There are lots of things I’d like to see happen, but they seldom do because the world doesn’t work exactly the way I think it should. They are sort of “if-I-was-king-of-the-world” moments. Maybe you have them too from time to time. Sort of a dare to dream bit. Wishful thinking. Some are goofy. Some are more serious.
Just once, I’d like to see a cashier in the 15-item limit express line at the supermarket dress-down the self-absorbed oaf who thinks the rules don’t apply to him. You know, the shoulder-shrugging buffoon who thinks it’s OK to try to shove 33 items through while everybody waits. “Sorry, sir . . .” before they are sent to the next till (the one with 11 people in line).
I’d like politicians to shut up about how inept or crooked, or both, their opponents are and sell me on what they can do for me if I cast my vote for them. I want able-bodied folks – maybe the same guy from the express line – who park in stalls designated for the handicapped to have their cars not only ticketed, but towed and impounded every damn time when they don’t display a placard, even if they’re only going to be there “a few seconds.”
And when Bob Nicholson begins interviewing candidates in the running to become the next GM of the Edmonton Oilers, I want Connor McDavid in the room – not only to provide feedback based on what he sees and hears, but to give the thumbs-up or thumbs-down to each and every hopeful. After that, I want McDavid to take the best three candidates, interview them on his own and then decide who gets the job. Sure.
DARE TO DREAM
That’s not going to happen, but I think it should after watching the Oilers get eliminated from playoff contention for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons and listening to an obviously frustrated McDavid after a 3-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights Monday. It’s the third time in his four seasons with the Oilers McDavid has been on the outside looking in at the post-season, and he’s obviously not impressed. Nor should he be. The entire post-game interview is here.
The snippet that stuck out for me was this: “We don’t even have a GM, so I don’t think we’re in any position to comment on next season. We have a lot of crap to figure out. I hope we can put the right man in the spot and we can put together a good team.” Of course, McDavid’s remarks will prompt those so inclined to grace us yet again with their lame takes that it’s only a matter of time until he asks for his ticket out of Edmonton – and why that’s a good thing. His comments took me elsewhere, to the GM search.
When GM candidates spell out their vision for this franchise and how they intend to clean up the mess left by Peter Chiarelli — a task that has to include revamping hockey ops from top to bottom, notably the pro scouting staff — do you trust Nicholson, who hired Chiarelli in the first place with zero due diligence, to make the call on the new boss by himself? You want owner Daryl Katz in his ear offering his ideas?
If you don’t want Nicholson deciding who assumes duties from interim-GM Keith Gretzky on his own, who should he be listening to and taking advice from within the organization? Is it Craig MacTavish? Scott Howson? Kevin Lowe? Wayne Gretzky? Is there anybody here right now you trust to provide Nicholson with better advice than McDavid could? If you go all the way with my dare to dream scenario, is there any one of them you trust more to make the final call on who gets the job? I didn’t think so.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Oilers have invested over $100 million in McDavid. For my money, he’s the best player in the game. That aside, he knows the room and the players in it better than anybody else employed here right now – the managers, the coaches, the scouts. Might McDavid have an educated idea about who would best fit this team’s many needs after spending a few hours listening to what the people who want to be the GM have to say? I think so. Could it possibly turn out as badly as what we’ve seen unfold here until now? I think not.
Like seeing the jackass in the express lane get bounced, the reality is wishing it would happen isn’t going to make it happen, even if it should. Too bad.