BLOOD ON THE TRACKS

The news hit just before air and I barely had time to post the item (below) you’ve been commenting on today. Although it certainly didn’t come as a major surprise, the timing was curious—there’s a game tomorrow and this (under normal circumstances) would have happened during a period when there was a day to adjust. I suspect (and said so today) this order came from above Craig MacTavish’s office and either Daryl Katz or Bob Nicholson (or both) brought pressure on the GM.

He should get used to it.

Although Craig MacTavish had only two summers to improve the roster (and draft the future) the returns under Dallas Eakins at the NHL level were so poor a change was deemed necessary. In a just and fair world both probably exit the stage at the same time. As it is, Eakins is free as a bird today, not so for Craig MacTavish, Scott Howson, Stu MacGregor and any number of scouts, coaches and hockey ops staff. This is the beginning of a major overhaul, in my opinion. Will it be productive? We can’t know that today.

Oilers-Todd Nelson.jpg

Craig MacTavish takes over as coach along with Todd Nelson, with the OKC Barons’ coach having what appears to be a legit chance to keep the job. Nelson has been an effective coach for the Barons, graduating current regulars (Jeff Petry, Mark Arcobello) and some impressive kids who are looking to emerge (Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, others). Nelson is a solid choice to my mind although a more veteran presence may end up being the better plan.

THE MISTAKES OF THE MACT-EAKINS ERA

I’ve been thinking about this today, because the only way to move forward is to understand what went wrong. Part of the problem is trying to solve so many issues via free agency—made necessary because of several seasons of scorched earth after the SC run. Edmonton needed to make smart bets in the Tambellini era to have success now and that did not happen. The club also needed a strong 2007 draft for success today and again that didn’t occur.

In the MacTavish era, we’ve seen some good free-agent bets (Boyd Gordon, Mark Fayne, Benoit Pouliot) and some that have not worked out (Niki Nikitin so far, others). I’m not certain what the average is for free-agent success but it sure as hell isn’t 100% league-wide. I’ll leave it to others to inform us about how many mistakes were made versus what number is tolerable, but for today’s purposes I want to establish that making a bunch of free-agent bets every summer is a poor idea.

Another area Edmonton has been shortsighted is elevating draft picks right away. A team that was so poor up the middle a year ago basically traded Sam Gagner for Leon Draisaitl and in doing so continued the insane cycle of keeping first-round selections. These aren’t No. 1 overall picks mind, they are picks after the top player has been selected. A full stop on that would be wise.

Finally, Craig MacTavish at the draft table showed impressive ability to quickly improve the ‘up the middle’ look of the depth chart. I’d suggest D Darnell Nurse, C Bogdan Yakimov and C Leon Draisaitl will change the look and feel of this Oilers team someday and those are MacT picks. The problem is getting to that day while also remaining employed and that my friend is going to be an issue.

nicholson capture

BOB NICHOLSON

For all intents and purposes, this is the new head man of hockey ops for the Edmonton Oilers until further notice. Today the business side of Daryl Katz’ empire appears to have performed a soft reboot on the hockey side, bringing it back online with some subtle changes. The previous decision-making process for the hockey side would have (I believe) involved Craig MacTavish, Scott Howson and any number of men from the hockey portion of the team.

Today we have a new scenario, one I don’t think we’ve seen before. Is it a positive? I’m inclined to say yes, with  two caveats:

  • I’m not sure of Nicholson’s qualifications to make hockey decisions. I like the list of names he’d have access to but if we’re talking about a person who is making hockey decisions then really we’d have to know what qualifies Nicholson to do so. If he’s put in charge of finding a new head of hockey ops, I don’t think there are many who would have Nicholson’s rolodex.
  • Despite what appears to be the beginning of a changing of the guard, we found out later that Kelly Buchberger will go to OKC as part of the coaching group replacing Nelson’s absence. If you’re going to do this Oilers, do it. Don’t half ass this thing.

Dallas Eakins

DALLAS EAKINS

I did a quick survey today asking people if they thought Dallas Eakins would be an NHL head coach again someday. It was about an equal split and that didn’t surprise me. The absolute worst time to do this is day of, we’re all kind of mindblown no matter how much experience helps you cope with the event. I do think Travis Yost did a solid job of summing up the Oilers under Eakins here.

