RAISING THE HOCKEY IQ

Robin Brownlee
August 14 2013 08:10PM

While there's debate, and should be, about whether the Edmonton Oilers have improved their roster sufficiently in preparation for the 2013-14 season, it looks from where I sit like they'll enter the next campaign with a significantly stronger hockey-ops staff than they ended last season with.

Since last April 15, we've seen no less than six changes in the coaching and front office staff, and in positions that matter. Steve Tambellini out as GM and Craig MacTavish in. Ralph Krueger out as head coach and Dallas Eakins in. A return to the fold by former assistant GM Scott Howson.

Keith Acton signed on as an associate coach with Eakins, a former running mate in Toronto with the Maple Leafs and Marlies. Bill Moores has a new job title. The latest move, today, saw Edmonton Oil Kings GM Bob Green added to the scouting staff.

It's a combination of familiar faces in new places (MacTavish, Howson and Moores) and some fresh blood (Eakins, Acton and Green) in an off-season of change that won't provide all the answers, but that certainly signals (at long last) a recognition that status quo isn't cutting it.

Yes, for those ho-hummers shrugging their shoulders, the game is still played and decided out on the ice. I get that. A Howson here or an Acton there isn't going to mean a lot until the team is good enough on the ice, but getting the right people calling the shots and making the personnel decisions is a part of that process, to borrow a term I don’t care for much. It's nonetheless true.

THE HOCKEY-OPS MOVES

AUG. 14 – Green named director of amateur free agent scouting. Green, a two-time WHL executive of the year (2011-12 and 2012-13), was GM of the Oil Kings for six seasons. In 2012-13, Green and the Oil Kings reached the WHL final for a second straight year.

JULY 31 – Moores named director of coaching development. Moores served as senior director of player development 2010-2012 after spending 2000-09 as an assistant coach under MacTavish.

JUNE 28 – Acton named associate coach. Acton, 55, spent this the 2012 season as an assistant coach with Columbus. Prior to that, he spent 10 seasons as an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs (2001-11). Acton had previous tenures with the New York Rangers 1998-2000 and Philadelphia 1994-98.

JUNE 10 – Eakins named head coach. Eakins, 46, joined the Oilers after eight seasons with the Maple Leafs, a tenure including two seasons as an assistant coach (2006-08) before he was named head coach of the AHL Marlies in 2009. As head coach, Eakins had a record of 157-114-4. He took the Marlies to the 2012 Calder Cup final, losing to the Norfolk Admirals.

APRIL 15 – MacTavish named GM. MacTavish spent eight seasons as head coach (2001-09), was relieved of his duties and then returned as senior vice-president of hockey operations in the summer of 2012.

APRIL 15 – Howson named senior vice-president of hockey operations. Howson, who served as assistant GM under Kevin Lowe from 2002-07, returned to the Oilers after leaving to become the GM of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2007.

HOCKEY IQ

I said this today on the Jason Gregor Show and I'll say it again – the trait I admire most in confident, intelligent people like MacTavish is that they see the benefits of surrounding themselves with other confident, intelligent people, rather than trying to stand alone or ensure they'll always look like the smartest guy in the room by gathering dullards and yes-men as associates.

The latest hire, Green, is an astute assessor of talent and will be an asset to scouting boss man Stu MacGregor. Moores experience as a teacher and coach will be an asset to every coach in the organization. Howson, who did a lot of the contract work in his stint here as assistant GM, is well-suited to his new role – a go-between with Lowe and MacTavish.

As for Eakins and Acton, we'll see. They have history together. The question is how they'll mesh with incumbents Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger and, it goes without saying, what they do with the roster they have to work with.

That, of course, brings us back to MacTavish. The roster, the player personnel, still needs some work – a top-four defenseman and a top-three centre still has to be on MacT's list of things to do, no? That said, while front office and coaching moves are, bottom line, less important than the talent assembled out on the ice, it looks to me like MacTavish has done some good work so far.

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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#1 OilClog
August 14 2013, 08:43PM
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MacT, made the staff much stronger, blessing them with the ability to bring along Kelly as the Weather guy of the group.. I love Lamp.

