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The Melancholy of the Edmonton Oilers

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Old
03-02-2013, 02:39 AM
  #1
MettleOiler
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The Melancholy of the Edmonton Oilers

None of what I'm about to say is based on fact but just an observation as a fan about our current Edmonton Oilers.

The team looks great on paper, with the accumulation of talent the past several years.
The hype machine has worked its magic in the off seasons, giving the oilers and the city a huge boost of attention and yet I also believe its been more pressure than I led to believe on our star players.

When you have such a pool of talent, the only obvious conclusion is that they should be dominant at the get go, but with all the hiccups and falters, you can see that it can be harsh mental game on the players.

Our team is stronger than what we've seen, but we've seen weak puck control, weak puck battles, and overall the impression of being scared to go into the tough areas to make a play, lack of scrambling for a loose puck, standing still and not moving your feet, and getting the puck to the net, especially if there is signs of pressure of the opposing team.

And its all mental, I truly believe that. I've seen Hall, Eberle, RNH, Schultz and Yakupov get smoked and punished by opposing teams with no push back or retaliation. When you can't stand up for your star players, or teammates in general the confidence and moral within those players will diminish. I do believe Krueger is the right coach, but he needs to take steps to protect these players. I'm just not seeing it.

And I feel the teams that we face are seeing it, and they are taking every advantage to keep those players down, taking as much liberties as they can, punishing the body and hence punishing the confidence of our star players.

They do it because they know how much potential our team has once they get going, jealous of it, they want to take away an semblance of traction and progress.
They show no respect for this team, as much I believe that the oilers play a fairly honest game. Do we deserve the respect? Well not in our current state.

The Melancholy of the Edmonton Oilers is we have no heart or at the very least a lack of it. The players and the fans bought into the hype, and its a grim reality when we watch our team get dominated.
I also believe we have some of the most unforgiving fans on this team, I rather read the drivel of our most hated rivals then some of the venon that I've read by our own fans. If curses were real, the oilers are being brought down from within by their very own fans.

As a fan I'm frustrated, especially the last several years and what we've gone through as a fan base. I know many are on the same page. But I do feel its about time management does something, anything. I don't want to be in the lottery for first overall again, I'm sick of it. Screw the timetable, even in this shorten season I want results. I want playoffs and I want to see burning desire of each player that gets knock down, and unflappable determination to get up, cuts and bruises, and fight and win.
But as just a fan, I don't know what to say or do for something to change. I will always cheer for my oilers but I am at loss at what this team is or what it wants to be. I just needed to get this out, but I wanted to share this because I wanted to know if I'm the only one that feels this way.

From a fan that has waited patiently, has just run out patience.


Last edited by MettleOiler: 03-02-2013 at 03:26 AM.
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03-02-2013, 02:44 AM
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Moonlapse Vertigo
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I think this team will take a turn for the better once Tambellini is replaced. Will that happen? I don't know, but it's necessary if they want to take the next step. Teams often take on the personality of their general manager and this team resembles Tambi. Passive, gutless, indecisive and content to wait for results to come to them instead of making something happen.

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03-02-2013, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Moonlapse Vertigo View Post
I think this team will take a turn for the better once Tambellini is replaced. Will that happen? I don't know, but it's necessary if they want to take the next step. Teams often take on the personality of their general manager and this team resembles Tambi. Passive, gutless, indecisive and content to wait for results to come to them instead of making something happen.
Lowe has to go too

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03-02-2013, 03:01 AM
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Replace everyone in the old boys regime and you will see improvement.

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03-02-2013, 03:10 AM
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Joey Moss
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I remember around the time we fired Renney and replaced him with Krueger. All the talk was about finding the right coach who can bring us to the next level. Tambellini, himself even said this after the firing of Renney. Now I'm wondering the same about Tambellini. This team is improving no matter how much people want to deny it, but I wouldn't say it's because of Tambo's moves. I believe Tambellini is a good GM, honestly. I think when he's made transactions they have been the proper one's, aside from a few signings. (Potter, Smyth, Khabibulin) The problem is, he's just a little too passive and that's not going to bring us to the next level. He puts in a claim on Volpatti and then let's Sestito go to Vancouver. I'm not holding it against him, but if he believes this team is in need of a Volpatti kind of player (which we are) then why in the world would you pass up on the next option available? It just makes no sense to me. The fact that he is passive is the exact reason why he was a great GM going into a re-build. It resulted in Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov being in Oilers silks. It's time to take the next step, and it starts this upcoming summer. With three first overall picks this team is expected to win multiple Stanely Cups. I've been defending Tambellini all this time and I will still defend him when people have something to say about him but I'm now on the bandwagon to get rid of him. He's not a fit anymore. The question is, will we? The staff are all pretty tight here in Edmonton. At the end of the day a good relationship with Mr. Tambellini for Katz and Lowe might be what will keep him here.

