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Oilers History: The mishandling of Jason Arnott

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12-07-2012, 04:17 PM
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fuhr
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Oilers History: The mishandling of Jason Arnott

Funny, the Oilers have still not been able to replace him

http://www.ourhometown.ca/edmonton/sports/RS0491.php

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12-07-2012, 04:47 PM
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Interesting. They seem to paint Arnott in a light of "what ifs". I never really thought he looked like anything special, even in Junior. Something about him, I don't know, kind of like Primeau you got the feeling that with his size and shot and such he should have dominated on the ice much better. He was never even considered for a spot on the Olympic team. I don't know, good career and all but I never thought of him as a dangerous #1 center. Even on the 2000 Devils, I mean, was that team even close to being built around him?

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12-07-2012, 10:04 PM
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I grew up in Edmonton in the mid 90s, and Jason Arnott definitely became the local whipping boy for the Oilers' failures. A couple of key incidents come to mind, which unfortunately defined Arnott's tenure with the Oilers:

1) After one game which the Oilers lost with very little effort against the Winnipeg Jets, while Arnott was one of the highest paid Oilers, he said, "I just wasn't in it." That quote (paraphrased) seemed to rub a lot of Oiler fans the wrong way. He just did not seem to fit the ethos of what Edmontonians wanted in a hockey player.
2) I remember waking up one morning and seeing the front page of the Edmonton Journal having an article about Jason Arnott having an essential illegitimate child. It was behaviour befitting a petulant, immature man, and the Journal that day painted him as such. That seemed like a fatal blow to Arnott's time in Edmonton, and he was never viewed the same way again by many Oiler fans that I know.

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12-08-2012, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Tricolore#20 View Post
I grew up in Edmonton in the mid 90s, and Jason Arnott definitely became the local whipping boy for the Oilers' failures. A couple of key incidents come to mind, which unfortunately defined Arnott's tenure with the Oilers:

1) After one game which the Oilers lost with very little effort against the Winnipeg Jets, while Arnott was one of the highest paid Oilers, he said, "I just wasn't in it." That quote (paraphrased) seemed to rub a lot of Oiler fans the wrong way. He just did not seem to fit the ethos of what Edmontonians wanted in a hockey player.
2) I remember waking up one morning and seeing the front page of the Edmonton Journal having an article about Jason Arnott having an essential illegitimate child. It was behaviour befitting a petulant, immature man, and the Journal that day painted him as such. That seemed like a fatal blow to Arnott's time in Edmonton, and he was never viewed the same way again by many Oiler fans that I know.
Oh noes, an illegitimate child! Call the church elders!

Are they really this backwards thinking in Edmonton that a illegitimate child determines a players career. No wonder players are leaving town. lol

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12-08-2012, 08:46 AM
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hehe, power of the media. Always be wary of how the media wants to portray a player. They can make him look as bad as they want. Sometimes the player deserves it (Sean Avery, Barry Bonds, Terrell Owens) and the media is spot on with their judgement. Other times they just invent ways to stir the pot, which is why I prefer to judge the on-ice product from the player. I will say again, I just didn't feel Arnott was the player (anywhere) that he could have been and I never paid attention to the media to make that choice.

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12-08-2012, 10:58 AM
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Oh noes, an illegitimate child! Call the church elders!

Are they really this backwards thinking in Edmonton that a illegitimate child determines a players career. No wonder players are leaving town. lol
yeah, edmonton's a funny town. the other two high profile player scandals of the post-boys on the bus era: comrie and pronger.

but-- and i say this as someone who has never lived there, but this is the sense i get from albertans in the calgary vs. edmonton debate/rivalry-- edmonton is a smaller place. it's a city that wants to operate like a small town, and people talk. that talk, which in places like montreal or vancouver has to blow up to a pretty big point in order to be picked up by the press, seems to part of the everyday conversation that the edmonton media feels a responsibility to reflect. so i don't know if we'd say that the edmonton media is irresponsible and out of line, so much as the city feels a sense of closeness and intimacy with its players that its media tries to simulate.

