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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#151 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 01 2013, 08:54AM
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Curtis Lazar = Kyle Brodziak.

No thanks.

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#152 Butters
May 01 2013, 08:56AM
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@Spydyr Gags lose a faceoff? No...

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#153 NewAgeSys
May 01 2013, 09:00AM
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David S wrote:

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.

There is no real majic,there is real BS.

Statistics are mathamatical representations of RESULTS ,they are representative of the state of Affairs "after the fact" and they have no predictive quantitative values,it is impossible to use stats to "create'anything at all.Except BS.Stats look backward to guess which direction to go forward in.You cant adjust stats they are historic fact.Think horseracing.

Intuitive Inputs read and create dynamic templates that manifest results and define momentum.By adjusting these factors you create wins.Think Poker.

Just think about Vegas odds because it is an identical dynamic,they are just betting like everyone else,except ha ha ha they are betting with someone elses dime,hahahah.

Statistics are simply representations of past actions not interpretatuons of potential events or catalysts of such,nice try.Statistics influences cannot be quantified or defined on a results based curve,you cannot PROVE the statistical influence has any tangible basis or effect,you are simply making your educated guess like everyone else in the Casino.

Intuitive Dynamic Analysis provides quantatative and defined predictive ability supported by precise and clear RESULTS.

You drank the Kool-Aid,pal sorry your "firms" trip to the Darkhorse Kool-Aid Stand wasnt free like everyone elses,a ha ha.Why would you pay for stuff they "scrape up" from the internet that catalyses from much brighter more focused people,why not just use the Google search engine to find those people yourself it takes no time at all.Its the Emperors New Clothes again and they sure look good on Mac-THa ha ha ha.No ones going to buy that BS in todays world execpet for some old coots who are already half-blind and desperate.

Unless they were really looking for something else and Darkhorse scraped up a taste for them and packaged and sold it to them,ha ha ha,like both the Oilers and Darkhorse admit is done,this makes them both seperate from source and bottom feeding for scraps online,the lowest of acts,ha ha ha.These guys will stoop pretty low huh?

Maybe Darkhorse and the Oilers both need to look up the word Intuit and stop trying to pretend they can project that ability ,because an Intuit can EASLIY see the Dynamic Template they are creating.If you are the person tossing the scraps out into cyberspace and the Oilers pick them up and wear them of their own accord or Drakhorse scabs them and re-packages them and sells them to the Emperor to wear for New Clothes,YOU KNOW immediatly and can clearly illustrate and prove it to any party concerned who will disclose their dynamic interactions with Darkhorse.

The NHS is 100% based on Intuitive Dynamic Analysis,and even if you take those systemic assesments and attatch the paralell statistical realitys,you do not incorporate any of the dynamic managment potential into your actions.

Statistics represent in a mathamatical way dynamic actions and reactions,but they can only be applied in context where after the fact assesments of systemic input are required.They cannot be used to create anything at all,or to manifest tactics or really for much .Stats arent portable from system to system ,each time a player changes systems their prior stats are useless,this is why we see many players suddenly produce more or less when traded and given premier minutes or less minutes,its those few extra minutes that count,mac-T is a BSer,it isnt the last 5 % of effort that produces results it is the 5% more premium chances you get,effort level has nothing to do with it,if your systemic execution is bang on you might not be exerting that much effort at all.Just think Hemsky,if you just look at his stats you miss a lot of what he offers,his goals are all timely and huge and his zone entry numbers are excellent.You might trade him for another guys who has more goals but cant rise to the occasion and score the epic ones.

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#154 Want it
May 01 2013, 09:03AM
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@David S

Forget the Octane dancers, can we have the ice cleaning ladies that Calgary has ... could be playmates.

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#155 The Beaker
May 01 2013, 09:37AM
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@NewAgeSys

You don't think poker players use past statistical analysis to predict future actions? Many do, many also dont just use those statistics 100% of the time to decide their next move, they use statistics as well as their instinct and analysis of the situation to figure out how to act.

Detecting patterns in anything can give you reasonable assumptions on what may happen in the future. By no means is it a guarantee and that's why stats ALWAYS has be supported with logical inferences and other forms of talent evaluation.

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#156 Spydyr
May 01 2013, 10:55AM
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Butters wrote:

@Spydyr Gags lose a faceoff? No...

I Know it is hard to believe. Someone that close to the ground should have a very low center of gravity.Should help on faceoffs.

