The horrifying Edmonton Oilers just get worse and worse. For fans of the team, this has got to be so frustrating. For a blogger who is a self-proclaimed anarchist and lives for sarcasm, I can't imagine blogging for any other team.
A few days ago I ran a story about three Oilers players - Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle - Snubbing Hockey Canada. Some member of Edmonton's media was reporting the trio wouldn't go to the world championships because of injuries. Then pictures of them partying their asses off in Vegas a few days later suggest that the injury thing was just an excuse. And like I said at the time, I don't blame the players, Hall in particular, one bit. He should have been on the Canadian Olympic team.
Then came the "Ryan Jones" won't be back story. Reason? He hated Dallas Eakins. Get in line.
Somewhere in the middle of this nonsense was a Craig MacTavish news conference when he said everything is just terrific in Edmonton. Dallas Eakins was a great coach to hire, the assistant coaches do a great job, fa-la-la, there's no need to bring in overpriced free agents or trade major assets, and the rebuild is going well. Our D is great, the fans are great, the draft will be great. Oh, aren't Oilers fans so fortunate!
Two stories come out today. First, there is an Anton Belov interview. Belov signed a four-year deal to play in the KHL, so he won't be back in Edmonton. But the reason he won't be back? He doesn't want to play for Dallas Eakins. Big surprise. No one does.
Oilers management can talk all they want, but the fact the players on the team all hate Eakins is perhaps the worst kept secret in the entire NHL. And hockey players have eyes and ears. Do you think any quality UFA this summer is going to come to play in Edmonton with the way this team is run? Not a chance.
Daryl Katz needs to wake the hell up, because this team's upper management is finding ways to make a bad team worse year after year. One phone call, Katz to Lowe, "Either Eakins is gone, or you're gone". Situation solved. Katz needs to think with his wallet, for a change.
But then it gets worst.
Report comes out from Oilers website that Ricky Olczyk was offered a new contract with the team, and he turned it down. Meaning, the Oilers needed to hire a new Assistant GM. Bill Scott, GM of the Oilers farm club the Oklahoma City Barons, will now take up Olczyk's former job.
Olczyk wasn't fired, was he?
The Oilers news release said the team offered Rick a job. It didn't say doing what. Obviously, he got fired. And why the hell not?
If you aren't going to fire the President of Hockey Opps...the guy responsible for the brutal condition of the team, or a head coach so hated everyone wants off the team, or the lousy assistant coaches who are just here because they are former Oilers...well, someone needed to get fired. It might as well be the guy who looks after the cap.
My theory is, Lowe, Eakins, MacTavish and Howson put about 20 random Oilers employee names into a bingo ball machine, spun it a couple of times, and fired the first name that came out. See ya, Ricky O. They might need to do it a couple more times just to make sure people don't catch on. Next to be fired is Tim who sweeps the steps in section 218, and Wally, the 85 year old greeter who has been with the team since the WHA days.
This damn franchise is a disgrace.
And the sad thing is, they'll continue to get away with being a joke until season ticket holders all stop buying tickets. So in a way, Oilers fans are getting what they deserve. You get what you pay for in this world, and Oilers fans are sure getting something for their cash.