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.

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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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#51 Show me da Money
February 05 2014, 12:56PM
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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?

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#52 Oiler Al
February 05 2014, 01:09PM
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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?

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.

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#53 Harlie
February 05 2014, 01:18PM
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Zarny wrote:

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.

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.

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#54 Dman09
February 05 2014, 10:58AM
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Newj wrote:

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.

Anything is possible, I mean there have been lots of rumblings from all over about the Oil and the kings talking trade and from credible sources. Maybe as part of the big trade LA is interested in a player the leafs have. Maybe it will be a three way trade. If one of the young guns is included then there is likely a lot of pieces to the puzzle because I don't see MacT being interested in 1st round picks.

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#55 S cottV
February 05 2014, 11:50AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

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!

Geez - Rama Lama, you're gonna get Zarny going again.

Using 5 forwards on a pp is really going too far, except maybe if you are in desperate need of a goal, like down by two - late in a game.

The one time that really stands out in my mind, where Eakins used 5 forwards - at the wrong time, was when Chicago was in town and Yak coughed it up vs Toews early in the first period. Full house, lots of energy, big game, get an early pp opportunity and allow the Stanley Cup Champions to stick the 5 forwards up your @ss. Now that was really dumb. Giving up a short handed goal when you fly or outright laugh in the face of what is considered reasonable risk, knocks the stuffing out of your hockey club.

4 forwards is a little more conventional but with J. Schultz the lone d man, it's damn close to going with 5 forwards. The 4th forward really has to be able to handle the puck up top and not get burned in the process. Putting Yak in that position is like russian roulette and 5 of 6 bullets loaded in the gun. It's tempting because he can shoot but I wouldn't put that gun to my head.

The reason they are over working the puck is because no one is really big enough / strong enough or couragious enough to hang around the front of the net for long. If you don't use an umbrella, then you really need two stellar point guys who can create enough time and space between them, to set up a shot that gets through, with 2 guys in front and the 3rd going to the net. Oilers - don't have those 2 point guys or the kind of guys who can or will stand in front down low for any length of time.

So - in some ways Eakins is forced into what they are doing, but - geez, let's not outright laugh in the face of reasonable risk in the process.

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#56 Zarny
February 05 2014, 01:30PM
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S cottV wrote:

Geez - Rama Lama, you're gonna get Zarny going again.

Using 5 forwards on a pp is really going too far, except maybe if you are in desperate need of a goal, like down by two - late in a game.

The one time that really stands out in my mind, where Eakins used 5 forwards - at the wrong time, was when Chicago was in town and Yak coughed it up vs Toews early in the first period. Full house, lots of energy, big game, get an early pp opportunity and allow the Stanley Cup Champions to stick the 5 forwards up your @ss. Now that was really dumb. Giving up a short handed goal when you fly or outright laugh in the face of what is considered reasonable risk, knocks the stuffing out of your hockey club.

4 forwards is a little more conventional but with J. Schultz the lone d man, it's damn close to going with 5 forwards. The 4th forward really has to be able to handle the puck up top and not get burned in the process. Putting Yak in that position is like russian roulette and 5 of 6 bullets loaded in the gun. It's tempting because he can shoot but I wouldn't put that gun to my head.

The reason they are over working the puck is because no one is really big enough / strong enough or couragious enough to hang around the front of the net for long. If you don't use an umbrella, then you really need two stellar point guys who can create enough time and space between them, to set up a shot that gets through, with 2 guys in front and the 3rd going to the net. Oilers - don't have those 2 point guys or the kind of guys who can or will stand in front down low for any length of time.

So - in some ways Eakins is forced into what they are doing, but - geez, let's not outright laugh in the face of reasonable risk in the process.

Haha...nope nothing new to add.

Using 4 or 5 F on the PP makes sense when your options on D include Ference, Petry, Belov and the rest that sorry lot.

4 F have been used extensively on the PP in Pit, Chi, Wsh, Det not to mention the Oilers of the 80s used to do it.

My criticism yesterday wasn't specifically about using 4 or 5 F on the PP.

