Armchair GM III: Tambellini takes the wheel

Robin Brownlee
April 12 2009 11:06AM

If coaching is the only problem, everything will be just fine when Craig MacTavish hands Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz his resignation in coming days.

But it isn't so it won't be, and that's why there had better be some people following MacTavish out the door if the Oilers are serious about exiting the express lane to mediocrity the Boys on the Bus have been stuck on with the pedal to the metal for far too long.

With the Oilers packing up the dressing room Monday without a playoff date to keep for the third straight season, I expect it won't take long until we see GM Steve Tambellini handing out walking papers on a team that hit the ditch in the stretch on the way to an 11th-place finish.

Out of the playoffs five of the last seven seasons -- with the second-lowest point total in the eight seasons since Kevin Lowe took over from Glen Sather as GM in the summer of 2000 -- I can't see a reason why Tambellini would want to maintain the status quo.

It's time to take a different route.

Express to nowhere

While there's been a perception Tambellini hasn't been calling the shots this season without Lowe, in his new position as president of hockey operations, and Katz pulling the strings, that's not necessarily so. Rest assured, we'll see Tambellini make his mark on the organization in coming months.

A lot of fans, with reason, would look like to see changes start at the top with Lowe, but people wanting that pound of flesh likely won't get it because Lowe has already taken a step back with his new position.

Yes, Lowe is the architect of what fans see now. He built this team, and assembled the hockey operations staff. The failures and mediocrity -- as well as the unlikely run to the 2006 Stanley Cup final -- come back to him.

That said, Lowe isn't going anywhere. Piss and moan if you'd like, but that's the way I see the cards playing out. What fans can expect is to see Lowe further removed from hockey decisions and Tambellini given the latitude he needs to hire and fire as he sees fit.

Make no mistake, Tambellini will be steering this thing from now on. I wouldn't be surprised if Katz steps forward at Rexall Place Monday to make that clear -- just a hunch.

The Middle Men

Unless I've got the wrong read on things, the most significant changes will come in middle-management and the coaching staff.

MacTavish's decision to step aside will have the greatest impact, as that'll not only open up position to a list of candidates Tambellini had relationships with before he joined the Oilers, but prompt changes to the rest of the coaching staff.

No matter who takes over from MacTavish -- discussing candidates now is guess-work and nothing more -- it'll obviously impact the future of assistants Charlie Huddy, Bill Moores and Kelly Buchberger.

I'm told Buchberger will survive any purge, although he won't necessarily be back behind the bench. I expect Rob Daum, who took over the mess in Springfield this season, to be in the mix, but that'll be up to the new man. Moores? Huddy? That's less clear to me.

What is obvious is Tambellini has to take a look at Kevin Prendergast, the assistant GM and vice-president of hockey operations, which makes him the point man for the Cal Clutterbuck that's been the AHL farm.

Prendergast also oversees the professional and amateur scouting staff, a group that, from where I sit, needs a significant overhaul.

As for player moves, we'll be slicing and dicing that one to no end in coming days, and that's a whole other column or six.

I’m telling you

  • Rod Phillips is going to take some time at his off-season home in Arizona to decide whether he's going to retire after 36 seasons as the Oilers radio voice and he'll make an announcement in May. While Phillips, 67, isn't saying which way he's leaning, I suspect The Skipper, one of the best ever to pick up a microphone in the NHL, will decide it's time to kick back, leave the white-knuckle flying to somebody else and retire. After so many years travelling with Phillips, I can yell you this much: there isn't anybody on the face of the planet who loves this organization more than he does or who has been prouder to be a part of it.
  • If the Oilers are serious about overhauling the front office, they should make room in the mix for Ritch Winter, who is best known as a player agent and founder of the Sports Corporation in Edmonton, but has one of the sharper minds in the game.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6pm on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Rick
April 12 2009, 11:19AM
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I hate Winters but agree that he seems like a pretty sharp guy.

It would be interesting to see him in the organization but I doubt his ego would allow him to be part of any team in a capacity lower than GM.

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#2 Archaeologuy
April 12 2009, 11:20AM
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Why is it that the offseasons in Edmonton have been more exciting than the actual season?

Buchberger is the new invincible guy on the team? Maybe Buchy can be Daum's asst in Springfield next season. Or he can teach Big Mac how to get punched in the face over and over without getting seriously hurt...that was his specialty in the NHL was it not?

