TALKING TIPPETT AND YAKUPOV

Jason Gregor
April 21 2014 09:27AM

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Dave Tippett played 721 NHL games, 483 of them with the Hartford Whalers, and despite what this card insinuates he never won a Cup with the Penguins. Tippett signed with the Penguins in the summer of 1992 after they had won consecutive Stanley Cups.

Tippett was a solid NHL player, mainly a checker, but he's become one of the most respected coaches in the NHL. He's led his team to the playoffs in 8 of this 11 seasons, and he'll guide Canada at the upcoming World Championships.

Tippett and I spoke about his coaching philosophies, communication, advanced stats and more.

Gregor:  Much of your success as a coach has to do with your communications skills, when did you realize that would be the most important factor in your success?

Tippett: You’ve got to get a rapport with all of your players. Basically, players all want to be the best that they can be. You’ve just got to find ways to facilitate that for them. If they feel like they are getting a chance and they have an honest assessment of how they are doing and how things are going, I think that players react well to that.

You know the old days of you can really squash players, and rant and rave, I think that those days are by us. For me, with a player whether it is the team aspect or individual aspect; I’m trying to help them, trying to make them succeed. A lot of players they recognize that, and they’ll try to give you everything that they’ve got. So, just an honest approach and make sure that they know exactly what is expected of them and it seems to have worked well.

**Brian Sutherby has tsaid many times that Tippett is an outstanding communicator. He was the best coach Sutherby ever had and he had a great ability to make every player feel important regardless of their role on the team.**

Gregor: Dave, you haven’t had the most skilled teams over the years, but you’ve always found a way to get the most out of your players. What do you attribute that to?

Tippett: Well, you know what, my philosophy is that first off all you look at the players you have and you try to formulate a plan on how you’re going to win. Ultimately, it’s all about winning. Whoever you’re coaching, whatever team, or organization you want to try to win. You look at your players, you formulate a game plan, you get those players to recognize that they can be a part of that formula and you move ahead with it.

We put a lot of onus on not letting each other down. You’ve got players that are in certain roles, they know that they have to do their job and that’s just part of the puzzle. So really I believe in a strong team effort.

That’s what I believe in the World Championships is going to be very important to get everybody on the same page and into their roles as quickly as we can. I think that’s how teams have success.

Gregor: Do you find when you make it very clear to a player what his role is, they’re more willing to accept it, rather than switching them from different roles from game to game?

Tippett: I learned a long time ago from my old Olympic coach, Dave King, who works down here (KHL), he said, "have you ever heard of the three Ts?" I said, "no I haven’t heard of the three Ts." He says, "First you train them to a role and if they can do that great, if they can’t do it, then you transfer them into a different role and try that. If that doesn’t work then you terminate them." [Laughs]

So I’ve had pretty good luck in training and transferring, I haven’t had any terminations yet, but that’s what players want. They want to know where they sit, and certain players have certain skills sets. Some roles are easier than others, but if players accept that and know that that’s a big part of what they do, they help the team win. That’s half of the battle, having players to play well. The other half is you need good players.

**The three T's makes a lot of sense, and you wonder if Eakins or other had thought about that regarding Sam Gagner moving to the wing. Andrew Cogliano admitted he always felt he was better as a centre, but after Bruce Boudreau moved him to the wing he's had more success. Gagner doesn't skate like Cogliano, so he won't get in on the forecheck as quickly, but you do wonder if it is time to contemplate moving Gagner to the wing. Keep in mind that during the most productive stretch of his career, final 25 games of his rookie season he played the wing with Cogliano in the middle and Robert Nilsson on the other wing. I wonder if it is time to try "transferring" Gagner to the wing?**

Gregor: From teaching to transferring, how long does it take to recognize a player that you’re teaching isn’t working in one role and you’ve got to transfer him into another role?

Tippett: [Laughs] Well, I mean it can vary; you get a young player that comes out pegged as a real high scorer and stuff. You’ve got to get him comfortable and see if he can do his job. Often, it takes longer than a young checker that you peg as a penalty killer and you can tell pretty quickly if he’s got the instincts to be a penalty killer. So it varies for different roles for different situations for all different kinds of players.

Gregor: In Phoenix this year you were a lot more of an offensive team while your goals against was up. Did you change how you tried to play this year compared to last year and if so, why?

Tippett: No, I don’t think that we changed. When the ownership finally got settled here, we signed a couple of guys, specifically [Mike] Ribeiro. We knew that we had to try and take a step forward and be a better offensive team if we were going to get to the next level. We pushed that aspect of it, and we tried to be a better offensive team. I think that that led to a bit of our defending issues. But when we played the best in the season, when we went on a good runs of games, we were a solid defending team that could chip in enough goals to win.

