OILERS: CHANGES COMING

Jason Gregor
April 30 2013 11:40AM

Before Craig MacTavish had his final press conference, it was clear to everyone that the Oilers would need to make some major changes this summer. The GM agreed, and he said that having eight new faces next year would be reasonable.

MacTavish went on to explain the weaknesses he sees with his current lineup.

"We want more toughness, more meat in our lineup and more depth. We need our core players to be better without the puck, and be better defensively. We lack the real structure in our game that you need to have success. We need to address that and get better with that group," started MacTavish.

"We have to add some specific role players. In today's NHL you have to be a threat to score at some point, even marginally. We had a lot of guys who really... the best they were going to be in any given game was a non-factor. There wasn't a lot of upside for our role players to significantly help us. But, the few times that they did, we ended up winning those games. We have to get more impact out of our bottom-six forwards, so we will try to improve that."

I like that MacTavish was blunt and to the point, and although he didn't name names it is pretty clear who he was talking about. Of course those bottom lines need to improve, but the bigger changes need to come on the blueline and with a change of attitude in the top-six.

"From our defensive perspective we need more footspeed. To play a style that best suits the skill-set that we have, we need to be able to move the puck quicker. We got to have defencemen that skate up into open ice and try to open the ice up for our forwards.

"We need depth. The good thing is we don't need to add the high-end skill. We need the complimentary pieces. I know those are easier to come by, I know they are still difficult, but they are easier to acquire than high-end skill. Our elite skilled players have to play a better game away from the puck. If we can get those two things; the lineup complimented by some acquisitions and the guys that we have improve from their experience we'll be better," continued MacTavish.

COACHING

Many have questioned Ralph Krueger, and the main criticism seems to be that he isn't enough of a hard ass. That might be true, but I don't see how anyone could have expected him to get much more from this lineup. MacTavish said this about his coaches.

"Ralph and I will get together this week. We will discuss a myriad of things. There are some concerns I have and some questions for Ralph, and I'm sure he has some for me. We can't continually point the finger at the coach in this process. We've gone through four coaches in the last five years. My sense is to give the coaching staff greater tools to do their job moving forward."

There will be at least one move within the coaching staff. MacTavish will want a 3rd assistant coach, but I also believe there will be some lengthy discussions whether they bring in two new assistants and make a change to the current staff.

SAM GAGNER

Gagner had the best season of his career. MacTavish is a big supporter of Gagner's off-ice contributions as much as his on-ice play.

"Sam had an unbelievable year. We will be in discussions with Sam's agent and see where that goes. Sam has really developed into a leader here. He's a guy who has developed into the type of character that we want. That is going to be important when I'm making decisions (on personnel) is that we have the type of culture in that room.

"I would way rather take a marginal step backwards and have the culture that we want, because I know it will be more impactful going forward. We've had a few years of...It's just been too much of a circus in there (dressing room)."

You will never be able to track/calculate how important team chemistry is. If you don't believe it is part of a winning team, then you likely have never played on one. Of course you need good players to win, but it is easy to see the negative attitudes of players emerge when a team is losing. Based on what I've seen and after listening to MacTavish, it is clear they need a few more positive role models and more guys who are mentally tough.

ONUS ON THE BEST PLAYERS

In a perfect scenario MacTavish will acquire some veteran players who are not only good on the ice, but also can be strong leaders in the room. Guys who will challenge the young kids to reach their potential.

No one doubts that the Oilers' young players have loads of talent, however, it was refreshing to hear the GM admit that this team simply doesn't work hard enough. We can breakdown the game with our eyes and the stats, but many times the game is decided strictly by those who are willing to outwork the opposition.

"I do think as a group we are a bit naive to how hard you have to work to have successs," said MacTavish. "

"I've said this many times to the group since I took over; all the productivity is in that last five percent of effort, that's where all the productivity is. Ninety percent of your goals are in that last five percent of effort.

"I know that from playing the game myself. Amazingly when you got more reckless, worked harder, went to the tougher areas and were more committed how much more lucky you got. We need more from our group in there and they need to recognize that it is tough to have success at this level. I little more effort, responsibility and maturity along with some more beef in the lineup will go a long ways."