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#157 NewAgeSys
May 01 2013, 10:58AM
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The Beaker wrote:

You don't think poker players use past statistical analysis to predict future actions? Many do, many also dont just use those statistics 100% of the time to decide their next move, they use statistics as well as their instinct and analysis of the situation to figure out how to act.

Detecting patterns in anything can give you reasonable assumptions on what may happen in the future. By no means is it a guarantee and that's why stats ALWAYS has be supported with logical inferences and other forms of talent evaluation.

Precisley,you are speaking to natural balance between Intuitive and statistical influences catalysing systemic managment.This has been the Oilers weakness for many years now,a weaknes in a CORE SYSTEMIC area,the team this current system was based off of had an unusually high level of Intuitive Dynamic managment catalysed implemented and executed by Wayne Gretzky,todays version of that systemic managment dynamic is missing a critical component,the Intuitive influence Waynes Brains provided,the spark to the system.

The Oilers were initiated into the potentials of Intuitive Dynamic Analysis and managment online 3 years ago via the NewAge Hockey System and its philosophys which are all 100% catalysed from Intuitive Dynamic Analysis.They recognised the impact but rejected the online anonymous source,and went out and bought a service via Drakhorse to fill the hole they had identified,they made an effort,they reacted,but they missed the boat totally,they sought out statistical analysis instead of Intuitive Analysi,because there was no source of Intuitive Analysis forthem to acess.

It was Intuitive Dynamic Analysis that caught the Oilers attention 3 years ago and their arrogant attitude and totalitarian business mannerisms caused them to reject the source suppress it,and then find someone to go back and collect the data and launder it and sell it back to them with a bill of sale nice and clean.

They tried to hijack and replicate the NHS influences,if you happen to have followed and NHS stuff you will know that 3 years ago I posted the dynamic template I visualised and it has happened to a T. I actually held back the majority of the NHS from the internet for a tactical reason, I only released some data that could be used to adjust the system the Oilers and many other teams were using because I anticipated their trying to hijack the data in its entirity,Lowe is easy to read and so are his minions.By the way that data I released was available to everyone online.

Most times Intuition is represented via Experience,managerial experience,so of course there is a natural way to find this balance.But heres the crux and one of the reasons I created the NHS,the Dynasty team didnt find their balance this conventional way,the current representation K Lowe has built is close for sure but it is missing the OVERLOAD of Intuitive Dynamic Analysis nd managment that the historic team was catalysed by through Waynes Brains.The NewAge Hockey System is designed to function like Waynes Brains.I am an Intuit,i dont care if the Oilers or anyone else choose to validate or reject that proposition,results speak for themselves and how the hell else could i get the Oilers attention in the first place.

A statistical analytical influence cannot manifest an Intuitive Dynamic Analysis overload,never it runs counter to their very core values,it is like oil and water.

By hireing and useing Darkhorse the Oilers added more weight to the Stats perspective they are already over-saturated with organisationally,the made their problem worse .

Thanks for identifying the need for this balance and the two seperate core influences.

In my opinion as the source of the Intuitive influences that tweaked the Oilers to start with, Darkhorse should ask the Oilers to stop misrepresenting their specific professional services in the media and request the Oilers recognise a delineation between statistical and Intuitive analytical influences ,I am not sure darkhorse want to be known as a group of Psysics and crystal ball readers,their perspective is based on Statisticlly catalysed tangible core values.That is why people trust their analysis and assesments.

I am sure Darkhorse has by now realised that their specific focused high powered cumulatively catalysed statistical overload would best be optimised by uniting it with an equally powerfull Intuitive influence in a balanced manner, need to explain to the Oilers these basic differences in the analytical inputs available,and show them they need to not just keep Darkhorse but also find and incorporate the NewAge Hockey System to create this potentially explosive dynamic and statistical balance.

One would think that a group with those impressive resumes the guys running Darkhorse have would posess an unusually high level of integrity and accountability and also the ability to not fear progressive thinking and managment.So I guess the real question becomes Where does Darkhorse get their NHS data from?And is it time for them to force the Oilers hand and make them identify and retain this asset before the Oilers sully their professional reputation and misrepresent what Darkhorse has to offer more than Craig has already done in the media.

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#158 NewAgeSys
May 01 2013, 11:41AM
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Please for the love of god dont re-post my long posts.

That was a reply to The Beaker.

To reply to you,yes it is bottom feeding if you repeatedly and consistantly go to the same online sources and scab the data as opposed to headhunting the cretive catalyst and subbinng out the work and allowing the Oilers to acess ALL of the data from the SOURCE.

