Playoffs schmayoffs. Let's talk head coaches

Jason Gregor
May 08 2009 10:08AM

The second round of the playoffs is never as exciting as the first unless your city is still playing; the Coyotes ownership situation is intriguing to watch, but it’s on the verge of becoming a legal battle and until they get cameras in the court, it just won’t be that exciting.

So let’s talk some Oilers.

The latest name mentioned to replace Craig MacTavish was none other than the MOOSE. The boys on HNIC mentioned he will be in Switzerland and will chat with Tambellini and Lowe.

Curious what the response would be from Oiler fans if Messier got the job?

I sense only he or Gretzky could be acceptable options from the Old Boys Club. Any other ex-Oiler and the Oilers would be ripped mercilessly. Craig Simpson, Charlie Huddy, Kevin McClelland or Mark Lamb wouldn’t get the same response. I mention these four because they are currently coaching, or have recently.

For the record I don’t think Messier would be the right choice right now. Having your coach as the face of the franchise is not what this team needs, and Tambellini’s first hire can’t come from the OBC or people won’t believe it was his hire.

I honestly can’t get a read on who they are leaning towards. Some people within the organization don’t even know. Tambellini is keeping this top secret, which isn’t a bad thing.

Many will toss out names, just in case one of the names they use turns out to be the guy, so they can say I told you so. I still feel it will be someone with previous head coaching experience, but who exactly is a big guess, and the only name I’ve heard that doesn’t fit into that category is Scott Arniel.

Regardless of who Tambellini chooses, it should be an aggressive coach who will hold all of his players accountable, and preferably one with some creativity on a powerplay.

On a complete guy feel, I think with Renney and Laviolette being on TV. they won’t get hired here.

Contract talks on hold

I spoke to an agent of an RFA Oiler and he said he was told there would be no contract discussions until a new coach is named. I wonder if that holds true for UFAs like Roloson and Kotalik?

What it does mean is that the new coach will be named before free agency, and realistically by the end May or early June. It means the new coach will have to decide where guys like Smid, Grebeshkov, Brodziak, Reddox and Brule fit into his plans.

With Tambellini stating he wants his team to be more aggressive, you’d think the new coach would want Smid on his team for sure. Grebeshkov makes a lot of sense, but what about Brodziak?

I ran into him last week and he admitted he needs to be tougher. He mentioned he wants to be harder to play against, and seemed confident that it would happen. I believe he will be better next year.

In junior he made huge strides in his third season, and he repeated that in his third year in the AHL. Next year is his third in the NHL, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he took a big step next year. A big step for him won’t be necessarily mean becoming an 18-20 goal-scorer, but rather, becoming a more useful and reliable role player. He needs to realize that if he can be gritty, physical, hard-to-play against and strong in the dot he’ll be get his points. If he doesn’t he could find himself out of Edmonton.

His confidence, or lack thereof, has always been his biggest hurdle. You might not meet a more down-to-earth, polite NHL player than Brodziak, but if he wants to expand his role he will need to shed that persona when he gets on the ice. At 6’2” and 210 lbs he has the size to play gritty, and he has proven that he can handle himself if he needs to back up a gritty style.

Will the new coach give him that chance? I suspect he will, regardless of who the new coach is.

3-0 Comebacks

Only twice in NHL history has a team come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. The Leafs did it in 1942 v. the Red Wings in the Cup Finals, while the Islanders did it in 1975 v. the Penguins.

The Calgary Hitmen are trying to become only the second WHL team to accomplish that feat. The Hitmen lost the first three, but have won two straight by scores of 6-2 and 6-1. In 1996 the Spokane Chiefs rallied to beat the Portland Winterhawks. The Chiefs did it in the first round.

The Chiefs went 50-18-4 that year, Mike Babcock was the coach and their most notable player was Jan Hrdina. They went on the WHL final before losing to the Brandon Wheatkings.

One of the most interesting parts of this year’s WHL final is that after game four in Kelowna on Wednesday, the teams shared a charter to Calgary for game five on Thursday. After the Hitmen won, both teams shared a charter back to Kelowna for game six. How much would it have sucked to be a member of the Rockets on both of those flights?

