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Oilers owner shares frustration in letter to fans

Jan 20, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

Daryl Katz Getty Images

Click here to read a letter from Oilers owner Darryl Katz to frustrated Edmonton fans.

The key quotes:

— “We all thought this was going to be the year the Oilers turned the corner. Obviously, that hasn’t happened, and it hurts.”

— “…we are not going to sacrifice the future by doing something short-term. Those days are over and they’re not coming back.”

— “I know [Kevin Lowe, the Oilers’ president of hockey operations] is the target of a lot of personal attacks right now, and that’s really unfortunate. Kevin is a big part of our organization, and it’s not just the Oilers that value his knowledge and perspective. He is consistently chosen, year after year, to play a leadership role with Hockey Canada. But when it comes down to it, this is Craig MacTavish’s team. He is the GM. He makes the calls, and he is accountable for building a team that can compete for the Stanley Cup — year in and year out for years to come.”

— “Our fans have been incredibly patient and supportive. At the same time, we know there’s a lot of frustration and we are asking you to hang in there while we fight through this and put the next few pieces of the team in place.”

Certainly, Katz’s letter struck a more understanding tone with the fan base than the one rookie coach Dallas Eakins did in December when he chastised a frustrated Oilers supporter who had ripped his jersey off and thrown it on the ice.

Katz’s confidence that the club is “on the right track” is the assertion many will question. On a per-game basis, only the Buffalo Sabres have amassed fewer points than the Oilers have this season.

Related: The Oilers are ‘scouting like we’re going to be picking’ in the first round

  1. joey4id - Jan 20, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    So, save Kevin, but McTavish under the bus….. Interesting!

  2. joey4id - Jan 20, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    BTW, good to read they intend to stay the course. They have some great assets that need to develop more, and if they can sign a UFA on d and/or center it will make a huge difference.

  3. nj666 - Jan 20, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    how long will it take for this mickey mouse organization to get its act together?

  4. bucrightoff - Jan 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Oiler fans stop going to the games. Katz is delusional and the only way you’ll get his attention is in the pocketbook. Lowe has been a disaster of mammoth proportions, only a moron would keep him on considering his track record.

  5. phillyphanatic77 - Jan 20, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    The nepotism shown by the Oilers fraternity is somehow worse than the Flyers- thought by many to be loyal to a fault. The entire Edmonton organization is stuck with their heads in the 80s… Kevin Lowe is not a good choice to LEAD a franchise and neither is MacT. 06 is not enough for those fans.

    • joey4id - Jan 20, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      And how much nepotism is being shown in Philly to explain their inability to win the SC since 1975?

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jan 20, 2014 at 5:17 PM

        A lot, that’s the point. Yeah the Oilers were a dynasty in the 80s but it’s been what? One solid season in the last 25 years? Atleast the Flyers are a consistent playoff participant… I have more far more faith in Paul Holmgren to put out a playoff team than MacT to do the same. But still, neither are true Cup contenders and that’s what I was saying. Both franchises recycle personnel over and over.

      • joey4id - Jan 20, 2014 at 5:24 PM

        You can’t really argue with their first round choices. They have a great pool of young talent. Contrary to the Flyers, they decided to go with youth. Which is very difficult to do when it’s all about winning. It takes time, and patience. I believe they are on the right track. Adding Scrivens and Hendricks were not terrible moves and didn’t touch the core of their youngsters. A little more time and they should be fine…. I hope for their fan’s sake.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jan 20, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        The Flyers also decided to go with youth… getting rid of Richards and Carter for Voracek, Couturier, Schenn, Simmonds, etc… buying out old Bryz for 25-yr old Mason and Stolarz (eventually). Pronger to Giroux as captain. The Flyers have a young core as well and it’s a myth that their D is old- only Streit and Timonen are over 30.

        I agree that “a little more time and they should be fine” when it comes to the Oilers, but they’ve also been saying that for years. And “a little more time” could mean “years” in the future. Edmonton has impressive amount of high picks but their fans have been plenty patient for too long already.

    • joey4id - Jan 20, 2014 at 6:12 PM

      I suppose you we can say the Flyers went for youth, but it’s clear they traded Carter and Richard because they failed to lead them deep into the playoffs, and Bryz was bought out because they realized they had made a mistake. Anyway! The Oilers’ average age is 26.9, and he Flyers’ average age is 28.2. That’s a big difference when you consider the youngest team is WPG with 26 and the Panthers at 28.7, which are second last. NJ is last with 29.5.

  6. govtminion - Jan 20, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    At some point, when you’ve had several years worth of high first-round picks- including several #1 picks!- you’d think things would start to come together. And yet…

  7. mlhegs - Jan 20, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    So tell me Mr “Know more than anybody else in Hockey” Lowe, if you get another first round pick again this year, how are you going to pay all these “Superstars” when they start showing their value. How are you going to pay the ones you already haven 5 years if you can keep them that long????

    • joey4id - Jan 20, 2014 at 5:49 PM

      Chill! They have plenty of cap room, and the most you can pay a rookie is 875k, and depending on who they select, he may not even be in the NHL next year. Be patient!

  8. rpiotr01 - Jan 20, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    This guy should leave the Oilers alone and stick to what he does best – spewing crackpot theories on Ancient Aliens.

    • govtminion - Jan 20, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      I never made that connection before you said this. Holy crap, that’s funny 😀

  9. therooneyskilledwebster - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    When did Spicoli buy the Oilers ?

  10. canada2014gold - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    I can argue with their picks actually, they drafted small offensive minded forwards with all their high picks. You need to spread the picks to different positions so you have some balance in the future. They don’t have that. Not only that but they were all given first line minutes without ever earning it. They were not taught to play two way hockey from quality veterans. No excuse for Lowe they have enough cap space to get those guys even if it means over paying a bit. You don’t developed players that way. That’s why no improvement in 4 years. We should have seen improvement by now, pretty sure oiler fans are not being impatient when they ask for that.

  11. frankiesweep - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Hire Gretzky to coach. Worked well in PHx.

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