ARMCHAIR GM XVI: BLOWING SMOKE

Robin Brownlee
April 18 2014 06:30PM

Craig MAcTavish5

Having known Craig MacTavish as a player, coach and manager in the NHL these past 25 years, many of them spent travelling around the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers until 2007, I have a lot of respect for him.

Of MacTavish's many virtues, gamesmanship – on and off the ice – sits high on my list of his attributes. It was no surprise, then, to hear him spin The World According to MacT the other day when he met with local media, specifically as it pertained to head coach Dallas Eakins and how he'll handle his coaching staff. Will Eakins retain Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger? Will he add another coach?

MacTavish insisted the call on the coaching staff moving forward – as it was to keep Smith and Buchberger in the first place -- belongs to Eakins, but with the following caveat: "But my sense is we have the right people. We have the right coaches in place."

I characterized what MacTavish had to say about the coaching situation as "spin" and "blowing smoke" and "ass-covering" on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 Wednesday. The more I think about it, I was likely selling MacT short. Yes, it was spin, but my take today is it was far more calculated than that. Gamesmanship at its finest.

In simple terms, over to you, Dallas.

BETWEEN THE LINES

Buchberger, Kelly Buchberger, Kelly

Added to the coaching staff in 2008-09 by MacTavish in his final season as head coach, Buchberger is now on his fifth coach – MacTavish, Pat Quinn, Tom Renney, Ralph Krueger and Eakins. It's unheard of that an assistant coach in the NHL survive that much changeover. Smith, by the way, is on his third head coach, having arrived in 2010-11.

My take on the situation is straightforward: Buchberger remains employed today because president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe is his friend and has his back. The same can be said on both counts for MacTavish. The ties that bind them are strong and go back many years. Loyalty, cronyism, the Old Boys Club – call it what you will.

Owner Daryl Katz, who grew up cheering for the Oilers, is happy to defer to Lowe and MacTavish. He damn sure isn’t going to fire Lowe, at or near the top of hockey ops as GM or POHO since 2000. He's not going to insist Lowe or MacTavish fire Buchberger or Smith. So, here were are, with the Oilers eight straight years out of the playoffs and fans demanding changes at every level of hockey ops. Rightfully so.

Dallas Eakins 13

Like others who've been moved along – coaches Quinn, Renney, Krueger, Bill Moores and Rob Daum and former GM Steve Tambellini – Eakins isn’t a former Oiler. Now, we're told Eakins will make the call on the coaching staff. He gets to be the heavy, if there is to be one.

Does Eakins value Buchberger as an assistant coach? Are they on the same page philosophically? Will he keep Bucky on? I don't know for sure. Might Eakins move Buchberger or Smith along despite MacTavish's suggestion the right people are in place? That would take some brass, no?

I think it's time for Buchberger to go. You think it's time for Buchberger to go. MacTavish is an intelligent and perceptive man. Is it a reach, given the discontent of the fan base, to wonder if the GM has reluctantly come to the same conclusion but that he doesn't want to be the person to pull the trigger, loyalty being what it is?

Over to you, Dallas.

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 oilers2k10
April 19 2014, 12:40AM
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No need to blame it all on a few guys..but maybe management..or Eakins need to bring in a defensive specialist..especially now with so many potential good defencemen coming up through the system..maybe Nelson is that guy..but then u need to replace him on the farm..maybe Bucky and Smith take care of the farm? Maybe bring in an experienced defensive coach/assistant coach to help assist Eakins? Either way it's an Oil Change..it's called that for a reason..it's taken a few years to change the Oil..you never know the difference until u rev up the engine with the new Oil.

Time to rev it up boys..next seasons gonna be a blast. Mark my words. Hall is sick of watching Seguin in the playoffs..he'll lead this young group to more promising lands very soon..

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#2 thatguy
April 18 2014, 10:43PM
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Why are all these articles about coaches and assistant coaches??? If the players are giving big contracts and not playing with any determination that's not on the coaches. Post some articles on trades and free agents. Those are a whole lot more interesting.

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#3 ThatButthurtOilersFan
April 18 2014, 07:18PM
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Retsinnab5 wrote:

Fire Bucky and Smith, bring in Todd Nelson as assistant coach

If that happens, then #1, who is going to be the coach in OKC and #2 who's going to develop our prospects? Besides, what we need right now is NHL experience behind the bench, not another rookie coach.

