Leon Draisaitl and Nail Yakupov

Jonathan Willis
May 15 2014 10:30AM

64-Yakupov-1

Something very interesting has been going on with the Edmonton Oilers’ scouting staff, and it’s the kind of thing that really ought to get somebody fired.

Draisaitl

Lowetide’s Allan Mitchell brought this up the other day, and it’s hard to disagree with his viewpoint:

Are there signs of MacT getting stubborn now? Sure. Keeping all of the coaches would be an example, and I do think there are leaks again—something that did not happen in the Tambellini era. When you’ve got Jim Matheson telling the world that the Oilers like Leon Draisaitl, that’s information that, if true, puts the club in a position of weakness. That’s a thing. A really bad thing.What should MacT do? Find the leak and shoot it between the eyes.

There is no upside – none – for the team to be leaking parts of its draft list to a local reporter, and Mitchell’s explanation of what MacTavish should do about it is bang-on from an organizational perspective. Where I think he’s mistaken is in saying that these leaks didn’t happen during the Tambellini era.

One example would be Mitch Moroz, the guy the Oilers drafted instead of Matt Finn. After talking about the Oilers’ failure to land a defenceman in the first round of 2012, Matheson specifically cited Finn the evening before the rest of the draft – but then wandered off him to talk up the case for Moroz. It’s pretty hard to say he wasn’t being fed information by someone with knowledge of the Oilers’ scouting process.

But that’s the small story of the 2012 Draft. The much bigger one is Nail Yakupov.

Yakupov

64-Yakupov-11

It’s easy to remember what happened here. Oilers fans were overwhelmingly in favour of their team taking Yakupov, the consensus No. 1 pick, in the first overall slot. Meanwhile in the media, there were all kinds of signals that the Oilers would take Ryan Murray instead. Then came the draft and Yakupov was the pick.

Almost immediately, the story started circulating that the scouts had decided on Murray, but had been overruled by owner Daryl Katz, who wanted the team to take Yakupov.

The question came up during Craig MacTavish’s end-of-season press conference, and his answer to whether there was interference from ownership was as illuminating as it was evasive:

We very much targeted Nail Yakupov as an offensive phenom. We felt that he was very deserving of being the number one pick. We felt that his upside was maybe higher than Ryan Murray that Columbus ultimately drafted. We drafted him for the right reasons. We still believe that he’s going to be a great goal scorer and there’s a premium on goal scoring. Colorado did a similar thing last year when they drafted Nathan MacKinnon. There’s lots of upside in Nail, and it’s up to us and our organization to get that from him. But he was a very legitimate number one pick and we still feel strongly that we made the right decision.

That isn’t a confirmation, but it really, really isn’t a denial. It’s not even a ‘you know, there are a lot of baseless rumours that make the rounds and so I don’t comment on them.’ The answer is basically, ‘whatever the process, we did it for the right reasons.’

(Sidebar: The timing of this question is pretty interesting, as it came two years after Yakupov was drafted and the stories started. If it had been asked last season, for example (when Yakupov was the NHL’s leading scorer among rookies) it would have reflected positively on Katz and negatively on the scouts. By waiting two years, whichever reporter asked it basically held on to the question until the point when a confirmation would embarrass the Oilers’ owner. I didn’t see who asked the question, and I don’t know that whoever it was had an axe to grind with ownership, but the timing is suggestive.)

The Oilers really can’t afford to have this kind of information leak. It’s great for reporters – the disgruntlement that accompanies organizational dysfunction often leads to information leaking – but it’s unprofessional for the team and worse than that it reduces their leverage if they’re considering trading down at the draft.

What to Do

Craig MacTavish10

Burn it down.

The Oilers’ scouts under MacGregor (and Prendergast before him, as many of the names are the same) have a record that can perhaps best be described as mixed. They haven’t been all bad, but there have been plenty of mistakes along the way and nobody in the NHL thinks “Edmonton” when wondering who the best scouting team in the NHL is.

In other words, they aren’t so good that there isn’t room for change.

Find the leak and fire him. If the team’s lucky, maybe it will be the same guy who pushed for Cam Abney as a top-100 pick, and then the Oilers can kill two birds with one stone.

