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 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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#1 Oil Is My Blood
December 23 2013, 10:14AM
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JW, your whole article is based on the premise that MacT and Tambo call the shots. I don't believe that for a second, do you KLowe?

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#2 Loweblows
December 23 2013, 10:19AM
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Blah blah blah blah blah- rinse and repeat!

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#4 tileguy
December 23 2013, 10:20AM
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sorry to be off topic but this is important as well.

NsxZero wrote:

Wow Jones actually found the guy that threw his jersey on the ice. Ladies and Gentleman our hero, Curtis Goyetche.

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/12/22/jones-oilers-fan-shows-frustration-by-throwing-jersey-on-the-ice

BEAUTIFUL! How symbolic can it get, hard working blue color guy working in the north, die hard fan did it out of frustration, not as a joke. Goes to the game as a regulat attendee (tier 1.5) and loves his team. This guy should be cannonized. (ooops truly politically incorrect during the xm..... er holiday season)

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#5 RexHolez
December 23 2013, 10:21AM
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So now were blaming tambi for collecting first overall picks and trying to stock up assets like Lowe asked?

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#6 Spydyr
December 23 2013, 10:26AM
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Lipstick on a pig.

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#8 Lochenzo
December 23 2013, 10:30AM
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RexHolez wrote:

So now were blaming tambi for collecting first overall picks and trying to stock up assets like Lowe asked?

Tambi's opportunity to grab the bull by the horns was last season. I didn't understand why he was unwilling to acquire an extra centre early on to help out the club when both Horcoff and Belanger were hurt and RNH struggling with a bad wing.

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#9 DonDon
December 23 2013, 10:30AM
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Today's Bleacher Report places the Oilers in 30th place, DFL.

I believe MacT has made improvements in the lineup (Perron, Gordon, Belov, Arcobello), but actual performances are below last year due to the rookie NHL head coach's inexperience, some misguided approaches in applying systems and poor player interaction, and dropoff in play of the 'skilled' players (not just Dubnyk). The addition of Ference and subtraction of Smed nullifies any gain on D.

The team is still lacking a qualified 2C and 1D and it is questionable if Gazdic, Joensuu, Larsen, Potter are real NHLers that can match up with the big boys.

Merry Christmas to all.

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#10 Loweblows
December 23 2013, 10:36AM
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Our rookie GM MacT fired Kreuger and replaced him with a rookie coach who is learning to teach a new system to rookie players. That does not sound like something that any wise and experienced GM would do. For that reason MacT gets a big fat F in my books. He signed Gags long term-fail. He gave away our most physical D man- fail. Allowed Hall to take the heat on HNIC- fail. Signed washed up D men-fail. Was Oilernation recently bought by the Katz group?

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#11 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
December 23 2013, 10:36AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Great article as always. I'm getting frustrated to the point of apathy (as many fans are), but still find time to procrastinate at work reading Oilers articles...

Quick question: how do you see Dubnyk/Bryz situation rolling into next year? Do you think MacT will try to move one of them at the deadline for assets? Or would he be more inclined to let one of them walk as a free agent and offer a contract to the guy who plays best between now and the end of year?

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#12 The Real Scuba Steve
December 23 2013, 10:37AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I absolutely do.

Pat Quinn isn't a Kevin Lowe hire. Tom Renney isn't a Kevin Lowe hire. Canning the trainers isn't a Kevin Lowe move.

That's before we get into the obvious differences in player personnel acquisition back in the Lowe days and during the Tambellini era.

As for MacTavish, I don't know the man but he really doesn't come across to me like a guy who would be willing to take a 'GM in name only' job.

I suspect, but don't know, that Lowe acts as an advisor and sounding board and extra hand. I don't think he's secretly pulling the strings, despite his title.

If Klown oh sorry KLowe is working for the Oilers under a lesser role then why keep him? If Klowe stepped down that would cause a lot breathing room for a while for Kayz, The OIlers, and for the fan base. This team is still KLowe vision.

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#13 outdoorzguy
December 23 2013, 10:37AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Lipstick on a pig.

This pretty much sums up my thoughts. Doing something just for the sake of doing something is far different from doing something for the improvement of the team and organization. This twelve year spiral we're in, although certainly not all McTavish's doing, will continue until there is a total sweep of the management/ coaching offices.

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#15 EHH Team
December 23 2013, 10:38AM
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In general, I like what MacT has tried to do, and agree he has done better so far than Tambo did. Although trading Smid has backfired big time.