QUICK HITS

  • I think it is great that NBA player Jason Collins won't have to live a lie anymore. I couldn't imagine how difficult that would be. However, I'm amazed that some want to compare him to Jackie Robinson. In my opinion they aren't close. First off all, Collins isn't currently playing. His season is over, and he is a 34-year-old free agent journeyman. There is no guarantee he'll play next season. I hope he does, but when he does, I doubt he endures the same hatred that Robinson did.

    And that is a good thing, it shows that many in society don't care about the sexual orientation of a professional player. Personally, I don't have any issues if a player is heterosexual or homosexual. I just hope he plays next season, because if he doesn't, then he's essentially another former player who "came out" after retirement. I doubt he came out just to be "the first active gay player," so I'm sure he doesn't care either way, but part of me wonders if the straight community/news outlets are trying to glorify his story. He only played 38 games last year, and when you look at his age (34) and his minutes played (10/game) there is a reasonable chance he might not play.

    I'm not trying to downplay what Collins did. I applaud him, because it a lot of guts to come out publicly. I have friends who struggled to even come out to their family,  so I can only imagine how scary it would be to tell the world. However, I think the comparisons to Jackie Robinson are unfair to both men.
     
  • I'm a sucker for punishment so here are my first round NHL picks.
    In the west: Blackhawks, Kings, Ducks and Sharks. In the East: Penguins, Bruins, Senators and Capitals.
     
  • I'll take the Penguins and Kings in the final, and the Kings win in 6 and repeat. Feel free to pick the exact opposite. You'll likely have better luck.
     
  • Speaking of the playoffs, here is a different type of playoff pool. Usually, we go into a pool pick the players on the teams we think will win, but if the lose, we usually lose interest. This pool is about picking winners. The more correct picks you get the more you win. Awesome. Enter here. Good luck.

 RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 horndog77
April 30 2013, 08:43PM
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Doug weight would be awesome! Definitely one of my favorites. Still on the whatever it takes to get into the top three this year

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#102 DSF
April 30 2013, 08:44PM
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Slats wrote:

I disagree if you told MacT that Gagner would post these types of # and was a respectable + he would sign him up for longer term.

The fact is Hull never won a cup until he was more responsible defensively not because he had more goals in fact he wsa 4th on his team that year.

But he isn't a "respectable +".

GFON/60 - 2.71 (6th best on Oilers)

GAON/60 - 3.24 (worst among all Oiler forwards)

Corsi Rel - -4.3

Kid can't (or won't) play D at all.

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#103 DSF
April 30 2013, 08:45PM
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Oilersfan4 wrote:

The blues are a team that never plays to the cap.They are also a team that hasn't made a profit in years. And remember the cap is going down next year.

They have $25M in free cap space under the new lower cap.

They would be the last team to target.

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#104 6 ring circus
April 30 2013, 08:47PM
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The Oilers would not last 1 period playing in the first round of the playoffs .Watching the kings and blues go at just shows how small of a team we really are,Mac T has his work cut out for him.

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#105 Hisam Saleh
April 30 2013, 08:55PM
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This team should be built around YAK CITY AND TAYLOR HALL period... Screw RNH and Ebz.... They could be expendable.

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#106 Hisam Saleh
April 30 2013, 08:55PM
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This team should be built around YAK CITY AND TAYLOR HALL period... Screw RNH and Ebz.... They could be expendable.

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#107 George
April 30 2013, 09:00PM
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Yeah YAK CITY is the next Ovechkin / Pavel Bure.

Bob MacKenzie said the Oilers were going to pick Murray #1 and last minute a higher authority (Darryl Katz) overturned that decision. Those 17 loser scouts need to be replaced!

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#108 dougtheslug
April 30 2013, 09:00PM
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DSF wrote:

I can see Columbus being very active in trying to move up in the draft.

With 3 first round picks and a surplus of young defensemen, they might want to move picks and prospects to try and get a player like Barkov.

