Oilers Hire Wayne Fleming As Assistant Coach

Jonathan Willis
August 25 2009 06:00PM

The Oilers have hired Wayne Fleming - last seen as the head coach of Avangard Omsk of the KHL (far right in the video above) - as an assistant to Pat Quinn.

Fleming, like virtually everyone who Steve Tambellini has hired since being named Oilers’ GM, has had extensive experience with Hockey Canada. Fleming served as the GM (and assistant coach) of Canada’s National Olympic Program from 1990-92. Under his watch, the Canadians won silver at the 1992 Olympics. The Canadian team featured (among others) former Dallas coach Dave Tippett, while current Oiler Nikolai Khabibulin was the third goaltender for the gold-medal winning Russians. Fleming also served as Team Canada’s head coach at the 2001 and 2002 World Championships (he coached Steve Staios at the latter event), and as an associate coach at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

Outside of his work with Hockey Canada, Fleming’s had an incredibly diverse career as a coach. He spent nine seasons as head coach of the University of Manitoba Bisons (he was an assistant coach and player before that) before joining Hockey Canada, and during those nine seasons he won two championships. After his time with the Bisons and his first stint with Hockey Canada, Fleming took a job coaching Leksands in the Swedish Elite League, a position he held for four seasons. He also coached in Switzerland and Germany before taking a job as an assistant to Islanders head coach Rick Bowness in 1997-98. He lasted two seasons, and worked with three head coaches: Bowness, Mike Milbury, and Bill Stewart. Oilers’ defenseman Jason Strudwick played some games for the 1997-98 team.

During his time with the Islanders, Fleming was responsible for coaching the powerplay. Over his two seasons with the team, the Islanders ranked 10th and 13th in the NHL in PP%; in overall scoring they ranked 16th and 22nd. It seems safe to say that Fleming got the job done. Fleming’s time on the Island ended with the promotion of Stewart to head coach; Stewart’s first move was to move Fleming into scouting.

After two years, Fleming was hired as an assistant coach to Bob Francis in Phoenix (future Bruins’ coach Mike Sullivan was on the roster) then. He left the Coyotes to work for Hockey Canada, before returning to the NHL. His next job was in Philadelphia, where he spent three seasons as an assistant to Ken Hitchcock (Hitchcock had previously worked with Fleming at the 2002 Olympics). During the NHL lockout, Fleming considered a position in Switzerland, and his agent talked a little bit about why HC Bern wanted to hire him:

"Wayne is a kind of hockey god overseas. He spent a lot of time in Europe. He is considered a teacher over there, not a yeller. They really like people like him."

After resigning in Philadelphia, Fleming joined Jim Playfair’s staff in Calgary in time for the 2006-07 season, and worked for both Playfair and Mike Keenan. He resigned his position in Calgary to make the jump to the KHL after being recruited by Jaromir Jagr.

Last year, Fleming was the head coach for Avangard Omsk, and things went badly. Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov died in October because of a heart condition, and ex-NHL’er John Grahame was released by the club because of alleged off-ice issues (Grahame denies the team’s allegations). In early January, Fleming was fired mid-game, but then asked to return; he stayed on until the end of the month before resigning.

All things considered, I’m a fan of this move: from everything I’ve read, Fleming brings in experience on special teams, he’s done a ton of video work (and with the Oilers video coach being shown the door, it’s a good bet he’ll be doing it again) and he’s worked extensively with younger players.  It's also worth noting that Fleming's departure from Phoenix, Philadelphia and Calgary was on his own terms - he wasn't fired but instead chose to move on.  He’ll be a nice addition to an already loaded coaching staff.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#101 Cam
August 26 2009, 09:29AM
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rubbertrout wrote:

In a perfect world we could trade Penner for a bag of pucks and an offensive draw and then use the cap space to sign Malhotra and someone for the 4th line. Maybe Stuaffer can use his inside info to tell us how.

Not my perfect world, since like it or not Penner is our best LW and I wouldn't trade him for Malhotra and a 4th liner.

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#102 Pokey Reddick
August 26 2009, 09:33AM
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@ Gerald R. Ford: LOL too funny, and too true. I hope that wasn't really Bob who wrote that bashing of Jonathan. The only reason I go onto Oilers Nation this time of year is because I can count on reading some Oiler tid bits from him every day. Keep up the good work

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#103 rubbertrout
August 26 2009, 09:39AM
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@ Cam: You'd still have some cap space and wouldn't be hampered by PDP's ridiculous contract. Let's face it, major work needs to be done and getting rid of Lowe's mistakes is the first step.

