Will Oilers make a move?

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The Oilers didn’t practice or have a media availability today, prompting much speculation around the hockey world that the organization is pondering a move.

Firing the coach or Kevin Lowe resigning were the two most common theories floating around the twitterverse.

Will it happen?

Based on conversations I’ve had with people in the organization I’d be surprised a coaching change happens today or before Sunday. Craig MacTavish recognizes he handcuffed his coach by giving only two NHL centres, a suspect D corps and two unproven starting goalies.

At the same time it would be misleading to suggest the organization is 100% happy with the job Eakins has done. He, like the players, needs to be better. I don’t see a move happening today, but I sense the leash is getting shorter by the day.

As for Lowe resigning, that move would appease the masses, but I don’t see Daryl Katz giving in to public pressure. I could be wrong, but if, I repeat if, Lowe steps away from the organization I believe it would happen in the off-season not during the year.

If Lowe was to step down, who replaces him?

Bob Nicholson hired guys to be the GM, but he was not the decision maker on hockey moves when he was with Hockey Canada. He was in charge of growing the brand, and he did an outstanding job.

Maybe the Oilers wouldn’t replace Lowe. Very few teams have Presidents and General Managers, so they could just expand Nicholson’s portfolio a bit.

I know that MacTavish is a strong believer in Eakins, but if the losing continues he might have to end that relationship sooner than he wanted to. He does not want the coach to look like a scapegoat, but if this turns into an 17 or 18 game losing streak, or the Oiler win 2 of 25, he might have to abandon his original plan.

If he does relieve Eakins of his duties before the end of the season, I strongly hope he just promotes Ramsay and then in the spring/summer conducts a proper search for a head coach. They need to interview multiple people and glean as much information from them about the players on the team.

I don’t expect a major announcement today, but the conversations within the organization were much different than they were at the start of the season. They are discussing many options and what is best way to fix the numerous problems that exist throughout the organization.

They did not expect the season to derail as quickly, or as ugly as it has. Things can change quickly, especially with 11 consecutive losses, so stay tuned.

QUICK HITS…

  • I will give the Oilers credit for their effort last night. The Jets came at them hard. They hammered the Oilers, but Edmonton didn’t fold their tent. In fact, they controlled the second half of the game, and could have won.
  • It is easy to look at the wrong plays they made that led to Winnipeg goals. David Perron made an awful pinch on the first goal, and Justin Schultz was way too soft on Evander Kane on the winning goal, but what about the forwards not scoring?
  • Jordan Eberle had two grade “A” chances in the third period but couldn’t finish. We critique goalies when they don’t make saves, or the defence when they make a wrong read. For me, when you are a scorer and you are in a scoring lane you need to finish. That is your job. Eberle needed to bury one of those chances.
  • Nail Yakupov could have put the game away. It was 2-1, Eberle made a nice play in the D zone to create a turnover, moved the puck to Draisaitl and the rookie made a stellar pass right on Yakupov’s tape, but he didn’t finish. I’m sorry, that is unacceptable. Players need to do their job and Yakupov and Eberle didn’t put the game away.
  • Daniel Alfredsson will retire as an Ottawa Senator today. I wonder how much he regrets leaving how he did, not calling Brian Murray to tell him, to go to Detroit. Was it worth it? As he returns to Ottawa, Marty Brodeur will make his debut with the Blues. Will he have more success than Alfie did in Detroit?
  • Former Calgary Flames GM, and current Executive Director of community Hockey Development for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Jay Feaster, took to twitter last night to express his hatred for the Oilers, or moreso, his disdain for those saying the Oilers would be better than the Flames. Seems like an odd thing for him to still be mad about. I’d be more upset I lost my job and couldn’t get my team into the playoffs.

DAY 3…MONTH OF GIVING…

Yesterday we raised a whopping $15,000 for Santas Anonymous and the Christmas Bureau with our dinner package at Vons. Awesome.

TODAY’S PACKAGE..

  • A $1,000 shopping spree at Derk’s Mens Wear
  • One Derk’s Black Label Suit.
  • $300 in tailoring to help with your new wardrobe.
  • In store consultation with Sterling Derk to ensure you fill out your wardrobe properly.

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or text 101260 between 2-6 p.m. today.

Thanks in advance. All proceeds go towards Christmas Bureau.

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  • Andy7190

    I still can’t get past

    “We’re better than last year” – MacT

    No you aren’t. You’re worse. I don’t see how things improve if Oiler management truly believes that.

  • S cottV

    Wow. I mean, I saw that coming, but it still stuns me that the presser was basically “be patient, things will get better.”

