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10-21-2013, 02:56 AM
  #105
oilexport
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoop View Post
Ahhh, time for a look back at not-so-recent history.

1995-96 was a brutal season for the Oilers, and Edmonton overall, in many respects. The price of oil was under $20 a barrel. A far different job market than we know today. The complete opposite of a boom. Houses that are selling for half a million today could be had for $100k. The Canadian dollar was worth about 70 cents US.

After a lockout the previous season fans weren't eager to pay to see a terrible Oilers team - they would finish with 68 points. Kelly Buchberger was the captain?! The season ticket base had fallen to 6,200. They would average under 12,500 fans a night.

The Nordiques had already relocated. The Jets were in the midst of moving and Hartford was a season away from relocating. It looked like the Oilers would go the way of the other WHA teams.

The Oilers were placed into receivership. Cal Nichols (future head of the Edmonton Investors Group) lead a season ticket drive to keep the team in town. He appealed to fans to help save the team because it was a very real possibility the team would move if the dismal attendance continued. No one would invest in keeping the team in Edmonton (or loan money for a purchase of the team) with such dismal attendance figures.

The ticket drive was hugely successful. Yet, the team still almost moved. A sale had been arranged to relocate the team to Houston.

ATB had taken the team over from Peter Pocklington as part of bankruptcy proceedings. They received a $120 Million offer to move the team to Houston from the owner of the Rockets. ATB agreed to sell the team to the EIG for $100 Million. Nichols had arranged for loans of $40 Million so needed $60 Million in cash to keep the team in town. At the time of the Houston offer the EIG had $50 Million in cash.

Getting that last $50 Million in a weak economy was tough. Probably wouldn't have happened if a lot of fans who bought tickets as a means of helping save the team simply stayed at home and watched on tv.

It wasn't a matter of ego or entitlement. It was the reality of the situation.
wow, that is very accurate from what I recall. I have been a big critic of Lowe (and still am) but that was a tough time to be a manager of the Oilers (glen or Lowe). Sather left after a couple more years with EIG, then Lowe took over and this mess grew (aside from 06).

I think this is where the old boy club really started and was encouraged. When all the stars left over the years, the one guy that stayed was Lowe and he was needed for this reason. An identity from the Gretzky era, Lowe was the only guy who came back and stayed. That loyalty was huge and I think that is why he still has a job.

Lowe was the right choice in some ways for G.M. but he was setup for failure with all the money problems and players not wanting to come here. So, Lowe decides to rebuild from the draft, suck, then get talent to build a winner, I believe this was the way to do it too. Lowe excceded all of our wildest expectations with the tanking and drafting high end players.

Lowe's an @sshole and this did not help the relations with players and G.M.'s around the league. So no players wanted to come here and no G.M. wanted to make trades with us (my opinion of course).

The future will write the next chapter but so far, were the NY Islanders of Canada.

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