At least, that is what is best for the team. For people covering the team, the more leaks the better.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Jasmine
May 15 2014, 01:02PM
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@freelancer

Pittsburgh doesn't have 5 coaches in 6 years. Oilers won't improve until they stop firing coaches every season.

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#52 Jeffff
May 15 2014, 01:05PM
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Oilers should fire Eakins hire Barry Trotz or Dan Bylsma whoever they deem a better fit.

This makes too much sense so well you know

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#53 Robin Brownlee
May 15 2014, 01:06PM
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@Dmac

Lots of sources of information, including leaks, and the best beat men access all of them. That's the job.

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#54 Lochenzo
May 15 2014, 01:20PM
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If Jacques Martin is part of the purge in Pittsburgh, maybe that's our Associate coach. Teach some defensive hockey.

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#55 Spaceman Spiff
May 15 2014, 01:40PM
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Jonathan, you do great work and I enjoy reading your column, so I say this with all due respect: Relax. Chill out. None of the above is that big of a deal.

Where to start? OK. “Leaking” draft secrets to the media.

For one thing, it’s Jim Matheson. Elmer Ferguson Award winner. Holder of the infamous Peter Pocklington “Gretz has an ego the size of Manhattan” interview tape. He’s got all kinds of media contacts – and team contacts – throughout the league. Teams have reportedly called Matty over the years to ask about players before trading for them. How do you know he was tipped by someone on the Oilers staff? How do you know he didn’t hear it from someone in NHL Central Scouting who heard it from someone from the Oilers? How do you know he didn’t hear it from, say, the GM of the Oil Kings, who heard it from, say, Prince Albert coach Cory Clouston?

My point is, reporters don’t always get tips straight from the team. Reportage requires more than that – in fact, that’s one of the fundamental differences between the beat reporters and (most of) the bloggers. Bloggers (present company excepted, of course) generally don’t get out that much. The beat reporters in the MSM work contacts, hang around with other team officials (and reporters) and generally news-gather. They hear stuff through the grapevine and if they figure it’s accurate enough to run with, they print it.

To suggest that Matty is asserting the Oilers like Draisaitl because someone on the Oilers scouting staff told him that while they were standing in line at the press box popcorn maker sells Matty a little short, no?

Secondly, this isn’t the first time draft leaks have happened. I can remember The Hockey News Draft Preview in 1994 noting that the Oilers were “said to be quite enamored of Jason Bonsignore.” Of course, that pick was an utter disaster, but the Oilers got their man (who wouldn’t have slipped past No. 5 – he was considered a big-time prospect). Same thing with Jason Arnott a year earlier. I remember the Oilers had zeroed in him in the weeks before the draft (my guess is that Matty probably had that story) … but the Oilers still got him at No. 7.

Hey – didn’t MacT tell season ticketholders last year (before the draft) that he loved Darnell Nurse’s game?

And never mind Brian Burke’s masterful series of trades at the 1999 draft that got him the Sedin twins. I’m pretty sure that it was common knowledge in the days and weeks leading up to the draft that Burkie was working the phones to engineer the deals to get him the picks … and yet they still happened. No one got in his way.

Put it this way: I wouldn’t be firing anyone on the Oilers based on who you think might have tipped off Jim Matheson. It could be one of a 100 people in the hockey world.

Alrighty. Now. Yakupov.

I read your pullout-clip from MacT’s end-of-season press conference 14 times and I’m still trying to determine what exactly is so “illuminating” about it.

If I may sum it up: “We picked Yakupov because we need goals and we liked his goal-scoring upside better than Ryan Murray’s defensive upside.”

Or, if you prefer: “Unlike the Boston Bruins in 1982, we passed on Gord Kluzak and took Brian Bellows instead.”

I’m sorry, Jonathan, but I don’t see how any of that is “really, really” a non-denial.

The Oilers picked Yak because everyone in the hockey world said he was the best player available. If they didn't, they would have been thoroughly ripped for it ... especially after last season.

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#56 Joel
May 15 2014, 01:56PM
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If you combine Pronman and the ISS rankings.

1.Ekblad 3

2.Reinhart 5

3.Bennett 6

4.Nylander 8

5.Dal Colle 11

6.Leon D 13

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#58 pkam
May 15 2014, 02:13PM
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Honestly, is there any team that is air tight and don't lead any inside information?

