MacT Alert!

It’s been building. Quietly. The "Craig MacTavish" rumblings in regard to an NHL coaching position have been building for the last several weeks. A few funny items on his tsn appearances about his future as a coach, a Matty drop in the EJ. The next shoe to drop? An "out of town" newspaper has him on the radar.

According to this article, Craig MacTavish is in conversation with important suits in the Minnesota Wild organization. The money quote is this one:

  • According to multiple league sources, the former Edmonton Oilers coach has had a handful of conversations with Chuck Fletcher and was recently interviewed by the Wild general manager at a Toronto hotel.

The article is worth the read, especially if you want Ryan Smyth’s opinion of his old coach. I’m pulling for MacT, would love to see him coach in our division. Maybe he’ll want some of his old players back–maybe he wants Horcoff!!–or maybe he wants Liam Reddox or Tom Gilbert or Nikolai Khabibulin!

Ah, I’m just kidding. Still, it’s a nice item for an individual who has had a bit of a tough time of life over the last few years. Good prognosis on the cancer and some interest around the best league in the planet in his coaching skills. I’ve always been a MacT fan, and suspect a Wild team coached by him could be a going concern by Christmas.

Good luck, Mr. MacTavish. We remember you.

  • I’m not so sure about his goaltender management and his break’em down to build’em back up didn’t seem to work with many players in general.

    However, he got full buy in from his ’06 team and springing ‘the trap’ (what was his name for it?) in round 1 against Detroit was genius.

    I was glad to see him go, but nevertheless, wish him well.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Yikes, you’re going to have a few regulars in shock that such a horrible coach may just find his way back into the league.

    Looking forward to him having alot of success so I can LOL @ the hardcore Mact bashers.

  • Sox and Oil

    Hopefully not the Wild. I love Mac T and wish him nothing but success just not in our division. Really wish he was still with the oilers. Would he be interested in becoming a associate coach now that Penner is out of the organization?

  • CanaDave

    I was always of the opinion that MacT would be a great coach to have for a team of mostly veteran players. I felt like he was the wrong coach for this team by 2008 when the youth movement had begun even if the official rebuild hadn’t, but if you gave him a team of largely veteran players he would do good things with them.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    What’s the love for MacT all about? Most of you couldn’t wait to see his head roll. I think maybe the reason he hasn’t had a coaching gig is because of the way he handled himself at the end of his Oiler coaching tenure. His public ripping of players was a graceless and unprofessional move. I’ll remember him too…in my nightmares.

    I don’t think he did his reputation any favors by acting the way he did. Good freaking riddance.

  • Wax Man Riley

    I was a MacT supporter the entire time. I think the team stopped buying wha the was selling.

    He showed how good of a coach he was in ’06. If you are able to watch every series over again, you see (and I saw at the time) a different team in each series.

    MacT out-coached each of those teams. Wish him well.

      • Wax Man Riley

        Ya right. If you watched the games at all, they were a different team every series.

        As our buddy @Quicksilver puts it:

        ~Like MacTavish was really the problem to begin with~

        Quinn did wayyyy better.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Props Knobby ofr that first line. The rest…. not so much. Every Oilers fan in Edmonton was ready to run him out of town. I;m sure most of you on here were too.

  • fuzzy muppet

    Mac T had run his course here. Better coach than many think, but it was time for him to go…maybe even a year sooner. Not, however, because he was lacking in coaching ability.

    I’d take him back in a second…but not as a coach. I’d dye his hair brown and put him on the PK…god knows he could earn a job somewhere on the Oilers roster ahead of JFJ!

  • fuzzy muppet

    Minnesota or NJ seem like perfect fits for MacT.

    No way he goes to Washington. They haven’t mustered the ability to play hard 4 straight years in the playoffs. MacT needs lunch-pail types that will work their A$$es off. That’s not washington.

    How long will it take before the Backstrom contract is the league’s worst.

      • Kodiak

        I don’t think so but even if that was the case, does it change what MacT’s opinion of Brodziak was?

        Are you suggesting MacT appreciated Brodziak as a hockey player?

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          I checked, MacT was fired April 09, Brodziak was traded June 09.

          I don’t know if he appreciated him or not, taking his trade as proof that MacT did look down on Brodziak as a hockey player doesn’t make sense though… you know since he wasn’t the coach when it happend.

          • Kodiak

            You seem to like to argue moot points when it even comes close to disagreeing with your opinion on someone. No one was suggesting the trade was proof of MacT’s preception of Brodziak. Everyone who followed the team then knows MacT had a hate on for Brodziak. He roasted Brodziak publicly a few times, set him up to fail by starting him in his own zone with plugs continually and scratched him even though he was one of our more effective skaters. Whether MacT was here or not when Brodziak was traded doesn’t change the history of dislike MacT had for him. Therefore my comment that if MacT ends up in Minny maybe we will be able to benefit from that by taking a player he doesn’t care for off his hands. I’m sorry if this somehow tarnishes your blind defense of MacT but I don’t think it should be that difficult to comprehend.


