Rules of threes?

I’m not sure who Edmonton fans want ousted more, Craig MacTavish or Danny Maciocia. Well one group will be rejoicing today, because one of them is moving on.

They say things happen in threes. For the past two years, all three pro teams in Edmonton missed the playoffs. And Wanye, DJ Spyn Cycle and Amber all got busted for a variety of off-Nation antics in the past four months.

Well now the second head coach of the three sports teams seems to be set to move on in 2008. Paul Day got axed from the Rush last February, and now today sources say that Danny Maciocia is leaving his post as head coach and becoming solely the GM. So if you believe in, “Things happen in threes,” then is it possible that MacTavish will move on before the end of the calendar year?

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Maciocia moving upstairs isn’t that surprising. Handling both roles is difficult, but also very time consuming, and having three young children at home I’m guessing Maciocia is missing watching them grow. Not to mention that his regular season record as a coach was a disappointing 22-31-1 in three years.

Who will replace Maciocia? There is lots of speculation that former Bomber head man Doub Berry, who Maciocia worked with in Montreal is a front-runner. But I have heard that isn’t as hot a possibility as before.

Out of the current coaches, Rick Worman, Noel Thorpe or Rick Campbell would be the most qualified. Campbell has no shot, because that would be a marketing nightmare for the Esks. Do the other two enough X and Os experience to run an entire team? That’s a question Maciocia has to answer.

So Day was fired, Maciocia moved upstairs, would MacTavish resign? Doubtful, but unless the Oilers start to play with some more passion, generate some offence and stop turning the puck over in the neutral zone, his tenure will surely end soon.

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If the theory of the threes does indeed work, then the 3rd shoe will drop by Dec 31st. I’m not holding my breath but you never know.

—Listen to Gregor weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. on the TEAM 1260 or online at

  • JB

    Awesome. If most organizations were run like professional sports franchises in Edmonton, guys missing their performance targets would be running the company in short order. Embrace the mediocrity!

  • MJ

    JB — honestly in both government and private business I have seen people promoted when they are unable to handle a lower position. I sometimes think the key to getting a promotion is doing just under average at a lower-end position. Well and sucking up cannot hurt if that's your chosen career path.

  • Rick

    So with the top notch media connections that Oilersnation can boast, isn't there anyone here to calm us panicking masses by filling us in on if there are any rumours or whispers out there about what the Oilers may be doing?

  • JB

    Knowing jargon is helpful as well MJ. If you can remember acronyms or contractions and toss them around at meetings like you know what you're talking about, the sky is the limit. For example: "We need to limit Ricky's INTs" or "We need to reverse the inverse relationship between our PPG for and SHG against." The use of workplace specific language can allow any cockknocker to sound like they know what they're talking about.

  • Rindog

    Which one would I prefer to be fired first? Hmmmm, let me think about that????

    Would Danny M play Pouliot more than Hemsky in a 2-1 loss to the LA Kings?

    I think you have my answer….

  • Can I toss out another point as to why I would rather have the firing MacT over Maciocia…

    I don't care about the CFL… The Eskimos play in the league with 8 teams. They are practically in the playoffs by default.

  • JB

    Whoa! I just about spewed coffee all over my desk, but you're right. That is not good. Of course, MacT also has a journeyman veteran taking up the minutes of the only breathing piece of the Pronger trade on the roster, while said piece plays 4th line lw. Frankly, Rod Phillips could be playing with Hemsky and Horcoff next game and it wouldn't surprise me.

  • Colin

    Rod Philips may actually bring the heart that this team needs. He would probably leave it (metaphorically and physically)out on the ice. MactT needs to go before this happens. Fire MacT to save Rod Philips!!

  • Rindog

    JB, it gets even better!!!

    While trying to mount a comeback in the 3rd period last night – MacT gave MAP 6:39 of icetime and only gave Hemmer 5:36???

    There was only 1 penalty (to us) the entire 3rd period as well – so he can't us the PK as an excuse….

  • Jason

    I'm having a hard time taking the team blowing goats for a 3rd straight season. Something is wrong which I can't put my finger on.

    But it comes down to a simple question:

    Is it the players, or the coaching?

    There's only one way to find out the answer to that one. That is to can the coach. What if the team still sucks after that though? It's on our management then.

    But there's only one way to find out. So get after it Tambellini.

  • JB

    Rindog, thanks for the breakdown. That is just brutal. I will grant Hemsky didn't look like he was feeling it last night, but he has got to get the minutes regardless. I don't know if MacT has noticed, but Hemsky has sort of been carrying the team offensively, and did score a goal. MP couldn't score on a Shooter Tutor. Why did we re-up him and let go of Glencross again? Maybe the $ was a bit steep for him, but at least he played like his manhood depended on it. Oh well; at least Stortini received a 2 year deal. That clearly demonstrates talent assessment; if Glencross is easily replaceable, what is Stortini? The equivalent of hockey tape?