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#3 shepso
April 12 2009, 11:48AM
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Agreed...Winter should take KP's job. Like him or not, he would be an excellent person to have in the braintrust. Nice work here RB, especially the kind words about Rod. Living outside of Alberta the last couple years with limited cable made me more dependent on listening to his commentary online then I had been in years with all the televised games in Edmonton. He was the voice of the team, and had more heart and passion in his broadcasts then the entire team had on the ice some nights. If his time has truly come, he will be missed by everyone who calls themselves Oilers fans, and by many who are simply fans of the game.

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#4 tommy
April 12 2009, 11:56AM
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Never thought of that Robin, in regards to Winter. That would be a brilliant move. IN the past he has been the most vocal in answering the question"why do players not want to play here". Would he accept that challenge? He could make an instant impact with his former clients.

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#5 SkinnyD
April 12 2009, 12:02PM
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Could you elaborate on why Buchberger is going to 'survive the purge'? Is he a closet hockey genius or something? I don't get it...(to be fair, I don't get much).

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#6 Tod
April 12 2009, 12:03PM
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Damn Robin, I wish that last part was some thing you heard instead of your opinion. Maybe it's a little of both?

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#7 DonDon
April 12 2009, 12:04PM
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If Tambellini is to become the Oilers' GM and hockey operations boss in actual fact, I can't imagine he will be moving on a replacement of Craig MacTavish until the end of the playoffs. If this is the case, he should give consideration to Brent Sutter as coach. Apparently, Sutter's contract with New Jersey expires this season and he wants to move back to Alberta to be with his family. The Sutters live in the Red Deer area and Brent's original home was Viking. Edmonton is very close to home. Sad to say, for some reason, the Oiler management in the past has stayed away from the Sutters. Brent is a very bright, successful and tough taskmaster. He can operate successfully at the junior hockey level teaching young players and the NHL directing old pros. This isn't a time to be hiring old hockey buddies, not after 7 terrible seasons of mediocre performances and missed playoffs! As noted on the posts, the most exciting time for Oilers' fans has been the offseason. Says a lot about the regular season and missed playoffs.

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#8 Jonathan Willis
April 12 2009, 12:05PM
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I’m told Buchberger will survive any purge, although he won’t necessarily be back behind the bench.

As a scout perhaps, ala Rob Daum last year?

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#9 Milli
April 12 2009, 12:05PM
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This sucks. I still remember the 06 hangover, man, it's starting to seem so long ago. I think if I hadn't drank so, so much of the oil koolaid last summer, and been so pumped for this year and all the sucsess we where finally gonna have.....THIS SUCKS!!!!

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#10 Dan
April 12 2009, 12:22PM
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@ Milli:

Yeah I drank the koolaid too, until I saw the line combos and role situation coming out of training camp. Then I put the koolaid down. I thought they'd eventually figure it out, but they never did.

To me, the botched training camp and early success really handcuffed this team. They were getting the results, but you could see there was something seriously wrong.

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#11 Darren
April 12 2009, 01:24PM
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Agreed on everything but Rich Winter. Doesn't he only look out for #1? I love your work and your brutal honesty, Robin, but I just don't know about that. I am having trouble picturing him as a team player...but that said, I don't know the guy and maybe my views of him are way, way off.

Awesome story regarding Rod Phillips, too. Greatest commentator ever.

Keep 'em coming!

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#12 Harlie
April 12 2009, 02:03PM
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Winters is a smart and honest man. I gained new respect for him after reading his role as being one of the first people to question Alan Eagleson's business dealings and handling of the NHLPA and he helped bring him down. Winters goes back a long way on the NHL. I think he could bring a lot to the table. And hey, he lives here!

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#13 Chris
April 12 2009, 02:15PM
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Remove Predergast and Lowe from all player personnel decisions ASAP! I used to be a believer...A believer of all the excuses that they made... The reign of mediocrity must end.

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#14 Robin Brownlee
April 12 2009, 02:44PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I’m told Buchberger will survive any purge, although he won’t necessarily be back behind the bench. As a scout perhaps, ala Rob Daum last year?

Perhaps on the staff here, as in upstairs in the press box again, or as a roving organizational coach, although his preference is to stay connected to the bench staff here.

Tod wrote:

Damn Robin, I wish that last part was some thing you heard instead of your opinion. Maybe it’s a little of both?