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12-08-2012, 12:26 PM
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yeah, edmonton's a funny town. the other two high profile player scandals of the post-boys on the bus era: comrie and pronger.

but-- and i say this as someone who has never lived there, but this is the sense i get from albertans in the calgary vs. edmonton debate/rivalry-- edmonton is a smaller place. it's a city that wants to operate like a small town, and people talk. that talk, which in places like montreal or vancouver has to blow up to a pretty big point in order to be picked up by the press, seems to part of the everyday conversation that the edmonton media feels a responsibility to reflect. so i don't know if we'd say that the edmonton media is irresponsible and out of line, so much as the city feels a sense of closeness and intimacy with its players that its media tries to simulate.
I live in a small town so I sort of get what you mean but making up a scandal because a player has a child the non-church way is just disgusting. This isnt the middleages. Do they believe in flying popes and space zombies too?

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12-08-2012, 12:35 PM
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Arnott's illegitimate child receiving publicity was just the media stirring the pot and wanting to portray him in a bad light. I don't think too many fans hated Arnott for anything beyond his lazy efforts on the ice. I mean lets be honest here, the list of NHLers that don't have illegitimate children floating around out there is probably a lot shorter than the list of those who do.

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12-08-2012, 12:40 PM
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Arnott's illegitimate child receiving publicity was just the media stirring the pot and wanting to portray him in a bad light. I don't think too many fans hated Arnott for anything beyond his lazy efforts on the ice. I mean lets be honest here, the list of NHLers that don't have illegitimate children floating around out there is probably a lot shorter than the list of those who do.
I hope you are right. Would be nice to hear from the Edmontonians cause u arent one right?

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12-08-2012, 07:40 PM
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One thing I am impressed by is Arnott's longevity. Perhaps those years where it seemed he was not giving it all added effective years to the end of his career.

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12-08-2012, 07:47 PM
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Oh noes, an illegitimate child! Call the church elders!

Are they really this backwards thinking in Edmonton that a illegitimate child determines a players career. No wonder players are leaving town. lol
I believe it was called "the darkest day in Edmonton Oilers history".

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12-08-2012, 08:56 PM
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Oh noes, an illegitimate child! Call the church elders!

Are they really this backwards thinking in Edmonton that a illegitimate child determines a players career. No wonder players are leaving town. lol
Well, Edmonton is in Alberta which is Canada's version of Republicans.

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12-09-2012, 12:35 PM
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I've always liked Arnott as a player. That said I never bought him as being a perennial all star.

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12-09-2012, 02:23 PM
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Oh noes, an illegitimate child! Call the church elders!

Are they really this backwards thinking in Edmonton that a illegitimate child determines a players career. No wonder players are leaving town. lol

Yes, sex, drugs and rock & roll are the way of the world these days but, a few backward Edmonton folk still believe it is best to raise a child with two committed parents. The horror!!!!

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12-09-2012, 02:26 PM
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I hope you are right. Would be nice to hear from the Edmontonians cause u arent one right?
Most people in Edmonton really don't care what a player does off the ice for the most part. Kid or not, who cares.

Perform well on the ice is the important thing. But, being an ass can cause a player to fall out of favor but, having a kid really isn't the kind of thing that would cause that.

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12-09-2012, 03:19 PM
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TBH, he seemed like the kind of guy who needed to be in a place like Nashville where he could be the best forward on the team without really being a gamebreaker, face of the franchise or celebrity. Primeau is a decent comparable, except that Primeau was a better player.

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12-09-2012, 03:28 PM
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Arnott was a player that had some growing up to do. With the trouble he created off ice it wasn't going to happen in Edmonton.

The media at that time was spoiled from the 80's and the team wasn't producing. They used Arnott as a whipping boy. Sather had to trade for his and Edmonton's own good.

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12-09-2012, 03:29 PM
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Well, Edmonton is in Alberta which is Canada's version of Republicans.
most of alberta is like texas, but my understanding is that edmonton is a progressive liberal oasis in that province.


