The Coach

Jonathan Willis
November 14 2013 09:32AM

On virtually any other NHL team, Dallas Eakins would be out of a job right now. A 4-14-2 start is a fireable offence for most NHL teams, but here Eakins has a protective barrier formed by the ghosts of Criag MacTavish and Pat Quinn and Tom Renney and Ralph Krueger.

The Path Forward

It isn’t too early to think about firing the coach. It’s just too early to actually fire the coach. Edmonton has fired coaches so many times without results (on that note, wouldn’t it be nice to go back two years and let Tom Renney keep coaching the team?) and it’s time to go a different route.

This is one of the things Craig MacTavish is here for. In previous years, Steve Tambellini proved remarkably unwilling to address simple team needs (such as fourth line centre). MacTavish is already one up on Tambellini because he’s been willing to try plugging in minor leaguers (recall Mark Arcobello rotting on the farm while Chris VandeVelde and Ryan Smyth failed as fourth line centres) but that’s not enough.

It’s trade time. And not a ‘move Ladislav Smid for futures’ trade. A trade that actually brings in NHL talent. Maybe it’s a defenceman who can play in the top-three. Maybe it’s a big forward who can play in the top-six. Maybe it’s a good third-line wing so that Boyd Gordon doesn’t have to drag around Jesse Joensuu and Ryan Jones. I don’t know what’s out there, or how much what’s out there costs to acquire; I do know that this team isn’t getting the job done and Dallas Eakins seems like he’s out of answers.

Normally, when the coach is out of answers the coach pays the price. In this case, so many other coaches have been out of answers that it’s time to try giving the man behind the bench some different pieces.

Lousy NHL Debuts

Some very good coaches have had some very bad starts to their careers, generally because opportunity arises with bad (or expansion) teams. Here’s a brief list of some very good coaches who started out on the wrong foot:

  • Scotty Bowman: 4-13-2 with St. Louis
  • Dick Irvin: 2-6-4 with Chicago
  • Ron Wilson: 4-13-2 with Anaheim
  • Lindy Ruff: 5-10-4 with Buffalo
  • Ken Hitchcock: 10-18-8 with Dallas

Naturally, I’m not saying ‘oh man, Dallas Eakins is Scotty Bowman!’ That would be crazy. What I am saying is that it’s possible that the Oilers will end up benefiting from their (essentially) forced patience with Eakins. Of course, it’s just as possible that 20 games from now nothing has changed and Eakins is out the door, but it’s at least plausible that the coach can right the ship.

So, About That Trade…

It has to be coming, and it has to be meaningful.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
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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#51 Cody anderson
November 14 2013, 10:33AM
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I am surprised to be saying this because I was against firing the last 3 coaches and then after hearing Eakins talk at the start of the year I thought he might actually bring a more consistent effort out of the guys.

I think he is terrible and would be fine with MacT not only firing him but taking over the bench for the remainder of the year. Another change of coaches is the last thing this group needs, but I don't see things improving much with Eakins.

His player usage and lack of line matching is not helping a team that is already lacking balance and competitiveness.

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#52 Lochenzo
November 14 2013, 10:34AM
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DSF wrote:

Have you seen J. Schultz play defense?

I've seen him play forward! Actually, Mike Green was the same way. The offence was always there but the defence took years to come around. The payoff was very good.

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#53 ubermiguel
November 14 2013, 10:35AM
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Time to commit to a coach and let him bring in his own guys (although Nelson has earned an NHL spot, Associate Coach perhaps?). It's flippingly obvious the coach is not and has never been the problem.

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#54 Spydyr
November 14 2013, 10:35AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Too many coaches have been turfed. Even if Eakins does a few things that I disagree with, he isn't the problem. In fact, changing coaches every year likely IS one of the major problems. So if I'm the Oilers then I'm sticking with Eakins.

What I WOULD do is fire Bucky and Smith then give Eakins Carte Blanche to hire the staff he needs to be successful. These ex Oilers have survived a couple coaching changes. It's ridiculous.

So following your logic if you have three flat tires in a row and the fourth goes flat. You will continue to drive around on the fourth flat tire?

