11
Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – How is Dave Tippett different than Todd McLellan?

What have we here? A brand new mailbag for a brand new week! I hope all of you had an excellent practice retirement and that you came into this Monday refreshed and recharged. With everyone back at work for another week, I wanted to put together something to read and help you kill off a few minutes of company time and ease yourselves into this Monday. As always, I’ve sent your wonderings out to the writers and waited for all of their worldly wisdom to come back to me. I still need questions for next week, so if there is something Oilers related (or not) that you want to ask, feel free to hit me up by email or on Twitter. Enjoy.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

1) Steph asks – I’m curious to know what everyone thought about Dave Tippett’s press conference and whether or not it gave you hope heading into next season?

Jason Gregor:

He said all the right things, which is to be expected. Ultimately it will depend on what the lineup looks like when training camp opens. If he has a few different wingers and RD, then the team will be better. How much will Koskinen improve over the summer is the main focus. If he, and the new backup are better, then Tippett will reap the rewards.

Robin Brownlee:

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

It was as I expected. Tippett tells it straight. He’s honest without being preachy. He makes his expectations clear without being heavy-handed. He is on the same page as Ken Holland, and that’s a big positive.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Just like the Ken Holland presser, the Dave Tippett one was very well done. In each of their introductory press conferences, they said things that the fan base was waiting to hear. Did it give me hope? A little bit. Am I still nervous about next season? Of course. One press conference isn’t going to change that. I liked what Tippett said about analytics and there were some interesting things said about defensemen as well but at the end of the day, I need to see results before I start giving credit.

Chris the former Intern:

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Yeah thought it went well. I’m drinking all the Kool-Aid I can right now so anything him and Holland say I’ll eat right up.

Baggedmilk:

I liked what he was saying and am fully ready to buy in. That said, we’ve been hurt before so I’m approaching the season with cautious optimism. After a lifetime as an Oilers fan, it’s the best I can do right now.

2) Tyler asks – It’s been said that Dave Tippett is an excellent communicator with his players and I wonder if that would suggest that McLellan/Hitchcock/etc were not. Do you think this team needed a softer approach than what McLellan and Hitchcock offered?

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Jason Gregor:

No, it doesn’t mean that. Hitch is more of a hard-ass, no question, but he had a lot of success. But coaching was not the reason Oilers were bad. McLellan was not a task master and was considered a player’s coach as well. Tippett might be more so, but a lack of talent is the main reason this team missed playoffs, again. If Tippett has the exact same roster, then he will be hard pressed to get them in the playoffs.

Robin Brownlee:

I don’t think it suggests any such thing. Hitchcock communicates very well, but he’s such a stickler for detail that he can wear on players, particularly young ones. He can be overly negative when things go badly. McLellan and Tippett are much alike in tone.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I don’t think it was really an issue with McLellan but I am happy that the Oilers brought in a coach who has a history of being a good “players coach.” For me, that’s the sign of a coach who can stay around on a long-term basis. Hitchcock can get a lot out of teams for a short stint, but he isn’t the type of coach who can hang around for four or five years. I think Tippett can be successful as the Oilers for a long period of time and he’s proven that during his lengthy stints in Dallas and Arizona.

Chris the former Intern:

Yeah definitely. We’ve got a team full of millennials and having more of a players coach might be a refreshing change in the dressing room.

Baggedmilk:

I’ve heard that McLellan could be a little bit grumpy with the players if they weren’t able to figure things out as he expected them to, but I’ve also heard that he was a good communicator. At the end of the day, what the hell do I know? Some of Tippett’s former players said nice things about him so I’ll just go ahead and assume that it’s a thing.

3) Chandler asks – In Ken Holland’s interview after the Tippett hire, he mentioned multiple times that he was going to start working the phones to start shaping the team for next season, what are your thoughts on that?

Jason Gregor:

Good. We all know they need changes. I expect we will see a total of 7-8 different players on the roster next year. they need a backup goalie, two different defenders, some forwards and I could see Jones and another young player make the team.

