April 03 2009 11:36AM
After watching and listening to Kevin Lowe’s comments last night, it is clear to me that change within the organization is coming. The Oilers played one of their better games of the season last night, yet they still lost, and coupled with the Blues and Ducks’ victories, it is clear that the off-season will start April 12th for the Oilers, and that the changes will follow soon after.
Lowe didn’t state once that his coach would be here next year. He didn’t say he wouldn’t be, but the fact there was no, “Craig will be here without a doubt”, type statement to me it is clear that there will be a change behind the bench.
Lowe’s opening statement actually made a lot of sense
“Daryl is an extremely passionate and emotional about the game. He said he was extremely disappointed and somewhat frustrated that we are in the middle of a playoff race and all the discussion and the focus was on the future of our head coach. He found that odd and he wanted to suppress that once and for all.”
The Owner cares about the team. We know that. He has admitted he is a true fan, and will continue to be one. He is also very respectful of both Lowe and MacTavish. I can understand if he was pissed that before another must win game, the talk was about whether the coach would be here next year or not and not the actual game. That is not the message the host broadcaster should be saying. Fine. Understandable.
The organization will not drag their coach through the mud. They won’t have him be Dead Coach Walking for the final four games of the season. I get that. We all know there has to be a change behind the bench, but Katz wants his coach to leave with some dignity. The problem is that one simple text has now thrown more attention on the coaching situation than ever before. His one sentence text did the exact opposite of what he wanted; reduce the focus on MacTavish.
Most of us have regretted sending that drunken, late-night text to an ex. At one in the morning it seems like a great idea, but the next day when she thinks you are back together and making you breakfast, you slap yourself muttering…”What was I thinking?” Texting, while convenient, allows many of us to say things too quickly, especially guys. The consequences of our actions are an after thought, or most times we don’t even calculate what they will be.
This is what happened to Katz. It just confirms he is human like the rest of us.
The difference is when we send a ill-advised late night text it effects one or two, or maybe three people on a good night..haha. Katz’s text resonates across an entire city; a city that is frustrated and fed up with another spring without playoffs. Of course the fans and media are going to talk about the coach’s future. It is a hot topic and one that was, in fact, brought to light by MacTavish himself earlier this week.
The winds of change are in the air, and while every player, coach, manager and owner has to believe they can still get to the dance, the fact is they won’t. No one in Edmonton wants their playoff fix to come solely from other cities and through the TV. Even those who oppose a new rink get caught up with playoff fever when it grips a city.
I respect that Mr. Katz didn’t want his coach to suffer through talk about his future while the team still has a mathematical chance of making the postseason. Having a boss that wants to shelter an employee is refreshing, but his text backfired.
Now, after another loss, all the focus will be on change
And there will be changes. I will be stunned if MacTavish doesn’t resign. Every level of the organization will be evaluated this summer, and there will be changes in the scouting department, coaching and on the ice. Their scouting needs to improve. A new voice is needed behind the bench, and some veterans and even a youngster or two will be moved.
It is inevitable, especially when you are one of the highest spending teams, but have missed the playoffs three years running. If the owner doesn’t want it talked about until the team is officially eliminated, that shows he isn’t a quitter, however, as we have all experienced ourselves, an ill-timed text can fuel a fire much quicker than an actual conversation.
As another disappointing season wraps up we look ahead to what will surely be the biggest summer of change in the OilersNation in a long time. If you don’t believe me, ask Brownlee, we exchanged texts this morning.