Game six is Saturday and game seven will go Monday. Not surprisingly, both teams will bus to Calgary for game seven.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Rick
May 08 2009, 10:23AM
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I think you underestimate the fan reaction even for Messier or Gretzky.

The sense I get is that the fans want the Oilers to move on in a more clinical manner. Getting the best people based on qualifications and what they can bring to the team. Hiring either of those guys doesn't do that.

The biggest complaint, maybe not initially but eventually, would be that a hiring of Messier or Gretzky would be hiring a coach that can't be fired. We already saw that play out with a guy that held a lesser role on the Oilers during the glory years, it would only be worse with either of the two greatest Oilers behind the bench.

They need to hire a guy, that if he proves to be the wrong one for the job, they can cut him lose and move forward without any emotional investment.

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#2 Dale
May 08 2009, 10:28AM
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@ Rick:

You aren't speaking for all fans. Your belief that they have to hire a coach that can be fired is ridiculous. Every team hires the coach they think will make them win. I don't want a "Let's hire this guy, because we can fire him easily"

That is a loser mentality.

Also Gretzky has coached for a few years, and the Coyotes have shown some improvement. They haven't had much talent for years. As for Messier, at least he make the team play with emotion, and I'm guessing he must know a bit about coaching. I'm not saying they would automatically be winners, but when it comes to those two I wouldn't suggest they'd be automatic losers.

The fact is, it really doesn't matter what the fans think. Tambellini will hire who HE thinks is the best man, not who he thinks the fans will like.

Gregor, do you seriously think Brodziak can bring an edge to his game? If so, why?

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#3 Archaeologuy
May 08 2009, 10:34AM
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As great a player and motivator as Mess was as a player I would NOT want him as the head coach of the Oil. The team has had 10 years of recent players turned coaches with almost no experience. I'm really hoping for a career coach that has been successful AND battled through adversity. I want a coach who has put his time in at the lower levels and excelled, someone who has proven he has the drive and the know-how to get it done. I DO NOT want the keys to the Lamborghini handed to the kid who just got his licence.

My biggest fear is that if Mess or Gretzky was hired there would be no way of getting rid of them. I mean we just suffered through 8 years of the 3rd line Centre from the 80's, does that translate into 16 years for the 2nd line guy and 24 years for the 1st line guy?

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#4 RossCreek
May 08 2009, 10:40AM
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I'm pulling for Brody big time! I'd take him on the Flames if the Oil aren't interested.

I'm now thinking that Geoff Ward may be the right man. He's currently gaining great experience with the Bruins and just may be ready for the next step.

For the record, I've gone from Perry Pearn to Marc Habschied to Scott Arniel to Geoff Ward over the past 15 months as to who I think should be the Oilers next head coach. Any of those names would still be a good choice IMO, but I haven't heard much about Pearn or Habschied being considered.

And the Hitmen... WOW! Did they just figure they'd give Kelowna a 3 game head start since they swept the 1st 3 rounds Rwhat? I think they do it. I can only imagine whats going through the Rockets heads after these last 2 games. Should be interesting (personally don't really care who wins though).

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#5 Rick
May 08 2009, 10:48AM
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Dale wrote:

@ Rick: You aren’t speaking for all fans. Your belief that they have to hire a coach that can be fired is ridiculous. Every team hires the coach they think will make them win. I don’t want a “Let’s hire this guy, because we can fire him easily” That is a loser mentality.

Of course I am not speaking for "all" fans. I am just suggesting that guys who would like to see Messier get hired are more of a vocal minority than it would seem.

And yes, every team hires a coach thinking that he will make them better. Maybe Messier does just that.

But what if he sucked at it?

Do you want to see him keep his position just because of his connection to the teams past? Isn't THAT a loser mentality?

Again, they basically waited for MacT to call his own shot despite everyone and their dog calling for his head for most of this season. Think it would be any different with Messier?

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#6 baggedmilk
May 08 2009, 10:48AM
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NO TO THE MOOSE! Yes he would intimidate the players, with one stare, and they'd play until they die from it. The guy has never coached before, and that is not what this team needs. Proven coach. End of story.

Besides, Mess, has to bring the cup to someone's house in June courtesy of Lays Potato Chips, Pepsi, and HNIC.