          • Dominoiler


            Listen to yourself, “you seem to like to argue moot points”, then self reflect..

            Mind you, so should I,..

            But not before saying that your line of argument stinks.. brodz was in a position to fail under mac T because the whole team was – not some ludicrous notion of player hate (he and horc were the only ones close to being able to handle it).. with that said, the oilers are not trading for brodz,.. get over it…

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            I will say when I first read your quote, I read it like MacT ran him off the team…. so in other words whether MacT was here or not would be very relevant.

            Anyways, might as well address some of your points:

            Ah yes, setting him up to fail.

            It’s called playing your top defensive players in defensive situations.

            Found an interesting quote from Brownlee from the article you posted:

            Second, Brodziak isn’t a MacTavish whipping boy. In fact, based largely on glowing reviews by Kelly Buchberger, Kyle is one of the players MacTavish really wants to see succeed. That’s just a fact, even if skating him extra might seem like an odd way to show it.

            Don’t worry, I don’t need to defend him. The results will speak for themselves when he gets back in the league.

          • Kodiak

            Just like when he got back coaching the Worlds right? Ok, that was a one off. How about the Spengler then? Yeah, those performances definitely speak for themselves.

            (insert OB1 obligatory excuse response here)

            The MacT coached Team Canada’s couldnt score. MacT cant teach or coach an offensive game. The league is changing and even since he’s been out of the game it has changed. It is not a defense first game and thats all he knows. With the rule changes and penalties its about scoring, even in the playoffs. Last year there was a higher G/G average in the playoffs than the regular season. I hope he gets the coaching job in Minny. One less team in our division to worry about.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            You sure it isn’t a defensive first league? You might want to double check league scoring rates vs the last 40 years, as well as the recent trend.

          • Kodiak

            My bad. Chicago with their 3.54 goals/game and 2.82 goals against winning the cup is most certainly known for their defensive style. And Pittsburg’s 3.29 G/G and 2.67 GA/G winning the cup the year before certainly pigeonholes them as a defensive team.

            Good teams can play offense. I don’t think anyone can suggest MacT is an offense minded coach.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Hawks had the 2nd lowest GA in the conference last year.

            Ducks had the 2nd lowest GA in the conference the year they won the cup.

            Interestingly enough the Oilers were roughly an average offensive team during Mctavishes tenure. Not bad for a team that had what? 2-3 guys with 30 goal seasons before coming to Edmonton and 1-2 forwards that were top 10 picks? (where almost all the top scoring forwards come from)

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    MacT will do…zzzz…very well in Minny…zzzz…as he is…zzzz…a wonderfully motivating….zzzz… speaker…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Crash

    I really like that MacT still bleeds Oiler blue and think he’s a great guy, but as a coach, not so much.

    All the pundits tried to tell us that if MacT was let go that he’d be scooped up in a heart beat…well here it is 3 yrs later and still no scooping up of MacT.

    So he’s had to settle for a couple of coaching stints outside the NHL. He coached the 2010 Canadian team at the world championships to a stellar (7th place finish) and with the Canadian team at the 2009 Spengler cup he successfully ended Canada’s 4 yr run of championship final appearances.

    If MacT does come back, I hope it is with someone in our division.

    He’s a great guy, but I don’t want to see him anywhere near an Oilers coaching position.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      I don’t remember many people saying he’d be scooped up in an heart beat.

      Theirs what? 35 – 45 NHL caliber coaches out there? Going off memory it seems most sit on the sidelines for a couple of years between jobs (or take lesser roles to stay in the game).

      • Crash

        When the debate started to rage that MacT should be let go from the Oilers there were numerous outlets locally and nationally that said MacT wouldn’t be out of a job long as he would be scooped up immediately.

        IMO the good coaches aren’t out of work too long unless they choose to be. The ones that have bounced around tend to be out of work longer after each time they are brought back and fired again, as well as the the ones that just aren’t very good.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Also, just noticed a cancer refrence in LT’s article. That would go a long way as to explaining why he wasn’t employed by an NHL team sooner.

      • Dreger made a cancer reference not long ago as well. I know many posters here made reference to an ongoing health issue that they knew about but refused to say exactly what it was out of respect to MacT’s privacy.