  • Jason Gregor


    Well I can tell you that the Oilers sent Sestito back to the minors today. No one has been recalled yet, but if they do expect Mr. Brule to be meeting them possibly in St. Louis or Dallas.

    As for the coach, don't expect a move anytime soon. After this weekend, they have 5 of 6 at home. That will be the turning point for this team. If they go on a winning streak I don't expect a change, but if they continue to struggle then, Tambellini will have no choice but to make a move.

  • Chris

    Love that Picture of Maciocia. I was all set to e-mail that exact image to my Saskatchewan friends had the Esks advanced to the Grey Cup. I love the CFL. The Eskimo's finished dead last in the west…yet had a shot of advancing to the big game. Would someone please tell Oilers management it doesn't work the same way in the NHL.

  • Chris

    Hey Gregor…What is your take on Moreau's responsibility in all this? Has there been any type of player only meetings? I thought players were supposed to play for each other…If that is so; dare I pose the question: Has the captain lost the room?

  • Rick

    Jason Gregor Says:
    As for the coach, don’t expect a move anytime soon. After this weekend, they have 5 of 6 at home. That will be the turning point for this team. If they go on a winning streak I don’t expect a change, but if they continue to struggle then, Tambellini will have no choice but to make a move.

    Thanks for that but wouldn't it almost make a coaching change pointless.

    Losing the majority of the next 8 games would pretty much sewer the season as well.

    If they are considering it an option to fire MacT then I don't see any reason that they should gamble the season away in addition to it.

    I would still prefer a player move or two instead of canning MacT but what ever they decide I wish they would get on with it instead of waiting another two weeks.

  • Tim S

    What if MacT playing Roloson is a message to the boys upstairs?? As in get rid of a goalie or I will continue to play the one that makes the least amount of sense, the one that has no future beyond this season? The one that sulked at being the backup last season. That would make the most sense would it not?

  • Jason Gregor


    From my understanding there has been a players meeting, but not one that peeled the paint just yet. The fact that Moreau has been one of the few who you question his effort, and how his teammates talk about him, I don't think he has lost the room.

    The fact is this team doesn't have many gritty players, and I doubt any one player would be able to turn many of them into grittier players.


    If they lose eight then of course the season could be in jeopardy, but management believes this team can be better. When I said move, I meant it might be a trade before a coach firing. That option is still much more possible than a firing. And if it is a move it would have to be a fairly substantial one.

    And to date I haven't heard any rumours that make sense. I do know the Oilers contacted Atlanta about Kovalchuk, but they said he isn't available. I know they contacted Ottawa last summer about Spezza, but the rumours about Horcoff and Roloson for him are bunk. The Oilers would need to sweeten that pot for sure.

    It will be curious to see if Tambellini is as patient as Kevin Lowe was. I sense he won't be, nor will their new owner.

  • What I don't understand about Edmonton Fans. (assuming they are fans of both the Esks and the Oil)

    We complain when we hire old players (MacT) with little coaching experience, and not a coach who has learned- working up through the ranks.
    We complain when we hired a coach (Maciocia) with a track record of winning at every level he is been at, because he is not an old player.

    But we always complain when we lose, and sometimes when we win. I think we like to complain.

  • JB

    B.C.B. – I understand your frustration, but my dislike of Maciocia has nothing to do with the fact he never played, but rather with the team's lack of success and at times totally predictable and boring style of play. Similarly, I could care less whether MacT played or not, but he's been here a hell of a long time with an underwhelming amount of success to show for it.

    I think the frustration with MacT is the sense that he will blast players, mix lines, pcik favourites, bench guys, but is never held accountable for his failures.

    And yes, we like to complain. But dude, look at the last few Esk/Oiler seasons. They have been a huge bag of suck.

  • Chris

    Please understand I'm not questioning Moreau's effort. His on ice play has been one of the few bright spots. I'm just asking about dressing room leadership. I know Moreau was the pulse of this team a few years back…but with all the roster changes etc I wonder if this is still so?

  • Rick

    Jason Gregor Says:

    When I said move, I meant it might be a trade before a coach firing.

    My bad, I kinda jumped to a conclusion there.

    We always complain about running players out of town too soon so this may sound bad but I would like to see them trade Cole.

    He is having zero success here and he is a pending free agent.

    I can't imagine that he would be jumping at the bit to sign back on in a place where he can't find his groove. He is a proven enough name that someone is bound to have interest in him for something other than just a bag of pucks and used jock.