I've made it well known around here that, IMO, a lot of moves need to be made here in order to be a division contender starting next year. I'll post this again, as I believe these are the players on this roster right now that should be here for the long run.

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
________ - Gagner - Yakupov
________ - ________ - Jones
________ - ________ - Petrell
________ - ________

________ - J. Schultz
Smid - Petry
Fistric - N. Schultz
Teubert

Dubnyk
________

That means Hemsky, Smyth, Horcoff, Belanger, Eager, and possibly Paajarvi + Hartikainen should be gone. (Whitney, Hordichuk, Khabibulin and Peckham are a given to not be back next season) Is Tambellini going to be able to tell Smyth his days are well behind him and maybe retirement would be best? He isn't good enough to be on the roster next season, someone needs to be able to inform Smytty of it. Is he going to have the balls to buy out Horcoff? Does he have it in him to waive Potter and find a trade for Belanger and Eager? Doubtful. Change is needed. Management and roster wise. Unfortunately it just might not happen.

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03-02-2013, 06:15 AM
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rumrokh
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As an outsider, you're missing the obvious: the Oilers are very young, and for all of their top-end ability, they lack depth and toughness. No one has ever won in the NHL on skating and puck skills alone, and not a single NHL player plays rough against the Oilers because they are jealous of their skill. Checking hard and being mean has not only been an effective tactic for several decades, it's been one of the most effective tactics.

Yakupov, Eberle, Schultz, Gagner, RNH, Hemsky, Hall...we're talking some really excellent puck skill there. There's also some fearless play among those guys, but that doesn't make up for a lack of size, strength, or experience. And that puck skill will continue to fall short until the Oilers get better defense, a more well-rounded lineup, and more experience.

Look at teams that have rebuilt well recently. Chicago didn't do well until Keith and Seabrook broke out as 25 and 23 year olds. They already had their strong defensive base and added top young forwards in Toews and Kane. LA had Kopitar, but didn't break out until Doughty and Quick showed up. The Blues had a solid stable of young forwards, but didn't do anything until Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk emerged. You need good defense, you need good players at all positions, and you need to be able to handle "a man's game."

The Oilers are on their way, and a little hot streak could put them solidly in the playoffs, but it'll be another season or two of development and roster tweaking before it comes together. If the common sentiment here is to be believed, maybe it will require a management overhaul to make the right moves, but I don't look at the Oilers on paper, on the ice, and in the standings and see anything surprising right now.

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03-02-2013, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
The Oilers are on their way, and a little hot streak could put them solidly in the playoffs, but it'll be another season or two of development and roster tweaking before it comes together. If the common sentiment here is to be believed, maybe it will require a management overhaul to make the right moves, but I don't look at the Oilers on paper, on the ice, and in the standings and see anything surprising right now.
You've got two distinct theories going on here. 1) The team is imbalanced. 2) The team is young. Both I think are undoubtedly true. I'm okay with a team being young, and taking time, but the imbalance is why they're getting outplayed so much. This team is awful. What's worse is they are painful to watch.

The first and fifth posters of this thread I think did a great job of setting up what has to be done. My preference is that this years and next years first rounders, along with Yakupov go. In return we should be able to get a couple power forwards and a #1 defenceman.

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03-02-2013, 08:00 AM
  #8
t0psh3lfclu7ch
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Well Tambo came here In the summer of 2008 *counts on fingers* 2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 is five... so the five year rebuild should be finished after this season.

