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Self Fulfilling Prophecy

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Old
01-27-2004, 04:02 PM
  #1
Slats432
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Self Fulfilling Prophecy

Apparently some of the fans on the HF Oilers Board and the Team itself have a self fulfilling prophecy.

Whether you think you can or you can't, you are always right. When I played junior hockey, some Junior BB and then a bit of Junior B, there was one thing I took with me on the ice. When it was 1-0 for our team, I fought like hell to get the next goal. I also fought like hell to prevent the next goal. When it was 2-1 for the other team, I would fight like hell to get that goal back. When it was 7-1 for the other team I fought like hell to get the next goal. That is one thing every teammate always respected me for.

Teams that throw in the towel make it easy to play against, and it becomes a part of their organization. The Rangers are an example of this. Winning is contagious, but so is losing. It is easy to accept defeat and give up. The hard less travelled road is the path you take to being successful.

There have been suggestions by media and posters that the Oilers accept their poor season now, and position themselves for a draft pick. If I ever see the Oilers do that, I will refuse to ever put one IOTA of faith in an organization that deems losing acceptable. Even if it is for one game. My other team, the Montreal Canadiens have had periods of suckitis but still they travel on toward a playoff spot as a team that really isn't much better than last year, save a rookie and a regenerated Ribiero and Souray.(Their GM may have something to say about it.)

Losing is for losers. If I was the Oilers GM, it would be, make the playoffs or die trying. Make every team that comes in our building know that no matter what, you better bring it, because in first overall or last overall you will know you were in a game.

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01-27-2004, 04:18 PM
  #2
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No one is saying the players should not try their hardest, just that the management should look long term even if that means they don't care about results this particular season. Just common sense.

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01-27-2004, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
No one is saying the players should not try their hardest, just that the management should look long term even if that means they don't care about results this particular season. Just common sense.
Looking long term with threads like "Throwing in the Towel"...articles in the Journal about a Top 5 draft pick?

So you trade players for other players and expect to lose more. Even with younger players coming in for veterans, what exactly are you doing with sacrificing today for the future? Teaching them that losing is acceptable because they suck enough so you can actually draft a good player. I still don't buy it.

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01-27-2004, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432

So you trade players for other players and expect to lose more. Even with younger players coming in for veterans, what exactly are you doing with sacrificing today for the future?
building for a future team?

Quote:
Teaching them that losing is acceptable because they suck enough so you can actually draft a good player. I still don't buy it.
hardly. It's not like the coaching staff still wouldn't be trying to win, or the players.

The reason you don't buy it is you are too caught up in false notions of pride, and competitiveness, to look at the situation rationally.

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01-27-2004, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
The reason you don't buy it is you are too caught up in false notions of pride, and competitiveness, to look at the situation rationally.
If this team had pride and competitiveness it wouldn't be in the situation it is now. By your statements it is only a personnel issue. Something else I don't agree with.

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01-27-2004, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
hardly. It's not like the coaching staff still wouldn't be trying to win, or the players.
You think the coaching staff and the players would keep playing to win if management deals players like Smyth or Smith or York? I don't think so. If management throws in the towel, the rest will follow.

We keep talking about building for the future. Well, this organization has done a good enough job the last few seasons to give them a good solid future, regardless of what they do this season. The Oilers are ranked 7th, according to Hockey's Future. Plus, the Oilers have done it by being a middle of the pack team. So what's the problem?

The Oilers are on the right track. Sue a top 5 pick could help, but I don't think it's essential. I'd take one or two rounds in the playoffs if I have a choice.

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01-27-2004, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
If this team had pride and competitiveness it wouldn't be in the situation it is now.
ever considered that they just aren't a very good hockey team?

Quote:
By your statements it is only a personnel issue. Something else I don't agree with.
I'm not sure that's what my statement imply, but by and large, my opinion is certainly that if this team is gonna miss the playoffs anyways (and they very likely will) then why not finish as low as possible and use this year to move another potential impact player into the lineup, while converting older assets who won't be with the team when they are ready to compete into assets that might/will be?

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01-27-2004, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
ever considered that they just aren't a very good hockey team?
I'm not sure that's what my statement imply, but by and large, my opinion is certainly that if this team is gonna miss the playoffs anyways (and they very likely will) then why not finish as low as possible and use this year to move another potential impact player into the lineup, while converting older assets who won't be with the team when they are ready to compete into assets that might/will be?
An endorsement of losing. You are a great poster whose hockey knowledge I admire. In this philosophy we will disagree.

