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11-11-2013, 09:12 AM
McJeety McJeet
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Originally Posted by CGYPUKSUX View Post
Outsider's view, and no spoon full of sugar to go with it.

Therein lies the problem. You don't get it because these are fan favorites and the team is petrified to make the changes where it is needed. What you are not seeing is that you actually have the cast of the Wizard of Oz there. You have scarecrow, the tin man, the lion, and Dorothy.

Hall is a very talented player, but this guy is in need of a brain in the worst way. His hockey IQ is the lowest of any first overall pick I've seen. He makes some of the dumbest plays trying to distribute pucks and he is lost in the defensive zone. He's best suited to be a finisher and that is pretty well it. He'll never get much better than he is because he just doesn't have the head for the game. Yes, he's got great hands and wheels, but he's dumb and plays with his head down so much it is only a matter of time before someone knocks the straw right out of his head. Hall is a finisher on a team that has the players that can do everything else.

Eberle is the tin man of this cast, and desperately needs a heart. He really is a very talented player, but there is just no jam in that kid. Unless he's given all the room in the world he is useless. He won't take on the bigger players with an consistency and won't make the sacrifices needed to win. He's another talented player, but without heart what use is talent?

RNH is a great young player, but he's frail and injury prone. That is playing in the back of his mind and it shows. He isn't going to the dirty spots and isn't doing the things you need your first line center to do. He doesn't do this because he's afraid. Afraid to get hurt, or afraid of success, or afraid to show up his own team. The guy needs to find the courage to become the player he was projected to be. Without that courage he's going to become a shadow of what he can be. Without that courage he won't stand up and take control of the room and demand players get together and play a team game.

Finally we have Dorothy. The little prima donna in a foreign land who doesn't want to adapt but just wants to (metaphorically) go home where things are done to his liking. Yakupov doesn't want to play the 200 foot game. That isn't how he learned to play the game and not how he wants to play the game. He wants so badly to go home where things are done his way and not the way of this strange land he finds himself.

Now the big difference between the story of the Wizard of Oz and this cast of characters is that in the story Dorothy and her new friends fought for each other. They worked together toward a goal. That's not the way the current cast is. There are divisions in the cast and it shows. Hall and Eberle appear to be the ring leaders of the club. RNH is in limbo, unsure of whether to join Hall and Eberle or be a team guy. Yakupov is out on his own. This obviously transcends their friendships and finds its way into the dressing room. Ference has made mention of it, and it is obviously at the core of your problems.

In Calgary the fans were subjected to years of complacency and under performance of the team, and not many people understood why. Even though coaches said "the answers were in the room" they never grasped that also meant the problems were there too. Some of us recognized the country club atmosphere was a result of certain players. Those certain players caused a rift in the dressing room and it prevented the team from playing together and for each other. Some of us thought the issue was Iginla, and he needed to be moved for the atmosphere to change, but there were too many fans who took the attitude of AJGlass4 and stood behind the player rather than the team. Since Iginla has been traded the team has changed, almost over night, into team worth watching, win or lose. They care about the game, they care about each other, and they care about giving an effort.

Nothing is going to change in Edmonton until you break up the current cast. Hall and Eberle need to go. Until they are both purged you have no hope of the room every straightening itself out. Yakupov will never be a team player, so I would also consider trying to find another sucker, er team, to take him as soon as possible. Keep Nuge as your asset up front, move the others and try and build from the backend out. Find that next great goaltender and surround him with some quality defensemen. You have the assets to do it, you just need to find the intestinal fortitude to do it. Draft character more often than you draft talent. You may laugh at the Flames draft picks, because they don't follow Bob McKenzie's draft list, but they changed their ideas about players and now draft guys that they know have the character to be professionals, which gives them the best chance to get to and stick in the NHL.

The final piece to this Wizard of Oz scenario is that man behind the curtain. The great and powerful Oz needs to be exposed. Someone needs to pull the curtain back on Kevin Lowe and expose him, and his six rings, for the fraud he is. He has driven your team into the ground and has muddied the reputation of a once great team. Players don't want to go to Edmonton because it is cold or a bad city. They don't want to go there because they can't trust management. Lowe has done so many things that has hurt the club that the only way things will change is if he is removed from power. Hopefully the new guy brought in will see problems outlined and make the appropriate changes, otherwise your destined to be following that yellow brick road forever, and never finding Oz.
Rabble rabble...Lowe/MacT/Eakins and cast will all be fired before Hall or RNH get traded. Unless they ask to be traded which wouldn't suprise me. Furthermore, it is always easier to fire the coach than it is to change all the players (never mind that you're talking about 1st overall picks like 3 years into their careers...). The coach has lost the room and has no credibility to get it back.

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