Pressing the advantage

Jonathan Willis
August 21 2012 09:58AM

Nail Yakupov (Resolute/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Edmonton Oilers have had a pretty good summer, all things considered. Nail Yakupov is a nice addition to the group of talented young forwards already on the team. Justin Schultz is exactly the sort of player the team needs – a top prospect in the same age range as the current cluster, the kind of guy who should help a bit now and a lot more over the long haul. Bringing back veteran forward Ryan Smyth helps.

For all the good, however, things could have been better.

The problem is that with all due respect to the Oilers efforts with regard to the three players listed above, in each case it was a situation where good things fell into their lap. The NHL draft lottery provided the chance to pick Yakupov, rather than Ryan Murray. In the case of Justin Schultz, every team in the league wanted to sign him, and while the Oilers made the hard sell it was more a case of the player choosing the team than the team choosing the player. Ryan Smyth’s deal didn’t get done until the 11th hour, when Smyth took a modest two-year deal to stay with the team he had orchestrated a trade back to.

The Oilers did good work in all three instances – taking Yakupov rather than being tempted by a defenceman, pushing hard for Schultz, and getting Smyth to sign a bargain contract – but none of the moves involved taking the initiative to go out and improve the team. There was no ‘this team is looking at playoff hockey, and to get there will do X’ moment – they took what was handed them and left it at that.

Thus, the problems of last season look likely to be the problems of this season as well.

In net, where Devan Dubnyk will be the incumbent starter, there is no insurance policy. The Oilers could have cheaply bought out Nikolai Khabibulin and upgraded the position but instead they’re going to stick with the same tandem, even though it means there’s no reliable insurance policy if Dubnyk falters. Khabibulin’s the number two, and Yann Danis is a good number three, just like last season.

On defence, just like last season, the team will lean hard on Ryan Whitney and hope that this time he’s 100% healthy all season long. Jeff Petry and Ladislav Smid performed well when thrown to the wolves last year, so they get to try and repeat that success. The only addition is Schultz the younger, despite the fact that it’s remarkably easy to imagine a situation where the team is in trouble on the back end right out of the gate:

Consider the following scenario: Ryan Whitney’s injury problems flare up in training camp, Justin Schultz struggles early, and at age 37 Andy Sutton loses a step from last season. It’s a pessimistic scenario, to be sure, but also entirely plausible. If that happens, suddenly the Oilers eight-deep defensive group has just three legitimate top-four defensemen (none of them in the ‘#1 NHL defenseman’ mold) with the fourth spot in the top four a toss-up between a struggling Justin Schultz and Corey Potter. The lesser of that duo gets to pair with either a slowing Andy Sutton or Theo Peckham on the third pairing.

Up front, it’s the same group as last year. The young core should (with health, and barring slumps) all continue on an upward trajectory. The depth players of a year ago – including two guys in Darcy Hordichuk and Lennart Petrell that were major contributors to one of the worst fourth lines in hockey – are all back. The status quo rules, barring the addition of Yakupov.

Could things have been different?

A Brief-ish Historical Interlude

This subject change is going to feel a little jarring, but give it a moment and everything will tie together. Most people are probably aware that Horatio Nelson is generally seen as the best naval commander of his age, possibly in history. His strategic brilliance and his ability to inspire loyalty and even love in his subordinates (the term “band of brothers” was coined by Nelson initially referred to a tight-knit group of captains who served with him) are often cited when singing his praises, but he’s far from the only tactically brilliant or inspirational officer the Royal Navy produced. At the heart of Nelson’s legend was a unique gift he had for pressing home the advantage: when given any opportunity, he made the absolute most of it.

It is important to understand that sea battles in that age were generally a game of cat-and-mouse: intelligence gathering was uncertain, and it was often difficult for the commander of one fleet to know where his enemy was. Additionally, once a fleet had reached a safe port, it was virtually unassailable. With the support of shore batteries, a strong defensive position and often a choke point which limited the ability of attacking vessels to concentrate their strength, blockades became more common than actual battles. Adding to the risk for the attacker was the fact that charts were often inaccurate – a defender knew exactly how close to shore he could get without running aground, while the attacker rarely did.

Nelson, however, always forced a battle when handed an opportunity to engage.

At the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, he disobeyed an order from his commanding officer and engaged the Spanish fleet headlong: within 10 minutes of leaving the British formation, his 74-gun ship was directly fighting with seven Spanish opponents, with three of those boasting more than 100 guns. Nelson’s crew captured two Spanish vessels and led to the rest of the fleet coming to his support.

At the Battle of the Nile, he attacked a French fleet in a nearly unassailable position immediately after spotting them: the French admiral was so surprised by the move that he initially assumed the British were confused, since no enemy would risk an attack under such conditions. Unfortunately for the French, they had anchored too far from shore and Nelson was able to split his fleet and attack from both sides – the French fleet ultimately lost 11 of their 13 ships of the line (the British lost none) and suffered roughly six times as many casualties as the British. In Nelson’s words as he surveyed the aftermath: “Victory is not a name strong enough for such a scene.”

At the Battle of Copenhagen, his superior argued for limiting Denmark’s ability to engage through a blockade; Nelson instead convinced him that the ideal approach was to sail into Copenhagen harbor, give the Danes an ultimatum and if it were turned down then to “annihilate” their fleet. That’s what they did. At one point, the battle was going so poorly that Nelson’s superior gave the signal to withdraw, reasoning “If he is in condition to continue the action, he will disregard it; if he is not, it will be an excuse for his retreat and no blame can be imputed to him.” Nelson, naturally, chose to disregard the order (famously holding his telescope to his blind eye and saying “I really do not see the signal!”) and instead told the Danes that they could surrender or he could start burning the ship he’d already disabled with their crews still aboard. The Danes surrendered, and their ships were either taken as prizes or destroyed.

At the Battle of Trafalgar, Nelson made perhaps his boldest decision. The tactical thinking of the day suggested that each fleet form into a line and exchange fire; unfortunately for the superior fleet, such a tactic also typically made it easy for an enemy to disengage once it was clear they had lost. Instead, Nelson organized his ships into two lines and aimed to split the French/Spanish formation. Because of the way ships were built (with guns on the sides, not the front) the tactic exposed his fleet to the massed firepower of its opponent while they closed the gap, and they were unable to inflict any real damage in that time period themselves. It was a terrible risk, but Nelson was justified by the result: a decisive victory. The French and Spanish lost 22 ships, the British none; the British side suffered less than 2,000 casualties while their opponents (including men captured) took seven times that number. Nelson died in the fighting, but the battle established Britain as the world’s only dominant power at sea.

Back To Hockey

Nelson was, above all else, not content to allow things to develop in an ordinary fashion. He was always pushing, always pressing, always actively looking to improve his situation.

It’s something the Oilers could have done this summer, to some extent even something they could still do. An ambitious general manager, one reaching out to grab hold of a playoff spot rather than idly sitting back and waiting for his team to rise to the challenge, would have had a busy off-season.

In net, Nikolai Khabibulin would be gone. He’s been hurt or playing poorly for the majority of his three years in Oilers silks. A particularly crafty general manager might possibly have dealt the veteran, but failing that a buyout and replacement via trade or free agency would have made good sense. The Oilers could have somebody on the team to push Dubnyk, somebody to lean on if Dubnyk falters early. They don’t, and that’s on management.

