Man of Action

Jonathan Willis
December 23 2013 10:10AM

 

Craig MacTavish, like any general manager of a losing team, has taken some heat this season. The heat's been made worse by things he said in the summer, when he sold Oilers fans on "bold moves" and promised action.

The funny thing is that by Edmonton standards, we've seen that action.

Steve Tambellini Mid-Season

The entire list of trades and signings made to add players by Steve Tambellini during mid-season follows below:

  • March 2009: Patrick O'Sullivan and a second round pick acquired for Erik Cole and a fifth round pick
  • March 2009: Ales Kotalik acquired for a second round pick
  • March 2010: Ryan Whitney and a sixth round pick acquired for Lubomir Visnovsky
  • February 2012: Nick Schultz acquired for Tom Gilbert
  • April 2013: Jerred Smithson acquired for a fourth round pick
  • March 2013: Mike Brown acquired for a fourth round pick

There's an old line about some skaters having to play their way into midseason form after a summer spent getting out of shape; Tambellini was the general manager equivalent of that, spending the winter in hibernation and then coming to life at the trade deadline to make like-for-slightly-inferior trades or acquire irrelevant pieces for draft picks.

Jerred Smithson is the ultimate Tambellini player. Edmonton needed a centre months earlier, and the solution Tambellini came up with was a marginal fourth-liner two months after he might have been useful.

Ilya Bryzgalov

Craig MacTavish hasn't made a midseason trade to add players yet either - though he's shipped out Ladislav Smid and Jason LaBarbera and Mike Brown - but he did make a free agent signing to bolster his team.

Ilya Bryzgalov was signed as the solution to a problem.

The problem, of course, was Devan Dubnyk's implosion, an implosion that cost the Oilers dearly. For all the harping about how Edmonton is no better this year than last, if Dubnyk had managed the 0.920 save percentage he did one season ago the team would be 21 goals better than it is and likely be ahead of both Calgary and Nashville. It's an implosion that represents more than half the gap between where Edmonton is and being a break-even team by goal differential.

The difference between MacTavish and his predecessor was that he didn't wait until March before getting proactive. He gave Dubnyk as much time as he could, and then made a move. On a team that once handed the reins over to Jeff Deslauriers after its starter got hurt, this is a novelty.

It's also an encouraging sign. I've had many people tell me they can't tell the difference between the Oilers under Tambellini and the Oilers under MacTavish. This is a big one. And while the picture's awfully black right now, and lots more changes need to be made, Edmonton already made the most crucial decision it could have: firing the man who led the descent into the abyss, and replacing him with someone willing to make moves before March. 

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#101 TigerUnderGlass
December 23 2013, 12:45PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Again, when did I say "write off MacT "

He just has not accomplished much. What I said is he put "lipstick on a pig". The team's record proves that.

1. What did you expect to be accomplished in less than a season?

2. You haven't written him off you just compared him to a pig.

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#102 David S
December 23 2013, 12:53PM
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Zarny wrote:

Let me clear some things up why you're an idiot.

1. For Chris Pronger, Lowe got a prospect in Lupul who has been a pt/gm player over the last few years despite injuries, a top 4 D prospect in Smid who played over 7 seasons for the Oilers and a 1st round pick that turned into Eberle.

Given the situation that was good return for Pronger despite your drivel.

2. Pisani and Horcoff were given contracts because no one else wanted to sign in Edmonton. A reality too few Oiler fans actually seem to appreciate.

Pronger booked town, they didn't get Vanek, they gambled on Penner and got turned down by Heatley. What move was available in your delusional mind that Lowe missed out on? Please enlighten us all.

3. Who gives a sh*t about the Smyth contract situation? He was a washed up forward with his best years behind him.

4. Yes, clearly all teams should avoid small, skilled forwards. Patrick Kane completely lacks any value whatsoever.

5. Yep, you finally made a valid point. Tambo proved a bad hire.

6. Firing Tambo after inaction was the right move. The jury is certainly still out on MacT given he's been on the job for less than half a season.

Zero NHL management experience? You mean like Yzerman or countless other GM's that have been hired.

Guess what...no NHL experience isn't actually a point.