I don't know how much the trade/signing failures under Tambo are his fault and how much can be attributed to poor professional scouting. Has this improved?

I'm keeping my mind open for awhile to give MacT time to make some more significant moves (my only untouchables are the three number ones plus Klefbom and Nurse). I will also be very disappointed if we begin another season with the same assistant coaches.

Here's hoping for some positives in 2014.

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#16 Zamboni Driver
December 23 2013, 10:38AM
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The same guy that gets kudos for Gordon (I guess) and Perron also is the mastermind behind Garbage-kev (another example of a team with no new ideas), that backup goalie, wasting a roster spot on the Goon....

Saying MacTavish is better than Tambellini may be marginally true...but it's really not much of a compliment.

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#17 tileguy
December 23 2013, 10:43AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Now if only the oilers could stand up for themselves. Props to you JW.

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#19 outdoorzguy
December 23 2013, 10:50AM
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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.

"I see signs of life"? Really? Where? There hasn't been life in this organization for a dozen years. 6Rings sucked it all out a long time ago!! The owner is lifeless, except when it comes to depositing his souvenir sales cheques.

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#20 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
December 23 2013, 10:51AM
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@Jonathan Willis

That's fair enough. I imagine they're both trying to play their way into a job for next year (be it with this organization or another). Too bad they'll probably flush Dubnyk, a shame to spend so long on a guy and probably let him walk for nothing, but a lot remains to be seen in how both goalies play.

Anyhow, thanks for the response and Happy Festivus. I'm sure there'll be plenty of Oiler-related grievances aired today.

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#22 Smokey
December 23 2013, 10:53AM
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Oil Is My Blood wrote:

JW, your whole article is based on the premise that MacT and Tambo call the shots. I don't believe that for a second, do you KLowe?

If you think Craig Mactavish took a job to be someones lacky, then you dense. The guys a Bull. He took a job and sure their are times he has to confer with above, but the guys not Lowe's mouthpiece.

I don't think this Lowe's some sorta egomaniac micromanaging dictator makes sense Some people have suggested this because they saw a few episodes of Change Change and inferred meaning from a few statements.

The truth is he's the last decent GM we had, he actually had some track record.

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#24 Zamboni Driver
December 23 2013, 10:57AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Actually I meant MacIntyre, not Gazdic. Don't mind Gazdic actually. Have to be smarter than to waste time, effort, money and one of 50-spots on Steve MacIntyre (another example of 'if he used to play for us, he must be good').

Though the Smid trade is still a head-scratcher. Not that he's anywhere near a great player, that trade especially the timing still makes no sense.

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#25 Racki
December 23 2013, 10:57AM
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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.

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#26 pelhem grenville
December 23 2013, 10:57AM
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...That MAN OF ACTION looks old...it's a good thing he'll have a chance at a 'top pick' in June to regain his youthful look...

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#27 Tikkanese
December 23 2013, 10:58AM
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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.

A terrible old goalie huh? Hindsight is 20/20.

Khabby was the consensus best UFA goalie available on pretty much every list out there that summer. He had similar offers but chose the Oilers because we were the only team to add the 4th year to the contract.

Not to mention, the Stanley Cup Champs didn't think he was "terrible" when they signed him this summer, did they?

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#28 Consultant
December 23 2013, 10:59AM
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Good level headed article. I'm getting tired of the blame game where everything is just Lowe's fault, the juvenile assumption that he controls all aspects of the team behind the scenes. All of the management team have made mistakes. Sure Lowe made a mistake with Comrie, but that was years ago, he also defined bold and hastily pulled a team together that made it to game 7 of the finals. His passion, history and 6 rings actually do mean something to me. And MacT made a mistake hiring a rookie coach, but he has also made some good moves (Perron, Belov). I think these guys can and have learned from their mistakes, they can work well together and we will see some tweaks after the holidays that will help this team. We were never going to win the cup this year, now we just have to stay focused on being a playoff contender next year, sadely that is all we have now, a big shake up trade just to wake the team up is not going to help long term and neither is a huge mangement reshuffle. This management team we have now (in its current config. with Mact as GM)is new.

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#29 tileguy
December 23 2013, 11:01AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I'm honestly not sure; both could be replaced this summer via trade or free agency.

My guess is that Edmonton's done with Dubnyk. MacTavish tried to upgrade at the position last year and couldn't; if there's interest I'd guess he moves him at the deadline.

As for Bryzgalov, I see this season as a trial run. If both sides are happy with each other, a longer-term commitment can be made; if not, he's deadline bait too.

