GDB 60.0: MacTavish on Petry, Klinkhammer and Roy

Craig MacTavish6

As the Oilers prepare to take on the red-hot Minnesota Wild, Craig MacTavish announced the Oilers have re-signed two players — however, neither was Jeff Petry.

Rob Klinkhammer singed a one-year deal worth $725,000, while Ryan Hamilton signed a one-year, two-way deal. Klinkhammer is a solid fourth line winger who is responsible defensively and physical. He’s fit in well with Boyd Gordon and Matt Hendricks and they will be a line next season.

The Klinkhammer signing does illustrate who and what type of player MacTavish values.

MacTavish is a big believer in having a veteran bottom-six forward line that is responsible, physical and reliable. He has that now with the HGK line. Having that type of line is important for a team’s success, but centres and D-men are more important and MacTavish’s recent moves with those positions needs to improve.

Since he was hired in April of 2013, his actions suggest he wasn’t sold on what type of player Jeff Petry could become. He didn’t sign him to a contract extension during the 2013/2014 season, and then last summer only signed him for one year. Now he is 10 days away from having to trade him away for a draft pick, or more likely a young prospect.

MacTavish’s actions and words have shown he was more of a believer in Justin Schultz’s potential than Petry’s. He signed Schultz to a one-year deal worth $600,000 more than Petry’s one-year pact. MacTavish then stated that Schultz has “Norris Trophy potential.”

After signing Petry last summer he said,“It’s a bit of risky deal for us because we’re exposed on the asset,” referring to the situation they are in now. “We very much
view Jeff as a high-end asset for us, but at the same time we have to
see what the level is.”

MacTavish wanted to see what Petry’s level was, but declared Schultz Norris Trophy potential. It was clear he viewed Schultz as having more upside. MacTavish did say he would have liked a longer term deal with Petry, but my source says the money they were offering Petry was not enough to entice him to sign a longer extension.

It is interesting to note that MacTavish wasn’t willing to overpay Petry on future potential, but a year earlier he signed Sam Gagner to a three-year deal worth $4.8 million. He also elected to overpay Nikita Nikitin on a two-year deal instead of over paying Petry, who had been in the organization since 2006.

Petry is not a top-pairing defender, but he is a solid second pairing guy, and MacTavish elected to overpaying Nikitin on a short-term deal instead of overpay Petry. That decision does not look good right now.

It will set the organization back, because now they will go into the summer hoping to land a D-man who can play top-four minutes, and if they do they likely will have to pay him similar money than it would have cost to sign Petry last summer.

Every fan, media person, player, coach and manager will have bias in how they evaluate players. We will differ on many players, but when a GM acts on his thoughts, and it is the wrong decision, it can negatively impact an organization.

MacTavish had a similar feeling with Devan Dubnyk after the 2013 season. Dubnyk had finished the year with a .920 sv%, and while he had allowed a few weak goals at key times in the season, he had been fairly consistent. MacTavish wasn’t sold, however, and his quote, “If you have to ask the question, then you know the answer,” when responding to whether or not Dubnyk was a bonafide #1 goalie.

That quote rattled Dubnyk. He admitted on my show after he was traded to Nashville that he felt the organization didn’t believe in him. He also admitted he needed to play better. Dubnyk started the 2013/2014 very poorly. He didn’t have any confidence and it showed in his play. He finished the year in the AHL.

Now, six months later, he is leading the Wild on a run for the playoffs. He is 11-2-1with a stellar .936sv% and a 1.73 GAA. It will be difficult to maintain that high of sv%, but it is clear that Dubnyk can be a consistent .915-.920sv% goalie.

In Edmonton, he had a .916 in 2011, .914 in 2012, .920 in 2013 and .894 in 2014. He wasn’t very good last year, but this year he was .916 in Arizona and now .936 with Minnesota. It would seem that last season was the outlier, because in his other four seasons he has been .914 or better.

Keep in mind he had those sv% numbers on a 30th, 29th and 24th place team in Edmonton. The Oilers are 29th this season and Scrivens and Fasth have an .896 and .888sv% respectively. MacTavish wasn’t sold on Dubnyk, which is okay, but when the players you bring in are worse, then the decision looks even worse.

MOVING FORWARD…

Today, MacTavish spoke to the media. You can watch the scrum here. Some highlights of the scrum.

  • “We really challenged Jeff on a one-year contract and he’s clearly met that challenge. His game is at a level it hasn’t been at before. As for a contract, I’ve had many conversations over the last four weeks and they’ve all been constructive, but I’m going to leave it at that.”