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#104 Dan the Man
August 26 2009, 09:42AM
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Stauff....I enjoyed your work on the Team a great deal and I even enjoy you on Oiler broadcasts but you are way out of line here.

I always enjoy JW's work and it's clearly not his fault that other contributors to this site haven't posted anything in between his posts.

The best thing about this site is if you don't like a particular writer or a story they've written you don't have to read it...you actually don't even have to visit the site if you don't like it...seriously.

If you have something insightful to add once in a while though it would be great to read your work on ON but what you wrote about JW was pure bush league.

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#105 Fish
August 26 2009, 09:44AM
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Looks like a missed a live one last night. Stauffer has always been a massive blowhard who just likes hearing his own voice. The guy will bloviate on any number of subjects and expect everyone to take his word as gospel. How this bufoon got a job with the mighty oil is an absolute mystery to me.

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#106 danjo1
August 26 2009, 09:44AM
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RE the article:

Thanks for the article Jon. I wasn't sure about the guy's history specifically so answered all of my questions about him. It looks like a pretty damn good hire.

*puts on the rose coloured glasses* Things are shaping up very well.

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#107 danjo1
August 26 2009, 09:45AM
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Fish wrote:

How this bufoon got a job with the mighty oil is an absolute mystery to me.

Are you serious?

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#108 Fish
August 26 2009, 09:48AM
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No. I know how he got the job, but I wished that I didn't have to listen to him during broadcasts or see his mug during PPV.

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#109 Ender the Dragon
August 26 2009, 09:51AM
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@ rubbertrout:

While I don't think you'll find many people to argue with you about the attractiveness of PDP's contract, I don't think improvement by simple subtraction is the answer either. I don't like the idea of starting the season with PDP as first-line LW, but I like the idea of starting any of the rest of our current guys there even less. Having a Malhotra on the roster does not make us good enough to compensate for having O'Sully, Cogs, or Nilsson as our designated and only options for the first-line LW.

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#110 Fro
August 26 2009, 09:55AM
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I think Stauf might have been taking more of a shot at the admin than at JW personally. If we all just calm down a sec we might realize he has a point. I like JW so dont jump on me here, but I too would like to see some more variety. That said Im not sure this was the best way to go about things for Stauffer. The simple facts are there is nothing going on right now and JW fills the void in our souls with his posts. Certainly would be nice though if we got our double fill of JW every day IN ADDITION to 2 posts for someone else as well. Guys sometimes it seems like these comments are a small step away from a therapy session, lets all just chill

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#111 daveeed
August 26 2009, 09:58AM
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Wow. I hope I am taking Bob's comments the wrong way, but like others have said, it sounded like a potshot at JW. I get you may want to see content from the other writers on here but don't slam the guy whose contributions are at the forefront because he's pumping out fresh content consistently.

The fact that JW does not have a press pass or doesn't even live in Edmonton has nothing to do with the quality of his articles. In fact, it probably increases the quality. He doesn't have to be "buddies" with anyone on the team and doesn't have to hold any punches. While a lot of bloggers use that to rant and rave and pour out immature drivel, JW puts out thoughtful and thought provoking pieces he backs up with logic. He hits topics in a different manner (with extensive stats and stats I hadn't seen before) and he consistently is pumping out new stuff. That is no easy feat unto itself.

I stumbled upon this site looking for info around the draft and I come here several times a day. This is where I get my Oiler's news/fix. Not the official website, I may go there to look at the schedule or tv listings. The content there is beyond inane. I think they stole some of their ideas for posts from TEEN magazine, especially the questions they ask the players. Which is cool I guess if your demographic if pre-teen girls...

Anyway, my point is, JW is top notch, this site is great, love the articles from RB (wish there more), Gregor, Wanye, and the rest. I don't think much more needs to be said about the community around the site than the fact they paid out of their own pockets to send Gregor to the draft. That is unheard of and impressive. Thanks for having ON going strong!

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#112 danjo1
August 26 2009, 10:14AM
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DK0 wrote:

danjo1 wrote: LOL I’m waiting to see that on Wanye’s twitter. Wanye posted at 3:26 am, that man is going to be comatose for another 5 hours at least

NOOOOOO!! When will he put these horrible rumors about Cra... err Jonathan Willis' future to rest?!?!?!

