Oilers GM MacTavish Spotted In Toronto

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 05 2014 09:51AM

 

The Toronto Marlies have an 11AM home game today. Why? Because they hate logic (actually, it's a school day game, something they do a few times a season). To some, this isn't very interesting on the surface (if it is? We'll have a recap on TheLeafsNation), but a bit of an eyebrow raiser came in the form of Craig MacTavish being in attendance.

I can't tell you exactly what he's here for, but this is what we do know. 

  • The Marlies don't face Edmonton's AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons for another three weeks.
  • Oklahoma doesn't face San Antonio until March 2nd
  • If he's scouting a Panthers prospect, there are multiple other opportunities to see San Antonio in Canada ahead of the Trade Deadline (17th and 23rd in Hamilton, 22nd in Toronto)
  • If he's scouting a Leafs prospect, the Marlies play ten straight games at home through March 2nd.
  • With the Oilers in the middle of an Eastern road trip (Sabres/Rangers/Devils), this is a convenient time for him to check in on some players he's interested in. Given the amount of New York-based teams in the AHL, however (including games in Binghamton and Rochester tonight), it's unlikely that this is watching hockey for the sake of watching hockey.
  • The Leafs have a home game against Vancouver on Saturday night., but I don't think it's likely he's here because he plans on keeping tabs on that game as well.
  • Edmonton and Toronto don't face each other for the remainder of the season.
  • The Edmonton Oilers have five players and the head coach of the 2011/12 Marlies roster, and there's still two guys from that team wearing AHL blue and white today (Korbinian Holzer, a defensive defenseman, and Jerry D'Amigo, a utility bottom six winger).
  • The Oilers just acquired Mark Fraser from the Toronto Maple Leafs a few days ago.
  • MacTavish has been a regular at Ricoh Coliseum for several years, even as his role and employers changed.

What does this mean? I couldn't tell you for certain. But it's a thing that happened, if nothing else.

7cb905bdffc4d09e93770ff4a1889462
I bring news about the Toronto Marlies, opinions about the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a bunch of ridiculous thoughts about everything else.
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#1 Rob...
February 05 2014, 10:09AM
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Maybe he's there to beg them to take Eakins back.

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#2 the tikk
February 05 2014, 10:07AM
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I can't stand the thought that MacT might bring in any more former Marlies to take up spots that should rightfully be occupied by former Oil Kings.

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#3 gcw_rocks
February 05 2014, 09:58AM
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Someone needs to tell MacTavish the Marlies are an AHL team, not an NHL team.

This probably bodes well for Leaf fans. Undoubtedly MacT will soon be offering something of value for the Leafs marginal players/prospects with little skill but have size.

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#4 Brad 21
February 05 2014, 10:53AM
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I can't even read anything Eklund writes, he is so full of crap. Not one thing he has ever written has come to fruition. Just throws things against the wall and hopes they stick. I know 10 year olds who could be better reporters.

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#6 A-Mc
February 05 2014, 10:13AM
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Just had a thought..what if MacT is there to scout the coaching staff? Maybe Eakins has mentioned that one of his Marlies coaches played a big role, and now MacT is taking a look at the resulting product?

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#7 Harlie
February 05 2014, 09:56AM
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C'mon MacT we need bold thinking and out of the box. Not another Eakins pet project.

Just why in the H E double Toothpicks do we even have a pro scouting Staff? What exactly do they do? Why does a GM need to have a look himself and can't trust his "scouts"? Why was there no interest in any Toronto deals until Eakins came on board.

Oh vey!

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#8 They're $hittie
February 05 2014, 10:02AM
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Finally The number ones will start on a line together.

Finally Eberle will have his ice time cut for lack of effort, stupid toe dragging and terrible d coverage.

Now Dallas please just go back to the PP from last year which featured Yak taking the shot. Getting a pass from a right handed passer, Eberle, Gagner or hemsky. Than base the second along a point shot with nuge passing to hall who is beside the net.

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#9 Andrew
February 05 2014, 11:12AM
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I just read Colby Cosh's McLeans article about the catastrophe that is the Oilers hockey club. He addresses everything from Katz to the bottom of the Oilers organization. This guy has it going on IMO. Check it out on Twitter. It reflects the general view of several recent blogs by Brownlee and Jonathan Willis but it is interesting to me that he is someone who isn't swimming in the Oiler Koolaid. Cosh identifies the massive arrogance of KLowe and the basic ineffective methods of the Oiler assistant coaches who have been insulated from anything even vaguely close to accountability. The stars seem to be alignlng when it comes to media reporters and a thoroughly disgusted fan-base. I just wonder if Katz 'et al' ever react to the fan's angst or is the only thing he responds to is really bad p.r. and....empty seats.

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#10 Fresh Mess
February 05 2014, 10:34AM
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He's probably checking out the career minor leaguers being offered for Ganger and Hemsky.