    If we get McDavid, I hope the kid goes Lindros on us. Personally, I’d support that move 100%.

    And Hall—if you have any hope of not spending your ENTIRE career on the worst team in the league, now is the time for you to make your public trade request. Get yourself out of town, because clearly this mess will not be fixed anytime in the foreseeable future. At this point, Oilers fans will understand, that you need to save yourself, since no one can save this team

    • BubbaZanetti

      Why the christ does he need to save himself ??
      Exactly who are these Oilers fans who will understand ??
      Can only speak for myself, but please spare me the “woe is me” Taylor save yourself…Seriously,what the hell has Hall done that makes him so damn precious ??? Seriously, tell me….Enlighten me ?
      He’s done squat on the ice, He hasn’t said anything , He’s shown zero leadership, ZERO ! Oh wait a minute, there was his little smart ass comment in response to what Ference had said.

  • S cottV

    I am sure that there were those from the press that would have asked some tougher questions.

    However – you get a sense for things and they pretty much knew that the minute things got too defensive, the Oilers PR guy was going to pull the plug.

    I am sure he was watching MacT like a hawk and given MacT’s performance – was nervous as hell.

    It was a far cry from an open media question period.

  • Hemmercules

    Well if that wasn’t a downer start to Friday, I don’t know what is.

    I feel bad for Oilers fans. I feel bad for the team. I feel bad for the possible picks who must be absolutely horrified to realize they too may end up mired here.

    I wanted so badly to believe this team was going to be able to do it, to turn things around. Now? Now I think the best thing, for the good players we do have, is to run for the hills. Get out of Edmonton. I hate to say that, knowing our team will only get worse (scary thought!), but some of these guys have heart, have skill, and don’t deserve to be stuck in this unending tire-fire. Ask for a trade. Do it quietly, do it publicly, heck, take out some billboards. But get yourselves out of there (RNH, Yak, Hall, Perron, Eberle). You guys don’t deserve to be the sacrificial lambs for this insane mgmt team. I’d love to see you each play on a team with a good coach and supporting cast.

    After that press conference, I’m certain that “good” team won’t be Edmonton, not in the next 5-6 years for sure

  • What we should be getting out of the players.

    Age 18-22 Young skilled players that really need to be coached but put up good numbers.

    Age 22-25 Strong an skilled and hold there own in the NHL. These players know how the game is played and have all the assets to deliver.

    Age 25 and up Old man muscle and really know how the game is played by both teams on the ice.

  • Gerald R. Ford

    Why is Gene Principe even allowed to ask questions? Like Chuckles is going to serve up anything but a big, fat pizza pie? I know he’s a nice guy, but, come on.

    So frustrating.

  • Gerald R. Ford

    I’m not an Oilers fan but a hockey fan, in particular the Canucks, and this is my first post here, so I’m sorry if I offend.

    Wouldn’t it have saved everybody time if Mac T just walked up to the mic and been honest? Then it would have went something like this, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re tanking. Any questions, none? OK. Thank-you.”

    Empathy folks. No fan base should have to be buried by the crap you’ve had to take from this organization. I miss the western rivalry. Cheers.

  • S cottV

    Look at the key leadership connection that binds the top thru to the bottom, including the player group.

    Katz – aloof, quirky, a fan

    Lowe – entitled, arrogant, 6 rings as a player a long time ago.

    MacT – inexperienced, in over his head,

    Eakins – inexperienced, quirky, in over his head

    Ferrence – not a top flight player, public relations oriented, not of the stature to majorly impact the core Fab 4 + Yak.

    Hall – young, inexperienced, entitled, not really a team player, not a 2 way player.

    Eberle – as above.

    If you really look at it, there is no wonder why the organization looks lost in jungle.

    Nicholson – has his work cut out for him. If Katz lets him do what he really needs to do.

    Strength in leadership is the only way out of the jungle.

  • Zarny

    As predicted Mac T spews the usual crap!!!!Time for the fans to put their money where their mouths are. Please, Please, Please protest by boycotting all home games and stop buying Oiler’s merchandise. Actions speak louder than words. If we continue to support the Oiler organization in any way shape or form, then we only have to look at ourselves as part of the problem. When any of you go to a lousy movie, do you stay until the very end? I don’t, as it is a waste of time, so why stay to watch the Oilers make a fool of themselves and us. If you as a fan just have to go to the games, then at least leave in droves when they are not showing up to do their jobs that they get paid millions for. Stop being their enabler.