It does not matter how many coaches have been fired in the past. If your coach goes "flat" you replace him.

Eakin's has a Nail and is almost out of air.

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#55 Al Low
November 14 2013, 10:37AM
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To me, the Ralph Krueger firing was ill-advised. He actually had Edmonton in a playoff contention last year until the wheels fell off in the last month. There was actual progress and hope for the team to do better this year. From what I read, the young stars of the Oilers actually respected him and it looked like their was some direction to the team. Now it's obvious to the most hardcore fan that there is no direction to the team. I don't blame guys like Yak for being frustrated. The body language of the team does not lie. Dallas Eakins may turn into a good coach at some point but it won't be here. MacT's biggest error was not giving Krueger a bit more time with this group. His itch to do something "bold" like fire the coach who, in my mind, did a decent job essentially helped cost his team this season. Sure the pieces don't fit and the team's too small and soft to really do any damage but they shouldn't be this bad either. For all of his MBA hype, MacT doesn't seem to get that continuity is important in a successful organization, at least building some semblence of it. Eakins wasn't ready for this position and it shows on a nightly basis. He's getting outcoached every night. And, so far, MacT is getting schooled in the NHL when it comes the being a manager.

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#56 kevins
November 14 2013, 10:38AM
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Pharmboy wrote:

Agreed, patience is important here, it is interesting to note that during preseason when our lineup was about equal in terms of quality with the opposition, the team had a decent record, so maybe it isn't all the new systems and motivational tactics. Big trade required. Additionally, I love Ryan Smyth but it is time, it's getting sadder to watch each game, a horrible ending to an otherwise admirable career.

we should go the way of Buffalo and clean out the brass. just because these guys could play the game don't mean they can teach it. out with Lowe,Mac-T and Eakins.

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#57 Yaz
November 14 2013, 10:39AM
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** wrote:

I wonder what's the line in the sand, if there is any at all, for MCtavish to conclude he made a mistake and it is time to fire the coach.

Saturday night after the Calgary game.

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#58 Alsker
November 14 2013, 10:40AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

JW all those coaches were already successful at some point in there careers before they had bad starts. Eakins has no sample size.

I don't care how many coaches have been through here!!

Eakins cannot be allowed to continue this gong show!!

Two 5-3 and he never put Yakupov on one! The guy is holding a grudge, how do you not put the purest shooter on a 5-3??

It cost the Oilers the game!!!

He hasn’t done very much right since he got the job.

Allowing this to continue is going to cost MacTavish and Lowe their jobs, in the interest of self-preservation I would fire Eakins after the San Jose game in which the Oilers get throttled 6-1, if MacTavish has any kind of foresight

I like your optimism, 6-1 Sharks. You mean we actually score a goal, nice. Doubt a coaching change, system or strategy adjustment will make any difference. There has been a black cloud over this team ever since kBlowe went chasing tier 1 players(Hossa,Heatley) and turned his back on guys like Stoll and GlenX.

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#59 bazmagoo
November 14 2013, 10:41AM
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Have to admit I held a grudge against Krueger because of the last 10 games of last season, and was happy MacT replaced him with Eakins at the time. Now I've give anything to have old Ralphie back, come back Ralphie we miss you!

Eakins needs to go ASAP, anyone who can't see that he has lost the room and isn't the right solution for the Oilers is blind. MacT should take over behind the bench for the remainder of the season, then start the hiring process over again.

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#60 The_CWD_GarbageMan
November 14 2013, 10:42AM
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Biggest thing is the team mentality. On paper like it said, D was supposed to be better (ie. lets say the Avalanche).

But Roy he comes in and instills his culture (Or Psychotic need to be better than everyone else).

Started Day one after he emasculated Boudreau.

Dubnyk was just expected to be his numbers of years past as far as im concerned. .920 sp. Who can argue with that? With a better d in front of him apparently it mean only more W’s. Sadly. Our sense of defensive coverage is all but lost. That and he sucks this year.

Sorry. Klowe, Mac T and them all need to go. It’s the only thing I can see man. Talk about needing more grit, we get rid of smid and brown. We need guys who can play and have the ability to be tough to play against. A guy who can give Eberle more room and complement his game. Here we have four talented players with absolutely no space and they’re ripe for the pickings. Pat Kane has Bickell on his line.

