Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/4/13
Remember the days when Mark Messier or another Oilers veteran would grab a teammate by the scruff of the neck and demand more if the guy wasn’t pulling his weight, or playing hard enough? Those days might be coming back. Only instead of it being a great team trying to stay that way, it’ll be the worst organization in the NHL trying to crawl out of the gutter. But it’s a start. The Oilers have become an embarrassing mess since owner Daryl Katz took over the team seven-plus years ago, and back-to-back shutout losses at home - 4-0 to Toronto and 5-0 to Detroit - pushed a lot of people past the breaking point. No word on how Katz feels after three wins in 15 games and missing the playoffs for an eighth straight year, but the fans (both types), are as bitter as they’ve ever been here. And some of the veterans who spoke Saturday night, also fed up with the never-ending cycle of defeat, promise to address some of the core issues themselves. “If somebody is going to make one mistake, two mistakes, you try to help them," said defenceman Ladislav Smid. "But if it’s going to keep happening over and over, somebody is going to have to stand up and tell him. “We have to stick together and play as a team, but at the same time we have to hold each other accountable. It’s going to get uncomfortable, but that’s the only way to do this... otherwise we’re just going to keep saying the right things and keep going on the ice and it’s going to be the same old thing." New captain Andrew Ference agrees. He’s stunned by the differences between Edmonton and Boston and says tough love has to start at the player level. “Right from the start of the season I’ve been sick of what’s going on here,” he said. “You get that feeling as soon as you get here - the intentions are in the right spot on an individual basis but it’s just a matter of putting into action lessons that we’re supposed to be learning.” Which they’re not doing. “The coach comes in here and gives a pretty black and white world of what expectations are and what you’re supposed to be doing on the ice and it’s up to us as players to do those jobs,” said Ference. “What it boils down to at this point is guys not doing it. Everybody is saying the right thing but it’s the action that matters.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Report: David Lee signs with the Spurs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Craig Sager to miss Olympics while undergoing bone marrow transplant

Jarryd Hayne wouldn’t have retired if NFL had minor league system

Draymond Green: ‘Me and LeBron are friends’

Pierre-Paul won't need to wear club on hand this season

Report: Four cities remain in contention to host 2017 NBA ASG

Doc Rivers: Clippers have plan to let Paul Pierce retire as a Celtic

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

Cam Talbot thinks the Oilers are close to making the playoffs

The new era of WWE SmackDown has liftoff

Vlade Divac: Cousins ‘most dominant player in the world’

Wild offer to make Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy' new goal song

Canucks don't dismiss acquiring player with past issues

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker