March 25 2009 12:17PM
When MacT inevitably does get fired, who would you peg as the front runners for Tambellini to replace him with? Does he draw from his Vancouver days to bring in Marc Crawford? Does he go with former teammates? I know he's played with current NHL coaches, Joel Quenneville (unlikely since he's HC of Chicago) and Mike Kitchen (possibility since he's an AC with FLA)? Personally, I'd like to see him go after Brent Sutter if he chooses to resign from NJ. What do you think? —Dino
MacTavish won’t get fired; he will leave on his own. I had a conversation with a member of the Oilers’ organization last week and I left with the feeling that it will be MacTavish’s decision if he comes back next year or not.
If they miss the playoffs, I think MacTavish will resign. But if they make the playoffs it will be interesting if his mindset changes. When MacTavish got his four-year extension in the summer of 2006 he admitted at his press conference that if the Oilers had missed the playoffs, before their magical run, he would have moved on.
MacTavish will eventually get into management for some team, but it’s hard to figure if coaching is out of his blood right now. If he resigns, does he move into a management role or does he look for a coaching position around the league? I sense he still enjoys coaching and his decision will depend on how they do in the playoffs.
As for potential replacements, I don’t see any of the current assistants being promoted. Marc Crawford has ties with Tambellini, but I don’t see him coming here.
Brent Sutter’s name will come up, but I’m hearing that he might just go back to the farm and coach the Red Deer Rebels. He owns the Rebels, and this past year they had close to 1,000 season ticket holders not show up for games periodically. The business side of the Rebels is weighing heavily on his mind, not to mention he misses his family.
If Sutter resigns in NJ, like everyone expects, and the Oilers are indeed looking for a new coach next year, you can guarantee that the Oilers will give him a call to see where his head is at.
Front-runners could be Geoff Ward, assistant coach in Boston; Paul MacLean, AC in Detroit; and possibly a guy like Don Lever, AC in Montreal who played with Tambellini in Colorado. The Oilers won’t even hint at who they are interested in since MacTavish is still their guy.
Which players in the AHL do the Oilers have under contract for next year, and do they have any good new players coming in next year? —Alan
The guys under contract for next year are: Peckham, Sestito, O’Marra, Paukovich, Lerg, Trukhno, Chorney, Hrabel, Bendfeld, Wild and Pitton. They will want to re-sign Brule, Dubnyk Potulny, Stone, Schremp and Spurgeon. It will be interesting if Schremp re-signs or elects to go Europe for a season or two.
They will need to sign some veteran D-men. Jake Roberts is a tough, solid AHL D-man, and they will desperately need some experience on their blueline next year. As for kids coming out, Jeff Petry is a possibility. Linus Omark is someone they would love to bring over from Sweden. Milan Kytnar from the Saskatoon Blades might go down there as a 20-year-old. Chris Van De Velde has one year left at North Dakota, but if he elects to leave he would help a lot.
It will be interesting to see what the Oilers decide to do with Alex Plante. If the Hitmen win the Memorial Cup, I think he goes to the AHL for sure next year, and even if they don’t I think playing in the “A” as a 20-year-old would be more beneficial in his development. The other possibility is Riley Nash, but I’m hearing he will stay in college and hopefully put on more weight and get stronger.
My buddy, who loves Crosby, says that Ovechkin scores more goals than anyone because he plays in the SouthLEAST division. Is this true? —Adam
Ovechkin scores more goals than anyone because he is better than them, plain and simple. But for argument sake let’s look at it.
To date Ovechkin has 51 goals. He has scored 13 goals in 19 games within his division for a 0.68 GPG average, and he has 38 goals in 56 games outside of his division, for a 0.67 GPG average. In fact, the Caps are 12-7 v. their division, 12-4-3 v. the NE and 12-2-4 v. the ATL division.
They have scored 61 goals in their 19 divisional games for an average of 3.2 GPG, and in the 56 against the rest of the league they have scored 179 for a 3.19 GPG.
The Caps have fewer points from divisional games than they do against the rest of the East, so is their division that weak? The stats prove that this season Ovechkin and his teammates don’t pad their totals because they play in the Southeast.
Last year, he had 22 goals in 24 divisional games, and 43 in the other 58 for a 0.91 GPG within his division and 0.75 GPG outside his division. It helped him a bit last year, but definitely not this year.
If the NHL were to once again engage ESPN in contract talks to show games in the US what arguments could the NHL possibly make to encourage ESPN to invest back into the NHL product? (Obviously ratings is not one of those arguments). Do you have any idea what kind of data or information the NHL could use in forming their arguments? —Clarke
The NHL gets more money from Versus than they ever did from ESPN.
Versus is starting to get into more homes every day, and in a few years it quite possibly could be part of the basic cable package. Staying with them, with the money they get compared to ESPN paying them nothing, makes better business sense.
I don't see the NHL having any numbers/stats that could sway ESPN into thinking that buying the rights back would make any sense. Ratings aren’t high and their ticket sales haven’t jumped enough in the States to make the ESPN executives believe that fans are flocking to the NHL.
I don't see the NHL and ESPN being together again in the next two years at least, and probably longer.
Why do people who sit at the back of the plane immediately stand up when the plane reaches the gate?
I don’t understand why so many of you do this. You end up standing for ten to 15 minutes waiting for the people in front of you to get off. Are you in that big of a rush to grab your carry on luggage? Do you think if you stand up first you get off first?
Unless you have made a deal with the flight attendants to let you off first so you can make a connecting flight, standing up first accomplishes nothing. In fact, it makes it harder for those in front of you to get out of their seat and grab their bag. Sit your ass down, relax and wait for the rows in front of you to leave.
Have questions that need answers? E-mail Jason Gregor at email@example.com.