You can't put too much blame on the Edm staff for the Pronger fiasco. That was just a bad situation Pronger and his family put them in.
As others have said, they have drafted top end talent, rushed them into the NHL, didn't provide good leadership (Hemsky leadershipr lol), and nver did anything to address their defense or goalie situation.
Plenty of blame could be put on the Edmonton staff for that affair. Pronger was one of the best defensemen in the league. Regardless of his stated wish to depart, Edmonton could have asked for and received quite a bit more from any number of teams. In the event, Lowe not only got the massively short end of the stick; he also blew most of the assets Edmonton had gotten in return. This really was a microcosm of how awful Edmonton's management and coaching have been.
The return for Pronger was Smid, Lupul, Anaheim's first rounder in 2007, Anaheim's second-rounder in 2008, and a conditional 2008 first-rounder that the Oilers ended up receiving. The Oilers promptly traded away that first-rounder for the Coyotes' first-rounder in 2008, a pick that Edmonton wasted on Riley Nash, whom they later traded away for a second-round draft pick that they wasted on a bad prospect. Lupul was traded, along with Jason Smith, to the Flyers in exchange for Pitkanen and Sanderson. Sanderson was indisputably on the tail end of his career, and Pitkanen proceeded to have an awful season with the Oilers. The former retired soon after the trade, whilst the latter was traded after one season to Carolina for Erik Cole. Cole proceeded to have an awful season, at which point the Oilers traded him back to Carolina for Patrick O'Sullivan in a three-way deal. O'Sullivan sucked, so the Oilers waived him, and he was picked up by the Wild. Meanwhile, the Oilers traded away that Anaheim second-round pick to the Islanders for a useless player and a third-round draft pick (later used to select another useless player). The 2008 first-rounder was used to select Jordan Eberle.
In sum, in exchange for a world-class defenseman who was at the time one of the best in the game, the Oilers got Ladislav Smid and a pick that became Jordan Eberle. They recently traded away Smid for peanuts, so now they're left with Eberle. He's a good scorer, mind you, but he didn't come into the league until four years after the trade, and didn't start producing until a year later. Meanwhile, Edmonton was deprived of a sorely-needed superstar and defensive pivot who had been the heart and soul of their Stanley Cup run in the previous season.
Bear in mind that this saga occurred across three different GMs, including the one currently in office. Pretty terrible, huh?
Edited by Crymson, 10 January 2014 - 03:25 PM.