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#11 Mack Strong
February 05 2014, 12:00PM
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This sounds like a bad episode of TMZ!

Mac T spotted in NYC…

Mac T spotted in T.O…

This is weak…...

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#12 40 Double D (tier 1 in waiting)
February 05 2014, 01:46PM
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Our AHL team will soon be complete!

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#13 Dan
February 05 2014, 11:43AM
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Craig's son goes to Queen's, I bet he is just stopping by Toronto during a visit.

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#14 David S
February 05 2014, 12:29PM
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Zarny wrote:

I love it!

MacT goes to a Marlies game and the Eakins haters completely wet their pants and lose their sh*t.

Get a grip already.

MacT probably isn't looking at principles of any deal. Gags and Gardiner have been linked for over a year now. It likely wouldn't be straight up. Back in the day GM's used to just pick names off a list as throw ins. Today they do a little more research.

The LA rumors involving a major piece the Oilers need is interesting. Voynov and Muzzin on the blueline would be likely targets for the Oilers. Clifford and King on F perhaps. Or maybe a guy like Stoll?

[UPDATE] Undocumented souces report Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was spotted ordering coffee from McDonalds this morning instead of his regular haunt, Tim Hortons.

Follow details and analysis of this stunning revelation throughout the day at TSN.ca, your exclusive source for all that matters leading up to this year's trade deadline.

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#15 Harlie
February 05 2014, 01:50PM
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Zarny wrote:

No Harlie, GM's don't literally look at every single player they trade for. Don't be obtuse.

But key players and big trades? Absolutely. GM's and assistant GM's are always seen in the stands watching other teams leading up to the trade deadline.

I didn't say GM's ignore or don't listen to their scouts; but they certainly aren't their only source of info.

And no one game isn't likely enough. Of course, this isn't the first Marlies game MacT has been to now is it.

You remind me of Tambellini in your ability to talk but have nothing of substance to say.

So on one hand you state "Any GM who relies solely on other people to form his opinions and fails to take a look at an asset he might acquire in person should be fired on the spot."

And then you come back and say "No Harlie, GM's don't literally look at every single player they trade for."

So I guess I'm the obtuse one as I can't figure out which statement you stand behind??

Be better Zarny.

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#16 Tikkanese
February 05 2014, 12:29PM
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Maybe he's there to mock them in person for taking Cameron Abney.

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#17 Reg Dunlop
February 05 2014, 10:10AM
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Sounds like D'Amigo would tantalize Mac. I have never heard of an 80 year old ex-linesman making a comeback as a role player though.

Another possibility is that the Marlies are giving out bogus MBA degrees during the intermission. Can never have too many of those.

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#18 Taylor Gang
February 05 2014, 10:28AM
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gcw_rocks wrote:

Someone needs to tell MacTavish the Marlies are an AHL team, not an NHL team.

This probably bodes well for Leaf fans. Undoubtedly MacT will soon be offering something of value for the Leafs marginal players/prospects with little skill but have size.

This 1000 times over

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#19 Taylor Gang
February 05 2014, 10:30AM
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A-Mc wrote:

Just had a thought..what if MacT is there to scout the coaching staff? Maybe Eakins has mentioned that one of his Marlies coaches played a big role, and now MacT is taking a look at the resulting product?

I sure hope so. At this point, anyone is an upgrade over Smith and Bucky

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#20 Zarny
February 05 2014, 11:01AM
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Harlie wrote:

C'mon MacT we need bold thinking and out of the box. Not another Eakins pet project.

Just why in the H E double Toothpicks do we even have a pro scouting Staff? What exactly do they do? Why does a GM need to have a look himself and can't trust his "scouts"? Why was there no interest in any Toronto deals until Eakins came on board.

Oh vey!

Good grief.

Any GM who relies solely on other people to form his opinions and fails to take a look at an asset he might acquire in person should be fired on the spot.

And since you seem to have missed the memo there was conversations last year about Gagner for Gardiner...before Eakins came on board.

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#21 They're $hittie
February 05 2014, 11:39AM
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Brad 21 wrote:

I can't even read anything Eklund writes, he is so full of crap. Not one thing he has ever written has come to fruition. Just throws things against the wall and hopes they stick. I know 10 year olds who could be better reporters.

Has anyone met him? confirmed him as a legitamate source? Verified his account? Know he is even and adult and not some 12 year old?

Good for a laugh and someone to tell shove it. Not good for credible info and rumours.

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#22 Rama Lama
February 05 2014, 10:30AM
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If Mac T was really interested in improving his team, perhaps he should ask Dallas Eakins why he continues to use the same PP strategy ( using for or five forwards) over and over again.

Why would you reward this group when they have no plan to shoot ..........just making nice passes in not the point of the PP. Bench them until they figure out that the point of the PP is to put shots to the net!! HOw many time does a coach need to see odd man rushes to figure out something is not working.