    He admitted the team wanted to see more, and Petry showed them, but the risk is that Petry wants to test UFA and I’m sure he feels a bit slighted that he had to prove things before getting big money before others have.

  • He said he doesn’t plan on trading Derek Roy and hopes to re-sign him. He said a contract extension, if it happens, will occur at the end of the year. We have to hope that he learned that starting the season with only two experienced NHL centres is a recipe for losing.
  • “There’s every expectation on my part we’ll have 80 per cent of the players back,” he said in regards to his team for next season. Most would believe he will try to upgrade his goaltending and this blueline, but he will have to improve his top-six forwards. He needs some skilled size in that group.

LINEUP…

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Anton Lander is on the IR with a shoulder injury, and it sounded like he won’t be back right away. The Oilers still don’t have much centre depth, so Benoit Pouliot will play centre on the 3rd line.

Petry won’t play tonight and Keith Aulie draws back in. The Oilers did recall Jordan Oesterle from OKC and he might play tomorrow vs. Anaheim.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Gone Puck Wild

For the Oilers, there honestly hasn’t been a real bright spot this season. Edmonton ranks among the bottom five teams in the league in goals per game, goals against, penalty kill and powerplay. Their 17-32-10 record may be second worst in the league, but it’s also good for second best in the “McEichel” draft standings.

There are plenty of rumors surrounding Edmonton as the trade deadline approaches. Defenseman Jeff Petry (injured Wednesday), Jordan Eberle, and former #1 overall pick Nail Yakupov have all had their names mentioned as we approach March 2nd. At this point, it seems like no one is untouchable for the Oilers.

TONIGHT….

KlondikeColonelKlink

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Wild are rolling. Dubnyk is 4-0 vs. the Oilers this year, three with Arizona and one with Minnesota, and he improves to 5-0 tonight with a 3-1 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Ryan Suter plays 29 minutes. The guy is a freak. He has played over 30 minutes 16 times this season.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: In his 600th NHL game, Kyle Brodziak scores his 97th NHL goal and adds an assist. The former 7th round draft pick and had a very solid career, and his two-point game will be his 5th of the season. He has six games with one point.

  • bradleypi

    CRAIG’S ON IT!

    About a month ago MacTavish told Stauffer that he was going to add “one to three” players for next year. Today he said he is going to change 20% of the roster. The Oilers started this season with 25 players on the roster (including IR), so that means 5 new players next year.

    So MacTavish’s plan is to add one, or two, or three, or five players for next year. Or maybe more. Or maybe fewer. HEY, I FEEL MUCH BETTER ABOUT THE OILERS CHANCES NEXT YEAR!

  • bradleypi

    MacT has made some mistakes, but the Petry situation isn’t one of them. Petry was at best an average defender for the last 3-4 years – signing him to big money/long-term last year would of been a disaster no matter how much Petry improved.

    His only other option was a 1 year deal because Petry wanted either long-term or UFA. So he gives him his 1 year hoping Petry can improve his play and thus his value.

    Now MacT has a valuable asset that he can try to sign, or if Petry wants to become UFA then he’ll bring us something half decent in a trade.

    And good for Dubnyk, but I’ll withhold judgement until he plays more than a few good weeks of hockey. The guy was brutal last year and completely folded under the pressure.

  • 916oiler

    Tonight’s Drinking Game:

    1 Drink – Beer Or Mixed Drink:

    -Beginning/end of a period
    -Go to/return from commercial break
    -Any faceoff
    -Any mention of McEichel
    -Any mention of Sean Burke
    -Any mention of a Petry trade
    -Any terrible Principe pun (they all qualify, be prepared)

    2 Drinks:

    -Oiler penalty
    -Wild breakaway
    -Anyone hits the post
    -Oiler defensive breakdown
    -Oiler falls down for no reason
    -Referee falls down for any reason
    -Referee makes a terrible call (either team)

    Finish Current Drink:

    -Wild score
    -Spectacular save by Dubs
    -Penalty shot by either team (regulation only)

    1 Shot (Or Shotgun A Beer):

    -Wild score in first/last 2 minutes of any period
    -Every period Dubs blanks us
    -Oilers own goal
    -Start of overtime

    2 Shots:

    -Ex-Oiler scores
    -Wild score shorthanded goal
    -Oilers pull off miracle (win)

    Chug The Bottle (Beer Bong All Remaining Beers):

    -Dubs scores a goal
    -You enjoy Justin Bieber ‘music’
    -You go by “Wanye” on the internet

    • bradleypi

      Because you see a lot of gms come out and admit their mistakes? When does this happen? Examples please… And wasn’t firing Eakins somewhat admitting a mistake? Why does oilersnation feel they are entitled to apologies from the Oilers on a daily basis. Unbelievable.

