Bob Stauffer - photo courtesy

Stauffer: Oilers 'Are Probably Going To Be A 22nd-30th Place Team Next Year'

Oiler fans across Alberta know Bob Stauffer, colour analyst for the Edmonton Oilers on 630CHED.  He’s also on five days a week for Team1260 with his two hour program Oilers Lunch.

The shoe was on the other foot today, as Stauffer was a guest on Fan960 in Calgary.  Stauffer discussed the 2011-12 Oilers, as well as a bit about the upcoming season in general.

Questions were asked.  What are the Oilers going to do in free agency this year?  Big splash?  Little moves?  How do you think the Oilers will be improved in 2011-12?  Do you have any great expectations this year?

Yeah, about all of that.

On Calgary’s Fan960 this morning, Stauffer didn’t have many words of encouragement for 2011-12.  As a matter of fact, he seems to think that the Oilers will likely be in the bottom 25% of the league.  Maybe even last again.


Look, I’m a big believer in ‘the rebuild’.  Although Tambellini has gone on record saying that the 2010-11 season was ‘year one’ of the rebuild, the fanbase looks at the past year as ”year five’ without the playoffs.  We’ve beat this pony to death.  There are a few things that need to be done in order to become competitive.

  • 3C, 4C.  Those with faceoff win percentages of 48% or more go to the front of the line.
  • One solid defenceman.  Two if you can get them on the cheap.  One or two guys that don’t look like complete liabilities when they’re out there floating around.
  • I’ll even leave goaltending out of this one.  If Khabibulin can play .910, that’s a marked improvement over last year.  How about it?

Two or three players would help make a solid contribution to this team’s 2011-12 season.   Having a little luck avoiding the injury bug never hurts, but it’s looking like a few million could help this team out quiet well in the immediate future.  Doesn’t anyone want to do this?  It’s not rocket science.

Hearing this from someone who makes a living on the Oilers’ dime was kind of shocking, really.  It sure didn’t sound like Stauffer was going rogue on this interview.  It sounded like he was reading the company slogan off a business card.   I’m not expecting a Stanley Cup on the mantle next year, but would it be too much to ask to at least say you’re trying to make the playoffs?  Maybe something like “It’s always our goal to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs” would be the appropriate thing to say.

Other actual quotes thoughts from Stauffer this morning:

  • On the free agency period that begins July 1st: “The Oilers are going to be very, very quiet”
  • Another on free agency: “Ryan Smyth…is the Oilers free agent move”.
  • On 2011-12 versus 2010-11:  “”I don’t see a dramatic improvement coming”
  • On being competitive in 2011-12:  “It’s time to be more competitive…but you have to have a degree of practicality”

I know Stauffer is just the colour guy (It’d be quite funny, enraging and disheartening at the same time to hear Buchberger say something along these lines) and he’s probably not privy to every day ins and outs on the club. But when you’re being fed this sort of line from the colour guy in June, what could possibly go right in October?

Are you outraged that this sort of “we’re going to suck a lot” mentality is expected to be the status quo for 2011-12?  Or, do you find it refreshing that you’re hearing this sort of talk in June?

I can’t in recent memory remember when any sports club’s colour guy was so outspoken on how poor expectations were for the next season.  A season, mind you, that’s several months away.


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