Who are you trying to kid?

And pal if you are the source of the data being skimmed from cyber-space in a chronological and historic manner you bloody well know it.

What the hell do you think the the data comes from, nowhere?Each piece of data darkhorse or anyone takes from cyberspace comes from SOMEONE SOMEWHERE,this is a fact,that is called the SOURCE.Every source can be validated.If the source decides to shut the hell up them Darkhorse can take and repackage their intellectual property as they wish but if that source decides to speak up they can dam well do so and they can PROVE their history.

Why do you think Mac-T twice tacticlly spouted off in the media the propoganda admitting that the Oilers hired a company that "scrapes up'data from the internet,the Oilers are trying to distance themselves from the fact they themselves acessed and utilised this exact data a full year beore darkhorse was even on the scene,rejected it,suppressed it,then realised they screwed up and found a creative way to again acess this data without validating the source,they laundered the data through darkhorse and recieved a bill of sale but they are still refusing to validate source ,they are useing darkhorse to cover up their mismanagment of the NHS data given to them freely 3 yrs ago.The exact data LA utilised to help them win a Cup the Oilers should have been winning.

More importantly why do you think mac-T is getting needled about the types of Analytic resources he uses by media types?Because the entire dam league knows the dynamic situation.They are letting mac-T hang himself.And he is going for it hook line and sinker.

Everyone uses stats based resources people,but other NHL teams have recognised and identified specific dynamic things the Oilers have been doing recently as being VALUABLE and they have been seeking out the source,for christsakes they already know we cant operate these valuable tactics ourselves,but teams like Chicago and St.Louis and LA have had no problems incorporating the same things we freaking choke on.

Those teams dont question the source they accept the results, the Oilers who ALWAYS follow a results based path instead got into a pissing contest they were going to lose from day one with moma2 and the NHS, I am an Intuit and they cant find another one like me,I can kick them in the Crown Royal Bag till the cows come home,and they cant do a dam thing about it.I have the market cornered so to speak.

They have never faced a force of nature like that that they need badly but that will not kiss their srase,the last one they tangled with was also an Albertan Sheldon Souray,ha ha ha,I was shot in the leg in his Hometown Elk Point in a grungy old Hotel when I was a Rigger in my youth.They tried to do to me what they did to Souray,but I had experience already and used the Souray Solution on them,i immediatly went all in and challenged them to a results based integrity and truth contest then told them to kiss my arse and walked away a winner.Some people believe in 100% in what they do and dont react well to being bullied. It doesnt reduce their value when assets like this walk,it just distances them from people who lack integrity,and increases their value down the road.

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#159 blueorangekoolaid
May 01 2013, 12:24PM
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I love DSF getting a rise out of everyone. I guess all 29 teams are draft failures for passing on Datsyuk and Zetterberg? Or what about all 30 teams passing on St. Louis? I'm not the biggest Gagner fan out there but 2nd most points for his draft class is pretty good I'd say. Does he have deficiencies? Absolutely. Does he also have skill? Absolutely. Funny how playing with consistently better players all year helped his offensive numbers go up. He may never learn the defensive side of the game which is an issue but he wasn't drafted to be a 3rd line shut down center.

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#160 NewAgeSys
May 01 2013, 01:21PM
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blueorangekoolaid wrote:

I love DSF getting a rise out of everyone. I guess all 29 teams are draft failures for passing on Datsyuk and Zetterberg? Or what about all 30 teams passing on St. Louis? I'm not the biggest Gagner fan out there but 2nd most points for his draft class is pretty good I'd say. Does he have deficiencies? Absolutely. Does he also have skill? Absolutely. Funny how playing with consistently better players all year helped his offensive numbers go up. He may never learn the defensive side of the game which is an issue but he wasn't drafted to be a 3rd line shut down center.

Nice overview of the Gagner topic.

One thing is certain,and that is that mac-T is speaking about a known quantity when he projects potential wing duty for Sam Gagner.Mac-T knows what he can do from there,and he has witnessed Sams evolution firsthand,it is a compliment to be defined in any way by a man with mac-Ts acumen.

Gagner hsnt been regularly playing with our top wingers,so we dont know what he could do from that position, I hope we see him get a chance to play from the #1 slot before we commit him to the wing, I believe he would outproduce Nuge consistantly at this stage of the game,we havent seen this opportunity for Sam much yet.

Wow,he is second in his draft year,how far behind is he and who owns the bragging rights?

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