Early in the year, for whatever reason, we were scoring goals in bunches that our coaching staff would look at each other after and say, ‘I can’t believe we scored that many.’ We only had 20 shots and scored six goals or something. You get in stages like that where the puck goes in the net for you, but we didn’t think it was sustainable.

ANALYTICS

PowerPlays

Gregor: Are you big into analytics, do you follow all of that?

Tippett: I’ve done a lot of real different behind the scene stats ever since my first couple of years in Houston in the mid ‘90s. So I have a, I would have a very extensive, a very extensive stat package that’s all done. Less on NHL stats, very few that rely on NHL stats and more on our own stats that we do off of video and stuff.

Gregor: Ok, now could you share what those stats are ?

Tippet: Would I share?

Gregor: Yes.

Tippett: Then I’d have to kill the person. [Laughs]

Naw, a lot of it’s similar. We do a different plus minus system on scoring chances, a bunch of different things like that. But I’ve been a part of a lot of different analytics. In Dallas we had the Coleman analytics that again, were based off of all NHL stats and the shots for, shots against, blocked shots, those things. When you’re in the league and you see the variance from building to building, the validity of those stats sometimes comes into question.

And a lot of it, the big analytics right now, is strictly off of computer stats generated from the NHL, and I’m a big believer in stats, but they have to be valid and that’s why everything that we do, or the majority of what we do comes from watching the tape and actually analysing each individual play and scoring chance and figuring out what happened rather than just taking for granted the shots for and against.

**We've all been frustrated with how the data from building to building varies. Hits are marked very differently, and I've seen games where certain shots weren't recorded, but I never thought it was that much of a variance from rink to rink. It is interesting to hear Tippett's criticism on basic shots for/against. Hits, shots and even scoring chances will always be marked somewhat different from person to person, but as long as they are close the NHL stats page should still give us a good foundation, but when an NHL coach and self-proclaimed stats guy questions their validity then maybe the NHL should look at improving their consistency.**

QUICK HITS...

yakcity3

  • Mr. Willis wrote a solid piece wondering what type of player Nail Yakupov would become. At this point it is safe to say none of us know, but it was interesting to see the wide range of possibilities, both positive and negative. No one will argue the 2012 first overall pick has a lot of skill, but how productive can he be? Much of that will depend on him, as is the case with the majority of players.

    My concern with Yakupov is how many have over hyped his shooting and scoring ability thus far, because I think it is setting up unrealistic expectations. He has yet to prove he is a bonafide NHL scorer, and while he has a heavy one-timer he hasn't transferred that into goals. Having a hard shot means little if you don't score.

    I won't be surprised if Yakupov become a 30-goal scorer, but the suggestions that he is a great shooter right now is premature. He has a hard one-timer, but he'll need to master the ability to get it off regularly or with accuracy before we can correctly call him a sniper. He has the potential, but the biggest,and most common mistake I've seen from the organization and certain fans and media over the past five years is assuming that potential automatically turns into production.

    I love goal scoring, and I'd love nothing more if Yakupov becomes a feared sniper. The league needs more of them and so do the Oilers, but people need to have realistic expectations. The list of players who were feared one-timers is short, mainly because it is the most difficult skill to master.

    The player needs more than a great shot. He has to know how to get open, and have an eye for the soft spots in the defence, then he needs to have a large "sweet spot" so he can connect regardless of where the pass comes from, and finally he needs accuracy and velocity. Very few have mastered this, and people need to stop assuming that putting Yakupov on the right point on the PP will mean equate to a surge in goals. It isn't that simple.

    Take a deep breath before you claim this is some sort of bias against Russians (incredibly dumb argument, considering Pavel Bure and Alex Ovechkin are two of my favourite players), or that I'm being hard on Yakupov. I'm trying to protect him from being another Oiler who is labelled with unrealistic expectations and then ripped for not achieving them.

    Expecting 25 goals from him next season would be realistic, and also a great accomplishment since only 51 players reached that mark this past year, but let's calm down the claims that he is a proven scorer or shooter. He might become one, but he isn't there yet.

  • I'm always leery of comparisons based on projections. For example in Yakupov's rookie season, If you prorated him after 45 games (11-14-25) he'd be a 20-25-45 over 82 games. But, he finished the season with a flurry and after 48 games he had 17-14-31 and was projected for 29-24-53. It really changes the numbers because people saw him as a 29-goal scorer instead of a 20-goal man. I believe those final three games gave some people an unfair, inflated sense of his production. Many expected him to pick up where he left off, and rarely is that the case.

