The Edmonton Oilers are a complete shambles. After a stretch of ineptitude that included, among other things, an 11-game losing streak at one point before this latest four-game slide, GM Craig MacTavish has finally had enough.
Today, he fired head coach Dallas Eakins. Said it was strictly based on performance. So now MacTavish will fill in, but Todd Nelson will eventually take over — to finish the season as interim coach, which may become permanent, but even if it does it doesn’t matter because Nelson will be the next guy fired anyway.
What they really ought to do is fire everyone in management and start anew, because I’m now convinced this current regime is a bunch of amateurs — an opinion already held by pretty much the whole fan base of the Oilers after years of failing to capitalize on No. 1 draft choices. This team has drafted enough offensive talent, like Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the rest, but they have no defence and no goaltending — and even their offence isn’t all that good lately.
If today is not rock bottom for the organization I don’t know what is. The Gretzky days seem like a distant memory now. A lot of upset Oilers fans have been hitting the talk shows and have been blasting the organization’s incompetence at the top, and threatening to cancel their seasons tickets.
Well, finally! A few of them should have started doing that a long time ago, then maybe the Oilers might have avoided this situation. When I point to Canadian hockey fans and criticize their willingness to waste endless amounts of hard-earned money on National Hockey League games, I particularly think of fans of the lousy Edmonton Oilers. They waste their money selling out games, and for what?
In return they are getting a lousy product, one that loses so consistently and so often that they are way out of the playoff race by the middle of the season — and this is in a league that is extremely generous in allowing teams into the playoffs.
The Oilers richly deserve the thorough roasting the fans are giving them right now. They, and Canada’s other NHL hockey teams, have taken their own die-hard fans for granted for far too long. It’s time fans stood up for themselves, and I think finally some of them are up the road in Edmonton.