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#7 Mike Krushelnyski
May 08 2009, 10:54AM
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I'm sure there's a Dustin Penner/Mark Messier/Lays Potato Chips joke in here somewhere, but it's just not coming to me.

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#8 Jason Gregor
May 08 2009, 10:58AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

As great a player and motivator as Mess was as a player I would NOT want him as the head coach of the Oil. The team has had 10 years of recent players turned coaches with almost no experience. I’m really hoping for a career coach that has been successful AND battled through adversity. I want a coach who has put his time in at the lower levels and excelled, someone who has proven he has the drive and the know-how to get it done. I DO NOT want the keys to the Lamborghini handed to the kid who just got his licence.

If you think the Oilers are a Lamborghini you are drastically overvaluing their talent pool. A coach is only as good as his players, and right now the Oilers have the best unproven, young talent they have had in 20 years. Whether Gagner, Cogliano, Gilbert, Smid, Deslauriers, Eberle, etc pan out remains to be seen.

I already stated I don't think Messier is the right guy, but a career coach still needs players to work with. This team has young players, inconsistent ones in Penner, O'Sullivan, Brodziak (although he could go in young category) and veterans who don't have a track record of winning.

Whoever the coach is, he'll need to get the most out of Hemsky, hope the kids keep progressing and somehow get through to Penner and O'Sullivan. That's a lot of "IFs" for this team to go to the next level, and realistically it won't all be on the coach. Dale wrote:

Gregor, do you seriously think Brodziak can bring an edge to his game? If so, why?

Good question. He told me he will be working on a nastier mindset this summer. He wants to create that persona, and feels he needs to be more comfrontational in his training. Get in his own face is how he put it.

He's at a crossroad in his career. He needs to add an element to his game to become more of a factor in the game. The harsh reality is, if he doesn't he could find himself out of the league quickly. Bottom six forwards, if they don't create an identity and become very good at one element of their game become replaceable very fast.

He has been counted out before during his career, so something tells me he has the intestinal fortitude to do what it takes to stick around. I'm not saying he becomes a supremely hard-nosed player, but I suspect you'll see a more aggressive Brodziak come pre-season.

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#9 yo
May 08 2009, 11:01AM
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Coaches Schmoaches - The Oiler organization has had more black eyes than it has eyes. Do you think they would actually bring back Gretz or Mess and put them and themselves in the position of having to fire them? Egads!!

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#10 Ducey
May 08 2009, 11:09AM
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Messier ought to get some coaching experience and prove himself before he gets the head coaches job. Gretzky has not exactly proven himself as a great coach and star players rarely do (in any sport).

Tambellini is likely talking to him to see whether he wants to start the apprenticeship process to eventually get there (or start in management). I would think he could fill a niche as an assistant who would work with certain players on their approach to the game.

I expect Brodziak will be able to play a forechecking game quite well. He is a good checker. He doesn't have to put anyone in the third row, just turn up the tenacity. He is a big body, has good hands and has proven himself at the dot. He was awesome with Glencross *SOB* two years ago.

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#11 TonyT
May 08 2009, 11:10AM
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@ Jason Gregor: Hey Jason, any word on bring Messier in as an assistant? I assume that would depend on who they hire as the head coach, as Renney's been featured quite a bit this week on radio shows I think they would compliment each other quite well as strategist and motivator.

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#12 Archaeologuy
May 08 2009, 11:20AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

If you think the Oilers are a Lamborghini you are drastically overvaluing their talent pool. A coach is only as good as his players, and right now the Oilers have the best unproven, young talent they have had in 20 years. Whether Gagner, Cogliano, Gilbert, Smid, Deslauriers, Eberle, etc pan out remains to be seen. I already stated I don’t think Messier is the right guy, but a career coach still needs players to work with.

If you're a coach then getting the opportunity to coach an NHL team IS like getting the keys to the Lamborghini. The chances of even riding in one are slim to none for most people, and getting your very own is even more unlikely. And I dont believe that a coach is only as good as his players. A good coach can make a weaker talent pool competitive.