Columbus has 3 first round picks that will be at best, 14,16 and 18. Most scouts are pointing to a pretty sharp drop off in this draft after about 10. The Blue Jackets prospects, other than Murray ( who won't be moved) are pretty middling, and all the top five drafting teams have comparables. Barkov is touted as genuine top line center, a beast, who has been putting up numbers against men, exactly what the teams that have a shot at him need. To quote a frequent poster, "Why do you think other teams want to give away their "beasts" for magic beans?"

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#109 Hisam Saleh
April 30 2013, 09:02PM
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Bob MacKenzie is the smartest hockey mind/insider on the planet.

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#110 Craig1981
April 30 2013, 09:08PM
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DSF wrote:

Yeah, I remember.

That was a watershed draft for the Oilers and they blew it.

Could have drafted Voracek, Pacioretty and Perron and ended up with a player who 6 years later is still not established as a two way player in the NHL.

They blew it? What are you talking about. Voracek was taken before the oilers 2nd 2 picks and 2007 even at the time was known as one of the worst draft classes ever. Look at most teams picks. Hardly any of them got much of a player past the top 10. The oil got Gagner and Mararcin (who we traded Nash for). I don't think you can say they blew it by looking at someone they passed on, years after. You could say every team blew every draft by your logic

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#111 dougtheslug
April 30 2013, 09:12PM
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George wrote:

Yeah YAK CITY is the next Ovechkin / Pavel Bure.

Bob MacKenzie said the Oilers were going to pick Murray #1 and last minute a higher authority (Darryl Katz) overturned that decision. Those 17 loser scouts need to be replaced!

Unless Oil Change is staged after the fact for effect, (which it isn't), it clearly documented that the scouts were nearly unanimous in favour of Yakupov. If memory serves me, there was only one scout who favoured Murray. And DK was not involved.

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#112 DSF
April 30 2013, 09:12PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

They blew it? What are you talking about. Voracek was taken before the oilers 2nd 2 picks and 2007 even at the time was known as one of the worst draft classes ever. Look at most teams picks. Hardly any of them got much of a player past the top 10. The oil got Gagner and Mararcin (who we traded Nash for). I don't think you can say they blew it by looking at someone they passed on, years after. You could say every team blew every draft by your logic

They blew it.

They got a marginal 2nd line centre, a maybe on D and SFA.

With THREE first round picks.

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#113 dougtheslug
April 30 2013, 09:14PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

They blew it? What are you talking about. Voracek was taken before the oilers 2nd 2 picks and 2007 even at the time was known as one of the worst draft classes ever. Look at most teams picks. Hardly any of them got much of a player past the top 10. The oil got Gagner and Mararcin (who we traded Nash for). I don't think you can say they blew it by looking at someone they passed on, years after. You could say every team blew every draft by your logic

It's a game he likes to play. Playing woulda shoulda coulda with the draft is the silliest,laziest game in the world.

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#114 Hisam Saleh
April 30 2013, 09:15PM
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George wrote:

Yeah YAK CITY is the next Ovechkin / Pavel Bure.

Bob MacKenzie said the Oilers were going to pick Murray #1 and last minute a higher authority (Darryl Katz) overturned that decision. Those 17 loser scouts need to be replaced!

Well there's the problem right there. They almost drafted Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan.

Maybe Darryl Katz needs to be president and General Manager and even coach... Heck maybe he could play on the 3rd line.. The geezer line.

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#115 George
April 30 2013, 09:19PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Unless Oil Change is staged after the fact for effect, (which it isn't), it clearly documented that the scouts were nearly unanimous in favour of Yakupov. If memory serves me, there was only one scout who favoured Murray. And DK was not involved.

Oil Change is the biggest crock documentary ever.. Who hasn't stopped watching that.

When Bob Mackenzie verifies something.. Then it's safe to say it has been verified. After all it is BOB MACKENZIE!!!

Look it up Dougtheslug.

