Showing posts with label Kevin Lowe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kevin Lowe. Show all posts

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Any Changes upcoming in Oilers Management?

First up in our look into what changes can or will happen with the Edmonton Oilers next season in regards to Management.

We know their is a Lynch mob waiting to crucify Lowe in the City of Edmonton. Even the fans at the arena are calling for his head. The only constant left through all these years is Kevin Lowe. The argument we hear from Katz (the owner) and other members of the MSM is Lowe does not affect what happens on the ice. Do you believe that? Does not leadership start from the top down. Did he not move himself into presidency and hire Tamby to run this once storied franchise into the basement cellar of the NHL? Yup, same guy. 

Personally I like Lowe and everything he did as a player. I like him as a person but as management, not so sure he brings what this team needs. Still doubt that changing management (who is not a GM) matters? Lets take a look at 1 man who has proven that theory wrong on 2 occasions. His name is John Davidson! The following articles were written either after being in St.Louis or after and moving to Columbus. All we have to do is look at the difference in attitude that team adopted. It's the LEADERSHIP culture that he changes and what he expects out of all his staff , not to mention his selection of hockey minds to run that part of the business has a proven track record. 

Here are the articles written on Davidson;

"Since his arrival, Davidson has been involved in the acquisitions of Andy McDonald, Alex Steen, Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk while continuing to develop a solid young team." by

"Davidson will find a number of opportunities in the NHL to do what he did in St. Louis: Build a winner on the ice through the draft and smart spending, and be the voice of the organization in keeping fans enthusiastic about the direction of the franchise….Davidson's a rock star executive, and an asset to any team that manages to add him to the brain trust."

"The problems that Davidson will face in Columbus are not unlike what he encountered when he first arrived in St. Louis. The Blues were last in the NHL in 2005-06 with 56 points but have gradually become one of the league's top teams". by The Associated press

"Davidson was brought into the organization in December of 2005 when the Blues were in the basement of the NHL. Davidson wasted no time in improving the front office. Al MacInnis was promoted to vice president, Dave Taylor became involved with player personnel and when GM Larry Pleau had to step down to senior adviser, Davidson made his best hiring in Doug Armstrong for the GM position.  If any one person should be credited with the rise of the Blues, it is Davidson. Davidson knew exactly who he needed in the GM positions to make the team homegrown and into contenders, even if it would take a few years."

"There are currently only three players, David Backes, Roman Polak and Barrett Jackman who were drafted before Davidson became president. Since then, there are six players that receive regular playing time (T.J. Oshie, Ryan Reaves, Patrik Berglund, Ian Cole, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo) and many others currently in the NHL or ready to come up now. Because of these drafted players the Blues rose from the basement of the NHL in 2005 to Central Division Champs and only two points away from the President's Trophy.  The team has gone from looking as bare as a youth hockey rink to having standing room only crowds. When Davidson was hired the Blues were last in the hearts of the city. Now, they rival the Cardinals for passionate fans. Davidson has taken the team from the ashes of the lockout and turned them into a Cup contending team.By ,

Not bad recommendations by several writers and if you examined the ownership of NHL teams many would love to have this man running their ship. I realize he is only 1 man but that 1 man is also only a PRESIDENT of an NHL team, just like Kevin Lowe. Nobody can convince me that the position of President has no impact on the ice.

It won't happen before the season starts but another bad start next season for the Oilers and Kevin Lowe's position WILL no longer be secure, after all you can only live on your 5 Stanley Cup rings for so long and you can only give the same excuses for so long. The only way Lowe will continue in management is if the Oilers make a strong push for the playoffs right up to the bitter end. Anything less and IMO he will be let go. Love the guy but winning franchises have to know how to let go of not only players but management and coaches that have expired dates on their resume when it comes to winning.

Next article, we will discuss the area of coaching and examine how safe the Coaches are within the Oilers organization. 

In the meantime, and in between time, that's it for another edition of Oilers hockey!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Where do the Oilers go from here?

The Edmonton Oilers season has gone down the toilet in a big way and we are looking at one of, if not the worst season record in the history of the organization. There is no way to spin this thing and nothing I can say here will change. This city (Edmonton) and Oilers fans worldwide have found places to cast blame and some seem like good possibilities but many of those places they are looking to cast blame I do not believe are the reason for the poor results on the ice.

Let's walk through some of the possibilities that are ailing the Edmonton Oilers and possible solutions that could be made to see improvement this year and the year's to follow.

