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The Sports Daily > The Oilers Rig
An Open Letter To Mr. Daryl Katz

Dear Daryl Katz,

Hey there pal, you might remember me as the guy that wrote you a letter in this same space in November of 2014. In case you forgot about it (I didn’t) its right here. I think you’ll find the similarities between what I’m going to write here and what I wrote there disturbing. I know I did.

Enough is enough, seriously. In April of 2015, you were gifted with the next generational talent of the NHL in Connor McDavid. Credit to Mr. McDavid, he has not disappointed at all. He’s been the most exciting Oiler since the glory years, has already won a scoring title AND MVP award, and led this organization to the second round of the playoffs last spring.

Sure, his first season in 2015-16 wasn’t ideal but he lived up to his end of the bargain when he played. Injuries sank that team and made them look worse than they actually were. Last year was fun, you know, winning games for once and actually making the playoffs. This season? Dude, this is pathetic.

Taking a step back is one thing, but your organization has fallen so far back that, once again, people in every other NHL market are laughing at you. People expected YOUR organization to screw the McDavid era up and what have you done? Pretty much exactly that. I gotta hand it to you, if I and so many Oiler fans weren’t pissed off, we’d be impressed by this mess.

Somehow, someway, with arguably the best player in the world on your team, the Oilers aren’t going to come close to the postseason. I’ll tell you something else, regardless of what certain pals of yours in the media wanted to say earlier this season, it isn’t close to McDavid’s fault either.

You want to pin this debacle, and trust me, it’s a debacle, of a season on some people? Start looking at the folks YOU put into place to run this organization. It should start with Peter Chiarelli, but should absolutely include Bob Nicholson, Craig MacTavish, Kevin Lowe, Keith Gretzky and so on. This front office has managed to screw up the Connor McDavid era.

You can sit there, as others are, and say that ‘Oh, well it’s just a bad year!’ and move along. The problem is, this is going to be the norm when you are building a team for 2012, when you constantly lose every big trade you make, and when you blatantly ignore your roster during the off-season.

A team that had Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and Nail Yakupov on it somehow does not have enough talent to compete just two and a half years later. If you can’t see an issue with that, then you might as well sell this team because there is honestly no helping you.

This team had the makings of the next dynasty, and if not that then a consistent contender in the NHL. Now? The Edmonton Oilers are poised for a run of mediocrity even while boasting the best player in the NHL. Again, if you can’t see what is wrong there…..

These are self-inflicted wounds too, and that’s pretty obvious. Yes, I know there was a hole on defense in June of 2016, but doesn’t it bother you that your handpicked GM traded away TWO prime assets in Hall and Eberle and the defense is still an issue? All you have to show for it is Adam Larsson? Those are the kind of moves that losing organizations make, and YOUR organization has made them constantly the last three years.

This season is over. Forget about the 2018 playoffs, that dream is dead, buried six feet under and already rotting. It’s time to focus on 2018-19, and making sure this disgrace of a season never happens again.

Fire Peter Chiarelli and hire someone capable of building a team that can compete in the modern NHL. Don’t half-ass it in typical Oilers fashion either, hold a legit GM search and hire the best candidate. If it is someone who has never held the main job before like Paul Fenton, then so be it. Do right by yourself, by your fans and by your team. Enough of this crap.

Stop bleeding assets, stop disgracing your fanbase and stop embarrassing this organization. There is NO excuse for this team to be this bad with Connor McDavid leading the way. No other team with a franchise talent like this has been so pitiful three years in. Fix it right damn now.

We get it, you got your shiny new arena and can take a bath in money. If that’s all you are in it for then fine, hell Jeremy Jacobs just made the Hall of Fame for being the same kind of owner. At least pretend, for the sake of the fans, your players and the organization, to care. You owe it to a city that bent over backwards to gift you a new playground downtown.

Enough is enough Mr. Katz. This team’s embarrassing showing, from the incompetence of management down, cannot stand. It’s time for you to step in and save this team before those who already dug an unnecessarily large hole dig it even deeper trying to save themselves.

It’s time to be the owner, step up and hold those accountable responsible for their actions. Do it before you ruin one of the brightest careers in hockey. Players can only stay happy for so long.

Signed,

Edmonton Oilers Fans

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