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#116 DSF
April 30 2013, 09:21PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Columbus has 3 first round picks that will be at best, 14,16 and 18. Most scouts are pointing to a pretty sharp drop off in this draft after about 10. The Blue Jackets prospects, other than Murray ( who won't be moved) are pretty middling, and all the top five drafting teams have comparables. Barkov is touted as genuine top line center, a beast, who has been putting up numbers against men, exactly what the teams that have a shot at him need. To quote a frequent poster, "Why do you think other teams want to give away their "beasts" for magic beans?"

Phhhttt...

Columbus' D depth.

Fedor Tyutin

James Wiz

Jack Johnson

Nikita Nikitin

Dalton Prout

Tim Erixon

Cody Goloubef

David Savard

Ryan Murray

That's NINE NHL defensemen and, with 3 first round picks, I think they could easily engineer a deal to move up in the draft.

Watch.

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#117 Geoff
April 30 2013, 09:22PM
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I personally still can't stop laughing whenever i see that pic lol.

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#118 dougtheslug
April 30 2013, 09:22PM
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George wrote:

Oil Change is the biggest crock documentary ever.. Who hasn't stopped watching that.

When Bob Mackenzie verifies something.. Then it's safe to say it has been verified. After all it is BOB MACKENZIE!!!

Look it up Dougtheslug.

Bob has known to be wrong. And Oil Change doesn't have the budget to film alternate endings. I'll trust my eyes before rumourmongers.

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#119 Hisam Saleh
April 30 2013, 09:23PM
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It's true... Bob Mackenzie did say that. He said they had Murray jersey stage ready it Darryl Katz found out and overturned.

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#120 DSF
April 30 2013, 09:24PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

It's a game he likes to play. Playing woulda shoulda coulda with the draft is the silliest,laziest game in the world.

You know what's really stupid?

Insisting that 6 YEARS after a draft that produced ONE marginal NHL player from THREE first round picks, isn't a huge error.

But carry on fanboy.

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#121 Jeff P
April 30 2013, 09:24PM
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Bob Mackenzie is never wrong.

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#122 Craig1981
April 30 2013, 09:35PM
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Hahaha. Actually they drafted the highest scoring center in the entire draft who is NOT marginal and of the next 25 picks from their 2nd pick (15th) only TWO players have played more than 200 games.... and only 8 players in the ENTIRE draft (most of them marginal)

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#123 Jeffff
April 30 2013, 09:36PM
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DSF wrote:

Phhhttt...

Columbus' D depth.

Fedor Tyutin

James Wiz

Jack Johnson

Nikita Nikitin

Dalton Prout

Tim Erixon

Cody Goloubef

David Savard

Ryan Murray

That's NINE NHL defensemen and, with 3 first round picks, I think they could easily engineer a deal to move up in the draft.

Watch.

Looks like they had a good GM

Kevin Lowe knows how to win , he does have 6 rings, look at his track record

"The Oilers have been the worst team in the NHL since the season-long lockout of 2004-05. In the eight seasons since, they’ve only won 255 of 622 games. The organization likely doesn’t want to hear it, but the team’s on-ice performance has been worse than the New York Islanders (259 wins), Columbus Blue Jackets (262), Florida Panthers (266) and Tampa Bay Lightning (278)."

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#124 David S
April 30 2013, 09:36PM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

Definately need to get rid of Oil Change,what a waste of time and energy and great way to muddy the focus and ability to self-valuate of young learning players,a 3 part series or something but this has been far to much.This team has gone wayy overboard doing theatrical things,Darkhorse Analytics bottom feeding from cyberspace, Oil Change TV shows,whats next Remote Viewing,ha ha ha ha.

That picture is the coolest dam thing I have ever seen,ha ha ha,someone is very talented,that is an artistic masterpiece.

Mac-T doesnt need help,he needs clear concise information,and accurate feedback,he needs a general state of group clarity consistantly.

I betcha Darkhorse has a formula for that which will give mac-T some wonderfully insightfull ideas,just phone in the order as usual and they will "scrape up" whatever the Oilers need from the internet,like you said right Craig?Do you have to pinch your nostrils shut when you drink that DarkPurple Kool-Aid Craig?You old dogs were right in the first place Mac-T,stats arent as valuable as they are marketed to be,somehow you all lost your grip and lined up at the Kool-Aid stand together.

