when playing for Team Sweden. Has more offence and confidence. Many other players also play poorly in Edmonton yet play very well elsewhere.

Something is clearly wrong in Edmonton, then, and has only changed by a minor amount today.

The Oilers lack an active defense all across the board. Nurse is improving in that area but we have no offensive minded defensmen. It’s as if Oilers management has bought into Ricki the Bear’s HDSC Box System hook, line, and sinker.

And while Bouchard is a puck mover and a potential PP QB, he does not have the offensive flair of the top pairing Offensive Defensemen. Some hope still rests in Bear and Jones. Jones can move the puck and has shown some offensive flair but neither player is likely to become a top tier offensive defensmen.

geowal

OmJo:
Andy Dufresne,

Why not both?

If you hire both, it’s a lateral move for one of them. Why would that one leave?

jtblack

OP: The rehashing HAS to occur. It’s a cleansing. It’s the 7 steps of suffering from Trauma (acceptance, restoration, forgiveness, etc).

the PLAN FORWARD for Jimmy Black is simple. Don’t try and RUSH building a Cup Contender. PC did that from the moment he got in the Chair.

My thought process is this.

If McDavid is an Oiler for Life, he has another 16 years ahead of him. Build through the draft and put a team around Connor that is excellent. So that even in Connor’s later years, the team will still be a true contender.

I would sell at this years deadline and accumulate picks and make them ALL. Obviously if an Ehlers or proven scorer WHO IS ON THE UPSWING of their career, then you have to look at it, but don’t trade for anybody over 25.

JP, YAMMY, BENSON, MCLEOD, BOUCHARD, PERSSON, JONES are all coming and have arrows suggesting they will be better support players than what we currently have.

Bouchard could be impact and finally give us RIGHTY – LEFTY balance on the back end.

I don’t think this team is as far away as most think. There is definitely some heavy lifting to do and some cap mgmt needs to happen.

But the core is solid and 2 – 3 GOOD players and a handful of “better” players will greatly change this teams’ on ice performance. The Oilers still have the best player in the game which gurantees that for 15 minutes a night @ 5×5 they willl win the CF% and GF%. now just build it out around him over the next 3 – 4 years.

“They don’t remember how, they just remember how many.”

Lemiuex didn’t win until year 7. Yzerman even later. There is time here. Don’t make the same mistakes PC just made and try and rush the program. Do it right.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Oilers GM Application:

1. Do you like red wine? Y/N

2. Have you played for the Edmonton Oilers? Y/N

HugThePost

Even though they are within reach of the playoffs, for me the games don’t even matter anymore.

Despite Connor being an Oiler, the team is worse off year over year other than the blip of 2 years ago. The path out of this mess is uncertain but we all know it is not a short one.

The ghosts from the past still haunt and in many ways plague the entire organization and the list of hockey men who take the bullet for these ghosts just keeps growing.

I don’t feel relief, happiness or even hope at this point. I feel the way I felt this morning before stepping out into the cold day. Make sure everything is zipped and secure because it’s nasty out there and winter isn’t going away anytime soon.

LMHF#1

Can you ever tell people are burnt out…GM firing and only 40-some comments…

godot10

Some of Hitchcock’s ideas about hockey are not optimal for a player like McDavid.

Hitchcock hockey is akin to half-court basketball. With McDavid, one wants a fast break offense, at least when he is on the ice, akin to Magic’s Lakers. Hitch still wants a half-court game with McDavid on the ice.

Scungilli Slushy

It’s all on Katz. If he can’t see how this has happened with the length of track record, we’re doomed to being what Gretzky once called the Devils.

Let them hang around and hassle the new GM (I’m sure most older teams have this happening between owner’s families and alumni), but for reals the new guy needs carte blanch.

Bob B probably stays, everyone else needs to be the GMs choices.

I’m also not sure about Hitch. I like his public demeanor and pumping players up publicly, but Connor saying the team can’t play against skill straight up bothers me, and that has to be from Hitch.

There is truth in that statement, but I don’t like that public message, which would be an attempt to get them to play a defensive style to suit Pete’s mess. I worry though it gives the wrong mindset to the team, there must be a better way to motivate them defensively.

Also Connor’s play tanking isn’t a good sign and I wonder if Hitch IS too old school.

So I want Yzerman as GM and Quenneville as coach, I think he can use high skill properly and motivate high level play, and players like him at the same time.

Not going to happen on either front, but it’s New Hope Day so I’m rolling with it, until Lowe crushes my spirit, again.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Be careful what you wish for: fans got what they wanted, but they haven’t cut the head of the dragon, merely a small tentacle

– I drafted this letter for Katz:

– “I have been custodian of this team on behalf of all Oiler fans for 11 years. Following another difficult season, I have asked all the senior members of the organization to tender their resignation. The Oilers have been very loyal, and I am proud of all the men who bled Oil

As difficult as this is on a personal level, I have to acknowledge that 1 playoff appearance in 11 years coincides with a loyal group who has been with me for the entire tenure. It is time to give a new generation of hockey people the opportunity to come in and build something great.

I have since the all-star break conducted an exhaustive search, and are excited to bring in a new group, that will have my full support, and full control of operations. This group includes “young-whipper snapper X”, an amazing GM A who moved up smartly at organization Y, and NHL insider Z who joins us from headquarters. They will be revamping our operations and in charge of hiring the proper people to run Scouting, Development, Drafting, etc.

I wish Wayne the best as his new role as Hockey Ambassador for the NHL, Lowe in his role with Team Canada, and Bobby best wishes in retirement. MacT and Howson will be persuing other opportunities.

– Who am I kidding though: It will be: “After an exhaustive search, we’ve removed interim status on Keith, MacT will continue as #1 hockey guy, and the rest is status-quo”

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

The rehashing has to occur because nothing has changed.

You think Chia unilaterally signed Koski the day before he was canned? Absolutely not. You think Chia unilaterally traded Hall? I doubt it. You think Chia unilaterally traded for Reinhart? I know some other members of management have a pretty big Oil Kings fetish.

Firing Chia is great but unless the OBC is fired forget talking about a coherent plan moving forward. They are the real architects of this disaster.

LMHF#1

What if Nicholson is a big part of the problem too?

What have we actually seen that indicates he isn’t sanctioning all of this?

giddy

LMHF#1:
Can you ever tell people are burnt out…GM firing and only 40-some comments…

The article has been up for less than an hour, and it’s Wednesday at 9:25 am. Most people are at work.

LMHF#1

giddy: The article has been up for less than an hour, and it’s Wednesday at 9:25 am. Most people are at work.

Didn’t stop people before.