  • Nathan MacKinnon tied the NHL for most points, 7, in his first two NHL games and he's already tied for 8th most points by an 18 year old in one playoff season. Jaromir Jagr holds the record with 13 points set in 1991.

  • It is amazing to watch the different development curves of recent top draft picks. Erik Johnson, 1st overall in 2006, took eight years to become a dominant #1 D-man. Drew Doughty, 2nd pick in 2008, was an elite defender in his 2nd season.

    MacKinnon's has been incredible this season. RNH had an oustanding rookie year until he got injured. He played hurt the following season, finally had surgery and this past year he was okay, meanwhile Gabriel Landeskog has had a few solid campaigns. The great part is that even after two, three or four years it is hard to say with certainty who will be better over the next four or five years.

    Will Yakupov take a big step next season or will he need a few more years before he becomes a 30-goal scorer, similar to how James Van Riemsdyk has developed. JVR was the 2nd pick in 2007 and he didn't score 30 until his 5th NHL season at the age of 24.

    Some players can excel right away, while others, even top picks, take a few years before they are comfortable in the NHL.

  • According to Russian reporter Pavel Lysenkov Anton Belov didn't like Dallas Eakins.

    Not every player likes their coach, but I'd like to hear Belov's explanation why he didn't wait to see if the other 29 NHL teams would sign him. Seems like an easy parting shot by Belov. I can understand why Belov wouldn't like Eakins, because he didn't play much. When a player signs in an inferior league and then says he doesn't like his former coach I don't put much stock in it. I was more concerned about the practice habits/intensity comments from Hemsky, Smid and Bryzgalov than I would be about Belov not liking his coach.

  • The LA Kings are getting mauled by the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks top lines are crushing the Kings, and when your 4th line scores three goals in two games you know things are going well. The Sharks have been able to attack with speed all over the ice and the Kings' forwards and defence aren't nearly as quick.

  • Colorado's top line has been outstanding, but I don't see them going very far in the playoffs playing only three lines. Their fourth line of Patrick Bordeleau (4:55/game), Brad Malone (4:01) and Paul Carey (3:15) have barely played. Teams that win get at least 8 minutes/game out of their fourth line and often will have at least one guy with 10+ minutes. When Matt Duchene returns that will move someone down the lineup and give Roy a better option on the 4th line, but if he doesn't use that line to give his top lines some rest they will get fatigued. The wear and tear will become too much.

  • Paul Stastny's UFA stock keeps rising. If he tests the market he'll be the most sought after forward, and someone the Oilers would seriously look at. He's exactly what they need down the middle.

  • The Gregor Foundation will be taking suit donations up until this Friday. You can drop them off at Page The Cleaner (11416-142 street) and they will dry clean for free. Or you can drop off your suit (dry cleaned) at Derks (Whyte ave location) or the TSN studio (18520 Stony Plain road). Thanks for all your support.

Recently by Jason Gregor:

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 bsmart
April 21 2014, 09:46AM
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I know Yakupov was given about the same PP time this year as last. The argument I make is that he was not placed in that same one timer position that he exceled at last year. He offered a big threat to pass or shoot. You would be better off with Nuge and Schultz on the point. Or Nuge operating off the left side boards.

Eakins PP was brutal, I hope someone shows him game film from the prior year. He seems like an man not easily swayed by the opinions of others. I believe this will one day be his downfall.

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#2 vetinari
April 21 2014, 09:46AM
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Love the three "t's"... and it makes sense! I'm also not surprised that players and coaches may have very different opinions about what that player's strengths and role on the team should be... not everyone can be the first line sniper and playoff games are won and lost just as much in the corners and in the trenches (like the LA/SJ series or St. Louis/Chicago-- good, physical hockey).

As for Belov, while I don't think his comments are something that I would put a lot of stock into on their own, it's also something that I wouldn't completely ignore either. I don't think that I heard too much positive about Eakins from any of the players until the end of the season and part of that may be that they realize that like it or not, he's back in the fall so why rock the boat? I would be really interested in what they would have to say if they could be assured complete anonymity?

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#3 Sorensenator
April 21 2014, 09:50AM
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I don't think the Oilers should wait to see what Yakupov turns out to be. Regardless if he turns into a 30 - 40 goal scorer, the Oilers need a different mix of players in their top six to be competitive.

I would give Yakupov another year to improve his confidence and increase his trade value (although there is no guarantee this will happen)

With Hall, Eberle, and Nuge already in the spotlight ahead of him, it makes it very difficult for Yakupov to stand out; he would do much better on a team like Florida or Buffalo because he is used to being "the guy"

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#4 OilClog
April 21 2014, 09:51AM
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I'd actually be very concerned about Belov not liking the coach.