  • Yost: In summation: (1) Edmonton’s likely improved this season; (2) The team’s improvement is being masked by brutally unfavorable percentages; (3) It is possible that subpar talent in net is partially contributing to the team’s ugly PDO.

With that, I’ll leave it to men wiser than myself to perform instant analysis. It’s never been my strength and a man has to know his limitations.

candy colored clownRED FLAGS

One thing Craig MacTavish mentioned today I found very interesting: He wants to see the team on the ice and dressing room ‘eye-to-eye’ which tells me there may be something he’s unsure about on this team.

hall dregerIf they’re shopping/discussing Hall leaving then the entire organization is tangled up in blue and at the the mercy of any idiot wind that blows their way. Has Taylor Hall asked for a trade? WHY would the Oilers shop their best player unless someone better is on the return? That quote from Darren Dreger is an extremely unsettling item for the Edmonton Oilers and their fans. It does dovetail with the ‘eye to eye’ comments from MacT today, however.

 

EPILOGUE

The Edmonton Oilers are still a bad hockey club in the National Hockey League and they still make decisions that leave them open to question and derision. Fans can at least be secure in the knowledge that something was done on their behalf today. I’m not certain it went far enough and we await the rest of the plan. The Hall drop is a potential monster and absolutely you should be concerned if you’re an Oilers fan. This is a most disturbing and absolutely unsatisfying day, but it was probably necessary if only to break the spell of hopelessness and begin the build for a better day.

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250 Responses to "BLOOD ON THE TRACKS"

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  1. godot10 says:

    misfit:

    There are a lot of people who’ve been suggesting Nelson should take over for some time because of how the Barons have performed, but I seem to recall Eakins as being considered one of the better AHL coaches around and even had a championship to back it up.

    Eakins doe NOT have a championship to his credit. He has one Calder Cup final appearance due to Ben Scrivens standing on his head. He developed no non-1st round draft picks in his 4 years into NHL players. He had veteran laden roster with the Mariles.

    Nelson has two championships in pro hockey below the AHL. He has two Calder Cup semifinal appearance in the AHL, losing once in game 7 in overtime to the eventual Calder Cup winner. He has put the following non-first round draft picks into the NHL. Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz, Martin Marincin, Marc Arcobello, Colin McDonald (with Chris Vandevelde, Tyler Pitlick, and Anton Lander on the verge).

  2. Hammers says:

    CrazyCoach:
    “I’m not sure of Nicholson’s qualifications to make hockey decisions. I like the list of names he’d have access to but if we’re talking about a person who is making hockey decisions then really we’d have to know what qualifies Nicholson to do so. If he’s put in charge of finding a new head of hockey ops, I don’t think there are many who would have Nicholson’s rolodex.”

    I’m pretty sure his work with Hockey Canada would speak volumes.When Nicholson took over Hockey Canada in June of 1998, the hockey system in Canada was at a crossroads.The world juniors hadn’t won a medal in years and of course need I remind everyone about the Nagano Olympics.Nicholson came in righted the ship.I know amateur hockey and the NHL are miles apart, but I think you are selling Nicholson shorton his hockey knowledge.

    Truth is, some of the best hockey minds, exist outside of the NHL.

    You said 1998 and it took 12 years to break through at the top level . Not sure that will cut it .

  3. The Full Nelson says:

    Lowetide: See Gary Carter, 1984.

    Ha! I liked him (whatchew talkin’ bout Willis?), but did not know that he was in 1984. Huh…

  4. godot10 says:

    Nelson is a pretty courageous guy to walk into this mess without a 3-year contract and with the GM hanging around the dressing room. He clearly believes that he can do enough with this group of players to not damage his future head coaching aspirations.

    He has handled some challenging situations in OKC over the last four years. In year 2, with both the OIlers and Barons injury depleted on D, he had to go with almost all ECHL guys except for Bryan Helmer for big parts of the season. Make it to the Calder Cup semi-finals with 5 ECHL guys and Bryan Helmer. The next year, the NHL lockout year, he had basically to rebuild an entirely new team at midseason after the NHL guys left. And then last year, the Barons had that somewhat miraculous run to make the playoffs.

    A much more challenging 4 years in the AHL than Eakins cushy time with a stacked Marlies roster.