The last part as in Ritch Winter? Agree with his takes or not, he's got a mind for the game and he knows how to evaluate talent.

Darren wrote:

Agreed on everything but Rich Winter. Doesn’t he only look out for #1? I love your work and your brutal honesty, Robin, but I just don’t know about that. I am having trouble picturing him as a team player…but that said, I don’t know the guy and maybe my views of him are way, way off. Awesome story regarding Rod Phillips, too. Greatest commentator ever. Keep ‘em coming!

As an agent, Ritch's job is to look after his clients first and he's been very good at that. When his job description changes, so will his priorities. You want Ritch W on your side.

Chris wrote:

Remove Predergast and Lowe from all player personnel decisions ASAP! I used to be a believer…A believer of all the excuses that they made… The reign of mediocrity must end.

I'm thinking you'll get your way.

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#15 jb
April 12 2009, 04:09PM
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RB, any thoughts on player personnel prior to your "whole other column or six?" One guy I'd like to see them take a run at is Buffalo's Paul Gaustad. He's locked up under contract for the next 3 years at a $2.3 million cap hit, which is a bit steep, but he has size, grit, wins 53% of his facoffs, fits the 3rd line centre need, and would be the kind of "young" vet that might bridge the age gap in the locker room. Thoughts?

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#16 humantorch
April 12 2009, 04:25PM
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Robin, what's your take on Laforge's role with the organization? Is he on the same shaky ground that Predergast is on?

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#17 elliot
April 12 2009, 05:26PM
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Robin, I'm sorry, I just don't understand why anybody within the organization should get a pass. If the Oilers are truly serious about setting the ship upright, then they (all of them) must be considered fair game. Players and management.

After observing what Mike Gillis has been putting into place in Vancouver, and understanding that it's only one season: What's becoming clearer is that the status-quo isn't a realistic solution for the Oilers moving forward (man, I hate that term, but it's true). Outside the box thinking and personnel decisions are what is going save this franchise from spiraling into many a seasonal mess of mediocrity and ineptitude.

I think that writers such as yourself really need to step up and voice what many regular folks are saying: It's time to kill those sacred cows and save the team from itself.

Player procurement/development has to be #1 fix-it. Honest asset assessment has to be #2... willingness to step up and be honest with your paying public should be #3... Private business be damned.

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#18 Robin Brownlee
April 12 2009, 05:28PM
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@ humantorch: I thought LaForge might be on shaky ground with Katz coming in, but it hasn't played out that way, so I can't imagine it'll change now.

To be honest, I don't pay as much attention to LaForge's side of the business as the hockey ops side, so I might be out of touch.

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#19 Robin Brownlee
April 12 2009, 05:32PM
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@ elliot: Didn't I say that? I'm not talking about players today, so when I talk about the assistant GMs, middle management and the coaching staff, who am I missing? If you're looking for Lowe to pay for past mistakes, you're not going to get it in terms of a firing, but he's being moved away from from day-to-day decisions in favour of Tambellini. You want to sack Joey Moss?

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#20 Lofty
April 12 2009, 05:38PM
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Bucky should stay so he can

A) show Penner, Nilson, Hemer, Kotalik, Schremp, and Patty O, how to play with some heart (whichever of them stay on the team)

Or

B) beat the living $hit out of them for not playing with heart. Something Moreau doesnt have the balls to do... does he know what the Moose did while he was here, has he seen the door in the old dressing room?

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#21 West Coast Oil
April 12 2009, 05:48PM
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If Winters comes in I hope he brings a players mentality like Gillis did here in Vancouver. Little things like letting the players sleep in after a late travel trip has seemed to have helped.

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#22 Lofty
April 12 2009, 05:49PM
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No Ted Green?

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#23 West Coast Oil
April 12 2009, 06:53PM
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The scary thing about Tamby taking over completely is that Vancouver is the only team with a worse drafting record than Edmonton. To be fair though Im not certain how much control Tamby had with Vancouvers drafting over the years perhaps Willis or someone else knows the brea down

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#24 Harlie
April 12 2009, 07:16PM
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West Coast Oil wrote:

If Winters comes in I hope he brings a players mentality like Gillis did here in Vancouver. Little things like letting the players sleep in after a late travel trip has seemed to have helped.

Gillis was one of the players that Eagleson screwed over and then Gillis stood up for himself as well. I like how this Winter's thing could go.