7. Yep, dumb comment. Other than hurting your feelings though completely and utterly irrelevant as to how good the hockey team is.

8. A rookie coach. You mean like Dan Bylsma, Cooper or Oates. Againt...not actually a point.

9. MacT failed to address the goaltending situation? Last I checked it was Dubnyk who was letting in beach balls the first 20 games not MacT.

10. WTF are you talking about? They signed Gagner to a short-term contract (3 yrs) precisely because they weren't ready to commit to him long-term.

11. Bizarre and confusing system? Are you really this stupid?

There is nothing bizarre or confusing about Eakins' system. It's the exact same thing as any basic system except when the Oilers pin an opponent to the boards in the corner the F is supposed to jump in to out-man the other team.

There is nothing complicated or confusing about it; except for dumb fans caught up in a nifty tag line called "the swarm".

12. The coach simply made an adjustment when it became clear the players weren't good enough to execute.

Quit driveling about sh*t 7 years ago and pointing the finger at everything but the actual problem...the players on the ice the aren't good enough.

You say "rookie" like it's an actual point. It's not. Countless rookie coaches and GM's have been hired and succeeded.

^ NAILED IT.

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#103 Rocknrolla
December 23 2013, 12:55PM
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tileguy wrote:

Exactly what is Messier doing here? Is this more boys on the bus ship? Which managers idea is this?

messier was hired as a consultant this year. While he finishes his multi arena project in New York. Scouting and such is the details. Google Elliot Friedman for the article.

Rumor has it he was offered the HC job before it was given to Krueger....

At least Messier I think could motivate this team, he is a true leader.

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#104 S cottV
December 23 2013, 12:57PM
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MacT really blew it hiring Eakins.

No way Dubie delivers a .920 with what was and is still - going on in front of him.

Dubie hasnt been great but Eakins trial and error learning curve is as much or more to blame for those unwarranted ga's. I mean c'mon, the defensive zone coverage has been and is still horrific.

These next 4 games to close out the year will be very interesting. I believe that they will get a couple of wins, however if they dont - it probably cements what appears to be a sizeable disconnect between Eakins and the player group.

The big problem with the Eakins hiring, is that it has set the program backwards rather than advancing it. I mean - there is not one area of play that looks better - that is taking shape. The club is in 29th place and has not played a meaningful game since being effectively out of the playoffs in mid Nov.

While the Jets will be tired tonight, they still have faint hope to make the playoffs and the game has meaning for them. Eakins should have been able to direct the club into a similar position and failure to do so, may still be his undoing.

These next 4 games will have tell tale implications and undertones for what is going on and what may have to be done.

MacT may have to fess up...

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#105 FireKLowe
December 23 2013, 01:08PM
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Zarny wrote:

Let me clear some things up why you're an idiot.

1. For Chris Pronger, Lowe got a prospect in Lupul who has been a pt/gm player over the last few years despite injuries, a top 4 D prospect in Smid who played over 7 seasons for the Oilers and a 1st round pick that turned into Eberle.

Given the situation that was good return for Pronger despite your drivel.

2. Pisani and Horcoff were given contracts because no one else wanted to sign in Edmonton. A reality too few Oiler fans actually seem to appreciate.

Pronger booked town, they didn't get Vanek, they gambled on Penner and got turned down by Heatley. What move was available in your delusional mind that Lowe missed out on? Please enlighten us all.

3. Who gives a sh*t about the Smyth contract situation? He was a washed up forward with his best years behind him.

4. Yes, clearly all teams should avoid small, skilled forwards. Patrick Kane completely lacks any value whatsoever.

5. Yep, you finally made a valid point. Tambo proved a bad hire.

6. Firing Tambo after inaction was the right move. The jury is certainly still out on MacT given he's been on the job for less than half a season.

Zero NHL management experience? You mean like Yzerman or countless other GM's that have been hired.

Guess what...no NHL experience isn't actually a point.

7. Yep, dumb comment. Other than hurting your feelings though completely and utterly irrelevant as to how good the hockey team is.

8. A rookie coach. You mean like Dan Bylsma, Cooper or Oates. Againt...not actually a point.

9. MacT failed to address the goaltending situation? Last I checked it was Dubnyk who was letting in beach balls the first 20 games not MacT.