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#13 TonyT
May 08 2009, 11:22AM
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Two guys, I'd like to see moved is Gilbert and Brodziak. I believe Gilbert provides the best return for the club among those most widely discussed as tradebait, in addition to the fact that our defense is one-dimensional and Grebeshkov (in my opinion) has emerged as the better (and more physical) defenseman as well as the better offensive defenseman with the utilization of Grebeshkov's unparalleled first pass. I'd like to trade Brodziak for the exact opposite reason got a $4 mil raise next season in that he has no intagibles. His face-offs are sub-par and he lacks physicality are among the primary reasons, he does however provide decent offense for a fourth-liner but I would hope that under the new coaching regime roles would be better defined so as not to rely on fourth-line offense.

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#14 DK0
May 08 2009, 11:25AM
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@ TonyT: My thoughts exactly. Or even have Messier as head coach and a real good systems guy as assistant. Just basically have 2 head coaches, Messier is in charge of the players and someone else is in charge of team strategy, PP, PK, etc.

If the Moose can't motivate you, no one can. Then just balance him out with a guy who can direct that energy in a positive way.

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#15 Jonathan Willis
May 08 2009, 11:30AM
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I'll take Simpson, Huddy, Lamb or McClelland over Mark Messier for the head coaching job for a single reason - experience.

McClelland: 5 seasons as a head coach, 6 seasons as an assistant Simpson: 3 seasons as an assistant coach Huddy: 1 seasons as a head coach, 10 seasons as an assistant Lamb: 7 seasons as an assistant coach Messier: 0 seasons as a head or assistant coach

Experience doesn't guarantee a qualified candidate, but NHL head coaching isn't something that should be learned on the job; some experience as either (preferably both) an assistant at the NHL level or a head coach somewhere is vital.

Pass on Messier. Motivation is one thing (and I could see him filling a Ryan Walter role in Edmonton) but someone needs to be matching lines and formulating strategy, and the guy with the final word on those decisions (the head coach) should have some experience in those departments.

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#16 Librarian Mike
May 08 2009, 11:32AM
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Oh man, I loved Messier as a player but I hope he doesn't get within 100 miles of coaching the Oilers. It's time to put the good old days to rest before we become the "Hey it's been 40 years since we won anything. Let's celebrate it" Leafs.

Frankly, the fact that he is even being considered makes me cringe, and it demonstrates a key problem with the boys club atmosphere in hockey. Can you imagine the ridicule the Cowboys would get if they just up and named Troy Aikman as their head coach?

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#17 Jonathan Willis
May 08 2009, 11:33AM
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TonyT wrote:

His face-offs are sub-par

Brodziak was 51.6% in the circle (only Horcoff was better on the team).

Since for each faceoff there's one winner and one loser, obviously par is 50%. 51.6% is, by definition, above par.

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#18 Jonathan Willis
May 08 2009, 11:35AM
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TonyT wrote:

he has no intagibles

Since intangible is defined as "not perceptible", how exactly are you measuring Brodziak's intangibles? Since intangibles can't be measured?

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#19 Darren Evans
May 08 2009, 11:36AM
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I agree not the answer for now, however what about assistant coach? I would be very happy with that!

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#20 DBO
May 08 2009, 11:41AM
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No to Mess as a head coach. But i like the idea of a Huddy and Messier assistant duo. So what coach could we bring in with the strong enough personality to not be overshadowed by Messier? And if you add a third assistant, i would hope it is a real technical guy. What about a coaching staff like this: Quinn - Head Coach Daum - assistant systems/technical coach Huddy - assistant defense coach Messier - assistant (buchy's role, but done better by a player with more chops in the room)

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#21 TonyT
May 08 2009, 11:41AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

A good coach can make a weaker talent pool competitive.

I agree for example see: '96 Florida Panthers, '02 Carolina Hurricanes, '03 Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and '04 Calgary Flames. Please note that while ultimately neither of these teams achieved the desired result (of a Stanley Cup victory), these teams greatly overachieved expectations. Also, I failed to include the '06 Edmonton Oilers because while they did overachieve for an eigth seed, to come in eigth with a lineup consisting of Chris Pronger, Ryan Smyth, Michael Peca, among others could be argued as underacheiving.