But hey, there are smaller teams out there getting it done, and it comes down to hunger and responsibility and you just don’t see it.

Great Article on Grantland for those who haven't read it yet.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9973203/the-colorado-avalanche-edmonton-oilers-rebuilds/

Just some Scattershot Thoughts courtesy of your pissy CWD Garbage Man.

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#61 **
November 14 2013, 10:43AM
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Well If Dallas Eakins is ran out of town at least we know he'll be "fit" for it.

Let the trashing being.

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#62 pkam
November 14 2013, 10:44AM
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Spydyr wrote:

So following your logic if you have three flat tires in a row and the fourth goes flat. You will continue to drive around on the fourth flat tire?

It does not matter how many coaches have been fired in the past. If your coach goes "flat" you replace him.

Eakin's has a Nail and is almost out of air.

Worst example.

Perhaps the tires were not flat but the wheel was cracked. You can keep replacing the tires and continue to get flat tires. Treating the symptom does not fix the problem.

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#63 MB
November 14 2013, 10:46AM
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Time for a colorful metaphor????

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#64 Taylor Gang
November 14 2013, 10:48AM
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I wish that we could fire the head coach. I wish Lowe decided to hire people who can actually help this franchise. I wish the players on the team could put a 60 minute effort in. I wish that Katz cared for this team.

But I wish for many things.

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#65 Hangin@Bangin
November 14 2013, 10:51AM
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Well I don't think anyone in Oil Country can honestly say they wouldn't like to see Dallas Eakins standing in line at the local unemployment office, but with that I agree with the sensible thought that a move like that may be a bit brash 20 games into a season. Eakins new "swarm" style defence seems to "swarm" defenders in any area where the oppostion aren't, resulting in A+ scoring chances being offered up like those "working girl" business cards you get on a Vegas street corner. What's more alarming than the defensive woes is that a power play last season under a skepticized Kruger was one of the best in the league and now is a dismal laugher that has no opposition fearful of taking a trip to the sin bin. I understand that the transition to the NHL can't be easy and that taking on a new group of players and getting them to share your vision would be a challenge to say the least, but taking most every statistical area of the game and going in the exact opposite direction must be a red flag of some sort. It's not hard to see he's a man under the gun whose running out of options but at some point the stubborness in ones head has to be overcome by sense and rationality. Eakins must be willing to comprimise as much as he expects his players too and coach to there strengths not his.

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#66 **
November 14 2013, 10:53AM
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there are two comets flying by this week, maybe if we all at Oilers nation close our eyes and open our hearts and wish upon these shooting stars, maybe we can have a winning Oilers team.

*contains laugh for another 2 seconds*

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#67 Mac962
November 14 2013, 10:54AM
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Mac962 wrote:

JW - Perhaps Eakins is given a longer rope, but how long do we wait until something is done with Bucky and Smith ? I mean come on, they were not Eakins first choice, he was saddled with them. IMO - If he accepts it or not, Todd Nelson deserves a promotion and perhaps could ride shot gun with Eakins as well. Nelson also works with the young guns and knows them pretty well from the OKC stint. That all aside, yes it is time to part with one of our darlings, too much of the same. Its time.

Forgot to mention -maybe the right coach was right under our noses all along in Nelson. Just maybe. Could he be worse ? I somehow doubt it. Eakins will learn but needs help right now - he is as green to this as Yak.

The AHL is not the NHL- the best league in the world.

Dont can him yet, it does wont get us to the promise land, but get him some proper help on the bench and give up one of the kids with a draft pick - this is the year to give it up if you are going to do it.

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#68 Spydyr
November 14 2013, 10:56AM
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pkam wrote:

Worst example.

Perhaps the tires were not flat but the wheel was cracked. You can keep replacing the tires and continue to get flat tires. Treating the symptom does not fix the problem.

We already know the wheel (Lowe) is cracked but that is not going to get fixed so you have to replace the tires. Or drive around on your rims 4-14.

Admit the mistake, fix it and move on.