Getting new players from a AHL team will not fix this problem. Hopefully Mac T is trying to trade Dallas Eakins back to the AHL where he belongs!

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#23 vetinari
February 05 2014, 12:14PM
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MacT should be at as many NHL and AHL games as possible.... it's his job!

He also may be looking at an AHL swap of contracts (remember the deal with Florida a few weeks back). The Barons at least have an outside shot of making the playoffs so maybe this is more about them than the Oilers.

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#24 A-Mc
February 05 2014, 10:11AM
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Nothing to get excited about if he is scouting the Marlies. Move along! Nothing to see here...

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#25 Harlie
February 05 2014, 10:09AM
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Ricoh....Suave...Arena

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#26 ubermiguel
February 05 2014, 12:23PM
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Dan wrote:

Craig's son goes to Queen's, I bet he is just stopping by Toronto during a visit.

He goes to a hockey game while he's there, calls it a business expense and writes it off on the taxes. This makes the most sense out of any explantion I've heard yet.

Patrick Burke (former scout, son of Brian) tweeted something about this a while back: basically people start all these crazy rumours when scouts show up at unexpected games, but half the time they're in town for a family reason and just go to catch a game.

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#27 Silver streak
February 05 2014, 11:54AM
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The Kings have way more of what we need than do the Leaf organization.....L.A. Has size with grit up front, solid D, and above all.....they are winners..that small intangible that we so bloody desperately need.....

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#28 Kr55
February 05 2014, 10:52AM
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MacT is losing it. We should not be modeling our team after the Leafs/Marlies. It's just a total fluke that the leafs are in a playoff spot right now after getting dominated almost every game they play. Looking like MacT is just a 1 trick pony with the Perron trade. His performance aside from that 1 move is largely a disappointment with the Eakins hiring the biggest mistake of them all.

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#29 Zarny
February 05 2014, 11:16AM
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I love it!

MacT goes to a Marlies game and the Eakins haters completely wet their pants and lose their sh*t.

Get a grip already.

MacT probably isn't looking at principles of any deal. Gags and Gardiner have been linked for over a year now. It likely wouldn't be straight up. Back in the day GM's used to just pick names off a list as throw ins. Today they do a little more research.

The LA rumors involving a major piece the Oilers need is interesting. Voynov and Muzzin on the blueline would be likely targets for the Oilers. Clifford and King on F perhaps. Or maybe a guy like Stoll?

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#30 Dar
February 05 2014, 10:29AM
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Jeff Veillette (Jeffler) wrote:

This is actually pretty plausible. I was surprised that Dallas didn't take Dineen and King with him when he left

please no please no maybe he wants Toronto totake Eakins back YES!!!!

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#31 freelancer
February 05 2014, 10:29AM
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Off topic: Hope that the blame game this year falls on the coaching support staff, Smith, Bucky, Chabot, time to move on. Now back on this, Kulemin, Bolland, and of course Gardiner are three actual roster players I could see as a possible target.

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#32 Serious Gord
February 05 2014, 12:39PM
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If Klowe isn't with him then nothing is going on. MacT is just scouting.

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#33 Lochenzo
February 05 2014, 12:02PM
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watkinator wrote:

Could MacT be playing the Kings and Leafs off against each other, trying to get them to up the return, bidding war style? It's what I'd expect my GM to do.

IMO, MacT should wait for the offseason to trade Gagner. Right now everyone probably wants him to hold on to a bunch of his salary for THREE years just to fit under the cap for two months. Wait until the offseason and then tell Gagner to give you a list of teams he'd accept being traded to and get him to waive the NTC. The return would have to be way better then than it is right now.

Maybe, but why wait if LA really, REALLY wants Gagner now for their playoff run. LA needs offence. When you have a roster like LA's, you should be doing your best to make a run at the Cup. I think there is a good deal for Edmonton there, if they can agree on the right assets.

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#34 Tikkanese
February 05 2014, 12:06PM
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It could simply be another AHL trade in the works. The Barons need help up front still and a journeyman D to lighten the load for the kids would not be a bad idea either.

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#35 Zarny
February 05 2014, 01:40PM
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Harlie wrote:

Oh really now? So your saying that every GM goes and looks at every single player he trades for? So what happens during trade deadline and multiple trades? The GM was secretly visiting and watching 10 players in advance or was it his Scouts?

C'mon man, these guys have Scout teams that this is their job to provide the data and information for the GM to make a decision.

Lastly, you tellin me that a GM watching one game is enough of a sample size to make a trade?

And yes, I guess I missed the memo on Gardiner. Thanks for scouting that out for me. Maybe I'll fly to Toronto and ask someone about the memo face to face to make sure it's a good deal first before I decide if it is or not.

No Harlie, GM's don't literally look at every single player they trade for. Don't be obtuse.

