STU MACGREGOR FIRED

The final final lists are no doubt complete and with that changes for next season can begin. New GM Peter Chiarelli was expected to make changes to the scouting department and that began today.

MacGregor was named head scout in 2007 and was in place in time for the selection of Jordan Eberle in 2008. His first round picks included Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl, but the reason for his release had more to do with what happened outside the first round.

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Edmonton`s second-round selections during MacGregor`s term—Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick, Martin Marincin, Curtis Hamilton, David Musil, Mitch Moroz, others—didn`t have much impact at the NHL level.

Bob Green is the de facto head scout and it`s possible MacGregor will not be replaced. The identity of the amateur scouts is not known at this time. More to come.

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  • I’m happy that Stu has been relieved, as I think the Oilers have been awful at drafting outside of the easy picks (the high first round). That said, the real big news of the day is Morey Gare’s firing. I’m not sure how the head of the league’s worst professional scouting could linger around this long (well……..). Long overdue. The Summer of Chia has been amazing.

  • RCN

    No concern whatsoever in the timing of these firings. Draft lists were already in. This allows the fired scouts to attend the draft as free agents in hopes of finding work elsewhere for the upcoming season. Chances are, the Oilers end up hiring a few new faces next weekend too.

  • Anton CP

    Finally, Morey Gare is gone. I was never sure if he was doing any scouting at all consider the poor FA signings and horrible Oilers match up on daily bases.

  • HockeyYoda

    Somebody had to be accountable for the pathetic drafting the past number of years. In fact, it’s been so bad that a person would almost have to be trying to miss to do worse. Of all the inaction and bad moves McT made – his refusal to fix the scouting may have caused the most long term damage.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    Amateur Scouting has been brutal over the years.

    Pro Scouting has been even worse.

    Barker, Khabibulan, O’Sullivan, Sutton, Whitney, Grebeshkov, Fasth, Nikitin, etc…

    This was a must needed change, these “scouts” were horrible at judging talent.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Ziggy seems to forget Hall is one season removed from going 27g-53a-80p over 75 games. As a 22 year old. Now imagine what he can do playing on McDavid’s wing, and try not to pee a bit.

  • D'oh-ilers

    I’m a little surprised at the timing, but it was going to happen at some point this summer anyway. The pro scouting has been abysmal throughout the rebuild, and amateur scouting hasn’t been much better.

  • Teeeb

    My biggest WTF moment with Oilers scouting staff came at the 2013 draft. All in all a decent draft for the oil but with no decent goalies in the pipeline and the reigning CHL goalie of the year sitting there in round 5 the Oilers stepped up and drafted a 20 yr old WINGER playing BCJHL… When was the last time a 20 yr old playing BCJHL ever panned out??? To make things better the following season the Oil say “hmm, it appears we have no goalies” so they draft meh Naglevoort and Brutals Bouchard and his 4.00 GAA… nice work Oilers! Oh and by the way, the CHL goalie of the year was Patrik Bartosak (the guy who just won the Calder Cup). So long Stu…

    • O.C.

      ^
      This is Brilliant. That pretty much is a “wake up slap”, justifying the new regime’s attention to detail.

      If you planned to post, drop the Mic, and walk out, then you accomplished it.

    • Concur

      That’s incredible. Maybe some scouts try to justify their employment by focusing on those complete longshots while ignoring sensible picks that total amateurs could make just by looking at a stats sheet.

  • Teeeb

    AND ANOTHER THING… since 2007 name me ONE player past the first round that’s been anything of substance in the NHL! I’ll give you one. Anton Lander MIGHT just be a solid NHLer that could contribute on any team, maybe, possibly… and even Lander was 40th! Not really a suave depth pick but still, finding an NHL regular in the second round is a good day. In my opinion good scouts are separated from bad ones after the first round. This decision, to me, was a no-brainer and a long time coming!

  • Beaumatters

    I do not pretend to know the scouting staff’s full responsibilities, but I would image the staff, as a whole, would have various levels of input into trades, UFA’s and amateur draft selections. And as we all know, the organization’s track record in these areas has been poor. I am guessing, but the ones let go were probably not willing to change past practices after Chiarelli’s draft direction speech a month ago.

    I agree with all the changes the Oilers have made this summer, as they have, if nothing else, moved this organization out of the pure definition of stupidity.

  • KSC10032

    Lets all remember a very basic fact, before we spiral off into various re-hashings of ongoing themes and narratives that are prevalent on this site.

    Stu MacGregor’s firing is only the first part of the equation. I believe we should all reserve judgement until we know who replaces him, and other departing scouting staff; and/or what structure is put in place with scouting and player acquisition/development.

  • JackB

    YES IT WAS TIME FOR A CHANGE IN THE SCOUTING DEPARTMENT

    Quotes from a March 12/15 Jonathan Willis article (Cult of Hockey)

    “A lack of homegrown talent forces other measures. It’s part of the reason the Oilers have had to resort to taking on castoffs from other teams (Derek Roy, Matt Fraser, Keith Aulie, Ryan Hamilton) or take on depth guys with big-money contracts (Andrew Ference, Boyd Gordon, Matt Hendricks). These things don’t just happen; they’re the result of long-term inadequacy on the amateur procurement side”

    “The 2007-09 Drafts should have been the backbone of the 2011-12 Oklahoma City Barons, but only two players drafted in the top-100 by the Oilers in those three years show up playing 25-plus on this roster. The fault for that lies primarily with the scouting group and management”

    Read article here: http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2015/03/12/theres-a-good-reason-the-edmonton-oilers-dont-have-an-abundance-of-real-nhl-players/

    Note that Willis hasn’t put all the blame on scouting, but has also laid blame at management’s feet.