Another player we convinced to come to Oilerland that's leaving Oilerland wishing he never came.. This is a concern.

Belov didn't get into the specifics about why he doesn't like Dallas.. It could be he didn't like the practices, systems, message being sent by the coach. May not have anything to do with his playing time what so ever, maybe he wants to win and enjoy hockey. Doesn't look like that's a possibility in Edmonton.

When you play Mark Fraser over actually defensemen... Very concerning!!

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#5 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 21 2014, 09:59AM
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I wonder what Yak thinks of Eakins if his comrad doesn't like him. I'm sure they've talked about this many times over the course of the season. That's the part I'd be more concerned about.

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#7 YFC Prez
April 21 2014, 10:11AM
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What were the comments made by BryZ Hemsky and Smid about the practices?

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#8 freelancer
April 21 2014, 10:12AM
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@YFC Prez

Short version is since moving to their new teams the have said their practices now are much more up tempo and intense than the practices that they had with the Oilers.

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#9 Wanard
April 21 2014, 10:14AM
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The Belov comment is very interesting to me. In my mind, the reason he went home is that he wouldn't be able to command much of a salary on the open market and in the KHL he is a known entity.

I'm not calling him greedy; it would be tough to pass up better money and the opportunity to play closer to home after a poor experience in the NHL playing for a coach he doesn't like. What I find most interesting is that this is the fourth player in Eakins' rookie season who has said something negative about the way things are run under his watch. That doesn't bode well for players buying into the young hot shot coach's message when three veteran NHLers and another player whose 27 years old and a long time pro are saying it.

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#10 freelancer
April 21 2014, 10:16AM
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Gregor if you hadn't noticed there has been some conversations in here that if Yakupov was playing with a more physical two way center than he would have more space to work with, considering he spent most of his time in the top 6 playing with Gagner.

Do you buy into that? I know you hope that your top guys can play with anyone and still produce. But if one way or another we acquired that player do you think that could "fix" Yak?

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#11 YFC Prez
April 21 2014, 10:27AM
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@freelancer

Thanks for the reply.

Seems weird to me mr fitness and cardio would be guilty of running less intense practices than his peers. My question is if Eakins isn't bringing up the level of intensity and conditioning on this club like he repeatedly spoke of when he was hired....just what is he doing?

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#13 Oilcan
April 21 2014, 10:34AM
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I'm a big believer in sending jr eligible players back to the CHL in almost other circumstances (don't see much downside in it). But what would happen the oilers focused their effort on loading up the 3rd line Aka checking line with legit NHL shutdown guys. If they overspent to get moss and winnik (or someone like him) to play with Gordan and then ran their 4th line as a development line with young guys on ELC contacts. Some people might say it's better that they develop in the AHL or chl and I would probably agree but from a competitive team standpoint I wonder if it would work. Only play them 9-12 minutes a night and they play other teams 4th lines maybe 3rd (like the 4th does now) and they allow a little more freedom with those guys to get their feet wet in the NHL. Cheap 4th line that can outplay other 4th lines and allows for overpayments elsewhere.

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#14 Tim in Kelowna
April 21 2014, 10:37AM
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@Gregor, I see what you mean about the Avs 4th line, but if they sweep the Wild won't that provide enough rest? Plus, their next opponent (Chi/StL) will be worn down from a physical war. Colorado just looks incredible. It doesn't hurt having a Vezina-calibre netminder. They are scoring beautiful goals with such ease, if they tighten up their defensive game, I can see them coming out of the west.

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#15 michael
April 21 2014, 10:43AM
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freelancer wrote:

Gregor if you hadn't noticed there has been some conversations in here that if Yakupov was playing with a more physical two way center than he would have more space to work with, considering he spent most of his time in the top 6 playing with Gagner.

Do you buy into that? I know you hope that your top guys can play with anyone and still produce. But if one way or another we acquired that player do you think that could "fix" Yak?

I agree that Yak needs a bigger center to open up space but that center needs to have the skill to get him the puck.Cough Draisatl.

The Oilers need to take a shot at getting a bigger skilled winger for Gagner and Perron. MacT has always spoken of balance.Those 2 need a 6'2 215lb plus RW to open the space in front of the net.

Yak needs to be playing 3rd line minutes and 2cd unit PP to get his confidence back next season.

Belov? Who cares what this guy thinks. He don't play on our team so what he says is his opinion and I could care less.

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#16 Bryzarro World
April 21 2014, 10:44AM
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YFC Prez wrote:

Thanks for the reply.

Seems weird to me mr fitness and cardio would be guilty of running less intense practices than his peers. My question is if Eakins isn't bringing up the level of intensity and conditioning on this club like he repeatedly spoke of when he was hired....just what is he doing?