Mr.Mactavish just between you me and the fencepost, condemnant quod non intellegunt.You need a new communications platform from top to bottom and that only comes with systemic change.

You couldn't possibly be more wrong about Dark Horse. The company I work for uses those guys for market projections and I can tell you from first hand knowledge their analytic abilities are top shelf.

The stats most fans use to look at players and games are pretty basic. The real magic is in interpretation. That takes a trained hockey eye and statistician to connect performance with numerical data.

I'm not a stats fan boy but the Oilers' hockey knowledge coupled with the analytic power of a firm like Dark Horse would certainly bring a welcome dimension to their player/game analysis.

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#125 horndog77
April 30 2013, 09:40PM
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@DSF

Would you trade Edmontons first and both second rounders+for those three first rounders from Columbus? Trading down might be the best thing for Edmonton. Kinda of how New England patriots always trade down and get good value picks

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#126 Randaman
April 30 2013, 09:52PM
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Sooooooo, who do we move to move up at the draft and get Barkov? Gagner is the obvious choice + ??? & our second rounder? Thoughts...

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#127 OilersBrass
April 30 2013, 09:53PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Gagner a marginal plarier. He was 34th in league scoring. You are foolish

What 5 teams drafted right after the top 15 then?

It's pointless Craig, you won't win.

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#128 horndog77
April 30 2013, 09:58PM
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I checked the draft order for this years draft and found that Nashville does not own their second round pick because of a trade with Montreal. So here it is Edmonton trades there 37th and 7th overall to Nashville for the 4th overall, hell they could throw in a prospect in too. Oilers need to be in that top five in my opinion.

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#129 dougtheslug
April 30 2013, 09:58PM
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madjam wrote:

Cudos for Oil Kings advancing with a 2-0 victory over arch rival Calgary .

Seconded!

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#130 Craig1981
April 30 2013, 10:01PM
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@OilersBrass

I know your right. Between DSF, NEWAGESYS, and Jasmine some of the quotes here amaze me. I think we have a 14 year old flame fan, a 40 year old "know it all", and and someone new to hockey. The 2 that insult people are the only 2 that bother me. .....I do enjoy making DSF dance for me like a puppet though, lol

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#131 dougtheslug
April 30 2013, 10:02PM
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Jeffff wrote:

Looks like they had a good GM

Kevin Lowe knows how to win , he does have 6 rings, look at his track record

"The Oilers have been the worst team in the NHL since the season-long lockout of 2004-05. In the eight seasons since, they’ve only won 255 of 622 games. The organization likely doesn’t want to hear it, but the team’s on-ice performance has been worse than the New York Islanders (259 wins), Columbus Blue Jackets (262), Florida Panthers (266) and Tampa Bay Lightning (278)."

Yeah, it was Scott Howson, now with the Oilers

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#132 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 30 2013, 10:19PM
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David S wrote:

NewAgeSys wrote:

Definately need to get rid of Oil Change,what a waste of time and energy and great way to muddy the focus and ability to self-valuate of young learning players,a 3 part series or something but this has been far to much.This team has gone wayy overboard doing theatrical things,Darkhorse Analytics bottom feeding from cyberspace, Oil Change TV shows,whats next Remote Viewing,ha ha ha ha.

That picture is the coolest dam thing I have ever seen,ha ha ha,someone is very talented,that is an artistic masterpiece.

Mac-T doesnt need help,he needs clear concise information,and accurate feedback,he needs a general state of group clarity consistantly.

I betcha Darkhorse has a formula for that which will give mac-T some wonderfully insightfull ideas,just phone in the order as usual and they will "scrape up" whatever the Oilers need from the internet,like you said right Craig?Do you have to pinch your nostrils shut when you drink that DarkPurple Kool-Aid Craig?You old dogs were right in the first place Mac-T,stats arent as valuable as they are marketed to be,somehow you all lost your grip and lined up at the Kool-Aid stand together.