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#113 MattL
August 26 2009, 10:44AM
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JW for mayor.

It's very very VERY hard to come up with as much content as Willis does. Good newspaper folks like Brownlee who are full-time wage-earners don't have to come up with the quantity that Willis does. What's more, it's GOOD CONTENT. I'll read a Willis piece a hundred times before listening to another Stauffer rant about how MacT can't coach offensive players.

I can't believe Stauf has already forgotten what it's like to be an under-appreciated hockey know-it-all now that he's finally made the promised land. I enjoyed his show at times, but even he struggled to come up with new content all the time, and he was very repetitive.

Hopefully Stauf either starts contributing to ON pro-bono, or apologizes for bashing a hard-working hockey fan, lover of blogging, and selfless boredom curer for hundreds of summertime hockey degenerates like us.

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#114 MattL
August 26 2009, 10:45AM
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daveeed wrote:

The content there is beyond inane. I think they stole some of their ideas for posts from TEEN magazine, especially the questions they ask the players.

*clap clap*

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#115 Hemmertime
August 26 2009, 10:56AM
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Stauffer prefers Hockeybuzz.com. Or is jealous that his blog doesn't generate hundreds of comments in middle of August.

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#116 Fish
August 26 2009, 10:57AM
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MattL wrote:

enjoyed his show at times, but even he struggled to come up with new content all the time, and he was very repetitive.

I agree MattL. For the last year of his show, all Stauffer did was talk about Mactavish and his inability to work with offensive players. I had to turn off the radio several times because I couldn't bear to listen to his diatribe any longer. Imbecile.

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#117 risto
August 26 2009, 10:58AM
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Thanks for the excellent report, Jonathan. You are amazing for the output and passion you show.

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#118 The Towel Boy
August 26 2009, 11:00AM
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JW does good work. Anyone who says differently is ill-informed or just plain drinkin' Hatorade.

As people have pointed out, it's incredibly difficult to come up with things about our team to talk about in the middle of the Summer. Especially when Tambo isn't giving us much to talk about. I mean...good god...I dusted off the cobwebs and wrote something on my blog last week just to keep my blogger account from going inactive. Haha.

Trust me...what JW does isn't easy and he should be commended for it, not condemned.

Winston R. Towel Boy, IV esq.

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#119 Go time - OilersNation.com
August 26 2009, 11:02AM
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[...] you can imagine our shock and horror when we read this comment last night from local media personality Bob Stauffer: No disrespect to Mr. Willis, but five JW [...]

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#120 DK0
August 26 2009, 11:07AM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

As people have pointed out, it’s incredibly difficult to come up with things about our team to talk about in the middle of the Summer. Especially when Tambo isn’t giving us much to talk about.

So true. Do you see what JSBM has degraded (upgraded? haha) to this summer? Not alot going on in Oilerland.

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#121 Shapeman
August 26 2009, 11:16AM
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@ Fish: I know why you can't stand stauffers face when you're watching the PPV games. As my dad says he ahs the face for radio

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#122 Shapeman
August 26 2009, 11:16AM
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has*

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#123 risto
August 26 2009, 11:18AM
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Wow, having just read some comments, I'm very glad to support Jonathan's efforts unconditionally. Keep it up!

RB, as far as nicknames go, try this from Grantland Rice:

"Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore their names are Death, Destruction, Pestilence, and Famine. But those are aliases. Their real names are: Stuhldreher, Crowley, Miller and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds this afternoon as 55,000 spectators peered down upon the bewildering panorama spread out upon the green plain below."

Stauffer sounds like that veteran guy in the film 'Rudy' complaining the young upstart is making me look bad. You're right, he is. Go JW

I have no problem having the entire Team Canada coaching staff from previous Olympics behind our bench, in an Olympic year.

As a passionate international hockey fan, I hope Hockey Canada can get this right. Nagano (Crawford/Gretz shootout debacle) and Turin (Dirtbagtuzzi over Sid the Kid) were gold medal gifts to other hockey countries - talk about shooting yourself in the foot, or as I have nicknamed it, to Plaxico yourself.

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#124 Mr. Entertainment
August 26 2009, 11:41AM
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I personally like JW and Robin Brownlee, in fact I have Robi Brownlee on my facebook page.that's pretty cool. I do agree that Bob Stauffer does tend to have a attitude problem, although I do miss his show. By the way are the Boston Bruin rumours true or us perhaps getting Kessel.