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03-02-2013, 08:12 AM
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Burnt Biscuits
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Just listening to opposition players talk about us I think it's pretty clear the scouting book is out on us. They praise our skill but they talk about playing the game along the boards and mucking it up with us, and taking away the open ice. Right now we are young and are unable to dictate the way the game is played, we are also losing the vast majority of the board battles and they keep forcing it there on us cause they know we can't compete in this respect. It reminds me of when a goalie has one deficiency in his game and the book is out on him and shooters will continually pray on that weakness till the goalie either adjusts or gets lit up like a christmas tree. We can adjust to an extent but with a lot of young players it's not quite as simple as drawing it on the whiteboard and telling the guys to execute, the other part of it is a personnel issue and the coach lacking the necessary players to successfully counteract a strategy.

Seriously how many players do we have on this team who can get in on what is a 50-50 puck battle along the boards and win it the majority of the time. The way I see it:

Offense:
  • Hall- wins more than his fair share, often the first man there or applies sufficient pressure to get it back.
  • Nuge- timid to engage on the boards if he doesn't have the advantage coming in, but great puck thief so it's not quite as big of a deal
  • Eberle- shys away from tough board play, good at retaining the puck along the boards when he already has possession
  • Jones- wins a bit more than his fair share
  • Gagner- does well for his size, but still not winning the majority
  • Hemsky- shys away from tough board play
  • Smyth- still decent along the boards but skates too slow and often the battle is over before he gets there
  • Horcoff- probably 50/50 on winning battles
  • Yakupov- too young and inexperienced, needs more strength loses quite a few battles
  • Eager- wins more than his fair share, good at getting in quick and roughing guys up
  • Hartikainen- very strong along the boards wins a lot of battles, but struggling to make something of it after the fact.
  • Belanger- pretty weak on tight quarters 1 on 1 puck battles
  • Paajarvi- shys away from tough board play
  • Petrell- Has the work ethic to be good here, but seems to get exploited by craftier, more skilled players
  • Vande Velde- not awful on boards but contributes very little offensively or in terms of sustaining offensive pressure

Defense:
  • Smid- Very good along the boards also probably the best guy we have at breaking a cycle
  • Petry- Passively watches half the time, when he does engage not far from winning his fair share. Really good poke check
  • N. Schultz- not super strong along the boards, does a decent job of playing his man to prevent further chances if he was a bit more physical he'd win close to half the battles.
  • J. Schultz- doesn't win a lot of close tough battles, but is good at getting puck possession and moving it along just before it becomes an issue.
  • Fistric- Very physical wins his fair share could probably do a bit better if he used his stick better
  • Potter- Surprisingly decent in this regard, wins close to 50/50 but bad passes/reads after the fact negate much of the good
  • Whitney- Even healthy not great along the boards, but this version is way too slow and weak to come anywhere close to breaking even.
  • Peckham- Very physical wins more than his fair share against players he can man handle, often poor execution after winning possession.

By my rough count we generally have 1 player on each offensive line who is decent along the boards and atleast 1 player on each defensive pairing. As our results dictate this is not enough to be successful and as we all know we need more gritty players who aren't afraid to get their noses dirty in the corners, it seems our skill lines lack this the most.

The bottom line for this team to be successful is they need to win more puck battles, be grittier, and do a better job of clearing the puck and transitioning from defense to offense. Those are all things every team would like to do better though so, it may not be that easy to get the players we need to achieve this.

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Old
03-02-2013, 08:28 AM
  #10
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The problem is not the core of this team but rather the complimentary pieces. Tambellini has been here for nearly 5 years now and hasn't added a single piece to our core or group of players we want here going forward that wasn't drafted first overall or start here as a rookie (J Schultz). Our bottom six is embarassing, our top six is soft and we have two legit top four defensemen (J Schultz and Smid). We are not even close to being contenders and Tambellini is not the GM to build around Hall-Eberle-RNH-Yakupov-Schultz.

Also if we're keeping all four young forwards and Gagner we're probably going to have to roll with 3 scoring lines because that's just way too small. It's obvious the time to trade Hemsky is now.

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03-02-2013, 08:38 AM
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Lowe has to go too
Lowe will never leave, he is the Oilers version of Bobby Clarke in Philly...