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#22 swany
May 08 2009, 11:43AM
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Rick wrote:

Dale wrote: @ Rick: You aren’t speaking for all fans. Your belief that they have to hire a coach that can be fired is ridiculous. Every team hires the coach they think will make them win. I don’t want a “Let’s hire this guy, because we can fire him easily” That is a loser mentality. Of course I am not speaking for “all” fans. I am just suggesting that guys who would like to see Messier get hired are more of a vocal minority than it would seem. And yes, every team hires a coach thinking that he will make them better. Maybe Messier does just that. But what if he sucked at it? Do you want to see him keep his position just because of his connection to the teams past? Isn’t THAT a loser mentality? Again, they basically waited for MacT to call his own shot despite everyone and their dog calling for his head for most of this season. Think it would be any different with Messier?

Lowe is NOT the GM and do you think it would take 8 years for Tambo to fire Mess (a no).

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#23 scorcoff hemmercules
May 08 2009, 11:47AM
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Mess is my fav player of all time, but for the love of god, please don't make him our coach. I could't handle seeing him do poorly and get fired. Assistant for sure but we need experience at head honcho.

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#24 Rick
May 08 2009, 11:53AM
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swany wrote:

Lowe is NOT the GM and do you think it would take 8 years for Tambo to fire Mess (a no).

And yet Tambellini still basically let MacT his own fate. Funny how that worked.

I wonder if Katz had any input, will he have any input going forward? We do know that he has a soft spot for the boys on the bus.

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#25 scorcoff hemmercules
May 08 2009, 11:57AM
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I sincerly hope that some idiot buys the Coyotes, keeps them in Pheonix and loses millions a year for another ten years. Always nice to have a team with no money and no talent you can beat up on every year. Seriously though, if they haven't been making money for many years how do they expect to turn that around in a non-hockey market. Sure they will probably see a short term rise in ticket sales with the thought of losing the team but they will ultimately lose money in my opinion. If Basille try's to buy another team after this I hope he does it right instead of these shady tactics he always seems to try.

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#26 TonyT
May 08 2009, 12:01PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: (1) I agree with your assesment of Mark Messier's coaching qualifications, however, as the topic of the post was bringing in Messier I wouldn't so opposed to him coming in as an assistant rather than the head coach, thus my question regarding that possibility. Would you or any other Oilersnation blogger have any further insight on this? (2) Intagibles - We see this word thrown around alot on Oilersnation, even by yourself to defend Shawn Horcoff's play and role on this team. If we are an agreement that "intagibles are unmeasureable" than we can both agree according to both Horcoff's and Brodziak's roles as first and fourth line centers respectively, asides from "above-par" faceoffs their is no statiscal justification for their current roles with this team.

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#27 MovingForward
May 08 2009, 12:03PM
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I thought Mess had made it fairly clear that he was interested in the Management (GM of the Rangers) side of the business. I would wonder if they are talking to him about a Management position and not a coaching position?

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#28 Rusty Shackleford
May 08 2009, 12:09PM
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Would Moose be interested in starting as an assistant?

I'm not the biggest Pat Quinn fan, but, it would make sense to me to have Quinn as coach and Moose as assistant. When Quinn's ready to retire/run out of town, we can either promote Moose, or blow this thing up again.

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#29 Ogden Brother
May 08 2009, 12:14PM
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God I hope they don't hire Mess, I couldn't handle X amount of years listning/reading all the whining about the same things over and over and over.

I think alot of people are over looking Brodz. We may just have that gritty third line FO guy sitting right under our nose.

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#30 Chris
May 08 2009, 12:35PM
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I want my head coach to have NHL experience. That said: Why not hire Messier as a Vice President/Alternate Governor..?.. (Kinda like Yzerman in Detroit?)

@ Jason Gregor: Or has the Tambellini/Lowe relationship taken a hit? It's probably not wise to create a dissatisfied penut gallery, who has the ear of the owner, scrutinizing Tambellini's every move...

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#31 Reggie
May 08 2009, 12:37PM
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Keep the old boys club in Katz's corporate box. I feel the same way about Wayne or Mess. Wayne isn't a good enough coach, although I think the world of the man. Without any experience Messier doesn't deserve to be handed the reigns to this team. If they want to groom him as part of the management team ala Yzerman, sure, but let's not pretend he's something he is not. Likewise, adding Wayne to the management team wouldn't be bad, but we need a different type of head coach.

