DEREK LAXDAL: PROMOTION DUE

Robin Brownlee
May 26 2014 09:11PM

DerekLaxdal

Derek Laxdal has earned a promotion. Here's hoping he doesn't have to leave Edmonton to get it.

That's the sentiment I put out on Twitter Sunday after the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Guelph Storm to claim the 2014 Memorial Cup, and I feel even stronger about it today. We'll find out soon enough if the Edmonton Oilers feel the same way.

Oilers bench boss Dallas Eakins has some decisions to make about his coaching staff -- calls which will likely happen in the next 10 days or two weeks -- and it makes sense to me Laxdal could, and should, figure into that process based on what he's accomplished in four seasons as head coach of the Oil Kings.

Laxdal, 48, has produced three consecutive 50-win seasons as coach of the Oil Kings. His teams have won two WHL titles and, now, a Memorial Cup. Not to be overlooked on his resume, Laxdal won the Kelly Cup in the ECHL as head coach of the Idaho Steelheads in 2007.

Based on what Laxdal has accomplished, not who he knows, how can he not merit consideration for a promotion to the Oilers coaching staff? Speaking of merit, one can make the same argument for Oklahoma City coach Todd Nelson, the man Laxdal beat out for the job with Oil Kings four years ago.

Will Eakins and GM Craig MacTavish make room for one of both of them?

HOW WILL IT PLAY OUT?

ThePowerIsYours

We've been over the notion put out by MacTavish that Eakins has final say about his coaching staff, so I won't go over old ground again, aside to point out the obvious -- Eakins has incumbents Keith Acton, as an associate coach, and Kelly Buchberger and Steve Smith, as assistants, in place now.

If the Oilers are as impressed with the job Laxdal has done as I am, they could simply add him to the existing staff as an assistant. On the face of it, that would be the easiest move, given the presumption that neither Smith nor Buchberger are going anywhere, to borrow from owner Daryl Katz.

To me, though, having four bench coaches beside Eakins seems less than ideal. Three seems right. So, they either pass on promoting Laxdal, which would leave him open to an offer from another NHL team despite the one year remaining on his contract, or somebody is moved out or aside.

If Eakins really does have the authority MacTavish says he does, my sense is we could see Buchberger moved, as unlikely as that seems. That would leave Eakins with Acton as his associate and Smith and Laxdal as assistants. Call it an educated guess. Or call me nuts, it's up to you.

If I had to sketch it out, I see it as Buchberger (and goaltender coach Fredric Chabot) out and Laxdal in on the Oiler staff. I see Steve Hamilton promoted from assistant to head coach with the Oil Kings, taking over from Laxdal.

As for Nelson, while he's certainly as deserving of a promotion as Laxdal, I wonder if the Oilers might keep him in the AHL with Oklahoma City as a back-up plan should Eakins falter next season. Frankly, I'd be fine seeing both Laxdal and Nelson join the Oilers, but that might be a bit bold.

Successful organizations don't just develop players, they develop coaches as well. If Laxdal and/or Nelson are promoted from within, it would be a move based on merit, not cronyism. Stay tuned.

WHILE I'M AT IT . . .

BobGreen

Can't imagine it'll be long before Bob Green, who built the Oil Kings as GM with assistant GM Randy Hansch before joining the Oilers as director of amateur free agent scouting last August, gets a promotion. Morey Gare is the head of Edmonton's pro scouting staff now.

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 Oilerboy111
May 26 2014, 09:17PM
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Laxdal should be the next coach for the Barons before going in the NHL.

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#2 WhattaMike
May 26 2014, 09:28PM
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Congrats to Derek Laxdal and the Oil Kings for winning the memorial Cup. Now....I am strongly cheering for laxdal and Nelson to get promoted big time.

They both deserve this with the Oilers as did Bob Green beforehand. Both Laxdal and Nelson know how to teach, develop and win with the players they have and use.

I can see Steve Hamilton now running the Oil Kings and that Laxdal should be up with OKC while Nelson moves in with Eakins.

They already know alot of the kids in the system between them. Nelson had a few youngster this year and will work well with them at Edmonton while Laxdal knows Gernat, Musil, Moroz, Ewanyk, etc, as also wgo Nurse, Chase, Houck are....