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Old
03-02-2013, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
As an outsider, you're missing the obvious: the Oilers are very young, and for all of their top-end ability, they lack depth and toughness. No one has ever won in the NHL on skating and puck skills alone, and not a single NHL player plays rough against the Oilers because they are jealous of their skill. Checking hard and being mean has not only been an effective tactic for several decades, it's been one of the most effective tactics.

Yakupov, Eberle, Schultz, Gagner, RNH, Hemsky, Hall...we're talking some really excellent puck skill there. There's also some fearless play among those guys, but that doesn't make up for a lack of size, strength, or experience. And that puck skill will continue to fall short until the Oilers get better defense, a more well-rounded lineup, and more experience.

Look at teams that have rebuilt well recently. Chicago didn't do well until Keith and Seabrook broke out as 25 and 23 year olds. They already had their strong defensive base and added top young forwards in Toews and Kane. LA had Kopitar, but didn't break out until Doughty and Quick showed up. The Blues had a solid stable of young forwards, but didn't do anything until Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk emerged. You need good defense, you need good players at all positions, and you need to be able to handle "a man's game."

The Oilers are on their way, and a little hot streak could put them solidly in the playoffs, but it'll be another season or two of development and roster tweaking before it comes together. If the common sentiment here is to be believed, maybe it will require a management overhaul to make the right moves, but I don't look at the Oilers on paper, on the ice, and in the standings and see anything surprising right now.
Tah dah!

Absolutely ****ing right.

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Old
03-02-2013, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by t0psh3lfclu7ch View Post
Well Tambo came here In the summer of 2008 *counts on fingers* 2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 is five... so the five year rebuild should be finished after this season.
this is only year 3 of the rebuild.

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03-02-2013, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
As an outsider, you're missing the obvious: the Oilers are very young, and for all of their top-end ability, they lack depth and toughness. No one has ever won in the NHL on skating and puck skills alone, and not a single NHL player plays rough against the Oilers because they are jealous of their skill. Checking hard and being mean has not only been an effective tactic for several decades, it's been one of the most effective tactics.

Yakupov, Eberle, Schultz, Gagner, RNH, Hemsky, Hall...we're talking some really excellent puck skill there. There's also some fearless play among those guys, but that doesn't make up for a lack of size, strength, or experience. And that puck skill will continue to fall short until the Oilers get better defense, a more well-rounded lineup, and more experience.

Look at teams that have rebuilt well recently. Chicago didn't do well until Keith and Seabrook broke out as 25 and 23 year olds. They already had their strong defensive base and added top young forwards in Toews and Kane. LA had Kopitar, but didn't break out until Doughty and Quick showed up. The Blues had a solid stable of young forwards, but didn't do anything until Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk emerged. You need good defense, you need good players at all positions, and you need to be able to handle "a man's game."

The Oilers are on their way, and a little hot streak could put them solidly in the playoffs, but it'll be another season or two of development and roster tweaking before it comes together. If the common sentiment here is to be believed, maybe it will require a management overhaul to make the right moves, but I don't look at the Oilers on paper, on the ice, and in the standings and see anything surprising right now.
Preach on brotha!

Now to just get a Pietrangelo/Seabrook to go with our Shattenkirk/Keith (Schultz).

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03-02-2013, 11:14 AM
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Outside of the first round (and that's just in the last few years with first overall picks too) their drafting has not been good. They have accumulated a bit of depth and potential, but it's still minimal and much of it is a long ways away from making an impact. Good trades, winning trades will have to be made by Tambellini and co. I doubt this ever gets done with these guys at the helm.

Look at MTL, last in the east last year, completely cleans house after that debacle of a season and they're leading in the East now. Yes I know they're roster is different than Edmonton's in many respects but they pretty much kept the exact same roster outside of Galchenyuk and Gallagher. It's just nice to start completely and utterly fresh.

Edmonton, Katz, needs to fire Tambellini's and Lowe's ***** for starters.

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03-02-2013, 11:14 AM
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Win one. Lose one. The theme here is obvious. This is a .500 team going forward, unless the tweaks are made to bring in REAL talented grit type players to mesh with the crazy talent. If no one including everyone here isn't willing to give up any of the big 5 to do so, then all are sadly mistaken. 1st round picks then have to come into play. If no one is willing to give up those for REAL talented grit, there is a problem here Houston.