Also,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56PvriH4Oek

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#2 Toro
August 14 2013, 09:08PM
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I think Mac T has done a decent job so far just needs to do more work on the on ice team , the bottom 6 in my opinion is pretty terrible , and this team still lacks toughness that everyone has been preaching for years.

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#3 Oiler Al
August 14 2013, 09:28PM
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The boldest move by MacT, was making a coaching change. I think by adding Eakins, and getting rid of the likes of Belanger, Smithson, Hordichuck, Petrel, etc. the team can perform 25% better with what they have on the ice. Thats not to say that they still need a center, and some toughness with skill on the bottom six.

It probably wasnt for lack of trying, but I think Hemsky could have been the meal ticket for aquiring that center. [ still may happen ].

Bucky and Smith are the new Zamboni drivers.

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#4 stuffit
August 14 2013, 09:29PM
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Close to the hockey IQ heading, you say that MacTavish was relieved of his duties. People keep saying that like it's what happened. If you recall....he stepped down. You should know that Robin, its part of your job to know these things and report it accurately. No?

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#6 Racki
August 14 2013, 09:48PM
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I think that MacTavish is going to do the same thing that I roasted Tambellini for all these years.. wait and see if the center role works out with what we have here. Perhaps Hall will work in the interim while Nuge is away, or something crazy happens and one of the "smurfs" like Arco or Andrew Miller shocks us and holds that role for a bit.

That said, I think what separates MacT from Tambellini (aside from pretty much everything) is that he won't be in evaluation mode for long. I'm not even really certain he's done.. he might just be playing his cards close to his chest in reaction to some of the commentary that he's been a little too forthright (something I actually have welcomed).

Anyways, I probably could be accused of drinking the kool-aid quite regularly, but I like all these hirings and roster changes. I think MacT is putting his masterpiece together. It might have a few kinks in the beginning, but I think he'll iron them out as he can.

And yes, Pat Quinn moving on up in the organization is a polite way of firing a guy.. I'm pretty sure he appreciated that too (not at all).

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#7 Reg Dunlop
August 14 2013, 10:29PM
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@Racki

You may be right about the oil rocking Arco/Miller/Acton in a platoon situation until RNH recovers. Since I thought Belanger was a good signing and I think this platoon of AHL centers is doomed to fail... it probably works out just fine.

As for all the shuffling of front office personnel, it will take a year plus to start to see any positive results on the ice. One thing is a certainty; when Yak, Schultz and RNH explode like Hall last year they will make management look like geniuses. Seems like the Isles and oil are on the rise simultaneously, sure would be cool to see them battle for the cup again.

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Reg Dunlop wrote:

You may be right about the oil rocking Arco/Miller/Acton in a platoon situation until RNH recovers. Since I thought Belanger was a good signing and I think this platoon of AHL centers is doomed to fail... it probably works out just fine.

As for all the shuffling of front office personnel, it will take a year plus to start to see any positive results on the ice. One thing is a certainty; when Yak, Schultz and RNH explode like Hall last year they will make management look like geniuses. Seems like the Isles and oil are on the rise simultaneously, sure would be cool to see them battle for the cup again.

Please refrain from using offensive and disgusting words like "Belanger"

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#9 Racki
August 14 2013, 10:36PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

You may be right about the oil rocking Arco/Miller/Acton in a platoon situation until RNH recovers. Since I thought Belanger was a good signing and I think this platoon of AHL centers is doomed to fail... it probably works out just fine.

As for all the shuffling of front office personnel, it will take a year plus to start to see any positive results on the ice. One thing is a certainty; when Yak, Schultz and RNH explode like Hall last year they will make management look like geniuses. Seems like the Isles and oil are on the rise simultaneously, sure would be cool to see them battle for the cup again.

That would be awesome to revive the old Islanders/Oilers battles. Too bad Trevor Gillies isn't with the team anymore. He's not related to Clark, but he is still a thug, and the name/moustachio just makes it all more of a throwback to the old days.