Another defenceman would have been added – even if it meant trading or waiving a Corey Potter or Theo Peckham. The Oilers have strength in numbers but they lack top-end ability on the blue line and the depth guys – the Potters, Peckhams and Suttons – aren’t the kind of players anybody wants to see in the top-four. The addition could have been made via trade or free agency – for that matter, given that Carlo Colaiacovo and Michal Rozsival and Milan Jurcina are all still unsigned the team could still shore up the position. They haven’t, and if injuries hit early they will regret it.

Up front, bringing back the same fourth line from last year is hard to defend. While the individuals involved – Lennart Petrell, Darcy Hordichuk, Ben Eager and Eric Belanger – all have good points, the unit got hammered last year. How hard would it have been to make an upgrade there – or higher up the lineup, bumping a guy like Ryan Jones down a slot to start the season? Would it have been that difficult to let Petrell walk, demote Ryan Jones to the fourth line (until injuries hit) and bring in a veteran to play with Smyth and Horcoff?

These are things an aggressive general manager might have done. The fact that the Oilers didn’t isn’t the end of the world – they still added good players, and with the heart of the team being quite young they ought to be better in 2012-13. All the same, an opportunity was missed.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 2004Z06
August 21 2012, 04:24PM
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Love how all the armchair GM's suggest that we trade Horcoff, Hemsky, Omark, Peckam for additional help on defense and/or the fourth line. Lets put our PM hats on for a sec....Horcoff....third line center at 5.5 mil for 3 more years. NO ONE wants that contract coming back for a thrid liner. Hemsky....5 mil for 2 years with a significant drop in production and a VERY significant injury history. Omark.....could not give him away at the deadline or the draft. Has little to no NHL experience, a bad attitude and was cut from the Swedish team this year. Small and unproven....Could not get you a 5th round pick in return. Lastly Peckham.....Major concussion this year and a HUGE step backwards from the previous season. Zero confidence. Will bring a 3rd round pick at best. As a GM you have to wait until these players have a chance to raise their stock and then deal them before the deadline. As it sits right now, we have nothing of value to trade other than prospects, picks and our skilled players. Why would you trade the future in the middle of a rebuild?

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#52 grip it and rip it
August 21 2012, 04:32PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Love how all the armchair GM's suggest that we trade Horcoff, Hemsky, Omark, Peckam for additional help on defense and/or the fourth line. Lets put our PM hats on for a sec....Horcoff....third line center at 5.5 mil for 3 more years. NO ONE wants that contract coming back for a thrid liner. Hemsky....5 mil for 2 years with a significant drop in production and a VERY significant injury history. Omark.....could not give him away at the deadline or the draft. Has little to no NHL experience, a bad attitude and was cut from the Swedish team this year. Small and unproven....Could not get you a 5th round pick in return. Lastly Peckham.....Major concussion this year and a HUGE step backwards from the previous season. Zero confidence. Will bring a 3rd round pick at best. As a GM you have to wait until these players have a chance to raise their stock and then deal them before the deadline. As it sits right now, we have nothing of value to trade other than prospects, picks and our skilled players. Why would you trade the future in the middle of a rebuild?

Thanks for putting down my thoughts as well!

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#53 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 21 2012, 04:40PM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

OB you said "...(though I guess the off season isn't over yet)..."

John Chambers said "...[ST] hasn't demonstrated an astute skill of 'timing' a trade,..."

and my favorite of all is by Matt who said "...lack of crafty moves by the GM...."

I think that if i hear that our GM hasn't got a goalie a top 4 Dman and a 4th line yet one more time i'm going to vomit on my keyboard... you OB you of all people, who sport the acronym that has our GMs initials in it gives him the rest of the summer to what ... wait for Pronger to beg to come back all is forgiven and his melon is good as gold lets go on a cup run again ...? you of all sir know that ain't happening...

and John and Matt??? you are both correct...

Memo To Our Leader[Wanye sorry Kent I need crazy this time}: there is a most urgent need to halt production of OilerNation stickers and start a contest to produce the art for the new age bumper sticker launching the FIRE OUR GM campaign now!!!!!!!please...thankyou...

MacT waits with his finger on the trigger...imo

p.s. great read JW got me right wound up

I've thought Tambillini was a poor GM for about 3 years now, but if we are grading his work this offseason, the fact remains that it still isn't over.

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#54 BURROWSHASCRABS
August 21 2012, 05:15PM
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What's even worse than the Oilers GM is the stupid a$$ arm chair GM's the Oilers have as well. Jesus Christ don't you think Tambo has been trying to wheel and deal for someone? He's not just going to give something for nothing. Settle down

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#55 Old Retired Guy
August 21 2012, 05:26PM
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We can all agree that Tambellinis track record isn't great what with Habby, Eagre, Belanger, etc.

On the other hand he did very well with the Sam Gagner, Ryan Smyth and Jeff Petrey contracts and OK with Hemsky. And while you can say he got lucky with Justin Schultz, Yakupov etc....He for sure had some role to play in these signings. AND Katz and Lowe signed him to an extension and that says something too (these guys aren't idiots and they didn't get rich throwing good money after bad)

Alot of whats happening right now has to do with timing, and contracts, and salary caps, and CBA negotiations. I gaurantee that Tambolini has had dozens of conversations with many teams about a top 4 D-man.

But as was stated in an earlier post its hard to trade guys at the bottom of their value cycle. We need Eagre, Belanger, Paajarvi, Hemsky, and others to have a better year to bring their trade value up to Fair Market Value. (Hemmer is as healthy as he gets, and he's going to be paired with better talent, Eagre and Belanger have hopefully adjusted to a new team/city and Paajarvi has a new coach etc)

So play these guys and try and up thier trade value. I'm not a fan of "tinkering" at the periphery by adding a 5-6 D man. Better to wait and try and pull the trigger on a top 4 (preferably top 2) Dman once some of the value of your assets has increased a little. The Colavaciov's and Rozsival's of the world are of little value to the long term plans.

As for goalies...I'd love to see the Oilers go after one..but Habbys contract makes him untradable....so make the best of it for this year....which also provides a full year for Dubnyk to prove himself one way or the other.

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#56 Dodd
August 21 2012, 05:39PM
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I keep re-playing the scene of Oil Change from July 1 with Tambellini on the phone to Manny Malholtra. When he gets off the phone, he says "Manny doesn't want to be part of a rebuild."

Every armchair GM here has to admit that there were likely 20 other calls like that. And I'm guessing Gagner, Hall, Smid or Eberle's names were mentioned when ST was looking to trade for that top 4 D or goalie. Sounds like everyone would prefer ST to make a bad deal, rather than nothing.

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#57 Dog Train
August 21 2012, 05:43PM
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Same team with 2 super rookies added. Hard to see that bumping us up from 14th in the West to a top 8 spot.

The gun was loaded to pull the trigger this summer. We have strength in numbers and there were/are some decent d-men out there. If the goal is to make the playoffs (as it should be by now), then management has not done enough if you ask me.

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#58 Wäx Män Riley
August 21 2012, 05:53PM
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With this roster,it is the same team we looked at last year with a new coach. The key will be what system the coach has them playing. They need a system of team oriented systemic systemness. With a team all playing a system we will see a system of team play that utilises the systems of offense and minding the defense system. With a system of gaps systemically playing team system defense, the team will improve.

If the offensive system, combined with a defensive system and a team oriented system of thinking, is combined with a new system of gaps and space control, then any team can be good. We can have the Oil Kings playing am offensive system but concentrating on a defensive system and compete to be competitive in a system with a Stanley cup. In my system I put all rookies and unproven players against the top lines since the system they play means they don't have to move to play defense and all buying into the system will mean systems of winning with offense.

