MACT'S BEST MOVES, YEAR ONE

Lowetide
March 10 2014 10:13PM

mact common7

The Edmonton Oilers have not enjoyed a good season, but there has been plenty of good work done. GM Craig MacTavish took over one year ago, and has been very active. Which move has worked out the best?

DRAFTING DARNELL NURSE

nurse common

The defenseman Edmonton is looking for right now? Darnell Nurse may be that exact player. A strong step forward in boxcars (including an impressive power-play spike) married to tough minutes means Nurse is displaying a wide range of skills in one of the best junior leagues on the planet.


SIGNING BOYD GORDON

gordon common

Extreme zone starts, penalty killing, and scoring more than we expected, Boyd Gordon makes a strong case for team MVP. The zone starts are the third toughest in the league. 

boyd gordon

Gordon's crazy zone starts show up in the Vollman Sledgehammer. He's playing very difficult minutes and has been doing it all season long. 

TRADING FOR DAVID PERRON

perron4

perron scoring

The assets given (Paajarvi and a 2) had value, but Perron has covered them with a strong season. His offense is obvious, but he also plays with an edge and has provided the club with terrific even strength offense.

5x5/60, Oiler forwards

  1. Taylor Hall 3.15
  2. David Perron 2.10
  3. Mark Arcobello 1.93
  4. Jordan Eberle 1.79
  5. Nail Yakupov 1.60
  6. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.60
  7. Sam Gagner 1.54

Perron's 2.10/60 at 5x5 ranks him 64th overall in the entire NHL among regular forwards. That's a helluva player.

ACQUIRING AND SIGNING BEN SCRIVENS

scrivens

He leads the NHL in save percentage, and his numbers have improved since he arrived in Edmonton. The Oilers haven't had goaltending this good since Dwayne Roloson. The fact that he's a pretty good interview and has that 'goalie cool' attitude make it even more fun.

I SAID PARDON?

pug

Which is it? The "perfect fit" defenseman Darnell Nurse, the shutdown center, the scoring winger with an edge or the show-stopper in goal?

I know this much: if Steve Tambellini had 12 months that included Perron, Scrivens and Gordon the Oilers wouldn't be in this mess. Can MacTavish repeat things this summer? He'll have to, and more. 

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#1 Retsinnab5
March 10 2014, 10:35PM
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Props if you like what MacT has done this year.

Trash if you dislike what he has done and think he should be Fire.

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#2 BC BOY
March 10 2014, 10:38PM
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It could be worse.... We could be Canucks fans

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#3 6 ring circus
March 10 2014, 10:20PM
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Mact's worst move of year one, was hiring Eakin's !!!

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#4 nqmt
March 10 2014, 10:52PM
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we may not agree with all the moves MacT has done or not done...but we can all agree that he is a man of action and he doesn't sit on his hands like Tamby did

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#5 dougtheslug
March 10 2014, 11:13PM
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sheldon wrote:

All these fans calling for Eakins head are completely asinine. You really think ANOTHER coaching change will help the oilers. If you look at last year compared to this year: last year almost every game, ALL YEAR, it looked like the oilers gave no effort (it was my main criticism of them) this year not great, but MUCH better. second, this is the first time in a long time the team has some structure to their game, Eakins can't help it if he has only bottom pairing Dmen. Ralph Kruger let this team run around the ice with no structure or accountability whatsoever and its hurting us now. Lastly, the last 10-20 games the oilers are actually looking like a somewhat difficult team to play against, guys are sticking up for one another! never saw that once last year(excluding Horcoff). This is the first year many of these players have had to play with structure and when Eakins can finally drive it into their heads, we'll be looking at a much better hockey team. Provided we get at least one good Dman.

I'm an old fart, and have missed the ~~ signs signifying sarcasm a few times this month. So I double checked this time. I assume you are serious.

During the Oilers last dozen games, while their record has been an inexplicable 7-3-2, they have been outshot 11 times, including two games when they allowed over 50 shots, and another 2 when they allowed over 40 shots.

Their power play has surrendered almost as many goals as it has scored.

Against upper echelon teams (San Jose, Boston, Los Angeles), they looked like Latvia against Canada, and it took a once-in-a-decade goaltender performance to win against the Sharks. And goaltending has stolen probably 6 of those wins.

They are as structureless and as soft to play against as a flacid male organ, and give about as much pleasure.