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#10 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
August 14 2013, 10:42PM
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I'm pegging this effort as a near miss.

I'll take the best group of players getting off the bus each and every game, over the best coaching/management group every day of the week. It's no secret that the most successful GM's are usually accompanied by a top 5 goaltender and an elite player or three.

What is there in todays game now. Is it 3 off ice consultants/ coaching/management types for every one player contributing on the ice? No wonder the players appear confused during the actual games. Who has time to sort through all the crap these players are fed on a daily basis by all these paid groupies.

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#11 David S
August 14 2013, 10:52PM
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Racki wrote:

I think that MacTavish is going to do the same thing that I roasted Tambellini for all these years.. wait and see if the center role works out with what we have here. Perhaps Hall will work in the interim while Nuge is away, or something crazy happens and one of the "smurfs" like Arco or Andrew Miller shocks us and holds that role for a bit.

That said, I think what separates MacT from Tambellini (aside from pretty much everything) is that he won't be in evaluation mode for long. I'm not even really certain he's done.. he might just be playing his cards close to his chest in reaction to some of the commentary that he's been a little too forthright (something I actually have welcomed).

Anyways, I probably could be accused of drinking the kool-aid quite regularly, but I like all these hirings and roster changes. I think MacT is putting his masterpiece together. It might have a few kinks in the beginning, but I think he'll iron them out as he can.

And yes, Pat Quinn moving on up in the organization is a polite way of firing a guy.. I'm pretty sure he appreciated that too (not at all).

That's crazy talk. I can't for a minute believe MacT hasn't busted his guts trying to get that C everybody is whining about.

Simple fact is it's way harder in the real world to hook one of those fish than most of us think. Teams don't let those guys go easy and even if they're willing to trade, Edmonton isn't the most desirable location for a high value guy with lots of options.

Every team in the league knows a quality C is what we need the most. If the trigger hasn't been pulled it's because the deal was ridiculously bad. That being said, things might loosen up as rosters get set in October. MacT isn't done yet. Book it.

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#12 Rocket
August 14 2013, 10:53PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

Good point.You're right, good players make coaches look smart & building a competitive team isn't easy but I don't mind these hirings at all.

Would you rather MacT not try and surround himself with intelligent hockey men? MacT is like a technocrat at hockey: getting a bunch of smart guys in a room and figuring out how to build a winning hockey club.

Hopefully it works out and even if it doesn't, it's still worth the low risk.

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#13 David S
August 14 2013, 10:55PM
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Also...BEST MACT GIF EVAR!

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#14 David S
August 14 2013, 10:57PM
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MacT gets rid of Belanger...

http://imgur.com/4WXlSm2

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#15 madjam
August 14 2013, 11:01PM
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You can hear Craig the crooner singing in the backrooms " I've travelled each and every hiway , but more , much more than this I did it MY Way " .

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#16 Racki
August 14 2013, 11:12PM
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David S wrote:

That's crazy talk. I can't for a minute believe MacT hasn't busted his guts trying to get that C everybody is whining about.

Simple fact is it's way harder in the real world to hook one of those fish than most of us think. Teams don't let those guys go easy and even if they're willing to trade, Edmonton isn't the most desirable location for a high value guy with lots of options.

Every team in the league knows a quality C is what we need the most. If the trigger hasn't been pulled it's because the deal was ridiculously bad. That being said, things might loosen up as rosters get set in October. MacT isn't done yet. Book it.

You're jumping to conclusions...

I'm a huge supporter of MacTavish and actually fully believe he's tried to fill the center role, even though I didn't actually say that above. I was merely referring to what he'll do now that he wasn't able to (and likely won't be able to for a while) acquire a C.. wait and see if someone can fill that role. There's an option out there.. Grabovski.. but I don't think he'll go that route at all and will stand pat until later in the year when hopefully he can acquire a C.

It seems like you read the first para, then rage replied right away. lol

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#17 Jord
August 14 2013, 11:22PM
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We're did you get that clip of macT from? It's great!

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#18 Hayek
August 14 2013, 11:30PM
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First of all, I have no problem with Bob Green, or Dallas Eakins, or anyone on the Oilers' staff.

