I know I have mentioned this before, but I’m completely apathetic to this team any more. You might say “then why do you write about them?” Well a lot of Oiler fans read my stuff good or bad, and it’s still my local team, and they’re pretty easy to write about. But I don’t care weather or not I see a game, I don’t care if they win because I know it isn’t anything sustainable. I just don’t care. And you shouldn’t either, mainly because the owner is more worried about lining his pockets and hanging out with his buddies than winning.
This won’t be some piece where I ramble on for 3,000 words and completely breakdown the Oilers organization. I have done that piece probably twice a year for the last 3 years. No this is just a piece to trash the organization. Now I’ve done that too, but you can’t do that enough.
This fan base deserves the best, and they’re getting the worst. It’s as simple as that. This team has become the worst in sports. Not just the NHL, sports. Since Daryl Katz took ownership of this team in the summer of 2008, they have been the worst franchise in sports. The Oakland Raiders, who are a total laughing stock, have had more success.
And there is zero doubt what the problem in the organization is, it’s management. And more specifically it is that this management has ZERO accountability and it is a complete trickle down effect to the coach, and the star players. I mean, this team has an owner who parades his kid onto the stage every year at the draft! That’s a statement right there, and it is far from a good one.
To make matters much worse for the Oilers is that for years Oilers fans mocked the Flames for not rebuilding, and now the Flames are making rebuilding look easy. Why? Because they brought in competent people to run their organization. You probably don’t like Brian Burke, but he’s done a lot more right than wrong in this league.
And Burke didn’t hire one of his buddies, he went out and got the best man to be his GM in Brad Treliving. And Hartley isn’t buddies with either one of them, he just is a damn good coach. That’s why the Flames are a real good team right now and the Oilers are awful. And can the Edmonton media SHUT UP about how Calgary’s goaltending and offense from their blueline can’t keep up? Give them their credit and quit looking for reasons why the Oilers aren’t as bad as they should be. They’re awful, accept it. Calgary is good, accept it.
The wheels have completely come off. This is a total disaster and nobody is taking the fall for it, and nobody is taking any accountability. They have completely coddled their young stars and made them believe that they can do no wrong. Proof of this is when a solid vet like David Perron who comes to play every night does everything except call them by name in an interview after Friday night’s loss to New Jersey.
If you are still someone who attends the games you are an idiot. I’m sorry to say that, but you are. Do fans believe that booing will do anything?! This teams has been booed out of the building for 6 seasons now, nothing has changed. STOP GOING TO THE GAMES!
It is like your sibling has a drug addiction and you keep supplying them with the drugs. Your best friend is obese and you take them for lunch at McDonald’s. If you love this team, then why are you continuing to contribute to the problem? Time to give up the fantasy that if you cheer louder they will get better. They won’t. It’s also time to give up this fantasy that if you stop cheering for them that you are some kind of traitor or bandwagon jumper, you aren’t.
As for the fans standing downstairs booing the team as they came off the ice Saturday night, those people are morons. I would NEVER be that guy. That’s a douche move. If it was fair game for the players to go after those people, those people wouldn’t be booing. It’s gutless. And you aren’t going to humiliate this organization by doing that, because Katz in particular doesn’t care. This is the man who according to reports last year wouldn’t allow Kevin Lowe to step down! No, he would rather have his friend around then try to better the team. Fact.
The best thing for the team right now would be to finish 30th in front of a half empty house every night. Then MAYBE the owner starts to think about his investment and makes actual changes. Changes being a complete house cleaning in the front office and coaching staff and bringing in ACTUAL competent people. Not to mention the guarantee of McDavid or Eichel who are better than anyone they currently have. And save your “they can’t make another draft pick” idiocy for those who want to try to make that claim. You don’t get better by trading franchise players.
Now, if they do end up with a top 2 pick, then they without a doubt have to move 1, 2, or maybe 3 of the kids they currently have. They need to get legitimate goaltending, and legitimate D-men. But you don’t move a sure fire, franchise altering number 1 center like McDavid or Eichel.
My concern for the Oilers in that scenario though would be that if they get that pick….will either guy come? I wouldn’t be anything shocked if both those guys were to come out pre draft and say they aren’t signing in Edmonton. Because why would you? It is one of the biggest train wrecks in league history now, and that’s not an overstatement.
The Nordiques weren’t this bad for this long in the early 90’s. The Senators weren’t this bad for this long in the mid 90’s. The Islanders haven’t been good for 20 years but they haven’t ever had a stretch like this one. Neither have the Panthers. It is unreal. So I can’t see why prospects with as much power as McDavid and Eichel will have would ever sign with the Oilers.
And again I go back to the coddling aspect. I actually think Craig MacTavish has been solid as a GM, but then he signs Justin Schultz and when speaking about him talks about how he’s a future Norris trophy winner? What exactly are you watching?! So if Schultz is getting that kind of praise instead of the truth which is he has a lot of potential but has a lot to improve on, then why would he ever work on his game?
That’s the EXACT approach they took with Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle. Hall and Nugent-Hopkins are so good they’re overcoming that garbage. But even Hall, he is still terrible defensively and under this regime won’t have any incentive to get better 2 ways because he can do no wrong in their eyes. But this approach completely ruined Sam Gagner, and is currently ruining Jordan Eberle.
And I’ll go back to MacTavish for a minute. While he has done an ok job brining in what they need, he got the job because he was Kevin Lowe’s buddy. And he fired Ralph Krueger because Ralph wasn’t his buddy. What kind of message does that send? I know one thing, it isn’t a message that endorses any kind of work ethic or character.
Eventually the only way your kid will start to grow up is if you kick them out of your house. If any of you Oiler fans care about your team, you’ll kick them out of your house. You’ll stop watching the games, you’ll stop going to the games, you’ll stop frequenting the website and stop downloading anything they pump out with all due respect to Tom Gazzola. Trust me when I say this, life is much better without them. And once the organization finally starts to figure it out, THEN go back. But until then, just let them sleep in their filth, quit jumping in with them.
Follow me on twitter @TJ_Soups