Time is now to replace/remove Smith, Bucky and/or Acton...or therefore...(God forbid) show to the league/fans that the Oilers never reward the right employees

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#3 David S
May 26 2014, 09:41PM
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OK wait. Serious question here. I thought we were on the "get an experienced NHL coach to up the bench strength" bandwagon. Things are bad enough with Eakins having almost no NHL chops. Now we want to add another rookie to the mix? And this is good how?

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#5 RossCreekNation
May 26 2014, 09:40PM
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A logical progression (imo) would see Nelson join Eakins' staff, Laxdall taking the OKC job, and Hamilton taking over the Oil Kings.

As far as Kelly Buchberger goes, I'm sure a job on the pro scouting staff would be there for him. Or maybe he takes Rick Carriere's gig as Director of Player Development if (when) Carriere takes the OKC GM job.

Re: Green - Stauffer also mentioned the "expect a promotion" line today followed by something about Morey Gare as well. Am I to read into this that maybe Green will take over Gare's job?

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#6 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 26 2014, 10:15PM
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I think Derek can do better. He doesn't need the Oilers anymore, he's established his own track record. Derek has done enough "time" here in Edmonton. Atleast someone inside this organization proved once and for all to see, he knows a little something about winning. If there was ever any concern.

Only a losing organization puts loyalty ahead of results.

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#7 jdh10
May 27 2014, 03:01PM
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It would be better to let all 3 of our assistants to go. Then try to hire Ramsy (for experience) and Oates (for the power play) and bring up Nelson (young kids play well under him). Then make Lextall as the head coach of the OKC barons and get him a couple years of experience there.

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#8 BLAKPOO
May 27 2014, 01:06AM
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A few things..

Part of the reason we're so under-developed as an NHL club is because we weren't creating the proper atmosphere for our prospects to flourish in. Nelson has changed that in OKC. As much as I respect the guy, and feel he deserves recognition for that, my selfish side wants him to stay right where he is.

Knowing that Nurse, Moroz, Simpson, Yakimov, Khaira, Chase, Gernat, Brossoit and even our potential 3rd overall pick will be able to develop under Nelson at the AHL level helps me sleep at night.

Having to change the equation in OKC at this point would only be done out of necessity. If other teams start asking after Todd Nelson, then the Oilers should definitely spin him an offer. Otherwise, business is business - he's needed in OKC.

Laxdal, on the other hand, is coaching a team full of other team's top prospects. There's no value to the Oilers having Laxdal develop Reinhart for the Islanders or Lazar for the Senators.

Whether it's on Nelson's or Eakins' staff isn't important right now. Getting him into the fold and mentoring Oilers prospects is.

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#10 BLAKPOO
May 27 2014, 05:39PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

Who's available for the goaltending coach position? Chabot needs to go!!

I'd call Miikka Kiprusoff.

First, because he's an amazing goalie and true professional.

Second, just to piss off Calgary.

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#12 Anton (still waiting for playoffs)
May 26 2014, 09:19PM
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Eakins needs to smart up at this point, he has to realize either he keeps both current assistants just to keep his boss happy but as soon as the record falls that he is a goner. Either that he replaced both assistants by promoting both Laxdal and Nelson which may not make his boss happy which will put him on shorter leash to get axed. It is no win situation for Eakins, however if he gambles on replacing both assistants and team start to win that doesn't matter how unhappy that will make his boss feel that he will at least earned the respect, if not that he will just be another coach that this organization tried and failed.

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#13 a lg dubl dubl
May 27 2014, 05:08PM
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Who's available for the goaltending coach position? Chabot needs to go!!

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#14 Oil Can
May 26 2014, 10:00PM
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David S wrote:

OK wait. Serious question here. I thought we were on the "get an experienced NHL coach to up the bench strength" bandwagon. Things are bad enough with Eakins having almost no NHL chops. Now we want to add another rookie to the mix? And this is good how?

Yes you are exactly right. Laxdall would be a nice addition as an assistant, as well as Oates. You have to have someone behind the bench with NHL experience.

