MACTAVISH: NO CHANCE HE'S DONE YET

Robin Brownlee
July 09 2013 11:35PM

With the Entry Draft in the rear-view mirror, the best UFAs already picked over and the Edmonton Oilers wrapping up their development camp, GM Craig MacTavish could pack for Kelowna and spend several weeks doing nothing more taxing than kicking back or slapping around a golf ball.

MacTavish won't slip into holiday mode, of course, and that's because he's not anywhere near satisfied with what he's managed to accomplish in the last few weeks, a period in which he envisioned re-shaping his Oilers at the draft and through free agency in his first off-season in the big chair.

That was abundantly clear when MacTavish, who'd rather under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around – especially in what he foreshadowed as a summer of "bold moves" – spoke with reporters at the conclusion of development camp.

At a time when a lot of GMs will be retreating to the lake or the golf course or wherever they go to recharge their batteries after rolling the dice on teenagers at the draft and throwing big stacks of money at fading free agents, it says here MacTavish isn't nearly done massaging his roster, or at least trying to. No chance. No way. Take that to the bank.

WHAT HE SAID

"I’m still hopeful that we can get one other thing done here in the next little while, short little while,” MacTavish said. "Then it’s just trying to continue to have those discussions, trying to get another piece that can start to excite me in terms of how our team is shaping together.

"The UFA pick-ups (Andrew Ference, Boyd Gordon and Jason LaBarbera) are going to really help us. I’d like to do one or two other things before we’re happy."

"Another piece," like a bonafide centre, a top-pairing defenseman or the kind of top-six winger the Oilers pursued in David Clarkson? "One or two others things," like getting that one piece in exchange for a package that includes Ales Hemsky? Not an unreasonable conclusion, given that pulling the trigger on Hemsky is MacTavish's likeliest next move.

"I’m a little frustrated," admitted MacTavish, who has worked the phones every day for weeks and did a long, although ultimately fruitless, waltz with Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren in pursuit of Braydon Coburn on the draft floor in New Jersey.

"I had certain objectives in mind and I’m going to be able to accomplish some of those things, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to accomplish all the things I wanted to do."

You can listen to MacTavish's session with reporters here.

THE WAY I SEE IT

While none of MacTavish's acquisitions to this point fall under the "bold moves" he talked about, there's no question he's been in the mix. I'd go as far as to suggest ridding the Oilers of Shawn Horcoff's contract is something of a coup in itself.

I like MacTavish's signing of Andrew Ference, the player, even with the deal being for too much term and too much money. I like what the Oilers get in Boyd Gordon, the player, as long as he ends up being the fourth-line centre. I like the acquisition of Jason LaBarbera as a fit behind Devan Dubnyk.

What I like most is that MacTavish recognizes the moves he's made so far don’t address all the needs and holes in his roster and that, even with mid-July approaching, my bet is he'll spend a lot more time pursuing those needs than reading putts or sipping sangria by the lake. Check the transaction timelines of a lot of GMs, including MacTavish's predecessor here, and you'll see that is not always the case.

Is there still time for bold this off-season? Sure, but MacT will need a dance partner because there's nobody who qualifies as such left in the free agent pool, meaning bold will have to come by way of a trade. Hemsky might be a start on that, but it'll take a package of players because the Czech winger alone won't get MacTavish what he seeks. I'd suggest you stay tuned over the "next little while, short little while."

No chance MacT is done yet.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 Mike Modano's Dog
July 10 2013, 12:42PM
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Philly has too many quality (young) centers, and we need that, in spades. With Braden Coburn, if he can pull off that I would say he did what he promised to.

Brayden Coburn and Sean Couturier or Wayne Simmonds. Going back? Certainly our 1st and likely second, a really good D prospect and a quality player off our roster too.

Now for all those that are going to flip out over this and say "It's not NHL - insert year here" or I'm crazy or it's too good a deal on EITHER side that's the easy way out. Either give a significant trade/trades back that addresses our needs or keep on reading. Thanks...

Constructive feedback and other suggestions are welcomed. :)

Whatever the deal is I still do believe we will do something with them ultimately.

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#52 OilClog
July 10 2013, 01:01PM
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Something big is coming.. I just hope it's not Weber. Too much of a contract Handicap, we won't be able to keep the Forward talent at a high end with a weight like that on the back end.

I'd rather an entire defence core of 3-4 guys then waste the talent we have upfront. Every team is built differently, I believe our forwards as they mature will improve the defence just because of that. No need to go after a dud of a contract like that.

