Uh, dude…there are polar bears there.

By , August 5, 2009 6:57 pm
A vicious polar bear attack from downtown Edmonton

A vicious polar bear attack from downtown Edmonton

With the latest public rejection of this city, everyone seems to think that Edmonton is the asshole of the NHL.

I’m not sure that players really think it’s all that bad. Anyone think that Detroit is the best city in the states? Players want to play where they have the best chance at winning at cup. That’s not Edmonton. It’s really that simple.

Sure playing in the west means increased travel, but another 15 teams have to deal with that as well. And sure the winter sucks, but we are not the only city that gets winter. Look at Calgary. Are you really going to tell me that Calgary’s winter is that much worse than Edmonton’s. Plus our women are better looking. So that can’t be it.

It’s that Calgary (in this example) has the status of being close to winning the cup. Now we know that they won’t, but that doesn’t stop players from thinking that (or the media). And that is really the only reason that players don’t want to come here.

Show me a player that would have said no to Edmonton in the mid 80’s. I’ll show you a player who has been recently punched in the head by Semenko. Repeatedly.

Win and Edmonton becomes a nicer place to live.

15 Responses to “Uh, dude…there are polar bears there.”

  1. Samus says:

    Wow, you really hate Calgary. Good.

    That’s a fierce Polar bear. Always going for the Achilles tendon!

  2. Racki says:

    Yah I am pretty sure that being a winner will help things quite a bit. It’ll also help the further this team separates itself from the OBC (at least the Oiler OBC). Management has changed, coaching has changed, players have changed. It would also help if our fans weren’t douchebags to certain players in public (see Dustin Penner). But yah, winning should do wonders.

  3. Steve-O says:

    Samus: Wow, you really hate Calgary. Good.That’s a fierce Polar bear. Always going for the Achilles tendon!

    I should have mentioned that we also have a problem with giants in Edmonton.

    And Calgary has done nothing good…their glory years also happened to be when the Oilers were winning cups.

  4. Mr X says:

    We need more than a cup run…

    Wasn’t it after losing in game 7 of the final that there was a mass exodus of talent from Edmonton spearheaded by Pronger? The Oilers need to consistently finish better than a few points in or out of eighth before we can start attracting people to the city again. Even during the ’06 playoffs they barely squeaked in. Sure, they made some noise once they got in, but were 3 pts or so above starting the golf season.

    That and we need to crack down on the polar bears and giants.

  5. Steve-O says:

    I agree, one cup run doesn’t make us contenders.

    However this mass exodus I think may be overblown a bit. Pronger left because of the wife. Spacek and Peca wanted to play in the east. And Samsonov wanted 3+ mil per.

    Sykora and Kotalik liked it here. Glencross liked it here, but didn’t like being treated as a afterthought.

    But all said, yes we need to finish a few seasons 6+ I think to change perceptions.

  6. Racki says:

    I agree on the standings being a critical point. We squeaked into the playoffs in 05/06 season. I think that had a lot to do with negligence on “Dipshit” finding a good goaltender. It took him far too long to do it and the team almost didn’t make it in. Really, they’re doing the same thing again this year, it looks like, by not going after a checker/faceoff guy, and a top scorer… they’re trying to see if they have the tools within to make it work. And well, they might… but we might be sitting here in March watching them claw their way in again (if even that lucky).

  7. chucker says:

    Agreed Racki. Nice site BTW.

    The Oilers stance of finding what they need from the inside of the organization is misguided and will yield the same results as in the past years. When will these guys get it? I’m not sold on this year’s version of the Oilers because, essentially, it’s the same Oilers squad we’ve seen for a couple years now.

    Coaching will improve the team without doubt, but like you said; Who’s going to take the faceoffs? What about the PK and PP? Who’s our go to goal scorer? Who’s our legit backup when Khabi gets injured?

    To me these are pretty easy issues to address, but the Oilers have managed to ice a terrible team and spend to the cap. I’m not buying into the hype at all. In fact it seems palpable amongst fans that there is no expectation for next year other than a high draft pick, which they will ultimately mess up by finishing 21st or something instead of in the bottom five.

    I agree with you. It looks like the same old pattern of “Let’s wait and see how the first 30 games go and then try to address the needs everyone knows we have.” This year they are up against the cap. Good luck Tambi.

  8. Racki says:

    The thought crossed my mind several times that they want to build this team via the draft, a la Pittsburgh, but without making it look like they are intentionally doing that. Unfortunately though, our team sucks even at sucking, and there is a good chances they’ll play hard enough just to ensure they don’t get a top 5 pick, but not good enough to make the playoffs. They’ve got to get out of that bottom-middle zone somehow.

  9. Hockey Noob says:

    Racki,

    I think that it was Dan Tencer via twitter, who quipped something about the Oilers needing to tank the next two or three seasons to build through the draft at this point. He followed that with the observation that the problem is that Oilers fans would burn down Rexall if we miss the second season for another three years though.