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#16 ubermiguel
May 26 2014, 09:52PM
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"Frankly, I'd be fine seeing both Laxdal and Nelson join the Oilers, but that might be a bit bold."

C'mon "Bold Moves" MacTavish, make it happen!

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#17 Seanjohn667
May 27 2014, 09:09AM
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Yes, the pressure mounts for this organization to operate like successful organizations do. An organization that is steeped in cronyism and nepotism has an opportunity to squash these deserved allegations. They've always said they like to hire from within. Well, prove it. If they stick with the status quo and lose Laxdal and/or Nelson, can it look worse? The next month is going to reveal a lot about the Oilers organization.

Are they a serious, professional organization, or are they an adolescent boys' tree-fort gang?

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#18 Manfly
May 27 2014, 07:15AM
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you have to understand Robin, that Eakins was hung to dry by MacT when he said something along the lines of thinking the Oilers had the right assistants in place, even though the call is apparently up the Eakins. (talk about being royally set up to be fired by MacT if Dallas does change the old boy assistants and fails!) Smith and Bucky are about as stale as you can get, well past their expiry dates, but both have still been given a vote of confidence by MacT, so as fresh an idea it is to have most of us want Nelson and Laxdal as the assistants next year, i just can't see it happening as long as the "Old Boys Club" rules the roost here!

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#19 Racki
May 27 2014, 09:10AM
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I kind of figured that Eakins was in London watching the games because he wanted to look into Laxdal as an assistant. I hope that is the case. I think he would be a good add. Obviously he is doing something right there. The team is good, but it's also very resilient, which is a sign of good leadership somewhere.

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#20 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 27 2014, 08:29PM
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As difficult as it may be to fathom, the Oilers would actually be much better off/improve next season if Laxdal was the head coach, and Eakins fired.

There aren't many coaches responsible for setting the bar as low as Eakins did. What a Gong Show we witnessed last season was.

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#21 Soccer Steve
May 27 2014, 12:08AM
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History shows three things.

1) The Oil have a knack for ruining/running off players. Why wouldn't this translate to coaches?

2) In the place of calling out and laying blame on the players (who can't be fired) the coach is sent packing.

3) Edmonton has a tough time attracting free agent talent.

These aren't stupid men. Laxdal and Nelson are essentially lucrative free agents who have seen what happens to non-ex-Oiler coaches around here.

I bet we lose them both due to a combination of Buchberger-esque ineptitude and their own careers' self-preservation. And if they do stay on: gooooood luck guys. Playoff hockey? HA!

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#22 Sketchy
May 27 2014, 06:40AM
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He never played for the oilers in the late 80's, so he doesn't have much of a chance to make it on now

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#24 TigerUnderGlass
May 27 2014, 09:10AM
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pkam wrote:

"it would be a move based on merit, not cronyism"

I keep hearing about cronyism in the Oilers organisation, can someone kindly tell me what is the relation between Katz or Lowe, and Bob Green Derek Laxdal, Todd Nelson, Fredric Chabot, even Eakins?

I keep hearing how Smith and Buchberger keep their job. I am not sure about Buchberger, but with the young defense players we have, do you really think replacing Smith will make a difference to our defense?

Re: Smith

It might if they can get Huddy back.

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#25 15w40
May 26 2014, 09:50PM
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Don't see Nelson coming on as Eakins' assistant - especially as he was the guy they passed on to hire the new super coach. I would expect Nelson would like to manage his own bench in the show but I could be completely wrong.

Laxdal on the other hand would probably make sense - it would also make sense for him to take over in OKC if the position is vacant but to me that means that Nelson is gone from the organization.

Lord knows they could use some coaching help. They also need some major new blood in the pro-scouting dept. Based on recent history it has been one of the weakest spots in the organization.

Adding Laxdal and another experienced asst coach makes all kinds of sense. I can't for the life of me find a scenario where Bucky is all that great of an asset - find him another job in the organization if he must remain employed as part of Katz Inc. Put him to work with Ryan Smyth in prospect player development.

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#26 loweblows
May 27 2014, 09:23AM
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maybe the new arena will feature an extended oiler bench for all the coaches? Seriously fire Eakins.