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#69 vetinari
November 14 2013, 10:56AM
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If the fans start a "swarm" at the next game, would it be considered a lynch mob?

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#70 Rama Lama
November 14 2013, 11:01AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Too many coaches have been turfed. Even if Eakins does a few things that I disagree with, he isn't the problem. In fact, changing coaches every year likely IS one of the major problems. So if I'm the Oilers then I'm sticking with Eakins.

What I WOULD do is fire Bucky and Smith then give Eakins Carte Blanche to hire the staff he needs to be successful. These ex Oilers have survived a couple coaching changes. It's ridiculous.

Just HOW do you know that Eakins is not the problem?? By any basic metric one can see that every part of our team has regressed under Eakins.

Not one player has improved under Eakins......not one. Just because we are all fatigued with coaching changes does not mean we hired the right guy...........just maybe we had the right guy all along in Krueger and hiring Eakins was a bad mistake?

Keep an open mind.

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#71 pkam
November 14 2013, 11:01AM
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Mac962 wrote:

Forgot to mention -maybe the right coach was right under our noses all along in Nelson. Just maybe. Could he be worse ? I somehow doubt it. Eakins will learn but needs help right now - he is as green to this as Yak.

The AHL is not the NHL- the best league in the world.

Dont can him yet, it does wont get us to the promise land, but get him some proper help on the bench and give up one of the kids with a draft pick - this is the year to give it up if you are going to do it.

Both Eakins and Nelson have never been NHL head coach. Both had been NHL assistant coach then AHL head coach. Their resumes are basically the same. So how is Nelson any different than Eakins?

The only difference is MacT like Eakins more than Nelson. I don't know the reason, perhaps because MacT and Eakins have similar coaching philosophy?

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#72 Bennyboy
November 14 2013, 11:02AM
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Seriously, Mac T, there is no shame in admitting you Screwed up royally when you call Ralph Kruger On Skype and tell him how much the team wants him back. You can see every night that the team dosent want To play for Eakins. How about a GM and players only meeting? Ask them, I'd bet Ralph is back here ASAP. I actually feel for Eakins, his kids get harassed at School and this isn't turning around anytime soon.

Maybe best to get him out of here.

I wonder if a few of the players were involved in a Skype Call to Ralph, if that would be enough for Him to say "yeah I liked that job and we made Progress, ok I will come bail you guys out.

Besides, I'm sure lots of the guys remember his systems. He was building in the right direction.

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#73 Fresh Mess
November 14 2013, 11:03AM
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This is hilarious. You guys couldn't get Renney out of here fast enough, now all of a sudden you love the guy. Renney is perfectly suited for his current role. His record as a head coach is underwhelming.

Now Nelson is the answer. He'd be the shiny new toy for about ten games and then you would all be burning him in effigy just like Eakins.

Steve Smith has not be a constant through all of this losing. Smith was not part of Looselips MacT or Quinn's staffs.

And yes, Katz has obviously given the order to reduce payroll. I don't blame him, as spending to the cap has resulted in laughingstock last place teams. What's troubling is Looselips chose Smid's contract to dump first, for a puny return.

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#74 tileguy
November 14 2013, 11:04AM
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The_CWD_GarbageMan wrote:

Biggest thing is the team mentality. On paper like it said, D was supposed to be better (ie. lets say the Avalanche).

But Roy he comes in and instills his culture (Or Psychotic need to be better than everyone else).

Started Day one after he emasculated Boudreau.

Dubnyk was just expected to be his numbers of years past as far as im concerned. .920 sp. Who can argue with that? With a better d in front of him apparently it mean only more W’s. Sadly. Our sense of defensive coverage is all but lost. That and he sucks this year.

Sorry. Klowe, Mac T and them all need to go. It’s the only thing I can see man. Talk about needing more grit, we get rid of smid and brown. We need guys who can play and have the ability to be tough to play against. A guy who can give Eberle more room and complement his game. Here we have four talented players with absolutely no space and they’re ripe for the pickings. Pat Kane has Bickell on his line.

But hey, there are smaller teams out there getting it done, and it comes down to hunger and responsibility and you just don’t see it.