        I’m glad he’s healthy, or at least healthy enough to be working full time, but I stand by my original thoughts about him as a Coach. He made some awful decisions, handled players very poorly at the end, and his message was lost on the team. His record was middling to poor and he was well past his expiry date when he was let go.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    ~Like MacTavish was really the problem to begin with~

    The two coaches to follow him have certainly made it known he was the problem with back to back last place finishes. If this isn’t living proof the 25 players should’ve been fired first then i don’t know what is. The coach is only as good as the players getting off the bus.

    Don’t feel the Wild job is the best thing for Craig right now, that team is where the Oilers were in 08, tankage for a few yrs is required there in order to land and impact player or two.

  • How much did that team aid in Mac-T not coming back or the Oilers going in a different direction?

    I remember bad management decisions upon bad decisions.

    Clearly the room wasn’t listening to him, again, how much of that was arrogant, self entitled players? Injuries? Bad contracts? Bad Trades? Hardly the coach’s fault.

    How well did Quin do after the fact? With basically the same team!

    I do remember Mac T with a decent team out coaching other teams on the way to the cup in 06.

    Renney gets a pass as do the rest of his staff. We wont find out how well Renney can be until this group is ready to compete.

    All in all, I think Mac-T is a good coach given the right players. I personally don’t think it’s the Wild, but I wish him luck a good success as I do with all ex-Oilers except when we play them.
    Then it’s on be- hatch!

  • Crash

    we shoulda swapped ray ferraro for macT.

    ray seemed to know where always to shoot on the goalie in the shootout or where the players would shoot. too bad none of the players listened.

    vice versa macT was better at TV, smart guy very analytical.

    regardless of whether i like /dislike macT whatever teams he ends coaching i hope they suck…im an oiler fan first.

  • Ender

    I wish MacT well; I’m in the “team stopped buying what he was selling” camp.

    I liked his comment on TSN the other night when questioned about Boudreau’s job security. MacT said that being a Jack Adams winner aside, Boudreau was going to face the same thing a lot of coaches face – getting way too much credit when the team performs well and getting way too much blame when the team plays poorly. While people may smile at who’s making that statement, I think there’s a lot of truth in it. There’s no denying that a good coach can have an impact on a team’s play, but the extent that he can degrade a good team or improve a poor one may be a lot less than what people would like to imagine.

    For those who have picked up on it, MacT has been pretty sick since he left the Oilers. I’m glad that he’s feeling better now, but for those who want to blame him for Canada’s losses in International play, I’m going to cut the guy a bit of slack on those. I watched a few of those games, and I can’t remember being incensed about the crazy coaching decisions that lost those tournaments for us. He was probably not able to put peak energy into it at any rate.

    I agree that it was time for MacT to leave the Oilers when he did, but I’m thinking he’ll do just fine if and when he comes back. If you want an idea of how a coach is going to do in his first year back, I’d suggest looking a lot harder at the team playing behind the coach rather than the coach himself.

  • Puritania

    It’s a shame the guy got sh*t on as much as he did from our fanbase. It wasn’t working anymore and a change was needed but it is a shame he faced as much vitriol as he did. Great guy and I wish him well.

  • Dominoiler

    I’m glad that MacT’s health is now to the point where he can get back to coaching, although I’m going to miss him on TSN.

    As for what those who dislike him think, if back-to-back 30th place finishes don’t show that he wasn’t the problem, I don’t know what will. I miss watching a coach who matches lines.

    • Kodiak

      We weren’t in a rebuild with MacT. It’s a scary thought but he had a lot more to work with.

      I agree on the line matching though. Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Hossa out. Hey, let’s match them with Brodziak, Stortini and Moreau for the draw in our zone. Might as well get Staios and Strudwick out there while we are at it to really shut them down. And Garon let in one possible shaky one 4 games ago so we better stick with Roli. That one they scored from center on him really wasn’t his fault.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        Thinking the team underperformed (vs what the team looked like on paper) under MacT (aggregate of his tenure) speaks more towards an (in)ability to assess a hockey team then it does to MacT’s ability to coach.

  • Dominoiler

    I think we’ve all had to eat a bit of crow about MacT’s coaching ability. I thought he was an amateur no talent coach, which is why we were a perennial 9th place team. After we got rid of him we finished last. Guess it wasnt MacT’s fault, in fact he was squeezing a tonne out of a sub-par lineup.
    He’s great at coaching defense, pk, and checking. I would take him back as an assistant in a heartbeat.

  • Milli

    A little thing I was thinking about MacT. Listening to Washingtons Gm, McFee (or something) talk about his coach and say “there is no diference between a regular season coach and a playoff coach”. Well, I remember how masterful MacT was in 06 making sure there was a plan for each individual team we faced, and he did an amazing job. But, like MacT said the other day on TSN, coaches get way to much credit when they win, and way too much blame when they lose! But still, he was a great coach!