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#6 Dan
March 10 2014, 10:56PM
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MacT's best moves... #1 becoming best friends with Lowe

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#7 6 ring circus
March 10 2014, 10:55PM
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@sheldon

You are joking right? The only reason Eakins is still here is because of the coaching carousel of the last 3 years,that does not make it right,Mactavish jumped the gun on hiring Eakins ,there is no system in place,no accountability,both the PP and PK have failed this year ,if this was any other team ,he would of been fired at the Olympic break.

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#8 **
March 11 2014, 01:09AM
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Retsinnab5 wrote:

Props if you like what MacT has done this year.

Trash if you dislike what he has done and think he should be Fire.

bad choices.

Props if you think Eakins should be fired, given his team is regressing in almost every stat.

Trash if you think Eakins just needs more time because he doesn't have the right mix of players and the d needs serious overhaul.

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#9 mlcselli
March 10 2014, 10:31PM
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I agree with the 1st comment. The only thing I'd add that makes it his worst move is keeping the sad sacks that stand beside him. Firing them all will be his smartest move.

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#10 kale
March 10 2014, 10:54PM
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LT...I sure hope you are planning to balance this article with MacTs worst moves given that notwithstanding his best moves they sit in 29th. What would it be? hiring Eakins? encouraging Eakins to keep his assistant coaches(he said he hoped Eakins would keep them when Eakins was hired)? Grebeshkov signing? Belov signing? Labarbera signning? Smid trade? Acton, and keeping him up here forever? Hamilton? Gagner extension? Perhaps you are planning to write such an article, however you did not state that.

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#11 Trent
March 11 2014, 12:10AM
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More "best" moves-

- hiring Eakins -giving a rookie coach a 4 year deal when Cup champions only get that kind of term -not firing Eakins -bashing Dubnyk publicly last summer, -sticking with Dubnyk, -LOLbarbara, -ditching Smid to clear room for Bryz when it was already too late, -Grebs, Belov, Larson on main roster, -Grebs, Belov, Larson on AHL roster -saying it is best for 83 and the team if they go separate ways then not trade him for 10 months, -going to Seattle to watch MNF with Katz and friends - telling fans he is impatient and bold and not following up on that -preaching patience this season -telling season ticket holders that we are further ahead now than last year -saying at December interview with Stauffer that Oilers play an entertaining brand of hockey - trading 2nd round picks for like three 4ths or so, -trading a 4th for like two 7ths or whatever the hell that was last summer -keeping Smith + Buchy around, -keeping pro scouts around, -giving Ralph vote of confidence then firing him a month later (I thought MacT said he had a plan), - saying team needs toughness then deleting Smid and not signing Fistric, -thinking Jonesu would have any impact and could play NHL hockey, -telling fans that we can challenge for a playoff spot and then coming as far away from that as is mathmatically possible. -Gagner contract -going to work each day

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#12 sheldon
March 10 2014, 10:43PM
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All these fans calling for Eakins head are completely asinine. You really think ANOTHER coaching change will help the oilers. If you look at last year compared to this year: last year almost every game, ALL YEAR, it looked like the oilers gave no effort (it was my main criticism of them) this year not great, but MUCH better. second, this is the first time in a long time the team has some structure to their game, Eakins can't help it if he has only bottom pairing Dmen. Ralph Kruger let this team run around the ice with no structure or accountability whatsoever and its hurting us now. Lastly, the last 10-20 games the oilers are actually looking like a somewhat difficult team to play against, guys are sticking up for one another! never saw that once last year(excluding Horcoff). This is the first year many of these players have had to play with structure and when Eakins can finally drive it into their heads, we'll be looking at a much better hockey team. Provided we get at least one good Dman.

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#13 Anton
March 10 2014, 10:39PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

Mact's worst move of year one, was hiring Eakin's !!!

Maybe LT will have the "WORST MOVES, YEAR ONE" out soon and I will be very surprised the fire/hire coaches is not on the list.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! (Since Oct. 10th)

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#14 dougtheslug
March 11 2014, 06:38AM
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It was the reporter's question last spring at MacT's coronation after Tambo was dispatched, to the effect that,"How was MacT going to clean up this mess when he was part of the management team that created it?", that prompted KLowe's infamous "I know a thing or two about winning" retort.

Despite all his deck chair shuffling, this team is on pace for the worst season in their history, after 8 years of "rebuilding" and 6 top 10 picks. They are worse today than they were a year ago..