And what is the big deal about it? Didn't JW say we lead inside information that our scouts preferred Murray and it turned out to be Yak? So how trustworthy and reliable is this lead?

And the best way to prevent the lead is to make the information public, like what the Avs did last year. Do you think there will be any lead of Murray if our management announced Yak to be our choice?

If you want to fire a scout, I'll rather they fire the incapable ones, instead of firing the one who lead inside information to keep the incapable ones.

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#59 MattL
May 15 2014, 02:14PM
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You don't need a leak when Stauffer is running PR for the Leon pick, saying he's heard good things "outside the organization". Might as well get your news from the owner's mouthpiece.

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#60 sintaxi
May 15 2014, 02:25PM
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Its worth noting Joe Sakic announced that they were not taking the consensus #1 pick Seth Jones just days before the draft. This is likely out of respect for Seth Jones so he was able to deal with the disappointment in private rather than with all the lights and cameras on him. Class act by Burnaby Joe.

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#61 nunyour
May 15 2014, 02:39PM
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I agree,who ever took the leak should be fired,i think it was klowe.Hay look a butterfly!!!

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#62 Spaceman Spiff
May 15 2014, 02:42PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Here's the problem: regardless of the source, the names of the guys the Oilers like early are leaking before the picks are made.

Whether it's from a scout to Clouston, or a scout to someone at NHL CSS, or a scout to a reporter directly doesn't matter: the bottom line is that there's a competitive advantage to keeping that draft list secret and the Oilers are losing it.

As for Yak, MacT's answer is illuminating because he wasn't asked 'Why did you pick Yak?', he was basically asked 'Did ownership overrule your scouts?'

Fair enough, Jonathan.

I guess I'm not entirely convinced it's that much of a problem ... or at least not when you're picking fourth. The Oilers know they're going to get a good player there.

I do agree that secrecy is important, but I think the "secrecy" probably only gets important when you enter the "second-tier" of first-rounders, and then beyond that. Jordan Eberle at 22nd overall is a wonderful example of the importance of keeping a pick secret.

But, then again, sometimes the secret takes care of itself.

I remember reading a story in The Hockey News years ago of how Joe Sakic fell to the 15th pick in 1987. As someone from the Nordiques told it, on some sort of "meet-the-prospect-day" before the draft, the top 21-or-so prospects were lined up in a row, all wearing their junior jerseys over their shirts-and-ties. Standing on either side of Sakic were Luke Richardson and Brendan Shanahan - both of whom were over 6-2 and would have dwarfed the 5-10, 175-pound Sakic. The Nords scouts, picking 15th, knew right then and there that Sakic would fall to them.

Did the Oilers ownership over-rule the Oilers scouts? Maybe. Maybe not. If he did, good on him. Yak was the player with the better potential that day. As to why MacT didn't answer the question that was asked, my guess is that he didn't feel it was worth addressing. He stuck on the "key message" that the scouts thought Yak was the better player, which he was. As a fan, I have no problem with that, regardless of whether or not Murray surpasses Yak ... or if they're both surpassed by some smallish player picked later in the first round.

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#63 Zarny
May 15 2014, 02:43PM
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Randaman wrote:

The difference is Colorado was picking #1. The ineptitude of this management group is well documented and MacT didn't do anything to change that sentiment when he refused to fire the assistants. He better have one hell of a summer to turn this ship around fast.

The fact Colorado was picking #1 made it an even dumber move; especially considering they planned on bypassing the consensus #1 pick in Jones. Any team that had a chubby for Jones immediately knew to quit calling Joe and start talking to teams drafting 2nd or later.

There is never, under any circumstances whatsoever, a reason to let any team know your draft board. The more uncertainty you can create for other GM's the more leverage you have and the less they have.

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#64 pkam
May 15 2014, 03:06PM
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Zarny wrote:

The fact Colorado was picking #1 made it an even dumber move; especially considering they planned on bypassing the consensus #1 pick in Jones. Any team that had a chubby for Jones immediately knew to quit calling Joe and start talking to teams drafting 2nd or later.

There is never, under any circumstances whatsoever, a reason to let any team know your draft board. The more uncertainty you can create for other GM's the more leverage you have and the less they have.

Not totally correct.

