Oilers Meet and Greet for Season Ticket Holders

By , March 20, 2011 4:29 pm
Patrick LaForge

Patrick LaForge

So, thanks to the girlfriend (Oilrsgrl77 for those that know her here or from the Oilers Message Board), I got to go to a special event for seasons ticket holders at Rexall today. The first part was a “meet and greet” where you could go around taking pictures with all the players. The 2nd part (which I enjoyed the most) was a Q&A between Jack Michaels and Steve Tambellini and Patrick LaForge. The two Oil brass were asked fan submitted questions.

Much to my surprise, the questions weren’t too bad. I submitted one (or OG77 did on my behalf) and it got asked/answered (I asked what ST and the Oilers can do to ensure that the Barons thrive while still making hockey in Edmonton interesting). To be honest, the answered seemed a bit roundabout, but I wasn’t expecting anything too mind blowing. Basically he stressed that the important thing is to ensure the players develop properly, more than anything.. and also said he was pretty impressed that the Barons were sitting in 3rd and playing so well right now, despite the call ups.

The other good question everyone asked… or maybe I should say demanded .. was in regards to the Ryan Jones re-signing. Tambi skirted that one a bit too. First he started off by indicating that he brings exactly what they looked for this year.. a team player… a guy that can move up and down the lineup, taking various roles. Then he mentioned that Jones has earned the right to go to free agency, but they’ve made him an offer, and basically they’ll see how things go.

Before the questions were asked, LaForge gave a short presentation on the arena, which was pretty interesting to me. They figure it will be an 18,400 seat arena. Improvements will be things such as leg room, cup holders (which, oddly, drew applause), and wide hallways where the food and washrooms and such are (which again drew applause). They showed some concept art, which might have been put out there before, but it was cool to see.

I think there was a lot of focus on the rebuild. Tambellini fielded a question about the rebuild. I forget how it started. I seem to recall some talk about other teams’ not having the patience to go through a rebuild (Vancouver being one). Tambo went on to mention that there is a plan there and the tough part is having the patience to stick to the plan. Quite frankly, the plan isn’t very obvious to us fans, nor CAN it be. So we just kind of have to take his word for it. It’s hard at times, but I do get what he’s saying. Like I said once before, GMs think 5 or more years ahead, while us fans think maybe 1 year ahead, tops.

They also showed a video (which I’d imagine will hit the air publicly later) in which they interviewed several GMs such as Philly’s Phil Holmgren, Detroit’s Ken Holland, and others and asked them what they thought about the Oilers’ rebuild. They spoke pretty highly about the Oilers rebuild, saying we had good building blocks here, and such. I recored it on my phone, but it’s pretty faint to hear. All I’ll say is that other GMs seem to think we have a good thing going here.

Finally, they closed it up with a practice in which Renney was mic’d up and explaining what was going on. It was alright, but I didn’t stick around long. My sister was with me and like she said “I’d rather watch (her son) play hockey” (to which I agreed). It was probably something that would be a lot more interesting to younger folks or people new to hockey though (aka those that haven’t been through several hockey practices in their lifetime).

10 Responses to “Oilers Meet and Greet for Season Ticket Holders”

  1. chucker says:

    Not liking the meh attitude on re-signing Jones. Not one bit.

  2. LateNightOilFan says:

    chucker: Not liking the meh attitude on re-signing Jones. Not one bit.

    Yeah, hopefully I’m not reading the ‘take it or leave it’ inuendo that I think I’m reading into it. We’ve heard that one before.

  3. Racki says:

    He did express early on how he thought he really fit the team quite well. But yah, like many questions that he answered, I had more questions after he answered than I did before.. lol

    I guess he can’t really say too much, but I wanted to hear a bit more reassurance along the lines of “we’ll do anything we can to keep him here”.

  4. zackman35 says:

    Racki:

    I guess he can’t really say too much, but I wanted to hear a bit more reassurance along the lines of “we’ll do anything we can to keep him here”.

    If he said that I’m sure Jones’s agent would have had money signs as eyes. ST better be thinking that though, I’m sure a good chunk of the fan base would be pretty pissed if they just let him walk. He might be third line player but I think a good portion of his value has to be centered around the fanbase.

    Not sure what his master plan may entail but I wonder if our pick plays in the show next season? He sure has us sold on the rebuild.

  5. Racki says:

    Well, a rebuild in a hockey crazy city like Edmonton is pretty damn hard to do, because the population flips out if the rebuild takes longer than ‘this year’. I don’t know what his plan was, but like I said before, GMs think in 5+ year chunks (and of course the short term/long term *can* change though)… so I’m not sure exactly when he started thinking rebuild, and what stage in the rebuild he expected to be at this point. But, he HAS to have everybody sold on it, cause if he’s thinking loserville for 3 years (as an example), the fans have to see the long picture or there will be a revolt here. I think people are already impatient as is.

    Sounds like next year the plan is to fill out the team. He talked about that a bit too. The plan isn’t for the $7m grand slam player, but for the filler players. So who knows, maybe next year will finally be the year where he tries to put a respectable team on the ice and keeps it alive even through injury.