Possible Problems:

1) President Kevin Lowe;
While I agree that Lowe should be made accountable for the mess that is the Oilers, he is not. There has been no repercussion for his bad decisions or lack thereof. On the other hand other then just making people feel good, do we really believe this team improves if he is fired or let go? Nope! It's about time we stop looking at Lowe as the problem. The past may be his fault, heck even where we are now. If we have to let MacT go cause he fails as a GM then that would be Lowe's fault for 2 bad GM hires and that should fall on him. Until then? Exactly, let's look for a different on ice reason for a lack of results with this skilled of a team

2) GM Craig MacTavish;
How can we blame MacT for this? Because he hired Eakins is the reason we have tanked? Maybe, but since very little growth occurred with the other coaches I highly doubt it would have added more then another 5 wins in the old win column. In fact MacT has not even been in his job a year and took over a disaster of a rebuild. Sure he has made some errors as fans like to point out, but if we are all honest, the current state of affairs of this team is not MacT. He doesn't have much time to stand pat that is for sure. He has to make at least 2 big moves still to even see the Oilers become a playoff team IMO.

3) Head Coach Dallas Eakins; 
MacT, Quinn, Renney, Kruger and now Eakins and we think this all falls on Eakins. I did not like what i thought sounded like arrogance when he first came in but in recent interviews he sounds a little more humbled and I for one, don't see changing head coaches as a way of improving. It's a decision that needs to be followed through for 2 full seasons.

4) Assistant Coaches Buchberger and Smith:
I like both as people and as players in their day but don't see how they add more then another assistant coach would who is real good at their job and come with a top end resume. Could it be they have been trained by bad mentoring? It's time to move on here and hire someone with a proven track record who has had success at their level of coaching.

5) Goaltending;
Has been and continues to be a problem for a long time. It's time the Oilers get a goalie who can steal a game every 10-12 games. Someone who can have a Save % of at least .915 and not let in soft goals at times when they break the back of the team's momentum. A clutch save at the right time is more important then just a save. btw…contrary to most people's thoughts with goalies, there is no goalie who we can get (or afford) that is on top of the world when we get him. You need to take a chance on a Goalie who may need to re-establish himself sometimes.

6) Defence;
As upset as some may be here, you can't bring in elite talent without paying through the ceiling with your young forwards who are considered untouchable to Oiler fans. The future is shaping up well and defencemen always take time to develop. My preference is still to get Ekblad in the draft and let him get 1 extra year in jr before bringing him up. In the meantime Klefbom has more time to develop (he will come around IMO) Marincin and Gernat in the minors and let's not forget Nurse.

7) Team is too small and not gritty enough;
While I agree we need to get bigger and or tougher, what does that mean? Ever watch Crosby? What about Nathan MacKinnon this year? Some of you Oiler fans really like Perron's game. I could walk through at least 15 other NHL players easily who are tough to play against yet they are not extremely tall or over 200 lbs. So what does bigger or tougher mean? Is it height or weight? I think what people mean is they can protect the puck, not get tossed around when they get hit and can win the battles in the corners coming out with the puck on most occasions.

Having said all that, none of us really know the answer and if we really believe we are smarter then the professionals we need to give our head a shake. But since this is only a blog and we like to discuss these kind of things let me take a stab at where I think the Oilers should go from here…

Stay the course and do not trade the pick;
My preference would be to draft in order if they are available when the Oilers step up to the podium, Ekblad, Reinhart or Sam Bennett. Should the Oilers draft out of the top 3 then Drasaitl would be next. It's likely we will be drafting top 3 in June. Drafting one of the other of Reinhart 1st or Bennett allows us to draft for a 2nd line center for the future as well. Don't be deceived, Reinhart will not be pushed around at 6'1 even though he is 185 lbs about. He would be a perfect fit IMO on that second line but i would send him back to jr for 1 more year before bringing him in full-time even though I believe he will be ready this next year.

Trade Yakupov;
I absolutely do not personally want to send him packing but something tells me his game will not fit what the Oilers are building. The trade with a top quality prospect and or pick for a top end defencemen or big center who can fill in the #2 line spot. I realize some may think his value is low but it's just a sophomore jinx some may say. Most the other players taken high in his draft year are not faring much better and it is rumoured that many GM's actually believe that Edmonton does not handle their development well with some of their players. His value is high out there on the market and this summer will be a good time to explore what the options are.

Try to resign Scrivens and get a solid UFA #1 Goalie or make a trade for one;
This will not be easy but let's hope the Oilers can somehow convince someone who hits the market July 1st that coming to Edmonton will be where they can excel. Until this can happen the Oilers will always muddle around in the middle of the pack at best.

