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The Dismal Oilers Rebuilding Hits a Snag: A Season In Review:

EDMONTON, CANADA - DECEMBER 21: Sheldon Souray #44 of the Edmonton Oilers checks T.J. Oshie #74 of the St. Louis Blues during their NHL game on December 21, 2009 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
Dale MacMillan/Getty Images
Antony TaContributor IJanuary 31, 2010

I say "A Season in Review" because that's essentially what it is.

The season has been over for a long time now.

Now, I'm not about to pretend that injuries or bad luck are the most important deciding factor. Nor shall I pretend that the Oilers were so bad a team that they weren't good enough to make the playoffs.

I'm not about to pretend that I know the answer to those questions.

But what I do know is that the Oilers weren't one of the stronger teams in the West. What I do know is that the Oilers suffered through many important injuries, among them Hemsky, Pisani, Staios, and Stone. What I do know is that the Oilers early season success was based on an un-sustainably high shooting percentage that exceeded all historical data by other dynastic teams (meaning by the law of averages, was a fluke). The Oilers never really did learn to score goals consistently this season.

Combined too much youth, and too many of the same players trying to fit into roles they couldn't play, and we have the 2009-10 Edmonton Oilers.

How befittingly ironic it is that the Oilers lost Sheldon Souray tonight to a fractured wrist. Souray, who was knocked out early in the season by a concussion courtesy of a trip from behind by Jarome Iginla, soon became one of the few bright lights in this dismal season. Most fans were hoping that by trading one of the few players with value in Souray, the Oilers could finally start to rebuild and put this disgusting season behind us.

How wrong this assumption was.

Souray's newest injury was once again courtesy of Iginla, in a fight that Souray initiated in an attempt at redeeming himself for the concussion.

So much for the rebuild—but hey, sometimes life isn't fair.

But swine flu, concussions, mononucleosis, ulcerative colitis, and shoulder injuries aside, this Oilers were not a team built smartly.

The Oilers may have been a team that could've theoretically competed, but only barely.

They say you only judge a team's character in times of adversity.

The Oilers were not built to feel the blows of major injuries and flu epidemics.

The Oilers were not built for this cap system.

The Oilers promised more than they could deliver, and dragged down the careers of several famous coaches like Quinn and Renney by handing them an incomplete team.

One wonders the travesties that Craig MacTavish must have suffered under this Oilers tyrannical system of management.

With 13 straight losses, we are experiencing in our generation the worst Oilers team of all time—only a few years removed from our Stanley Cup Finals appearance. And that's saying a lot, considering how bad the teams were in the mid-90's.

Such an failure in the Heartland of Hockey is unprecedented.



Someone needs to take the fall for this, otherwise, transparency be damned, the words of the Oilers management and recruitment staff aren't worth the paper that they're printed on.

Accountability was a key word of Steve Tambellini's speech when he fired Craig MacTavish and ushered in what we hoped was the dawn of a new age of Oilers teams. We Oiler fans were not asking for a dynasty.

Accountability was the key word.

And Tambo, we're still waiting.

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