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#125 Mr. Entertainment
August 26 2009, 11:43AM
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sorry meant to say is it true that we may be getting Kessel from Boston. I have heard his name come up many times, on various websites.

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#126 MattL
August 26 2009, 11:57AM
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@ Mr. Entertainment:

No. We aren't getting Kessel.

We're getting Crosby, obvs.

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#127 jeff
August 26 2009, 12:18PM
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@ bingofuel: What does an IP tell you? Also how hard is it to give stauffer's email, isn't it common knowledge?

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#128 bingofuel
August 26 2009, 12:24PM
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@ jeff:

An IP tells me that every time Bob Stauffer has ever posted, it's been from the same machine. Connect that with previous confirmations from Brownlee that, in fact yes it was Stauffer posting, and you can launch plausible deniability into the sun.

It was Bob Stauffer.

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#129 BlogginRookie
August 26 2009, 12:36PM
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Anyone know why I cnt read the comments on Go Time the new post??

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#130 Not that kind of doctor
August 26 2009, 12:38PM
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@ Bob Stauffer:

Hey Stauf how's it going? We knew each other back in the late 80's when I worked for the Gateway. I think ON could use a weekly post with you regaling us about all those pranks you played on Uncle Ian. What you did in a certain litter box springs to mind. Anyone who can disgust Georges Laraque live on air should get more ink, I think.

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#131 Archaeologuy
August 26 2009, 12:42PM
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I have obstained from commenting on this one up 'till now but the douchiness of the guys from 630 CHED are beyond comprehensible, so i will add my 2 cents. Whether it be Dan Tencer or Bob Stauffer, at least once a month one of those two will find their way onto the site and take a stab at Willis, either backhandedly or directly. I dont get it. Why?

Willis happens to be one of the finest sports writers covering the Oilers in my opinion. He is always well prepared and researched, always shares his opinion but not before laying out the unbiased facts, and always ready to listen to an argument that is well supported. Why the hate then?

There can truly be only one answer for the hate from his colleagues, if i lower Willis to their level for a moment, and that's professional jealousy. Simply put, Willis is a better writer and journalist without ever having learned the trade formally. Stauffer et al are jealous. That's it.

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#132 BruceM
August 26 2009, 12:47PM
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Jonathan Willis is the Bob McKenzie of the Oilogosphere. Thoughtful, well-spoken, and immensely knowledgeable. He's not afraid to criticize, but it's never vindictive and always supported by facts. Criticizing him for being too prolific is way out of line.

As for not being on the inside, first, what a ridiculous statement out here in Blogworld. Second, I am constantly amazed by how this young man in Fort St. John can be so wired in. As an example, check out this story written back on JUNE 14!

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#133 jeff
August 26 2009, 12:47PM
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@ Archaeologuy: Why you ask, because they are immature knobs would be my guess.

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#134 Racki
August 26 2009, 12:48PM
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bingofuel wrote:

@ jeff: An IP tells me that every time Bob Stauffer has ever posted, it’s been from the same machine. Connect that with previous confirmations from Brownlee that, in fact yes it was Stauffer posting, and you can launch plausible deniability into the sun. It was Bob Stauffer.

In that case, grab the pitchforks, boys...

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#135 jeff
August 26 2009, 12:50PM
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@ Racki: I can't believe what has become of Stauffer. I use to respect him now he is just a suit doing what he is told.

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#136 Bob Loblaw
August 26 2009, 12:58PM
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@Fish

Darn it! I was going to use bloviate in my diatribe too.

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#137 Travis Dakin
August 26 2009, 01:02PM
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BlogginRookie wrote:

Anyone know why I cnt read the comments on Go Time the new post??

It's happening to me too. It cuts the article off half way and won't allow me to see or make any comments. I'm freaking out!!!

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#138 Chaz
August 26 2009, 01:06PM
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Looks like the masses have spoken Bob. The ON has JW's back. And for good reason, all of which has been covered by these posts.

Now get back to work....editing Tom Gilbert's blog.

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#139 Jonathan Willis
August 26 2009, 01:14PM
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@ BlogginRookie: @ Travis Dakin:

It should work now.

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#140 A.T. Husky
August 26 2009, 01:24PM
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@ Racki:

bingofuel has confirmed the log info and the IP and email check out.