    Either way, that’s been a problem in terms of our past performances, often not quite good enough to make the playoffs, yet not quite bad enough to benefit from good draft picks. My gut feeling is that we’ll probably stand pat in terms of our current roster for opening night. However, I have a feeling that we might make a few changes prior to the trade deadline. Steve Tambelleni seems to prefer a very conservative and cautious approach.

  10. chucker says:

    I tend to agree. We are good enough to get out of the bottom five and not good enough to make any sustained greatness to ensure a playoff berth. At this point I have to agree with Tencer’s comments about tanking for a while. I also agree that fans would revolt if this was made an official direction. At the same time there is a huge waiting list for season tickets. Maybe it isn’t as dire as Tencer thinks it would be?

    The reality is that this team needs a complete strip down. Being at the cap and having nobody who would be considered as a franchise player, marginal offense, and pourous D is not a team about to reach the top. Look at Colorado. They’re doing what we should be. Their team is a once great franchise with demanding fans, but they are building their team the right way. The will once again get a top five pick and will bounce back in 2-3 years. If the Oil want to spend to the cap instead of building via the draft, then they have to seriously consider putting some guys on waivers and be prepared to send them to the minors. I don’t see it happening. They seem to want it both ways. I honestly don’t know what to think is their “master plan” anymore.

    There is no doubt that trying to sell this to the season ticket holders would be very, very difficult but it’s not like Oilers fans are ignorant of the situation either. I think most Oiler fans know where we stand in relation to the rest of the league.

  11. Racki says:

    It’s tough to make something like that fly here. I know I wouldn’t enjoy it, especially since we already suffered through 3 years of mediocrity post-SCF, and nevermind what we went through before that. But really, good teams do build through the draft and once they’re good they can maintain it a bit easier due to player interest.

    Next year is the Taylor Hall draft. We always here how this year’s #1 pick is that much better than last year’s #1 pick.. but in this case it sounds like it’s pretty true. It’s hard not to think about tanking on purpose. This last year (as in 08/09) would have been a good time to do it too.

    The other thing we could do is try to trade for more top picks. The Montreal Canadiens were famous for doing this when they were winning cups. This is how they kept such a potent team for years.

    I think our prospect pool is pretty solid, but there’s no one guy that we can really say will carry the team like a Crosby, Ovechkin, Lecavalier, Iginla, or potentially Stamkos, Kane, or Tavares. I think one brief nose dive to pick up a franchise guy would be all we would need. I’m not so sure we need the 2 or 3 year failure plan. But I also don’t really think it’s going to be easy to pull off a winner for the next few years anyways, with all the contracts handcuffing this team.

    So hey.. maybe they’ve silently made that decision already. I don’t know.

  12. Mr X says:

    I was going to jump in and say, what if the team tanks, picks up a number 1 and it turns out to be a Lindros? Upon further thought though, whether big E played for the Nordiques/Avalanche or not, drafting him certainly worked out well in the end.

    Maybe it’s not a bad idea, from a managerial/ownership perspective. The fans could very well revolt, but as was stated earlier, there is a wait list for season tickets so if part of the fan base gets frustrated and moves on, new blood will replace it and a top pick in next year’s entry draft would generate some interest in the team again as well. Whether we can sign them or not there would be value in an early pick.

    If they are going to tank though, they have to embrace it. No picking up rental players for a late playoff push. No middle of the pack, we’ll do better next year talk. It’s all or nothing.

  13. Racki says:

    The fans will always be there, regardless. They may lose a few fans (like the ones that weren’t around pre-SCF), but there are more than enough to go around now.

    I don’t really want to see this team shit the bed and purposely tank, and I do think that they can make it to the playoffs this year with a few changes. However, it’s hard not to think of how great it would be to have a REAL big name Crosby-esque franchise player here again.

    But I don’t think you’re too far off in your original thought, Mr. X… what if we get Patrik Stefaned, or Alexandre Daigled. Then we just waisted a year on a dud, and set this franchise back even further. Or what if we finish second or third last (and don’t win the lottery) and end up with a good, but not great player? It’s a bit of a risk, either way. I think last year would have been the time to really go for it though, given how deep the prospect pool was.

    Again, they could also go the old Canadiens route and try to stockpile 1st round picks as well too.

  14. Steve-O says:

    No way. Not a chance. A good GM should not have to tank a season to build a good team. You just can’t make stupid decisions (Heatley would have been one, Penner, return on Pronger, Smyth). Look at the decisions that Detroit is making. Williams and Eaves are good players to the mil that they signed for.

    You don’t need the home run, and we can re-build without sucking. Build a team like the late 90’s Oilers that were tough to play against to start, then add a piece here and there as they may come available.

  15. Racki says:

    That’s what I’m saying with the Canadiens draft pick thing, btw. To clarify, I mean that the Canadiens were always on top and stayed on top because they just traded away players for other teams’ top picks. We could do the same… might be a bit easier said than done in this era though. But I don’t think we *need* to shit the bed to build a winner. You’re right, they just need to make better decisions. Specifically in regards to contract/salary.

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