    Eakins had never faced adversity as a coach until he got to the Oilers.

  5. RexLibris says:

    Buffalo wins in a SO and jumps to 22nd overall in the NHL, 9 points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers.

    Two weeks ago Tim Murray looked at the standings and said “F%$k it, the Oilers have this in the bag. Is it too late to not rebuild?”

  6. McSorley33 says:

    godot10:
    Nelson is a pretty courageous guy to walk into this mess without a 3-year contract and with the GM hanging around the dressing room.He clearly believes that he can do enough with this group of players to not damage his future head coaching aspirations.

    He has handled some challenging situations in OKC over the last four years.In year 2, with both the OIlers and Barons injury depleted on D, he had to go with almost all ECHL guys except for Bryan Helmer for big parts of the season.Make it to the Calder Cup semi-finals with 5 ECHL guys and Bryan Helmer.The next year, the NHL lockout year, he had basically to rebuild an entirely new team at midseason after the NHL guys left. And then last year, the Barons had that somewhat miraculous run to make the playoffs.

    A much more challenging 4 years in the AHL than Eakins cushy time with a stack Marlies roster.

    I agree with you more than most…..but not sure what Nelson can do with Aulie, Schultz, NN and Ference.

    Water into wine?

  7. McSorley33 says:

    RexLibris:
    Buffalo wins in a SO and jumps to 22nd overall in the NHL, 9 points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers.

    Two weeks ago Tim Murray looked at the standings and said “F%$k it, the Oilers have this in the bag. Is it too late to not rebuild?”

    Even for a glass is half full guy…….it is surreal.

    Did anyone imagine it being this bad?

    Truly surreal.

  8. jb says:

    Can the MSM please do something useful for once ,and turn the spotlight onto the players who don’t care… Not the few who do (Hall, Perron)

  9. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Taro Tsujimoto:
    Dreger’s hot takes usually boil down to “It may happen, it may not happen, but I think, if you’re asking me right now what I think is going to happen, I think it may happen. There’s a sense that something may happen, and if it were to happen, you have to think it wouldn’t be not happening. Everything is possible. Now, having said that, you don’t make it happen unless you’re damned sure you want to make it happen. Does [GM] want to make it happen? I can’t answer that question – I’m not a mind reader. But certainly the signs are there. Everything is possible. So, what we’re looking at is a situation where, if you want to make it happen, are you prepared to make it happen? That’s what [GM] has to ask himself. I don’t envy him.”

    I just wanted you to know that this is amazing. I tweeted out a screen grab of it and it would appear hockey twitter loves you.

    https://twitter.com/RomulusNotNuma/status/544711479937601537

  10. danny says:

    The Full Nelson: Ha! I liked him (whatchew talkin’ bout Willis?), but did not know that he was in 1984. Huh…

    Gary Carter, the kid catcher for Les Expos.

  11. Old School G says:

    Thank you for publicly laughing at us King Henrik. Was tough to watch, but I seriously think it was the media event that forced change. Even Batman watches Sportscentre.

    I’m glad I read Matheson’s article in which he suggests the Oilers only consider a Hall trade if it is for a high end defenceman. What a tough trade to pull off. How do you even start that talk? Dreger?

    Is Bob Nicholson our Andy MacDonald, or Rita, allowing us to wake up tomorrow and not go through another Groundhog Day?

    Please?

  12. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris:
    Buffalo wins in a SO and jumps to 22nd overall in the NHL, 9 points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers.

    Two weeks ago Tim Murray looked at the standings and said “F%$k it, the Oilers have this in the bag. Is it too late to not rebuild?”

    Since Nov 15th BUF’s PDO is 1049.

    .945 SV%
    10.4 SH%

    They’re gonna PDO themselves out of the bottom two if it lasts any longer.

    But I’m sure they’ll continue to win because two career .917 and .920 goalies become better than Hasek because they like the coach.

  13. Woodguy says:

    jb:
    Can the MSM please do something useful for once ,and turn the spotlight onto the players who don’t care… Not the few who do (Hall, Perron)

    That doesn’t matter.

    If the GM knows and does something about it, that’s enough if he’s competent.

    The spot light should be on MacT.

    Klieg lights and microscopes actually.

  14. Woodguy says:

    McSorley33: Even for a glass is half full guy…….it is surreal.

