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04-11-2013, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rec28 View Post
They won't be fired because for the past 4-5 years they have been executing exactly according to plan. Ownership and managment bought in - all in - to the notion of rebuilding the franchise from the ground-up. Fan anger comes largely from the fact that their goals expectations are completely at odds with those of ownership and management. Fans want to think they've been striving for success -or at the very least, improvement - year over year. It seems clear to me that this has not been the plan at all - Katz & Tamblowe committed to completely turning the franchise around through a long and very painful rebuilding process.

Rewind 4-5 years:

- Middling (at best) on-ice talent
- Weak prospect pool (Schremp! Mihknov! Niinimaki!) < Edit: Ok, maybe a little older than the period I had in mind; same level of suckage, though
- Ignored by top tier UFAs

With those as your starting conditions, there's very little you can do aside from hoping for an unexpected diamond from your mid-round draft picks. No one was going to trade them a Mercedes for a 2for1 Pacer/Gremlin package (Hemsky was, by far, THE most valuable asset in the organization for several years - ruminate on that for a while), the farm team was mediocre at best, and elite UFAs wouldn't piss on the organization if it were on fire. When all of these variables are true, how else but through the draft do you improve the level of talent in the organization?

With all this in mind, they decided to burn it to the ground and rebuild through the draft. The reality is that to do so effectively the team needs to suck - well and truly - for several years. Just one year isn't going to do it. The Colorado/Philly comparisons that always come up aren't comparable - despite their lack of success, they had elite on-ice talent, high-value trading chips, and a history of top UFA signings.

Fast forward to today and the situation has turned around 180 degrees:

- Spectacular - if still young and inconsistent - on ice talent
- A solid prospect pool
- A legitimate suitor to high-demand UFAs (i.e. Schultz; TBD if it continues)

Now the key pieces are in place but they are just so young that they are going through the naturally frustrating and inconsistent learning process. Their brief success this year, imo, signals an upcoming change in a pproach by mgmt. They've effecively been playing possum the last several years - do just enough to ice a regulation NHL team, but nothing to actually improve them. I think that's going to change this off-season. They now have the high-value assets to trade for other high-value assets in order to build an on-ice contender. I would argue that had they not gone on a tear and pulled themselves back into the playoff hunt, Tamblowe would have been far more active at the trade deadline. As it happened, they felt the experience and potential success was worth more and decided to more or less stand pat - it's hard to argue with that. I'd also suggest that the act of standing pat represents a change in approach.

Once they turn that corner, their goals and your goals will be aligned. They'll actually be focused on near-term success, and can be assessed accordingly.

It's completely fair game to argue whether it's the right plan or even if they're going about it in the correct way, but make no mistake, rebirth and long-term success through utter and sustained destruction has been the intent all along. They've been playing the long game and nothing else.
So in 3-4 years time when our planned suckage allows us to acquire (via draft) and develop the Big Center and #1 Dman we need to be a successful team, I would assume there plan has been realized?
At that time Hall and Eberle will be poised for UFA status and we can call it a day on this rebuild and get ready for another rebuilding period anew. Of course by then we will need to rebuild to replace Hall and Eberle so it will require a few more years of purposefully tanking so we can get snipers on the wing.
That all assumes no one has come along and given an Offer Sheet to Yak, Schultz and\or Nuge since one would assume the Oilers will have some cap issues in between.

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