  • Thumby

    MacTavish has been brutal. One of my favourite players, but poor as a GM thus far.

    …In much more important sports news: Mayweather has finally signed to fight Pacquiao.

  • bradleypi

    Wow.. why all the hate for Mact on this site? It’s absolutely sickening to me. Guy played here, won Stanley cups… then coached an Oilers team to a miracle run to the SCF and would of won the cup if not for roli getting hurt. Now he’s he’s here trying to clean up the mess that tambellini left him and everybody’s hating on him for not turning a last place team into a playoff team in basically 1 year. He’s only had two drafts to start to put his stamp on the team and I think he’s done pretty well in those 2 drafts.

    Fickle oilersnation just constantly needs to run someone down. It’s getting old and I can’t wait till this team turns the corner and everyone starts saying how much they knew Mact would do a good job. Just like 75% of oilersnation is no saying that they knew dubnyk was a good goalie when 95% of this site was calling for his head last year. Classic oilersnation.

    • YFC Prez

      Mactavish had a heck of a career as a player and was a very capable coach. Durung the miracle run Mactavish was by far the better coach in the Detroit series and a big reason for the team going all the way to the finals.

      His role as a GM doesn’t compare though. He hasn’t made very many good moves. Love the player like the coach , but not at all keen on the GM

      Same goes for Lowe. His reign has been the worst in modern day professional sports. But he was one of my favs when he played. The oilers would be lucky to have a d man like him.

      • bradleypi

        So we just focus on the bad all the time around here? Him signing pouliot who was a 3/4 line winger to a big contract looked iffy. Now pouliot looks like he could be a decent 2nd liner. Or no? Which in turn transitioned into him being able to trade an underperforming perron for a valuable 1st rounder and klinkhammer who has solidified the 3rd line for next year. Trading Arco for Roy was pretty good in my eyes. And I’m more than happy with his 2 drafts so far. Added the center and dman that could be franchise players in the future and drafted some size and skill in later rounds. Or am I wrong? Let the guy build a team. It’s very rare that a gm turns a last place team into a contender in 2 years. A goalie is going to be very hard to find. Patience….

        • YFC Prez

          Forget the damn goalie. Look at how good Dubnyk looks away from the oil. Get some D. The oilers haven’t had a top pairing D man since Whitney lost his feet. But also, very hard to find.

          Just watch the oilers put their hopes on Nurse.

          Also asking a oiler fan at this point after nine years to be patient….. Not a chance.

    • 916oiler

      MACTAVISH: A LEGEND IN HIS OWN MIND!

      Why all the hate for MacTavish? Let me see if I can explain one aspect of it.

      In his presser today, MacTavish AGAIN minimized the contribution of Todd Nelson to the recent turnaround of the Oilers. He implied that the REAL reason for the Oilers improved play was MacTavish’s own brilliant GM moves, adding Roy, Klinkhammer, and Matt Fraser.

      Of course admitting that Eakins absolutely regressed the team would also involve admitting that MacTavish himself flushed 1.5 years of the rebuild down the toilet with that foolish hire.

      Also, how do you think Nelson feels when he hears MacTavish talking like that? He probably feels a bit like Devan Dubnyk felt at the beginning of last season.

      So, we don’t “hate” MacTavish. We dislike him, because he is incompetent, and conceited. He has to go.

      • YFC Prez

        I agree Mactavish gave away a goaltender who was a top ten for basically nothing and replaced him with two goalie prospects.

        This decision is about to magnify now that Dubnyk is on a team that plays the right way. After the playoffs are done I believe more people will now how good Dubnyk actually is!

        • Serious Gord

          There was a story on one of the radio shows about how in PHx he went to a clinic that changed how he played – said it was the most significant development in goaltending since the butterfly. He said it made him a far better goalie.

          So mact didn’t trade a good goalie – he traded a failing one. And I and others correctly opposed making him the starter.

          • Bonvie

            Ha nice try…look at his stats save percentage during his Oiler career they always showed him as a good starter. Especially if you know enough about the Oilers to know they have never done a good job to keep shots outside the house and give up too many grade A chances.