If I remembered correctly, Florida wasn't that interested to swap their 2nd overall for Colorado 1st overall before Colorado announced their choice, probably because Florida believed Colorado was going to draft Jones so they would get Mackinnon with their 2nd overall. So that announced actually create some leverage for Colorado.

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#65 Zarny
May 15 2014, 03:10PM
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Will wrote:

You are right that Boston and LA have both done well. But Chi has no less than like 13 players on its roster who they drafted. Including Crawford, Toews, Kane, Seabrook, Sharp, Keith, Shaw, Smith, Saad, Versteeg, and Bickle. All those guys have been integral to the team's success. Not to mention Buflygn. I really can't think of a single other team, really ever, that is as successful and has built its entire core and support through the draft. Number 1 goalie, top 2 defence pair, all star centre, two all star wingers, a second and third line centre, and two support wingers in Bickle and Versteeg. That is insane.

It is hard to keep in mind the length these rebuilds take. However to compare Edmonton and Chicago illuminates two things. Our scouts were terrible at picking up the much needed support players, defence, and goalie a team needs before they draft their super stars. And that the Oilers due to the make up of the team have been awful at developing prospects who might have filled these roles. And now, there is no veteran help or leadership on wither the team or coaching staff. It's a bad situation that could have been a lot better if Tambillini didn't sell off every single decent piece for magic beans.

There is no arguing with results. Stoll, Greene and Petry are the only picks outside the 1st round I can think of under Prendergast that even turned into regular NHLers. Certainly no one elite players.

But were they bad picks or was Edmonton just garbage at developing their picks because the franchise was near bankruptcy and had no minor league team for awhile?

So far no real wins outside the 1st round under MacGregor either but at least there is some promise with Marincin and a few others. Are they better picks though or is a better minor league system in OKC the difference?

I agree 100% that the situation is worse because of Tambo's dithering. The Oilers didn't have to tank to draft Taylor Hall. When they made that pick the Oilers should have started an egg timer to have all the pieces needed to support a few high draft picks by last year or this year.

Instead Tambo sat around with his thumbs up his a** for a couple years. The only thing that shocked me this year was that some people were shocked a bunch of 20-22 y/o supported by AHLers did a face plant.

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#66 Zarny
May 15 2014, 03:17PM
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@pkam

It only created leverage for Colorado if they thought Mackinnon was the player teams wanted to trade up for.

From my recollection that wasn't the case. It was all about Jones. Of course I'm not privy to what GM's were saying to Col and the fact Jones slipped to 4th might indicate it was all about Mackinnon for teams looking to move up.

I suspect Joe was just answering a question honestly. Regardless, I still see no advantage to ever tip your hat. The more uncertainty your enemy deals with the better.

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#67 pkam
May 15 2014, 03:29PM
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Zarny wrote:

@pkam

It only created leverage for Colorado if they thought Mackinnon was the player teams wanted to trade up for.

From my recollection that wasn't the case. It was all about Jones. Of course I'm not privy to what GM's were saying to Col and the fact Jones slipped to 4th might indicate it was all about Mackinnon for teams looking to move up.

I suspect Joe was just answering a question honestly. Regardless, I still see no advantage to ever tip your hat. The more uncertainty your enemy deals with the better.

I don't think Colorado was thinking about creating leverage when they made the announcement, but it did as Florida was not considering trading up before the announcement.

Florida backed off when they found out the asking price was too much, what if Florida was desperate enough to accept the request?

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#68 andropod
May 15 2014, 03:30PM
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nunyour wrote:

I agree,who ever took the leak should be fired,i think it was klowe.Hay look a butterfly!!!

No, it was one of the assistant coaches. Fire them all! :)

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#69 THRNHJE
May 15 2014, 03:55PM
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I'm going to call it, all of this talk about Draisatl is going to amount to nothing, because if Ekblad or Reinhart fall to number 3, then there is no question, and I really feel like Ekblad is not going to be taken when MacT comes to the podium and his dreams of a pairing of Nurse Ekblad torturing the west for a decade come true when he grabs him.

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#70 zangetsu
May 15 2014, 04:08PM
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"Find the leak and fire him. If the team’s lucky, maybe it will be the same guy who pushed for Cam Abney as a top-100 pick, and then the Oilers can kill two birds with one stone."

