Mark Messier on Working for the Oilers

We talked a few days ago about a report by the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, a report which stated that Messier was interviewed this summer for the coaching position that eventually went to Pat Quinn.

According to Messier, that report wasn’t entirely accurate.

Here in part is what Messier told CanWest News Service about finding a job in Edmonton:

” [Brooks’ report]’s not necessarily true. I talked to Kevin about working in the Oilers organization in some regard . . . not just this summer but for the last few years. We never really talked about the coaching, per se. We explored every possibility… “I had an ongoing dialogue with Kevin about coming back to Edmonton, but wasn’t able to make any sort of commitment to them.”

Messier goes on to explain that his family lives in New York, and that his son is going to start school there in the fall.

There isn’t anything overly surprising about the Messier quote; it often seemed during Kevin Lowe’s tenure as general manager that he was trying to recreate the glory-days Oilers, except in the front office instead of on the ice. Even ignoring Craig MacTavish, former Oilers employed by Lowe included Craig Simpson, Charlie Huddy, Kelly Buchberger, Dave Semenko, Frank Musil, Kent Nilsson and Mark Lamb. While I think that many – even most – of the men on that list are or were good at their jobs, it’s difficult not to be a little suspicious of the sheer volume of Lowe’s former teammates.

It would have been a strange break from Lowe’s common practice had he not been in touch with Messier.

It’s also worth noting that it wasn’t Lowe who couldn’t make a commitment to Messier – on the contrary, it was Messier who was unable to commit to working for Lowe. As for what “every possibility” entails, last summer there were rumours (reported by both Robin Brownlee and Joanne Ireland) that Craig Simpson was a strong candidate for Scott Howson’s vacant Assistant G.M. position. Lowe emphatically denied those, saying “that’s craziness, total craziness. One minute he’s going to be president, the next minute he’s going to be assistant general manager. I don’t know who started that, but there’s nothing to it whatsoever.” I can’t find the link, but as I recall Brownlee stood by his report despite the denial.

I wonder if Messier was ever considered for that post.

And as much as I’d like to close with that line, I also want to be clear about something after the way the comments section reacted to the Messier as coach article: there’s nothing wrong with considering where a guy might fit into the organizational hierarchy. Problems only arise if he’s hired for something that he’s not yet qualified to do.

  • Hippy

    oil fan wrote:

    Remember K Lowe brought us Pronger and a cup fianl. So far Tambo has brought in O’Sullivan, and Bulin. We will have to see the results in the next few years. Its hard to judge what a GM has done in only one year

    Really? Wasn't the Cup final the same season Pronger arrived?

  • Hippy

    oil fan wrote:

    Remember K Lowe brought us Pronger and a cup fianl. So far Tambo has brought in O’Sullivan, and Bulin. We will have to see the results in the next few years. Its hard to judge what a GM has done in only one year

    oil fan wrote:

    Remember K Lowe brought us Pronger and a cup fianl. So far Tambo has brought in O’Sullivan, and Bulin. We will have to see the results in the next few years. Its hard to judge what a GM has done in only one year

    He also turned MAP/Salo/Greene/Stoll into Grebs/Gilbert/Vish.

  • Hippy

    oil fan wrote:

    Tambo will he gone in three years. Lowe gave him the job so he never got fired for being ” Black CHECK Lowe”.

    What the hell is a Black CHECK, and how do I get one?

  • Hippy

    I'm hearing Kessel to Edmonton will happen soon, Also the Oilers have been looking hard at Tanguay. Names that I am hearing leaving Edmonton are Schremp, Nilsson, Moreau, Souray and Jacques. This will be a big week for the Oilers

  • Hippy

    @ Eklund:
    Im not totally stoked on that idea. The getting rid of Schremp, Nilson Moreau would be nice because we could find some value in them. But I like Souray and he is good and Jaques is a mean Mother F'er and I think he fits perfectly on the 4th line. Tanquay and Kessel would both be sketchy pick up, Keseel preformed very well in his conract year (not saying he isnt going to be good or anything) and Tanquay wouldnt be a good fit in EDM and he is Injury prone.
    I wish the Oilers would go after players like Ganger from Philly

  • Hippy

    This is unrelated to anything, but today at work I saw a kid who looked like a Sedin. Man…talk about creepy looking. I couldn't decide whether to laugh, cringe, or slap him and say 'Stop it!'

    @ Eklund:
    It'll be interesting if it's true. Looking forward to a big Oilers week coming up to training camp.

  • Hippy

    Wow, I hope Eklund is right on the people on the move. We still haven't shaken up the team yet. Look what SanJose just did, they do not have a captain or any assistants as of today. Bold move to shake things up.

  • Hippy

    Guys. At the very least, the real "Eklund" would have had a link to his site, meaning his name would have been blue. Not to mention that he's signing off now with that ridiculous "E#" thing. I call fake on this one.

    You'll be just as well served going here…

    hxxp://www.geocities.com/crazy_weatherman/randoms/rumourgen.htm

  • Hippy

    @ Sandra:
    Acording to capgeek.com they are just under the cap. However, If they need a little room they would make moves in the 3rd or 4th line. Not their star players

  • Hippy

    I was laughing when I read 'Eklund's' post (nice work btw, fake E4)…then feeling horrified when people thought it was real.

    I need to shower to wash away the shame.

    *insert Crying Game song*

  • Hippy

    What I find funny about the whole thing is how some of these writers think that they're well connected in the business and go on and write such garbage in order to stir a pot somwhere. It's comical really.

    Obviously there had to have been some conversations between Brooks and Messier at one point which were "off the record", but does that give Brooks the right to further investigate the issue and then pass off an artcile as fact?

    Be thankful we have a gem here in Edmonton with Jim Matheson. He's had his share of "misses" but the HHOF honours writers for their commitment and integrity. Not alot of them in the business can hold one of those attributes let alone two.

  • Hippy

    @ roadrunner:
    You seem to hold the HHOF in pretty high regard. IMO, it has the least integrity out of any of the "major" HOFs. In no other HOF is it more about who you know rather than your accomplishments in your sport. The HHOF holds no prestige or honor, because you are just as likely to get in there because you played on a line with a superstar as you are from being a superstar. You could get a ham sandwich nominated if you could show that Foster Hewitt took a bite out it.

    That said, I love Jim Matheson and we are lucky to have him in Edmonton. Not because he's in the HHOF, but because he's a great writer, with years of experience producing a great body of work.

  • Hippy

    It drives a fan insane to see this team consider the likes of Messier or Simpson for management jobs when there have been far more qualified people there. Rick Dudley would have been great to have here, and he will no doubt help Atlanta out a great deal. Jay Feaster is also unemployed. Not that he would leave Detroit necessarily, but maybe even ask for permission to talk to Jim Nil.