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I live in a small town so I sort of get what you mean but making up a scandal because a player has a child the non-church way is just disgusting. This isnt the middleages. Do they believe in flying popes and space zombies too?
yeah, it's ridiculous. and i'm going to have to paint edmontonians with a broad brush here, and i don't think this is representative of all, or even most oilers fans. as ogopogo notes, i'm sure most reasonable people in the city could give a spit who arnott or eberle or RNH is banging. but i think the city, the press, and the city higher-ups (say, bill comrie) have created a very idiosyncratic relationship between the city and the team; the city's institutions are built around the hockey team in non-economic ways that is pretty unique even for canadian franchises. this is the flipside of edmonton being a great hockey market and adopting its star players as sons. in edmonton, the press seems all up in players' business in a very different way from montreal, and really really different from vancouver and toronto. edmonton is not a small town by any stretch, but its intimate relationship to its hockey team seems to be more like a small town's relationship to its CHL team than a big city's relationship to its NHL team. so the same way that in, say, medicine hat alberta, people in the town whisper and gossip about who the tigers' star center is dating, who he cheated on that girl with, who he got pregnant, edmonton seems to feel that kind of small town intimacy with its millionaire pro players. only of course edmonton is a city with more than a million people, so the gossip mill happens through the press instead of, say, at church or in town hall meetings.

and i think this is very edmonton-specific. the oilers have long been run like a family, with lowe, mactavish, and all those guys sticking around post-career, with a huge emphasis on a guy like comrie, who was the oilers' stickboy when he was a kid, this is really CHL kind of stuff. feels super friday night lights to me too.

there obviously were internal team and private family reasons why comrie and pronger wanted out. but i think if it was toronto, their situations wouldn't have come to quite the head that they did; they maybe even would never have gotten caught. and honestly, you can see why a guy like dany heatley wouldn't have wanted to go there. on the other hand, when it goes well, it goes really well. how sad was ryan smyth to leave that team? the city embraced him like he was their son.

whereas in montreal, the press is all up in the players' business, but it behaves more like the british tabloids. it doesn't come from intimacy, but from a viewing of the habs' players as celebrities whose private lives the public feels a sense of entitlement to.


but all that said, i'm getting a lot of this from what calgarians tell me about edmonton. so grain of salt.

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12-09-2012, 03:41 PM
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TBH, he seemed like the kind of guy who needed to be in a place like Nashville where he could be the best forward on the team without really being a gamebreaker, face of the franchise or celebrity. Primeau is a decent comparable, except that Primeau was a better player.
i think primeau was the more talented player and had the bigger upside. i mean, coming out of junior nobody had arnott pegged to go first overall, but primeau was very much in that conversation.

but i think arnott turned out to be the better player. peak vs. peak, it's pretty close. both were solid sub-PPG scorers who could be a first line center if paired with a more offensively gifted winger (elias and recchi, respectively). but both were more suited to be a really good second line center, like a less complete brind'amour.

but primeau was really only at that level for one year, and had one good playoff run a little later. arnott was a little more consistent in his prime (post-edmonton), lasted at that level for a lot longer, and was generally a better playoff performer.

still, it's weird to look back at arnott's career and see him at near 100 points and having cracked the top 100 career points list, especially when you consider the era he played in. all those consistent 25 goal/50+ point years just kind of sneak up on you.

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12-09-2012, 03:58 PM
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I hope you are right. Would be nice to hear from the Edmontonians cause u arent one right?
I am technically a Sherwood Park-ian, which is a suburb of Edmonton.

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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
most of alberta is like texas, but my understanding is that edmonton is a progressive liberal oasis in that province.




yeah, it's ridiculous. and i'm going to have to paint edmontonians with a broad brush here, and i don't think this is representative of all, or even most oilers fans. as ogopogo notes, i'm sure most reasonable people in the city could give a spit who arnott or eberle or RNH is banging. but i think the city, the press, and the city higher-ups (say, bill comrie) have created a very idiosyncratic relationship between the city and the team; the city's institutions are built around the hockey team in non-economic ways that is pretty unique even for canadian franchises. this is the flipside of edmonton being a great hockey market and adopting its star players as sons. in edmonton, the press seems all up in players' business in a very different way from montreal, and really really different from vancouver and toronto. edmonton is not a small town by any stretch, but its intimate relationship to its hockey team seems to be more like a small town's relationship to its CHL team than a big city's relationship to its NHL team. so the same way that in, say, medicine hat alberta, people in the town whisper and gossip about who the tigers' star center is dating, who he cheated on that girl with, who he got pregnant, edmonton seems to feel that kind of small town intimacy with its millionaire pro players. only of course edmonton is a city with more than a million people, so the gossip mill happens through the press instead of, say, at church or in town hall meetings.