That pick was in all likelihood Lowe. The team has been chasing coke machines since he showed up.

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#71 Will
May 15 2014, 04:09PM
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@Zarny

Ya you're hitting the nail on the head when talking about development issues. The really good Flames Nation Article found that the Oilers, by a wide margin, were the most successful team in that time to graduate draft picks to a point where they played at least 50 NHL games.

However, they were also the worst team in the differential between those guys who played 50, to the draft picks that played at least 200. Basically showing that they rushed a huge number of players to the NHL, who then became nothing.

I don't think the Detroit model is really a good example of how to build a successful team, since they're dynasty was basically the result of amazing drafting before the 2000's and overlapping teams that had incredible vets to mentor any prospects coming up.

However, I do like they're development system which allows prospects to come into the NHL nearly ready to go.

I will give Tambillini credit for completely overhauling a very broken development system to the point now where the Oilers have a very deep and diverse development pool on which to teach the prospects how to swim.

It is an underrated addition that I think in later years he will get a lot of credit for. Or at least someone will.

The problem now, that Tambillini also created, is that once these kids are ready to make the jump, there's a development wall in the form of a young core that has been apart of a losing organization since day one. An even younger defence which won't provide help unless they can be properly developed. And a coaching staff that has just as many flaws as the team in front of them.

Bast case scenario is that Scrivens decides he's going to go from good to outstanding next year. Even though they will be crooked numbers, it might give the team in front of them enough confidence to play that river hockey they excel at so well.

Also, fix the power play.

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#72 Stubblejumper
May 15 2014, 05:05PM
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Will wrote:

No one thinks Oilers when wondering who the best team for drafting is.

There was a great article up recently on Flames Nation about which team has drafted the best in a little over the last decade.

Most people think Detroit because of their stunning late round superstar finds. But they haven't actually drafted a single elite talent for a long time.

The article concluded that Boston was tops, but I think they underrated how many players Chicago has drafted who are either on the team or are impact players int he NHL.

They didn't just build through the draft, they designed an entire dynasty through it.

I agree..Baders May 9th article Drafting for Success provided a good baseline comparison of drafting and development by NHL teams over the last decade.

http://flamesnation.ca/2014/5/9/drafting-for-success

Regarding Boston, they developed 3 elite players over the period: Bergeron, Kessel, Seguin...who in turn through trade were then converted into Hamilton, Ericsson, Reilly Smith, Fraser, Morrow.

Most of the rest of the team was drafted by BOS as 2nd and 3rd rounders including Lucic, Kreijci, Marchand, Soderberg, McQuaid, Spooner, Others include Krug & Miller (undrafted) and Warsofsky (1st rnd).

Boston currently has up to 15 drafted and developed players on its roster on any one night with more on the way (Khoklachev, Subban, Camara etc).

They signed Chara & Iginla as UFAs, and acquired through trade fourth liners Campbell/Kelly/Paille and Dmen Seidenberg, Bartkowski and Boychuk. Most of these trades occurred in 2010 or earlier, which says something about Chiarelli's team.

Boston clearly is a team built through drafting well, particularly their 1st-3rd rounders, have never traded away their 1st round picks and rarely their 2nd or 3rd rounders. They made selective trades and retained the players for substantive periods while patiently developing their prospects to become the Top 6 contending team they are today.

Per your comment which are very applicable...Boston "didn't just build through the draft, they designed an entire dynasty through it".

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#73 Rotten Ron
May 15 2014, 05:16PM
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In all seriousness JW when you are using Alan Mitchell as a legitimate source you should be ashamed of yourself.

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#74 seanjohn667
May 15 2014, 06:13PM
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fire him. that's a laugh. an Oilers' scout is an ex-Oiler/personal friend of KLowe. not happening in a million years.

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#75 Guy Lafleur
May 15 2014, 06:44PM
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if they take Leon over Bennett or Ekblad the whole managemet team should be FIRED!!

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#76 Joel
May 15 2014, 08:00PM
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Draft rankings

http://www.mynhldraft.com/2014-nhl-draft-prospect-rankings/

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#77 madjam
May 15 2014, 09:06PM
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Draisaitl has one point in World Championships (an assist) after 4 games . Not sure we should get too excited about drafting him as yet .