But that's just me guessing.

I don't bryz is going to hang around this gong show at all! Nobody on the farm ready to move up so I would actually like to see Dubbie signed as the back up for 2 - 2.5 mil if he can be had for that amount. He is certainly capable to push whoever the new #1 is and could always bounce back and be a #1 if the true #1 goes down. Let's just not put all our eggs in his basket.

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#30 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 23 2013, 11:02AM
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Mo Playoffs Mo Problems wrote:

That's fair enough. I imagine they're both trying to play their way into a job for next year (be it with this organization or another). Too bad they'll probably flush Dubnyk, a shame to spend so long on a guy and probably let him walk for nothing, but a lot remains to be seen in how both goalies play.

Anyhow, thanks for the response and Happy Festivus. I'm sure there'll be plenty of Oiler-related grievances aired today.

Put another way, I think it's a shame to spend so long on a guy to see him turn out way worse than you ever could have expected.

I tried to give Dubnyk the benefit of the doubt this season. I even picked him up in my fantasy pool when the Oilers were playing the soft parade in November. I'm now leaning towards his league-average seasons being the aberrations and his current performance been the accurate depiction, though.

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#31 Ducey
December 23 2013, 11:02AM
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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.

Don't worry about it JW.

For the most part, people are not interested in any kind of rational analysis.

The team is not going to make the playoffs? They have not forever? They may not next year?

Well, then we need a hanging! If KLowe gets fired that will immediately result in the Oilers reeling off 20 wins in a row!

Maybe Uncle Daryl should get more involved! He knows so much about hockey!

The real danger that this team has that it will start listening to the emotional shirt throwing mob and do something stupid like trade a young future star for a bunch of plumbers or dumping the team President, just cause.

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#32 Danger Pay
December 23 2013, 11:04AM
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The worst part for Oilers fans is the realization that this mess will still take years to fix. Mac T was just handed the reins and this is his first full year as GM. So that means Lowe, Mac T and Eakins are going no where Because if Katz did replace Lowe then the new President would for sure hire a new GM and the new GM would for sure hire a new Coach and we have done that song and dance for the last 4 years.

With hindsight being 20/20, I wish the Oilers had

A: Iced a Pure Goon Squad, while drafting the three. #1 picks. The reason being the Oilers would have more than likely still finished last but teams would have hated playing against a tough, hard hitting , rugged Oilers team.

B: Sent everyone of the #1 picks back to junior or the farm to develop for at least 1 maybe even 2 seasons each, before even touching NHL ice. My reason (again with 20/20 hindsight) so when Hall and Ebs finally joined the team they would have been able to make an offensive impact right away on a team that needed it, then Nuge and Yak.

The other reason is B/C if the Oilers had done this they would have had a tough hardworking team with offensive skilled players coming up through the farm instead of this unbalanced all offense team that is heading straight to the podium, again.

Just imagine, Hall and Ebs would be in the second year of their entry level contract(!!!!) and Nuge would be poised to join the Club this season or next, with Yak in his first full year of development on the farm and the Oilers would have a tough goon team to protect them all once they made it!

I may be wrong on how entry level contracts work when playing on the farm or junior but I hope the Nation gets the idea.

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#33 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 23 2013, 11:05AM
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Tikkanese wrote:

A terrible old goalie huh? Hindsight is 20/20.

Khabby was the consensus best UFA goalie available on pretty much every list out there that summer. He had similar offers but chose the Oilers because we were the only team to add the 4th year to the contract.

Not to mention, the Stanley Cup Champs didn't think he was "terrible" when they signed him this summer, did they?

The Stanley Cup champs still have their Stanley Cup-winning goalie between the pipes.

The Oilers were pinning their hopes and dreams to ol' re-khab and it bit them in the ass. I highly doubt many other teams were knocking down his door with both dollars and term that summer.

And for the record, JW has been very critical of the Khabby deal since it happened. I can verify.

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#34 Burnward
December 23 2013, 11:07AM
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While your .920 stat may be true...how many tenders would manage that with this team in front of them?

You ask people to stop blaming Lowe, which is fair, but put the blame on the goalies?

Is that fair?

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#35 tileguy
December 23 2013, 11:08AM
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@Racki

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.

^^ This in spades ^^

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#37 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
December 23 2013, 11:10AM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

Agreed.

I'm no Dubnyk apologist, but it's rare(i.e. Sean Avery) for me to enjoy watching someone's level of play go off a cliff.

