Oilers owner releases statement to fans

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers were supposed to end their playoff drought this season. They currently have the fewest points in the Western Conference, which means it's time to release a statement from the owner.

The only thing more frustrating than the on-ice performance of the Edmonton Oilers is management's statements off it.

After lofty expectations this past offseason, the Oilers once again look primed for a strong performance in the NHL's draft lottery. This, of course, is not the end goal for a franchise that has missed the playoffs in seven -- and going on eight -- consecutive seasons.

Yet, despite all the talk of change, the Oilers remain the team that they have been: a non-contender in the playoff picture.

On Monday, owner Daryl Katz released a statement to the fans addressing the disappointments of this season. Katz pleads for patience and relates to the fans' frustrations with what's been going on with the team. The owner promises change, while maintaining commitment to the plan in place. The goal, he says, is to make sure the rebuild only happens once (albeit a very extended one).

Here's Katz's letter in its entirety, via TSN:

To Oilers Fans Everywhere:

We all thought this was going to be the year the Oilers turned the corner. Obviously, that hasn't happened, and it hurts. It's frustrating - for all of us. For our fans, for our players and staff, and for everyone in our community who shares a common bond around a game, a team and a city that we love.

I know this will almost certainly be the eighth consecutive year since we made the playoffs. I hate that fact as much as anyone, but the reality is that this is only year four of the rebuild that started when we draftedTaylor Hall. The good news, if you can call it that, is that other teams that committed to fundamental rebuilds went through the same kind of droughts over the same kind of time frames, or longer. That doesn't make it fun for anyone; it just means we have to stay the course.

Yes, we hoped and expected to be better this year - there's no question about that. But we've also been more active than any team I can think of in rebuilding our organization from bottom to top by supporting player development in OKC and Bakersfield, revamping our scouting organization, naming a new GM and a new coach, signing free agents like Justin SchultzBoyd GordonAndrew FerenceAnton Belov and Ilya Bryzgalov, and trading for players like David Perron, and now Ben Scrivens and Matt Hendricks. And we're not done.

But I can also tell you that we are not going to sacrifice the future by doing something short-term. Those days are over and they're not coming back. If we're going to rebuild, we want to do it right and we only want to do it once.

I hear a lot from fans about accountability, so let's be clear. We are all accountable. That includes me, Kevin, Craig, Dallas, every player who wears our jersey, and every member of our staff. I know Kevin is the target of a lot of personal attacks right now, and that's really unfortunate. Kevin is a big part of our organization, and it's not just the Oilers that value his knowledge and perspective. He is consistently chosen, year after year, to play a leadership role with Hockey Canada. But when it comes down to it, this is Craig MacTavish's team. He is the GM. He makes the calls, and he is accountable for building a team that can compete for the Stanley Cup -- year in and year out for years to come.

That's our vision. We are committed to it -- and we're confident that we are on the right track.

Our fans have been incredibly patient and supportive. At the same time, we know there's a lot of frustration and we are asking you to hang in there while we fight through this and put the next few pieces of the team in place.

I'll tell you this, despite everything, we all wear our Oilers colours with the same pride now as we ever have, and as we will when we're back on top. We hope you'll do the same.

We value our fans, we hear you, and we appreciate your support.

Daryl Katz

Katz's statement is essentially a collection of words that sound positive but have no real meaning, especially the part about the rebuild mirroring other rebuild attempts around the league:

The Oilers management group -- including coach Dallas Eakins -- have made several public statements regarding where they are going. Despite this, the result remains the same. Considering how ineffective the clubs public relation initiatives have been, it might be time to let the on-ice product do the talking. Although, that hasn't been much better.

The Oilers enter competition on Monday night with the fewest points in the Western Conference (36).

What do you think of Katz's letter? Let us know in the comments below.

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