As I’m sure you’ve all seen, the Oilers made some changes in the coaching department today and Peter Chiarelli offered up some insight in regards to the changes over on the official website. Let’s take a look.
After last season went sideways, it seemed inevitable that the Oilers were going to make some kind of changes in terms of coaching or management personnel, and today we got a first look at what’s to come. Jay Woodcroft was officially moved to the Bakersfield Condors as their new head coach, Jim Johnson was let go but will continue to look like he’s angrily waiting for a cab, and Ian Herbers ended up back at the U of A, leaving three empty spaces on McLellan’s coaching staff.
When asked about the moves, Chiarelli started off with some skiing analogies (not really):
“I wanted to give Todd a fresh base.”
Bigger the base the better the shred, I get it. But seriously, though. What’s up with these moves? Give us a scoop.
“You can look at a lot of the areas where we struggled this past year: You could say player personnel, you could say special teams or a number of different things but I think when you get a fresh perspective, it gives Todd a fresh perspective and it gives the players a fresh perspective.”
Alright, let’s break this down step-by-step because there’s a lot to get to in this sentence.
Firstly, what the hell is Pete talking about? This was the most Trump-like, choppy, dodge-duck-dip-duck-dodge sentence that I’ve read in a while and I say that as someone that recognizes how mediocre I am at communicating with people. Now that that’s out of the way… Yes, Pete, I do blame player personnel and overall roster construction for a big chunk of what’s going on here but that’s on you, pal. Boom! Roasted. Second, that’s a lot of perspective in one sentence. PERSPECTIVE!
“At the end of the day, that was really the objective: To give him a new base. That’s what we’re setting out to do.”
I need someone in the comments section to explain to me this “new base” idea that he’s running with here. This is the second time he’s said it and I’m still not sure what he’s getting at. Is he talking about the new ideas that will come with three new people? If so, I can dig that. Is he talking about a new support system? Is he talking about learning new ways of doing things? Is he talking about having other people around to play good cop bad cop with?
“He sees trends and knows how to connect with the players. I’ve seen Todd do it in a number of different forms and a number of different years.”
I’m not going to say I disagree with this because I’m obviously not in the dressing room, but I have heard from a couple of sources that Todd wasn’t exactly an easy guy to play for this year. I was told that he was especially hard on some of the guys at times when he should have had a softer touch and that it made the vibe in the room a little bit sour. I’m not saying that being a hardass is the wrong approach, but sometimes these millennials need a participation ribbon if you know what I mean.
“I believe he has the energy, enthusiasm and the tactical mind to address it. I feel very strongly in him.”
I hope so, Pete. We can’t have another season like the last one because both my sanity and your employment depend on it.
As you’d expect, Chiarelli said a bunch of words without really saying too much but that’s kinda his thing, isn’t it? When I saw the article come up, I was hoping that Chiarelli was going to give us a little bit of insight into why the assistant coaches were let go and not the head coach himself. To me, it seems strange to get rid of 75% of the coaching staff but to leave the man in charge in place. Just me? I don’t know. Personally, I wouldn’t have been surprised if we had seen everyone from GM to coaching staff get cleared out after this disaster went down and it’s a struggle to make sense of it all. I guess it just reminds me of a dealership that fires their salespeople for not moving units even though there were no cars on the lot. Am I wrong? I’m definitely open to being wrong. Then again, maybe I’m just confused about everything that happens with this team I love. What do you guys think?