Stick to the idea floated by Tambellini to begin with. Someone with experience and a proven track record.

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#32 RossCreek
May 08 2009, 12:41PM
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@ OB completely agree about Brody. Like I said, I'd take him on the Flames. He'll add some fire to his game. I'm sure of it. Another thing to think about with him. He could step in to Pisani's role as a 3rd line winger and play with Cogliano and take the faceoffs. Maybe the 2 of them with Moen? Bring back Reasoner as 4th line C? He could lighten the room up a bit and cheaply bring in leadership and character, especially if Pisani were gone.

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#33 Milli
May 08 2009, 12:53PM
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I'd like to see the moose thrown penner up against the wall after a poor shift!!! I do not think he is the right guy at this time, BUT, I wouldn't hate it!!!!! All he ever did was win!!!!

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#34 RossCreek
May 08 2009, 12:53PM
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Also, whats everybody think of a guy like Mikael Samuelsson? He's a UFA coming from the Detroit organization. Decent size (not to be mistaken with being physical), decent skill. Thoughts on him? I kinda like him for both Alberta teams.

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#35 Jason Gregor
May 08 2009, 12:56PM
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TonyT wrote:

@ Jason Gregor: Hey Jason, any word on bring Messier in as an assistant? I assume that would depend on who they hire as the head coach, as Renney’s been featured quite a bit this week on radio shows I think they would compliment each other quite well as strategist and motivator.

I don't see Messier doing that. I still see him more in a management role, unless he gets a head coaching job. His personality doesn't strike me as an assistant coach. And with his personality that strong it would take one hell of a secure head coach to hire him, and not worry that he would take his job rather quickly.

Archaeologuy wrote:

And I dont believe that a coach is only as good as his players. A good coach can make a weaker talent pool competitive.

For short period of time, but I can't recall many that maintain it. I don't know many successful head coaches who didn't have great players.

TonyT wrote:

I agree for example see: ‘96 Florida Panthers, ‘02 Carolina Hurricanes, ‘03 Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and ‘04 Calgary Flames.

Those teams were average all year and got hot, similar to Oilers in 2006...so if you are saying it was great coaching, then you are saying MacTavish was great too. I doubt you think that.

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#36 Librarian Mike
May 08 2009, 12:58PM
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Milli wrote:

All he ever did was win!!!!

...up until he went to Vancouver and didn't see the playoffs again for the rest of his career. Hey, there's no question he was a phenomenal player but surely there must be a real coach out there.

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#37 MattL
May 08 2009, 01:10PM
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Old boy or not, I would like a coach who has at least... I don't know... coached? Somewhere? Anywhere?

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#38 Jonathan Willis
May 08 2009, 01:41PM
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@ TonyT:

There's a difference between defensive ability and intangibles, but nice non-sequitur.

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#39 The Pestival
May 08 2009, 01:58PM
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The Hitmen have had everything going for them since the 3rd period of game 3 (they lost that game but played almost the entire period in Kelowna's zone). Kelowna has screwed themselves in the last couple of games with lazy play, I've been lucky enough to have been at every Kelowna game these playoffs. Gotta say though the reffing in this series has been absolutely atrocious. I don't think I've ever seen more inconsistent refs. One game they let everything go, the next they call all the stupid stuff, they ignore checks from behind and there have been dozens of missed calls. Absolutely brutal. Huska is being way too much of a pussycat behind the bench, its time he got as angry as the fans.

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#40 TV
May 08 2009, 02:26PM
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TonyT wrote:

A good coach can make a weaker talent pool competitive. I agree for example see: ‘96 Florida Panthers, ‘02 Carolina Hurricanes, ‘03 Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and ‘04 Calgary Flames. Also, I failed to include the ‘06 Edmonton Oilers because while they did overachieve for an eigth seed, to come in eigth with a lineup consisting of Chris Pronger, Ryan Smyth, Michael Peca, among others could be argued as underacheiving.

I've been waiting 15yrs for someone to insinuate that Doug Maclean was a good Coach.

Clearly, The End Of Days Is Nigh...!!!

Underachieving with Ty Conklin, Mike Morrison & Jussi Markkanen as your Tenders..?

