Monday Mailbag – August 4th

Mail

Oh hey there, friendly mailbag readers. It’s once again your cue to stop doing anything work related and learn something from your pals at the Nation (most likely me… probably not). I need questions, and those come from you guys, so email me your question to baggedmilk@oilersnation.com and I’ll get it up as soon as I can. 

Sit back. Relax. Enjoy. And for God’s sake learn something.

Hindsight

1) Tito Gonzales asks – With the benefit of hindsight, which Oilers coach would you have preferred to keep, Renney, Kreuger, or Eakins?

Jonathan Willis: 

Renney.

Lowetide: 

Renney. Steve Tambellini pondered all of his decisions, and I’m sure he weighed firing Renney, too. However, it was a good hire and a bad firing.

Jason Strudwick: 

There were holes in the Oilers line during these three coaches time with the club. It is difficult to evaluate their performance.

Robin Brownlee: 

Renney.

Jason Gregor: 

They all have strengths and weaknesses, but the one consistent was they didn’t have enough good players. Coaching carousel hasn’t helped this organization, but until they ice a more competitive team I’m not sure it matters much.

Brian Sutherby: 

I wasn’t paying attention when the other two were coaching so I’m not sure.

baggedmilk:

Renney was, in my opinion, the best coach the Oilers have had since MacT and man did Tambellini screw him over.  Remember when Tambo made him interview for his own job and then gave it to his associate coach instead? Ahhh the Tambellini years – those were an adventure weren’t they?

Improvement
2) Lyle Waldren asks – In the last year or so, which GM has improved his team the most?

Jonathan Willis: 

Lots of people are going to say Jim Nill, and deservedly so – Seguin and Spezza in a span of a year? The other guy who deserves significant mention is probably Steve Yzerman in Tampa Bay.

Lowetide: 

I’ll say Jim Nill in Dallas. Very impressed with him. I’d also throw Steve Yzerman in Tampa Bay and Dean Lombardi of Los Angeles in there. Lombardi is the best GM in the NHL.

Jason Strudwick:

By far Tim Murray in Buffalo. He has done a great job adding picks and prospects that I really like. This team will be a handful in a few seasons

Robin Brownlee: 

I like what Jim Nill is doing in Dallas.

Jason Gregor: 

Jim Nill has done a great job in Dallas. He has added Seguin, Spezza, Horcoff, Nichuskin,Hemsky and others. He basically rebuilt 2/3 of his top six.

Brian Sutherby: 

Obviously Lombardi and his big move at the deadline for Gaborik paid off. Long term with big contracts could be trouble, but I like the cheap signing of Richards in Chicago for this year. A little sleeper team I like, is what Jarmo Kekalainen has done and continues to do in Columbus.

baggedmilk:

I like what Tim Murray has done in Buffalo this offseason… unless of course his plan was to draft McDavid. In which case, he’s done an awful job. 

GirlPower
3) Mustangheart asks – Over the past few years, I have noticed more female trainers on various teams in various sports. How do you feel about female trainers being in the dressing room?

Jonathan Willis: 

Good for them.

Lowetide: 

It’s all good. I don’t think gender should impact the decision, if the person is qualified then it’s all good.

Jason Strudwick: 

I could not care less if a women was in the training room as long as they get the job done. 

Robin Brownlee: 

Female trainers and reporters have been in NHL dressing rooms for years. Don’t feel any different about them being there than I do about their male counterparts.

Jason Gregor: 

Why is this a question in 2014? If they are qualified they should be hired. It doesn’t matter to me if they are male or female.

Brian Sutherby: 

Never had one, but I don’t think it’s a big deal. Fine by me.

baggedmilk:

I’m not even sure I understand the question… Just because it’s a female trainer are they going to lose the plot and start jumping dudes in a temporary dink frenzy? If a lady can do the job, she should have it.  We’re talking about medical professionals here. It’s not like they’re taking a cat lady off the street and throwing her in there to stitch a guy up.

MakeThingsBetter
4) @_WTFubetting asks – With Ramsay as the new defensive and special teams coach, how much do you think he can improve both areas? Does Eakins’ still have the final say in how things are done?

Jonathan Willis: 

Naturally Eakins still has the final say. The important thing here is that Ramsay’s a veteran guy who Eakins can not only lean on but (presumably) also trusts. I don’t like the way Ramsay’s being hyped as a saviour in some corners, but I do think he’ll make a substantial difference.

Lowetide: 

I suspect he’ll improve a lot, including morale. We’ll have to wait and see but this is a major hire in my opinion. As for final say, I won’t pretend to know the inner workings of Edmonton’s coaching staff, but would guess Dallas Eakins makes the final calls.

Jason Strudwick: 

He has a lot of experience with different players over the years. He should be bring new ideas to the special teams. It is still up to the players. There is no question that Eakins will have final say, he is the head coach.

Robin Brownlee: 

We’ll have to wait and see how the specials teams change in terms of systems they employ and who is used. Lots of room for variation in both with a new coach and personnel.

Jason Gregor: 

Head coach always has the final say. Eakins will listen to Ramsay’s advice and give him rope to make decisions, but ultimately the head coach decides on what system or style they will play. Ramsay will help the defence, but he will also have more talented players to work with. The PP for many teams can go up and down from year to year, excluding a few exceptions like San Jose. If Ramsay can get Schultz to shoot the puck more often, and convince the players to battle harder on puck retrievals he will be an excellent addition on the PP.

Brian Sutherby: 

I’m one on here that thinks everyone has been making WAY too big of a deal about assistant coaches. The head coach has final say.

baggedmilk:

That is the million dollar question it seems.  Conspiracy theory? I thought you’d never ask. I think that maybe Ramsay has been hired on in the coaching version of when MacT was hired into his management role. If Dallas Eakins screws things up, the Oilers have already got a plug and go guy to replace him.

HugMoney
5) Ian B asks – In a no limit hold em poker tournament, how should you play small pocket pairs (22-77) in early to middle position, with no action before you and a stack size of 10-15 big blinds?

Jonathan Willis: 

If you’re looking to lose money, asking me for card-playing tips is a great way to go but I recommend using five dollar bills to light your cigar instead; it’s both more fun and less humiliating. With that said, I like waiting for the flop and trying for three of a kind whenever practical, with the caveat that if I don’t hit three of a kind on the flop I’m almost always going to fold. Most of the time, you aren’t going to get the three of a kind you want, but when you do you’re generally going to be able to turn it into a big payoff. With a decent size stack, as you’ve described, that’s how I’m going to play it the majority of the time. 

Lowetide: 

I’d call the waitress over and ask her how much I’d been drinking, and then ask her to direct me to the Captain & Tennille show.  Then I go all in.

Jason Strudwick: 

I wasted my time watching Sharknado this week. Sorry but I blew my limit and can’t answer this waste of time question.

Robin Brownlee: 

No idea.

Jason Gregor: 

How I play them is likely different that most, and often wrong. I’m never that aggressive with small pairs. I’d raise it 1.5x the big blind and see what happens. If I’m playing against Sutherby I’d be much more aggressive. He is “tight like first night” when he plays no limit.

Brian Sutherby: 

Probably limp in or small raise the 2’s hoping no one raises and flop a set. 7’s probably raise substantially more and hope to be heads up with only one other person.

baggedmilk:

I know what all these words mean separately, but together it makes no sense to me. So, I’m thinking the only responsible thing to do is to go all in. If that doesn’t work, flip the table, tell everyone off, and roll out.