Robin Brownlee:

I’d expect nothing less. I bet he makes at least one trade during draft week. He’s very active communicating with other GM’s at the draft.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Well, I would hope so. It’s the offseason and it’s a very important offseason for the organization. I would really hope that Ken Holland isn’t sitting on his hands and waiting around for a few weeks. Good to see that he’s getting to work.

Chris the former Intern:

What’s not to love about that? Holland started doing work the minute he got hired. The summer’s going to come to an end very quickly so he’s gotta get to work.

Baggedmilk:

If he didn’t start working the phones then I’d be deeply concerned about why the team is paying him $5 million. He needs to put the work in to make sure that they have more than three players that can score.

4) Darren asks – Looking at the roster as it stands today, where do you see the biggest areas of need/concern that Holland will have to address?

Jason Gregor:

Improve puck moving ability among the top-four right defencemen. Until this team can move the puck out quicker ,and up the middle of the ice, they will struggle. Improved puck movement will lead to less time defending which will help cut down goals against.

Robin Brownlee:

I think this has been asked in one form or another and answered multiple times during the last month, no? Scoring depth on the wings. A d-man, preferably a right shot, who can move the puck. Another goaltender.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Finding a handful of good, NHL forwards. They need two top-six wingers and a solid third line centre. They already have six NHL calibre defensemen and while it would be nice to go out and grab a stud, top four, puck moving d-man, I think the bigger need is up front. They need to find a way to score more goals and create lines that don’t get buried at even strength.

Chris the former Intern:

He’s got to free up cap space, add some forward depth, and if he can, add a highly skilled top-six winger to play with Nuge.

Baggedmilk:

The Oilers need forwards that can score. Last year, they got 61% of their goals from four people (McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge, and Chiasson) and that can’t happen again. It’s tough to build a house with three nails and a handful of jellybeans.

5) Tristan asks – I’m taking my son (he’s 7) camping for the first time this weekend and we’re both very excited to have a boys weekend out together. Looking back, what were your favourite summer pastimes with your family? If you have kids now, what do you look forward to doing with them during our brief summer?

Jason Gregor:

My son loves going to the demolition derby. We will go to three or four this summer, and we spend many hours at our family farm, which reminds me of my late father. Growing up on the farm, we didn’t go camping very often. Most of my best memories were just working and playing with my family at the farm, and I like introducing my son to the same things.

Robin Brownlee:

Now, as when I was growing up, road trips. Enjoy getting out on the road and seeing what’s out there. Driving the Pacific Coast Highway to California, that sort of thing. Spending time in the Okanagan. In and around town, hitting every classic car event we can.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Since I was about 15, my father and I have made it a habit to get out to the mountains for a quick golf trip every summer. Nothing better than fresh mountain air, a round of golf, no distractions, and quality time with the old man.

Chris the former Intern:

Camping has to be the highlight with my family. It’s continued to be a staple of my summers and I definitely want to continue the tradition.

Baggedmilk:

I used to go camping with my dad ALL the time and I loved it. We went fishing, tubing, hiking, and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Even now, in my 30s, I still love camping with my old man so I hope you and your son had an excellent weekend together.



      • Kneedroptalbot

        I have no concerns about the defence or the goaltending, both are improved over the beginning of last season.
        The BIGGEST Problem with the Oilers, they lost 90% of the races to the puck along the boards and on dump ins.
        Aside from 3-4 forwards they had difficulty taking a pass out of their own zone.
        They need way more Speed and Skill from their forwards. (at least 5 new above average new forwards).

  • madjam

    Finding ways to consistently win should be biggest concern . Moving the puck can be more successful if team passing skills pick up . Right now they are subpar in passing . More dedication to defending individual and team settings , and backing your own team members in scrums settings . More ad libbing around goal crease area and tipping drills for many .

