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11-13-2013, 12:20 PM
Oilfan2's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Country: Canada
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Unlike some of the folks here, I'm an Oiler fan. I've been one since they entered the NHL in '79 and will be one until either, I die or, they move elsewhere.

I've seen great, good and bad times over those years. I've cheered, booed and gotten very frustrated at this team.

In my opinion,the majority of the issues coming to light now are because they are a losing team and have been for so long. Just about everyone is upset, apathetic or have just given up because of it.
I don't think there's one thing that can be pointed at that's the cause of this but what I see, from my own perspective, is this:

The Oil had a lot of loyal followers throughout the 80's and 90's. When they wern't winning, they were playing with heart, drive, perseverance, whatever. That started to wan in the 2000's. The excuse at the beginning was the Oilers couldn't afford to keep their stars and, after awhile, couldn't even pay the half decent ones.

Then came the lockout and subsequent 'even' playing field.

The cup run in 2006 was an aberation. It was the right players at the right time (including Pronger) and people, including Oil management, got caught up in the fever and thought this was how it was going to be in the future. Management didn't put enough effort into scouting, coaching, etc, and just led 'nature take it's course'.
When they finally realized the team was at the bottom and most likely couldn't climb back to the playoffs any time soon, they brain thrust decided to call a rebuild. Unfortunately, they still didn't shore up the scouting, minor development, coaching, etc. Lowe rested and didn't put near the focus on the team that it required. Not sure why, perhaps because he was focused elsewhere or didn't care, etc.

Lowe and company kept hiring inexperienced or poor GM's and coaches, while still not fixing the scouting, etc. What the Oil were left with was a bunch of poor management working with and teaching a bunch of young, skilled but inexperienced players, both on the big team and in the minor leagues. Due to poor management decisions and scouting, the team did not draft the correct mix of players and never did fill in the blanks that should have come from later draft picks. For instance, if you're drafting 1st overall, the 1st player in the next round should be as good as a bottom 1st round player and so on. The proper team wasn't built.

Other failures in my eyes:
  • Bringing in a young, inexperienced coach..again. The players can't learn that many systems in short order and still try to win with the mix they have.
  • Not trading Hemsky a few years back for whatever they could get
  • Not picking up a better mix on D or F by trading a young Gagner that was of the same ilk as the new players you brought in..Eberle?
  • We picked the BPA but that didn't give us a good mix. One of those top players needs to be traded to fill one of the significant needs.(I'd keep Hall and RNH).
  • Trading a known and needed commodity in Smid for, at the moment, what appears to be another small piece 4-5 years away.
  • Signing Smyth for 2 years

Outside the Eakins hire and the smid 'sale', I think MacT made some good moves (Joensuu, Perron, Belov, Gordon, Ference)
but didn't go far enough with D and goaltending, as well as the previous 'mix' issue I mentioned.

Those folks upset at Yak, Eberle and Hall either haven't been paying attention or probably just taking out their frustrations with a losing team.
Yak will be a 40 goal scorer someday but he needs time to learn this game at the NHL level. It's great to see that enthusiasm but he needs to temper it with learning the game.
Eberle is the most skilled player we have and probably one of the smartest next to RNH. If he were traded, we'd have need for that type of skill with the puck, especially if Gagner is also gone.
Hall is the catalyst that makes this team go and will be it's leader in the future.
RNH is probably the smartest and has the best overall upside on this Oilers team. As well, he's really the only top 6 C we have IMO.

I don't know if there are any locker room or on-ice personal issues with the team any more than anyone else. IMO, it's more people's assumptions and poor media interviewing looking for, and creating, stories but I really have no idea.

We can't go backward so, going forward, the management of this team will need to make hard decisions. They just can't continue to wait for draft picks to save the team but will need to move players that many of the fans, including myself, don't want to trade.
I'd love to get rid of KLowe, and I think the team should, because I think he's part of all the poor decisions the team has made, but I don't see that paying huge dividends in the immediate future.
MacT has made enough good decisions to allow him a short leash for another while.
Eakins isn't the right coach for this team at this time. Needs to be changed now.

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