April 02 2009 09:38PM
They say timing is everything, and the timing for Darryl Katz to declare his coach is safe is very puzzling.
Prior to the Oilers game tonight against San Jose, Katz sent a text to the pre-game host on Oilers radio, Bob Stauffer, that said basically “MacTavish is going nowhere.”
Not earth shattering news to anyone that the owner has the back of his coach, but why he felt the need to say it publicly is perplexing.
The pulse-o-meter in the OilersNation reads that the fan’s anger, disappointment and frustration are at an all-time high. The Oilers are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the third straight year, all with MacTavish behind the bench. They are coming off another typical loss, which included a 15-minute lapse that cost them the game, not to mention an illegal stick call that backfired in MacTavish’s face.
Yesterday, MacTavish stated that even he would understand if his job security was wavering.
“I’ve been here for a number of years and I’ve had terrific support from virtually everybody and if I’ve got less now than before, it’s a hazard of the profession. You have fixed time to deliver the goods. I’m not forecasting anything, but you’re always evaluated on how many games you win. We’ve got ourselves in a position where we should be better.”
Did Katz send out the message because he wanted to protect his coach? Was there a need with five games to go in another disappointing season to create more friction between the team and their fans?
The team is underachieving, despite a high payroll and almost no financial flexibility in the future. Season number one as the new owner has not gone the way Katz or anyone in the Oiler organization hoped it would.
His text message just fuels the fire that new GM, Steve Tambellini, doesn’t have much say in how the organization is run. And there is no evidence that shows Tambellini has the ability to be a true GM under this regime.
Or maybe Katz just gave his coach the proverbial kiss of death. He wouldn’t be the first owner or GM to come out and proclaim the coach’s job was save, only to give him a pink slip a month later.
I’ve stated for months that MacTavish won’t be fired, but that he would resign when he felt he wasn’t benefiting the team. After the loss to the Ducks, you got the feeling that MacTavish was begining to wonder if his departure behind the bench might be best for the team.
If the coach has the slightest tinge of doubt, why wouldn’t the owner? If Katz doesn’t realize his team needs changes on and off the ice this summer, you wonder if the fans frustration starts to appear in the form of empty seats next season.
The Oilers haven’t been able to realize what time to show up on many nights and today their owner followed suite with some bad timing of his own.