Watching Hemsky dance and cavort like a new born colt in Ottawa, while at same time, seeing a player like Yakupov, probably the most enthusiastic, passionate, and joyful Oiler I've seen transformed into a joyless, listless, shell of a player, is an indictment of Oiler management, from MacT on down.

Asking what the best thing MacT has done this year is like asking the proverbial question to Mrs. Lincoln, "Aside from what happened to your husband, how did you enjoy the play?"

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#15 THE PUZ
March 10 2014, 10:52PM
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Before we all start high-fiving each other, lets talk about the disaster that is MacTavish. We desperately needed a starting goalie before the season started-FAIL (but we now have 2 backup goalies as a consolation prize). We needed any top 6 defenceman-FAIL. We needed a top 6 power forward-FAIL. We needed to trade Hemsky or Gagner before they were worth a late round draft choice that will never make the NHL, especially with this pathetic inbred scouting staff. We needed an experienced NHL coach to handle all our young talent. Instead, we have got an idiot who cannot transform his coaching to fit his talent, but wants his talent to fit his coaching. He has double standards amongst treatment of various players-see Nail Yakupov. We have some journeyman ex-Oiler coaches that have helped this team regress. I can hardly wait until Ryan Smith moves onto the coaching staff. We have the worst goaltending coach on the planet. Overall grade for MacTavish (Lowe)=F. My question to Lowetide is how could anyone do any worse than MacT. This could very well be the worst record in Oiler history.

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#16 Woogie63
March 10 2014, 11:00PM
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It has been a good year for MacT, i would add to this list;

Faith in Marincin and letting Klefblom mature on the farm.

We need to address the coaching, we keep trying to find the next great coach, i would like to see MacT bring in a head coach with a winning NHL track record and one who has Stanley Cup appearances.

MacT needs to make Hall the captain, Ference is nice, but this has to be Halls team for the core to committed.

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#17 Taylor Gang
March 11 2014, 12:51AM
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toprightcorner wrote:

Gordon is the best deal to date for MacT. I would hate to see the Oilers without his defensive and faceofff prowess.

You're entitled to your own opinion of course, but you'd say the Gordon signing was better than the Scrivens trade/Perron trade?

Heck, I'd keep Perron before I'd keep Eberle.

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#18 **
March 11 2014, 01:06AM
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Anton wrote:

Actually, it won't hurt. Since there was ZERO progress (well,more like regress) also I don't know which team that you are watching (which I assume was Flames) because the team showed ZERO effort this year.

Oh,it was not 10-20 games, it was somewhere around 12 games which they have 7-3-2 record by beating only 2 teams that were in playoffs picture that Scrivens made a total of 95 saves in those two games.

For every time that anyone keep on using the phrase of "...when Eakins can finally drive it into their heads..." needs to realize one thing. This is not some peewee or school league, this is the professional hockey league. Get real.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

To further your point, team Canada, who are peers of the Edmonton Oilers, didn't need anything to be drilled into their heads. They had a good system and came together playing with passion.

Yes team Canada were better players than the Oilers, but they all play in the same league, so it shouldn't be too much to ask for the Oilers to learn a system in pre season and play decent hockey.

Eakins simply doesn't have the proper systems, he doesn't utilize his players properly, he doesn't know his players at all. He keeps trying to come up with a brilliant never before seen power play.

I was watching the game tonight Ottawa vs Nashville, the commentators were wondering, even going so far as saying it was a "mystery" why Hemsky was so under utilized in Edmonton. The guy has 6 points in 2 games, already looks like Mac Tavish got swindled by Murray. He is playing on the first line of a team that was already much better than the Oilers.

As Hemsky said it, it is hard to play with passion when year after year you find yourself with no real goal to play for. Just because they get handsomely paid doesn't mean they stop being human.

Hemsky will be the ultimate monument to the Oilers sins and failures.

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#19 **
March 11 2014, 01:16AM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

Boyd 'Sisyphus' Gordon. You don't realize how good this guy is until he isn't there.

Also, consider some of the moves MacT DIDN'T make. Imagine if Nurse and Marincin were on the Canucks!!! They almost were.

Also, David Clarkson isn't being paid $5+ mil until 2020 by the Oilers (in 2016 he will get $7mil haha).