10. WTF are you talking about? They signed Gagner to a short-term contract (3 yrs) precisely because they weren't ready to commit to him long-term.

11. Bizarre and confusing system? Are you really this stupid?

There is nothing bizarre or confusing about Eakins' system. It's the exact same thing as any basic system except when the Oilers pin an opponent to the boards in the corner the F is supposed to jump in to out-man the other team.

There is nothing complicated or confusing about it; except for dumb fans caught up in a nifty tag line called "the swarm".

12. The coach simply made an adjustment when it became clear the players weren't good enough to execute.

Quit driveling about sh*t 7 years ago and pointing the finger at everything but the actual problem...the players on the ice the aren't good enough.

You say "rookie" like it's an actual point. It's not. Countless rookie coaches and GM's have been hired and succeeded.

Mrs. Lowe is that you? Sorry to get your panties in a knot but it is what it is. Your husband is an idiot and has ruined this once proud franchise.

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#106 tileguy
December 23 2013, 01:26PM
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Rocknrolla wrote:

messier was hired as a consultant this year. While he finishes his multi arena project in New York. Scouting and such is the details. Google Elliot Friedman for the article.

Rumor has it he was offered the HC job before it was given to Krueger....

At least Messier I think could motivate this team, he is a true leader.

That's boys on the bus talk. "I think I know a little about winning", "I think I know a little about motivation".

got I'm, got I'm, need I'm.

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#107 Spydyr
December 23 2013, 01:30PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

1. What did you expect to be accomplished in less than a season?

2. You haven't written him off you just compared him to a pig.

1) An NHL starting goalie and a defense not comprised of eight 5-6 defencemen.

2) I compared the job he has done too putting lipstick on a pig. At no time did I compare anyone to a pig.

As this is the third time this thread you put words in my mouth perhaps your reading comprehension could use some work.

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#108 Oiler Al
December 23 2013, 01:31PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

No, we're blaming Tambellini for years and years of incompetence. Specifically, three times he thought he had playoff teams (2008-09, 2011-12, 2012-13) a significant distance into the year, and three times he twiddled his thumbs rather than trying to improve them.

But if you'd like to go into the rebuild (a rebuild caused when he signed a terrible old goalie who promptly got hurt, an old coach who was out of touch, and handed the team over to Jeff Deslauriers) we can do that too.

JW, and who hired Tambelini, and let him wallow in the do doo he was creating on ice and behind the bench. Did it take Klowe 3 years to realize that this guy was spinning his wheels ?

Ultimately its the guy at the top that is responsible... never mine the 2006 fluke, this team has been in the ditch for a long time now, and no signs of a turn around in the near future.

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#109 TigerUnderGlass
December 23 2013, 01:57PM
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Spydyr wrote:

1) An NHL starting goalie and a defense not comprised of eight 5-6 defencemen.

2) I compared the job he has done too putting lipstick on a pig. At no time did I compare anyone to a pig.

As this is the third time this thread you put words in my mouth perhaps your reading comprehension could use some work.

So you believe he is a failure as GM because he was unable to acquire 4 top 4 defensemen in a single off season? I've now asked repeatedly what a good GM would have done differently. You refuse to answer.

I'm not putting words in your mouth, I'm spelling out the implications of your own words.

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#110 RDutch
December 23 2013, 02:24PM
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The coach is solid , the players and upper management are not . Both Lowe and Mc Tavish have been involved with this team far to long and its time to change gears Mr Katz. Both have not delivered in the long or short term and for the most part created Edmonton as a non destination for quality players. Now as we see the young players realizing this is not where you want to be , they are probably wishing to be traded because the grass is greener on the other side of the rink most nights . Dallas Eakins as a person and coach is a leader and wont quit on the players even if some nights they quit on him , the ones who work will stay and the rest may get their wish to play in the AHL or retirement league. Fresh management of non oiler history is needed to give the team a chance , quality players are available that could help this team within your own organization but you have to give them a chance . New energy , life and heart . Lots to gain little to lose .

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#111 pelhem grenville
December 23 2013, 02:49PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

He does, doesn't he?

There's probably a whole generation of die-hard hockey fans that will die from premature aging experienced during the rebuild.