Once the system is implemented then a system of winning would constitute a systemic defense of victory along with a team oriented system of offense. Then the systems being used now would no longer be systems. In my system, the best players stay on the bench and the worst players play against the best players since the defense system is combined with an offense system to systematically systematize the systematic systonian systeminites.

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#59 Old Retired Guy
August 21 2012, 06:04PM
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@ 57 Dog Train said:

"The gun was loaded to pull the trigger this summer. We have strength in numbers and there were/are some decent d-men out there."

Not saying your wrong as this stuff is all very much based on the value that each of us puts on various players. But I thought the free agent market was a little weak this year outside of Weber/Sutter.

What FA Dmen interest you and what would you be willing to pay them?

Or if your talking trade, who would you target and what assets would you be willing to give up?

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#61 Lexi
August 21 2012, 07:00PM
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There have been so few good moves any team has done this summer, that I have a hard criticizing ST for his work this summer. When I saw the price for Methot and the contracts that mediocre D were getting I am relieved that ST was cautious. I think we'll be laughing at the Flames when Wideman is over 30 and being abused by the young guns making $5.25 Mill.

The only moves this summer that really impressed me were the Pacioretty signing, the Garrison signing, the Semin signing, Shero getting as much as he did for Staal and how little the Rangers gave up for Nash.

I think the Suter/Parise signing was a good move as it made a nondescript team relevant, but they might regret having $21 Mill tied up in 30+ yr old players when Granlund et al are up for their second contracts.

I think Carolina also did the right thing to make them relavent, but they sure gave up a lot for one extra year of Staal.

It's been a weird offseason with most of the traditionally smarter teams stagnating or getting worse. If I didn't know any better, it looks to me like Detroit might be trying to get in the lottery. I can't believe Pittsburgh is going to waste a year of the Crosby/Malkin prime with the wingers and D they have right now. I keep hearing how everyone loves Holmgrem's gutsy moves, but what I see is a guy who has a worse D than the Oilers, no farm system and a ton of money tied up in support guys for the next 3+ years and he's got Giroux, Couterier and Schenn coming due in two years.

I am okay with taking a chance on seeing if DD is a top 20 goalie, because that's what you have to do unless you have a Lundqvist in goal. I believe there are less than 10 sure things in goal so most teams are wishing/praying their starter plays well. Tampa has put a lot of resources into this season and they are depending on a guy who has played 38 games in the NHL, all with Suter/Weber in front of him. Boston is a top 5 Stanley Cup contender and Rask has played exactly as many games as DD and their backup situation is sketchier than ours.

I would have loved to have gotten Michalek for a 2nd, and would have preferred signing Winnik over Petrall, but if those are the biggest misses of the summer, I'm not losing any sleep over them.

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#62 Old Retired Guy
August 21 2012, 07:13PM
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@ #60 Jonathan Willis

I like your columns and I think your knowledgable and that you generally take a pretty balanced approach to your writing and ideas.

No sarcasm here, but would be curious to know what you think is happening. Do you think the management team is incompetent? showing bad judgement? doesn't have a plan? just aren't trying hard enough? Just have a different idea about how to rebuild a team? other?

Also, you state:

"Jeff Petry and Ladislav Smid performed well when thrown to the wolves last year, so they get to try and repeat that success"

I know its a small point but it speaks to the tone of the piece you wrote. It would seem to me that an Oilers Fan/Analyst would look at this young and upcoming duo and given their age say that "they get to try and improve upon that success" Same goes (maybe to a lesser extent) with Dubnyk.

Finally, you mention buying out Habbys contract. Would the cost (dollars)really be minimal/insignifcant? or would it cost in the Millions?

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#63 Bleeding Oil
August 21 2012, 07:52PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

With this roster,it is the same team we looked at last year with a new coach. The key will be what system the coach has them playing. They need a system of team oriented systemic systemness. With a team all playing a system we will see a system of team play that utilises the systems of offense and minding the defense system. With a system of gaps systemically playing team system defense, the team will improve.

If the offensive system, combined with a defensive system and a team oriented system of thinking, is combined with a new system of gaps and space control, then any team can be good. We can have the Oil Kings playing am offensive system but concentrating on a defensive system and compete to be competitive in a system with a Stanley cup. In my system I put all rookies and unproven players against the top lines since the system they play means they don't have to move to play defense and all buying into the system will mean systems of winning with offense.

Once the system is implemented then a system of winning would constitute a systemic defense of victory along with a team oriented system of offense. Then the systems being used now would no longer be systems. In my system, the best players stay on the bench and the worst players play against the best players since the defense system is combined with an offense system to systematically systematize the systematic systonian systeminites.

I see what you did there.

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#64 David S
August 21 2012, 08:41PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

With this roster,it is the same team we looked at last year with a new coach. The key will be what system the coach has them playing. They need a system of team oriented systemic systemness. With a team all playing a system we will see a system of team play that utilises the systems of offense and minding the defense system. With a system of gaps systemically playing team system defense, the team will improve.

If the offensive system, combined with a defensive system and a team oriented system of thinking, is combined with a new system of gaps and space control, then any team can be good. We can have the Oil Kings playing am offensive system but concentrating on a defensive system and compete to be competitive in a system with a Stanley cup. In my system I put all rookies and unproven players against the top lines since the system they play means they don't have to move to play defense and all buying into the system will mean systems of winning with offense.

Once the system is implemented then a system of winning would constitute a systemic defense of victory along with a team oriented system of offense. Then the systems being used now would no longer be systems. In my system, the best players stay on the bench and the worst players play against the best players since the defense system is combined with an offense system to systematically systematize the systematic systonian systeminites.

Systemic winning there bud.

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#65 The Soup Fascist
August 21 2012, 09:21PM
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@Wäx Män Riley

Props, sir.

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#66 NewAgeSys
August 21 2012, 10:21PM
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David S wrote:

Systemic winning there bud.

Ha ha ha ha ha,That was greaaaaaat!

Just a few near misses though,the farm team--no concentrateing on a defensive system--Offense only ,the Gapped two phase cycleing functions as what other teams call a defense,and in my system the concept or action of a "defensive system"is the by product of offense ,once again the Gapped two phase cycle is the catalyst of the defenseive dimension,defensiveness is a second thought not a focus,the NHS has the other team in a full rink trap for 60 mins,there is no defensive mindset,the trap is an integral part of the offense,not a seperately executed entity of its own.

That was essentially a perfect rendition of the dynamics we need to create to win the Stanley cup.

FANTASTIC.That is a condensed version that probably wouldnt fly in a two hour meeting without creating cerebral sushi, but I still love it totally.When I post it seems like cerebral sushi to almost everyone else,ha ha ha, your interpretation is very fresh,thank you.

With that being said what system do you think the Oilers will adopt this year??

An offensively catalysed system like we just described dynamicly, or a more traditional hybrid balance of offense and defense??

Actually you know, the more I think about it the more I see your picture as you were writeing that,you absolutely understand the concepts and dynamic motivators behind the NHS,so this means you also have a much deeper hockey knowledge base of tactics to draw on than I do,and this means that you must have evolved past the historic grasp tradition has on most hockey people,for some odd reason??Thats a fairly well rounded ability to conceptualise all of my data ,especially as I posted it in a fairly incoherent chronology,and in two years I havent heard anyone synopsise my system like that,just sayin.

I didnt post the specifics on the two phase cycle yet here,and several core value concepts begin there.The half-rink cycle is the catalyst of the NHS ability to apply what is essentially a full rink trap,also known as a system check-mate within the NHS.I hate the word trap and only use it because the end result is the same ,everything else is different dynamicly.

