In the 1980s the Edmonton Oilers were really good at hockey. So good in fact that they won 5 cups. Wow what a franchise, built around Wayne Gretzky and friends.
The date is April 9, 2019 and somehow the Oilers are still built around the same personnel. Every single player, water boy, and brother (hello Keith) from the 80s Oilers are working in the Edmonton head office. This is wonderful because nothing in the game of hockey has changed at all since then, so obviously they know it all. A truly flawless setup.
The 2018-2019 Oilers were yet another disappointing team with expected results in Edmonton. They did not succeed to make the playoffs. Not that anyone truly expected them to be in the race. Even with two players in the top 5 in NHL scoring, they could not be dragged to a postseason presence.
Finding a team’s true weakness is tough. In the Oilers’ case it’s extremely tough because there are so many. Given I’m not Edmonton media, I don’t need to defend them. Instead I can point out every little flaw they have, like your mother when you come for dinner over the holidays.
The many issues plaguing the Oilers point to the same direction: the front office. For most teams that would mean the GM and a few department heads. For the Oilers this refers to everyone: the owner, the CEO, the GM (all of the ones they’ve had in the last ten years who are still somehow in board meetings, making decisions), the scouts, the hot dog vendors, the security guards, you name it. Fire them all. End of story (yes an owner can’t be fired, so smart of you).
Time and time again we see them make moves against the skill movement in the NHL. Every spring they sit at the year-end press conferences and preach that the team needs to increase in character. That the Oilers need to be tougher to play against. That they need more guys like Matt fucking Hendricks.
This year the excellent one was that Tobias Rieder not scoring this season cost them the playoffs. If he had scored 10-12 goals, surely the Oilers would be fighting for the Cup! What can we say to disprove that? Other than their team allowed 42 more goals than they scored themselves (or in Kris Russell’s case, on themselves), which would be a solid -30 if Rieder scored those goals.
This is the management group comprised of the 1980s players. Not ideal. They have not seen the game evolve clearly. Let me tell you ladies and gentlemen, today, goalies can actually make saves, and penalties are actually called. So you can’t score on every shot or kill people on the ice. You actually need some talent. Not sorry about the dig. Send your enforcer. I’m sure the office still has a guy protecting Wayne.
You will point out that Peter Chiarelli was never an Oiler. This is a fair point. However he was hired AFTER the Seguin trade. That trade by the way, has footage showing how it went down. Guess which other Oiler figure is also in the video…
Seems rather fitting that he then trade Hall, Eberle, and the Barzal pick to acquire a bottom pair defender and….?
The scarier part of the problem is the media’s absolute devotion to these guys.
The Edmonton media carries water for that franchise. Every single decision they have ever made is defended absolutely. Especially the dumb ones. Oh boy did they get a hard on for Adam Larsson’s arrival. They still talk about that trade like they acquired Gretzky again.
Saying that Peter Chiarelli’s right hand man, and brother to WAYNE GRETZKY, isn’t part of the old boys club is an interesting take. Especially since Keith only got a job when Wayne hired him in Arizona, after he bought part of the team. It’s even better when saying he’s like Ken Holland, the poster boy of the club.
Keith Gretzky made two trades that resulted in net zeroes after he was given the interim post. Somehow doing the same work as a potato earned him a GM job. I guarantee you if every other GM post came up in the league Keither wouldn’t be suggested for even on of them. But because he’s one of the old white dudes that continues to fail UP in the hockey world, the Edmonton media loves him.
Speaking of a potato, if the Oilers had not made a single roster trade in the last 8 years, here is what their team could look like: (maybe even add Jeff Petry)
The trades deserve a post of their own. My god the terrible swaps they’ve encouraged and preached.
Watch this *unbiased* reporter’s love for the MVP Hall trade. Look at him answer the classic “playoffs” to a legitimate question, as though he is a 16 year old.
Let’s say they were to ship all these idiots into the sun and restart so they could save David’s career. Where are the Oilers as a franchise?
Their prospect pool is rather weak. Do not be convinced by their lies. Evan Bouchard is awesome. They set fire to Jesse Puljujärvi and pissed on his ashes. They’re on track to ruin Kailer Yamamoto. After them the cupboard is barren.
In cases like that ideally cap space gets you out of it. Absorb prospects in trades that include players with bad cap hits. Unfortunately they don’t have this option because they’re strapped as bad as a team in full compete mode.
Milan Lucic makes a billion dollars a year for his 15 points, while also have a no trade clause. Kris “on my knees” (to block shots) Russell also has a no trade clause. They signed a goalie with 30 NHL games experience to a four million dollar a year contract (and also fired their GM two days later, that’s just hilarious). In no way shape or form can their cap problems be blamed on Leon and Connor getting paid. They deserve even higher cap hits.
So basically we’re saying is they are FUCKED. No like really, really, really FUCKED.
They do have Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the Nuge. All three had career years. They are awesome. Praise these players. Buy them things to make them happy. Maybe snoop around and suggest they ask for a trade so we can watch them with real NHL players.
This mess will take time to fix. And it needs fixing. Because let me tell you ladies and gents, first line Zack Kassian ain’t gunna cut it.