But key players and big trades? Absolutely. GM's and assistant GM's are always seen in the stands watching other teams leading up to the trade deadline.

I didn't say GM's ignore or don't listen to their scouts; but they certainly aren't their only source of info.

And no one game isn't likely enough. Of course, this isn't the first Marlies game MacT has been to now is it.

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#36 john
February 06 2014, 03:13AM
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STAN wrote:

PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE.

Let this be Mac fishing for the other guys he'll need in a package that sends Clarkson to Edmonton.

Are you serious? Clarkson has been a bust over here in Toronto, over pay and had a few suspensions already. He has 9 points in 37 games and -5 for the season. Gagner has 23 points in 45 games (missed some games with broken jaws) and -20 for the season, the fans there run him out of town. WOW that's why no UFA want to come to Edmonton. Oilers fans never happy with what they have, Oilers need a real coach, Eakins is ruining the team and players confidence there.

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#38 LOIL99
February 05 2014, 01:39PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Sounds like D'Amigo would tantalize Mac. I have never heard of an 80 year old ex-linesman making a comeback as a role player though.

Another possibility is that the Marlies are giving out bogus MBA degrees during the intermission. Can never have too many of those.

Why would he go all the way to T.O. for another degree? His first one was completed online, why not the 2nd?

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#39 Spydyr
February 05 2014, 07:23PM
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I'm hoping he was asking the Marlies if they would like Eakins back.No charge.

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#40 watkinator
February 05 2014, 11:21AM
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Could MacT be playing the Kings and Leafs off against each other, trying to get them to up the return, bidding war style? It's what I'd expect my GM to do.

IMO, MacT should wait for the offseason to trade Gagner. Right now everyone probably wants him to hold on to a bunch of his salary for THREE years just to fit under the cap for two months. Wait until the offseason and then tell Gagner to give you a list of teams he'd accept being traded to and get him to waive the NTC. The return would have to be way better then than it is right now.

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#41 Lowe Expectations
February 05 2014, 12:06PM
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Probably there to ask the school kids what to do about the Oilers. Lord knows, it's better than talking to 6 rings and the rest of the old boys club here.

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#42 loweblows
February 05 2014, 12:17PM
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Alternatively maybe he is there to pick up the bag of pucks they threw in with Eakins.

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#43 STAN
February 05 2014, 11:22PM
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PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE.

Let this be Mac fishing for the other guys he'll need in a package that sends Clarkson to Edmonton.

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#44 madjam
February 05 2014, 12:32PM
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Maybe he is looking at a minor league job for himself if our team remains on bottom of league ? Maybe a sabbatical ?

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#45 Newj
February 05 2014, 10:38AM
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FYI...this in from HockeyBuzz.com (Eklund) .....yes its full of conjecture & hype (maybe that's why I read it?) but....

tracking something this morning....

I realize the Oilers came out recently and said they wouldn't trade away youth.....however....the Kings just might be offering up a "serious" deal for one of the Oilers top line guys...stay tuned today, all day...will have a major rumor/chart update in the next two hours...possibly sooner...

Also hearing Detroit in on Vanek. The Islanders are VERY taken aback by the fact their offer was dismissed...it was way more substantial than anyone else believed it would be....

more coming up.

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#46 mayorblaine
February 05 2014, 11:13AM
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maybe he's concerned about his air miles*. do they expire?

*please be this.

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#47 ubermiguel
February 05 2014, 01:11PM
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Show me da Money wrote:

Just saw Sportsnet's Hockeycentral at Noon. They had Mark Messier on as guest.

At the very end of the show they finally asked him what he was doing as an advisor in Edmonton. He advises.

How do you feel about your old friend Kevin Lowe being under the gun by fans in Edmonton? "Well, we all know you're judged on your results". And then he added but he led them to a Stanley Cup final a few years ago and many teams would give anything to be there. Huh?

Maybe he was advising MacT?

Our Boy on the Bus just got thrown under the bus by Mess. Deservedly so. 2006 was 8 years ago.

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#48 Zarny
February 05 2014, 01:33PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Gardiner skates with the Leafs, and not the Marlies.So why go to Ricco to see Gardiner when he is not there.

MaT, might be doing an upgrade on his MBA, and his thesis is on comparison of hot dogs at AHL arenas.

Like I said...a hypothetical trade for Gags & Gardiner would likely not be straight up.

Ergo, MacT goes to scout some Marlies to see if any catch his interest as an addition to said hypothetical trade.

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#49 whichonespink
February 05 2014, 04:34PM
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He's here to take a look at Holzer. Eakens relied on Hozer a lot while he was with the Marlies. My guess, he's looking to poach a Dman or two.

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#50 loweblows
February 05 2014, 12:12PM
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Maybe he is there to learn how to run a team like Harold Ballard used to. :(

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