He's laughing all the way to the bank. Suckered MacDuh into a big contract with his load of crap that even the media has smeared all over their rose coloured glasses...

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#18 zoolander
April 21 2014, 10:56AM
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The proof that Eakins is not liked and a bad communicator and strategist is IMHO shown by the results of the season. When I think of the season that I just watched I would not have needed any players to complain let alone 4 about the coach. "You know the old days of you can really squash players, and rant and rave, I think that those days are by us." No they are not by us Eakins treated yakupov like a dog on a choke collar while others made the same mistakes with no consequence. ALL the video work and constant critisism/coaching was part of the problem. Sometimes players need a bit of space to grow. Many times on national TV after a game Eakins threw yakupov under the bus. Even if it was his fault it sure does not say I got your back.

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#19 Al Low
April 21 2014, 10:58AM
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I like what Jason's saying about Yak. He did take a step back but he seems like a guy who wants to improve and wants to win and wants to be an Oiler so I think he'll rebound nicely next year. No, he isn't going to be Bure or Ovechkin next year but he's going to continue to get better and that's all we can ask for. He's played 2 seasons in the NHL under 2 different coaches. He plays for the most misdirected, poorly run organization in the NHL. Based on that alone, he's allowed some time to develop and hone his game, in my opinion. Outside of Hall, there isn't anybody more talented on the roster. He's not there yet, but good luck trading him and finding another potential or existing one shot scorer.

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#20 gbm
April 21 2014, 10:59AM
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Gregor,

Regarding Stastny, I understand the attraction towards a player like this for the Oilers organization. He fits the bill in terms of the team's needs (1st/2nd line centre, size, etc).

The real question is, what does the Oilers organization have to offer him ? Putting aside the cash, these guys want to win, and play with an organization and other players of a similar ability and mindset. If the Avs can fit him under the cap longer term, wouldn't you resign with your current team (perhaps for a lesser amount than the Oilers offer) given the ancillary benefits (ie solid younger core of players, regular season success/current playoff team, solid coach/management, family stability) ?

Not being a capologist, perhaps I'm missing something here in terms of the Avs ability to fit him into the team's future with a longer term.

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#21 bsmart
April 21 2014, 11:07AM
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@Jason Gregor

Thanks for the breakdown Jason!

it is always interesting to compare hard stats to what as a fan observe when watching the games.

It would be interesting to see where those PP shots were taken from in the zone.

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#22 Sean17
April 21 2014, 11:11AM
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Nobody from Yak's draft year is setting the world on fire...

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#23 ubermiguel
April 21 2014, 11:12AM
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Belov's comments have to be addressed by MacT, but he doesn't do that by firing him. He needs to sit down with Eakins and go though a year-end review like any employee and give Eakins a chance to improve next year. Eakins is probably the most important single employee MacT has, he needs to train him first before thinking about transfering or terminating him.

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#24 Tim in Kelowna
April 21 2014, 11:13AM
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gbm wrote:

Gregor,

Regarding Stastny, I understand the attraction towards a player like this for the Oilers organization. He fits the bill in terms of the team's needs (1st/2nd line centre, size, etc).

The real question is, what does the Oilers organization have to offer him ? Putting aside the cash, these guys want to win, and play with an organization and other players of a similar ability and mindset. If the Avs can fit him under the cap longer term, wouldn't you resign with your current team (perhaps for a lesser amount than the Oilers offer) given the ancillary benefits (ie solid younger core of players, regular season success/current playoff team, solid coach/management, family stability) ?

Not being a capologist, perhaps I'm missing something here in terms of the Avs ability to fit him into the team's future with a longer term.

The Avs have a few expensive players to get under contract in the next few years (i.e. MacKinnon, O'Reilly, Barrie), Stastny could be the odd man out, given that they already have Duchene and MacKinnon down the middle. Stastny could choose Edmonton for the same reason Ference did, to join a winner at the ground floor... Okay, basement.

Free agency being what it is, MacT would have to offer Stastny the Hall/Ebs/RNH $6million deal. He'd be perfect in the #2 spot, but I have my concerns about his injury history.

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#25 Fumanshu
April 21 2014, 11:14AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Interesting theory, hard to say with certainty it would. I'm not sure Yakupov's struggles were only due to lack of space. That could have played a small role, but he didn't have a big centre in rookie season and he produced more.

It likely wouldn't hurt, but another year of being older and stronger will also help. I'm not sure he was "broken," he just had a tough year. Very few players improve every year without taking a step back now and again.