Trade 2 defence prospects for a 3-4 d-man;
We are stock piling some d-men and eventually something will have to break. The Oilers can land a few different defencemen as a possibility but truth is a player in the ability of a Petry can be had it will mean the Oilers will have to give something good up (other then their 1st round draft pick or Nurse).

The players I do not even consider to move unless someone goes crazy and overpays are the following;
Taylor Hall / Ryan Nugent-Hopkins / David Perron / Darnell Nurse / Justin Schultz / Jeff Petry. Everyone else is available for the right deal if it means we improve the team. I love many of the other players as well but you will have to pay a high price if you want to bring in a franchise type player who can take this team over that bump in the road.

I know many of you will have varying opinions on this. Shoot away at your suggestions or thoughts. It's all subjective anyway but nothing wrong with voicing our thoughts or idea's or opinions. What's your thought's? You see things different or are you thinking along the same lines? What about Oilers management? What do you think they are actually going to do?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

@JohnnieOil Speaks His Mind About Taylor Hall

Our friend JohnnieOil stopped by tonight and had this to say about Taylor Hall "taking" the #4 from the only NHL Oiler to wear that number, Kevin Lowe;

"JohnnieOil said:

I dunno, in a way I like this and in another I don’t.

I understand the synergy of Lowe giving Hall “his” #4.

Lowe being the first ever Oiler pick, scoring the first goal etc there is a lot of Oiler history with that man.

Regardless of what people may think and say of Lowe now there is no denying that he has a very special place in Oiler history and his jersey should be up in the rafters, without any doubt.

And now we have Hall, our first ever #1 pick, a great talent to be sure but he is unproven in the NHL at this time. So does he deserve to take a local legends number and all that it means in the history of the oilers? I just don’t know but it does show the class and unselfishness of Lowe and his love of the team. He is demonstrating a team first attitude as president as he did when he played and I tip my Oilers hat to him.

No one was more excited when we picked Hall, definitely the right pick in my mind I just hope he lives up to the class and love of team and city that the man before him that wore that #4.

Now drop the puck already!"

It's also posted at his blog. Check it out here.

I'm an emotion kind of fellow and I did get caught up in the Hall hoopla. I love a good story and this has interesting written all over it.

JohnnieOil brings up some great points and I'd have to say, I agree 100%. I personally do hope that Taylor Hall leads himself with class and dignity much like Kevin Lowe did and makes all of Oil Country proud. He's going to be even more under fire now with that digit. Can he handle the Oil Country heat?

*fingers crossed* Hope so.

-Written by Smokin' Ray-

Taylor Hall Will Wear #4 For The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall Will Wear #4 For The Edmonton Oilers!!!

Yours truly has been bitching and griping about why the Oilers, more importantly Kevin Lowe, haven't given Taylor Hall the elusive #4.

Well, it's happening. Unless someone is messing with my mind.

Expect a press conference tomorrow (?) as the Oilers (Lowe) present Hall with the #4 blue and orange jersey.

ON A SIDE NOTE: Our own Marsha (Scarlett) Boyd called the PC a couple of weeks ago. Atta girl Marsha!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

In Katz's Shoes - An Oiler Fan's Thoughts

Hello, my name is Paq Twinn and I'm the "other" guy here at Oilers Jambalaya. I've known Smokin' Ray for 10 years now and it's been fun helping out with the TweetCasts for the Beers & Jeers and whatever else he's wanted me to do. Now it's time to ramp it up a bit and you'll find me writing on here a lot more often. Do I have a different point of view compared to Smokin' Ray? You bet I do. Here's one example...


Here's what I would do if I were in Katz's shoes.

If you build it they will come?

I'd worry less about the new building and more about the on ice product. Don't get me wrong, I do think that the Oilers need a new building in the future. It's just that the team is so inconsistent, that fans don't know what to expect when they show up to Rexall place for a game. Is it the team that works their collective asses off that shows up, or the one that stinks the joint out? The product should be the focus at the moment.

On a side note, if Mayor Mandel wants the "city" to own the new arena then he should pony up some money. Otherwise, be happy someone wants to better your city and build a new attraction, and keep your mouth shut.

The Scouts

When looking at the Oilers draft history over the last 30 years, an involuntary urge to puke swells in my gut. Other than some great drafts in the first few years (Messier-3rd rd, Anderson-4th rd, Kurri-4th rd, Moog-5th rd) and some decent prospects from recent drafts, the Oilers have been horrible.

From 1984-1992 there wasn't one 1st rd pick that played more than 60 games. That's not even a whole season. When Kevin Lowe took over from Slats back in 2000, most of the scouting staff retired, probably cause they would have been fired after drafting the likes of Rita, Riessen, Bonsignore etc. Kevin Lowe appointed Prendergast as head of scouting, while Lowe himself scouted AHL and NHL talent. Neither era has a great draft record. Slats got some good ones in the Oilers infant years, and Lowe has been better in the last few years himself(minus Robbie Schremp).