Just google Gillis Eagleson and you'll see.

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#25 Robin Brownlee
April 12 2009, 08:01PM
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I wonder if we're getting more foreshadowing of MacTavish's next move with the news he got no sniff on the coaching staff with Team Canada for the World Championship? MacTavish was supposedly in line for a look, but he's nowhere on the staff -- it's Lindy Ruff with Barry Trotz and Dave Tippett. Did Team Canada ask MacTavish only to have him say, "No thanks?"

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#26 bill
April 12 2009, 08:08PM
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Maybe it is time for the media to take some credit for creating needless distractions for the team this year and creating a lack of confidence and second guessing for players, management and coaches.

Right from the drop of the puck in the 1st game most media members felt they needed controversy to drive their ratings/ readership and drove their point home....sometimes if not often, ruthlessly. I believe that over the coarse of the year this contributed to the team's woe's. Yes, they are pro's but they are also human.

One of life's certainties is that if you are looking for negatives you will always find them and if you are looking for positives they are always there as well. Another certainty is that hind sight is always 20/20.

I would suggest that instead of taking the easy route next year the wannabe athlete, jealous of athletes salaries media folks make an effort to gain some insights into the team, the players and the game that would be of more interest to the real Oiler fans that want to read about and listen to shows that are objective, respective of how tough it is to play the game and not so interested in fostering their personal agendas for the sake of ratings.

I don't think I am the only Oiler fan that is sick of hearing negatives day in and day out.

Bill

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#27 firemactandkloweallready
April 12 2009, 08:18PM
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Robin do you really think katz will be anywhere near Rexal on Monday? If tambalini is the one in charge to clean up the mess that was created by Lowe and Prendergast then i think he should be the one at the press conference telling the media and fans as to which direction this organization will be heading.

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#28 Harlie
April 12 2009, 08:32PM
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Robin Brownlee

Only to resurface in some role with the NYR?

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#29 Jonathan Willis
April 12 2009, 08:36PM
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bill wrote:

Maybe it is time for the media to take some credit for creating needless distractions for the team this year and creating a lack of confidence and second guessing for players, management and coaches.

From a media report:

"I find it difficult to believe that as a stute a hockey man as [the G.M.] can publicly absolve [te coach] of all blame for the team's problems. Although [the coach] was by no maens the club's only problem, he was the root of major failing which dragged so many of his players down to mediocrity this season. Loss of pride. Loss of desire. Loss of togetherness. Lack of leadership. Inability to deal with the shirkers and malcontents in his midst. This is what he is paid so handsomely to do."

That media report was from April 1974. The coach and G.M being criticized were Scotty Bowman and Sam Pollock. Bowman and Pollock would win four of the next five Stanley Cups after the reporter made that statement.

Point being, the media is always going to be critical - and they should expose problems and be honest! - but using them as an excuse for a team's performance is just silly.

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#30 Jonathan Willis
April 12 2009, 08:36PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

I wondered the same thing.

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#31 albundy
April 12 2009, 08:45PM
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Yup, I do believe this will be the year Tambo makes his mark on the team. I honestly think Rod was and is the best play by play man in the business. Sad day if he leaves and turns it over to Bob. I really think KLOWE should become coach. It only makes sense, he has signed most of these players so lets see him either be very successful and take the credit or see him struggle with the players he signed that no other team will take due to contracts, and then he gets his walking papers. I real man would step to the plate and take on this challenge.

I also believe Zoli is gone to the east to be with his family and try and win a cup.

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#32 Jasmine
April 12 2009, 08:48PM
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firemactandkloweallready wrote:

Robin do you really think katz will be anywhere near Rexal on Monday? If tambalini is the one in charge to clean up the mess that was created by Lowe and Prendergast then i think he should be the one at the press conference telling the media and fans as to which direction this organization will be heading.

Since when are Prendergast and Lowe coaching. They didn't tell MacT to put Reddox on the first line. In fact, Tambellini ripped into the coaching staff for Reddox playing on the first line. MacT and the coaching staff is at fault for 80% of the teams woes. Stop defending the coaching staff so you can bash Lowe and Predergast.