I think yakupov played a fair amount with horcoff last year? Horc does possess a bit of size and plays 200 feet. Just a bit slower. So maybe it could work well?

What are your thoughts on anisimov? He's an effective penalty killer and plays 200 feet. Lines up down the middle and is 6'4. If we move gagner and a 2015 2nd for him I think that's a nice deal. Columbus has enough size that I think gagner would thrive there, say with Horton and Jenner. That's only if the playoffs don't go well for Columbus and they want a change.

I would also pay close attention to Minnesota's cap situation. They are rumoured to want vanek and have to resign coyle, granlund, keumpfer soon. I'd look at niño. Offer a similar deal that we got for Perron. Say a 2015 1st and a prospect.

A 2nd line of niño-anisimov-yak would be a nice dynamic of size, offense and defence.

Thoughts?

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#26 Butters
April 21 2014, 11:14AM
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Has any Oiler player, past or present said anything positive about Dallas Eakins? All Hall and Eberle said is that he is learning on the job and it will be nice to not have a new coach next year. Unless i missed something, I haven't heard anyone sing his praises.

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#27 Butters
April 21 2014, 11:16AM
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Fumanshu wrote:

I think yakupov played a fair amount with horcoff last year? Horc does possess a bit of size and plays 200 feet. Just a bit slower. So maybe it could work well?

What are your thoughts on anisimov? He's an effective penalty killer and plays 200 feet. Lines up down the middle and is 6'4. If we move gagner and a 2015 2nd for him I think that's a nice deal. Columbus has enough size that I think gagner would thrive there, say with Horton and Jenner. That's only if the playoffs don't go well for Columbus and they want a change.

I would also pay close attention to Minnesota's cap situation. They are rumoured to want vanek and have to resign coyle, granlund, keumpfer soon. I'd look at niño. Offer a similar deal that we got for Perron. Say a 2015 1st and a prospect.

A 2nd line of niño-anisimov-yak would be a nice dynamic of size, offense and defence.

Thoughts?

Offer a similar deal that we got for Perron. Say a 2015 1st and a prospect.

Why are you trading Conner McDavid?

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#28 Fumanshu
April 21 2014, 11:17AM
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Butters wrote:

Offer a similar deal that we got for Perron. Say a 2015 1st and a prospect.

Why are you trading Conner McDavid?

*cries*

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#29 Fresh Mess
April 21 2014, 11:28AM
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Rick Olczyk sacked. Bill Scott in as new asst GM/ cap guy.

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#31 Quintana
April 21 2014, 11:48AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Rick Olczyk sacked. Bill Scott in as new asst GM/ cap guy.

Fire The Lord of the ring Sauron! And his orcs Bucky and Smith.

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#32 Oiler Al
April 21 2014, 11:57AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Rick Olczyk sacked. Bill Scott in as new asst GM/ cap guy.

Now thats more like it! NOw we can look forward to making the play offs next year. What ever happened to sacking the training staff again.

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#33 He Who Knows
April 21 2014, 12:04PM
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This franchise is in major trouble moving forward. I really hope that Ralph will open up once his contract expires and rips another hole into management. The so called saviours of this franchise have been pampered and given lottery money before they even proved their worth.

There is no structure and discipline and this is now embedded into the culture of the team. The Oilers IMHO have used and abused the fan base since Katz took over. I thought Mac-T was the more sincere one out of this Soviet regime but after his season ending presser, I am disgusted with the BS propaganda. Stay classy Oilers.

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#34 Oiler Al
April 21 2014, 12:05PM
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Interesting interview with Tippett. I always had him pegged as a .. Defense only .. coach. But I guess he built his game around the players he was given. Eakins, please take note, on the communication aspect of Tippetts style.

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#35 OilClog
April 21 2014, 12:19PM
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How different would the situation be if Eakins "skyboxed" any of the other young guys for their glaring, repeated mistakes.. We're mostly all reasonable people, if accountability was even across the board I wager some of the tunes being sung would be much more pleasurable to our ears.

All I've been is a fan, 30yrs long now. This season was the worst "coaching" I've ever seen displayed by the Oilers.

Renney was let go because he lost the room, and everyone loved Kruger.

Kruger was let go because he wasn't the new GM's guy, which happens everywhere so not earth shattering.

Eakins, with more mature players, and two legged defencemen, puts together the worst season in Oilers history, players aren't coming back if they're able to get free.. But were keeping him for consistency.. FFS! How could anyone expect anything of a player(Yakupov) after such an awful mishandling.

Eakins is RA Dickey.. Always an excuse for failure and not just manning up and admitting "my bad" if Eakins is so "dogged determined" how come our offensive zone breakouts were as ugly to end the season as they were to start...