    • DoubleDIon

      Another suggestion: if you absolutely have to go to the Oiler’s games, then when they’re playing like trash, don’t boo, stand up and turn your backs to them, If everyone in the arena did that, as a silent protest, it would have a big impact……. worth a try.

      • Derian Hatcher

        I have suggested just this before,it is a good idea you suggest,so is turning the jerseys around to put the Players names in front first to respect them,but the Oilers crest on the back to disrespect ownership and management.

        Either one of these suggestions would go viral if Fans did it considering the coverge the extensive losing streak has generated.

        Hypotheticlly speaking Ten Fans each with a stack of Read -and-Pass-it-on cards in their back-pockets suggesting this could spread this message like wild-fire.

  • Zarny

    Maac-T wasnt just hauling water today he was bailing it out of the sinking ship like a MadMan,lets take a look at some of the things he bailed out on.

    My order of preference.

    – The long term Management dysfunction…..he clearly and passionately stated he was only a Coach and had NO MANAGEMENT inputs during his earlier tenure…he accepts the heat for his Coaching results then and the last 18-20 months of Management now….Mac-T says he was not part of Management decision making when he Coached but he did not tell us if this same influence affected HIM when he was a Coach which would have defined a timeline for us of extending deeper than just the last 4 Coaches.

    – The option of discussing replacing Dallas,his defense being that the same message has been sent to the Coaches over the tenures of the last 4 Coaches.This tells us the message has been congruent and consistantly coming from one source for a MINIMUM of 4 Coaches,not “only” within the last 4 Coaches.So the overriding process or System decisions are made by Management NOT the Coaches for at a minimum 4 Coaches??Was this happening to HIM as a Coach? Because all roads no longer point to Rome,they are pointing at a System or Process which may have been in existance and influencing every single Coach since possibly BEFORE MAC-T was even a Coach.

    Today as a critical part of the Management group which IS inputting System or Process decisions to the Head Coaches he MUST endorse the System or Process decisions his current group are now feeding Dallas,after all the message has been the same for 4 Coaches right?So the message being sent for at least the last 4 Coaches is the same and Mac-T endorses it and it is being fed to Dallas,well dont we all want to know if this same influence was here longer than 4 Coaches now huh?We are really hunting an influence which goes back further than 4 Coaches.This “message” is the System.

    – Any discussions of the System…none.

    -The Players,he pointed out how many Players he had moved but then stated that the problems continued and still do,this defines a specific number of players as being potential causes of the disconnect,all CORE Players and drafted on board ,it clearly absolves anyone he brought in outside the Draft as being the potential cause of these problems or disconnects.It also absolves the overriding Management Process influences.What if the Problem isnt the Players but is the message and all those Player moves were regressive and not needed?What if no matter who you surrounded the Core with Failure would follow because the overriding message or process or System being dictated by Management is inferior or outdated ?

    – Mac-T avoided all discussions of the System or Process which Management has been admittedly telegraphing directly to the Coaches,he has absolved Dallas and at least the last 4 Coaches by claiming they had no inputs in System choice or directions,and left the door open for this dynamic to be even further reaching historiclly.

    Mac-T said a LOT today,if you un-spin-doctor his answers and statements you are left with some very interesting revelations.

    What everyone here needs to pay attention to is that Mac-T clearly showed us he is only accepting accountability in the Process or Systems directions the Head Coach gets from Management over the last 18-20 months,not what went on when he was Coaching here.He is putting on his Black Hat now.Mac-T will be getting “down to the bottom of it” and when he gets there he will be dealing with something he clearly knows is tangible and existed prior to 18-20 months and it existed within Management and the Message or Process or System it was giving to the Head Coaches.We need to know if that message has been changed this year because according to Mac-T it has been the same for 4 Coaches and doesnt work.

    Mac-T has boiled the causality down to the Core drafted Players-or the Support Players vs the “Mesasge”which has been consistantly given over a minimum of FOUR Coaches,admittedly.

    This is now down to Players or Process.Someone will have to be accountable and soon.

    This dynamic will break wide open when either the Players are moved or the “Message” is changed.

    The Core or Players vs Management or “Message”

    The Head Coach is teflon because he doesnt choose the Process or System or “Message”,right?

    Who-Dunnit??

    This is better than last year,now we have narrowed a long term problem down to the few players who survived the purge or the message being given to them.

    Its offense vs defense all over again,ha ha ha,and defense has never won anything.

    We know the Players ,now maybe Mac-T will be so kind as to tell us all exactly what this “message” or process or syatem they are mainlining to Dallas happens to be,huh?

    Looks like we are right back to the “message” or “Process” or “System” ,huh?And it comes from Management,right?Same one for sure over at least 4 Coaches tenures right?Maybe even longer,right?