However we always hear after new hires how good these people are. Could a fact be that most of these people are of a generically equal skill level as coaches or managers? There is no scouting staff, or coaching staff, that outperform significantly over the long term. It's not that they aren't good at their job, it's that they are all equally good at their job.

Of course there are outliers, just as when 300 people throws darts at the financial page and the top 1% randomly outperform the market.

Players win games, talent wins games.

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#19 gongshow
August 14 2013, 11:40PM
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I like the player and organizational changes that MacT has made so far and hope that he continues to make incremental improvements. Still, didn't we all nod in agreement when we saw this little video a few years ago (maybe my all-time favorite YouTube video):

http://www.firstpost.com/topic/person/craig-mactavish-hitler-reacts-to-oilers-missing-playoffs-video-bJVR8PgQWSc-12404-6.html

Enjoy.

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#20 Travis
August 14 2013, 11:41PM
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mact gif curteousy "Del Preston" on Hockeys future oilers message board

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#21 Gerald R. Ford
August 14 2013, 11:42PM
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That GIF is the last thing that Harvey the Hound saw before MacT ripped his tongue from his filthy pie hole. So awesome.

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#22 gongshow
August 14 2013, 11:47PM
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Sorry, that link is not the original "Hitler reacts to MacTavish" video which appears to have disappeared from the internet. Still, this updated version is almost as good. If anyone can find the original, I would love to see it again.

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#23 kgo
August 15 2013, 12:10AM
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ya that WWF GIF is MONEY!!!!

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#24 Oilers4ever
August 15 2013, 12:26AM
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Okay, I haven't read the article but I just have to say well done on transposing MacT on Vince McMahon. Classic.. that walk one of the best in wrestling. Screw the wrestlers. Well done. Welcome to the Weiserhood of Men. :)

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#25 Pouzar99
August 15 2013, 12:39AM
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I still think a top pairing D man is our greatest need, but since they are so hard to get, Mact is hoping Klefbom and J Schultz can get it done soon, or possibly Nurse and Schultz down the road. We have 4 legit Top 4 D men, the problem is right now they are all second pairing D men.

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#26 The Last Big Bear
August 15 2013, 06:28AM
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One of my fondest memories as a Flames fan will be that beautiful April day this year when the Flames, only 2 weeks into a ground-zero rebuild, laid the smack down on their provincial rivals.

I know it hurt the Flames draft position. But that doesn't matter. Because the resulting melt-down was epic.

It's one thing to beat a rival. But it's another level altogether to humiliate a rival so badly that they immediately fire their manager mid-season, and start clearing house. That's hitting someone so hard their mama feels it. That's priceless.

The 2012-13 Oilers were the worst team in the NHL that wasn't deliberately tanking. And now theres another former dynasty player in charge, who looks ready to stay the course. Don't ever change, Oiler buddies, don't ever change.

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#27 gcw_rocks
August 15 2013, 07:02AM
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And yet MacT retained Bucky and Smith as assistant coaches. So MacT would seem to have a loose definition intelligent.

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#28 jonny94
August 15 2013, 07:13AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

One of my fondest memories as a Flames fan will be that beautiful April day this year when the Flames, only 2 weeks into a ground-zero rebuild, laid the smack down on their provincial rivals.

I know it hurt the Flames draft position. But that doesn't matter. Because the resulting melt-down was epic.

It's one thing to beat a rival. But it's another level altogether to humiliate a rival so badly that they immediately fire their manager mid-season, and start clearing house. That's hitting someone so hard their mama feels it. That's priceless.

The 2012-13 Oilers were the worst team in the NHL that wasn't deliberately tanking. And now theres another former dynasty player in charge, who looks ready to stay the course. Don't ever change, Oiler buddies, don't ever change.

Well if that's the case I guess the Flames has been the worst team in the NHL that wasn't deliberately tanking for the past 5-6 years.

Btw I'll take MacT and his new hires over Feaster and his flunkies of making the flames a playoff team any day! You guys just dragged out your rebuild an extra 3 years. Ouch!

