Oh…Those Oilers!

Just an update on all things Oilers.

As I predicted after David Perron spoke freely about the lack of accountability from both players, coaches and management, word Sunday morning that the Oilers are shopping him:

According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, the Edmonton Oilers are interested in dealing forward David Perron.

Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish is reportedly looking for a top line centre in return for the 26-year-old.

Perron has two goals and eight assists in 21 games this season with Oilers, his second year with team.

The Sherbrooke, QC, native has two years left on his current contract.

 

oilers-d-line

 

Do the Edmonton Oilers have a “boiling point”?

We’re about to find out.

There are those among the Oiler blogosphere that the team is better than last season based on shot “attempts”.

I’ve never been one to support the notion that a good Corsi performance is indicative of a good team…it’s like trying to perform surgery with a chainsaw.

Or to mangle a Gretzky phrase from the past…”100% of the shots that don’t hit the net won’t go in”

Now, in actual SOG, the Oilers are somewhat better this season with an average of 30.2/game compared to 26.9/game last season and 26.8/game the season before that.

BUT

Starting tonight against the Hawks, the Oiler play their next 10 games and 19 of their next 20 against WC teams. I’m convinced those shot metrics will look much different at the halfway point of the season.

So, if we can dispense with Corsi or at least put it on the back burner for the next 20 games…let’s look at actual results compared to last season.

POINTS:

2013/34 – 67

On pace for – 57

GOALS FOR:

2013/14 – 203

On pace for – 196

GOALS AGAINST:

2013/14 – 270

On pace for – 274

GOAL DIFFERENTIAL:

2013/14 – 67

On pace for – 78

So, other than generating an additional 3 shots per game against pre-dominantly weaker EC opposition,  the Oilers are worse by every measure than actually counts.

And the holocaust approaches.

There are still those among the Oilers fan blogs defending the train wreck but now the Oilers’ players are beginning to voice their disgust with the team makeup, coaching and effort level.

Edmonton forward David Perron said the Oilers own script is getting awfully tired.

“Something has to change,” he said. “When you are making those mistakes, something needs to happen. They are the same mistakes we were doing last year. We keep talking about how much better we are this year, but for me it is the same record now that we had last year. It is not better.

“It is pretty frustrating.”

  Given Kevin Lowe’s history of emotional reactions to any player voicing his displeasure with the team, I would imagine David Perron has a new address very soon…lucky guy (unless they send him to Hershey).

Taylor Hall was much more politically correct in his post game comments but you have to wonder when he will have had enough since it appears he is going to be wasting at least a few of his prime years playing for nothing.

“It’s not fun to be on losing streaks, that’s for sure,” said Oilers forward Taylor Hall, whose team has also had a four-game skid this season. “It’s a tough way to come to the rink. We just need to find a way.

“We’ve talked so much, but it has to be at the point where we are sick of it. I’m not questioning the try or the character on our team, we have just got to be better.”

I would imagine the next step here is that GM MacTavish will try to engineer some sort of trade to take the heat off Dallas Eakins but, let’s be honest, what ails the Oilers can’t be solved by shuffling the deck chairs.

MacT already tried that, and failed miserably, in the offseason so unless he is willing to make a blockbuster trade that shakes up the teams’ core and entirely changes its culture, that ship has already sailed and is far over the horizon.

In trying to defend Lowe, MacT and Eakins, some folks (like Lowetide) have coined the term “controlled rebuild” to try to justify the sub par performance of the entire hockey operations gang but that is a ridiculous notion.

The bottom line here folks is that the guys who drove this bus into the ditch are NOT the people who can get it out.

I’m reminded of Ray Ferraro’s assessment of the team earlier in the fall.

“They spent a lot of money. I don’t know if they spent it on the right guys or not, but you brought up Nikitin and Fayne. They signed (Benoit) Pouliot to a five-year deal. They bring in Teddy Purcell. So they brought some older people in. They never addressed the middle of the ice, so you got a 21-year-old and an 18-year-old  as your top two centre men.

I mean, no more about promising the future and blah, blah, blah. It’s now. Now it has to get better. And if it doesn’t, I don’t know where they turn because it’s pretty clear that they can’t break the mould from the management group that has been there for 100 years.

Ferraro went on to say that the real issue in Edmonton is that Lowe, MacTavish and Howson have been together so long that they all think alike and don’t have any fresh ideas.

And, of course, McTavish, upon becoming GM, immediately fired the latest guy who thought outside the box and hired Dallas Eakins because…

“During the process of me conducting those interviews [to add an associate coach], I recognized I was trying to add a coach that was more closely aligned with the way I wanted to run the team,” MacTavish said. “And less about supporting Ralph as the head coach.”

There’s your smoking gun right there folks.

Groupthink is very seldom a good thing and it’s especially dangerous when the “thinkers” have all had, at best, very limited success in their field of endeavours and the bottom line is none of Lowe, MacT, Howson or Eakins had ever won anything as hockey executives.

So, once again, the question is, what is the Oilers “boiling point”?

And perhaps more importantly, how long will the Oilers’ fan base allow itself to believe the parrot is just resting.

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10 thoughts on “Oh…Those Oilers!

  1. Thanks Walter.

    Nicholson strikes me more as Business Ops kind of guy but he would be a great fit as the head of a search committee to oversee the hiring of the next President of Hockey Operations. 🙂

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  2. If you were to trade David Perron the time to do it was last summer, not now when he is in a scoring slump/regression. Although he is not a perfect winger, he is one of those irritating, in your face players that the Oilers have a shortage of. Even if not true, now the perception will be that he is being shopped because of his “accountable” comments. Because Oilers!

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  3. Absolutely true.

    I don’t really think he’s been playing all that poorly…his line mates have generally been awful.

    I expect he’ll get moved and light it up with another team right away.

    My best guess is to Philly (and Petry may go with him) although there are other teams that could certainly use him…like Pittsburgh or Florida.

    The Panthers have an enormous number of centres in their system …Barkov, Bjugstad, Pirri, Bolland, Trochek, McKenzie, Grimaldi.

    If I am MacT I would do whatever I could to get Pirri even if it’s a Perron+ deal.

    I’m not sure what the + would be since Florida already has Kulikov, Ekblad Gudbranson, Dylan Olsen and others as young D so it might take another F prospect.

    He’s just coming back from a concussion but is worth the risk.

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    1. Great point, his linemates have been brutal. I wouldn’t object to Perron leaving if it brought a good return, but there are a plethora of soft, uninterested lollygaggers who could probably bring a return exceeding their questionable contributions. Schultz, Eberle ….

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  4. Handing out those 6 year deals to the youngsters was a really bad idea.

    I doubt Eberle would return all that much considering his $6M cap hit. Very few teams could absorb it mid season…and, if you can get anything for Schultz other than a draft pick, I would be amazed.

    He’s awful and not improving.

    Cam Barker comes to mind.

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