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#36 Soccer Steve
April 21 2014, 12:20PM
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Deep, deep down I honestly believe that MacT thinks he made a big, big mistake in hiring Dallas and firing Ralph. But he won't get rid of him because he would be shooting himself in the foot by allowing the media to pounce all over him.

This is totally 2 steps backward and 1 step backward.

If we traded our players, one for one, with Detroit's the new Oilers would tank. If we traded our management and coaches, one for one, with Detroit's the new Oilers would be in the playoffs within two seasons.

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#37 Sorensenator
April 21 2014, 12:28PM
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I see most people didn't agree with my post (refer to #3) Someone please explain to me...

Yakupov at this point is looking to be a bit of a project. I don't understand why you give up a spot in the top six for Yakupov when you already have two #1 overalls with similar skill sets ahead of him.

It could take 2-3 years before Yakupov shows why he was drafted #1, I would bring in a top six forward with size and grit and proven NHL ability. The Oilers cannot afford to play the waiting game otherwise this rebuild will keep extending.

Thoughts?

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#38 pelhem grenville
April 21 2014, 12:39PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Rick Olczyk sacked. Bill Scott in as new asst GM/ cap guy.

...for the record Olczyk was offered a position within the organization but declined the offer ...

on a better note ... am I seeing this as a start of the best of the minor league coaching staff get their just dues and opportunities up with the big club? ...is Todd Nelson FINALLY going to get a chance at assisting Eakins and pick up the pieces if Eakins gets the door?

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#39 Ed in Edmonton
April 21 2014, 12:41PM
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Sorensenator wrote:

I see most people didn't agree with my post (refer to #3) Someone please explain to me...

Yakupov at this point is looking to be a bit of a project. I don't understand why you give up a spot in the top six for Yakupov when you already have two #1 overalls with similar skill sets ahead of him.

It could take 2-3 years before Yakupov shows why he was drafted #1, I would bring in a top six forward with size and grit and proven NHL ability. The Oilers cannot afford to play the waiting game otherwise this rebuild will keep extending.

Thoughts?

As so much of the Oil's young talent have similar skill sets until they make the "bold Move" to trade some young talent for some proven performance they will struggle.

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#40 pelhem grenville
April 21 2014, 12:52PM
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...Jason or whoever cares to throw in ...with Tippett coaching the Canadian team at the World Championships ...I didn't read where he gives any sense in knowing about a 'rumor' why no Canadian born Oiler is coming? has there been a rooster announced? The IIHF tournament website says nothing yet and the thing starts in the Czech Republic May 9th...I think

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#41 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 21 2014, 01:00PM
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Gregor, do you think there might be a higher probability of Spezza coming here rather than Statsny? Spezza has a limited no trade, can name ten teams he won't play for.

Ottawa rumored to be asking for a First round pick plus two bodies (roster or prospects).

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#42 Reach Advantage
April 21 2014, 01:05PM
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Watching the playoffs, I am reminded of the importance of speed. The pace of the games are so much faster than in the regular season. I am hoping that the Oilers draft and trade for speed. I don't want to hear what I heard after they drafted some such as Lander and Musil - he needs to work on his foot speed.

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#43 PutzStew
April 21 2014, 01:16PM
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"MacKinnon's has been incredible this season. RNH had an oustanding rookie year until he got injured. He played hurt the following season, finally had surgery and this past year he was okay, meanwhile Gabriel Landeskog has had a few solid campaigns. The great part is that even after two, three or four years it is hard to say with certainty who will be better over the next four or five years."

RNH is a good hockey player but the fact remains, he has not done what Mackinnon or Landeskog has done, yet. The future is full of if's and there is the possibility that RNH could be a better player then Mackinnon in the future but right now, Mackinnon I do not think many people in the league would take RNH over Mackinnon or Landeskog. It is a what have you done for me league and at this time, Edmonton does not have anyone that has done anything.

And Yes Gregor I am going to tell you you have a negative bias towards Yak. Other wise please feel free to explain why you will jump in with both feet to defend some one like RNH but will go out of your way to make negative comments on someone else blog regarding Yak.

Edmonton Main Stream Sports Media......Glad I have other option.

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#44 Arius Mumin
April 21 2014, 01:20PM
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@Jason Gregor

Corny hypocrite.

Belov makes a comment about Eakins, and, while you might not have enough testicular fortitude or permission from the Oilers to question Eakins or say anything, you automatically deter the comment back to Belov and why he didn't want to stay in the NHL.

Very poor and elementary journalism, not even Afgani farmers would buy into your propaganda.

Please, leave Yak alone: no one cares for you hypocritical/double standard crap.