Sam Gagner wasn't magic beaned into a 3rd round pick yet. So far so good.

Mac T dodged a cruise missile with Clarkson.

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#20 Anton
March 10 2014, 11:20PM
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sheldon wrote:

All these fans calling for Eakins head are completely asinine. You really think ANOTHER coaching change will help the oilers. If you look at last year compared to this year: last year almost every game, ALL YEAR, it looked like the oilers gave no effort (it was my main criticism of them) this year not great, but MUCH better. second, this is the first time in a long time the team has some structure to their game, Eakins can't help it if he has only bottom pairing Dmen. Ralph Kruger let this team run around the ice with no structure or accountability whatsoever and its hurting us now. Lastly, the last 10-20 games the oilers are actually looking like a somewhat difficult team to play against, guys are sticking up for one another! never saw that once last year(excluding Horcoff). This is the first year many of these players have had to play with structure and when Eakins can finally drive it into their heads, we'll be looking at a much better hockey team. Provided we get at least one good Dman.

Actually, it won't hurt. Since there was ZERO progress (well,more like regress) also I don't know which team that you are watching (which I assume was Flames) because the team showed ZERO effort this year.

Oh,it was not 10-20 games, it was somewhere around 12 games which they have 7-3-2 record by beating only 2 teams that were in playoffs picture that Scrivens made a total of 95 saves in those two games.

For every time that anyone keep on using the phrase of "...when Eakins can finally drive it into their heads..." needs to realize one thing. This is not some peewee or school league, this is the professional hockey league. Get real.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#21 Waiting4six
March 10 2014, 10:34PM
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Wow how nice is to see the canucks euterly fail tonight, plus NYI will get the 2 points.

However, with a top 5 pick and this many young forwards and D prospects MacT must doing something bild have to next year with a 1st pairing d-man.

Its unaccpetable managment of this team if we dont immedatley address the D, unless you wanna ride the coaster again next year

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#22 @Oilanderp
March 11 2014, 01:12AM
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Boyd 'Sisyphus' Gordon. You don't realize how good this guy is until he isn't there.

Also, consider some of the moves MacT DIDN'T make. Imagine if Nurse and Marincin were on the Canucks!!! They almost were.

Also, David Clarkson isn't being paid $5+ mil until 2020 by the Oilers (in 2016 he will get $7mil haha).

Sam Gagner wasn't magic beaned into a 3rd round pick yet. So far so good.

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#23 toprightcorner
March 11 2014, 12:19AM
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Gordon is the best deal to date for MacT. I would hate to see the Oilers without his defensive and faceofff prowess.

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#24 Reg Dunlop
March 10 2014, 10:38PM
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I understand the need to remain positive but I can't. Mac added the prospect Nurse who may never develop into a NHL regular. Mac added Peron, at significant expense, who is a solid 2nd line NHLer. A good move. Finally, Mac added a 4th liner who appears to be solid but since the team is no better since this addition, does it really matter? Only one significant good move when many are needed. An underwhelming first year for the Silver Fox.

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#25 michael
March 11 2014, 08:37AM
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I would include also in the good move catergory

1. Trading Linus Omark and getting a pick.

2. Aquiring Luke Gazdic. He has solidified that role and has become a top 3 enforcer in the NHL.Other than Kassian the Oilers have not had to deal with the kind of cheap shots at their stars that they have had in the past 3 years.Matt Kassian will get his. Give it time.Plus he is playing for NUCK's. Its only getting worse for them.

3.Getting Matt Hendricks.I really like this guy.He is Kevin McLeland kind of guy.Glue guy.Vocal.stands up for his teammates.Not the most skilled guy on the ice but when paired with Gordon he is an effective shutdown forward. For my money Hendricks brings thekind of leadership needs.His value is not on the score sheet.

The biggest mistake I believe that was this year was not giving Hall the "C". Hemsky alluded to the kids needing to take more leadership of this team. For me Ference has been a good captain but not the Captain we need to push this team forward. Hall is the engine that drives this team.He needs to given that responsibility of Captaincy. If ever this team is going to take the next step forward it will have to be Hall who steps up and leads this team. Eakins has to revisit this issue in the off season.

MacT has my confidence and I think we are on the right track. Adding Klefbom and Lander was another of MacT's good moves. They gained confidence and experience in OKC and now its time to see what that time in OKC reaps in the NHL.

