Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/21/13 at 04:30 PM ET
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
... The Oilers arena is still sold out, but I can’t recall a time since the mid-1990s when there’s been so little interest in the Oilers in mid-season.
The compact between the fans on one side and Katz and his management group, headed up by Kevin Lowe, on the other has fallen apart. The deal was that the fans would endure a few years of losing so that the team could reload with top draft picks and rebuild the franchise that way.
This model has worked for some NHL teams, failed for others, but the Oilers core group, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Jordan Eberle , Justin Schultz, Sam Gagner and Jeff Petry, is now at the same age we saw with groups in other cities when the losing started to fade away and those teams started to compete for the playoffs.
This turnaround didn’t happen last year in Edmonton and it’s not happening this year.
Instead, the team has appeared confused and disorganized, especially on defence and on the power play. Edmonton has had some success against weaker teams in the Eastern conference, but has been dominated by their real competition, the stronger Western conference teams.
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