They were lucky just to get to the 8th spot with that trifecta of terror manning the cages.

x6

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#41 Brian O'Neill
May 08 2009, 02:27PM
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With Phoenix going under, maybe Wayne will come to Edmonton and stand on the bench. Who needs the Moose if you can get Gretz (Not you Wanye)

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#42 West Coast Oil
May 08 2009, 02:29PM
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Moose to assist Daum in Springfield.. great place to learn. Moose in a management role perhaps player development that I could see as well, Moose as a head coach please god no!!

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#43 TV
May 08 2009, 02:41PM
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The Yzerman project seems to be working quite well for the Red Wings & Hockey Canada, so I could see Mess filling the exact same type of role with the Oilers.

While it's not very vogue in River City these days, keeping the tradition of the Crest is not such a bad thing.

x6

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#44 TonyT
May 08 2009, 02:44PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

TonyT wrote: I agree for example see: ‘96 Florida Panthers, ‘02 Carolina Hurricanes, ‘03 Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and ‘04 Calgary Flames. Those teams were average all year and got hot, similar to Oilers in 2006…so if you are saying it was great coaching, then you are saying MacTavish was great too. I doubt you think that.

I didn't use the Oilers '06 run as an example for the reason that they already had a pretty decent lineup. Do I think MacT is "great coach"? No, but he is a pretty good coach (if given the right parts for his systems). I don't think it's possible to fluke your way to the Stanley Cup Finals. Also, do I think Doug Maclean is a great coach? No, but according to the facts you can't deny that he got his team to overachieve just like Paul Maurice, Mike Babcock, and Darryl Sutter did in those instances.

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#45 The Menace
May 08 2009, 03:43PM
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RossCreek wrote:

I kinda like him for both Alberta teams.

This wouldn't work. He (like you should), would have to choose one or the other.

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#46 Homie
May 08 2009, 05:51PM
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TonyT wrote:

Also, I failed to include the ‘06 Edmonton Oilers because while they did overachieve for an eigth seed, to come in eigth with a lineup consisting of Chris Pronger, Ryan Smyth, Michael Peca, among others could be argued as underacheiving.

As a poster above noted, until they got Roloson, the Oiler goaltending was abysmal or worse. They clearly outplayed many teams in the first half of the year only to get derailed by the Dream Team in net.

MacT also got a lot out of Torres and Stoll that year when they haven't really come close to those numbers since then, although Stoll had a decent year this year. Peca hasn't scored more than 13 goals since 2003, so I'm not sure how he underachieved with 9 goals.

Really, he took a team with a true star (Pronger), a 30 goal scorer (Smyth), a career backup (Roloson) and some overacheivers with, to this point, career years (Horcoff, Stoll, Torres, MAB, Pisani) to within one game of a Cup. I think that is called overachieving.

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#47 myteammytown
May 08 2009, 06:51PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

A good coach can make a weaker talent pool competitive.

that may be the case in some instances, but the same could be said for a bad coach being propped up by a great team.

a good coach with the right players can make a weaker talent pool competitive. A good coach with players who dont "fit" loses his job, weak talent pool or not

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#48 Hemmertime
May 08 2009, 10:55PM
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Me Thinks it was Brodziaks agent that informed Mr Gregor of the No talks for contracts

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#49 Big Dave Semenko
May 08 2009, 11:13PM
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How about instead of Mark Messier, Marc Habscheid? He has a lot of success in the junior ranks and has been an assistant in Boston. He was with the Oil during some Cup seasons so he has an insiders view of the tradition, but his stay was brief enough to not be considered one of the old boys club.

As for Messier or Gretzky, this team needs them as players, not coaches. I'd hate to be the one who had to tell either of them that they were being fired for being ineffective as a coach of the organization that they helped build.

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#50 humantorch
May 09 2009, 03:23AM
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Dale wrote:

@ Rick: You aren’t speaking for all fans. Your belief that they have to hire a coach that can be fired is ridiculous. Every team hires the coach they think will make them win. I don’t want a “Let’s hire this guy, because we can fire him easily”

Every team except the Oilers when Lowe hired MacTavish based on a promise the two of them made to one another while they were still players, you mean?

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