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01-27-2004, 05:22 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. van Nostrin
You think the coaching staff and the players would keep playing to win if management deals players like Smyth or Smith or York? I don't think so. If management throws in the towel, the rest will follow.
I doubt it, but if you are right, then all the better for this year. It might create a future problem, but even that is somewhat doubtful.

Quote:
We keep talking about building for the future. Well, this organization has done a good enough job the last few seasons to give them a good solid future, regardless of what they do this season. The Oilers are ranked 7th, according to Hockey's Future. Plus, the Oilers have done it by being a middle of the pack team. So what's the problem?
the problem is where is the Nash, Staal, Horton, Kovalchuk, Weiss, Bouwmeester, Pitkanen?

Quote:
The Oilers are on the right track. Sue a top 5 pick could help, but I don't think it's essential. I'd take one or two rounds in the playoffs if I have a choice.
You don't have a choice. Your most likely choice is between finishing 18th overall, 9-10 in the west, and 23-25th overall, 12-13 in the west.

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01-27-2004, 05:27 PM
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Being this is Edmonton, the NHL will fine them for throwing games. The NHL will also find a way to make sure Edmonton doesn't get a top pick even if they finished near the bottom.

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01-27-2004, 05:28 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
\
the problem is where is the Nash, Staal, Horton, Kovalchuk, Weiss, Bouwmeester, Pitkanen?.
For every Nash, Staal, Horton there is a Jackman, Havlat, Leopold, Frolov, Hale, Martin, Colaiacovo.....you get the picture.

Impact players can be anywhere. That is what you pay your scouting staff for.

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01-27-2004, 05:28 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
An endorsement of losing. You are a great poster whose hockey knowledge I admire. In this philosophy we will disagree.
I wouldn't say it's an endorsement of losing, it's a simple look at reality. Look at most of the teams that have gone on to become Cup winners, or very competitive teams for a 3-5 year span, have gone through seasons where they lose to stockpile talent. The coach and players worry about the present, the GM's job is to look at the big picture, not get caught up in a ill-conceived mantra such as "losing is for losers".


Losing this year in order to increase winning in future years.

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01-27-2004, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemsky83
Being this is Edmonton, the NHL will fine them for throwing games. The NHL will also find a way to make sure Edmonton doesn't get a top pick even if they finished near the bottom.
This is a ridiculous statement suggesting the NHL would rig the lottery in some way.

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01-27-2004, 05:30 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemsky83
Being this is Edmonton, the NHL will fine them for throwing games. The NHL will also find a way to make sure Edmonton doesn't get a top pick even if they finished near the bottom.
seriously, where do you come up with this utter BS?

Is the NHL tossing fines at PIT, or WSH, or CHI, or CLB?

Use your brains

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01-27-2004, 05:31 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
For every Nash, Staal, Horton there is a Jackman, Havlat, Leopold, Frolov, Hale, Martin, Colaiacovo.....you get the picture.

Impact players can be anywhere. That is what you pay your scouting staff for.
sure, but are you gonna tell me it's as likely to find an impact player at 20 overall as it is at #5 overall?

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01-27-2004, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemsky83
Being this is Edmonton, the NHL will fine them for throwing games. The NHL will also find a way to make sure Edmonton doesn't get a top pick even if they finished near the bottom.
Ya, bud. Get a brain, what an idiot post.....

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01-27-2004, 05:37 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
I wouldn't say it's an endorsement of losing, it's a simple look at reality. Look at most of the teams that have gone on to become Cup winners, or very competitive teams for a 3-5 year span, have gone through seasons where they lose to stockpile talent. The coach and players worry about the present, the GM's job is to look at the big picture, not get caught up in a ill-conceived mantra such as "losing is for losers".


Losing this year in order to increase winning in future years.
So getting one of the best players in hockey is going to turn the Rangers around. We disagree, we won't make any headway on turning the others opinion.

I believe that every move you make makes you closer. This franchise isn't Pittsburgh or Washington or Florida. Getting rid of some veterans in hopes of getting a better draft pick is ridiculous. If Lorne Davis and Mcarthy and Pendergast can't find a decent player at 18th Overall, then fire them and find someone who can. I believe they are good enough.

Tanking, giving up, throwing away good players because of a tough year and hoping to go down in the standings. Can't agree, won't agree.