Without understanding the dynamic tactics of the half-rink cycle and the transitional tactics into the full rink cycle a traditional hockey thinker cannot conceptualise the reasons I say the NHS has no defensive focus at all,it is hard to understand the smothering effect that this system has on opponents unless you can understand a properly Gapped half-rink,and full-rink NHS cycleing tactic.

It is hard to understand that it is ok to surrender the puck to an opponent 45 times a game through shots but not acceptable to dump it freely into their zone even once without breaking stystem continuity.

This is because a shot recovery is just another part of a half-rink cycle we initiate as a system responsibility,it is a part of what we are doing ,so the more times we can do it the better.This is why the NHS can fire offense for 60 mins non-stop effectively,and perform as a superior system.We consistantly recover and control the puck more than the opponent for 60 mins in all areas of the ice,and thats part of NHS offensive tactics.

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#67 Bigfan
August 21 2012, 10:39PM
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Great read - and so history too!

One small correction:

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers ..." - William Shakespeare, Henry V

Coined by Shakespeare about two hundred years before Nelson said it ... Nelson was surely quoting Shakespeare's Saint Crispen's Day speech because it would have resonated with his men. You're point is still valid, its just that the history should be spot on.

Cheers

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#68 TonyT
August 21 2012, 10:49PM
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If Tambellini were at all a man of action and the times, he'd be interested in signing that 'Newagesys' guy to run the Oilers. FSTNF

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#69 Walter Sobchak
August 21 2012, 10:58PM
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Am I off my head in thinking that the 5th year is the year that we can really judge the rebuild?

I’m not condoning what Tambellinin has done overall. However this is only the 3rd year of the re-build.

Perspective on rebuilding teams

The Quebec Nordiques had an amazing 11 players drafted in the first round bellow 15th overall spot with 3 being chosen first overall, for 8 years before going on to dominate for a decade.

Pitt had drafted 5 first round draft picks inside the top 5 another three players around 20, those players being Armstrong and Orpik with only Esposito not making the grade.

They had 2 first overall picks and two second overall picks, so worse then the oilers thus far.

The Chicago Black Hawks had 6 first round picks anywhere from 15 to 1 from 2003 to 2008, with two of those picks being complete busts.

From 2005 to 2010 the blues re-built through the draft and through ufa/trade, but it still took the blues 5 years to reach the playoffs again.

The list can go on and on from teams that were down and out to rebuilding through the draft/ufa/trade to being contenders, but it really seems like 5 years is the bench mark for turning the corner.

The Oilers are not there yet, I still expect the Oilers to be a lottery team despite the new additions and experience of the kids. I see to many”ifs” on this team and the team still has transitional players to get rid of.

I look forward to the Oilers drafting any of these players – Lazar – Mackinnon – Barkov – Shinkaruk – Monahan for one more year.

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#70 Eulers
August 21 2012, 11:01PM
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Great post!

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#71 LOIL99
August 21 2012, 11:28PM
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It frustrates me when people say "Tambi didn't do anything." To me, the things that did happen to the oilers this summer means that he didn't NEED to do anything else necessarily. Had Yak and Shultz not happened then he may well have done other moves. The fact that he didn't doesn't mean he sat back.

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#72 Biowolf
August 21 2012, 11:56PM
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It never ceses to amamze me that after all people still think that ST does make any decisions here. He clearly is a figurehead. Leave him alone.

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#73 Danenbaum
August 22 2012, 12:55AM
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Hey Jonathan,

I'm a huge Oilers fan first and fellow member of the media in a different CDN city second.

Just wanted to let you know that I love the work you and everyone else on ON does on this site.

I normally just read, but don't comment. This article changed that. Loved the history lesson (sincerely) on Horatio Nelson. It's very cool stuff and it'd be nice if Oiler Mgmt were 'pressing the advantage' a little more.

Anyway, just wanted to say there's fans and readers out there like myself that don't always (possibly never) comment and really appreciate the work.

Here's hoping we get a 2012-13 season sooner than later!

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#74 pelhem grenville
August 22 2012, 05:26AM
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...how many more sleeps til TC OB ... y'know he's gonna dither and assess and take the temperature of the situation ...possibly even try to gauge what the market trends are going to be but in the end he'll do jack squat and we all know it [aka tankin' it again] ...if he doesn't do anything in these final throws of the off season will you then get your full hate on for this square peg in a round hole?

FSTNF

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#75 pelhem grenville
August 22 2012, 05:50AM
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@WaxMan

...I was systeMOtized by your system...

nicely done

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#76 pelhem grenville
August 22 2012, 06:07AM
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...and now for something completely different and completely off topic with apologies...

PAGE ONE HEADLINE

The London Free Press from yesterday reads ...

"CHL players skating towards union"

this link

http://inagist.com/all/237890528178470912/

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#77 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 22 2012, 08:10AM
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Dodd wrote:

I keep re-playing the scene of Oil Change from July 1 with Tambellini on the phone to Manny Malholtra. When he gets off the phone, he says "Manny doesn't want to be part of a rebuild."

Every armchair GM here has to admit that there were likely 20 other calls like that. And I'm guessing Gagner, Hall, Smid or Eberle's names were mentioned when ST was looking to trade for that top 4 D or goalie. Sounds like everyone would prefer ST to make a bad deal, rather than nothing.

Plenty of solid players sign with poor clubs every year.

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#78 j
August 22 2012, 08:32AM
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I will never fully defend Tambo. That said, I would never throw him completely under the bus either. The business of hockey and the strategy of putting together a competitive hockey team in the NHL is clearly much more difficult than it appears - otherwise we would have 30 teams within a whisker of winning every year. Being a GM of an NHL team is clearly a case of 'damned if you do, and damned if you don't'. Let's watch Detroit closely over the next 5 years and see how Holland fares. We have used his model as our benchmark for the past 15 years but gloss over the fact that he had Yzerman and Lindstrom as cornerstones and a high salary limit (pre-cap). With Zetter and Dats getting a bit older, they are coming back down to earth. Chicago has a wealth of talent yet have lost some of the balance that made them successful. It will likely be a few more years for them to find it again. Pittsburgh? Washington? Rangers? All have high end talent and good supporting cast yet haven't been to the finals in years. I think Tambo (i.e. Lowe and now MacT) have a plan and are in the early stages of execution. It has taken 5 years for them to consolidate the plan but it has now been forged in Modor. Let's enjoy the ride.

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#79 madjam
August 22 2012, 09:10AM
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REAPING PRAISE ON TAMBELLINI ? The green GM that prematurely gutted our team without filling the holes he left with nothing but massive downgrades . Each season that followed was even worse up till last year , and that was bound to happen eventually no matter how poor he was . There is no track record that shows he is a good GM , as he never was one before . If a great job is getting us into basement of league and keeping us there until we hit 29th position then he has done a miraculous job of keeping us status quo .

Despite Tambellini's shortcomings and being a green GM , we still have reason for optimism from our youth . If we are to do better we probably will require a more proactive Gm for the future as Tams continues to have trouble acquiring and assessing a core around our young stars . I find it difficult , if not impossible, to rank Tams as a good GM . Like the Rona commercial , don't go to Oilers if you want to do it right .

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#80 Benjammin
August 22 2012, 09:28AM
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I am always amazed by the number of defenders that the Oilers management team has. This is the team that was placed 30th, spending to the cap and aiming for the playoffs. The same men are in charge now. The rebuild was a good idea, but it was also the only chose left to them. You may agree or disagree with the moves, but for god's sake, stop giving them the benefit of the doubt.