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#27 michael
May 27 2014, 11:10AM
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Rexall Sports as a whole has had a great year. POHO KLOWE should get some credit.Trash freely as you wish. But overall Rexall Sports has done well.(The Edmonton Capital don't count)

Nelson and his Barons performed a minor miracle getting into the playoffs. One and done but not a failure imo.

Troy Mann and his Condors are fighting the Aces tooth and nail in the final of their series.3-2 Aces. IMO best move the Oilers have made organizationally in many years. Having ownership of their AA affiliate has opened doors to signing players they would not have had an opportunity to before this move.

Oil Kings and Laxdal have brought home a Memorial Cup for the first time since 1966.You cannot argue with the job that the whole Oil Kings organization has done since its inception.

The Edmonton Oilers. Well Davinci didn't paint the Mona Lisa in one day.The rebuilding process is like taking Castor Oil.Its awful but its good for you long term. Hopefully we've seen the worst of it.

Its Katz's money. He's got one championship in the bag for this city. Hopefully there will be more to come.

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#28 WhattaMike
May 27 2014, 09:40PM
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Ya know??? I found it very refreshing to read that Mclellan told Leonsis (owner of the Capitals) how it really was with problems and wrongs from the lowest level of management to the ownership these past years...and then he got hired.

Thats what Eakins or another good person should be telling to the Oilers management and ownership so as to finally get this good ole boys club outa the way.

Smith, Bucky, Acton, and Chabot have not done anything to merit being at the same jobs these years.

Chabot has hurt the goalie situation these last years (Deslauriers, Dubnyk, Bunz...etc), Smith has not revamped nor progressed with the defence corps (be it as bad as the talent has been for some time), Bucky doesnt do anything that I am aware of (nor many many other fans as well) thaqt warrants his staying on as an asst coach, and Acton has not produced progress with centres nor PK that well either.

Laxdal going to the AHL now for Edmonton and the Barons makes it extremely valuable, wise and prudent for the Oilers system when based on his work with the now WHL (twice in 3 yrs) and Memorial Cup champions Edmonton Oil Kings.

Nelson has the evidence support and ethics from being in the AHL so as to be a great new asst coach with Edmonton.

There is not an Oilers draft pick or prospect who hasnt improved with either of these two guys....Laxdal and Nelson..

Laxdal coming in for coaching the new kids joining up with the Barons would be a very good transition as Brossoit, Ewanyk, Kelssy, Moroz, Musil, Gernat, etc, played for him and became WINNERS in the last 3 yrs. Others such as Khaira, Chase, Houck, Bunz, Davidson, Miller, Marco Roy, Simpson, even Lander, etc, would benefit greatly.

Nelson would do the very same with the young ones and vets on the Oilers now as well.

Come on MacT and Eakins,... tell it like it is against the regime and make changes the right way and now, cause too late is just around the corner....AGAIN.

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#29 j
May 27 2014, 08:15AM
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I agree that MacT has made it hard on Eakins by endorsing the current assistants. It was a strange comment by MacT as it really hamstrings the bench boss. Too bad as I was hoping that MacT would let Eakins run his own show and put an end to the constant complaints (from the fans) of executive interference. At this point in the game, we need a couple of experienced hands on the rudder. Eakins needs a true sounding board. Someone to help him refine his message and challenge him as needed. I don't see a younger version of himself being that person.

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#30 Seanjohn667
May 27 2014, 09:19AM
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Wintoon wrote:

While both Laxdal and Nelson have had good seasons with the Oil Kings and Barons respectively, I am surprised that so many are suggesting that they should now be promoted.

While they are both good at what they do, the key to on going success is to leave people such as these in their current positions long enough for the organization to reap the benefit of their expertise. To immediately promote an individual once they attain a level of competence is wrong. The organization needs them to remain where they are so they can train, develop and influence more young playerss moving forward.

The Oilers are often criticized for their poor development record. Promoting these coaches at this time will simply reinforce the development shortcoming which so many complain about.

But, then u risk losing quality people, while keeping others that are questionable. Laxdal had 17-19 yr olds playing better positional hockey than the Oilers, FCOL, Nelson's players come up from the minors and again, they are more positionally sound then the Oiler players.