Great Article on Grantland for those who haven't read it yet.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9973203/the-colorado-avalanche-edmonton-oilers-rebuilds/

Just some Scattershot Thoughts courtesy of your pissy CWD Garbage Man.

I urge everyone to read the grantland article. It clearly explains what is happening. I feel we just need to tweak this team with some size.

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#75 **
November 14 2013, 11:04AM
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vetinari wrote:

If the fans start a "swarm" at the next game, would it be considered a lynch mob?

"Cerebrate, the enemy has deployed a psi disruptor, causing your broodlings to run amok without any control. They have began destroying the hive. The overlords have proved useless as well"

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#76 pkam
November 14 2013, 11:04AM
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Spydyr wrote:

We already know the wheel (Lowe) is cracked but that is not going to get fixed so you have to replace the tires. Or drive around on your rims 4-14.

Admit the mistake, fix it and move on.

The result of your solution is another flat tire. Now the question is how often do we plan to replace the flat tire.

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#77 Spydyr
November 14 2013, 11:04AM
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#165 Spydyr September 18 2013, 07:05AM

11 trashes

3 props

Eakins will make it all better. Just like the three coaches in three years before him. It is different this time.

Enjoy your kool-aid.

Unless the players buy in Eakinis will be gone in short order also.

Read the whole thread if you have time.

http://oilersnation.com/2013/9/17/gdb-6-jetting-to-winnipeg

Some people saw this coming.

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#78 Spydyr
November 14 2013, 11:05AM
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pkam wrote:

The result of your solution is another flat tire. Now the question is how often do we plan to replace the flat tire.

Ask Katz that.

It is his car.

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#79 Loweblows
November 14 2013, 11:06AM
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I usually spend ten minutes watching a game on PVR in the man cave then lie to my wife sio I play the new Battlefield 4. That way I can vent my frustrations for 2 hours and twenty minutes before going upstairs and saying that everything is ok. I sure miss the day of watching real hockey in real time. What is better Battlefield 4 hit trash or Call of Duty hit like.

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#80 Bennyboy
November 14 2013, 11:06AM
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I really think that the coaching philosophy Is the exact opposite of what we have for a team. We aren't physical grinders. It's a run and gun team. Leopards don't change spots.

So keep the philosophy if you intend to replace most of the team.

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#81 dq
November 14 2013, 11:07AM
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Lots of people propping Krueger for last years flirtation with the playoffs. I'm Krueger neutral but ....

April 3rd they were in 8th place. They won 1 of their next 10 when things really mattered.

A collapse like that is partly because of players lack of experience. But it's also the coaches ability to prepare the team for meaningful games.

Grass is always greener and a lot of people suddenly viewing Krueger as a model coach.

Not arguing for / against Eakins (I actually kind of like what he's bringing). But I just wouldn't use last year as an argument for / against.

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#82 **
November 14 2013, 11:09AM
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Compare Colorado and Edmonton. VEry similar make up, similar shortcomings up to last season. BOth rookie coaches. What is making the difference?, if that answer can be adequately answered then the Oilers can begin to turn this around.

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#83 Spydyr
November 14 2013, 11:12AM
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** wrote:

Compare Colorado and Edmonton. VEry similar make up, similar shortcomings up to last season. BOth rookie coaches. What is making the difference?, if that answer can be adequately answered then the Oilers can begin to turn this around.

Easy,the system and the heart that beats in the players.

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#84 Bloodsweatandoil
November 14 2013, 11:15AM
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I think Yaz is probably right; I bet the line in the sand gets drawn after the Calgary game, another national broadcast game. Calgary has fewer stars and talent than us, but plays a more complete, tougher and have a heart beat/system. (depending on the results playing Sharks and the Flames)

If both are bad losses, you would have to assume that the Oiler management shows that they have a heart beat to the season ticket holders and the sponsors.

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#85 15w40
November 14 2013, 11:17AM
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At some point it has to be something other than the coaching. They have changed that numerous times and the GM once.

Maybe change the old assistants.