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#78 Jeffff
May 15 2014, 09:47PM
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madjam wrote:

Draisaitl has one point in World Championships (an assist) after 4 games . Not sure we should get too excited about drafting him as yet .

I agree, also get rid of Sean Monahan he only has 1 point in 4 games.

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#79 Geoff
May 15 2014, 11:17PM
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Jeffff wrote:

I agree, also get rid of Sean Monahan he only has 1 point in 4 games.

And get rid of him to the Oilers while Calgary is at it!

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#80 BLAKPOO
May 15 2014, 11:38PM
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madjam wrote:

Draisaitl has one point in World Championships (an assist) after 4 games . Not sure we should get too excited about drafting him as yet .

He's on the German team and playing against grown men and NHL vets. Hardly think this is the best set of circumstances under which to judge the potential of an undrafted teenage hockey player.

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#81 Anton (still waiting for playoffs)
May 16 2014, 12:11AM
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After the first picture that this song just came to my head...

~You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only in twenty~ Dancing Queen, feel the heat from the zamboni~

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#82 Der Skeptiker
May 16 2014, 02:34AM
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@Will

I think you'll find that Sharp was drafted by the Flyers and Versteeg by the Bruins.

Let's not forget the role of astute trading in building a championship team.

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#83 seanjohn667
May 16 2014, 04:14AM
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The Oil can't make another coaching change, and the fact they can't further exemplifies the folly of hiring rookies. KLowe hires the rookie, Mact and the first thing he does is plays his coaching-change card. Here he makes not one, but two mistakes: plays the card too early, and picks an unproven rookie. Now, a year later, with a half dozen quality, and soon-to-be unemployed NHL coaches, Mact can not play his coaching card. Wouldn't it be nice if it where still Kruger right now? you either keep him or hire a better coach.

they Oilers fire a coach when it isn't called for, and replace him with a worse one. Mind boggling.

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#84 seanjohn667
May 16 2014, 04:15AM
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oops. I think I got confused with Willis' cult of hockey blog. sorry

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#85 nick
May 16 2014, 09:10AM
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seanjohn667 wrote:

The Oil can't make another coaching change, and the fact they can't further exemplifies the folly of hiring rookies. KLowe hires the rookie, Mact and the first thing he does is plays his coaching-change card. Here he makes not one, but two mistakes: plays the card too early, and picks an unproven rookie. Now, a year later, with a half dozen quality, and soon-to-be unemployed NHL coaches, Mact can not play his coaching card. Wouldn't it be nice if it where still Kruger right now? you either keep him or hire a better coach.

they Oilers fire a coach when it isn't called for, and replace him with a worse one. Mind boggling.

The amazing part of the coaching story is that MacT is happy with his coaching staff. Hello McIdiot you finished 29th, Eakins is without a doubt the worst coach in the NHL. I know they have made a lot of coaching moves in the last 6 years but this is one year that they have to make another change. How can you go into the next year with Eakins as your HEad Coach when there are proven good NHL coaches available? MacT has to make one of his BOLD moves now because he hasn't made any yet so now is the time. A total new coaching staff to try and get this train wreck back on the tracks

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#86 samurai003
May 16 2014, 06:18PM
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seanjohn667 wrote:

The Oil can't make another coaching change, and the fact they can't further exemplifies the folly of hiring rookies. KLowe hires the rookie, Mact and the first thing he does is plays his coaching-change card. Here he makes not one, but two mistakes: plays the card too early, and picks an unproven rookie. Now, a year later, with a half dozen quality, and soon-to-be unemployed NHL coaches, Mact can not play his coaching card. Wouldn't it be nice if it where still Kruger right now? you either keep him or hire a better coach.

they Oilers fire a coach when it isn't called for, and replace him with a worse one. Mind boggling.

The Oilers will could hire a good, proven coach, and then demote Eakins to assistant coach.

They are hoping Eakins will come through. The trouble is they are hoping he'll turn around.

And if he doesn't? Then what - Oh, wait another year?

Avatar
#87 Mojo
May 16 2014, 10:38PM
Trash it!
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So Matty interviews Leon and everyone concludes he's going to be an Oiler? Newsflash, he was in town because he was playing against some junior team in Edmonton. If Bennet was playing against the Oil Kings we would be talking about him like Leon...

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