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#81 NewAgeSys
August 22 2012, 09:43AM
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Maybe Big George got bored with the radio show?

I worked the non-union Oilrigs for years and then worked Uniononised construction for years and can simply say that I never quite accepted the Union system.

I was a Job Steward on several different jobs,I was once in an archaeic motion actually voted in to the position by my peers ,by the members themselves,in the construction Union I was in NO ONE did this,the Hall sent out their patsys to spew propoganda down our throats.There are rules that allow members to choose their own Stewards through an onsite vote displaceing the official Hall choice of representative,but the vote must be unanimous to stand.This only happened once in my years in the Union and some members with decades in the Hall had never seen this type of vote work out because of the need for a 100% consensus,imagine trying to get a room full of construction fellas on the same page at the same time long enough for them to collectively agree on whats for lunch never mind an administrative action.

Well I managed to bring them together,and lets just say I opened up a real can"o"worms for myself there,I had the privilage of earning myself a fast track course in Union supported labor dynamics,lets just say I have left it at that for many years,even I wont go into the dynamics behind those Union money machines,there is a certain personal safety line that it is a good idea not to go over.

I learned years after I joined my union that there was an even more efficient similar system,in that indusrty it was call C.L,A.C,but there are other similar group agreements [Costco}that are not unions that can achieve amazeing and substantial goals when utilised properly,and these organisations are cheaper to run and not as aggressively postured as a union is.

It is always nice to see a system at work if it is efficient ,and every group needs a starting point so Kudos to those involved on the ground floor,dont expect to be hearing much from Big George for the next few years if he stays iinvolved,this aint no radio show George,you are in for a ride,but you seem like a smart cookie,strap yourself in big guy and slip in a mouth guard ,things are going to get bumpy,ha ha ha,no wonder you are finding yourself there George ,there is a challenge there as big as you are,good luck George and all the fellas involved,i gaurantee you something,you will be fast tracked on the learning curve undoubtably.

Personally I prefer systems if possible which tactical minds have NOT had a long and storied history of picking apart.Unions are long and historied,other less structured organisations may seem weaker at first glance,but when you consider flexability and manouverability there is something left to be desired in a Union dynamic,something that is still present in a non-union organisational agreement dynamic.

I swore off of this Union addiction years ago after they shafted me completely,at the end of the day there was no cohesive effort to support me,when the chips were down the Union fell back on its self-serveing structure and told me that there were so many other members working on the site I was on that it was a loseing proposition for the Hall to file grievances for one member when the action would cost the jobs of two hundred{then my rep took pro-active aggressive steps to undermine me the member} ,so as I said at the end of the day should you be hurt or disadvantaged by your employer,your union will be in bed with your enemy, if you pull back the covers.I was severely injured and havent worked in almost seven years,i have been fighting WCB,my ex-employer and my ex-union,but they have worked together to cumultaively disempower me as an individual,each of the three groups have their own fiscally motivated agendas and they are HAPPY to be able to work together to screw as many injured or wronged employees as they possibly can,after all its money in the bank for everyone.All they do is work together to indirectly crush you fiscally by denying and delaying your insurance moneys through coersive manipulation of data resulting in denial of benefits for mutually supportive but BS reason{and you cant sue them so they run rampant on your butt--so they actually outright lie--there is no in house discipline and remember you cant sue if you join a Union they get that call}--till you are to broke and fiscally devestated to fight back,till you cant even feed your family and yourself,it is a sick sick dynamic,sorry George,but methinks you are on the wrong team,but thats just my take on the issue,had I personally investigated the Union I joined I wouldnt have joined it on principal,but it was job-attatched,you want the money you sign here,that in itself is a captive dynamic that I shouldnt have had to face,but everyone does.

I suffered a bi-lateral subluxation of my hips,believe it or not it is almost always a sports injury and the way I suffered the injurys wasnt even remotely similar at first glance and as a result of a combonation of a difficult initial diagnosis, typical medical oversight combined with Employer lies and WCB lies,and Union timely INACTION, the proper diagnisis took almost three years and it was done my me myself ,and then verified by my G.P.and then by two ortho specialists,one the leader in Alberta.I was 100% dead on with my own diagnosis that SIX prior doctors includeing specialist couldnt come to due to the provision of BS and the timely execution of a few adminisrtrativre tactics by the trifecta of evil,which resulted in innaccurate and misleading data provision,intentional goose chases and missed deadlines and the such.Each action causeing me to suffer incredible pain and suffering and further injury,I was still forced to work a construction job after partially dislocateing BOTH hips and severly injureing my spine on the job because my employers and WCB and my Union all absconded from their responsibilitys and took pro-active action to supress data related to my injuries,their severity and their responsibility of supporting an injured person as they were all paid to do in one form or another.Yes,sure,litigation is pending,ha hahaha,havent you been paying attention to the Occupy movements??I cant sue because I have been immobilised fiscally,Most of the world is past the conspiracy stage and believes and pays attention to the vast and criminal organisations who are running our world today,I am the victim of several of them but I am still fighting.

You think hockey convention even makes me blink,after spending this many years fighting real dragons???HA!!Do you think going up against an NHL coach is any harder than takeing on a WCB paid assasin orthopedic speciallist who is useing 40yrs of medical fraud experience to screw me?HA!!CHALLENGE!! Do you think I got a shiny little trophy after I jammed the BS diagnosis down that specialists and five other professionals throats and forced them to capitulate to me and my own brand of medicine based on data??All I got was more legal ammunition I may never be able to use.

I am sorry for the long post but really,I would be remiss to just sit on the fence,run like hell from the union as players,dont let that monster near you,Unions are dieing out anyways as their traditional powerbases are fadeing,they were really something that benefitted the boomers and their generation,there are to many ways for the truth to be discovered today,so a Union is a waste of money,everyone will be in court all the time,dont assume Unions are not just another way to manipulate the working man by simple riseing above his head and paying off a few of his true brothers to screw him in the ear.

Look up the history of unions and you will find that they are just simple communication conduits,another layer of complication,a way to negotiate the workers out of decision makeing power individually indirectly,a huge war chest of money that makes the little guy happy but does essentially nothing for him,the days of there being so many workers that there was a concern over fair wages and conditions ARE OVER,there are going to be severe labor shortages until i die,what dont you think mexicans can play NHL hockey,get my drift,we are short of everyone right now not tomorrow,unions are actually regressive now and to form one now just lets the employer have his hands in your pudding a little longer thats all,why wouild you want to create a new union when all the old ones are dieing off naturally because the dynamic that validated their creation had disappeared??

The need for a paid communication conduit is not there any more,so what good is a Union??

Its like trying to use the trap against the NHS,it wont work,it USED to work,but isnt that the feeling you always get when you fail to count your rounds and finally get a clear shot only to hear that hollow metallic click of a fireing pin snapping into an empty chamber??

Sometimes if you get caught up in the action you fail to recognise that the reason you have been missing is because dureing the heat of the action your target has moved a little.Thats why you hear the term "double-tap"it means short controlled bursts between which you visually reaquire your target ensureing a better overall accuracy percentage from your clip of ammo.

Form a non-union loose collective group,not a union,then let that be a shot over the bow of the NHL,then pause and reaquire your target,dont empty your clip in the heat of the moment,your target is experienced and a trophy.And they have way more money than you do.

I have a headache,I am outta here,jesus,unions again.Run Forrest ,run.

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#82 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 22 2012, 09:59AM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

Maybe Big George got bored with the radio show?

