I have to side against Dallas Eakins in this latest contretemps for the Oilers. I get that he’s trying to defend his young players, but he goes about it the wrong way, like last time when he made it about Lars Eller, rather than the fact that opposition coaches are probably describing his team as a junior team in pre-game meetings. He’s making it personal, and he sounds defensive, even petulant, rather than commanding or inspirational.
I hope that the Edmonton press corps does its job, nay, its duty, and ferrets out this fed-up fan and get his side of the story, how much money he’s been spending over the years supporting this sad sack team, and it can’t be cheap, seeing how close to the ice he was sitting. I want him to have an opportunity to retort to Mr. Eakins’ feeble remarks (“uh…, hard workers…, oil industry…, they don’t quit…, …., . Uh…, …. Did I mention the oil industry?…”), or even better to confront him directly, and watch the Oilers’ coach backtrack and grovel his way out of it.
This is the second time the Oilers management team acts out of touch, with Kevin Lowe’s remarks last year that he knew about winning, and that certain fans weren’t welcome if they disagreed. What the fan did is a significant if symbolic gesture. Team jerseys ain’t cheap. For him to chuck it is not a stunt as much as a strong message to the team and its leadership.