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#29 Where's Your Towel
August 15 2013, 07:18AM
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@The Last Big Bear

I'm more fond of that other beautiful April day this year when the Flames went down 8-2 at the hands of the Oilers. But, yeah a 4-1 loss 10 days later triggered sweeping organizational changes. I guess the Flames were only 4 days into a ground-zero rebuild at that point.

Cling to whatever fond memories you like. They are going to be few and far between for a while.

Trust us, we know.

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#30 The Last Big Bear
August 15 2013, 07:43AM
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Oh believe me, I'm not buying anything that Feaster is selling. And I'm under no illusions about how the Flames are going to perform this next year or two or four.

But nothing I've seen suggests that the Oilers have made any big strides forward. I have every reason so expect that you poor bastards will be down here in the weeds with us again next year.

It doesn't matter how you shuffle the chairs in the old boy's club upstairs. The team on the ice is (nearly) as bad as they've ever been. Oh yeah, and the team is at the cap ceiling, and has the highest cap-compliant forward payroll in the entire NHL. Good luck with that.

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#31 The Last Big Bear
August 15 2013, 07:49AM
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I think that last bit is worth repeating;

Edmonton has the highest paid cap-compliant forward group in the NHL.

With RNH and Yakupov still on their ELCs.

You should be panicking.

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#32 Harry
August 15 2013, 08:21AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

One of my fondest memories as a Flames fan will be that beautiful April day this year when the Flames, only 2 weeks into a ground-zero rebuild, laid the smack down on their provincial rivals.

I know it hurt the Flames draft position. But that doesn't matter. Because the resulting melt-down was epic.

It's one thing to beat a rival. But it's another level altogether to humiliate a rival so badly that they immediately fire their manager mid-season, and start clearing house. That's hitting someone so hard their mama feels it. That's priceless.

The 2012-13 Oilers were the worst team in the NHL that wasn't deliberately tanking. And now theres another former dynasty player in charge, who looks ready to stay the course. Don't ever change, Oiler buddies, don't ever change.

This coming from a guy who cheers for a team that employs Jay "Grimace" Feaster!? Priceless. Say hows old Ryan ORielly workin out for ya?

And judging by your current roster id be getting comfortable looking up at the Oilers from the basement of the Pacific division.

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#34 seanjohn
August 15 2013, 09:36AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

I'm pegging this effort as a near miss.

I'll take the best group of players getting off the bus each and every game, over the best coaching/management group every day of the week. It's no secret that the most successful GM's are usually accompanied by a top 5 goaltender and an elite player or three.

What is there in todays game now. Is it 3 off ice consultants/ coaching/management types for every one player contributing on the ice? No wonder the players appear confused during the actual games. Who has time to sort through all the crap these players are fed on a daily basis by all these paid groupies.

they are taking the Detroit approach: no cap on management. over time, a strong management and scouting staff should yield better results. think about it; if you have better and double the scouts all over the hockey world, doesn't it follow that you should find more diamonds in the rough then everyone else... like Detroit? how do find the next Kopitar? how bout a couple full time scouts in Slovenia? and Poland, and Belarus, and Kazakstan, and Omsk. doesn't it make sense to have a guy solely dedicated to scouting Amateur FAs? your odds are higher with more and better people.

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#35 2004Z06
August 15 2013, 10:11AM
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Oh man that GIF is awesome!

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#36 Rama Lama
August 15 2013, 10:20AM
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It was very refreshing and exciting to see the Oiler add yeat another piece to the Scouting Management Staff. IMHO this is where top teams are forged and stay that way.........teams like Detroit.

That Mac T sees the need for more hockey IQ in this department, is very comforting and projects a much need long-term vision for this franchise. In my way of thinking he has alread done more in three months than Tamby did in six years!

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#37 Reagan
August 15 2013, 10:32AM
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The GIF alone was awesome!

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#38 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
August 15 2013, 10:35AM
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@seanjohn

Not sure Edmonton will ever be able to emulate what happened in Detroit the last 15 yrs. Different markets. Players will often take less to play in an A market like Detroit. Edmonton is clearly a B market and has confirmed this repeatedly by overpaying players to have them settle here for a time. That blueprint may not work with these established ground rules.