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01-27-2004, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
I believe that every move you make makes you closer. This franchise isn't Pittsburgh or Washington or Florida. Getting rid of some veterans in hopes of getting a better draft pick is ridiculous. If Lorne Davis and Mcarthy and Pendergast can't find a decent player at 18th Overall, then fire them and find someone who can. I believe they are good enough.

Tanking, giving up, throwing away good players because of a tough year and hoping to go down in the standings. Can't agree, won't agree.
what good players would you be throwing away?

Smith? You can't sign him past next year anyways. If you can, then things change and you probably want to keep him.

Smyth? How long, with his game style, is going to be good for anyways? Maybe awhile, maybe not. He's not a firesale kind of guys anyways, if you don't get a good offer for him by all means keep him

Salo, Oates,Cross? please.


There are no other "good/great" older players on the Oilers roster that would be up for trades.

Having said that, you are free to bury your head in the sand towards reality if you want, it's your choice

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01-27-2004, 05:50 PM
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Nice thread slats!

The day the management gives up on the season, they should also refund the season ticket holders.

Our biggest problem is our best players are not our best players. When Ryan Smyth and Tommy Salo are your best players on paper but Mike York is the team MVP...you know trouble is ahead.

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01-27-2004, 05:53 PM
  #20
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Originally Posted by vb
The day the management gives up on the season, they should also refund the season ticket holders.
quotes like this just kill me. Why in the world should they do that? You paid money to see 40 Oilers games, you'd still get to. Don't like what they did (even though it's in your best interest as a fan, whether you understand why or not) then you are free to not renew next year.

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01-27-2004, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
quotes like this just kill me. Why in the world should they do that? You paid money to see 40 Oilers games, you'd still get to. Don't like what they did (even though it's in your best interest as a fan, whether you understand why or not) then you are free to not renew next year.
I would be one of those people. And as you,(Like I said, I respect your hockey knowledge.) would understand trades to improve personnel in the long run, but never trades with the intention of losing more games.

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01-27-2004, 06:08 PM
  #22
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Originally Posted by slats432
I would be one of those people. And as you,(Like I said, I respect your hockey knowledge.) would understand trades to improve personnel in the long run, but never trades with the intention of losing more games.
people sometimes misunderstand what I mean when I get in these modes .

I am not suggesting Lowe make bad trades JUST so they fall in the standings, not at all.

More that you make trades like smith for kids, salo for a pick, to improve your club long term, get your current prospects NHL experience etc. As a side effect, it will likely mean that your team will lose more games than they would have if they kept smith, but you ARE NOT losing games on purpose. Not necessarily losing more games, but likely.

If your new lineup happens to win enough to move you into 9-10th in the west instead of the 12th they sit at now, that is just how it goes. I wouldn't be happy either if the coaches and players started playing to lose.

I'm just referring to the likelyhood, the probability, that the team would drop in the standings as a result of dealing some of the present for the future.


Last edited by speeds: 01-27-2004 at 06:12 PM.
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01-27-2004, 06:36 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
I would be one of those people. And as you,(Like I said, I respect your hockey knowledge.) would understand trades to improve personnel in the long run, but never trades with the intention of losing more games.
I guess it depends how one looks at it. Is it tanking, or is it a GM taking a hard look at what he's put together and finding that it just isn't good enough to compete?

Like Speeds alluded to, when you really take an objective look at this team...what veterans are worth keeping? The ones I'd like to keep, likely won't be here in a couple of years anyway.

This team peaked in the late 90's with those back to back 1st round upsets, they haven't been close since. Now is the time for Lowe to think about what his ultimate goal as Oiler GM is: To win the Stanley Cup, or to make the playoffs and hope for getting that 3rd home date in the first round? As things stand right now, this team will NEVER win the cup with its current philosophy barring a miracle.

I guess it depends on what mandate the owners have given Lowe. If all they care about is getting into the first round of the playoffs to massage that bottom line, then that's what we'll get.

Looking at teams like Ottawa and Vancouver, they've proven you can field contenders while still having budgets that flirt with affordability. They've done it with drafting and making a couple of absolute robbery trades (Vancouver's done it more with trades, Ottawa with the drafting). If the Oilers aren't going to be bad enough to get the top draft picks, then they need to make the trades that are huge wins for them...and honestly, I don't count that as one of Lowe's strengths. I've got much more faith in his drafting ability than his trading acumen.