MacT - tuned out was there long enough, Quinn - Old school - hard ass coach, Renney - Vetern teaching coach for the kids, Krueger - Super positive, new thinking career coach, Eakins - Up & coming new guy on the block that trained under some of the best coaches

What else can they try for coaching. There may be a reason that guys like Hitchcock isn't here. It may simply be timing but it also may be that he wasn't a good candidate to have 2 former coaches in management telling him how to do his job and who he will have for a staff.

This may or may not be the case but it cannot be simply the coaching - no way.

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#86 Walter Sobchak
November 14 2013, 11:19AM
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Alsker wrote:

I like your optimism, 6-1 Sharks. You mean we actually score a goal, nice. Doubt a coaching change, system or strategy adjustment will make any difference. There has been a black cloud over this team ever since kBlowe went chasing tier 1 players(Hossa,Heatley) and turned his back on guys like Stoll and GlenX.

This^

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#87 Cold Hard Truth
November 14 2013, 11:21AM
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The notion that we shouldn't fire Eakins just to save face is as silly and ill advised as it was to hire him and the first place.

Get the right coach for the job, and if that isn't Eakins, then get someone else. Period.

The real reason Eakins hasn't been fire yet is because to do so would be an admission of fault of MacTavish's part.

Eakins was a mistake to begin with. He was a mistake by a rookie GM, a GM whose hiring was also a mistake to begin with. It all leads back to the same source: a culture of patronage and entitlement with the Oilers organization. Until that is fixed, the Oilers problems will continue - albeit in differing manifestations.

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#88 TDSM31
November 14 2013, 11:22AM
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Now is the time for us to package our 2014 first round draft pick to get a solid veteran center or top pairing dman. Don't ask me who we should target, I'm too tired to look it up after losing yet another night of blissful sleep stewing over another loss.

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#89 Puck_In_Throat
November 14 2013, 11:25AM
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Honestly, I believe the problem is not just the mentality that was expressed by Lowe in his infamous "Six-Rings" tirade, but also the (unrecognized) naivete that accompanies such a statement.

KLowe: "I've won 6 cups as a player, how hard can it be to be a GM?"

MacT: "I've coached in the NHL, how hard can it be to be a GM?"

UMM actually, it is REALLY HARD. Very few GMs have perennial success. Some, however, like Detroit's GM Ken Holland, have spawned a succession of great GMs. Jim Nill (Dallas is doing pretty well). Steve Yzerman (Tampa Bay).

Here are your three candidates:

Candidate A worked as a the head pro scout for a decade with an NHL team, then in the front office of another NHL team for 6 years, then headed that NHL team as GM for seven years. He was then hired by his current team.

Candidate B has worked with the same organization for 30 years (in hockey operations), becoming GM in his 14th year with the organization

Candidate C coached in the NHL for a number of years, then was unemployed for a few years, then coached in the AHL for two years. Candidate C then worked for one year in the front office of an organization before being hired as the GM.

Which Candidate is our GM?

And we wonder why we suck.

Answer: C. Candidate A is Dean Lombardi, Candidate B is Ken Holland, and Candidate C is MacT.

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#90 **
November 14 2013, 11:26AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Easy,the system and the heart that beats in the players.

I would say the man behind the bench. I think Roy infects his players with enthusiasm and willingness to leave it all on the ice. Eakins has always struck me as a too high on himself guy who struggles to create empathy, let alone a bond with players. They talk about how he turned Nazem Kadri around, but that is just 1 player, and he is struggling as of late.

From the beginning Eakins was confrontational. With the media: "enjoy those donuts, it's the last time you'll see them". With the players: "they will have to stay after games to work out, I don't care who you are you'll be accountable".

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#91 Primo
November 14 2013, 11:27AM
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As a Flames fan and born and raised Calgarian I'm embarrassed at having the Oilers part of our great Province. Thank goodness the Flames sweater has the proud Alberta logo. Can you imagine that logo on an Oiler jersey?

My greater concern is that the Oilers will once again gain another top draft if not first overall and also be in line with next years McDavid sweepstakes. What a tragedy. All these young stars being forced to play for the Oilers with shattered dreams and a future of endless losing.

Wonder if Bettman should consider some major rule changes around future draft processes to immediately end this embarrassment ? !

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#92 oildrops
November 14 2013, 11:28AM
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If you learn from a loss you have not lost.

