Year two of the Craig MacTavish regime went sideways in a hurry and kept on going. Another lost season that looked strangely like the last one resulted in a fired coach, several defensive media avails and a (mostly) universal case of lost faith in the team leadership. The list of questionable moves? It’s a long one.
NOT ADDRESSING CENTER
During the summer, there were many rumors about adding a veteran center but none arrived in time for training camp. “Two centers and mud” described the situation perfectly and the GM waited until the absolute end of the 2014 calendar before acquiring veteran Derek Roy. In sports, inertia is death and in this case a major contributor to another lost season. Leon Draisaitl’s NHL debut for almost any other team in the NHL would have taken place one year (or more) after Edmonton set him loose. Incredible, incredible lack of roster awareness. The mind boggles.
ACQUIRED AND SIGNED NIKITA NIKITIN
Buffalo won last night and Nikitin comes back into the lineup tonight. The tank is on! -bm #TankItLikeItsHawt
— OilersNation (@OilersNation) March 18, 2015
It’s like a punch line for one of those “let me get this straight” moments. You mean the Oilers gave up a draft pick AND signed him to a 2-year, $9 million deal AND are still convinced of him? Look, the Oilers were not going to be a playoff team WITH an effective top four defender but adding Nikitin instead of one was a major contributor to this lost (again) season. And he’s coming back for next season!
FAILED TO ADDRESS G WHEN IT WAS STRUGGLING
MacT made his own bed hard with the decisions on Leon and Ference and Nikitin but Ben Scrivens is 1980s Back-Up bad.
— DaveSilvestri (@DKingBH) December 19, 2014
There was a time during the early part of the season when Craig MacTavish could have saved his coach by acquiring a veteran C and shoring up the goalie position. He’d done exactly that in 2013-14, bringing in (first) Ilya Bryzgalov and then Ben Scrivens to help the team. This season? No sir. It’s an issue that has effectively ruined another Edmonton winter and placed the team in the McEichel sweepstakes.
A cynic would suggest that might have been the plan.
IT’S NOT GOOD!
I could list five more items and you’re free to choose your own issues. What, in your opinion, was the worst move in year two of the MacTavish regime?