Hemmer or Gags will not get you the REAL gritty talent. The days are gone when you give up 3-4 players for 1 due to cap restraints, etc...

These are the REAL issues that are facing the Oil if they want to be better than .500 and be the team others fear to meet.

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03-02-2013, 11:22 AM
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Tambellini needs to go. I gave him his chance to improve this team, but whenever I think of the man the image that pops in my head is that grin he gives every time this club has won a draft lottery, and then saying we're "proud" to pick 1st overall, as if it's some kind of championship.

The only reason he was brought in, in my opinion at least, is because Lowe had trouble making deals with other GMs after the Vanek and Penner offer sheets. They felt it was negatively impacting the team. Now I wonder if Tambellini has troubles making deals because of the fiasco with the Smyth-Fraser deal.

And when we let Tambellini go, Lowe needs to go as well. Or not be involved in hockey ops at any level. I'm sick of the "Old Boys Club." It was good in the 80s, but that was 25-30 years ago. An "Old Boys Club" is fine in, say, a country club.

But I can't really think of a successful sports franchise that's run on that model.

However, I just know that our next GM will probably be MacT.

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03-02-2013, 11:33 AM
  #18
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Tambellini needs to go. I gave him his chance to improve this team, but whenever I think of the man the image that pops in my head is that grin he gives every time this club has won a draft lottery, and then saying we're "proud" to pick 1st overall, as if it's some kind of championship.

The only reason he was brought in, in my opinion at least, is because Lowe had trouble making deals with other GMs after the Vanek and Penner offer sheets. They felt it was negatively impacting the team. Now I wonder if Tambellini has troubles making deals because of the fiasco with the Smyth-Fraser deal.

And when we let Tambellini go, Lowe needs to go as well. Or not be involved in hockey ops at any level. I'm sick of the "Old Boys Club." It was good in the 80s, but that was 25-30 years ago. An "Old Boys Club" is fine in, say, a country club.

But I can't really think of a successful sports franchise that's run on that model.

However, I just know that our next GM will probably be MacT.
I actually agree with most of this, but truth is The Oilers have very little to offer trade wise outside of our top 5 to get great pieces. If our 1-2 centre positions continue with softness that's there now, then nothing will change. That said I can see Gags playing his best ever, keeping in mind it's his contract year. Fire them all and bring in Burkie!

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03-02-2013, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
As an outsider, you're missing the obvious: the Oilers are very young, and for all of their top-end ability, they lack depth and toughness. No one has ever won in the NHL on skating and puck skills alone, and not a single NHL player plays rough against the Oilers because they are jealous of their skill. Checking hard and being mean has not only been an effective tactic for several decades, it's been one of the most effective tactics.

Yakupov, Eberle, Schultz, Gagner, RNH, Hemsky, Hall...we're talking some really excellent puck skill there. There's also some fearless play among those guys, but that doesn't make up for a lack of size, strength, or experience. And that puck skill will continue to fall short until the Oilers get better defense, a more well-rounded lineup, and more experience.

Look at teams that have rebuilt well recently. Chicago didn't do well until Keith and Seabrook broke out as 25 and 23 year olds. They already had their strong defensive base and added top young forwards in Toews and Kane. LA had Kopitar, but didn't break out until Doughty and Quick showed up. The Blues had a solid stable of young forwards, but didn't do anything until Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk emerged. You need good defense, you need good players at all positions, and you need to be able to handle "a man's game."

The Oilers are on their way, and a little hot streak could put them solidly in the playoffs, but it'll be another season or two of development and roster tweaking before it comes together. If the common sentiment here is to be believed, maybe it will require a management overhaul to make the right moves, but I don't look at the Oilers on paper, on the ice, and in the standings and see anything surprising right now.
The other thing that Chicago, LA & St Louis did was make significant trades/UFA Signings that improved their hockey club.
Chicago Added Hossa. LA traded youth for experience in Richards & Carter.
Even St Louis dumped the players they didn't want going forward Erik Johnson, Eric Brewer Jay Mclement & brought in Chris Stewart, Shattenkirk and some picks in 2011.

All 3 teams made significant steps and all 3 have 1 thing in common they don't have one of the best players in the game like the Pens or Red Wings had when they won.