    Did anyone imagine it being this bad?

    Truly surreal.

    I don’t know.

    The worst part of the Oilers has always been the unearned arrogance.

    The thought that somehow winning as players made them infallible as executives and decision makers.

    The ability to ignore all their failures except the one year where Pronger rescued them from it and they almost pissed that away on shitty goaltending (anyone see a trend?)

    We call it “smartest man in the room syndrome”

    They all had it.

    Everyone in management needed giant glass of failure and fuck you to instill some humility and accountability.

    I think there may finally be accountability to someone other than themselves.

    As for the humility part….we wait.

    Sending the garbage D over the boards up close and personal after firing someone he saw as himself might do it.

    Watching a 19 struggle against he best players in the league, so he has to turn to his 21 year old 1C might do it too.

    As for Lowe and others….who knows.

  15. Bad Seed says:

    Woodguy,

    There is some question about MacT’s competence though…

  16. PunjabiOil says:

    New article in journal with quotes.

    Doesn’t seem like Hall or Eberle desire to leave.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/touch/story.html?id=10549036&cid=dlvr.it-twitter-edmontonjournal

    Dreger what a twat

  17. Bad Seed says:

    Woodguy,

    You nailed it, WG. Everyone from Lowe to Katz to that fukkin Laforge comes across as classless arrogant pricks. At least Sather was an arrogant winner. This is a thoroughly unlikeable bunch running this organization.

  18. The Full Nelson says:

    danny: Gary Carter, the kid catcher for Les Expos.

    Whatchew talkin’ bout, danny?

  19. Woodguy says:

    Old School G:
    Thank you for publicly laughing at us King Henrik. Was tough to watch, but I seriously think it was the media event that forced change. Even Batman watches Sportscentre.

    I’m glad I read Matheson’s article in which he suggests the Oilers only consider a Hall trade if it is for a high end defenceman. What a tough trade to pull off. How do you even start that talk? Dreger?

    Is Bob Nicholson our Andy MacDonald, or Rita, allowing us to wake up tomorrow and not go through another Groundhog Day?

    Please?

    If I’m NAS I do Weber for Hall and run away laughing maniacally.

  20. Woodguy says:

    Bad Seed:
    Woodguy,

    There is some question about MacT’s competence though…

    I’ve been questioning it for a while.

    Hence the Klieg lights and microscopes.

  21. danny says:

    The Full Nelson: Whatchew talkin’ bout, danny?

    Nope, Gary.

  22. The Full Nelson says:

    danny: Nope, Gary.

    Cool man.

  23. Bad Seed says:

    Woodguy,

    It’s got to be real uncomfortable for Oilers mgmt now though. For the first time that I can recall, everyone around the league seems to realize what a bunch of fuck ups they are & are calling them out on it.

  24. danny says:

    One thing I will always remember about MacT is the summer of 2007 when being asked about his new roster and their chances (post Pronger). MacT started talking about winning the division title and so on.

    He was horridly off base with his expectations that season, and that was the first time I really saw him bad as a coach. He has definitely made a few ill advised quotes / signing attempts in the past couple years that raises questions on how in tune he really is with the game away from the bench.

  25. Hammers says:

    Before tomorrows game I see McT talking to Ramsay and Nelson talking to Rocky . I also see McT there until the end of this year . That’s enough time to get his one on ones done and for Nelson to be comfy . I’m guessing Nelsons calling all the shots for say 44 – 46 games . My gut says Nelson makes a minimum of 3 changes even Without any trades . If McT makes a trade or two you may see more . By Jan 1st I see Fayne /Klefbom ; Petry / Ference ; Schultz / Marincin . 1st ) Hall , RNH , Ebs ; 2nd ) Arco , Perron , Yak ; 3rd ) Gordon , Pouliot , Purcell ; 4th) Hendricks , Lander ,Leon ; Pakirinen , Pinzotto & Nikitin . If Nelson can stick to slotting in his extra 3 players based on performance only and he calls the shots I give him 40 points so we end up high 60’s . McT makes some trades and who knows what happens . Glass has to be half full .

  26. TireFire says:

    godot10,

    What the fuck are you even going to post about now? Are you super depressed and sad that your life’s work is over?

  27. danny says:

    This is pretty funny.