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#141 Antony Ta
August 26 2009, 01:25PM
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@ Racki:

We don't need pitchforks since it's obvious that all he wants is to get in on the OilersNation action. Poor Bob is feeling left out.

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#142 J.L.
August 26 2009, 01:40PM
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That's professionalism, Bob! Instead of looking yourself in the mirror and maybe taking steps to improve the quality of your work, you come on here and take cheapshots. Why better yourself and your situation when you can take down someone else, right? It's so much easier. Being consistent and informative is too much effort.

There's a reason this website is a threat to the rights holders, it's because there is in-depth analysis of Oilers hockey here. Not just press releases and lame interviews. There's actual thought-provoking content here (!) So take notes Bob, we don't want the same idle talk, we want insight and coverage.

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#143 Mr. Entertainment
August 26 2009, 02:01PM
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Crosby on the Oilers would be AWESOME!!!! Then again the chances of that happening is like me being the pope, or being as famous as Elvis!! Not too Good lol.

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#144 MattL
August 26 2009, 02:13PM
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@ Mr. Entertainment:

Naw dude, e5. Book it.

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#145 Robin Brownlee
August 26 2009, 04:01PM
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Ladies and gentlemen . . .

Bob Stauffer is my friend, although that really isn't the point because if it was, I would have jumped in on this before now. If many of the comments in the aftermath of what Bob wrote aren't the epitome of overreaction, I don't know what is. I've read Bob's original comment several times now and I don't see anything in it that's worthy of the reaction we're getting here.

I didn't see a personal attack on Willis in Bob's comments. I don't recall him calling Willis names. I didn't see derogatory remarks about Jon's appearance or snide remarks about his motivation for what he does. But all the above pretty much describes the vast majority of responses from ON readers. Bob's fat. Bob sold out to join the Oilers. Etc etc etc. All because Stauffer had the audacity to say that a website loaded with only stories by Willis, which ON is right now, doesn't -- in HIS OPINION -- offer enough range of content or insight. When did having an opinion become a criminal act around here?

In my opinion, if I'm allowed to have one, there's been a distinct double-standard here when it comes to the issue of interraction between MSM types and bloggers, especially where offering criticism is concerned (and I think after two years of working both sides of the fence, I've gathered a clue or two about the subject).

Too often, at least way too often for my liking, I've had criticism leveled my way that's gone well beyond "your story was lame" or "your take is wrong." I've had people make personal remarks. They've laughed about how I lost a high-profile gig in the MSM covering the Oilers and how I've been "reduced" to being a blogger. I've been called a Kevin Lowe ass-kisser 100 times. A hack. A has-been. Look, I'm not asking anybody to unholster the violins for me because I generally answer back with as good as I get. At the same time, though, a lot of that criticism, including stuff that goes well over the line, is framed as the the ordinary hockey fan having his say or of "calling out" Brownlee or whoever. It's the little guy taking on the big guy and it's almost like sport -- "Oooh, Brownlee is going to snap, now. I can't wait for his reaction." Almost anything that's said of deemed pretty much OK. That's the internet, old man, get with the times.

But reverse the roles -- have an MSM guy like Stauffer or myself -- offer even the slightest criticism of a blogger or what they write, and the sh*t generallly hits the fan. Can't have the big guys questioning the little guys. Brownlee is a bully. Stauffer is a blowhard. What are these bully-boy media egomaniacs with great jobs and blah blah blah doing taking shots at poor little bloggers who are only writing for the love of the game? They must be insecure. They must be this, they must be that. What bad guys they are. Look at us, we're the victims here. It's sickening.

Nothing Stauffer wrote deserved the kind of response he got here.

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#146 analbumcover
August 26 2009, 04:55PM
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@ Robin

I agree that there are many comments that are over the line. The general tone I got was that there wasn't alot of professional courtesy towards JW in Stauffer's initial post. Unfortunately, whether it's right or not, I hold media types (such as yourself or Stauffer) to a higher standard than most faceless posters or bloggers.

I like Stauffer, I miss hearing him in the afternoon drive. I just thought he should have been a little more respectful. Sure got a lot of chatter though didn't it?

