With the Edmonton Oilers announcing a media availability with GM Craig MacTavish Tuesday, there’s been no end of speculation and rumors about what, exactly, MacT wants to talk about.

Twitter, the tool that for many in the media biz has taken the place of an old-fashioned notion like picking up the telephone and sniffing around, has been abuzz about the possibilities. Let us mention just a few . . .

1. MacTavish will announce Sam Gagner has been signed to a new multi-year deal.

2. MacTavish will announce Sam Gagner has been traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

3. MacTavish will announce Paul Maurice as an addition to the coaching staff of Dallas Eakins.

4. The new phonebooks are here.


Twitter buzz from media types included the following:

Josh Rimmer of Sportsnet tweeted Sunday: "Hearing Leafs have had discussions with Oilers about Sam Gagner. Leafs are looking for a young centre and he certainly fits the bill" and "I do see the Leafs adding one of Gagner, Stastny or Stephen Weiss" and "Vancouver has also has discussions about Gagner as Sam’s dad Dave is part of Canucks MGMT."

Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun wrote: “Edmonton Oiler GM Craig MacTavish to meet with media Tuesday. Let the speculation begin. Horcoff deal done? Hemsky? Draft update?”

Oiler fan, author and Scott McKeen supporter David Staples of The Journal added:" #Leafs kicking the tires on Sam Gagner, Toronto sports insider says. But does it mean much? #Oilers."


My best guess, and that’s all it is because MacTavish was tight-lipped even when I was on the beat and he certainly isn’t whispering in my ear now as the GM, is we’ll be getting news about Gagner – that he’s staying rather than going to Toronto, or anywhere else for that matter.

MacTavish is on the record as seeing Gagner as a piece of Edmonton’s puzzle moving forward. He’s also on the record as saying it’s probably best that both Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky move along.

If Horcoff is being bought out or traded, there’s no way, zippo, that the Oilers are going to take both Gagner and Horcoff out of the mix at centre, leaving Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and not much of anything else down the middle. That, of course, assumes there isn’t a pivot coming back in any trade.

The next best bet, from where I sit, is an announcement about an addition to the coaching staff. Maurice has the inside track there (although I do wonder if MacTavish put in a call to Columbus to get permission to talk to Keith Acton).

Stay tuned.

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  • 24% body fat

    If the news about gagner refusing a 4yr/4m per contract is true I believe a trade could be announced on Tuesday….we could also hear Horcoff being bought out…I don’t expect a hemsky announcement ….Paul Maurice will be welcomed into the organization and possibly the signing of Paul Ranger could be announced as well

    So the list of things that I think are possibly happening Tuesday are:
    – gagner trade/ signing
    -Horcoff buy out
    -Hall Captaincy
    -Paul Maurice Associate coach
    -Paul Ranger signing

  • jonnyquixote

    Breaking news: The presser on Tuesday announcing Messier’s hire will be immediately followed by one announcing the Oilers have fired Mark Messier as head coach. Apparently, while preparing for the press conference MacTavish realized that he wanted someone who was STILL more in-tune with the way he wants to coach the team. On Wednesday, he is expected to announce the hiring of Kelly Buchberger as the team’s newest head coach and promises that when Kelly speaks you won’t be able to see Craig’s lips move at all.

    Early reports indicate that MacTavish let Messier know of his dismissal during a game of DrawSomething, in which MacT sketched a bonfire and an arrow pointing to the word “You.” The firing was extra insensitive as it made it impossible for Messier to guess the actual word, which was “Beyonce.” This ruined an impressive 16-correct streak.