‘Hard decisions’ may see Ryan Smyth exit the Edmonton Oilers

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One was my birthday (Feb.. 21 against Minnesota, his last goal).. The other was short-handed (against Vancouver Feb.. 4),” he said.. “I’m playing a different role and it makes me think of defensive play more than the offensive zone.. I’m trying to be an all-around player.” He was told coming into this season, his role and ice-time would be changing, so he wasn’t taken aback by that.. “We spoke from the get-go after Ryan signed and we said he could be on the fourth line, he could be on the first line, on the PP or PK.. He could play left, right or centre.. He’s been a good role player for us this year,” said coach Ralph Krueger .. “He’s been one of the leading penalty-minute players in the National Hockey League.. I believe he’s in the top 15, which players don’t get much credit for.. He’s not been asked to do much on power play but in the stretch when we made the important push where we were in eighth place at game 35, he was very good at dealing with his role (centre).” “He’s been asked to do certain things and he’s done them as a pro, remaining positive with his attitude, a good voice on the bench and in the room.” Can Smyth still keep up? source: http://www.canada.com/sports/Hard+decisions+Ryan+Smyth+exit+Edmonton+Oilers/8257682/story.html

Oilers president Lowe says sorry as Edmonton mocks Tier 1, Tier 2 fan rankings

Either way, fans took to social media and radio call-in shows to slam Lowe and the Oilers.. Fans who pay for tickets are now cheekily referred to as Tier 1 fans and those who don’t fork out as Tier 2.. Fan anger against Lowe was not just restricted to those comments.. Lowe also lost his temper at the news conference when asked why the Oilers didn’t search out new blood to replace Tambellini.. “How are fans going to be reassured that the group that left the mess that Tambellini couldn’t quite clean up is now going to be cleaned up by the guys who left the mess to begin with?” asked one reporter.. “In terms of the group that messed things up, you’re talking about the group that had a team one period away from winning the Stanley Cup (in 2006)?” Lowe shot back.. “Seven years ago,” said the reporter.. “There’s one other guy I believe in hockey today that is still working in the game that has won more Stanley Cups than me.. So I think I know a little bit about winning, if there’s ever a concern.” For that, fans scorched Lowe as an arrogant, out of touch executive hiring his buddies while skating on the past glory of Oiler championships that ended almost a quarter century ago.. One local columnist said the Oilers are being run more like a “tree fort” than a professional sports organization.. One sports channel used Lowe’s outburst as the hook for a top-five “It’s all about me moments in sports” segment.. Others have derisively linked Lowe’s comments to goalie Patrick Roy’s famous 1996 retort that he is deaf to criticism because his Stanley Cup rings plug up his ears. source: http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/hockey/Oilers+president+Lowe+says+sorry+suggesting+tiers+fans/8255079/story.html

Struggling Oilers fire GM Tambellini

Steve Tambellini

The 54-year-old succeeded Lowe as Oilers’ GM following Lowe’s promotion.. Edmonton is the verge of missing the NHL playoffs for a seventh consecutive season.. The Oilers currently stand 12th in the Western Conference with a 16-18-7 record, eight points behind eighth-place Detroit.. ”Despite showing areas of improvement over the course of the season, the face of the matter is we are not where we want to be right now, nor where we should be,” Lowe said at a news conference.. ”And because careers are short and opportunities for achievement don’t come along very often, we feel strongly that it is important that we make some changes right now.” MacTavish coached the Oilers in 2006, leading the team to the Stanley Cup final, where it lost in seven games to the Carolina Hurricanes .. Check out photos of the NHL’s 2013 ice girls .. Also returning to the Oilers is former assistant GM Scott Howson, who was recently fired as GM of the Columbus Blue Jackets .. Howson becomes the Oilers’ senior vice president of hockey operations.. Tambellini has been in charge of rebuilding the Oilers around such young stars such as Taylor Hall , Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle and the club was expected to contend for a playoff spot this season.. Last year, Edmonton had the first overall draft pick and used it to take Nail Yakupov. source: http://msn.foxsports.com/nhl/story/edmonton-oilers-fire-general-manager-steve-tambellini-041513


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