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#53 Quicksilver ballet
July 10 2013, 01:12PM
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@OilClog

I'd think you'd be one of the first ones celebrating a deal like this. If it does happen, are you going to switch teams in a show of dissatisfaction? Playoffs would be a certainty with a legitimate No. 1 blueliner.

We're not cutting the cheques, so what concern is it of ours.

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#54 madjam
July 10 2013, 01:20PM
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striatic wrote:

"I'd go as far as to suggest ridding the Oilers of Shawn Horcoff's contract is something of a coup in itself."

MacT saved a compliance buyout and got a very minor asset in return.

i think whether it is coup or not depends primarily on what use he gets out of the extra compliance buyout.

A coup ? You must feel Horcoff is a pretty poor player . His value to Dallas is as a second string center , and they have the cap space to accommodate him over the next two years and pay him 4M down to 3M in salary, not the cap hit figure . We still have the cap space to also accommodate him but , did not want to .Was it a smart thing for MacT. to do ? Next season we should certainly find out . If we would have bought out Horcoff it would have been on the total of his salary owed, not the cap hit , I believe -APPROX.$4.67 M.(less than one years cap hit) . Did we also not throw in a prospect in Hamilton in that deal ? What did we get in return -a player Dallas was trying to get rid of ( maybe even contemplating buying out) and a seventh round pick (normally useless ). Some how coup does not seem applicable here .

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#55 Oiltimer
July 10 2013, 01:34PM
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@ r lama

. There are still options there. How would Brad Boyes not help us?

If we P/U Boyes we'd be laughing ... right yet ?

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#56 westcoastoil
July 10 2013, 01:51PM
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What about picking up Steen from St.L for the 2LW spot. Solid veteran with experience, size and some hands and he only has 1 year left before UFA. He'll likely cost fewer assets than Perron, the team can test drive him for a year - if it goes well resign during the season, or if not: let him walk or flip him at the deadline.

I like the appeal of this player + the salary flexibility

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#57 Bucknuck
July 10 2013, 01:52PM
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I wish MacTavish hadn't used the word "Bold". No matter what he does everyone is going to whine because it wasn't 'bold' enough.

For me, I don't care about the bold as long as it's comprehensive. Six new faces so far is plenty comprehensive, and I expect there to be more changes, too.

I'm pretty happy, even though nothing he's done so far is very bold, except switching out Horcoff and adding Boyd.

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#58 David S
July 10 2013, 01:56PM
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madjam wrote:

A coup ? You must feel Horcoff is a pretty poor player . His value to Dallas is as a second string center , and they have the cap space to accommodate him over the next two years and pay him 4M down to 3M in salary, not the cap hit figure . We still have the cap space to also accommodate him but , did not want to .Was it a smart thing for MacT. to do ? Next season we should certainly find out . If we would have bought out Horcoff it would have been on the total of his salary owed, not the cap hit , I believe -APPROX.$4.67 M.(less than one years cap hit) . Did we also not throw in a prospect in Hamilton in that deal ? What did we get in return -a player Dallas was trying to get rid of ( maybe even contemplating buying out) and a seventh round pick (normally useless ). Some how coup does not seem applicable here .

As has been WIDELY reported, Horcoff and MacT both agreed it was time for him to move on. He's been beat into the ground with all the losing the past few years. Doesn't matter if the return was less than ideal. He was half a season away from becoming the next infamous "cancer in the room".

MacT got rid of Horcoff and his boat anchor contract without having to suck up any of it in return AND got a legit NHL'er to boot.

That's as close as you'll get to "coup" around these parts.

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#59 Taylor Gang
July 10 2013, 02:04PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I'd think you'd be one of the first ones celebrating a deal like this. If it does happen, are you going to switch teams in a show of dissatisfaction? Playoffs would be a certainty with a legitimate No. 1 blueliner.

We're not cutting the cheques, so what concern is it of ours.

Don't get me wrong, I would love a #1 blueliner on the team. But why go whale hunting on someone like Weber when we can go for someone arguably as good for a lower cap hit, is younger and most importantly, is cheaper in terms of assets heading back?

Weber is good, there's no denying that. There's also no denying he would make this team a lot better. But can you just imagine the cost? Like seriously just imagine.

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#60 DSF
July 10 2013, 02:11PM
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Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 27s

#Oilers acquire David Perron (@DP_57) from the @StLouisBlues in exchange for Magnus Paajarvi and a 2014 second-round draft pick.