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#4 NJ
April 19 2014, 09:42AM
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Oiler Al wrote:

I am begining to think that MacT is a bit of a Snake Oiler Salesman!. Theres more smoke here than fire, and he just keeps blowing that smoke you know where.

If it aint a banger or a fourth liner, MacT seems to be lost. [ Perron fell into his lap, as ST Louis were dumping salary. Didnèt see Oshie coming this way, but I give him credit for Perron deal.

Lets, all remember one thing, who is driving the Boys on the Bus, bus... its Mr, Katz.

When an owner has his paws on the hockey operations big time.... you have CHAOS!!!.

Did Scrivens and Fasth fall in his lap as well. Hendricks? I suppose Dubnyk also "fell off his lap"? Horcoff gone? Gordon?

I understand MacT has made mistakes, and some moves haven't worked out... but the ones that matter, have been good. We await the summer.

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#5 Kr55
April 18 2014, 07:02PM
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People need to stop buying tickets if we ever want this to end. As long as the Oilers sell every ticket (doesn't matter what happens with the tickets after the sale), they will keep treating this organization like a boys club where no one in the special circle ever has to be accountable for being terrible at their job.

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#6 10-99-17
April 19 2014, 10:49PM
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Without a clear objective analysis of what the assistant coaches' job and role are, and how well they objectively performed to meet those requirements, this article is no more than a gossip column.

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#7 hemi
April 18 2014, 09:09PM
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I am sure the Mac-T is smart and definitely smooth enough to see that Bucky and Smith are boat anchors on the Coaching Staff. One can also through in the Goalie Coach “Chabot” as well.

I have always had a good respect for Mac-T and when all said and done, I still do. I do have to wonder about his press release. Is it the old soft shoe shuffle in my opinion. He does not want to come right out and reveal that the coaching staffs are one of the poorest in the league regarding results and effectiveness. It is this that I have the problem with Mac-T. I would prefer he come right out make those cuts now instead of deferring it to a later point and possibly having Ekins do the nasty. Oh to be a fly on the wall in the closed door meetings between Lowe and Mac-T regarding this matter. As for having Todd Nelson come on board to the big club, a simple YES. He has shown his capabilities as an AHL coach and as progression is what it is, he deserves to be here as an Assistant.

There has been a lot of smoke blowing with this organization over the last many years. Cronyism, nepotism, favouritism and what have you, should be put aside going forward even though having Mac-T as the once Coach and now GM smacks of all of the above descriptors. As much as a hypocrite as I am for supporting Mac-T, I do believe he has skill and the desire to make this team into a contender.

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#8 NJ
April 19 2014, 11:53AM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

Fact is that MacT, with all his moves, managed to put together a bigger loser than Tambo....

By record only. If Dubnyk had that save % through Tambo's reign as GM I would suggest that we'd have finished dead last every year. If you look at the D Tambo started and finished with you'll recognize Tambo's "brilliance".

I'm assuming you're suggesting then that the team hasn't improved since MacT began his tenure here?

Do I seriously have to defend MacT vs Tambo? I would humbly suggest we wait until the mid point of next season before we throw Mac under the bus.

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#9 Retsinnab5
April 18 2014, 06:58PM
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Fire Bucky and Smith, bring in Todd Nelson as assistant coach

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#10 CMG30
April 19 2014, 08:44AM
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People have hopped on board the 'Klowe nepotism bus' hard here because one of the assistants has survived 5 head coaches...

Allow me to throw an alternate explanation out:

5 head coaches in 5 years. Those 5 years contained events like lockouts, shortened seasons, and rookie head coaches. Ask yourselves if it's reasonable for a brand new head coach to want to keep some key people around to help in the transition? Remember the coach can only tell so much from an interview and needs time to evaluate how well they actually do their jobs. Also, mid season is not really a great time to fire your assistants and conduct a replacement search.

In this case I think that there is an argument to be made that having these guys stick around for so long is actually another symptom of the head coaching circus in Edmonton.

*Note, I'm not defending the job the assistants have done and I'm firmly of the opinion that they need to move on. That time is now and if Eakins doesn't tackle this in the off season then that would be strong evidence to me that they are 'protected'.

I think Eakins has had some growing pains this season but the key word is growing. Still he needs to recognize his limitations and bring in assistants with experience and abilities in areas where he's lacking, such as running a PP.

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#11 Bryzarro World
April 19 2014, 10:56AM
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NJ wrote:

Did Scrivens and Fasth fall in his lap as well. Hendricks? I suppose Dubnyk also "fell off his lap"? Horcoff gone? Gordon?