...ya and here I thought I'd see this squad win another Stanley Cup prior to my passing...didya know I wrote the forward to the book "Fat Chance"?~

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#112 Chris.
December 23 2013, 02:51PM
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Remember when Tambellini hired a new coach and crashed a team expected to compete for a playoff spot into last place?

Remember when the pundits said he deserved more time because he hadn't really been GM for very long?

How did that work out?

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#113 Chris.
December 23 2013, 03:11PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Let me put it this way:

Kevin Lowe made plenty of mistakes before turning the wheel over to Steve Tambellini. I'm inclined to think that's part of the reason he stepped back, honestly. But I don't think retroactively firing him for stuff he did in 2008 or earlier moves the team forward one iota right now.

Further, I'm still in the cautiously optimistic phase with MacTavish. You disagree, and there's room for that disagreement, but I'm just not in the 'fire Lowe because he hired MacT' camp.

Take those out and your argument basically comes down to 'he said stupid things about fans in the heat of the moment.'

I won't shed a single tear if the Oilers fire Lowe tomorrow, and I'm not going to campaign for him to stay on with the team. I just think we're past the point where firing him makes the Oilers better.

Hi Willis.

It's been a long time.

I believe Katz should look at cleaning house: Lowe, Howson, Bucky, MacT, Smith... everybody... I believe the Oilers are going in circles. I know that the rebuilt core of Hall, Eberle, RNH and Schultz are better than the core of Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson and Gilbert that was assembled by essntially the same braintrust years ago... However, both groups are similar in that they are comprised of smaller, skilled, mostly perimeter type players who seem to underachieve the lofty expectations of those who assembled them.

As a coach, MacTavish predicted the first group would challenge for the division... Forgive my pessimism years later when the same crew at Kingsway predict a team with similar deficiencies, and lack of balance will one day soon challenge for the cup. We are just wasting time. This organization is in desperate need of a core philosophical shift... Organizationally from the draft on out, too much faith has been placed on the idea of the NEW NHL (rebranded post 2004 lockout) where speed and puck handling skills would trump size and tenacity...

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#114 Johnnydapunk
December 23 2013, 03:26PM
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I'm still on the fence about MacT, I will always be impressed with the fact he was the one who decided that the "responsible forechecking system" (the trap) was the way forward for the Oil in the 2005-06 playoffs which was in my view one of the keys in the Oil getting as far as they did. That was coaching to me.

So far he tried to address goaltending, trying to trade for Schneider, making it clear that Dubnyk was walking a fine line, and signing LaBarbera, who shouldn't have been as rubbish as he was based on his past history, and when that didn't work, trading him off and signing The Bryz on a fairly friendly trial deal for the season. I also give him credit for signing Bachman who I think could be resigned and be a good number 2 next season as I think he has been alright and putting up good numbers in the AHL.

His trade for Perron was also very good, Boyd Gordon has been decent, Belov needs time, but is gonna be a good solid 3-4 defenceman, maybe a number 2, early to say. Grebs wasn't that bad of a signing, he was an experiment that didn't work, it may have also helped get Belov here and settled a bit so there was some value in signing him. MacIntyre was signed as a reaction to the fact the Oil didn't have enough toughness and was an "impulse" signing. And when he was injured, Gazdic was a great find on waivers and he has done what has seemingly asked.

I think the problem Eakins has and will have now is that he got everyone's hopes all up and someone "pumped his tyres" a bit much and now he is looking like a right muppet. I agree with what he is trying to do, though I don't know if it will work tonight and I wouldn't be overtly shocked if he got the sack or he walks out on the job. Having a pop at the fan who threw the jersey is not the thing to do though, the dude did it because he was frustrated and rightfully so after the horror show of that game. Think it would be wise to keep the fans not necessarily on his side, but cool enough that they aren't screaming for his head every home game. If the team loses like that again, it will be like the teddy bear toss of jerseys.

I am surprised saying this, but a player like Ryan Smyth is incredibly valuable to the Oil right now as he is one of the few, few players who bleeds for the Oil, I mean have you ever heard of a player requesting a trade to Edmonton in the last 15 years? Sure players come here, but that is sadly rare, and the Oil don't have enough players like that. Gags could be one of those, I really hope he improves his game to get the donkey off his back.