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#38 ColourMeImpressed
December 23 2013, 11:11AM
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Burnward wrote:

While your .920 stat may be true...how many tenders would manage that with this team in front of them?

You ask people to stop blaming Lowe, which is fair, but put the blame on the goalies?

Is that fair?

Yeah... it's kind of a flaw in the stathead's view of the game, that things will "always average out". Stats guys love the idea that a shot is a shot and a shot attempt is a shot attempt.

But the Oilers give up some really, REALLY good shots. Multiple breakaways (on the power play, at that!), turnovers at the blue lines, coughing it up in our own zone (remember Ryan Jones' tape-to-tape pass to Brendan Gallagher in that first Montreal game?), etc.

I'm not absolving Dubnyk of responsibility, but I think .920 is asking a lot with this kind of play in front of him.

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#40 Harry
December 23 2013, 11:11AM
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If MacT is so proactive why has he made no moves to bokster our biggest weekness, defence. A He actually made it worse by trading Smid. Im a firm believer that he needs more time to make his mark on the team but other than the Perron trade nothing is making much sence so far.

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#41 Ed in PV
December 23 2013, 11:11AM
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"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."

By the above statement you seem to be suggesting the status quo from last year would have been an acceptable result. I think most Oil fans would consider that to be a failure as well.

I would suggest that after the first 10 games DD has been at his normal level. Oil might be 6 or 8 point ahead of where they are now if he had been on his game from the start.

MacT performance to date has been mixed. But he made big promises when he was hired and will be judged accordingly.

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#43 Rama Lama
December 23 2013, 11:13AM
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JW, be honest but when you heard that we signed Ference, what was the first thing that went through your mind?

What went through your mind when you heard Gordon's name? How about Jessie Jonnesau? Perron? LaBarbra?

Not one of those names ( except Perron) excited me........mainly because they did not address our needs based on supporting cast for the core? I believe that is where our problems start. Management does not know what type of players to surround the core with, including Mac T.

They all must have missed what the pundits, hockey people, fans and media have been saying for the pst three years. We have too many of the same type of players and keep adding more.

Most frustrating.

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#44 Burnward
December 23 2013, 11:14AM
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@ColourMeImpressed

That's how I see it as well.

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#45 Burnward
December 23 2013, 11:15AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Fair enough. I think the quality of chances given up by the Oil this year probably has a lot to do with it though.

There is no way they were this bad defensively last season.

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#46 ColourMeImpressed
December 23 2013, 11:16AM
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@Ed in PV

"MacT performance to date has been mixed. But he made big promises when he was hired and will be judged accordingly."

MacT's third-best move this year (after Perron and Gordon) was Clarkson rejecting MacT's colossal overpay in favor of Toronto's merely huge overpay.

I think we really don't put enough emphasis on how bad a deal Toronto's seemed like *at the time the deal was signed*, how much worse Edmonton's was, and now that Clarkson is back to Earth, how much worse it all looks.

We didn't dodge a bullet, MacT tried to shoot himself in the foot but Clarkson swerved mid-air and hit Nonis. The Clarkson deal would have been worse than the Horcoff or Khabibulin overpays - and MacT was instrumental in getting Horcoff signed for that much.

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#47 Spydyr
December 23 2013, 11:18AM
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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.

Saying you are going to do something and actually doing something are two completely different things.

As Yoda says "there is no try only do."

Mac-T who spoke out early about "bold" moves looks like a fool now and Dallas is all hat no cattle.

Sure Mac-T "tried" this summer to fix the goaltending. Bringing Bryz was a move out of desperation. Still can't figure out why Smid got traded.

The rebuild has regressed this year. You don't agree?

Then we most certainly can agree to disagree.

Edit:I was right about Dubnyk and Gagner been saying they are weak for years now.

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#49 Yep
December 23 2013, 11:21AM
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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.

Tambi was a Lowe hire. And Tambi was only GM for as long as he was because Lowe kept him there. Blaming Tambi is equivalent to blaming Lowe.

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#50 Fossil
December 23 2013, 11:21AM
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The basic hockey mistakes made by this team defy logic. Lazy line change when the play is headed into your end is the worst example. Not getting the puck in deep when pressured at the blue is another. Not shooting when there are guys going to the net for a rebound, instead try to go cross ice through multiple defenders for a tap in that isn't there. Not clogging the middle of the ice when defending or creating offence by going to the middle. And lastly, button hook, drop pass.....? I question the hockey IQ of all levels in this organization.

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