Job offers are going to be coming for both these quality coaches. And we lose them because Buchy's wife is friends with Lowe's wife?

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#31 Smokey
May 27 2014, 09:43AM
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pkam wrote:

Isn't Huddy an ex-Oilers too? Isn't Huddy Lowe's defense partner? So if it doesn't work out, will it be another case of cronyism?

Huddy was the only buddy who was legit and wasn't a fuddyduddy. Huddy left because he was well respected outside Edmonton and got obviously better offers. Kevin Lowe, Bucky, and MacT, Howsen may never hold positions outside Edmonton in the NHL again. Theres no reason to think they would be valued anywhere else.In my opinion Huddy would suffice as an experienced, and respected NHL level coaching talent we should pursue.

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#32 a lg dubl dubl
May 27 2014, 05:54PM
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BLAKPOO wrote:

I'd call Miikka Kiprusoff.

First, because he's an amazing goalie and true professional.

Second, just to piss off Calgary.

Id prop you twice if I could! lol

He'd do a better job from Finland than Chabot did in Rexall, that's for sure.

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#33 VK63
May 27 2014, 10:42PM
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Out of curiosity.

Has Nick Schultz brother resurfaced after offering his analysis on Oiler coaching ?

I quite enjoyed that guy.

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#34 BlazingSaitls
May 26 2014, 09:54PM
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All those affiliated with the Oilers; whether they be teams, management, coaches, players; are excelling.Everyone except for the actual Oilers themselves. It wouldn't surprise me if the Oilers even had the best stick boys and Zamboni drivers in the minors.

Whoever can translate the success from these teams to the Oilers (if its even possible) should get an automatic place in the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builder category.

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#35 TigerUnderGlass
May 27 2014, 09:09AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"The organization needs them to remain where they are so they can train, develop and influence more young playerss moving forward."

You understand that in his current position Laxdal is helping develop players drafted by other NHL teams, right?

Do you really believe moving Laxdal to the Oiler staff after four seasons, three 50-win campaigns, two WHL titles and a Memorial Cup with the Oil Kings is an "immediate" promotion?

As for Nelson, like I said in the item, my sense is he will remain in OKC for now.

Agree with this entirely.

If Laxdal has proven himself ready for more responsibility the Oilers need to try and benefit rather than leave him where every other team may benefit as well.

It has to be about making the Oilers better.

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#36 j
May 27 2014, 09:14AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

I don't understand the prevailing belief that an experienced NHL coach is preferable to a new one. There is no evidence for it, just soundbites in support. "Been there before". "Calming influence". "Knows what it takes". etc. etc.

Being a coach of a professional hockey team is like any other high ranking job - experience is a tremendous asset. The same is true of the actual players. One of the reasons the Oilers are struggling is that they don't have much proven veteran talent with any history of success. Are there exceptions? Sure. But most would likely agree that having some balance in your coaching staff is as important as having balance throughout your line up. And how is it that we don't have balance anywhere in our organization? It really is in terrible shape at the moment.

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#37 Harlie
May 27 2014, 04:17PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Aside from self-propping, your question shows a loser's mentality.

Confident, competent people surround themselves with the best help they can find. If you're hiring stumblebums to make yourself look good, chances are you'll look bad eventually anyway.

I've recently hired a few people to help our business. I hired the first person because I saw potential and she is family. I hired the second person based on his abilities and his credentials.

Guess which one is still with us?

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#38 nibor
May 27 2014, 07:53PM
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Eakins is proof that a good coach in juniors or minors does not necessarily translate to the bigs, laxdal does deserve a promotion unless he is happy where he is at.

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#39 David S
May 26 2014, 10:16PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

While I think it would be ideal to land a coach with extensive NHL experience, the challenge is finding one who is willing to come on as an assistant.

It would be wonderful if the Oilers could land an assistant with the experience of a Larry Robinson or Craig Ramsay or take your pick of names. Guys who not only have NHL experience but experience as head coaches at this level.

