Taylor or Tyler?  Centre or Winger?  Birthdates?  Getting hit too easy?  Who will be the best player five years from now?  Higher compete level?

Steve Tambellini answered a host of questions.  I think really that this was the easy choice.  Pretty much the consensus number one pick.  A few smatterings of Seguinites suggesting that he would be the better player long term, and the hardest thing to find since Nessie, a number one right-handed pivot.

I think the reasoning was simple.  By taking Taylor Hall, two time Memorial Cup MVP, the Oilers couldn’t be second guessed.  At this moment and by pedigree, Taylor Hall is the BPA.  Personally, about 25% of me wanted to take Seguin because of his down to earth, regular joe, personality.  He is by far the better interview.  The rest of me wants the guy that would fight with every breath to see the Oilers win.  He is the guy.  Excellent choice.
Sadly though the rest of the draft went off with hardly a whimper.  No second first round choice,  some size, some grit.  A good but not great day at the draft.

Advertisements

On April 21, the first big move of the offseason began. Although there were precursors to the rebuild at the deadline, Steve Staios, Lubomir Visnovsky and Denis Grebeshkov were shipped off at the deadline bringing in Ryan Whitney, Aaron Johnson and a couple of 2nd rounders to show. All very solid moves for a team that decided to get younger, and culture change began.

Kevin Pendergast was excused of his duties and the first step to a new reborn franchise was complete. This was a completely necessary action since Pendergast performance in the last 20 years could only be categorized as barely passable.

The draft has been poor until Stu MacGregor took over, the minor league teams have either been non existent or performing poorly.

His drafting record is a who’s who of ineffectiveness. Consider that he was still on staff for all the debacles that occured since 1990, his charge of the draft began in 2000. I personally don’t subscribe to the “How many NHLers were drafted” and how many games they have played. Just because they were your best option to play doesn’t mean they were effective players. The blind Russian Tractor Boy, Alexei Mikhnov. Jesse Who? and Pouliot vs. Parise some of the most notable gaffes.

Steve Tambellini set the wheels in motion with this firing, and much more to come as the offseason wore on. This was a solid move.

Lowetide to Oiler Nation

Posted: July 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

Congrats, it is a long time coming.

Please try to limit the MA Pouliot posts to a minimum.

I will be doing a draft/fa/trades review shortly…..now that time seems a little settled for me.

The ideal line up….

Posted: April 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

I have made comment on several occasions that the Oilers play their young with a trial by fire mentality.  Gagner, Cogliano rushed.  Constant fourth line merry-go-round with JF Jacques, Pouliot, Stone, Stortini, and on and on.  I make mention that the Red Wings will sign Todd Bertuzzi to play on their fourth line instead of having Abdelkader taking important minutes.

The Oilers have not done this in a long time.  They are trying so hard to get their youth into development at the NHL level that the lack of experience causes them to inevitably fail.

This season, they will pick top two and select a potential franchise player.   Even with all the selection criteria, who is best for the team, yadda yadda, I will go on record that I believe that Taylor Hall is the BPA.  I would select him.

So, what next.  This is a conundrum of epic proportions since the team has to reinvent itself, do you pull a Coyote and go for a big rebound year or do you take it on the chin one more time and hope for a Larsson or Couturier or Nugent-Hopkins?  Dreger said the Oilers want another top 10 pick for this draft as well.  Who know who might be gone from this team?  I won’t predict, but I will tell you what I would do.

1.  Buyouts/Traded.  These players would not be on my team next season.  Either trade for prospects/picks or bought out.  Sheldon Souray, Robert Nilsson, Patrick O’Sullivan, Ethan Moreau, Mike Comrie(Let go via FA).  Souray would like to be on a contender, Nilsson and O’Sullivan have no heart, Moreau is no longer a fit for this team, Comrie doesn’t give enough added value to keep around.  I could be convinced otherwise on Comrie depending on what happens in FA.

2.  Resigned.  Aaron Johnson at minimal raise, Fernando Pisani at a discount.  Ryan Potulny, Sam Gagner, Ryan Jones as well.

3.  Let walk. JF Jacques. Jason Strudwick.  Jeff Deslauriers.  Two of three not NHLers, and Strudwick is just not worthy of giving minutes to.

4. Unrestricted pick ups. Dominic Moore, Jay McKee, Nick Boynton

5. Make the team. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle.

6. Playing in the minors.  Petry, Omark, Van de Velde, Stone(If he wants to play in the minors, if not let him go.)

So your forward ranks might look like this…

Hall Gagner Hemsky

Penner Brule Eberle

Jones Horcoff Cogliano

Stortini Potulny Pisani

Pouliot Moore

The blueline could be something like…

Whitney Gilbert

Smid Johnson

McKee Boynton

Peckham

Khabibulin/Dubnyk

Obviously much depends on what the UFA market will bring, but you get my idea.  Fill spots with Vets, not kids.  We will be much better off…unless we are going for first overall again…

I love deadline day.  Yes, I took one of my few holidays to watch the combination of TSN (Dreger, MacKenzie, Miller, Dutchie, Duthie, Panger, MacT, Mr. Monster, Hodge, Farber, Simmons, Peca…and I think I might be missing one more guy…that is a lot of talking heads.) and the significantly poorer coverage of Sportsnet (Millard, McSorley, Roberts, Brophy..and maybe a couple more guys)

Whilst the coverage was good and thorough, there was much more they could have done with the coverage.  In a day where they are paying oodles of salaries to the talking heads, the things like the graphics showing teams as Sellers, Cap Space etc was a nice touch.  Ultimately this is where coverage failed.