    Keep going Mac-T you showed us the blueprint for disclosure and built a door,now keep pushing it open.

    • NewAgeSys,
      Although you probably could have condensed your comment by 90% this is the first time I actually agree with a point you’ve made. Namely, MacT has clearly identified one of the key problems is the Core, namely the high draft picks. The combination of “4 coaches, same message… Still not getting it… I’ve replaced 14 players in the last 18 months…” makes it obvious it’s pretty much the Hall, RNH, Eberle, Schultz and Yak group (or major parts thereof) that are either unable or unwilling to get it. The failures in execution aren’t limited to them but they remain the crux of the problem.

      Hopefully for the Oilers they will come around, but more likely some will have to be moved out. The sooner the better.

      • BubbaZanetti

        I think the condensation issue is one slowing the Oilers down right now,they are not fully completing any processes they engage into,they are trying to take shortcuts to condense things.

        You cant condense the Mona Lisa,you cant condense a Big Mac you cant condense a 60 minute hockey game and you shouldnt strive to condense your creative communiction,this is what causes problems,sooner or later you must five all of the facts and their peripheral impacts.

        This is another point Mac-t clouded up,when he said he had to treat every man differently and used Ales as an example he showed precisely where he is screwing the pooch.He was referring to in-gme hndeling of individuls,now he has to EXTEND that concept to include EVERY LST DETAIL of communication between Coaches and plyers off the ice as well,this means he must be prepared and able to communicate his system data in as many different formats as he uses to handle men on the ice.

        Mc-Ts men SHOULD be talking like I post,simply because it covers more potential perspectives when you use multi-faceted context and content.You get through to more people.

        When you condense you lose content and content is equal to contact when you are trying to communicate to a large group like Coaches do,I have coached amature sports and know this so an NHL coach MUST know this.

        The “failures in execution” is the phrase Mac-T is using to artificially line up the players in positions of blame,Mac-T is trying to say the players have gotten the same message for 4 Coaches and he thinks they are completing the processes but are not executing the finishes,what he fails to do is open an option for this to be the fault of the System or process or message Management is sending to Dallas who is sending it to the players.The lack of execution is most likely connected to System or message FLAWS,ones which have been impacting the team for an undetermined amount of time.

        Mac-T has clearly identified TWO possible causes the Core or Players…..or….the message or System or process Management has been sending the Coaches and Players.Mac-T has opened the door to the Core taking accountability for recent issues and Management taking accountability for historical and chronic issues,now he just needs help to keep pushing that door open.

        I dont think the cause of the disconnects is the Core I think it is an inferior System or message from Management based on statistical defensive minded perspectives which has been evolving and growing in an uncontrolled manner for several decades slowly bringing us to this breaking point or correction point.

        As Mac-T stated his intentions are to get to the bottom of it,whatever “it” is.

  • Zarny

    @Cccsberg

    “I certainly don’t know the Blawkhawks or LAK history well enough to say for sure, but I believe the major turn-around happened NOT when the kids got older, but when Management got serious and brought in coaches that demanded, and eventually got, accountability (Quenneville, Sutter).”

    You should spend some time checking out the last 4 years of the Oilers,Kings,and Hawks there is an abundance of incredible similaritys in their evolutions at specific points.At one point in time the Oilers were the cutting edge leaders of this multi-team evolution.

    Those turnarounds are excellent examples of what the Oilers need to be doing right now.

    There is an excellent article written by an LA writer outlining what he thinks turned the Kings around 4 years ago,he is a stats nut and has really pinpointed some steep anaomolys in the kings results which began with specific players at a specific time and carried the team forward.I will look for it and post it for you,it show that the Kings discovered something which drasticlly changed a lot of traditional system and process things they were doing and these changes brought immediate sucess and produced non-traditional statistical patterns .Ones then replicated by the Hawks.

    You could also wait for Mac-T to finish getting to the bottom of things and let his minions explain it all.Suffice to say the Kings learned from the Oilers players,the Hawks learned from the Oilers players,the Oilers Coaches refused to learn from the Oilers Players until Ralph tuned in to them and then a new process was implemented and incredible statistical anomolys began to be produced.How else does a bottom feeder produce Dynasty tieing and breaking records like Gagner and Hall have done?The door to great things is opened by the Process,message,System,call it what you want.

    To quote the late Great Pat Quinn in referencing how to understand and how to execute the winning process…..”think of it like a Symphony Orchestra….where everyone is playing a different instrument but everybody is contributing and committing to playing the same tune and following the same music sheet or song.”