Doing Their Job

Jonathan Willis
April 03 2009 09:26AM

Katz

I got the sense watching Kevin Lowe’s press conference last night that the local media were not going to go easy on him in the next few days, and that owner Daryl Katz’s heavy-handed attempt to cutoff conversation about the future of his head coach was going to backfire badly.

The early returns would seem to indicate that my feeling was right. We’ll start in the logical place, by taking a look at the rather excellent piece which appears in today’s Edmonton Journal under Dan Barnes’ by-line. Do read the entire thing, but there are a couple of excerpts that really stood out to me.

But the growing cacophony of discontent in fandom and the Edmonton media grew rather more hostile and centred on MacTavish Thursday afternoon and it prompted owner Daryl Katz to issue a cryptic, pre-game vote of confidence for his head coach, via text message to the team's radio rights holder. He's the boss, he can deliver his edicts any damn way and any damn time he chooses but this one seems to leap off the pages of a Wizard of Oz script, the unseen boss disseminating a message through a radio conduit.

Barnes hits the nail on the head there. Katz certainly has the power to run his team the way he likes, but a single “cryptic” text message is certainly not the best way to get the message out.

It was Barnes at last night’s press conference who raised the question of whether Craig MacTavish might be back in a different capacity next season. Lowe refused to answer. He delves into it further in his column today and he took away the same thought that both David Staples and I did; namely that the Oilers press conference last night left many questions unanswered – most specifically, the very question that Daryl Katz wished to quiet: the future of the head coach.

Barnes feels that Craig MacTavish will resign if and when the Oilers miss the playoffs; it seems like a reasonable conclusion to me.

Terry Jones, who I expected little from after his mild question to Lowe last night, surprised me with his column this morning. In retrospect it shouldn’t have been so surprising to me; Jones has always been suspicious of Katz in his columns. If memory serves it was Jones who first raised the name of Peter Pocklington when the EIG were considering selling the team to a single owner.

But it is Jones this morning who raises one of the other questions that I had last night: why wasn’t Steve Tambellini handling the press conference?

Obviously the owner has every right to be part of the process. But what does this say about the hockey people you hire? In this case, especially, what does it say of Tambellini? Does this not announce that he's been hired as a puppet? One of the reasons Tambellini was hired was to spend most of the year looking at this team and deciding what changes had to be made for the future - an outside opinion to look at everything top to bottom and make major decisions for the future. Not knee-jerk decisions.

Whatever the answers to these questions are going forward, it seems apparent that the local media wants them. That, of course, is a good thing – it’s their job.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
Avatar
#51 caloilfan
April 03 2009, 01:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Reggie wrote:

Well, at the midway point of the 3rd period the wave was going around like crazy in the rink, yet there was no excitement from the team on the ice. I guess it takes more than the wave to get them excited ? it wasn’t loud enough ? the cheer wasn’t on key ? [insert dripping sarcasm icon here]

Seriously? No excitement from the team on the ice? Really...The third period of last nights game was about as good a period as this team has put together this year. They checked, they won battles, they had chances. I understand being pissed about the season, Katz, text messages, or whatever, but use facts...not something that you have made up.

Avatar
#52 Dennis
April 03 2009, 01:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I was similarly heartened to read today's media treatment and we might be on the right track.

Now all we need to see is how they react the next time Lowe comes out of his bunker.

If we've got a reporter who chimes out something like, "Hold on, didn't Lowe create this mess."?

Well, then, we'll be in business.

but today was a good start and i was wondering how long it would take before someone nailed the Oil for that pathetic video urging fans who sell out the building every night to cheer on their bloody club.

Avatar
#53 FlamesFan
April 03 2009, 01:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

caloilfan wrote:

Reggie wrote: Well, at the midway point of the 3rd period the wave was going around like crazy in the rink, yet there was no excitement from the team on the ice. I guess it takes more than the wave to get them excited ? it wasn’t loud enough ? the cheer wasn’t on key ? [insert dripping sarcasm icon here] Seriously? No excitement from the team on the ice? Really…The third period of last nights game was about as good a period as this team has put together this year. They checked, they won battles, they had chances. I understand being pissed about the season, Katz, text messages, or whatever, but use facts…not something that you have made up.

i agreee they played well what was he watching? huh reggie?

Avatar
#54 Archaeologuy
April 03 2009, 01:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

FlamesFan wrote:

I’m a Scientist! wrote: FlamesFan wrote: *pats you on the back* “its gonna be okay” SHREIIIIIK *runs away convulsing and shivering with a look of terror on his face* It touched me!!! IT TOUCHED ME…. get it offffffff…get it offfffffffff. Is it still on me? It’s still on me isn’t it…GET IT OFF! Anyone? Am i going to survive? IEEEEEE….. *looks cautiously around the room only to see FlamesFan still watching him* AHHHHHHHH! it is still here mwahahahahahahha

This reminds me of that summer i spent at Neverland Ranch

Avatar
#55 FlamesFan
April 03 2009, 02:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Archaeologuy:

hahahahah

Avatar
#56 yo
April 03 2009, 03:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

The reason Tambo was not the speaker at the news conference was because as far as Katz is concerned he is not the functional GM. At the least he is not the person who will have any say about MacT's future.

Avatar
#57 Clarkenstein
April 03 2009, 03:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Flames Fan... please!!! If you get the chance to Fcuk off make sure you take it.

Avatar
#58 FlamesFan
April 03 2009, 04:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Clarkenstein wrote:

Flames Fan… please!!! If you get the chance to Fcuk off make sure you take it.

why are you pissed off? i didnt do nothing you trying to have a conversation here whats with the put downs, Why dont you just get out of here.

Avatar
#59 jdrevenge
April 03 2009, 07:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

FlamesFan wrote:

Clarkenstein wrote: Flames Fan… please!!! If you get the chance to Fcuk off make sure you take it. why are you pissed off? i didnt do nothing you trying to have a conversation here whats with the put downs, Why dont you just get out of here.

LOL. We're angry!!!!!

Flames fan i responded to you earlier but was censored... sigh... it wasnt anything mean just me taking issue with the fact that you said i could stop watching... its compulsive and i cant stop, wont stop.

Comments are closed for this article.