If I were in Katz's shoes I would do everything possible to get a scout or 2 that has a proven track record. Someone from Detroit and maybe New Jersey, these teams draft consistently well every year and it doesn't seem like a fluke.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Unknown

Finally I'd do something about the contracts on this team. Here's what moves I would want done with this roster.

The Good ones are obvious, and I'm not that concerned about them. Gags, Pens, Hemmer, Lubo, Smid, Brule, Storts, Stoner and Potsy.

The Bad ones haven't played bad, but some have. I would give Tambo the power to trade these guys. Gilbert, Grebs, Horc(I know, I know, the contract), Cogs, Patty-O, Comrie and Souray. I would also deal one of the 3 goalies. JDD and DD are RFA's at season's end and we have to choose one to keep and deal one or keep both and trade Khabbi.

The Ugly players have to go, no matter what. whether it's through trades, buy-outs or waiving to the minors. They are as follows, Moreau, Nilsson, Staios, Strudwick, and I don't like to do this to him but Pisani as well.

The Unknown players haven't been around long enough to really know how effective they will become or ineffective for that matter. The jury is out on Chorney, Peckham, Reddox, McDonald and O'Marra. These guys still have potential and I wouldn't give up on any of them....yet.


Well there you have it, a little look into Paq's brain. Hope it wasn't too scary. One more thing, I would also bring back the blue shoulder patches on the white jersey's, or maybe orange. But there would be shoulder patches on the whites for sure. But that's a whole other subject for some other time.

Have a great day and see you next time.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Blame Game #2

Well we wake up after a hard night of drinking. (we all did it after that game) Who's on at 10:30 this morning? Detroit is playing in Pittsburgh. So we better not hear any excuses after this game about playing early twice in a row. Detroit is doing it as well... only earlier.

So after another loss like that, questions need to be answered. And not the usual answers that MacT likes to dish out. Be honest here. Tell us that you panicked. Tell us that the game was out of control so quick that you had no idea how to react. Tell us that you screwed up. Again. My good buddy Whitey writes to me last night, "I'm really starting to think a change of coach is the best thing for the Oilers, 9 years is too long. Time for a new voice/message." Seriously... How can I argue with that anymore? In the past I have. I've fought it to the death. But my fight is getting smaller. I just maybe calling over to JSBM and have them swing by with the old firemactbandwagon to pick me up. I may be going on a wagon ride.

It's not just MacT though. Even Moreau beats around the bush. Just say "I sucked as a Captain yesterday and I didn't play to my full potential." Don't tell us it's a process. We don't want to hear that. Time is running out. A process my ass! Win. Or at least try to win. Play hard. Check hard. Shoot hard. Try and start there. Pfft... a process. *shakes head* I want a NEW captain. We deserve a new captain.

To me I have the most problem with the guys up top. Tambellini and Lowe. I don't know who really has the authority to make a trade. And let's be honest... I don't care. But when Garon was traded for Stone and Sabourin, Tambo said that Sabourin was only temporary. He said that he will be moved. Where is this deal? Where is any deal? Is there no one to "dance" with? The Oilers have been linked to Bouwmeester and Spezza and Lecavalier and nothing has been done. Why? Jason Gregor made a great list over at These are good candidates for Tambo or Lowe to act on. What's the deal with Cole? Is he the next Sykora? Likes it here but the team is moving in a different direction? Why not pick up Doug Weight? What's the hold up?

Lots of questions... not many answers. At this point we need to blame all of the organization. Management, Coaches and the Players. The Oilers are in 9th as of this writing and all is not bad. It just needs to be better. It can be better. Minnesota in 1/2 hour. GAME DAY!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Blame Game.

Now, I am not a fan of the blame game. Yet people's opinions are being tossed around all willy nilly and things are seeming to be out of touch with the reality of what is actually going to happen. Who do I blame for the Oilers troubles? Not who you think. Read on.

