Craig MacTavish has a press conference at 11 a.m. today. Will he make a major announcement?

I’m very curious to see what he says. I wrote this on what I think he needs to do.


I’m bagged from an awesome weekend playing in the  ProAm for Alzheimers. The Journeymen (named in honour of our good buddy Jason Strudwick) had a great time.

We lucked out and finished 2nd in fundraising, $50,900, so we got the 2nd pick in the draft, but we also got treated like NHL players and had our own dressing room the entire weekend. We drafted Jeremy Roenick 2nd overall, Marty McSorley went 1st, and we couldn’t have drafted a better guy.

JR was great. After drafting him at 7:15 p.m. Friday night, he spent the rest of the weekend hanging out with our team. He bought a round of tequila shots for the boys minutes after we got to our table and that set the tone for a fun night. He interacted with all the guys on the team and told some great stories.

Trent Yawney crushing Mike Keenan off his chair while he sat at centre ice overseeing a "bagskate" was one of the best.

We left the draft around a 11 p.m., jumped in a Blue Sky Limo and proceeded to take JR on a mini pub crawl. On the limo JR told more stories and you could tell why he was liked by his NHL teammates. He made sure he talked to all the guys.

At the Druid he took pics with anyone who asked and he always looked them in the eye and asked them their name. It is a small gesture, but one that wasn’t overlooked. We bounced around a few places, had a final drink at On The Rocks and then when we were leaving he wanted some late-night grub.

We took a cab to All Happy and proceeded to order way too much food. Roenick told me about the Olympics in Vancouver being the best time he’d ever had, how pissed he was at Derian Hatcher for breaking his jaw, and how he’d treat the fans if he owned a team. He has a group of guys that are negotiating with a team, but couldn’t say which one.

We witnessed a mini-brawl during our late-night meal, but the people involved actually policed themselves and broke it up. Very odd, and just another twist to a great night.

Thank God we didn’t have to play until 2:45 Saturday afternoon, because most of the Journeymen were hurting. Even better was that our opposition was Oilersnation. Wanye didn’t even show up. Supposedly he’s allergic to skating nowadays.

We beat the Nation 7-6, although three goals in the final 4 minutes made it appear closer than it was. Buck75 was as effective as Eric Belanger, while Nation owner, JD, struggled mightily going -5.

We had a team dinner Saturday night at Vons, and that kickstarted another great evening out. Oilersnation drafted Brad May and he was also a beauty. He overheard JR and I talking about our late-night eats so he proceeded to take a few of the Journeymen with him for food on Saturday night. Classic.

Roenick’s skill on the ice was apparent. Sick hands. He chirped a guy every time they’d miss the net on one of his tape-to-tape passes. It was a thrill for the guys to play with him and Struds. Struds might have lost 10 pounds over the weekend. He played for us and he also got drafted. He ended up playing 6 games on Sunday. Beauty.

It was a great weekend, and a big thanks to all the guys who played on the Journeymen this weekend. It was great meeting some listeners and I hope you had a blast.

Roenick signed two new sticks for me that we will auction off in the future. He’ll also be making a few more appearances on my show and here on the Nation. He definitely knows how to have fun.

Congratulations to all the guys who played in the Pro Am this weekend, and great job in fundraising. The tournament raised over 900,000 for Alzheimer research.

It was also a thrill for me to meet Gordie Howe and have the pleasure of  emceeing the Gordie Howe Luncheon on Friday afternoon. Sitting at the table speaking with Gordie and his son Marty was awesome. Having the chance to host the round table with Bryan Trottier, Marty McSorley and Tom Webster was a blast as well. They had some great stories, and I encourage any of you who are hockey fans to consider playing in this event next year. I guarantee you’ll have a great time.

I’m off to MacTavish’s press conference… I wonder if he’ll make an announcement….


  • What’d you guys think of Kreuger’s systems? I like it in philosophy and think its a good match for the Oilers’ speed. Lots of pressure on the puck. But it’s complicated with lots of moving parts. A bad pinch or a missed assignment can look real bad and it happened often with this young team and a sub-par defence. Ralph used the trap when he coached the Swiss team. Granted, he had to given the skill differential he always faced and I wouldn’t expec the Oil to use it all the time. But we should lose the shackles in Edmonton that we can’t use the trap here. Chicago will use the trap from time to time, especially when playing on back to back nights. Nobody is complaining about Chicago’s results.

    • DSF

      The defence was required to play a lot of man coverage, rather than zone. They seemed to have too many breakdowns, which could be blamed partly on the players not fitting the system.

  • Ducey

    Of course, the only immediate fixes I can think of are expensive and may be detrimental to the team in the long run in terms of salary cap.

    Sign one of Tyler Bozak or Stephen Weiss. Centres that will improve time of possession numbers and as a result, improve shot differential, which the Oilers were so bad at this year.

    Add a puck moving, left-shot Dman. I’m thinking of the potential fire sale in Buffalo and Christian Erhoff. Moves the puck well 5 on 5 and knows how to QB a powerplay.

    The problem is that the UFA Bozak and Weiss will command 5 mill per season and will probably require longer term contracts. Erhoff already has a large contract with significant term. Fixing things now could put us in the same situation as Chicago a few years ago. But given the urgency to fix this team now, you might have to bite that bullet.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Agreed, a whole lotta, “talk/talked” to “our” guys, and not enough responsibility taken. There should’ve been questioning the abilities of some people there that are already in place, not a subtle vote of confidence.

      “Lets continue to trust the people”….. spread the blame, disappointing to say the least.

      • Obiwan Eberle - Team 5-14-6-1

        Did youy really expect that he would throw individual players &/or coaches under the bus?

        I picked up an inference that Hemsky is likely gone and he did express a willingness to use the number 7 pick in a trade.

  • oliveoilers

    A little off topic, but has anybody else read that article on bobby lu by that tool Spector on sportsnet? It was like reading a DSF post. I wonder……nah, it can’t be. Can it?

  • Mac-T will be the busiest GM this off season, off the top of my head some of the major things I think need to happen.

    The Oiler’s need to swap picks with the Hurricanes or the Predators. Possible moving Paajarvi,Hemsky and a second to swap picks.

    This gives the Oilers a shot at Barkov or Monahan and thus better options moving into the summer.

    The Oilers will then move Gagner for a number 1 defensman.

    I can see Mac-T making a few UFA deals, possible a shot at Clowe.

    I can then see Mac-T looking for bottom six.

    After that, I think he waits to see who comes out of the amnesty buyouts.

    From there he buyouts Belanger and Smyth.

    I think these players are gone.

    Belanger – Jones – Whitney – Petrel – Fistric – Peckham – Smyth

  • Zack

    Well judging by management decisions, they’ll probably bring in Wayne because after all, who knows more about success in hockey than Gretzky?!

    Or maybe he’ll be letting us know that they are willing to move the pick and a valuable roster player to bring in immediate help. However, if a good enough deal doesn’t present itself they are happy adding another quality blue chipper to the organization, especially with the depth in this years draft.

    Edit: They are happy to see so many of our young players head to the world tourney and even though they are disappointed with the Oilers results this year fans can look forward to the future of this team because of the core group of young talent.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Craig, whenever you see Lowe flapping his lips please take it with a grain of salt. Listen and knod to everything he says, but pay him no attention. This is your gig, your shot. For our sake, please don’t botch it up. Lowe is no longer required for on ice decisions. Be your own boss. Get Doug Weight in here next season, and let him pick his own assistants.