I understand MacT has made mistakes, and some moves haven't worked out... but the ones that matter, have been good. We await the summer.

Fact is that MacT, with all his moves, managed to put together a bigger loser than Tambo....

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#12 Woogie63
April 18 2014, 09:27PM
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I continue to be shocked for what a passes for journalism in sports.

These sports reporters travel with the team, stay in the same hotels talk to the players on a causal bases ALL YEARS LONG. Then we get a blog where they ask the question does Dallas value Buchberger? Shouldn't a reporter know this question and inform the reader?

I know Brownlee is not as active with the team as prior years ... But ....

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#13 Robin Brownlee
April 18 2014, 09:49PM
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Woogie63 wrote:

I continue to be shocked for what a passes for journalism in sports.

These sports reporters travel with the team, stay in the same hotels talk to the players on a causal bases ALL YEARS LONG. Then we get a blog where they ask the question does Dallas value Buchberger? Shouldn't a reporter know this question and inform the reader?

I know Brownlee is not as active with the team as prior years ... But ....

Passes for journalism?

I have not travelled with the Oilers since 2007. I don't get to see Eakins and Buchberger, or any of the coaches for that matter, interact like I used to.

I don't see the coaching staff interact with the players like I used to. I don't talk to the coaches or the players like I used to. The guys writing for the dailies, on the other hand, do, so your question is probably better directed at them.

Or would you prefer it if I pretended to know something when I don't?

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#14 max
April 18 2014, 09:33PM
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Not only do Lowe, Bucky and Smith have to go, so do Cabot, MacGregor and the rest of the pro and amateur scouting staff. Seems like all the #2's are doing great, the BPA's aren't so hot. Funny how Potter was slammed - he played a damned good playoff game today with Boston - something most of our guys will never get to do. Go figure.

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#15 Rama Lama
April 19 2014, 11:21AM
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It's time for me to finally admit that coaching is not part of our problem. Coach Patrick Roy is an anomaly and so is Ted Nolan, and Paul Maurice.

Coaching has no relevance on the team ( I have been told this over and over again) so I think it's logical to look at the trainers.

I now believe it's all the trainers fault we suck so bad........I think Kevin Lowe should fire them all?

Props if you agree.

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#16 Naky
April 18 2014, 06:41PM
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-Buchberger +Huddy

* Owner fanboi stays happy. * Ratio of old boys to non-old boys in organization remains the same. * Oilers get an honest to god capable coach that could actually teach something. * Defense may actually improve.

It just saddens me to think that it simply won't happen though.

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#17 Cameron
April 18 2014, 08:19PM
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I am just so tired of hearing MacT talk about how he sees progression....and his comments on the assistant coaches are an insult to Oiler fans.

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#18 ThatButthurtOilersFan
April 18 2014, 09:00PM
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ThatButthurtOilersFan wrote:

If that happens, then #1, who is going to be the coach in OKC and #2 who's going to develop our prospects? Besides, what we need right now is NHL experience behind the bench, not another rookie coach.

And I'm not saying we should keep our assistants, heck no, but what I'm trying to get at is that bringing in more rookie coaches to fix our coaching problems isn't the answer.

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#19 RexHolez
April 19 2014, 03:23AM
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Why would you change anything? This group is doing a fantastic job! Keep up the good work guys! Glad the oilers are so "accountable"

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#20 vetinari
April 18 2014, 06:37PM
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If I was an assistant coach this off-season, I don't know if I would want to take any calls via Skype from either MacT or Eakins.

But yes, my guess is that if Eakins does let one or both of Smith or Buckberger go, MacT and Lowe can come out smelling like roses with their buddies. "Hey, I publicly said that you guys were assets to the team. Darn Eakins. So what time do you want to tee off?"

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#21 jonny94
April 18 2014, 06:46PM
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It's in Dallas best interest to rid himself of Buchberger and Smith, after all he's the one that's treading water. Do yourself a favor and bring in who you think will help support your philosophy best. The Oilers fans have your back if you do.

Best of luck Dallas you may start the season with the Oilers but will you finish it.

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#22 Young Oil
April 18 2014, 10:08PM
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If you're complaining about what content is on the site, perhaps you should ask for your money back.

Thanks for the good read RB, as always.

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#23 Robin Brownlee
April 18 2014, 10:13PM
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@Herbert

Fair question.

I don't book guests on the show. I co-host Wednesday and Thursday. I don't get to just "make an appearance" when I want to.