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#26 dougtheslug
March 11 2014, 01:12PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Ok, what system would you rather them play?!?!? Man on mam (typically reserved for teams with size)??

I think the missing of the 1-3 spot on the blueline and maybe (almost for sure) the worst goaltending in Oilers history has more to do with the GAA than Eakins.

Read above he has done a lot right. And since we don't know what the options were for sized forwards and top dmen I don't think you can point to anything.........think about it, lot at the cost for Clarkson, it would of done more damage long term for the Oil to of added him.

If the Oilers can't win 5 of their last 17 games (and looking at the schedule, thats going to be a tall order to accomplish), they will have had the worst season in their history. In any event it will likely be their second worst season ever, resulting in a fourth lottery pick in five years. This, after "rebuilding" for at least five years.

Revelling in MacT's accomplishments this year is a little like saying the Titanic had a terrific maiden voyage, aside from a little paint damage from scraping an iceberg.

MacT has been in management with this team sine June 2012 when he was hired as "Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations", whatever that means. But for sure he has been involved with running this team for two years. He gets no free pass.

And Eakins has moved everything backwards. The players he inherited have regressed. Only an all-world stretch of games by Scrivens has prevented total humiliation. And if you think his league leading .934 save percentage is sustainable, well, .....words fail me.

I'm a fan. A season ticket holder since the early 80's. This, for me is the worst season ever. I've looked for silver linings for 8 years. I ain't doing it anymore.

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#27 Canuck338WinMag
March 10 2014, 11:53PM
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MacTavish should swallow his pride, fire Eakins and rehire Krueger who had the Oilers trending upwards not downwards. There would be a sliver of continuity there and we could be rid of a failing coach.

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#28 The Beaker
March 11 2014, 08:39AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Cleaning up signing gagner isn't going to be easy. Icing one if the worst lineups in oilers history and thus squandering a year of development of the young stars can not be reversed.

We have no idea about what is in the works about Gagner yet. Any GM taking over this crap pile of a team is going to take a while to fix it. Look at Lombardi in LA. His team actually got worse the first two years he was GM. Now everyone thinks hes a genius. The whole team isnt the worst on in Oilers history. The defense might be though. As much as we'd have all loved for him to make some giant moves in last offseason it probably wasnt reasonable to expect him to be able to do it a few months after taking over as GM.

Nevermind the fact that goaltending was SO bad to start this season. MacT never was confident in Dubnyk but tried to fix that and there was nothing reasonable to do it so he tried with the goalies he had and they were WAY worse than their historical records. Thats not on MacT.

You know there was a GM before him here right? And likely the only worse GM in the NHL in the last decade is maybe Garth Snow? Fixing 8 years of scorched earth doesnt happen in one offseason 3 months after taking the job.

Im not saying MacT is a great GM im just saying we really dont have enough evidence to decide yet.

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#29 kale
March 10 2014, 11:04PM
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nqmt wrote:

we may not agree with all the moves MacT has done or not done...but we can all agree that he is a man of action and he doesn't sit on his hands like Tamby did

You dont know what Tabellinis mandate was and if he was given the same freedom that MacT has. As far as I am aware no one asked Lowe if Tambellini and MacT had the same amount of freedom.

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#30 Anton
March 11 2014, 01:27AM
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Since so many are keep mentioning that MacT should trade for a No.1 D-man, let's try to break down every other team's No.1 then:

Ducks: Beauchemin has only played 12 NHL games prior to join Ducks.

Bruins: Chara was one of those who was affected by cap rule that he left Ottawa for Boston.

Sabres: Myers was drafted.

Flames: Giodano was drafted.

Hurricanes: Sekera was traded from Sabres for McBain.

Blackhawks: Keith was drafted.

Avalanche: Didn't we drafted Hejda?

Bluejackets: Johnson was traded for Carter.

Stars: Goligoski was traded for Neal.

Red Wings: Kronwall was drefted.

Panthers: Campbell was traded because of bad contract.

Kings: Doughty was drafted.

Wild: Suter signed a big contract along with Parise to join home town team.

Canadiens: Markov was drafted.

Predators: Weber was drafted.

Devils: Greene was promoted from AHL.

Islanders: Hamonic was drafted.

Rangers: Girardi was promoted from AHL.

Senators: Karlsson was drafted.

Flyers: Coburn played only 38 games prior to join Flyers.

Coyotes: Ekman-Larsson was drafted.