I'm not against these type of moves, bringing Green in, but till the on ice team has success as a group, hope is being sold in management as much as it is on the ice. Credit is best earned, and not demanded. I'll wait a couple more seasons before I get on that management fan bandwagon. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, just not big on the blind faith thing. If David Poile can build a playoff team with just Rinne, Suter and Weber. Something appears to be wrong with our management group.

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#39 doug hoffman
August 15 2013, 10:35AM
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how you play the game on the ice is the responsibility of the coaching staff, they need to figure out the skill sets of their players and experiment with different combinations and personnel, if certain players can't figure it out or under perform they have to sit, a young team with many holes has to take care of their own end first and counter attack trying to keep games close, last year they tried to run and gun to satisfy the young guns stats but their team game on the whole was a mess, thats why their 5 on 5 play was almost unwatchable, the new head coach will establish a system of play and effort level where cheating will not be accepted, the players will be more engaged, they will not be as easy to play against, hitchcock said it best, to many players last year played like animals out of the barn, drive buys , no second effort, no playing through players always playing around players which is easy and safe, the challenge is to play and gain some respect, once that happens better results will follow and i'll be able to watch a game on t.v. without changing the channel because its to painful to watch how they play the game i love.

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#40 Walter Sobchak
August 15 2013, 11:38AM
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MacTavish has gone on record as saying this is the team that will start training camp. I'm taking him at his word, he's been extremely accurate and truthful in his plan of action.

Which leads me to believe the Oilers come November first will be right out of a playoff picture.

Starting a season with 2 NHL centers is as bad as it gets, starting the season with no 1-2 D-man, no 4th line and half a 3rd is brutal.

Say what you want about his restructuring the orginization and getting rid of dead weight, I personally believe he has done a great job.

The Cap says we can't get extra players.

I honestly believe the Oilers think they can hold off until RNH gets back, but ask yourself this, how long does it take RNH to get into game shape? A month? Maybe two?

I think the Oilers expectations on the kids carrying this team is going to be a huge fail....again

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#41 The Soup Fascist
August 15 2013, 12:03PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

One of my fondest memories as a Flames fan will be that beautiful April day this year when the Flames, only 2 weeks into a ground-zero rebuild, laid the smack down on their provincial rivals.

I know it hurt the Flames draft position. But that doesn't matter. Because the resulting melt-down was epic.

It's one thing to beat a rival. But it's another level altogether to humiliate a rival so badly that they immediately fire their manager mid-season, and start clearing house. That's hitting someone so hard their mama feels it. That's priceless.

The 2012-13 Oilers were the worst team in the NHL that wasn't deliberately tanking. And now theres another former dynasty player in charge, who looks ready to stay the course. Don't ever change, Oiler buddies, don't ever change.

The sad thing is I can't even get mad at Flames fans. Only pity them. I miss the days when I could get a good hate on for a Flamer down south when they were somehat relevant.

But now it is like kicking a kitten. Be well, Little Bear. Keep your memories close. You have a lot (and I mean a LOT) of painful seasons ahead. As someone indicated above, sadly we know ALL about it.

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#42 The Last Big Bear
August 15 2013, 12:07PM
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@Robin Brownlee

I think having the right off-ice staff is crucial, especially to a team that is young and underperforming.

Which is why, as I said, shuffling the chairs is unacceptable.

I think hiring Eakins was a good move, and if Acton is his man, then that's fine.

But on the management side you've got Lowe, the president, who used to be the head coach. He is the former GM and was widely rumored/reported to be the de-facto GM. He's been replaced as GM by Mactavish. Mactavish replaced Lowe as head coach until he was relieved of his job and became VP hockey ops. The guy replacing Mactavish as VP Hockey Ops is Howson, he used to be the Assistant GM, but left temoporarily (for "limited success" as a GM in a different org). The guy who replaced Howson as Assistant GM is Sillinger. If you draw a diagram of the above, it looks like Sillinger is mainly just a place-holder until the new coach gets fired and subsequently promoted to Assistant GM.