If you can get them, get them. If you can't, it makes sense for the Oilers -- keeping in mind they have a head coach, at least for now -- to look at the next highest level, and that's coaches who've run their own benches in the minors, as both Laxdal and Nelson have.

On top of that, there's the matter of rewarding results and promoting based on merit. What's the message to Nelson and Laxdal if they aren't even considered for positions as assistants with an organization they're already a part of?

Thanks Robin. I get what you're saying. Just what we've seen from Eakins last year doesn't give me alot of confidence. Although as you say it might be almost impossible to get the type of NHL coach in here who would accept an assistant position. Tough situation I suppose.

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#40 Smokey
May 27 2014, 09:36AM
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I think suggestion Laxdall and Nelson for the assistant positions hinge on the fact they earned their opportunity. Most of us don't get the opportunity in life due to cronism. I think we are bitter about the old boys club, because ineptitude is accepted and at some point this team wandering in the desert will be good. Hextall nailed it when talking about the Flyers, they have been good for almost 30 plus years consistantly due to good scouting and management, when other teams just draft high.

Nelson and Laxdall deserve promotions, but the Oilers also need an experienced NHL assistant more then these promotions from within. However the soap opera continues.

Also how much does it suck to see Barry Trotz get scooped up like Alain Vigneult last year. Sigh...but we damn well have consistancy damnit.

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#41 Yaz
May 27 2014, 10:08AM
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Sort of a dilemma, on one hand I would really like to see these guys promoted but on the other there is a train wreck coming in Oct/Nov and I would not want them to be caught up in it. No experienced coach will come here and work for Eakins as he has proven himself a jerk with last years management of the team and the digression of the players. It may be best long term to stay status quo with Eakins, Bucky and Smith then when the inevitable happens reward Nelson and Laxdal( have a private conversation with them in the interim). You can't fix 15-20 years of bad management very quickly especially if you always go back to the same well.

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#42 ubermiguel
May 27 2014, 12:29PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Lowe is that you?

Sorry I had to

One things that's been done right since Katz bought the team is setting up the non-NHL teams. They all seem to be sucessful organizations (although OKC's attendance is awful). Those were dark days when we didn't even have our own pro-minor league affiliate.

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#43 Racki
May 27 2014, 02:47PM
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@Robin Brownlee

I think you have to see it from MacT's point of view. First though, what you're saying isn't out of the realm of possible or unlikely. It could be true. But I'll play devils advocate here... The way I took mac's comments.. Eakins has the power to make the decision but he (Mac) wanted to give the vote of confidence to the current staff (which likely Would be his choice) since they're under fire. That's my guess.

That said, I think Eakins accepted these guys in year one because there was no obvious reason to make waves (at least for the new guy in town). I have no doubt that MacT gave him his best sales pitch for his buds. I hope year two is all about what Eakins really wants though. Some fresh ideas are likely needed, even if the existing ones aren't bad. Much like MacT after year 82 of his coaching stint. I hope Eakins sees that

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#44 Gingerbush
May 27 2014, 03:47PM
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Why would Eakins hire his replacment

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#45 Dan 1919
May 27 2014, 06:50PM
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Interesting article, hopefully Eakins doesn’t pay much attention to MacT’s vote of confidence for his buddies Smith and Bucky. Eakins should fire the old boys club based on terrible results and get experience in there that will help him.

At the end of the day if Eakins’ fires the old boys club he’ll be on thin ice as far as keeping his job. He will basically have to be showing all around improvement to stay Oilers’ bench boss. But really he’s on thin ice now anyway, MacT will have no choice but to fire him half way through the season if they tank again (very likely), even with Bucky and Smith still there.

So all Eakins’ horses are in the game now, might as well bring his own ponies and go all in, not some old wore out never have been donkeys that MacT and Lowe gave him when he got the job.

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#46 Walter Sobchak
May 27 2014, 08:39PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

As difficult as it may be to fathom, the Oilers would actually be much better off/improve next season if Laxdal was the head coach, and Eakins fired.

There aren't many coaches responsible for setting the bar as low as Eakins did. What a Gong Show we witnessed last season was.

So true, I wouldn't be letting Eakins hire his assistance, MacTavish would be smart to hire Eakins replacement as an assistant first.