Penguins: Well...they don't really have one at this moment. Letang was drafted however.

Sharks: Vlasic was drafted.

Blues: Pietrangelo was drafted.

Lightning: Hedman was drafted.

Maple Leafs: Phaneuf is one of the rare case that was actually dealt due to failing performance.

Canucks: Hamhuis signed to join his home town team.

Capitals: Carlson was drafted.

Jets: Bogosian was drafted.

16 out of 29 were drafted by their the teams which they are playing for, 2 were promoted from their own system as undrafted players, 2 have a very limited NHL career prior, 2 were signed because they want to play for their home town team, some others were either traded to unload the big contract by other teams or for a hefty price to pay. Other than some special backgrounds that it is not you can just go out there and find a No.1 D out of nowhere. A team has either develop within or pay a big price for some may or may not be the No.1 into the future. So the question for those suggested that MacT should find a No.1 D for this team, where do you find them and how do you get them?

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#31 NJ
March 11 2014, 09:14AM
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Everyone can yak about bad moves but the facts are 90% of MacT's "bad moves" were low risk high reward. Grebs and Belov? Who cares if they weren't any good, they cost us nothing. I thought Bryz was good while he was here, he was signed as a UFA and got us a draft pick. And it goes on. One year contracts etc aren't killing this team. Eakins in the other hand possibly is, however I refuse to let the kids / team off the hook. They are the common denominator in this rebuild fail, not Eakins. Did you know Torts is signed for 5 years in Vancouver? Facts are a coach can always be fired. It's not your money, why do you care about his perishable contract?

Also, the pros of MacT's moves far outweigh the cons. FAR. He got a roster player for Dubnyk and he's settled his goaltending for the next couple years at least, and at 2.3 mil I'd say that's a deal. Hemsky wasn't re-signing here as a 3rd liner (Eakins fault, not Macs) so he got something for him. Better than overpaying him or watching him walk for nothing. If Joensuu (sp) isn't an nhl player that also isn't a problem. We claimed him off waivers and he cost us nothing.

As far as Eakins is concerned I'm of the opinion that we needed an experienced NHL coach. However the onus is on the players to get out there and give a crap, to play the system, regardless of their personal opinion and to buy in. To protect their teammates and not be pussies. They get paid well to do that. This is not coaching failure.

Lastly. MacT and BOLD. I'd rather busy and smart then BOLD and Stupid. He has been calculating and he's been active. I believe he'll do everything he can to address our defensive liabilities. While he hasn't found a gem yet, I at very least, believe he's doing everything he can.

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#32 Zarny
March 11 2014, 10:45AM
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MacT's best move?

All of them. Because it actually moved the Oilers off step 1 of a rebuild. A contender needs a Boyd Gordon as much as they need a David Perron.

In an amazing display of ineptitude Tambo didn't acquire one piece beyond the 1st overall draft picks.

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#33 Craig1981
March 11 2014, 12:37PM
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Czar wrote:

Enjoy them?? I hit mute as soon as the Oiler broadcast crew hits the air! They're a joke nation wide and hope like he!! none of them get rehired at contract time. I did prop and trash you punny guy.

We can't let others across the nation decide who the Oilers Broadcast team is. We need to stand up for our ethics and Principes.

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#34 Bi-Curious Gord
March 11 2014, 05:13AM
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Give the MVP to Gordon. The guy consistently busts his ass even though he's given no gravy zone starts. It's a damn shame he hasn't rubbed off on his younger teammates after the better part of a season.

Throw this guy a bone!

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#35 dougtheslug
March 11 2014, 10:08AM
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Craig1981 wrote:

I wonder what the players view on Eakins is too. Maybe they don't like him.... But also, he has taken as much heat this year as anyone. He has given interview and never said "we can't win with this goaltending", "we need more horses on the back end" or "we are only going to finish 2-5 places back from last year and Dubynek's s% went from .920 to .894" By refusing to sell out his players ability and the team short comings, he has shielded them at his own expenses. If I was many of those players it would not be lost on me.

He repeatedly threw Yak under the bus. By name.

He told us his players didn't know what basic defence was. Which was why his brilliant swarm didn't work. Was he kidding? Players get drilled into their heads from peewee what "basic defence" is. They know. "The Swarm" is an AHL tactic that doesn't work in the NHL. Just like the 1-3-1 PP.