Long story short...I'm tired of this team being perpetual first round losers and getting the 15th-18th overall pick. Sure you can get a 'decent' player at that range, maybe even a good player. The odds of you getting a top of franchise player though, are slim at best. Looking back at the last 20 years of drafting, these are the only 'franchise' players I can find that were picked in the 14-20 range:

'87 - Sakic (15th)
'90 - Tkachuk (19th)
'90 - Brodeur (20th)
'91 - Kovalev (15th)
'91 - Naslund (16th)
'95 - Sykora (18th)

...and two of those (Kovalev/Sykora) I wouldn't really call franchise players, more like very good players but no one to build a team around. With team scouting becoming more and more of a priority for NHL teams, it seems to me that the talented players who maybe would have been overlooked before for various reasons aren't falling into the latter rounds of a draft anymore.

My 2 cents.

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Old
01-27-2004, 07:06 PM
  #24
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Excellent thread. I agree with speeds. I haven't always agreed, but this season stands out as special because:

1. Salo stepped into the elevator shaft,

2. Comrie took being a #2C personally (he's currently playing LW)

3. the team, at some level, has tuned out the coach,

4. The defense has been inconsistent,

5. The Oilers don't seem to understand the basic goal of a powerplay,

6. The penalty kill, previously a strong point, became demonized.

7. I probably missed something, so I'll add one more.


Sometimes, when you're a winning organization, things go wonky. The Montreal Canadiens won the Cup in 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979.

They missed the playoffs in 1970.

I don't believe for a minute that Craig MacTavish would allow one shift of letting up on this team, and I'm not his biggest fan by any means. It's not in him.

Kevin Lowe is the one who has to ask some hard questions, like can I sign Jason Smith to a reasonable deal? Is Ryan Smyth in a slump or have all those miles caught up to him? wtf Tommy?

IF the answer is trading Smith before the deadline for a guy this team can afford, so be it. Same with Smyth.

As for the Oilers draft position, one could reasonably argue that the best way to get a top 5 pick is keep this bunch together.

Seriously.

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01-27-2004, 07:52 PM
  #25
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How likely is it this team is good enough right now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
As for the Oilers draft position, one could reasonably argue that the best way to get a top 5 pick is keep this bunch together. ....Seriously.
Shocking. Brilliant, hideous rationality. Yet another reason to stockpile cheap and tradeable surplus parts while keeping gaping holes in other areas. The surplus parts can be traded in at higher value to overbudget teams after the new CBA, and the gaping holes and so on ensure a poor finish to get a better draft pick.

I agree with speeds even though slats432 definitely makes a good point. The organization needs to never accept losing. However unless you have money the good teams are all built through high draft picks. It just seems to be the truth. Ottawa almost set all-time records for team crappiness, yet they're a fine team now through their high drafts. I encourage anyone who doesn't believe high drafting makes a difference to closely look at drafting history. Look very very carefully at Figure 2 from the paper by Dawson and Magee and note how astonishingly sharp the dropoff is in expected value of draft pick in terms of games played (edit: look at Figure 5). I have run my own analysis in the past and I can assure you that the slope looks just as bad or worse for drafting talent. An 8 or 9 prospect is worth much more than five prospects ranked 6 on hfboards. And for every gem pulled out in later rounds I can assure you there are many, many more duds. You'd have to be freakishly good and/or lucky to pull out, say, 3 or 4 top notch prospects within 10 years of each other without some VERY low picks. And common wisdom is that you need a few gems in your lineup: Lowetide's cluster hypothesis looms ominously here. How much risk do you want in your future? How much confidence do you have in the Oilers drafting system that they'll pull out the gems picking at 15?

I think dismantling the team at the right time is merely prudent. Obviously Lowe could trade all the prospects on the team for a few good vets in an orgy of "never accept losing" determination. Then they'd have a better chance of making the playoffs this year, but few would likely go on record that this is a good strategy. The reasons are obvious and hardly need stating. Wars are bigger than battles, as speeds so rightly points out. Is this the right time to take a short term hit for long term gain? For many players on the team, I think the answer must be "yes".

BTW, what stops Lowe from trading away all the vets and icing a lineup of youngsters and saying: "you'd better win the cup, as nothing else is acceptable!" Then speeds' need for a high draft pick is met while satisfying slats432's never-say-die attitude. Ah, before one complains that the players would see through the tactic and realise the futility of their predicament, please glance at the standings and then re-read the title of my post.


Last edited by oilswell: 01-27-2004 at 09:14 PM.
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