As for the face-to-face part, it's not difficult to ask tough questions, but if you're expecting somebody to say things like "I don't believe you" or "you're blowing smoke" or "that sounds like BS to me," after they answer a question, then the interview is going to be very brief.

You let them answer, digest it and then you give your take on what was said. I don't know how you can be more up front than doing that on a show as popular as Jason's.

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#24 Robin Brownlee
April 20 2014, 09:18AM
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10-99-17 wrote:

Without a clear objective analysis of what the assistant coaches' job and role are, and how well they objectively performed to meet those requirements, this article is no more than a gossip column.

Without a real name attached to this comment, it's nothing more than anonymous internet noise spewed by somebody with zero conviction to what they're saying.

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#25 Herbert
April 18 2014, 09:59PM
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Robin, you are on Gregors show every week. He's around the team a lot. A lot. Have you never asked him whats going on or is he that tight lipped around you?

Im sure his @Woogie63's comment wasn't directed solely at you because there are others who write on this blog that IS around the team daily.

Easy now.

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#26 Herbert
April 18 2014, 10:27PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Fair question.

I don't book guests on the show. I co-host Wednesday and Thursday. I don't get to just "make an appearance" when I want to.

As for the face-to-face part, it's not difficult to ask tough questions, but if you're expecting somebody to say things like "I don't believe you" or "you're blowing smoke" or "that sounds like BS to me," after they answer a question, then the interview is going to be very brief.

You let them answer, digest it and then you give your take on what was said. I don't know how you can be more up front than doing that on a show as popular as Jason's.

Understandable. But instead of a reporter or interviewer asking, "do you have confidence in the assistant coaches?" Which we know what the GM of this organization is going to answer with. Why not ask the man directly something like you said in your article? "How does a groups of assistant coaches survive this long and not a head coach?" Possibly even phrase a question where you already address previous answers? "You've stated your confidence in the assistants before. Could you explain how those two individuals have out lasted that many head coaches? Because at what point can you consider them a part of the problem?" This is what some dailies should ask IMO.

My reference to you being on Gregor was in reply to you saying you're not around the team and know insider things. I was trying to say that you are on gregors show 2/5 days a week and find it hard to believe that you don't have an interaction with them like you used to. I would assume that you still have a good idea of what is actually happening just by getting info from Gregor.

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#27 pelhem grenville
April 19 2014, 07:51AM
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Ambassador humantorch wrote:

Counterpoint: didn't Eakins bring in Keith Acton as an assistant, which then led to Will Acton "anchoring" our 4th line for way too long this season?

...Keith Acton as a Marlies assistant coach begets his spawn Will, a former Marlboro, because the later couldn't have played in the NHL for one game without his Dad on staff...I have said this before but Smith and Buchberger need to be given the heave-hoski BY Eakins...leaving Kevin and MacT off the hook for giving their life long buddies the hook...the head coach should hire his own two more assistants and leave Acton at one end of the bench to open and close the gate...

EDIT ...and Bucky should stay outta the tanning beds

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#28 Spoilers
April 19 2014, 08:57AM
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Fire the POHO, and hire one that has won as the head of the MGT, not as a player.

Give the new POHO the keys to the kingdom and let them fire whoever they sense is a crony rather than a true pro.

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#29 2004Z06
April 19 2014, 09:18AM
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Kr55 wrote:

People need to stop buying tickets if we ever want this to end. As long as the Oilers sell every ticket (doesn't matter what happens with the tickets after the sale), they will keep treating this organization like a boys club where no one in the special circle ever has to be accountable for being terrible at their job.

But why? Every time the Tier 1 fans begin to get a little restless, the top brass put on a dog and pony show at 100 bucks a plate and invite the Great One and Mess to come and reassure everyone that things are going according to plan.

The sheep in Edmonton are easily distracted.

Bahhhhhh Bahhhhhh

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#30 The Don
April 19 2014, 10:00AM
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My Take on the MacT presser: it's our way with the team we think we improved and we have the right people in place. We need a center for 2nd line and a high end defenceman. We the management see the progress that fans and media don't. We are past the half way mark of the rebuild and only 3 more years to go until a contender for the playoffs.

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#31 Bryzarro World
April 19 2014, 11:00AM
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nunyour wrote:

Katz has the power to do anything he wants to make this team successful,but he choses not too.How many nhl owners would put up with the oilers dismal record?

Does that make Katz the biggest idiot in hockey?