The players look so confused on the ice, they probably don't know what to think. Other than to tune Eakins out.

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#36 bazmagoo
March 10 2014, 11:56PM
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I'm starting to think Eakins is the new Tambellini, brought it to get us another high draft pick or two. Eventually he'll have to be fired, but buys a few more years for the maestro of this never ending rebuild.

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#37 LoweBlow
March 11 2014, 09:01AM
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My vote is for Scribbles. He's an excellent goaltender. Too bad the team playing in front of him is as organized as a pee-wee club.

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#38 Czar
March 11 2014, 09:09AM
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@michael

I don't think he got squat for Skidmark because he didn't play enough games for Buffalo.

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#39 Igor ulanov
March 11 2014, 12:26AM
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Perron story. Just the kind of guy we need in our top 6. What a steal. Say what you want about the guy.. MacT has done a hell of a job in the year he's been with the team.

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#40 Serious Gord
March 11 2014, 08:30AM
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The Beaker wrote:

B.S. if you make one good move like say Perron but you are counting Labarbera, Grebs as his two bad moves to counter it then the one good move is easily a bigger deal. Outside of Eakins pretty much all of MacTs bad moves have been easily cleaned up. Perron trades arent easy to find.

Cleaning up signing gagner isn't going to be easy. Icing one if the worst lineups in oilers history and thus squandering a year of development of the young stars can not be reversed.

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#41 dougtheslug
March 11 2014, 09:11AM
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Michael wrote:

Would you agree that the lineup today is better today than it was at the start of the season?

The teams overall development I would argue has been improved because of its failure to execute earlier this season.The argument is that the teams failure has accelerated some of the moves that MacT has been forced to make.I would counter that if not for the teams early failure we would have moved forward with players like Dubnyk and Labarbera. Or Acton and Eager.

The teams faliure has imo been an eye opener and has given us an opportunity to identify players and areas of need that had we been winning would have masked an underlying rot.

The moves that MacT has made and will make will remake this team into something more competitive. The coaching with Eakins at the fore will evolve.I see definite changes in the assistants this off season.

Faliure this season has been hard to swallow.But like Castor Oil this years failure may have been the best medicine for this team moving forward.

Last time I looked, this was a results driven business.

How can anybody talk about "improvement" in the roster when the team has regressed in just about every metric ?

They are on pace for their worst record ever, with this so-called "improved roster". Check out their schedule over the next 17 games. If they win six I'll be amazed.

Against elite clubs they are less competitive than at anytime in the 35 years I've been watching them in the NHL. Against the California teams they have been an embarrassment. Watching them give up shot after shot from the slot last game against LA was a clinic in how not to defend. MacT may have improved an inferior roster, but the gap between the Oilers and elite teams keeps growing. Which tells me that this management team doesn't have a clue about building a winner in the modern NHL.

The core youngsters have lost a full year of development and endured another year of being steeped in a losing culture. If you want to know what that does to a player, take a look at Hemsky's small sample of work with a team in a playoff race and compare it with his dispirited play here. We can assume the same thing is happening to Hall and company.

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#42 Craig1981
March 11 2014, 09:48AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Cleaning up signing gagner isn't going to be easy. Icing one if the worst lineups in oilers history and thus squandering a year of development of the young stars can not be reversed.

Gagner is not the problem here and "cleaning" it up is not needed. Nor is Eakins the issue.

At the start of the season we had 2 goaltenders that BOTH have passed waivers without being picked up. As well we have a decent bottom half of blueliners (#4 Ference, #5 Shultz, #6 Marincin) That means they were with average AHL quality goaltender and are currently without a top half of a quality blue line.

I don't think it is fair to try and find goats in Gagner, Eakins, etc. THE OILER'S ISSUE IS NOT WITH THE PLAYERS THEY HAVE BUT THE PLAYERS THEY DON'T.

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#43 dougtheslug
March 11 2014, 09:59AM
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MacT's response to finding the top 4 defencemen he sorely needs was to acquire Belov, Larsen, Grebeshkov,Fraser, and Ference. In terms of top 4, that's 0 for 5. In terms of actual top 7, thats probably 1 for 5. Which just tells me he has a hard time recognizing what an NHL d-man looks like.

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#44 Kr55
March 11 2014, 10:49AM
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All the good MacT has done is completely cancelled out by his hiring of Eakins.