The season is a write off, and I've accepted that. This summer is gonna be big for MacT as a lot of contracts are up and some decisions are gonna be made. I would like to see 6Rings out of that process and someone from the outside with no loyalties to come in and see what the mess is really all about as someone neutral would be able to make some more objective decisions. I doubt it though, but one can only hope.

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#115 pelhem grenville
December 23 2013, 03:27PM
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...katz can't clean house chris...put your self in katz place right now...take each of those names you have mentioned and replace each name with a new one ...

we're hooped bud ...

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#116 Spydyr
December 23 2013, 03:30PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

So you believe he is a failure as GM because he was unable to acquire 4 top 4 defensemen in a single off season? I've now asked repeatedly what a good GM would have done differently. You refuse to answer.

I'm not putting words in your mouth, I'm spelling out the implications of your own words.

Again at no time did I mention four top four defencemen.One would of been nice though.

A good GM would of addressed starting goalie not just try too.It is too important a position.

A good Gm would not have spouted off about "bold moves".

A good GM would of seen that he has too many small skilled forwards and made a deal for that top four defencemen.

A good GM would of realized the team was soft as butter and signed someone harder to play against then Jones.

A good GM would have addressed 2C as Gagner obviously is not the answer.

I could keep going on but this is getting old.

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#117 Cold Hard Truth
December 23 2013, 03:37PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

It's funny.

I've spent the last five years saying that Edmonton's management was screwing things up one way or the other. I've consistently pointed to teams like Atlanta as an example of failure, and consistently suggested management needed to be changed from the moment Steve Tambellini inked Nikolai Khabibulin on.

These weren't popular takes, particularly in the early years. But that's what I thought, so that's what I wrote.

Now, when everybody and his dog is livid at Oilers management, I see a new group that while far from perfect (oh, hey, David Clarson) is largely taking reasonable steps.

MacTavish didn't get the bottom six fixed, but he turned the keys over to new people. Doubtless he'll do so again. He wasn't able to completely overhaul the forwards but he did his best to bolster them, bringing in Perron. He couldn't fix the defence so he went with a by-committee approach (one that hasn't worked out, admittedly). The goaltending collapsed early on and so he went out and found a solution, getting called desperate and crazy for bringing in a guy with Bryzgalov's past but doing it anyway.

I get the frustration and I get the anger and I get that any recognition of the good moves is seen as being an apologist for the team. But rightly or wrongly I have to write what I think, and while my track record is also some distance from perfect I think it stands up pretty well.

I also think, after years of largely unpopular criticism, that I should have the credibility to say 'I see signs of life' without instantly being branded as putting lipstick on a pig. You don't see it that way, and that's fine - opinions will differ, they always have and that's healthy - but I'm basically going to ignore your view because I'm confident you're wrong.

Congratulating MacTavish is more an indication of how low standards have sunk, if anything.

Aside from the Perron trade, which I will give him credit for, MacTavish's off-season and season moves look indistinguishable from the Tambellini tenure. Remember how ecstatic everyone was when Tambellini signed Eager, Belanger and Hordichuck over the off-season?

Tambellini is just a convenient scape goat. Both Katz and Lowe pushed the idea of the rebuild and no doubt, had say in the direction of the team.

Besides, you are missing the point Jonathan:

MacTavish should not have been hired in the first place. He failed as a coach, nobody else wanted him in the NHL, and low and behold, he is now our GM. Everyone and his dog knows that MacTavish was only hired because he is friends with Lowe and Katz. I would love to hear you argue otherwise. and THAT, is what is fundamentally wrong with the Oilers. Instead of filling positions out of merit, the Oilers organization has just been a body of patronage. The disgraceful play on the ice is the sum result of this.

Everyone and his dog can see that Jonathan. Why can`t you?

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#118 Cold Hard Truth
December 23 2013, 03:47PM
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Jonathan,

Answer me two questions:

1. Why was MacTavish hired in Edmonton? Was it for his burnished CV? His rugged good-looks? Why was he hired?

2. The Oilers have regressed, in nearly every way, under Eakins in spite of the 'core' getting older and more experienced. Is that not Eakin's fault? If it is, is that not MacTavish's fault for hiring a inadequate coach?

