Rejoice all Oiler fans, both first tiers and second tiers!
Your owner cares about you!
So much so that he is willing to apologize mid-season for the terrible hockey product that he has put on the ice this season. Who does this? In the middle of the year? Sure, there is no chance the Oilers are going to make the post-season this year, for the eighth straight season, but does it make the fans feel any better that their owner believes there is no shot?
Daryl Katz wrote an open letter to Oiler fans today, begging them for more patience in their rebuild. More patience, but of course, make sure you don’t stop buying those tickets and merchandise.
I wonder what the real goal for Katz is in owning the Oilers. He says he was always a fan of the team, and that is good enough. But, what is his incentive to win? He is able to put an inferior product on the ice, run by a string of incompetent management, where the only thing poor results gets you is a promotion (looking at Kevin Lowe here), and the fans will still crawl all over themselves in order to get season tickets. There is still a three year waiting list in Edmonton for season tickets, and this is for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since their miracle (read: fluke) run to the Cup finals in 2006.
Now, with the team in the gutter once again, and on their way to year another lottery pick, interest in the team is waning. It has got to the point where it is becoming tough to give tickets away to games, when someone can’t go. Sure, the ticket would be free, but people are saying no, because they know they are probably going to see a bad game from a bad team that will end up as a frustrating loss. That, plus, there is the general inconvenience of going to an Oilers game. The parking costs, the crowds, the horribly uncomfortable seating at Rexall Place, the overpriced food and drink…
I despise the Oilers, but love hockey, and I have already turned down free tickets on more than one occasion this year. I would never usually do that, at least because I would want to see the other team.
It is also at the point where there is a major social media movement called “Lowe Must Go.” People are speaking up. And people are angry.
A major problem is that the fans haven’t stopped supporting this team with their wallets. People will still pay $200 for a ticket to the game, plus another $100 for parking, beer, food, and merch. Stop it. If you aren’t paying for the product, maybe they will see that the fans require something worth watching in order to charge exorbitant prices for.
But no longer.
As hilarious as it is to listen to talk radio after yet another loss has piled up, I can tell that this town has had enough. We are upset, because we don’t see change. We see Kevin Lowe, a poor coach, become a poor GM, become a poor president. And we still think that everything is being run through him. I get it, he and Katz are friends. It would be hard to fire a friend. But the results have to be obvious. The wins aren’t there. Since Lowe has been in charge, the Oilers have the fewest points in the NHL over that time span. And it is a long time. There are a lot of bad teams and poor franchises that have been better than the Oilers. The Florida Panthers have been better than the Oilers over that span.
And a letter to fans is supposed to make that better?
It is just another shot to the face of the fans in this city, ones who want nothing more than to cheer to their team with a little hope.
But, the hope is gone.
Even your owner agrees.