            Just because you and your forum buddies didn’t know Dubnyk wasn’t the problem, doesn’t mean that all of us guys that believed Dubnyk was a starter were not right.

            Time will tell us, now that the man plays for a nice hockey team that plays the game the right way.

          • Serious Gord

            Dubnyk himself said that he was failing as a goalie when he was here in EDM. And that he has gotten far better just since this summer and that clinic went to.

          • Bonvie

            That’s laughable to me that you believe that some off season training completed by Dubnyk one off season is responsible for all of his success it may have given him an edge the way Wayne Gretzky getting his skates rockered helped his game, however it’s just a small factor the goaltender was always there.

            Dubnyk is honourable for taking his share of responsibility for the Oilers many years of failure during his time here, but truth is during most of the losing goaltending was not the reason.

      • bradleypi

        So you want apologies also? Well I’m sorry you feel so entitled that you need the gm of your hockey team to say what you need to hear. You don’t think Nellie and Mact talk every day? I’m sure Nellie knows he’s doing a good job and doesn’t need his tires pumped every day like oilersnation feels ghe need for. He’s classy like that. And in case you don’t know, the players are the ones playing the game. Since Roy has come in the second line is scoring more and since klinkhammer came in, the 3rd line is harder to play against… he was only speaking the truth

        • YFC Prez

          Im curious why he dodnt recognize the need for these players in the summer? Or last year? And why did he fire a coach that he believed in before making the personnel changes?

          • bradleypi

            Lol for the 5th time tonight….. I’m sure he tried to get players! It’s not nhl15 where you just push x and the deal is done…. and I really don’t understand your last statement… if you have to ask why he fired Eakins then perhaps you should start watching games a little more

          • bradleypi

            You’re very patronizing, and it’s obvious my point flew over your head… Not a big deal, we see the game differently.

            It doesn’t matter if be tried. His team is worst than it was 2 years ago when he took over.

      • bradleypi

        Did geno just say that Mact talked about Nelson in hid presser this morning????? I didn’t watch but since you did, could you possibly repeat for me what he said about Nellie? I’m quite intrigued.

        It’s not possible that you were over reacting and spinning things in classic oilersnation fashion to rant about your hate for Mact and get a bunch of cheers???? Hmmmmmmm….

        • Bonvie

          JUDGE FOR YOURSELF

          Bradley, the link to the press conference is in the article above. Listen to it yourself. Everyone who actually took the time to do so seems to agree with me.

          In any event Mr. Pi, I am convinced that you are not a real person. I am convinced that someone at ON decided that the GDB was getting boring, and they should “spice it up” by posting a bunch of manifestly stupid comments to “get a rise” out of other posters.

          Congratulations! You really had me going there!

          • bradleypi

            Well of course everyone agrees with you. It’s oilersnation after all and everyone but me hates Mact on here. I don’t have to listen to it to know you are exaggerating things just to get cheers. This isn’t my 1st rodeo on this sight. This is a daily occurrence around here. Lol and as for me working for oilersnation…. that’s rich lol. I couldn’t disagree more with pretty much everything that has been blogged on here in the last month. I’m pretty much anti-oilersnation.

          • YFC Prez

            You’re anti-oilersnation. Well that’s nice. I’m anti-Brussel sprouts. You know how I deal with this ? I DONT EAT BRUSSEL SPROUTS.

            If you’re so anti- oilersnation why spend so much time here? Doesn’t make much sense to me.

          • bradleypi

            Because I want to be here when the Oilers are fine without petry so I can say I told you so.

            I want to be here when hall turns into an elite winger and captain so I can say I told you so.

            I want to be here when Mact turns this thing around so I can say I told you so.

            That’s why. There’s more reasons but it’s late. I’ll be back tomorrow to refute all the nonsense about how the Oilers are doomed without petry and how Mact is the nhls worst gm.

          • bradleypi

            Lol.. just watched it right up until Mact said, and I quote. ” Todd deserves a lions share of the credit.” ………..

            What more exactly do you want him to say??? I knew you guys were putting the old oilersnation spin on it. Well played for those cheers!!!

    • CMG30

      It has nothing to do with his time here as a player or coach. I actually think that he was a very good coach. I was even on board with him as a GM for the first year or so as I thought he made a reasonable amount of good moves to bad.

      However, since the summer it’s become increasingly clear that he’s making decisions for reasons other than icing the best team possible (LD in 2C). He’s taking bad advice (Nitkitin), he’s stubborn on failing players (Schultz) and he’s continuing the Oilers tradition of rushing players into the NHL before they’re ready.