Mr.Mactavish just between you me and the fencepost, condemnant quod non intellegunt.You need a new communications platform from top to bottom and that only comes with systemic change.

You couldn't possibly be more wrong about Dark Horse. The company I work for uses those guys for market projections and I can tell you from first hand knowledge their analytic abilities are top shelf.

The stats most fans use to look at players and games are pretty basic. The real magic is in interpretation. That takes a trained hockey eye and statistician to connect performance with numerical data.

I'm not a stats fan boy but the Oilers' hockey knowledge coupled with the analytic power of a firm like Dark Horse would certainly bring a welcome dimension to their player/game analysis.

Dark Horse is headed by U of A staff and alumni. And some of their critics (not naming names) learned the use of paragraphs just last year, but still are not sure what a run on sentence is and how to spell "definitely".

Engineering, science, business, etc, professionals and researchers use what some of these critics call "advanced" statistics on a regular basis. To these critics it's all hocus-pocus because the only place where they're somewhat exposed to such a thing is on their hockey forum.

Regarding Oil Change.

The show sucks because the team sucks.

I'd hate to see a show like that lose its audience and funding. It's neither the producers nor the fans fault that Kevin Lowe has won multiple Stanley Cups as a player and zero as a manager.

I hope the show makes it through the tough times, because we're all going to miss it if its gone.

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#133 madjam
April 30 2013, 10:21PM
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A lot of gritty players in management and coaching but the team is soft - go figure ?

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#134 Rocket
April 30 2013, 10:23PM
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madjam wrote:

A lot of gritty players in management and coaching but the team is soft - go figure ?

Yeah no kidding, what's up with that?

I mean you'd think they could smell their own right?

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#135 Walter Sobchak
April 30 2013, 11:44PM
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Randaman wrote:

Sooooooo, who do we move to move up at the draft and get Barkov? Gagner is the obvious choice + ??? & our second rounder? Thoughts...

The best bet to move up the draft is with the Hurricanes or the Predators.

Both teams are built to win now, especially the Hurricanes who had an off year due to goaltender injuries.

The Hurricanes might accept a package that includes the flip of first's

The Predators really can't afford to rebuild, I think they move there pick for immediate help as well

Both teams have very good center depth, which means they don’t necessarily need a center, which the top five is loaded with.

One thing is for certain, the Oilers cannot go into next season with Gagner as the second line center. Something will have to happen there.

To me trading up is the only logical play.

As for what it will take, I have argued this with the boys at the fire hall, I don't think Gagner has to be involved but it might be high never the less.

Hemsky - Paajarvi - Marincin or Gernat included would be Oilers second.

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#136 David S
April 30 2013, 11:53PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

David S wrote:

NewAgeSys wrote:

Definately need to get rid of Oil Change,what a waste of time and energy and great way to muddy the focus and ability to self-valuate of young learning players,a 3 part series or something but this has been far to much.This team has gone wayy overboard doing theatrical things,Darkhorse Analytics bottom feeding from cyberspace, Oil Change TV shows,whats next Remote Viewing,ha ha ha ha.

That picture is the coolest dam thing I have ever seen,ha ha ha,someone is very talented,that is an artistic masterpiece.

Mac-T doesnt need help,he needs clear concise information,and accurate feedback,he needs a general state of group clarity consistantly.

I betcha Darkhorse has a formula for that which will give mac-T some wonderfully insightfull ideas,just phone in the order as usual and they will "scrape up" whatever the Oilers need from the internet,like you said right Craig?Do you have to pinch your nostrils shut when you drink that DarkPurple Kool-Aid Craig?You old dogs were right in the first place Mac-T,stats arent as valuable as they are marketed to be,somehow you all lost your grip and lined up at the Kool-Aid stand together.

Mr.Mactavish just between you me and the fencepost, condemnant quod non intellegunt.You need a new communications platform from top to bottom and that only comes with systemic change.