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#61 Mike Modano's Dog
July 10 2013, 02:14PM
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MPS + 2nd rounder (2014) for David Perron - this just happened.

Way to go, Mac T.

You just got rid of the ultimate 2nd Line LW for our young group, and the better player in the long run.

Jason Chimera Sean Brown MPS

...never having a chance - blindly.

Move Kevin Lowe now, before more is done to destroy our franchise while we see the better young player on another team.

God I hate our management!

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#62 onlyoil
July 10 2013, 02:14PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I wish MacTavish hadn't used the word "Bold". No matter what he does everyone is going to whine because it wasn't 'bold' enough.

For me, I don't care about the bold as long as it's comprehensive. Six new faces so far is plenty comprehensive, and I expect there to be more changes, too.

I'm pretty happy, even though nothing he's done so far is very bold, except switching out Horcoff and adding Boyd.

You know I'm wondering when he made that comment a couple of months ago if he wasn't referencing what he will have to do as a gm at some point in time.That "Bold" move might be next year at the draft or the year after to get that, Mike Richards/ Jeff Carter type of move to push the team over the top and win the cup. I'm not convinced that "bold" move will happen this summer. For the most part the core of this team is very young and we have know idea how good they are going to be, my guess MPS will be worth more in a trade 2 yrs from now than he is right now. I like what MacT has done so far I do think the players that were added will make us better...playoffs?? not sure we are there yet

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#63 2004Z06
July 10 2013, 02:16PM
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Bold enough for you all?

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#64 onlyoil
July 10 2013, 02:17PM
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Mike Modano's Dog wrote:

MPS + 2nd rounder (2014) for David Perron - this just happened.

Way to go, Mac T.

You just got rid of the ultimate 2nd Line LW for our young group, and the better player in the long run.

Jason Chimera Sean Brown MPS

...never having a chance - blindly.

Move Kevin Lowe now, before more is done to destroy our franchise while we see the better young player on another team.

God I hate our management!

I just mentioned MPS, I didn't think it was happening as I was typing.

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#65 Taylor Gang
July 10 2013, 02:19PM
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Far from mad

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#66 Taylor Gang
July 10 2013, 02:24PM
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For whoever is mad, look up his past stats. Trust me he's good.

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#67 Taylor Gang
July 10 2013, 02:31PM
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Mike Modano's Dog wrote:

MPS + 2nd rounder (2014) for David Perron - this just happened.

Way to go, Mac T.

You just got rid of the ultimate 2nd Line LW for our young group, and the better player in the long run.

Jason Chimera Sean Brown MPS

...never having a chance - blindly.

Move Kevin Lowe now, before more is done to destroy our franchise while we see the better young player on another team.

God I hate our management!

In what way is he better in the long run? He's 2 years older than Paajarvi and got more points at Paajarvi's age. Get your facts straight you scrub

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#68 madjam
July 10 2013, 02:48PM
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DSF wrote:

Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 27s

#Oilers acquire David Perron (@DP_57) from the @StLouisBlues in exchange for Magnus Paajarvi and a 2014 second-round draft pick.

If correct , I wonder how many of them that ran you down will now be whistling a new tune ? If indeed so , i'd like to see them also get M.A. Cliché out of L.A. (Perron's old centerman ) for cheap , and maybe reunite them , and perhaps throw in Clifford for good measure .

First addition that actually has some excitement to it from my perspective . Top six now looks set with second wave being Perron , Gagner (or replacement ) and Yakupov .Perron is handy as he can also revert to center as well .

Like to see a good enforcer here during regular season in the form of local boy John Scott (6Ft.8in. -270lbs. ).

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#69 Bucknuck
July 10 2013, 02:49PM
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trading MPS = Bold

trading MPS = taking on some risk

trading MPS = (I hope) people will quit bitching about a lack of bold moves.

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#70 RJ
July 10 2013, 04:59PM
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@Bucknuck

PRV for Perron, LW with a concussion history but also fills a hole on the second line seems to be pretty decent. If the #2 pick turns out to be anything, that will be more based on skill or luck by St. Louis' scouting staff, than on the value of the pick itself.

Good call Brownlee.

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#71 RJ
July 10 2013, 05:04PM
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@ Bucknuck,

Sorry I linked to your name then forgot to comment. lol

When I think of bold, I don't think of PRV for Perron. It's a solid move, taking on some risk Perron will stay healthy enough to fill that hole on the second line and that PRV doesn't finally become the player Oiler fans waited for.

Should be fun to watch.

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