Craig MacTavish

- I know that most people really believe that it is the coaches fault. Is it? Really? I don't think so. I quite like MacT as a coach. Sure his style is a little unorthodox but it works when the players buy into it. He definitely is more of a younger guy coach. His way of helping Gagner and Cogs seems to be on track and working. I am curious on how Steve MacIntyre is going to look when he comes back. He's been working hard at doing whatever the coaching staff has asked. In Bobby Nilsson's case, it's hard to coach someone that really has no effort or desire to get better. I don't think that MacT really has control over the older players (Moreau, Horcoff, Hemsky) If he did he would have put Hemsky on the left side and Cole on his right. But Hemmer says no and the answer is no. End of story. I really believe that it takes Mact a little to long to figure out the older players and how to use them (ie: Peca). Cole has been very manageable this year and I'm sure that is going to help him during the next few months as we move along towards the playoffs. I really think that Cole is going to be a huge impact player by the time we are heading into the playoffs. (we will be in the playoffs this year) So for more reasons than I want to or feel like writing, MacT will NOT be fired this year. If we tank and not make the playoffs then he will resign after the season is over. I repeat. He will NOT be fired this year. Besides... how many coaches are ready to jump a plane and move to Edmonton? Not too many I would think.

Ok. Let's just say for example... I am a crappy worker (player). I come to work and kinda sorta do a little sweeping. I then read the paper for a bit. Then I walk around pretending to be busy. Then I go to the bathroom for 20 minutes. Then oh! Lunch time. Cya in an hour. Then my Foreman (coach) pulls me into his office. He gives me the "we need to be more productive" speech. "Ok. Loud and clear", I say. Then this continues for a couple of days. I seem to get the speech every 2 days for a week. The store manager (GM) starts to see me wandering around. He starts wondering what I am up to. How am I making him any money. Now the company owner (Mr. $$$$) gets wind of this. He's pissed off. So tell me. Who should be fired?

The Store Manager (GM)? Perhaps. He did hire me for $20 an hour. But not likely.

How about the Foreman (coach). Should he be fired because I suck? Maybe. Although he did try and inspire me and really you can only help someone for so long before you come to a realization that the guy that was hired is a moron.

So who ends up being canned? Me (the player) I can blame management all I want. But I suck. So I deserve to be fired. Unfortunately that can't really happen in the NHL. Buy outs are costly. And it's hard to trade nothing for something.

So what am I getting at here? Blame the players for being crappy. It's not always the coach. I'm not saying that Mact hasn't screwed up. He has a few times. I'm just saying it not his fault. Just ask Tampa Bay. or the Islanders.

Kevin Lowe
- Despite the little story that you just read. In this case I do blame Kevin Lowe for 50% of the teams woes. He is the one responsible for bringing in talent and he's the one who makes the deals. In a hockey world this position is very important. A coach can only do so much with what he has. Sure the Oilers are stacked with talent. Small talent for the most part. But that is really a small reason. Well... half the reason.
When the leaders of the team are struggling then the rest of the team struggles too. This isn't new. It happens in all sports. I am the coach/captain of my slo-pitch team. When I am "on", the rest of my team feeds off it and we play well. If I'm not going good then I can hardly expect anyone else to be. Right? I live by the motto "Leadership is Action... Not Position". Ask Messier. No action. No position. Therefore your team will stink too. For this I put the other 50% blame to these three guys.


- These three are supposed to be the leaders. The amount of "power" these three have in the locker room is enormous. These three have not been living up to their leadership position. The last couple of games, Chopper has been good. But before then.... c-r-a-p-p-y. And he's the Captain. Sure I am sure he is good at organizing player functions and all the other crap he does, but we need an on ice leader. Any "A" can do what he does. But the "C" needs to be a game changer. He needs to be able to throw a huge hit or score a goal when you need it. And Moreau hasn't done that for the team.

Staios has not been very good this year. It kinda sucks that his spot is pretty golden. He takes bad penalties at bad times. Almost borderline over aggressive. That is not what a leader is supposed to do. Not one that I would want to play with anyways. I believe that he needs to be moved.

Now Mr. Horcoff. Mr. Money Pants. I liked the 3rd line $2 million dollar Horcoff better. That guy played like he wanted to be 1st line guy. I just see no real effort from him this year. He was a good pk guy. Now he's an ok pk guy. On the PP he is a one trick pony. And other teams now know what he does. That is why last game he wasn't effective. I wonder why people that get big contracts always suck for the first couple of years? The last year is always their best year. So that means we have the next three to four years of the crappy Horcoff. Yay! I always said that he was a great 3rd line guy. He was a good 2nd line guy. But he is an average 1st line guy. We need a awesome guy to be 1st line guy and that isn't Horcoff. So now what? Not sure. A trade? A demotion? That falls into Kevin Lowe's department, the other 50 %.

I'm sure I may have made some people mad at me because of this. But so be it. It's my opinion. And my opinion only. This is not written without thought. It just has been driving me nuts that people want MacT fired. It comes down to the core players. The veterans. Then it falls on Lowe. (how much authority does Tambellini really have here?) Bottom line... I support MacT. There. I said it.

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