The Oilers need to make a Youth for Grit/Size/Experience trade or two. This will define this management group and if they can't get it done then its time to move on.

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03-02-2013, 11:55 AM
  #20
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The other thing that Chicago, LA & St Louis did was make significant trades/UFA Signings that improved their hockey club.
Chicago Added Hossa. LA traded youth for experience in Richards & Carter.
Even St Louis dumped the players they didn't want going forward Erik Johnson, Eric Brewer Jay Mclement & brought in Chris Stewart, Shattenkirk and some picks in 2011.

All 3 teams made significant steps and all 3 have 1 thing in common they don't have one of the best players in the game like the Pens or Red Wings had when they won.

The Oilers need to make a Youth for Grit/Size/Experience trade or two. This will define this management group and if they can't get it done then its time to move on.
Pretty much. This.

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03-02-2013, 11:56 AM
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As an outsider, you're missing the obvious: the Oilers are very young, and for all of their top-end ability, they lack depth and toughness. No one has ever won in the NHL on skating and puck skills alone, and not a single NHL player plays rough against the Oilers because they are jealous of their skill. Checking hard and being mean has not only been an effective tactic for several decades, it's been one of the most effective tactics.

Yakupov, Eberle, Schultz, Gagner, RNH, Hemsky, Hall...we're talking some really excellent puck skill there. There's also some fearless play among those guys, but that doesn't make up for a lack of size, strength, or experience. And that puck skill will continue to fall short until the Oilers get better defense, a more well-rounded lineup, and more experience.

Look at teams that have rebuilt well recently. Chicago didn't do well until Keith and Seabrook broke out as 25 and 23 year olds. They already had their strong defensive base and added top young forwards in Toews and Kane. LA had Kopitar, but didn't break out until Doughty and Quick showed up. The Blues had a solid stable of young forwards, but didn't do anything until Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk emerged. You need good defense, you need good players at all positions, and you need to be able to handle "a man's game."

The Oilers are on their way, and a little hot streak could put them solidly in the playoffs, but it'll be another season or two of development and roster tweaking before it comes together. If the common sentiment here is to be believed, maybe it will require a management overhaul to make the right moves, but I don't look at the Oilers on paper, on the ice, and in the standings and see anything surprising right now.
Very well said.

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03-02-2013, 12:05 PM
  #22
molsonmuscle360
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We have one guy older than 23 in our top 6. It's very simple. Our best players all are a couple of years from their prime. This year you are seeing guy like Gagner and Hall finding their games. It's going to be a while still for Nuge and Yakupov. Nuge especially in my opinion. He's going to have a very similar growth rate to the Sedins from what I can tell.

Remember, Vancouver thought the twins were busts after a few years, guys like Datsyuk and Zetterburg weren't even in the league at this point in their careers.

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03-02-2013, 01:38 PM
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Frank the Tank
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The Oilers are improving, but it takes time to go from 29-30th to the playoffs. The young core needs time to develop and needs to be augmented. I would love for Edmonton to go after a guy like Clowe who is wearing out his welcome in SJ.

If one wants to see where we used to be look at Columbus. A record of 5-12-4 and pretty much already done for the playoffs.

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03-02-2013, 01:55 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank the Tank View Post
The Oilers are improving, but it takes time to go from 29-30th to the playoffs. The young core needs time to develop and needs to be augmented. I would love for Edmonton to go after a guy like Clowe who is wearing out his welcome in SJ.

If one wants to see where we used to be look at Columbus. A record of 5-12-4 and pretty much already done for the playoffs.
Montreal's record this year says, the Oilers are basically sitting stagnant.

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03-02-2013, 02:01 PM
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guymez
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I have mentioned in multiple threads that I think the issue with this team is balance. Yes the kids are young and still developing but they are having to eat up the toughest minutes with little to no veteran help.

Aside from the extreme lack of grit I feel this lack of balance is a central issue.

I agree with rumrokh (to an extent) that roster tweaking is required but I see it as more than tweeking. Some of the pieces the Oilers need are hard to come by..

Mike Keenan recently blasted the Oilers org for developing a team which (in his words) had no personality. I think he meant identity and he may have had a point.

What is the identity of this team? Anybody?

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