  6. Bostonoiler says:

    Well Racki, I like the sounds of Tambi’s plan being to fill out the roster and feild a somewhat respectable team. I think that will really help out. Thats something that we need, really 3rd and 4th liners to help out our top 6.

  7. zackman35 says:

    Jones should be one of those filler players for sure, hopefully he signs another top 4 d-man too.

    It will be interesting to see next years opening night depth chart. I’m kind of hoping they try and convert Hall to center no matter who they draft. If he catches fire and has decent level of talent on his lines I can see him scoring 50G, center or not.

    I may not be 100% on the ST train but I have full confidence in Stu (Magnificent Bastard) Macgregor and his scouting team. I think it’s going to be at least another season before we actually start “competing”. I’m really hoping that we trade/package roster players and acquire another pick and or a top five pick for the draft.

    2011 Oilers Draft
    1st Pick – Top Two Pick (One of the “Big 4″)
    2nd Pick – Top Five (Strome, D. Hamilton, Huberdeau, Murphy)
    3rd Pick – LA Pick (Jamie Oleksiak, 6’7″ 240lbs, good read on the kid)

  8. Racki says:

    BTW, Dougie Hamilton was a name Tambellini threw out. But I wouldn’t read too much into it either. He mentioned all the usual suspects (the top 4) and threw out Hamilton’s name too. Nothing major.. but he named him.

  9. Steve-O says:

    Quite frankly, the plan isn’t very obvious to us fans, nor CAN it be. So we just kind of have to take his word for it. It’s hard at times, but I do get what he’s saying. Like I said once before, GMs think 5 or more years ahead, while us fans think maybe 1 year ahead, tops.

    I really disagree with your assessment of the gm thinking 5 years ahead and fans only 1 year. In fact, I think that statement is complete horseshit. A rebuild isn’t hard to understand. Every person I’ve talked to realizes that a rebuild takes time. Most people have an issue with how the rebuild is going on, and I can’t really blame them.

    So long as you say that you are rebuilding, and that it takes time then you’ll get it. Once the GM (ala Burke) or coach (like Renney just did) start saying “next year we think the playoffs are in the cards” then you get the fans hoping for something unreasonable.

    Another thing though that is starting to grate on Oiler fans I assume, is we have been terrible for 4 years now (well, 5 but one of those years we had a good push at the end so it looked respectable). So, having to wait another 5 years might be a bit much. Although that’s why Lowe got promoted right.

    Plus signing Khabibulin isn’t how one approaches a rebuild (although he did a decent job of cutting players, and I won’t blame him for the Fraser/Foster experiments).

    Finally, from what you describe, the Oilers seem to be on a full out marketing blitz to sell a new arena.

    Anyways, there are a bunch of random thoughts that you made me think. Thanks a lot.

  10. Racki says:

    Steve-O: I really disagree with your assessment of the gm thinking 5 years ahead and fans only 1 year. In fact, I think that statement is complete horseshit. A rebuild isn’t hard to understand. Every person I’ve talked to realizes that a rebuild takes time. Most people have an issue with how the rebuild is going on, and I can’t really blame them.

    So long as you say that you are rebuilding, and that it takes time then you’ll get it. Once the GM (ala Burke) or coach (like Renney just did) start saying “next year we think the playoffs are in the cards” then you get the fans hoping for something unreasonable.

    Another thing though that is starting to grate on Oiler fans I assume, is we have been terrible for 4 years now (well, 5 but one of those years we had a good push at the end so it looked respectable). So, having to wait another 5 years might be a bit much. Although that’s why Lowe got promoted right.

    Plus signing Khabibulin isn’t how one approaches a rebuild (although he did a decent job of cutting players, and I won’t blame him for the Fraser/Foster experiments).

    Finally, from what you describe, the Oilers seem to be on a full out marketing blitz to sell a new arena.

    Anyways, there are a bunch of random thoughts that you made me think.Thanks a lot.

    I know thinking isn’t your strong point, so sorry about that ;)

    Anyways, I was simply saying that fans here, in general, don’t understand a rebuild. Yah, we were losers for several years, but part of that time was before the full-on rebuild really even started. So people see it as “we’ve sucked for this many years now, why aren’t we in the playoffs” when really it takes several years for a team to do this. What was Rich Winter’s number… 7 years?

    Again, my point is that yes, it takes time, and I doubt that the majority of fans have the patience to accept that like you say they do. I think your statement is as “full of horseshit”. Tell your friends that we’re going to miss the playoffs for 3-4 years and see what they say to you.

    I will say though that Tambellini has done some stupid stuff though in the course of the rebuild though, such as signing Khabi. Lowe made his mistakes too such as Horcoff and Gilbert overpayment. It is what it is, we can keep harping on it (like fans typically do), or we can just accept it and move on. This team will like be ready to be a better competitor around when Khabi is gone anyways.

    But if you’re going to repeatedly dig up old wounds, yes, they should have signed someone younger/better to that kind of contract (and even then, the salary should have been lower) or they should have signed him or Roli short term.

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