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The Argument Against Oiler Management In a Single Statement

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Oiler fans have had it. All over the internet lengthy tirades are being written in protest to the unparalleled failure of the Oilers franchise over the last eight years. What it really boils down to though can be summarized very concisely...


"People no longer believe you have the answers."

At the end of the day, that statement says it all. Really, its almost all that needs to be said.

There have been far too numerous articles, blog posts, and twitter rants written or facebook groups created over the course of this abysmal season to cite even a reasonable sampling of them here. Many were written as far back as the beginning of the season, but they have been increasing in frequency as the year has gone on and have hit a high point in the last day with many people responding to the the letter issued by Darryl Katz on the team's website this past Monday as our own Derek Zona did quite excellently.

Some fans are just outraged and want to vent their anger and disappointment with the "Boys On The Bus" generation that still dominates the positions of influence in the Oilers organization. Others have offered their take on what they believe is a more appropriate course of action and point out the specific failings of the past and present decision makers during this near historic run of losing.

With all of the different voices and all of the varying sentiments floating around, its easy for all of this fan outrage to become white noise and for the message to get lost in translation. To state it again...

"People no longer believe you have the answers."

When push comes to shove, it doesn't matter why this management team can't seem to repair the numerous fatal flaws on their NHL roster. Is it:

1) There is too much of a "Boys Club" running the ship that is more concerned with employing friends are former teammates than assembling a competent group of employees?

2) The hockey minds assembled have failed to evolve with the ever-changing game of hockey and their perceptions around how to create success have become outdated and archaic?

3) The group lacks the business acumen to engineer the necessary changes and participate in the competitive game of NHL roster management in the salary cap era?

4) Any number of other reasons or excuses that are being tossed around the internet, radio call-in shows, work sites/office watercoolers and in endless discussions amongst friends and family who feel the pain of watching their beloved Oilers flail impotently like a fish out of water incapable of fixing what ails them.

Any one of these, alone or in combination may be the cause, but the cause no longer matters. All that matters is that the fans want it fixed, and, I'm going to speak directly at Darryl Katz, Kevin Lowe, Craig MacTavish and everyone else in the Edmonton Oilers' managerial hyerarchy here...People no longer believe you CAN fix it.

What began as a commitment to ending the purgatory of mediocrity by suffering though some difficult growing pains in order to get to heaven (winning the Stanley Cup) now seems to have resulted in the team establishing a permanent residence in hockey hell.

The failures have piled up, the questionable decisions have continued and the lack of accountability has persisted to the point where there are now more gaps than there are assembled pieces in the quest of putting together this puzzle.

Whether it is arrogance, nepotism, incompetence or ignorance that is preventing the franchise from moving forward is unclear. What has become evident though is that the team is now so far off course that its going to take a great deal of confidence, competence, analysis and decisiveness to solve this problem that has been created, and all comes down to this...

"People no longer believe you have the answers."