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#45 admiralmark
March 11 2014, 09:31AM
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Boyd Gordon was the best move. I shudder to think how much more awful they would be. I hate to say but i have waited a long time and thought about this all year long and firing Krueger was the worst move. Krueger in my opinion is absolutely the better coach. Had they hired on Paul Maurice to give Krueger a hand in addition to the few roster changes MacT has made we would be looking at real on ice improvement this year. I personally believe Eakins negated all that.

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#46 Rod from Viking
March 10 2014, 10:58PM
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Anton wrote:

Maybe LT will have the "WORST MOVES, YEAR ONE" out soon and I will be very surprised the fire/hire coaches is not on the list.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! (Since Oct. 10th)

LT is too nice for that article, will have to be Robin or Gregor writing it, for me at least Mac T was trying. Taking Eakins advice on players resulted in Acton,Hamilton,Fraser and Scrivins, a .250 average. Grebeskov was a bad idea and it looks like Belov is more of the same, Labarbara was poor as well. I agree with LT on the rest, he will really have to be magical this summer if this team isn't going to be in the running for McDavid next year. I would imagine next years season ticket renewals will be arriving any day now.

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#47 Striker
March 11 2014, 12:44AM
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Best move was Perron for Pajaarvi + 2nd - prick of a player (in a good way) and a legit top 6 forward for developing potential bottom 6 forward - sure, they wanted to dump some salary but MacT was happy to oblige when they stopped at the side of the road. Came outta nowhere.

2nd best move was Gordon UFA signing was out there as a UFA but pleasant surprise that they actually grabbed him.

3rd best move was Scrivins for a 3rd - desperately needed goaltending help and Scrivins seems to have temporarily [unfortunately] stopped the bleeding) - price for tenders not too dear this year, good gamble.

4th best move was drafting Nurse - most draft lists had him in the range but credit for picking him there nonetheless. Seems to be developing nicely and likely the best Oilers prospect (in terms of upside) right now.

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#48 **
March 11 2014, 12:47AM
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Between Lowe and Tambellini, they gutted the Oilers d corps. Now that the goaltending is (hopefully resolved), I think the major focus should be on the defence. Enough with the bottom 6 carrousel. There are officially no more veterans to pin this on (Smyth plays lower in the batting order so I don't think anyone blames him).

It won't matter if the Oilers bring the best goalscorer in the world until the defence is competitive. Just ask the Washington capitals. As for the coach, the Oilers didn't need a rookie coach to learn on the job. The Oilers just don't have the mental strength for that. Maybe Eakins will be great, maybe he won't, but Edmonton wasn't the place for him to figure it out. Even if Mac. T. didn't like Krueger, there were plenty of veteran options, Ruff, Maurice, even Brent Sutter.

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#49 v4ance
March 11 2014, 03:29AM
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I mentioned on Twitter that MacT will probably give Eakins til next Dec to turn the team around. With a revolving door of 5 coaches in 5 years, there has to be a point where you can't just blame the head coach anymore. Eakins was MacT's first hire and so he'll be given every opportunity to turn things around above and beyond normal circumstances.

MacT's biggest mistake was to promise "Bold moves" in the worst possible year. With the cap coming down due to the CBA, most teams had no money to move any players around. The lack of cap space had a secondary effect that teams wouldn't deal 1st or 2nd rounders for rentals like they had in the past.

This first year really has been an effort to clean up Tambellini's train wreck which was caused by too much indecision.

A good starting point for next season would be replacing some of the assistant coaches. Another would be to sign Anton Stralman and Daniel Winnik to a reasonable UFA deals.

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#50 gcw_rocks
March 11 2014, 08:11AM
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Retsinnab5 wrote:

Props if you like what MacT has done this year.

Trash if you dislike what he has done and think he should be Fire.

Clearly the 148 props people didn't read Willis' post yesterday on the Oilers shots against and Fenwick.

Despite his good moves, MacT's bad moves have this team trending to be the worst defensive oiler team in history. Look at that Fenwick chart. I haven't seen anything scarier about this team.

This team is now performing worse than a defence that included Whitney hobbling on one foot and maybe worse than the team defence we saw after Smyth was traded.

The MacT propaganda machine can point to a few good moves and tell the world everything is good, but that's a lie.

This management team do not grasp the fundamentals of today's hockey. Period. If you support MacT, the hockey you are watching is exactly what you deserve.

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