Then let Eakins load his own gun.

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#47 oprah sucks
May 27 2014, 07:15AM
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although i completley agree nelson and laxy deserve promotions, i just cant see rookie nhl coach, rookie nhl gm, and rookie assistants being a winning combination for oilers. if nelson or laxy get promoted i say laxy gets head coach in okc and nelson moves to assistant with eakins and bring on a couple of nhl vet coaches to assist eakins and nelson. bye bye bucky, smith and action!!

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#48 City of Champignons
May 27 2014, 09:23AM
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Woah, hit the brakes there RB. This is typical Oiler fan short-sighted, knee-jerk reaction to seeing success. He's a WHL coach who's had some success. That doesn't warrant immediate consideration for an NHL job, let alone a spot on the Oilers staff. Let's just slow down a bit and take a deep breath.

Laxdal and Nelson are both doing great work at developing young hockey players. Let them keep doing what they're good at. I'm all for giving Eakins some help, but he needs veteran help - a voice of wisdom and reason, not more inexperience.

Best course of action is to let Nelson continue to develop Oilers prospects because he's good at it. And let Laxdal continue to develop young men and potential pro players, also because he's good at it. Leave the pro coaching to pro coaches for now.

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#49 Yaz
May 27 2014, 07:04PM
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Dan 1919 wrote:

Interesting article, hopefully Eakins doesn’t pay much attention to MacT’s vote of confidence for his buddies Smith and Bucky. Eakins should fire the old boys club based on terrible results and get experience in there that will help him.

At the end of the day if Eakins’ fires the old boys club he’ll be on thin ice as far as keeping his job. He will basically have to be showing all around improvement to stay Oilers’ bench boss. But really he’s on thin ice now anyway, MacT will have no choice but to fire him half way through the season if they tank again (very likely), even with Bucky and Smith still there.

So all Eakins’ horses are in the game now, might as well bring his own ponies and go all in, not some old wore out never have been donkeys that MacT and Lowe gave him when he got the job.

Good call, that is Eakins best and only chance, the only problem is everyone knows he's gone so why sign on to a sinking ship.

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#50 Manfly
May 28 2014, 05:45AM
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WhattaMike wrote:

Ya know??? I found it very refreshing to read that Mclellan told Leonsis (owner of the Capitals) how it really was with problems and wrongs from the lowest level of management to the ownership these past years...and then he got hired.

Thats what Eakins or another good person should be telling to the Oilers management and ownership so as to finally get this good ole boys club outa the way.

Smith, Bucky, Acton, and Chabot have not done anything to merit being at the same jobs these years.

Chabot has hurt the goalie situation these last years (Deslauriers, Dubnyk, Bunz...etc), Smith has not revamped nor progressed with the defence corps (be it as bad as the talent has been for some time), Bucky doesnt do anything that I am aware of (nor many many other fans as well) thaqt warrants his staying on as an asst coach, and Acton has not produced progress with centres nor PK that well either.

Laxdal going to the AHL now for Edmonton and the Barons makes it extremely valuable, wise and prudent for the Oilers system when based on his work with the now WHL (twice in 3 yrs) and Memorial Cup champions Edmonton Oil Kings.

Nelson has the evidence support and ethics from being in the AHL so as to be a great new asst coach with Edmonton.

There is not an Oilers draft pick or prospect who hasnt improved with either of these two guys....Laxdal and Nelson..

Laxdal coming in for coaching the new kids joining up with the Barons would be a very good transition as Brossoit, Ewanyk, Kelssy, Moroz, Musil, Gernat, etc, played for him and became WINNERS in the last 3 yrs. Others such as Khaira, Chase, Houck, Bunz, Davidson, Miller, Marco Roy, Simpson, even Lander, etc, would benefit greatly.

Nelson would do the very same with the young ones and vets on the Oilers now as well.

Come on MacT and Eakins,... tell it like it is against the regime and make changes the right way and now, cause too late is just around the corner....AGAIN.

i find it down right insulting that Bucky has been here since the '09 season and outlasted no less than 4 !! coaches. he's a freeloader in my opinion.

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