There’s been a positive vibe around the hiring of Craig MacTavish as new GM of the Edmonton Oilers and that continued today when former Oiler assistant coach Rob Daum offered his two cents.
Daum, the former Alberta Golden Bear head coach who was an assistant coach under MacTavish, is now coaching in Austria and will be an assistant with that country’s entry in the Sochi Olympics. He offered the following on MacTavish on Bob Stauffer’s Oilers Now show.
"I’m a big fan of Craig MacTavish," Daum said. "I think he’s a real sharp hockey guy. Not just a sharp hockey guy, but a sharp person as well. I think he’s going to do well.
"The reason I say that is I think he has a confidence and he’s willing to make moves. All he’s going to worry about is, does it make his team better? Sometimes when you get into situations, you always worry – gee, if I make this move, if this player goes over there and plays really well, I’m going to look like an idiot.
"I don’t think Craig cares about that. I think he’s going to make moves based on what he thinks is going to make his team better. He’s not going to be concerned about whether somebody goes someplace else and plays really well. You always take that chance in a trade that someone is going to go someplace and do well.
"I don’t think that’ll bother Craig. If he feels what he gets back in return is going to make his team better here in Edmonton, he’ll be prepared to do that."
Oilers fans won’t be able to read Jim Matheson’s insights from the Entry Draft this season because he’s on long-term IR with a badly broken right elbow after taking a tumble on his bicycle back on May 19.
Matheson, inducted into the writer’s wing of the HHOF as an Elmer Ferguson Award winner, will be laid up for at least three months after having surgery to insert plates and screws into the elbow – he took a bad fall when he hit a rabbit, of all things. That’ll not only throw a wrench into his golf game this summer, but it’ll put a big dent in The Journal’s hockey coverage.
Get well soon, pal.
. . . Matheson’s absence will open a window of opportunity for Evan Daum (yes, he’s Rob Daum’s son), who has been covering the Oil Kings for the broadsheet and will now take on some coverage of the Oilers this off-season.
If Daum plays his cards the right way and does a bang-up job in Matheson’s absence, he could position himself to take over the Oiler beat when Matty eventually calls it a career. Matheson’s in his 60s and Joanne Ireland is in her mid-50s, so there’s an opportunity there.
Daum’s a talented young writer
. . . Still with Daum, what’s this I hear about him getting his own radio slot on TEAM 1260 to focus on college sports?
. . . Speaking of water cooler talk, I’m wondering if Dan Tencer might move away from his spot as host of 630 CHED’s Oiler broadcasts on game nights and his night-time sports talk show to the 9 a.m. to noon slot now occupied by Dave Rutherford.
Tencer’s been filling in with Rutherford on vacation and, if he retires, would likely get consideration for the gig. I’m hearing Corus Alberta might split the Rutherford Show into two different regional shows – Edmonton and Calgary.
. . . If Tencer moves over, I’d have to think somebody like Reid Wilkins, who has paid his dues on Stauffer’s Oilers Now show, would be a candidate for the host’s gig on Oiler game nights.
THE NATION IS EVERYWHERE
Being tucked away in my auto glass shop in west Edmonton since last October is worlds away from hanging out at Rexall Place for morning skates and on game nights — a gig I had from 1989 until last October — even though I keep my hand in the media biz on Jason Gregor’s Show.
Some of you might have even noticed (and applauded) that I’m writing here less while I get the shop up and running. That’s my focus right now. Still, I get a kick out of it when customers come by to shoot the hockey breeze or talk cars while they get some work done.
Oiler fan Brad Lea provided a first today, and I didn’t even know it until he turned his back and walked out the door after paying his bill. Thought I’d take a picture and pass it along.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.