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#33 Jonathan Willis
April 12 2009, 08:53PM
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@ Jasmine:

MacTavish was a long way from having a perfect season, but the vast majority of the problems with this team stemmed from inadequacies in the lineup:

- one veteran centre on the team - multiple penalty-killers leaving town with no replacements in sight - no reliable backup goaltender - the change in LW from a team strength to a team weakness

There were others, but that's a broad sampling. Lowe left the job half done in the summer, and MacTavish scrambled to win with a flawed roster. The fact that MacT probably could have utilized his pieces better doesn't excuse Lowe et al. for not providing a better roster.

As for Prendergast, he was the architect of the Springfield Falcons over the past two seasons. They've been an embarrassment, and the blame would seem to primarily lay at his feet.

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#34 Soup
April 12 2009, 09:18PM
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Sorry Jonathon - just can't leave it there.

- One veteran centre. OK, this I agree with, but shouldn't you expect that at least one of Gags, Cogs or Brodz would have continued to develop somewhat? At least a bit? - Multiple penalty killers leaving town? Come on. Moreau, Pisani, Brodz and Horcoff were all pretty effective in the years previous and this year they weren't. Besides, shouldn't they have traded from the position of strength for what they needed elsewhere (offence)? Or would you rather have 9 of your starting 12 forwards be effective penalty killers but not score like previous years? - They had a perfectly reliable back up goalie. MacT ran him under a bus, remember? Not like he hasn't done that before (Conks). And what do you need a back up for if you never play him? - Are you saying that Viz and Cole were downgrades from Stoll and Green?

Poke Lowe in the eye all you want over things like stupid contracts, but he provided the coach with more talent than he had the year previously, who subsequently did less with it.

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#35 West Coast Oil
April 12 2009, 09:22PM
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@Bill

People who use the media as a scape goat for a teams fortunes make me laugh. The media simply reflects what is happening on the ice and if anything most of the Edmonton media this year did not hold the Oilers accountable enough for the bad play

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#36 bill
April 12 2009, 09:23PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

i am not saying the only reason for the team's poor performance is the negative reporting - far from it

my point was that i think it contributed to it. the team is obviously fragile and it could not have helped when everyone is picking apart every mistake they make and not providing support when something good happens.

the media has a great deal of influence on some fans thoughts. again if you are looking for mistakes you will always find them.

on the point about bowman and pollack - that just supports my theory that some media is convinced they can have an influence on the team. how many media names are on the stanley cup? exactly - none

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#37 Jasmine
April 12 2009, 09:34PM
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@ bill:

The media also ran Poti and Arnott out of town. Didn't MacT go after Rishaug for talking negative. I remember MacT saying "Why do you always have to be so negative?" The media influences the team quite a lot. There was hardly any positive article this season in either paper. Don't even get me started on TJ. The media needs to find a medium between negative and positive. The media has ran players out of town many a time.

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#38 Mr P
April 12 2009, 09:36PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

What are the odds Mac T winds up in a role like Prendegasts?

@ Jonathan Willis:

How do we know the Oilers never had a reliable backup?

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#39 West Coast Oil
April 12 2009, 09:36PM
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@Soup

Agree completely. MacT never used what he had effectively. He killed Garon, never gave JDD a chance and should have used Brodz more in a face off situation as he was not the worst of the lot, he also had Pouliot but refused to use him in his natural position. Add to this demonizing Penner even though he was the most effective left wing on the first line, and lowering the trade value of many of our players by publicly criticizing them (including Schremp who wasnt even on the roster at the time). This year it seemed that MacT was going to jam square pegs into round holes whether it made sense or not

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#40 Clarkenstein
April 12 2009, 09:40PM
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Sunday evening and MacT hasn't handed in his resignation. What's taking so damned long?

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#41 firemactandkloweallready
April 12 2009, 09:42PM
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Jasmine wrote:

firemactandkloweallready wrote: Robin do you really think katz will be anywhere near Rexal on Monday? If tambalini is the one in charge to clean up the mess that was created by Lowe and Prendergast then i think he should be the one at the press conference telling the media and fans as to which direction this organization will be heading. Since when are Prendergast and Lowe coaching. They didn’t tell MacT to put Reddox on the first line. In fact, Tambellini ripped into the coaching staff for Reddox playing on the first line. MacT and the coaching staff is at fault for 80% of the teams woes. Stop defending the coaching staff so you can bash Lowe and Predergast.