  • OilTastic

    Dave isn’t any different from Todd….or any of the other coaches we’ve had recently….unless Holland can get this team more talent, Dave will have as much problem winning as Todd did !!

  • ed from edmonton

    1/2. I don’t get very excited about coaches as most pro coaches pretty much see the same things and do the same things. Maybe once in a while a coach either can get a bit more out of a specific player or a player and coach can’t stand each other. So what I am saying is whether Tippet, Hitch, Tod Mac, is not the critical question, IT”S THE PLAYERS.

    3. What Holland needs to Do? It’s a dauting task.

    1. Somehow fix the goaltending fiasco. How KH can do this is I have no idea, but without a starting goaltender no team can succeed. A short while ago Friedman was on Stuaffer’s show and Stauffer was trying to say the Oil PK will improve next year because Tippet is such a good coach. Freidman made the excellent point that the goaltender is your most important penalty killer and without that no PK will succeed.
    1A.Try to sign Vhalrlamov. Other than Bobrowsky (the Oil have zero chance here) Vharlamov is the only FA who has shown he is capable of being a starter. Obviously he has had his ups and downs but there he may be a chance to get a starter here. It will be a tough task to attract him but perhaps he will see the Oil as a chance to re-establish himself as a starter as being better than Koskinnen is not that difficult. Maybe a $3M one year “show me” deal??
    2. Dumping either Sekera or Russel is a must. Rumors seem to indicate that Holland thinks Sekera could be a good veteran influence so maybe Russel is the guy to go. The Oil will need to accept negative return and also retain some salary. But they need to open up some cap space and some room for cheaper young Dmen to play. Could D be something like:

    Larsen-Klef (Nurse when Klef gets injured)
    Persson/Jones/Nurse
    Benning/Jones/Sekera/

    3. Re-sign Chaisson. Wingers are very weak and they need to at least keep what they have.

    4. Trade one of the young D prospects (Bear, Lagesson, Persson, Smaroukov, Bouchard) for an equivalent winger prospect. You need to give quality to get quality.
    Could wingers be:

    Drai, Kassian, Chaisson, Cheap FA guy (this year’s Reider but better result), young guy traded for?? Could be the top 4 wingers? Still weak but maybe better than last year.

    Lucic and JP bottom 5 wingers (because they can’t do anything else with them) with guys like Nygaard, Gagner, Khaira, Benson, Gambadella, some PTO fighting it out for the other roster spots.

    Centers McD, RNH and hope for rain. Guys like Cave, Brodziak, Marody trying to hold their own in the bottom 6 is a depressing thought. Would Ryan Mcleod have a chance? Not much to beat out.

    Other than McDrai the roster is like swiss cheese.

      • TKB2677

        I agree with you that the Oilers have 6 NHL dmen already. What I do not think they have is the right mix of Dmen and more specifically, too much of the same kind. The NHL has moved and continues to move more towards having a mobile, puck moving defense that can help offensively. You need to have at least 1 good puck mover per pair and you need good skaters for pretty much all 6 of your dmen spots. When I look at the Oilers, I see at least 3 guys who are not good puck movers and who don’t provide much offense.
        – Russel, Larsson, Benning are all not overly good puck movers who provide very little offense. Larsson had the most points at 20.
        I did not lump Sekera in that group only because he’s a decent puck mover but I don’t know how much offense he brings. 2 seasons ago he had 35 pts. But given his age, his injury problems and the fact that he was never fast and his footspeed has to have taken a small hit due to age and injury, I’d be surprised if he cracked 25 pts. So if no changes are made, the Oilers could have 4 guys scoring less than 25 pts, 3 of which don’t skate that well (Larsson, Benning, Sekera) and 3 of which don’t move the puck well (Larsson, Russell, Benning). That’s a problem.

  • Towers-of-dub

    regarding Question #5, Speaking as someone who has no kids and never really spent much time doing anything with my parents, I have no comment. Don’t beat your kids, or push them into a life that you want, but they maybe do not.