Secondly, the interviews with team correspondents in arenas around the league was OK, but a little underwhelming.  My recommendation is to have a cameraman in a war room or two, and after a deal was completed, replay the last 15-20 seconds of one side of the conversation.  The thought Tambellini hanging up the phone and looking at the camera and saying…”Can you believe we just made a deal with Calgary?” would have been some great TV.

Sportsnet was incredibly dull, although they seemed to have trades as done before TSN, which to me seemed odd considering the breadth of insiders on TSN.  As we all know, Eklund got nothing.  Guys were twittering deals all over the place.

Another problem I had with the coverage was the talking heads were all suggesting how boring a day it was.  Well, it took them until after noon to decide to talk about pre deadline deals of Kovalchuk, Cullen, Phaneuf, Jokinen….not depth deals at all.  They kept lamenting that Wolski for Mueller and Porter was the big deal of the day.  Their job was to keep things going, keep them entertaining.  Whoever was producing the show receives a C- from me, because they should have their on air talent prepared for any posibility, including a slow day.  (Although it was only slow in superstars, not in volume of deals, and even still, as mentioned, the big names moved prior, not on deadline day.

Wheels are off…

Posted: January 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

There isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said.  Everyone in the blogosphere is totally encapsulated in the great suckitude that is the Edmonton Oilers franchise.  The Mighty Quinn, Tom Renney, et al have no answers to the present questions.
The positive about Hemsky and Khabibulin being out for the season allows us to see things about everyone else.  Penner can be a leader.  Gagner has great skill and can be a top 6 forward.  Brule is an effective player.

There are downsides.  Things like Jeff Deslauriers, who I never thought would be an NHL starter is proving me right.  Dubnyk needs more time.  Moreau needs to go.  Pisani isn’t healthy enough to be an NHLer.  Pouliot is terrible.

Oddly though, the management of this team things they can retool.  (Who in Sam Blazes suggests that we need Jagr?)  Katz needs to but out, Lowe should go, Tambellini should get 1 year to show what he can do with his hands untied…(And if he has had some control, then he should be jettisoned as well).

Pendergast should be gone.  He has been in charge of draft and development for long enough to know that we don’t have enough quality in our franchise.

Problem is, most of it likely won’t happen.

It’s going to be a rough ride.  Literally.

Mission Statement

Posted: November 19, 2009 in General, NHL, Oilers, Uncategorized

The Edmonton Oilers are a business.  As a businessman myself, there is always a hierarchy in any corporate structure.  The strange thing about corporate structure is that you generally will have a clearly defined Mission Statement.

Personally, I don’t know what the Oilers’ Mission Statement is, or how they conduct their business, but let’s try to examine what it could be, and what the team is and see if we can find a correlation within. (A nice big shout out to Lowetide, whose Letter to Katz was the inspiration to this blog entry)

A good mission statement indicates what the purpose of the organization is.  What is the Oilers’ reason for being?  Historically what was it?  How has present ownership changed the mission statement from the previous organization.

In the Pocklingtonian Era, there was only one part of the mission statement that mattered.  “The Edmonton Oilers organization will be built to win the Stanley Cup, as soon and as often as possible.”  Thus within a short five years, and then five times by 1990, the team had fulfilled their mission statement and was a model franchise, although some levels of complacency and other factors exhibited pressure on the organization to change this fact.

Backlash against Pocklington, and escalating salaries turned the Mission Statement into.  “A team looking to continue our legacy in spite of economic and social factors to the contrary.”   Economically the team couldn’t continue as the preeminent franchise in the league due to a saggy Canadian Dollar, escalating salaries, and partial failure of the team to replenish after their first group of young stars were long traded away.  Complacency be thy name.

By the late 90s, the Mission Statement must have been “A team looking to survive in the NHL and poor ownership.”  Cal Nichols and the EIG took over in 1998.

Executing a survival plan to keep the team in Edmonton, Nichols and the large consortium would have probably considered something to the effect of “An organization ingrained in the fabric of the city designed to provide entertainment, prestige, and partnership in the community.”  The Oilers were “saved” so that Edmonton could still have an NHL team, and the community could still have one of the shiniest jewels in their history.  Dealing with too many owners, team patriarch Glen Sather left to Broadway, and Kevin Lowe, tied to the team’s history forever took over.  For the few seasons that Sather was still around after Pocklington, the team wasn’t successful, but for a short period, many in the community were likely just happy to have a team.

Since the Lowe era began in 2000, the Mission of “Competitive while surviving economically.” would be the primary thought.  Just make it to the CBA, and maybe we can get a league wide economic system that would stop the team from barely being competitive, to competitve, and gosh darn it, maybe champion again.  Who knows, maybe the “rush” of the new economic order excited the franchise to have one season of “Infuse talent into the team to be as competitive as possible.”  Adding Pronger, Peca, and later Spacek and Samsonov to a team that provided a great run although unlikely since the Oilers were actually fortunate that they could back into the playoffs due to Canuck ineptitude.

Since Prongergate and the plentiful nicknames heaped on the gap toothed one, the team has been struggling for identity.  The Mission Statement perpetually blurred.  Is this team rebuilding?  Are we competitive?  Does the team continually look to land a big fish but end up hungry because of its own blindness?  It seems lately the team has pursued and pursued the highest of talents and come away empty.  The Mission Statement “To acheive success by acquiring elite talent either by free agency or trade.” would be more apropos.

The funny thing is, that regardless, we cheer, we follow, we watch, we buy PPV, and attend games for a team without clear and concise leadership and identity.  With our new owner, the team was supposed to have new found direction and leadership and a Mission Statement that we can all believe in.  The team economically is a license to print money, so unless Katz is one of those meddling owners with a play thing, the fan base wants the Mantra to become “To build a successful franchise worthy of their storied history.”  The disappointing part is that since Darryl Katz took over, there seems to be no steps taken in this regard.