I worked the non-union Oilrigs for years and then worked Uniononised construction for years and can simply say that I never quite accepted the Union system.

I was a Job Steward on several different jobs,I was once in an archaeic motion actually voted in to the position by my peers ,by the members themselves,in the construction Union I was in NO ONE did this,the Hall sent out their patsys to spew propoganda down our throats.There are rules that allow members to choose their own Stewards through an onsite vote displaceing the official Hall choice of representative,but the vote must be unanimous to stand.This only happened once in my years in the Union and some members with decades in the Hall had never seen this type of vote work out because of the need for a 100% consensus,imagine trying to get a room full of construction fellas on the same page at the same time long enough for them to collectively agree on whats for lunch never mind an administrative action.

Well I managed to bring them together,and lets just say I opened up a real can"o"worms for myself there,I had the privilage of earning myself a fast track course in Union supported labor dynamics,lets just say I have left it at that for many years,even I wont go into the dynamics behind those Union money machines,there is a certain personal safety line that it is a good idea not to go over.

I learned years after I joined my union that there was an even more efficient similar system,in that indusrty it was call C.L,A.C,but there are other similar group agreements [Costco}that are not unions that can achieve amazeing and substantial goals when utilised properly,and these organisations are cheaper to run and not as aggressively postured as a union is.

It is always nice to see a system at work if it is efficient ,and every group needs a starting point so Kudos to those involved on the ground floor,dont expect to be hearing much from Big George for the next few years if he stays iinvolved,this aint no radio show George,you are in for a ride,but you seem like a smart cookie,strap yourself in big guy and slip in a mouth guard ,things are going to get bumpy,ha ha ha,no wonder you are finding yourself there George ,there is a challenge there as big as you are,good luck George and all the fellas involved,i gaurantee you something,you will be fast tracked on the learning curve undoubtably.

Personally I prefer systems if possible which tactical minds have NOT had a long and storied history of picking apart.Unions are long and historied,other less structured organisations may seem weaker at first glance,but when you consider flexability and manouverability there is something left to be desired in a Union dynamic,something that is still present in a non-union organisational agreement dynamic.

I swore off of this Union addiction years ago after they shafted me completely,at the end of the day there was no cohesive effort to support me,when the chips were down the Union fell back on its self-serveing structure and told me that there were so many other members working on the site I was on that it was a loseing proposition for the Hall to file grievances for one member when the action would cost the jobs of two hundred{then my rep took pro-active aggressive steps to undermine me the member} ,so as I said at the end of the day should you be hurt or disadvantaged by your employer,your union will be in bed with your enemy, if you pull back the covers.I was severely injured and havent worked in almost seven years,i have been fighting WCB,my ex-employer and my ex-union,but they have worked together to cumultaively disempower me as an individual,each of the three groups have their own fiscally motivated agendas and they are HAPPY to be able to work together to screw as many injured or wronged employees as they possibly can,after all its money in the bank for everyone.All they do is work together to indirectly crush you fiscally by denying and delaying your insurance moneys through coersive manipulation of data resulting in denial of benefits for mutually supportive but BS reason{and you cant sue them so they run rampant on your butt--so they actually outright lie--there is no in house discipline and remember you cant sue if you join a Union they get that call}--till you are to broke and fiscally devestated to fight back,till you cant even feed your family and yourself,it is a sick sick dynamic,sorry George,but methinks you are on the wrong team,but thats just my take on the issue,had I personally investigated the Union I joined I wouldnt have joined it on principal,but it was job-attatched,you want the money you sign here,that in itself is a captive dynamic that I shouldnt have had to face,but everyone does.

I suffered a bi-lateral subluxation of my hips,believe it or not it is almost always a sports injury and the way I suffered the injurys wasnt even remotely similar at first glance and as a result of a combonation of a difficult initial diagnosis, typical medical oversight combined with Employer lies and WCB lies,and Union timely INACTION, the proper diagnisis took almost three years and it was done my me myself ,and then verified by my G.P.and then by two ortho specialists,one the leader in Alberta.I was 100% dead on with my own diagnosis that SIX prior doctors includeing specialist couldnt come to due to the provision of BS and the timely execution of a few adminisrtrativre tactics by the trifecta of evil,which resulted in innaccurate and misleading data provision,intentional goose chases and missed deadlines and the such.Each action causeing me to suffer incredible pain and suffering and further injury,I was still forced to work a construction job after partially dislocateing BOTH hips and severly injureing my spine on the job because my employers and WCB and my Union all absconded from their responsibilitys and took pro-active action to supress data related to my injuries,their severity and their responsibility of supporting an injured person as they were all paid to do in one form or another.Yes,sure,litigation is pending,ha hahaha,havent you been paying attention to the Occupy movements??I cant sue because I have been immobilised fiscally,Most of the world is past the conspiracy stage and believes and pays attention to the vast and criminal organisations who are running our world today,I am the victim of several of them but I am still fighting.

You think hockey convention even makes me blink,after spending this many years fighting real dragons???HA!!Do you think going up against an NHL coach is any harder than takeing on a WCB paid assasin orthopedic speciallist who is useing 40yrs of medical fraud experience to screw me?HA!!CHALLENGE!! Do you think I got a shiny little trophy after I jammed the BS diagnosis down that specialists and five other professionals throats and forced them to capitulate to me and my own brand of medicine based on data??All I got was more legal ammunition I may never be able to use.

I am sorry for the long post but really,I would be remiss to just sit on the fence,run like hell from the union as players,dont let that monster near you,Unions are dieing out anyways as their traditional powerbases are fadeing,they were really something that benefitted the boomers and their generation,there are to many ways for the truth to be discovered today,so a Union is a waste of money,everyone will be in court all the time,dont assume Unions are not just another way to manipulate the working man by simple riseing above his head and paying off a few of his true brothers to screw him in the ear.

Look up the history of unions and you will find that they are just simple communication conduits,another layer of complication,a way to negotiate the workers out of decision makeing power individually indirectly,a huge war chest of money that makes the little guy happy but does essentially nothing for him,the days of there being so many workers that there was a concern over fair wages and conditions ARE OVER,there are going to be severe labor shortages until i die,what dont you think mexicans can play NHL hockey,get my drift,we are short of everyone right now not tomorrow,unions are actually regressive now and to form one now just lets the employer have his hands in your pudding a little longer thats all,why wouild you want to create a new union when all the old ones are dieing off naturally because the dynamic that validated their creation had disappeared??

The need for a paid communication conduit is not there any more,so what good is a Union??

Its like trying to use the trap against the NHS,it wont work,it USED to work,but isnt that the feeling you always get when you fail to count your rounds and finally get a clear shot only to hear that hollow metallic click of a fireing pin snapping into an empty chamber??

Sometimes if you get caught up in the action you fail to recognise that the reason you have been missing is because dureing the heat of the action your target has moved a little.Thats why you hear the term "double-tap"it means short controlled bursts between which you visually reaquire your target ensureing a better overall accuracy percentage from your clip of ammo.

Form a non-union loose collective group,not a union,then let that be a shot over the bow of the NHL,then pause and reaquire your target,dont empty your clip in the heat of the moment,your target is experienced and a trophy.And they have way more money than you do.

I have a headache,I am outta here,jesus,unions again.Run Forrest ,run.

Can you go into a little more depth please.

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#83 BurkeTheTurd
August 22 2012, 10:03AM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

Maybe Big George got bored with the radio show?

I worked the non-union Oilrigs for years and then worked Uniononised construction for years and can simply say that I never quite accepted the Union system.

