As far as I’m concerned, you’ve done enough work today – you deserve a break. If your boss asks, you can tell them that reading the mailbag is important research that will positively impact the company you work for in the future. If you want to submit a question, you can email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter @jsbmbaggedmilk.
1) Kevin M asks – With the Western Conference seeming so much better than the East, is there any chance that the NHL goes back to the 1979-80 format of 1-16 league wide? At least some kind of crossover for the final 4 teams? In my opinion, the Hawks vs Kings would have been a better final.
No. The NHL is set up very well from a marketing point of view. The Eastern Conference has an excellent chance of producing a finalist from a massive media market, and the Western Conference houses Chicago and Los Angeles as two powerhouses. It’s perfect from that pov.
I don’t know how much of a chance there is of going back to the 1-16 format, but I certainly didn’t mind it in the past. Not sure NHL governors are up for a re-shuffle of the deck. I like the idea of rewarding the best teams with weaker seeds in the opening rounds, however that’s done.
I tend to agree that the Western Conference Final was the best series in the playoffs, but I doubt the NHL goes to a 1-16 format or anything like it any time soon. For one, the current format boosts divisional rivalries (which are good for business) and for two hockey’s cyclical so it’s a situation that could resolve itself soon enough.
No I don’t think so. It is important for the NHL to have equal representation from both conferences to keep up fan interest across north america.
League will never do top 16, but crossover might be talked about. I doubt it though. They want east vs. west final now that no EST teams are in the west.
I think for travel and scheduling that would be a nightmare, but it would be very interesting. I don’t see it happening anytime soon however
I like the idea of a crossover! Not sure it would ever happen, but I like it. If the West keeps getting better, I think we’ll see more one sided Cup finals like we did this year. I like it.
2) Kevin F asks – When a young player says that he is going to stay in Edmonton or “City X” to train over the summer with the team, does the team pay for accommodations etc?
No idea. I would think they are in close contact, though, especially in regard to training routine et cetera.
I don’t know if there’s CBA language covering expenses on that, especially if those expenses are incurred before a contract is signed. Without specific contract language, I’d imagine a team like the Oilers would be willing to help a kid like Draisaitl with expenses to stay here, get used to the city and work out.
I’m actually not sure, but I doubt it. The CBA is fairly specific in terms of what can/should be paid for and with the exception of a summer conditioning camp (for prospects, not established players, and for which all expenses are covered by the team) I don’t believe there is any provision for that kind of payment.
No. It would be against the CBA. Would be considered a bonus outside of the contract and thus a violation.
Draisaitl is a rarity. I can’t recall the last player who stayed the entire summer. He is 18, so they don’t want him living in a hotel. He is staying at Bruce Saville’s (former member of EIG) place.
Only if they are a young kid and the team has asked them too. A kid like Draisaitl yes, he’s probably in a hotel or team apartment for now and gets some food allowance.
I’m not sure if the team would help pay or not, but I hope they do. And I hope they put Draisaitl up in a theme room at the Fantasyland Hotel. How sweet would it be to finish training and go back to live like Tarzan when you’re done?
3) Michael Ellis asks – If MacT cannot acquire a #2 centre, does that almost negate all the good work he did by bringing in UFAs?
It’ll be a bitter pill, but there has been progress. If you add the two goalies to Nikitin/Fayne and then wingers Pouliot/Purcell, that’s a nice group. NEED A CENTER though.
No. More than one writer here suggested going into the off-season there’s no way MacTavish would be able to address every single need. Not a realistic expectation. He’s done some good work. There is more to do.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say it negates MacTavish’s work – he’s done a lot and I believe the Oilers are better for it – but it would mark a return to the Lowe days, where the team habitually left one or two massive issues unresolved over the summer. Lowe’s best team, the 2005-06 Oilers, is a good example of this – iffy goaltending imploded in spectacular fashion early on and by the time it was patched at the trade deadline it was almost too late.
Not at all. There were many areas to address. There is still time. Lets see what happens before the first game of the season.
Nope. No doubt it hinders the team, but he still upgraded his defence and wingers which was needed.
Depends on Arcobello and Draisaitl, and until we see them I just don’t know. I have to think after watching Gagner in his own end this year, that if they can come even remotely close to him offensively and be better two-way, the Oilers are still ahead of the game with their additions. Until they fix that hole, I don’t think they are way better, but I don’t think they are worse and it’s wasted. This team is most likely not making the playoffs regardless. The year will still be a process and I’m sure Mac T is doing what he can to fill it before opening night.
It would definitely be a weird move if MacT wasn’t able to improve the depth at centre, but I don’t think it negates everything else he’s done Regardless or what you think of the other moves he’s made, the Oilers are a better team now than they were at the beginning of the summer. Let’s wait and see what happens…
4) Chris Curtola asks – What are your Top 5 reasons that the Oilers have missed the playoffs for 8 straight years?
Only 5? I’ll list bad management, lack of talent on the ice, coaching carousel, pushing kids into roles too quickly and lack of an established minor league team 2003-09.
That’s both too many reasons to list and to few to capture the full grandeur of eight seasons of objective failure. I put Steve Tambellini at the top of the list of reasons; he was terribly incompetent and the team suffered as a result. Kevin Lowe deserves blame too, both for bungling the Pronger trade and then for hiring Tambellini and sustaining him in the position. Ditto for owner Daryl Katz, who had far too much patience for a G.M. clearly in well over his head. I’d toss in Kevin Prendergast, whose track record running Edmonton’s draft and AHL affiliate leaves much to be desired. Finally – though I’m leaving out a lot of contributors here – I think the EIG deserves special mention for abdicating control of the Oilers’ prospects in AAA hockey by scrapping the farm team.
1 – Global Warming
2 – The lack of Diet Cherry Coke in Canada
3 – Pitt/Anniston Break up
4 – The Mitchell Report
5 – London Underground grinding to a halt because of striking maintenance workers
1. Bad drafting and developing prior to 2008. It has improved since.
2. Horrendous pro scouting.
3. First four years didn’t seem to have a plan.
4. Last four years coaching carousel.
5. Chris Pronger asking for trade.
I’ve really only followed them for a year so I’ll speak to what I saw last season. Everyone already knows these:
1. The suck knob has been broken clean off
2. Not nearly enough head coaches.
3. Rexall DJ
4. Players weren’t fans of the light colour they shine on Rexall
5. Steve Tambellini’s team assessments can be measured by ice ages
5) Marc Benoit asks – What is your vice? (cigarettes, beers, ice cream, etc)
Demon liquor. And the Oilers.
Aside from the Oilers, you mean? I live pretty clean but I’ve got a wicked sweet tooth.
Salted organic Kale chips
Sweets. I love dessert and candy.
Red Wine or Pizza
Give me all the cheese, Gushers, and candy coke bottles.