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#119 gcw_rocks
December 23 2013, 04:12PM
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Giving Lowe as pass on the decisions of his general managers is naive. As a consultant I have worked with senior executives across almost every industry and you know what they all have in common? Formally or informally they get approval from their bosses before making critical decisions and they all have their strategies and priorities confirmed as well.

And in every other industry, when the president doesn't like what he hears he provides clear direction on what he or she wants.

There is no way, none, that Lowe is president in name only. Everything material that Tambo did or didn't do came with Lowe's approval. Ditto for MacT.

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#120 Spydyr
December 23 2013, 04:15PM
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gcw_rocks wrote:

Giving Lowe as pass on the decisions of his general managers is naive. As a consultant I have worked with senior executives across almost every industry and you know what they all have in common? Formally or informally they get approval from their bosses before making critical decisions and they all have their strategies and priorities confirmed as well.

And in every other industry, when the president doesn't like what he hears he provides clear direction on what he or she wants.

There is no way, none, that Lowe is president in name only. Everything material that Tambo did or didn't do came with Lowe's approval. Ditto for MacT.

No $hit.Props

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#121 FireKLowe
December 23 2013, 06:17PM
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Cold Hard Truth wrote:

Congratulating MacTavish is more an indication of how low standards have sunk, if anything.

Aside from the Perron trade, which I will give him credit for, MacTavish's off-season and season moves look indistinguishable from the Tambellini tenure. Remember how ecstatic everyone was when Tambellini signed Eager, Belanger and Hordichuck over the off-season?

Tambellini is just a convenient scape goat. Both Katz and Lowe pushed the idea of the rebuild and no doubt, had say in the direction of the team.

Besides, you are missing the point Jonathan:

MacTavish should not have been hired in the first place. He failed as a coach, nobody else wanted him in the NHL, and low and behold, he is now our GM. Everyone and his dog knows that MacTavish was only hired because he is friends with Lowe and Katz. I would love to hear you argue otherwise. and THAT, is what is fundamentally wrong with the Oilers. Instead of filling positions out of merit, the Oilers organization has just been a body of patronage. The disgraceful play on the ice is the sum result of this.

Everyone and his dog can see that Jonathan. Why can`t you?

You nailed it! Cronyism has killed the organization.

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#122 KEVIN
December 23 2013, 06:26PM
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Nice way to paint lip stick on a pig. For too long we the fan have shelled out huge amounts of after tax dollars to support this team- our beloved oilers and far too often there have countless promises for hope. More false hope. Coaches and GMs have come and gone, certain other coaches and scouting staff have survived when the axe has fallen. Yet we the paying fans are played for idiots by this group of millionaires professing to be builders of NHL calibre teams. As players we can not take aways their winning and cup victories. Our Patience has allowed former players to try their hats as coaches, General managers and Team Presidents. Time and proven that the current formula is not working and has not worked and there is no sign that this ship will ever sail in the right direction again. In fact the team has digressed and is on pace to champion the worst record. It is time for change. May the new year bring about change from the top and right the way through to scouting and development on all levels. Let's not continue to say- ya but in 2006 we were one game from the cup. Real, knowledgeable hockey watchers know that during that year they were badly out played and outshoot in all series leading up to the final and should have never made it past the third round. Let's call a spade a spade. Lets not find and create excuses. Let's not put lip stick on a pig- in this case ugly is ugly. This is down right ugliness, no question about it.

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#123 nick
December 23 2013, 06:34PM
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Racki wrote:

Big fan of MacTavish. Was one of the ones running him out of town as coach in his last year, due to him being stale. However I always recognized the very smart man he is. I do think he's superior to Tambellini by a mile even though results haven't showed this. He has a big mess to undo, whereas Tambellini created it (although I do like the decision to blow it all up).

MacT is impatient, as he says, and it shows. Tambo seemed to be too unsure to take a risk. I think the team is in good hands but we have to remember that Tambellini burned Rome to the ground before MacT took over. So sadly, there is much work to do. Tambo left MacT with good building piece (due to ineptness that let him draft high), but Tambo was incompetent at filling the rest of the roster out.