I was a Job Steward on several different jobs,I was once in an archaeic motion actually voted in to the position by my peers ,by the members themselves,in the construction Union I was in NO ONE did this,the Hall sent out their patsys to spew propoganda down our throats.There are rules that allow members to choose their own Stewards through an onsite vote displaceing the official Hall choice of representative,but the vote must be unanimous to stand.This only happened once in my years in the Union and some members with decades in the Hall had never seen this type of vote work out because of the need for a 100% consensus,imagine trying to get a room full of construction fellas on the same page at the same time long enough for them to collectively agree on whats for lunch never mind an administrative action.

Well I managed to bring them together,and lets just say I opened up a real can"o"worms for myself there,I had the privilage of earning myself a fast track course in Union supported labor dynamics,lets just say I have left it at that for many years,even I wont go into the dynamics behind those Union money machines,there is a certain personal safety line that it is a good idea not to go over.

I learned years after I joined my union that there was an even more efficient similar system,in that indusrty it was call C.L,A.C,but there are other similar group agreements [Costco}that are not unions that can achieve amazeing and substantial goals when utilised properly,and these organisations are cheaper to run and not as aggressively postured as a union is.

It is always nice to see a system at work if it is efficient ,and every group needs a starting point so Kudos to those involved on the ground floor,dont expect to be hearing much from Big George for the next few years if he stays iinvolved,this aint no radio show George,you are in for a ride,but you seem like a smart cookie,strap yourself in big guy and slip in a mouth guard ,things are going to get bumpy,ha ha ha,no wonder you are finding yourself there George ,there is a challenge there as big as you are,good luck George and all the fellas involved,i gaurantee you something,you will be fast tracked on the learning curve undoubtably.

Personally I prefer systems if possible which tactical minds have NOT had a long and storied history of picking apart.Unions are long and historied,other less structured organisations may seem weaker at first glance,but when you consider flexability and manouverability there is something left to be desired in a Union dynamic,something that is still present in a non-union organisational agreement dynamic.

I swore off of this Union addiction years ago after they shafted me completely,at the end of the day there was no cohesive effort to support me,when the chips were down the Union fell back on its self-serveing structure and told me that there were so many other members working on the site I was on that it was a loseing proposition for the Hall to file grievances for one member when the action would cost the jobs of two hundred{then my rep took pro-active aggressive steps to undermine me the member} ,so as I said at the end of the day should you be hurt or disadvantaged by your employer,your union will be in bed with your enemy, if you pull back the covers.I was severely injured and havent worked in almost seven years,i have been fighting WCB,my ex-employer and my ex-union,but they have worked together to cumultaively disempower me as an individual,each of the three groups have their own fiscally motivated agendas and they are HAPPY to be able to work together to screw as many injured or wronged employees as they possibly can,after all its money in the bank for everyone.All they do is work together to indirectly crush you fiscally by denying and delaying your insurance moneys through coersive manipulation of data resulting in denial of benefits for mutually supportive but BS reason{and you cant sue them so they run rampant on your butt--so they actually outright lie--there is no in house discipline and remember you cant sue if you join a Union they get that call}--till you are to broke and fiscally devestated to fight back,till you cant even feed your family and yourself,it is a sick sick dynamic,sorry George,but methinks you are on the wrong team,but thats just my take on the issue,had I personally investigated the Union I joined I wouldnt have joined it on principal,but it was job-attatched,you want the money you sign here,that in itself is a captive dynamic that I shouldnt have had to face,but everyone does.

I suffered a bi-lateral subluxation of my hips,believe it or not it is almost always a sports injury and the way I suffered the injurys wasnt even remotely similar at first glance and as a result of a combonation of a difficult initial diagnosis, typical medical oversight combined with Employer lies and WCB lies,and Union timely INACTION, the proper diagnisis took almost three years and it was done my me myself ,and then verified by my G.P.and then by two ortho specialists,one the leader in Alberta.I was 100% dead on with my own diagnosis that SIX prior doctors includeing specialist couldnt come to due to the provision of BS and the timely execution of a few adminisrtrativre tactics by the trifecta of evil,which resulted in innaccurate and misleading data provision,intentional goose chases and missed deadlines and the such.Each action causeing me to suffer incredible pain and suffering and further injury,I was still forced to work a construction job after partially dislocateing BOTH hips and severly injureing my spine on the job because my employers and WCB and my Union all absconded from their responsibilitys and took pro-active action to supress data related to my injuries,their severity and their responsibility of supporting an injured person as they were all paid to do in one form or another.Yes,sure,litigation is pending,ha hahaha,havent you been paying attention to the Occupy movements??I cant sue because I have been immobilised fiscally,Most of the world is past the conspiracy stage and believes and pays attention to the vast and criminal organisations who are running our world today,I am the victim of several of them but I am still fighting.

You think hockey convention even makes me blink,after spending this many years fighting real dragons???HA!!Do you think going up against an NHL coach is any harder than takeing on a WCB paid assasin orthopedic speciallist who is useing 40yrs of medical fraud experience to screw me?HA!!CHALLENGE!! Do you think I got a shiny little trophy after I jammed the BS diagnosis down that specialists and five other professionals throats and forced them to capitulate to me and my own brand of medicine based on data??All I got was more legal ammunition I may never be able to use.

I am sorry for the long post but really,I would be remiss to just sit on the fence,run like hell from the union as players,dont let that monster near you,Unions are dieing out anyways as their traditional powerbases are fadeing,they were really something that benefitted the boomers and their generation,there are to many ways for the truth to be discovered today,so a Union is a waste of money,everyone will be in court all the time,dont assume Unions are not just another way to manipulate the working man by simple riseing above his head and paying off a few of his true brothers to screw him in the ear.

Look up the history of unions and you will find that they are just simple communication conduits,another layer of complication,a way to negotiate the workers out of decision makeing power individually indirectly,a huge war chest of money that makes the little guy happy but does essentially nothing for him,the days of there being so many workers that there was a concern over fair wages and conditions ARE OVER,there are going to be severe labor shortages until i die,what dont you think mexicans can play NHL hockey,get my drift,we are short of everyone right now not tomorrow,unions are actually regressive now and to form one now just lets the employer have his hands in your pudding a little longer thats all,why wouild you want to create a new union when all the old ones are dieing off naturally because the dynamic that validated their creation had disappeared??

The need for a paid communication conduit is not there any more,so what good is a Union??

Its like trying to use the trap against the NHS,it wont work,it USED to work,but isnt that the feeling you always get when you fail to count your rounds and finally get a clear shot only to hear that hollow metallic click of a fireing pin snapping into an empty chamber??

Sometimes if you get caught up in the action you fail to recognise that the reason you have been missing is because dureing the heat of the action your target has moved a little.Thats why you hear the term "double-tap"it means short controlled bursts between which you visually reaquire your target ensureing a better overall accuracy percentage from your clip of ammo.

Form a non-union loose collective group,not a union,then let that be a shot over the bow of the NHL,then pause and reaquire your target,dont empty your clip in the heat of the moment,your target is experienced and a trophy.And they have way more money than you do.

I have a headache,I am outta here,jesus,unions again.Run Forrest ,run.

Im starting up a union, would you be interested in leading it?

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#84 TigerUnderGlass
August 22 2012, 10:48AM
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I jammed the BS diagnosis down that specialists and five other professionals throats and forced them to capitulate to me and my own brand of medicine based on data

New favorite line from newage.

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#85 book¡e
August 22 2012, 10:52AM
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I don't generally have much use for unions (in contemporary times in wealthy countries), however, when you have a monopoly or oligopoly of employers, then an engaged and independent workers organization (not tied to one of the giant corrupt unions) is a pretty reasonable thing.