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#32 Oiler Al
April 19 2014, 12:21PM
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NJ wrote:

Did Scrivens and Fasth fall in his lap as well. Hendricks? I suppose Dubnyk also "fell off his lap"? Horcoff gone? Gordon?

I understand MacT has made mistakes, and some moves haven't worked out... but the ones that matter, have been good. We await the summer.

I understand the situation with Sal.Caps, NTC, wanting to play at beach city etc.. but MacT made a huge mistake by selling the .. Bold Moves .. slogan. All he was doing was pumping the Tier one ticket buyers... this is the year, folks.

Scrivens and Fasth, hopefully will workout, but lets be honest they were on the shelf as backup goalies. Its not like he brought in Price or Miller.

Hendricks good addition, again this is a fourth line player on other teams.You know what hes worth the money.

Gordon doing a good job, but he paid $3. million bucks for basically taking face offs.PK is a help, but other can do it at one third the cost. Arcobello could play third line ctr. for $1.million.

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#33 NJ
April 19 2014, 10:37PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

I understand the situation with Sal.Caps, NTC, wanting to play at beach city etc.. but MacT made a huge mistake by selling the .. Bold Moves .. slogan. All he was doing was pumping the Tier one ticket buyers... this is the year, folks.

Scrivens and Fasth, hopefully will workout, but lets be honest they were on the shelf as backup goalies. Its not like he brought in Price or Miller.

Hendricks good addition, again this is a fourth line player on other teams.You know what hes worth the money.

Gordon doing a good job, but he paid $3. million bucks for basically taking face offs.PK is a help, but other can do it at one third the cost. Arcobello could play third line ctr. for $1.million.

I agree MacT made a mistake with the "Bold Moves" slogan. He oversold and under delivered, a classic rookie mistake. I'm simply not even close to giving up on him yet... heck... in a few months he got rid of Dubnyk, something Tambo never did. And he got a roster player for him. Doesn't matter if Hendricks is a 3rd or 4th liner, he's an NHL player. Arcobello could also play 2nd line centre for the job Gagner is doing.

All things being equal, we can agree to disagree about the job MacT is doing. I may eat my words, but I have my doubts. :)

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#34 Soccer Steve
April 18 2014, 06:39PM
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If it's loyalty alone that is keeping Buchberger in a job then I don't want MacT steering this sinking ship. Grow a pair man.

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#35 Derian Hatcher
April 18 2014, 08:00PM
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@Herbert

An interesting question for RB. Correct me if I'm wrong, and I have definitely not observed every presser, but other than John Mackinnon's hardball questioning when MacT was introduced as GM (when kLowe had his little tantrum) I cannot recall many tough questions of oiler personnel. Why doesn't MSM ask some tough questions? Maybe we need to bring in some of the journalists who cover the legislature.

The yard sale continues....sigh.

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#36 a lg dubl dubl
April 18 2014, 08:10PM
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ThatButthurtOilersFan wrote:

If that happens, then #1, who is going to be the coach in OKC and #2 who's going to develop our prospects? Besides, what we need right now is NHL experience behind the bench, not another rookie coach.

Coach Laxdal of the Oil kings could fill the spot in OKC nicely imo. Shuffle the deck chairs, that's what the big club does lol.

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#37 Young Oil
April 18 2014, 08:28PM
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I don't know if it's funny or sad that Buchberger, who I'm assuming was hired partly to teach the forwards how to play defensively, has the worst +/- in franchise history.

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#38 risto siltanen's slapshot
April 18 2014, 10:17PM
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i appreciate you sayin' you won't comment when you don't know, brownlee. but isn't this what this site is for? if we fans knew what we were talking about we'd have made the playoffs for the last 2 years.rememeber the nilson gagner cogliano koolaid we drank in the past or hope song on the bear haha .just as cogs scores

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#39 The Swarm
April 18 2014, 10:41PM
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Blowing smoke or delusional drivel?

MacT supports Eakins due to his "relentless messaging"? What message is that exactly?

How to have a lousy PP with some of the most talented players in the NHL?

How to give up multiple 2 on 1's every PP?

How to get out shot 2 to 1 most games?

How to espouse "compete level" and "accountability" with no discernable evidence of either attribute, especially when compared to the far less talented Flames.

If anyone has any idea what this mysterious "messaging" refers to please let me know.

MacT, get over your man crush and get rid of this egomaniac.

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#40 Ambassador humantorch
April 18 2014, 11:14PM
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Counterpoint: didn't Eakins bring in Keith Acton as an assistant, which then led to Will Acton "anchoring" our 4th line for way too long this season?