You couldn't possibly be more wrong about Dark Horse. The company I work for uses those guys for market projections and I can tell you from first hand knowledge their analytic abilities are top shelf.

The stats most fans use to look at players and games are pretty basic. The real magic is in interpretation. That takes a trained hockey eye and statistician to connect performance with numerical data.

I'm not a stats fan boy but the Oilers' hockey knowledge coupled with the analytic power of a firm like Dark Horse would certainly bring a welcome dimension to their player/game analysis.

Dark Horse is headed by U of A staff and alumni. And some of their critics (not naming names) learned the use of paragraphs just last year, but still are not sure what a run on sentence is and how to spell "definitely".

Engineering, science, business, etc, professionals and researchers use what some of these critics call "advanced" statistics on a regular basis. To these critics it's all hocus-pocus because the only place where they're somewhat exposed to such a thing is on their hockey forum.

Regarding Oil Change.

The show sucks because the team sucks.

I'd hate to see a show like that lose its audience and funding. It's neither the producers nor the fans fault that Kevin Lowe has won multiple Stanley Cups as a player and zero as a manager.

I hope the show makes it through the tough times, because we're all going to miss it if its gone.

Aquila does a fantastic job of portraying the team. Their production value is off the hook. They can't go to the level of HBO's 24/7 series because the Oilers viewing audience is heavily PG. Too bad because a much more raw version would be far more entertaining and real.

Incidentally, Oilers Octane is in the same boat. I've run across a few of them and can say without a doubt they're bonafide rockets. Those cheesy outfits and boots they wear are pretty much the limit of what their audience lets them get away with. If they dressed and danced like the Anaheim Ducks ice girls they'd have already been out of business. I don't envy the line they have to walk.

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#137 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 01 2013, 12:02AM
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Hisam Saleh wrote:

It's true... Bob Mackenzie did say that. He said they had Murray jersey stage ready it Darryl Katz found out and overturned.

Here's what happened at that draft.

Lowe thought he had a deal to secure that second selection from Scott Howson the day before the draft. Howson isn't so quick to co-operate, so Lowe and his desciples broadcast early Friday morning that Murray is their guy, hoping Howson loosens his grip on that second selection if Murray is perceived to be off the board in that second spot. Lowe continues to work Howson as the day unfolds. The Oilers had intentions of taking Ryan Murray in that 1st spot, followed up by taking Galchenyuk with that second selection. Letting Igor Larionovs guy, Nail Yakupov fall to 3 or even 4. Larionov gets wind of Lowes actions and is perturbed with all things Edmonton. Jason Gregor (at the draft) who's had numerous conversations with Larionov in previous yrs, flat out refuses to talk to Gregor claiming "Edmonton won't talk to me, I won't talk to Edmonton".

The draft is moments away and Howson still hasn't conformed to Lowes wishes. The Oilers sit, waiting at their table expecting Howson to call and accept their deal. Scott leaves them at the alter, to the point where the commissioner Gary Bettman has to remind them, they're up first. Their plan all falls apart, leaving them with only the first pick. One pick alone, and that kid had to be Nail Yakupov.

So you're right, they were going to select Murray first, but only if it was followed up with them also selecting Galchenyuk in that No.2 spot.

Have to wonder what that package Lowe offered to Howson was. If he could go back, he may have wanted to sweeten that offer a little. Murray AND Galchenyuk in the same draft would've had Oiler fans dancing in the streets.

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#138 Space Dad
May 01 2013, 01:17AM
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Mad props to dougtheslug... solid argument, sir. And backhanded props to DSF - he actually makes a pretty good supervillain, if only to make life interesting for the citizens of Oilersnation. EVERYBODY'S GETTIN' FIRED UP!!!

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#139 madjam
May 01 2013, 06:18AM
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Question : With all the changes expected to be many and perhaps massive , has management basically admitting to a failed and questionable disasterous rebuild ? Almost feels like the process starting over does it not ? From drafting same type of players to the core , the veterans , defence and goalies they had failed to produce a contender .I have a feeling that is what MacT. feels like he has to fix - the many disasters and holes of the exGm and others no doubt .