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#147 Robin Brownlee
August 26 2009, 05:26PM
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analbumcover wrote:

@ Robin I agree that there are many comments that are over the line. The general tone I got was that there wasn’t alot of professional courtesy towards JW in Stauffer’s initial post. Unfortunately, whether it’s right or not, I hold media types (such as yourself or Stauffer) to a higher standard than most faceless posters or bloggers. I like Stauffer, I miss hearing him in the afternoon drive. I just thought he should have been a little more respectful. Sure got a lot of chatter though didn’t it?

That's exactly the double-standard I'm talking about. It shouldn't be a case of "whether it's right or not." That's an easy out. It needs to change. If Bob owes Willis professional courtesy, which implies something of an equal footing among peers in the media business, then he is also open to the criticism that sometimes takes place between peers.

And a higher standard? How does a higher standard preclude somebody from having and voicing their opinion the way Stauffer did? I didn't see anything personal or vicious in what he wrote. I've seen Bob go after people, and this wasn't a case of that.

The "faceless blogger" tag is more of the same cop out. Willis is not a faceless blogger. Like me, he's putting his face, his name and his work out there because he chooses to. He's being paid for it. How much doesn't matter. He, like me, can be taken to task. What's so ridiclulous about this is Stauffer was commenting as much or more on the format at ON as about Willis. Is it so outlandish -- when Stauffer has no way of knowing what agreements we have in place here -- to ask out loud why readers are getting a steady diet of one writer and nobody else? Obviously our readers don't understand the agreements in place either or we wouldn't have a genius like this "-30-" poster comment last night that I should hustle more and dig up stories like Willis because I'm unemployed and have lots of time in my hands.

Fact is, in conversations with me, Bob's been very supportive of this site and mentioned the growth we're enjoying. At the same time, he's also been critical at times. That latter shouldn't ignite a "poor us" sh*tstorm like we had here.

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#148 Travis Dakin
August 26 2009, 05:41PM
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Name calling is embarrassing and hard to support even when you are supposed to be the same side. It shows a lack of intelligence and once the personal attacks come out when there is a difference of opinion, the debater has lost.

I stand by my comment (#52) I took it to be more of a criticism of the lack of depth lately on the Nation. I have always had a problem with the personal attacks on guys like Tencer or Stauffer get on here or the ones that Brownlee and Greggor get on the more hardcore sites. It's bullsh*t people and all it does is remove another potential source or imput from guys who have or can get the information that we the fans want to know.

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#149 Woodguy
August 26 2009, 05:54PM
Trash it!
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@ Robin Brownlee:

I didn’t see a personal attack on Willis in Bob’s comments.

Stauffer wrote:

No disrespect to Mr. Willis, but five JW stories on the front page of ON is at least three and probably four too many. Around July 1st there was some quality breking-coverage type stories getting done on ON. That's a pretty clear shot at Mr. Willis. His writing doesn't measure up to the content produced previously by the site. Really don't know how you see it any other way. Remember when Bill Parcels called his trick play "Jap plays" in a media scrum? He said "no disrespect intended" too, didn't mean what he said wasn't disrespectful. Funny thing is that Bob stated that the coverage on a hockey site was better during Free Agent Frenzy with all the writers going than it is during the dog days of summer with 2 key writers not contributing. Really? In other breaking news, water is wet and the sky is blue. It was still a shot at Willis though. Stauffer also said:
Given that JW has his own site do we really need all five lead stories on the ON site coming from someone who has no direct access to anybody that matters in hockey circles? Combine that with the fact that Jon resides in Mortheastern B.C., it can be argued he doesn’t really have a pulse for what is happening in Edmonton either.
This is the statement that most writers referred to in lambasting Bob. Willis usually isn't trying to get the latest low down on what the internal machinations of the team are. He usually uses stats to question common held beliefs and tries to tease future performance from past numbers. Commenting on the latest Oiler's coaching hire doesn't quite fit the mould, but his writing is full of facts and usually complete. To suggest he is not qualified to do this type of writing because he doesn't have NHL GM's on his speed dial is ludicrous. His opinions are usually based on statistical fact and trying to gleen info from those stats. You don't have to have inside contacts to do this type of analysis. Bob's comments were a drive by smear. Kinda silly when you look at a lot of the content on the Oiler's website. Most of us don't want to know how well Smid knows Gilbert (a video on their site), but most of do want to know what he quality of opposition these players faced last year, how they fared and where their strengths lie. Willis delivers that in spades.
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#150 Woodguy
August 26 2009, 05:54PM
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@ Woodguy:

Dammit put in and edit button!!!

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