If we keep playing that way, the odds of the puck going in are going to be in our favour.

lets keep riding the wave of hair that is coach Dallas Eakins.

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#93 Oilcan
November 14 2013, 11:30AM
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After how many years of being terrible and during coaches is it now on the players. Again it would be great to have a coach work well with this group and everything clicks but after 5 coaches I don't know if that exists. Yes Eakins has made some questionable decisions (gagner still playing center and given prominent minutes) but I would bet it is not Eakins philosophy to turn the puck over in our zone 8 times a game, or get cute with scoring chances instead of putting it on net.

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#94 mayorblaine
November 14 2013, 11:30AM
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do not fire Eakins. sure ditch Bucky and Smith. quickly.

the consistent that hasn't changed with this team is the top 6. time to purge the problem rather aim for the easy.

stop loving the kids, start having greater expectations of them.

if your name isn't Hall or RNH, bye. potentially.

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#95 LOIL99
November 14 2013, 11:31AM
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Real questions. Who can fire who?

1) Can Lowe fire MacT? 2) Can MacT fire Lowe? 3) Can Lowe fire Eakins? 4) Can Eakins fire Bucky and Smith? 5) Can Lowe fire Bucky and Smith?

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#96 Oilcan
November 14 2013, 11:35AM
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I might have sounded to pro-Eakins there so here is my critique: I still don't get the PP and why the coaching staff hasn't changed this is but why they put a left handed shot at the point with yak on the right half wall, it takes away the easy one time pass and makes it so easy to defend because the left hand shot has a terrible passing angle. They double shifted Larsen and he made a nice easy pass for a one time goal. I won't start about yak being in the first PP unit but if they keep the units the same that should be the change. I think they should also move RNH to the other half wall with ebs on the goal line and hall on the right half wall, ebs has great hands to make the dish from down low and Hall would have more space to charge the net for rebounds. My two cents on the PP.

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#97 **
November 14 2013, 11:35AM
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LOIL99 wrote:

Real questions. Who can fire who?

1) Can Lowe fire MacT? 2) Can MacT fire Lowe? 3) Can Lowe fire Eakins? 4) Can Eakins fire Bucky and Smith? 5) Can Lowe fire Bucky and Smith?

There is one man who can fire everyone: Daryl Katz.

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#98 CMG30
November 14 2013, 11:36AM
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Been lurking for awhile but I can't hold it in any longer:

The most ridiculous thing about this year (besides the absolutely horrendous amount of losing) is the singling out of one person for all the blame. Have we not learned yet? Remember how it was all coach MacT's fault? Well they got rid of him and how well did that turn out? Then it was all Horcoff's fault. Well they got rid of him this summer and boy did the team ever improve!

If Katz granted the wishes of half the residents of Edmonton and fired Lowe is anyone going to stand up and with a straight face tell me that this team is now a cup contender? Of course not because the biggest problem with the management of this team is not the people in charge, it's the AMOUNT of people who have been in charge. Stop the circus, the players need stability, support, consistency and accountability not mixed messages!

Granted every game they lose has a unique wrinkle but the overall problem with this team is with a lack of commitment to playing team defense. There are no quick fixes here, Pronger and Niedermayer combined couldn't right this ship at the moment, not until EVERY player commits to their teammates on every second of every shift that they are going to be where they are suppose to be, that their man is not going to score. EVERY player needs to commit to not give up the puck in either end of the rink without a bare knuckle brawl. Nobody is ever left alone in front of Dubnyk. Everybody needs to commit to the simple safe play: Blind passes have no place in the NHL. No one should attempt to carry the puck alone through 3 defenders. No one should attempt a cross ice pass through the entire opposing team, and so on.

Is this too much to ask of the players? NO! It's how every other team they've played this year has beat them. I'm just afraid that some of these players are talented enough that this is the first time anyone has actually asked.

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#99 dave
November 14 2013, 11:38AM
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Eakins was given a 3 yr contract. He's not going anywhere.

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#100 Cold Hard Truth
November 14 2013, 11:43AM
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@dave

That means nothing. Coaches are often fired before their contract ends.

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