On another note, Big George was always critisized for his inability to focus on hockey and being distracted by outside things such as his radio show.

I guess now that he is really serious about making a comeback this year and really dedicating himself that is no longer a problem.

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#86 Ales hallsky
August 22 2012, 11:01AM
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Unionization takes away the individuality of the worker, and individual needs aren't assessed. The needs of the union as a whole may not be in the best interest for each person. Like me for example, the only union i need is the union of the Eberlean one and his birthday suit.

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#87 David S
August 22 2012, 12:07PM
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Ales hallsky wrote:

Unionization takes away the individuality of the worker, and individual needs aren't assessed. The needs of the union as a whole may not be in the best interest for each person. Like me for example, the only union i need is the union of the Eberlean one and his birthday suit.

Yeesh.

Creepiness level short term outlook: Elevated and rising.

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#88 Pat Hughes ruled
August 22 2012, 12:08PM
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Unions keep the incompetent employed at good wages. Good employees suffer.

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#89 Oilers Al
August 22 2012, 01:24PM
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Jonathan , Oilers Horatio, sailed to New York a few years ago. Captain Tambilni is still looking for his sword.

Your commentary on " could have done more" is more than valid. The additions and changes that happened, were just that " they happened.[Draft picks, Schultz, Smyth].The Hordichuk, Petrell, and Habby are definitely areas that should have been improved on.

I would still sign a guy like Roszival to a two year deal, until the youngy's come on stream. [ I guess this still could happen].

My only hope would be that Kruger will make a difference... do bad he wasnt given the opportunity to at least pick his own assistant.

In the meantime the "Mangment by Committee" continues to work hard to build the new Oilers.

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#90 FastOil
August 22 2012, 01:59PM
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It's hard to judge Tambellini until they stop managing for lottery picks.

Not plugging holes means they aren't done with it yet or they are completely incompetent. The post Sutton deals they have signed weren't bad, they have hired some good people, so I don't see incompetence. We've been through this drill before, we know the "likely" outcome.

I am not surprised they are hoping for another very high pick again. The plan as stated and played out is to acquire elite talent through the draft. They must want another one.

It makes sense if you have a full arena. The high picks cost nothing, and after this year they should have enough to make a deal to fill a hole without creating another. Trade some high end prospects and first rounders they could live without for a year or two for a top player.

It sucks for the fans, but we don't go away do we? I believe this will be the last year of rebuild 5.0 or whatever we're at now. They won't put Hall through it again after this season, but they'll still call one more mulligan this year. It'll be the injuries, not the complete lack of depth that caused the problem, of course.

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#93 Eskimo44
August 23 2012, 12:46AM
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Not interested in Colaiacovo or Jurcina, both are redundant considering the sheer amount of 3rd pairing defenders on the team. Roszival however can actually play in the top 4, without having Pieterangelo as his partner, and would be a splendid addition.

I also agree the Oilers should have attempted to add some depth in the forward department. Even someone as prolific as a top 6 forward with size would be on my shopping list (Doan is my current pipedream). But besides that they have to trim the fat, Eager is useless. Hordichuk will at least try and do his job, but really it's a very unimportant job. Petrell i actually liked being resigned but he should be in competition for a spot, not seemingly locked in.

I think everyone would like to see Khabibulin replaced with a better option, although i do feel Danis is a respectable backup if it comes down to it.

Good article as always Jon, keep it up.

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#94 David S
August 23 2012, 12:01PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Thanks for the comment and questions.

My personal belief is that two things have prevented the Oilers from being more active in the summer. The first is that they really do believe in the current group - I'm thinking back here to Tambellini saying late in the season that the early 2011-12 run showed the team's actual level of ability. They see the team as better than its record. The second is that they're committed to organic growth - that with a core coming up together, there's no need to try and augment the team with outside help at this stage. It's not a strategy that I agree with, because I think a hybrid approach - reasonable UFA/trade additions to shore up depth and speed up the timeline - is the best way to go about building the team.

As for Smid, Petry and Dubnyk, I like all three players and think they stand a reasonable chance of continued growth (particularly Petry) but Petry's the youngest of the group at 24 and the other two are 26. There's a danger in projecting constant growth - and no danger at all in building in some safeguards.

Finally, Khabibulin. Buying out Khabibulin saves $1.25 million. If the Oilers can find a goalie even a whisker better for that money, it's a good idea. I think they could have found someone equal to Khabibulin and less injury prone for less money, and could have found a superior replacement for similar/slightly more dollars. The money's not the main issue, though - the issue is that Khabibulin's a ~0.900 SV% goalie who gets hurt a lot. With an unproven starter, there needs to be a better backup plan, IMO.

@ Jay-Dub

If keyboard GM's and most casual fans could see this team wasn't going anywhere, I have a hard time believing guys who spent their lives neck deep in the game for real would see anything different.

Trashing the team and tanking for picks was a deliberate strategy. "Organic growth" and "Building through the draft" are just politically correct words for that approach.

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#95 nunyour
August 23 2012, 02:41PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

One top-four defenceman via UFA. If they can't land one, than a guy like Jurcina - a third-pairer who can step into a top-four role easier than Sutton, Peckham or Potter - should be attainable.

One 1B goalie. There's not much really available on the free agent market now (I'm not a big fan of Dan Ellis or Brent Johnson) so perhaps the ship has sailed on this. A logical trade target might be a guy like Scott Clemmensen in Florida - even if the Panthers don't land Luongo, they've got Theodore, Clemmensen and the highly-touted Jacob Markstrom. Clemmensen's not the kind of guy who would cost an arm or a leg.

One third-line winger. Again, the free agent market is more or less depleted (they could gamble on a guy like Brunette or Knuble, but speed would be an issue, and Radek Dvorak's best days are well behind him). Dominic Moore might be fit but he's a centre and then there's Eric Fehr but he's coming off a terrible year - I'd take him over Petrell but he's not a perfect fit. So, that leaves trade. How hard is it to land one third-line winger via trade? Admittedly I've never had to do it personally, but it doesn't sound like an impossible task.

ok,or use the players you have in okc.and help them develope into the players you want to have in a year or two when this rebuild is futher along in it's developement?they have some fine young prospects in all positions that need to be groomed.

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#96 BK
August 23 2012, 02:52PM
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One of the most important steps in the British Naval dominance was the acquisition and promotion of Horatio Nelson. Perhaps the analogy of Nelson and Tambolini shows a lack of creative action, but I also think the better comparison might be Nelson and Krueger. The hiring of RK was a risky move for a GM against the ropes, and apparently a key factor in Shultz choosing the Oilers was his conversation with RK. If the "crew" preforms better than expected, and "the ship" starts to gain some momentum, then perhaps you overlooked a very important piece of the battle equitation. The hiring of an inspiring and creative team leader Ralph "Horatio" Krueger.

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#97 Wäx Män Riley
August 23 2012, 03:48PM
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Bigfan wrote:

Great read - and so history too!

One small correction:

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers ..." - William Shakespeare, Henry V

Coined by Shakespeare about two hundred years before Nelson said it ... Nelson was surely quoting Shakespeare's Saint Crispen's Day speech because it would have resonated with his men. You're point is still valid, its just that the history should be spot on.

Cheers

To be COMPLETELY accurate, Bill Shakespeare probably didn't write that line either. ;-p

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers ..." -Christopher Marlowe(?), Ben Jonson(?), Francis Bacon(?)

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