I think MacT has made some good changes, the best of which are Gordon and Perron. Another year in the free agent market, since trades are dead, will give MacT more chance to shine. This July's goals... New starter.. Top end D... Bottom six dudes. He will make it happen. He also should shore up the top six and move one of these guys for some size.

Not fair that MacTavish's wife is sending in posts. Way to protect your hubby

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#124 Tuningout
December 23 2013, 07:02PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

So you believe he is a failure as GM because he was unable to acquire 4 top 4 defensemen in a single off season? I've now asked repeatedly what a good GM would have done differently. You refuse to answer.

I'm not putting words in your mouth, I'm spelling out the implications of your own words.

No. I've read everything that was written here and you are 100% putting words in his mouth. You can argue his other points. But of this one there is no doubt.

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#125 Joel
December 23 2013, 09:40PM
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Rocknrolla wrote:

messier was hired as a consultant this year. While he finishes his multi arena project in New York. Scouting and such is the details. Google Elliot Friedman for the article.

Rumor has it he was offered the HC job before it was given to Krueger....

At least Messier I think could motivate this team, he is a true leader.

Um, in regards to Messier. I know he won 5 cups in Edmonton... but please refer to his last decade in the NHL (essentially the post 94 portion of his career), where he managed to captain high spending teams in NY and Van to lottery picks and years of playoff droughts.

So I don't know if I'd count him as a "true" leader when taking his career as a whole

*Maybe I'm biased from being an Oilers fan as a kid in the 80's, and then moving to Vancouver just in time to see him drive a team with Mogilny, Bure, etc into the ground. Talk about seeing your boyhood hero have feet of clay

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#126 Joel
December 23 2013, 09:43PM
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Cold Hard Truth wrote:

Jonathan,

Answer me two questions:

1. Why was MacTavish hired in Edmonton? Was it for his burnished CV? His rugged good-looks? Why was he hired?

2. The Oilers have regressed, in nearly every way, under Eakins in spite of the 'core' getting older and more experienced. Is that not Eakin's fault? If it is, is that not MacTavish's fault for hiring a inadequate coach?

In regards to #2, it isn't the coaches fault that he doesn't have enough NHL caliber defencemen or goalies to fill out the starting lineup, let alone the game day roster.

I think Eakins is over his head as well, but it isn't fair to blame him for problems that originate over his head and that he can't correct as a head coach.

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#127 oprah sucks
December 24 2013, 04:23PM
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the only thing i have to say is this; it is no doubt that every oiler fan is goin through hard times with no end in sight. the past 7 to 8 yrs have been brutal. numerous changes, coaching (assistants & head coach),gms,scouts( top to bottom)different farm teams, new positions created or added and one new owner not to mention the countless number of players over the years. All of these changes and still the same results. there is only two factors that still remain, 1) loses and 2)kevin lowe. There has been plenty of puppets infront of him to take the fall as he treads above water. i'm not putting the blame all on him but the evidence speaks for itself. on more than one occassion players have left edmonton on bad terms. there is also players that have come out and said that they would not play for kevin lowe. i read comments above rookie gms on teams having success and rookie coaches on other teams having it too. what team has success with a rookie team,coach, gm, and owner. not one team ever in the history of the nhl has had a rookie in all positions at the same time. and thats the puppets im referring to. i dont care how many cups lowe has won we have to ask our selves how is he still employed with the oilers. countless fall guys have come and gone. the evidence speaks for itself. i also want to comment on articles relating to edmonton rebuilding there team like pittsburg and chicago. we are quite different from those clubs. first order of business for those teams was cleaning house, the vetern players and management. we have yet to do this, infact we are opposite from that by bringing guys back like mac t and ryan smyth(luv the guy but come on). again not pointing fingers at mac because so far seems to be ok in a bad situation and cap frozen season but why is he there? kevin lowe! it was planned from the time mac left his coaching position. some might disagree with all i have said but one burning question remains which in my mind sums up everything. WHAT GM/PREZ OF HOCKEY OPPS/GOD, HAS HAD A JOB WITH ONE FRANCHISE WITH A RECORD LIKE KEVIN LOWES??? the answer is no one.

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