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#45 Rick Stroppel
April 21 2014, 01:28PM
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Sorensenator wrote:

I see most people didn't agree with my post (refer to #3) Someone please explain to me...

Yakupov at this point is looking to be a bit of a project. I don't understand why you give up a spot in the top six for Yakupov when you already have two #1 overalls with similar skill sets ahead of him.

It could take 2-3 years before Yakupov shows why he was drafted #1, I would bring in a top six forward with size and grit and proven NHL ability. The Oilers cannot afford to play the waiting game otherwise this rebuild will keep extending.

Thoughts?

AN EXPLANATION

I trashed your comment, this is why. You said that the Oilers should trade Yakupov EVEN IF he turns out to be a 30-40 goal scorer. Because the Oilers have too many of the same type of player.

The last Oiler to score 40 goals: Petr Klima, 1991, TWENTY THREE YEARS AGO. With the retirement of Smyth, there is not a single player on the roster who has EVER scored 30 goals in an NHL season. If, by some miracle, Yakupov were to evolve into a 30-40 goal scorer, the Oilers should wrap their arms around him and love him to death.

You are right about one thing. Trading Yakupov now would be insanity. For the sake of the franchise, they need to give him EVERY reasonable opportunity to succeed next year. If it turns into a pump-and-dump, so be it.

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#46 Ed in Edmonton
April 21 2014, 01:55PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

AN EXPLANATION

I trashed your comment, this is why. You said that the Oilers should trade Yakupov EVEN IF he turns out to be a 30-40 goal scorer. Because the Oilers have too many of the same type of player.

The last Oiler to score 40 goals: Petr Klima, 1991, TWENTY THREE YEARS AGO. With the retirement of Smyth, there is not a single player on the roster who has EVER scored 30 goals in an NHL season. If, by some miracle, Yakupov were to evolve into a 30-40 goal scorer, the Oilers should wrap their arms around him and love him to death.

You are right about one thing. Trading Yakupov now would be insanity. For the sake of the franchise, they need to give him EVERY reasonable opportunity to succeed next year. If it turns into a pump-and-dump, so be it.

Eberle scored 34 in 2011-12.

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#47 Tim in Kelowna
April 21 2014, 02:32PM
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Arius Mumin wrote:

Corny hypocrite.

Belov makes a comment about Eakins, and, while you might not have enough testicular fortitude or permission from the Oilers to question Eakins or say anything, you automatically deter the comment back to Belov and why he didn't want to stay in the NHL.

Very poor and elementary journalism, not even Afgani farmers would buy into your propaganda.

Please, leave Yak alone: no one cares for you hypocritical/double standard crap.

What the hell are you talking about? I'm not sure you know what 'hypocrite' means.

I'll reserve my judgement on Eakins until he has an NHL lineup to work with. I'm concerned about the comments from Hemky, Smid and Bryz, but I don't put much stock in Belov's opinion. The team was terrible, I'm sure there were more than a few disgruntled players. Belov probably would have liked Eakins just fine if he got more icetime or if the team was any good.

The point is, blaming Eakins for the terrible season is completely letting the players off the hook. Replace the undesirables (eg Belov) with Eakins-type players (eg Coburn) and hope for the best.

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#48 Rick Stroppel
April 21 2014, 02:57PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

Eberle scored 34 in 2011-12.

MY BAD!

I stand corrected.

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#50 Sorensenator
April 21 2014, 04:05PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

AN EXPLANATION

I trashed your comment, this is why. You said that the Oilers should trade Yakupov EVEN IF he turns out to be a 30-40 goal scorer. Because the Oilers have too many of the same type of player.

The last Oiler to score 40 goals: Petr Klima, 1991, TWENTY THREE YEARS AGO. With the retirement of Smyth, there is not a single player on the roster who has EVER scored 30 goals in an NHL season. If, by some miracle, Yakupov were to evolve into a 30-40 goal scorer, the Oilers should wrap their arms around him and love him to death.

You are right about one thing. Trading Yakupov now would be insanity. For the sake of the franchise, they need to give him EVERY reasonable opportunity to succeed next year. If it turns into a pump-and-dump, so be it.

Eberle, Hall, and Perron all have that potential, plus Yakupov looks like a lesser and smaller version of Ovechkin who only plays a 50 ft game.

Yakupov should improve his scoring numbers next year then take a hike, I've never liked him from day one.

Plus the majority of the Oilers scouting staff wanted Murray but Katz and Lowe intervened and veto'd the decision, just pathetic.

Players and Coaches to (get lost, beat it, scram, take a hike):

Sam Gagner Nail Yakupov after he somehow improves his value Jeff Petry on 50% of nights Steve Smith Kelly Buchberger

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