That looks an awful lot like shuffling chairs to me.

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#43 barry moore
August 15 2013, 01:53PM
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@The Last Big Bear

Even us US dudes know that the Low you are referring to is Ron Low - not Kevin Lowe.

Love the Oil in Illinois. Thanks God for Center Ice.

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#44 Micbilly99
August 15 2013, 02:02PM
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The two constants within the Oiler organization over the past 5 years have been: the assistant coaches (Bucky and Smith) and the pro scouting group. Both have failed the organization terribly. Bucky and Smith have worked with the forwards and defense. The forwards (other than the 1st round draft choices) have either stagnated or are now worse off and the defenseman of the last year had either mediocre or poor years. It can’t always be the players, the staff has to take some of the responsibility. As for the pro scouting, please….look at what they have done. You would be very hard pressed to show one trade, one free agent that has delivered more than expected. All the players have disappointed, but we knew they would when they arrived. Pro Scouting has not delivered and its time that someone takes some responsibility for that group. Until Bucky, Smith and the pro scouting move on, the team will be stuck in the mud it’s been stuck in for the last five years!

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#45 The Last Big Bear
August 15 2013, 02:27PM
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barry moore wrote:

Even us US dudes know that the Low you are referring to is Ron Low - not Kevin Lowe.

Love the Oil in Illinois. Thanks God for Center Ice.

Kevin Lowe was an assistant coach to Ron Low, and replaced him as head coach in 1999.

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#46 TigerUnderGlass
August 15 2013, 02:40PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

Players will often take less to play in an A market like Detroit.

Hilarious

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#47 Supernova
August 15 2013, 03:19PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Not sure Edmonton will ever be able to emulate what happened in Detroit the last 15 yrs. Different markets. Players will often take less to play in an A market like Detroit. Edmonton is clearly a B market and has confirmed this repeatedly by overpaying players to have them settle here for a time. That blueprint may not work with these established ground rules.

I'm not against these type of moves, bringing Green in, but till the on ice team has success as a group, hope is being sold in management as much as it is on the ice. Credit is best earned, and not demanded. I'll wait a couple more seasons before I get on that management fan bandwagon. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, just not big on the blind faith thing. If David Poile can build a playoff team with just Rinne, Suter and Weber. Something appears to be wrong with our management group.

Really puzzled how you can describe Detroit as a A market and Edmonton as a B.

There are only 2 things that separate the two markets.

1) their most recent history say from early 90's to now. 2) Travel- Which until know wasn't huge because Detroit played in the West.

Not arguing that Edmonton is a A, i am saying Detroit is a B that is able to operate and obtain players like a A. On a pure market basis Edmonton is very comparable to Detroit.

Edmonton's biggest task is to build a winning management team that is able to overcome being in a A market. Detroit has done this exceptionally well, and have overcome alot of negatives in their market to do this. But they haven't always been like this. Their march to the top began when the Illitch ownership took over and it still took many seasons to do so. I believe Katz ownership has provided Oiler management with every possible tool to do so, we just need to see this play out.

Detroit as a city is certainly not attractive, neither is Edmonton.

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#48 The Last Big Bear
August 15 2013, 04:01PM
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@Supernova

"There are only 2 things that separate the two markets. 1) their most recent history say from early 90's to now..."

When you're talking to the average UFA, saying "from the early 90's to now" is the same as saying "since you were in grade 2"

Try it:

"The Wings have only been consistently successful since you were 7."

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#49 Tim in Kelowna
August 15 2013, 04:05PM
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I just love that gif! It should be included in all MacT related posts.

Oh, and good piece RB. The roster overhaul wasn't as dramatic as I was hoping, but I, along with many other Oiler fans, likely had unreasonable expectations. I'm liking the look of the front office. No offense to Tambellini, but replacing a dumb GM with a smart GM is about as good a move as a hockey team can make.

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#50 The Last Big Bear
August 15 2013, 04:32PM
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I agree that this GIF should be used in all MacT related posts

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