It was simply that using 4 or 5 F on the PP had nothing to do with players shooting more, making stupid passes east-west across the ice or anything else Rama Lama mentioned.

It's like the wailing about Eakins being a rookie coach. That's not actually a point. Jon Cooper is a rookie coach and TB is doing ok. Bylsma was a rookie coach and Pit has done fine. Being a rookie coach isn't really relevant in terms of whether or not he's a good coach or the right coach.

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#57 Joy S. Lee
February 05 2014, 04:56PM
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I hope he's looking at one of Brad Ross, Tyler Biggs, or Jerry D'Amigo. They're the only ones who intrigue me out of that group, but I won't make any sort of claim to know all of them, either. My perspective is very limited, but I like the 3 I mentioned.

Hope the cost isn't too high, is all, since none has been able to crack the NHL yet, either, and the Leafs aren't exactly flying high these days. (Which makes a trade that much more feasible...neither team is getting it done.)

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#58 Joy S. Lee
February 05 2014, 05:08PM
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David S wrote:

[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.

Not to be negative nelly, but man, you are becoming like the advertising mogul. Your postings consistently represent a business or product that the Oilers are flaunting...did you get a promotion? Kickbacks?

Well, nicely done. Good luck in your new role.

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#59 Joy S. Lee
February 05 2014, 05:16PM
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40 Double D (tier 1 in waiting) wrote:

Our AHL team will soon be complete!

Actually, not so fast. They have a ways to go there, too, not kidding.

You'll recall, some of Kevin Lowe's earlier moves included having shared farm teams. Before that, no farm team at all.

No doubt this reflects the sheer genius of the man with 6 rings. Who needs a farm team, anyway?

Ok, I'm being sarcastic. The farm team is one of the most important things a team has, and we all know it. MacT knew it when he started trading down for more picks last year, too. Long way to go just yet...won't be finished until every player on the team is a truly potential call-up. At least that would be my gauge.

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#60 David S
February 05 2014, 07:50PM
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Joy S. Lee wrote:

Not to be negative nelly, but man, you are becoming like the advertising mogul. Your postings consistently represent a business or product that the Oilers are flaunting...did you get a promotion? Kickbacks?

Well, nicely done. Good luck in your new role.

What? It was just a jo...

Ohhhh...nevermind.

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#61 S cottV
February 05 2014, 01:36PM
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@Zarny

OK - not going to bite on the Eakins deal at least for today....

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#62 40 Double D
February 05 2014, 07:18PM
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Joy S. Lee wrote:

Actually, not so fast. They have a ways to go there, too, not kidding.

You'll recall, some of Kevin Lowe's earlier moves included having shared farm teams. Before that, no farm team at all.

No doubt this reflects the sheer genius of the man with 6 rings. Who needs a farm team, anyway?

Ok, I'm being sarcastic. The farm team is one of the most important things a team has, and we all know it. MacT knew it when he started trading down for more picks last year, too. Long way to go just yet...won't be finished until every player on the team is a truly potential call-up. At least that would be my gauge.

I was sarcastically referring to our current NHL team as the AHL team.

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#63 VK63
February 06 2014, 08:01AM
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Is the Zanzibar still a thing in T dot?

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#64 Puck JammeR!
February 05 2014, 01:11PM
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Craig trades an idiot for a fart - a widely criticized decision

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#65 STAN
February 05 2014, 05:14PM
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I'm certain Mac was misquoted when he said he would "make bold moves". I heard from the usually unreliable sources that he said "make Broll moves" or perhaps "make Bodie moves".

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#66 Brian
February 05 2014, 10:04PM
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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.

Uh .... We are talking about Oiler pro scouts. That's why MacT is there .

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#67 TigerUnderGlass
February 06 2014, 09:33AM
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@Joy S. Lee

You'll recall, some of Kevin Lowe's earlier moves included having shared farm teams. Before that, no farm team at all.

Is this a serious comment?

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#68 Frameworth Sport Marketing
February 07 2014, 08:49AM
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Frameworth is hosting a Public Signing with 6 Toronto Maple Leaf Players including Bernier, Bozak, and Rielly on February 22nd 2014. Check out Frameworth.com for details.

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