    “But hanging this solely on the scouts is unfair, too. The heart of the 2008 Draft was ripped out by the Dustin Penner offer sheet; it’s hard to blame a scouting group that collected three guys who would play NHL games outside the top-100. It wasn’t the scouts who put Magnus Paajarvi in the NHL in his first season in North America and had to backtrack on the decision. It wasn’t the scouts who did the exact same thing with Anton Lander a year later. It wasn’t the scouts who sent Riley Nash to Carolina before he’d even played a professional game, getting a draft pick in exchange which reset the clock to zero.”

    (Willis rightly points out the foley of asking too much from rookies, putting them in the NHL too soon and not developing our assets the right way, the “Red Wing” way. AND WHY? because our scouting hasn’t been good enough to supply our pipeline . . . and because of a (possibly) foolish offer sheet on a player with size, fantastic skill, but a little short of the heart, desire, and drive of a Hall or a Lander.)

    Do we really want to “rip the heart out of two draft years” by making an offer sheet to Dougie Hamilton?? Jason Gregor made a vey measured and intelligent argument against doing so, (on this site) arguing that Hamilton IS NOT a seven million dollar player (at least not yet)

    Some things to think about.

    It wasn’t entirely the scouting staff’s fault for our several years of agony. And I look forward to further changes in management.

  • JackB

    Here is some hope:

    Will Yakimov and Slepyshev (3rd round picks in 2013) become solid impact players in the NHL?

    Might Greg Chase prove to be a 7th round steal? (2013 draft as well)

    Will Tyler Vessel be a 2014 6th round steal? (a smaller USHL Junior, likely headed to US College, had pretty good numbers in junior) 33G-38A-71PTS in 49 games played

    TIME WILL TELL . . . and I hope all Oiler’s fans have hope . . . and other changes are coming.

    After all, CONNOR MCDAVID IS COMING !!! (the hockey god’s had it EXACTLY RIGHT! . . . and rewarded us for being faithfully optimistic over this past nine years. Buffalo and Arizona were trying to lose . . . WE WEREN’T)

  • CMG30

    Ah, I see they also fired head pro scout Morey Gare. This I can fully get behind, Oilers identification of pro talent has been WTF for years. It’s like they just open the Toronto Sun and see who the ‘Centers of the Hockey Universe’ are chattering about and then throw whatever assets it takes to acquire that player who, of course, turns out to be a dud.

    Don’t even get me started on the evaluation of their own talent….

  • ubermiguel

    It’s difficult to truly judge MacGregor’s performance because ultimately it’s the GM that makes the pick. The scouts provide the info but really the buck stops with the GM. If your scouting staff sucks and gives you bad advice, then get better staff. If you ignore you scouts and you suck at spotting talent that’s on you (applies to owners too). Either way, the GM is to blame for consistent below average scouting.

  • JackB

    Here’s some other things to consider (just looking at Chicago’s defence)

    Johnny Oduya – CHI got him from WPG in 2011-12 for a 2nd round and a 3rd round pick. (We needed D three years ago – where were our pro scouts?) He was drafted in the 7th round, 221st overall (by WSH) – Now that’s finding quality in the later rounds for you!!

    Michal Rozival (he’s old now, and probably close to retiring) was drafted in 1996 (by PIT)in the 4th round (105th overall) (Again, finding quality players in later rounds)

    DUNCAN KEITH – drafted by CHI in 2002, 2nd round (54th overall) (That’s what Johnathan Willis was referring to when speaking about drafting and developing your own “homegrown” players)

    Maybe our #57 pick this year is also very valuable! Maybe we can get a future Duncan Keith!? (It is a very deep draft, and there are a lot of highly rated defense?)

    YES . . . IT WAS TIME FOR A CHANGE IN OUR SCOUTING DEPARTMENT (a change LONG OVERDUE)

    • pkam

      You have to look at how they did in the earlier rounds before giving them credit for finding quality in the later rounds.

      WSH had 5 picks before drafting Oduya. Only Nathan Paetsch had turned into an NHL player. WSH drafted him in 2nd round but didn’t sign him so he went back to the draft in 2003. The other 4 picks combined less than 10 NHL games. This is pure luck that they get a guy in the 6th picks that year that works out.

      It is similar for the Pits in the 1996 draft, 3 players were drafted before Rozival and they combined less than 50 NHL games.

      I can understand if you missed one or two picks, but all 5 for WSH and 3 for PIT? Why couldn’t they find quality in the earlier rounds?

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    With Nuge, McDavid, and Draisatl, we could be looking at three first line centres in a couple years. If Leon’s great boardplay can be carried over into the NHL, I’d be interested in seeing what a 2nd line of Hall-McDavid-Draisaitl could do. You’ve got McDavid to fleece attackers in the D zone, Hall will do his thing, and Drai can battle it out in the corners. It’s a pretty young line, though. I wouldn’t want to throw them out there without a real first defense pairing to back them up.

  • Zarny

    I’m sure Stu MacGregor did his best but I feel this move was long overdue. The Oilers record since 2008 has been better, but it still hasn’t been good with a few particularly egregious boo boos.

    Mostly though, I don’t think you keep the old boss around when you want to move in a new direction.

  • JackB

    I’ve been audited by Revenue Canada and I can tell you, that seems like NOTHING compared to the forensic audit carried out by Bob Nicholson. That man is an executioner – gotta love him!

    • JackB

      Yes, butt he’s just circling the wagon, hasn’t hit the spot yet, some hard moves still to come let’s hope he’s got the stamina to drive home the final climax to all this foreplay