Get the feeling if MacT. does not do an expedient job and quell the resentments of the fans quickly that Lowe could be in jeopardy ?

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#140 madjam
May 01 2013, 06:39AM
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A lot of the negative comments (of which there are many ) show the frustration of fans with the players , management and owner with this rebuild process , and it's lack of positive results . Even media has joined in the assault to varying degrees .

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#141 Citizen David
May 01 2013, 06:39AM
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@Space Dad

@ Wes

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/MacKinnon+Smiling+Edmonton+Kings+centre/8318727/story.html

Would love to get Lazar. Championship teams need players like this guy.

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#142 pelhem grenville
May 01 2013, 06:42AM
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...i'm thinking that same thing madjam...if MacT fixes things and the squad makes the playoffs next year Kevins'head is outta the noose...otherwise maybe even the indestructible Kevin Lowe makes his exit...

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#143 Citizen David
May 01 2013, 06:51AM
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Everything MacT was saying about the type of player the Oilers want - speed, depth scoring, defensive responsibility, assertiveness, hardworking passion, describes Lazar perfectly. Only catch is he's 2-4 years away. But good teams keep the cupboards stocked to the good times keep a-rolling.

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#144 The Beaker
May 01 2013, 06:59AM
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@Walter Sobchak

I could see the Oilers trading up with their two second round picks to get up into the first round to grab him if hes still there around 25 though.

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#145 Normal norm
May 01 2013, 07:11AM
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So then who actually is in charge of the junior draft? I thought it was Stu MacGregor's call. The last person I want to see putting his fngerprints on the junior draft is Lowe or the invisible owner. Lowe wanted to draft his own son until the son said thank you... 'No'.

Point made. Lowe's incompetence continues to give me nightmares. I know it is old news but this organization will continue to fail with him at the helm. His puppet GM hire isn't fooling anybody. I still hope MacT succeeds inspite of his boss. MacT's forthright assessment of the team as refreshing.

Bye, bye Ben and Eric.

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#146 Cody anderson
May 01 2013, 07:39AM
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I would love to see the Oilers put a package together to try to get Barkov. Hemsky and our 1st would be my pitch to get to the 4th spot.

Otherwise I would cross the fingers that Monahan is still available at 7. If he isn't I would probably try to trade the pic for immediate help

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#147 j
May 01 2013, 08:28AM
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I think the timing is right for the Oilers to move the 7th overall for a player. Our biggest needs are a top flight, puck moving defenseman and a either a strong 2 way centre (2nd line) or a big winger with skill (2nd line). Gagner requires a big winger or he needs to move to the wing. This will resolve the second line woes. Do you think a player and the 7th pick can get us Seguin? Doubtful. Johansen from Columbus might be more reasonable. Would you do it for Yandle? One of the NYR studs? Sather loves these kinds of deals.

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#148 John Chambers
May 01 2013, 08:39AM
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Ravo wrote:

Speaking of BOLD moves TO OTTAWA Hemsky(LW) + Dubnyk(G) + Gagner(C) + 1 rd pick 2013 TO EDMONTON Lehner(G) + Zibanejad(C) + Smith(C) + Wiercioch(D)

Very interesting.

It won't happen, but it's a legit out-of-the-box thought.

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#149 Spydyr
May 01 2013, 08:43AM
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Slats wrote:

I was referring to Brett's MO that he was one-dimensional player. Wasn't until he went under Dallas and new coaching did he learn to play D as part of system.

Did not say Gagner was a 50G man or had developed a slap shot.

Back to you.

AWWWW. Now it makes sense but 6 years and still no defence. With his petite size it is hard to hold body position or knock anyone off the puck. He just does not seem to get the easy things like if you lose the draw cover your center. Or if there is an open man in front cover him. He just does not do those things.

Not sure if he is ever going to develop into a good defensive player.

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#150 The Beaker
May 01 2013, 08:54AM
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@John Chambers

Why would Ottawa want to trade Lehner and get Dubnyk back? Organizationally it makes no sense.

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