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#41 mlcselli
April 19 2014, 02:30AM
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Question---Does Eakins have the brass to do Macs dirty work ?

Answer---Anyone new to the organization that walks into the dressing room on his first day and takes down, (and removes from the room permanently), pictures of all the greats has balls. I think anyone as arrogant and oblivious to the treasured past as Eakins is will have no problem letting his 2 ass coaches bite the dust. This could potentially be the start of the Oil being competitive.

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#42 Dan 1919
April 19 2014, 08:34AM
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Common sense suggests they move on from the two coaches who have been engulfed in failure, but they won't.

MacT has this summer to put a contender together, otherwise even though Katz writes pretty letters, he will can the management group (maybe keeping MacT and letting the nee PHO decide his fait). Or the other option, they tank again and players will start wanting out. Eventually something will have to happen, whether Katz wants to make the tough calls or not.

Let's hope for the fans sake that they start winning next year and everything is fine. I don't see it though, MacT already appears brainwashed when he even suggests that they can, "go young," or says Buck and Steve are good at their jobs.

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#43 Red Headed Stranger
April 19 2014, 09:05AM
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There is no objective defense for the job the coaches did this year. I have supported MacT through a lot this year but that press conference left me depressed. To paraphrase "he is more impressed with Eakins than ever". I assume that means he was hoping for coaching room "chaos and dysfunction early in the year and systemic confusion the entire year. Eakins hit it out of the park on those metrics. MacT lost a lot of personal cred with those statements.

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#44 Oiler Al
April 19 2014, 09:23AM
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Red Headed Stranger wrote:

There is no objective defense for the job the coaches did this year. I have supported MacT through a lot this year but that press conference left me depressed. To paraphrase "he is more impressed with Eakins than ever". I assume that means he was hoping for coaching room "chaos and dysfunction early in the year and systemic confusion the entire year. Eakins hit it out of the park on those metrics. MacT lost a lot of personal cred with those statements.

I am begining to think that MacT is a bit of a Snake Oiler Salesman!. Theres more smoke here than fire, and he just keeps blowing that smoke you know where.

If it aint a banger or a fourth liner, MacT seems to be lost. [ Perron fell into his lap, as ST Louis were dumping salary. Didnèt see Oshie coming this way, but I give him credit for Perron deal.

Lets, all remember one thing, who is driving the Boys on the Bus, bus... its Mr, Katz.

When an owner has his paws on the hockey operations big time.... you have CHAOS!!!.

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#45 oilers2k10
April 19 2014, 09:50AM
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Oilers management is doin a great job! They got their fans complaining more than the fans of the Leafs yet they still show up every night to watch them.

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#46 Vincheese
April 18 2014, 06:39PM
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If Eakins next season goes like his first, it won't matter what he does with his assistants. Similarity, if he generates a decent improvement, it will not matter what he did with his coaches as well. If I were him, I would bring my own people in if I thought it would make a difference.

6-Rings, while cemented in his position, mist still feel heat. If improvements come, he's not going to fire the coach. Right now it the best opportunity Dallas will ever get to make changes. Does he have the guts to do so?

I wait and see.

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#47 Time Travelling Sean
April 18 2014, 08:12PM
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Retsinnab5 wrote:

Fire Bucky and Smith, bring in Todd Nelson as assistant coach

I'm pretty sure Nelson being an AHL HC and not an assistant for whichever team is enough of a sign to tell you that he's preparing himself to be a HC, and showing other teams that he's a pretty good coach coaching in the 2nd toughest league in N.America.

Just make Bucky a scout or Sr.Adviser or something, if you're so worried about his feelings.

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#48 SmythforMayor
April 18 2014, 08:31PM
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OKC just clinched

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#49 etownman
April 18 2014, 08:34PM
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Herbert wrote:

Hi Robin. Nice writing, but my only question is that when MacT is on the Gregor show, why don't you make an appearance as well and call him on his bs right then and there and see what he has to say. A press conference like he had the other day puts him in the drivers seat and lets him say whatever pro-oilers with not much back lash. In a radio appearance on 1260 puts you guys in the drivers seat. Why not say hes just blowing smoke up our asses when youre face to face?

Good post.....my thoughts exactly!

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#50 Sammy27
April 18 2014, 08:39PM
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If only we could trade coaches, Bucky and Smith for Charlie Huddy. Is one Oiler alumni for two enough?

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