What are you on?I never defended Mac T's coaching,As far as K lowe and Prendergast they have made more mistakes with this organization than the coach,Prendergast handling of the farm team is a Joke he is also in charge of scouting,he has input on trades i am sure he could have advised K lowe on Penner before we went out and signed him as far as Lowe goes he was throwing money around like a sailor on leave in a brothel.How many bad signings has he done and look at his trade record yet he gets a free pass he should also be out of a job.The Horcoff signing 7.5 million over five years when he still had one year left on his contract give me a break he could have had him this summer for 3-4 million less.We have serious problems top to bottom in this organization, it is unfortunate that some people will lose there jobs when others get to keep them when they should also be shown the door.

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#42 bill
April 12 2009, 09:47PM
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@ Jasmine:

i agree - hearing both sides would be nice.

when we get out shot and win - we stole the game. when we out shoot a team and lose - we are bad and can't score.

how can these statements both be objective?

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#43 West Coast Oil
April 12 2009, 09:49PM
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Regarding the media comments. Im not sure where everyone who feels the media was part of the problem lives but Im in Vancouver and the media here is tougher on the Canucks then the Edmonton media is on the Oilers. It is the coaches responsibility to get the players to look past the comments of the media and fans

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#44 bill
April 12 2009, 09:55PM
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@ West Coast Oil: gee i guess if it happens in vancouver that makes it right

sorry - lol

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#45 Soup
April 12 2009, 09:57PM
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@ West Coast Oil: Interesting point re: VCR media. From what I remember from many trips to the Left Coast, media can be absolutely brutal. There is the other side to the coin. I have the unfortunate luck to live in Calgary. Here the media is the softest I've ever heard. They go out of their way to make excuse after excuse for players and coaches alike.

About 3 weeks ago after the Flames beat San Jose, the collective discussion was whether or not the Flames should start getting respect enough to be consider among the elite in the NHL. Over the last 10 days or so when it became evident that they wouldn't be hanging on to first place in the division, the same media changed the banter from 'among the elite' to doesn't really matter where they finish in the regular season as long as they are sucessful in the playoffs.

Imagine what the discussion would be in Edmonton or Vancouver if either the Oil or Nucks had lost a 10 point lead in the last 2 months of the season to finish in the bottom half of the playoff teams.

The Media has a job to do - report and opine. don't like the tone? Try winning a few more. It works!

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#46 West Coast Oil
April 12 2009, 10:13PM
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@Bill

Didnt you get the memo Vancouver is the new centre of the universe.. Lol

The media here is brutal. When Vancouver got over their 9 game losing streak and had won 6 straight or something like that the media was criticizing Luongo over comments he made on CBC and for his play because it wasnt perfect. They criticise and whine even when things are good but they are also the biggest homers. Its quite disturbing actually.

One thing I noticed is when Tamby was here he was always available to the media and would go on the Team radio station at least once a week. It seems he has gone into hiding in Edmonton or is it Im just missing his updates and interviews?

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#47 Robin Brownlee
April 12 2009, 10:18PM
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firemactandkloweallready wrote:

Robin do you really think katz will be anywhere near Rexal on Monday? If tambalini is the one in charge to clean up the mess that was created by Lowe and Prendergast then i think he should be the one at the press conference telling the media and fans as to which direction this organization will be heading.

I'm told it's unlikely Katz will be anywhere near Rexall Place Monday. Like I said, I was playing a hunch. I'm told it won't happen.

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#48 David S
April 12 2009, 10:22PM
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Mr P wrote:

How do we know the Oilers never had a reliable backup?

Uhhh...game 82. JDD was a sieve.

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#49 Jonathan Willis
April 12 2009, 10:23PM
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Mr P wrote:

How do we know the Oilers never had a reliable backup?

Because the guy they used has lousy AHL numbers.

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#50 BarryS
April 12 2009, 10:33PM
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Seems to me most of the sports media, like most of the fans, are herd animals, merely mindlessly following the leader all the way over the cliff. Reminds me of the zebras in Madagascar II, all saying and doing exactly the same thing at the same time. Sometimes it looks like they write each others stuff, its so much the same. They also like to paint everything with a barn brush. Only one guy I ever saw could paint a recognizable picture with a barn brush has been dead for years. Seems to me its been years since we've had a really good sports journalist in Canada, though on the local scene Brownly and Barnes come close. I suppose the ease of the internet for rumours makes the two lazy to do real leg work, not to say the libel laws making even actual facts being two expensive after the court costs.

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