and i think this is very edmonton-specific. the oilers have long been run like a family, with lowe, mactavish, and all those guys sticking around post-career, with a huge emphasis on a guy like comrie, who was the oilers' stickboy when he was a kid, this is really CHL kind of stuff. feels super friday night lights to me too.

there obviously were internal team and private family reasons why comrie and pronger wanted out. but i think if it was toronto, their situations wouldn't have come to quite the head that they did; they maybe even would never have gotten caught. and honestly, you can see why a guy like dany heatley wouldn't have wanted to go there. on the other hand, when it goes well, it goes really well. how sad was ryan smyth to leave that team? the city embraced him like he was their son.

whereas in montreal, the press is all up in the players' business, but it behaves more like the british tabloids. it doesn't come from intimacy, but from a viewing of the habs' players as celebrities whose private lives the public feels a sense of entitlement to.


but all that said, i'm getting a lot of this from what calgarians tell me about edmonton. so grain of salt.
This is pretty accurate.

I think the very love-hate relationship Edmonton has had with some former, or even current players, is exacerbated by the Edmonton media being incredibly soft on both major pro franchises, the Oilers and Eskimos. Pretty much every media outlet will kiss the ass of both teams, managers, and coaches. They would never say anything bad about anyone for fear that the team would stop granting them easy access. That is, until a player/coach/GM leaves, at which point it is open season and they will gutlessly criticize mercilessly. The fans sniff out problem coaches and managers much faster than the media, but since the media refuses to scrutinize (do their job) fans get pissed off and over the top with their vitriol.

When you open a newspaper and see somebody like Shawn Horcoff being defended by a writer who just wants to ensure he gets his free pass into the arena, it just fuels more anger. Wheras if you open the paper and see Horcoff being ripped a new one, you can just nod your head and quietly agree.

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12-09-2012, 04:15 PM
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I am technically a Sherwood Park-ian, which is a suburb of Edmonton.
Why have I always thought that u were from Boston?

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12-09-2012, 04:23 PM
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TBH, he seemed like the kind of guy who needed to be in a place like Nashville where he could be the best forward on the team without really being a gamebreaker, face of the franchise or celebrity. Primeau is a decent comparable, except that Primeau was a better player.
He was great in NJ for about 3 seasons, including the back to back trips to the finals. He was everything you could want from a complementary offensive forward in the dead puck era - big, strong, fast, great shot, not-selfish. He wore an A and most Devils fans felt he was destined to be the next captain after Scott Stevens retired.

Then the team hit a rough patch in 2001-02, and there was a general sense that Arnott was one of the key players who was playing lazy and that the A-line as a whole had gotten bigger than the team. So Arnott was shipped out along with the near-retirement Randy McKay for aging Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner.

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12-09-2012, 04:26 PM
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He was great in NJ for about 3 seasons, including the back to back trips to the finals. He was everything you could want from a complementary offensive forward in the dead puck era - big, strong, fast, great shot, not-selfish. He wore an A and most Devils fans felt he was destined to be the next captain after Scott Stevens retired.

Then the team hit a rough patch in 2001-02, and there was a general sense that Arnott was one of the key players who was playing lazy and that the A-line as a whole had gotten bigger than the team. So Arnott was shipped out along with the near-retirement Randy McKay for aging Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner.
Wasnt he holding out too for a while? I remember NJ had troubles back then with key players holding out. I think Arnott and Nieds did at the same tiem and then Elias did it too but he blamed it on Sutter (which has some merit).

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12-09-2012, 04:29 PM
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yeah, edmonton's a funny town. the other two high profile player scandals of the post-boys on the bus era: comrie and pronger.
Hard to say Pronger had anyone to blame but himself for his actions though. I'd be a little ticked off too if a future HHOF defenseman played just one season and had to leave because of what has always been reported as his wife being upset about his infidelity in that city.

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12-09-2012, 04:35 PM
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TBH, he seemed like the kind of guy who needed to be in a place like Nashville where he could be the best forward on the team without really being a gamebreaker, face of the franchise or celebrity. Primeau is a decent comparable, except that Primeau was a better player.

I agree he is a complimentary type of player who is decent but Primeau and a guy like Holik are probably more valuable.

I think the current need in Edmonton , and the yearning of the media in so many cities is that perfect big body #1-2 line center to build a team around but Arnott was never that guy anywhere he played IMO.

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