      The proof is in the pudding. It’s generally accepted that a GM has 3 years to implement his vision. We’re now 2 years in and this team has moved backwards each year. The cherry on top is that the GM has put himself in the situation where he stands to lose his current top defenseman for peanuts AT BEST. Oh and we’re a 29th place team pushing the salary cap. So, do you honestly see next year as better?

      This is not what competent management looks like. If it’s fickle to want competent management, then call me fickle.

      • bradleypi

        So you think Schultz is a fail at 23 years old? Lol. That’s your opinion I guess. Or is your love for petry influencing that statement? And do you really honestly think his plan is to not ice the best team possible after the acquisition of Roy? And who else would have played 2c except for Leon? Arco? Lander? There were no other options… do some research. Or at least read the previous comments. You say it takes 3 years for a gm to implement his vision yet here you are complaining after 2 years??? That makes no sense. And in case you haven’t been paying attention, with the signing of klinkhammer today,the nikitin signing, the drafting of nurse, Leon, Yakimov, his vision looks like to me of a big skilled team that is hard to play against. Which also coincides with him letting petry walk. Give him the time YOU said he deserves. Don’t judge his vision because you hate Schultz and nikitin. . That’s bush league

  • YFC Prez

    I like Petry. BUt at 5 mil per on a long term deal. That’s a bad contract. I remember when LT wrote a piece about the possibility of trading for Phaneuf. A lot of commenters went bat crap crazy over the idea of acquiring him and his 7 million dollar cap hit.

    For what Petry brings at 5+ or what Phaneuf would bring at 7. I’d take the leaf without hesitation. At least he’s a proven top pairing D man.

    I would love to see Petry remain an oiler. But at no more than 4.25 a season. Some of the salary targets for Petry lately have been crazy nutso.

  • Deported to Ottawa

    I think what the personnel decisions clearly show is MacT isn’t as good at evaluating talent as he thinks he is.

    Until he improves, and makes better decisions the Oilers have an uphill battle.

  • 916oiler

    Firstly, apologies but I haven’t read everyones comments so if this was beat to death already….my bad.

    However, earlier today, did Mactavish take credit for the improvement under Nelson!?!?!? no love thrown to the coach!?!? No mention of “I made a mistake picking an unproven outsider with no knowledge of our young kids over our AHL coach”…. instead, “personnel changes” have resulted in the improvement!?!? is this idiot serious!? This is the same genius that going into the year said the team had “improved goaltending”, a “future norris defenceman” and also said “we are definitely better, its just a matter of how much better”.

    I am so tired of people in this organization not owning up to things, and taking credit instead of giving credit. What happened to humility!? What happened to “US” over “ME”. It starts with the owner I fear… a man more interested in living out his childhood dream of hanging with the Oilers of the 80s than in operating a successful organization/franchise/team/company.

    We are one of the worst teams in the league and have been for years. Its been an embarrassment of an organization since I can remember (a couple of decent Cujo years and one unbelievable Roloson year being the exception) and the people involved have nothing but excuses when things go bad and yet, the SLIGHTEST improvement is because of them!

    This is so sad. But what is even more sad is the fact that I genuinely WANT to hate this organization because of the people at the helm (I would have sold my shares a LONG time ago if this was a listed corporation) yet… this team is like my heroine… and I’m watching and wishing for the best as we speak…………ARGH!!! ……..i need a drink

  • Jordan88

    Good news…

    If we lose to the wild are one point within Calgary.

    meaning Calgary has 4 teams that are much better competing for that spot. HAHAHHAHAHAHA.
    #AnyonebutCalgary

    • bradleypi

      True but one of them isn’t the Oilers. Must be a pathetic existence when you hold out hope for someone to beat the Flames out. Guess it’s all you can do when your team is eliminated from the playoffs by Christmas every year.

  • Serious Gord

    12 shots edm 45 minutes into the game. Dubnyk isn’t having much of challenge in getting a shut out.

    And the “they’re tired” is no excuse. Minnesota has played as many games this month as the oil have.

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Now I will preface this by saying I have never coached hockey at a professional level, but if I were Nelson, I would tape all the Oilers’ eyes open Clockwork Orange style, and make them watch the Dubnyk worksite safety commercials on loop, for hours on end until they’re broken shells of themselves, if they get shutout.

    It’s important to know how to motivate your players.