    Andy Grabia @agrabia: I love the Oilers. Ex-captain becomes coach, is fired as coach, then brought back as GM. He then fires coach, and makes himself coach.

  28. Old School G says:

    Woodguy,

    Woah. I would really need to think about that one for a bit. This is Shea Weber we’re talking about. That’s having each guy play a few inches taller, finish a few more hits and stir up some shit in front of the net on the nightly, maybe even go looking for it. Yep, he’s hitting 30 soon, with a contract a mile long, but I would really need to think about that one.

  29. Lowetide says:

    PunjabiOil:
    New article in journal with quotes.

    Doesn’t seem like Hall or Eberle desire to leave.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/touch/story.html?id=10549036&cid=dlvr.it-twitter-edmontonjournal

    Dreger what a twat

    Haha. Man this is a funny comment thread. Maybe I’m punch drunk.

  30. striker says:

    Taro Tsujimoto: Dreger’s hot takes usually boil down to “It may happen, it may not happen, but I think, if you’re asking me right now what I think is going to happen, I think it may happen. There’s a sense that something may happen, and if it were to happen, you have to think it wouldn’t be not happening. Everything is possible. Now, having said that, you don’t make it happen unless you’re damned sure you want to make it happen. Does [GM] want to make it happen? I can’t answer that question – I’m not a mind reader. But certainly the signs are there. Everything is possible. So, what we’re looking at is a situation where, if you want to make it happen, are you prepared to make it happen? That’s what [GM] has to ask himself. I don’t envy him.”

    Quintessence of Dreger

  31. hags9k says:

    First off, Taro, you crushed that Dreger right out of the stadium, left center field, moon shot.

    Secondly, and seriously, how in holy hell is Craig MacTavish back behind the bench? You just have to laugh.

    Daryl Katz and this management team have taken hockey fans hostage in Northern Alberta. What a shame.

    Lastly, hey Daryl, nice glasses bud. Whatever color those lenses are, I don’t think they are helping you see.

  32. BARREN BREGER says:

    With the Rangers playing Edmonton last night, it is believed that Glen Sather had a meeting with the Oilers management team after the game and told them that the only thing they could do was fire Eakins.

  33. TemujinBC says:

    I’m probably making a trip to Edmonton right after Christmas with the family, anyone got any cheap tickets for sale? ^_~

    Craig MacTavish knows what he has. He doesnt need to come eye to eye, face to face, teeth to teeth or helmetless cranium to helmetless cranium with anything. He knows what he has, and it’s a damn shame that it has come to this.

    But we are to believe this is the excuse he will give when he finally sends out assets for pennies on the dollar?

    Or does he simply hope to increase the level of play to a point where the fans are placated but the #1-3 draft slot is not in jeopardy?

    So, about those tickets for the Kings/Oilers on the 30th… anyone got four up for grabs? I’ve heard the beer is pricey there… how easy is it sneak in booze? If I throw the eight year olds #4 jersey onto the ice, is anyone here willing to donate to the “Lego Death Star” reconciliation fund?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  34. spoiler says:

    The Full Nelson: Ha! I liked him (whatchew talkin’ bout Willis?), but did not know that he was in 1984. Huh…

    Lol…

    It was a short part. The studio thought “Wachoo talking about Winnie” lacked the same punch.

    Oh well, different strokes. as they say.

    I will now return you to the Edmonton Oilers’ regularly scheduled wander year.

  35. hunter1909 says:

    No one notices “Bucky” being slimed back onto the gravy train.

    Can’t wait until the next purge. That’s probably when Steve Smith rejoins the Brady Bunch.

  36. Chicken Laser says:

    Mr. Lowetide,
    Did you hear Rishaug’s radio comment saying that not getting Schneider for the 7th overall pick was a huge mistake?
    He was very emotional and had strong words throughout the interview, but in my opinion, he was the most worked up when speaking on that topic, and I was surprised by that. He almost sounded livid. I thought the rumor was that Edmonton was turned down on that deal, and if they weren’t, is it so obvious a bad non-trade? Is Schneider that good? Did Rishaug just look at the current Oilers goalie performance and decide that due to weakness, that deal would have been great? At the time though, wasn’t Schneider still somewhat unproven as a sure number one, and what about now?
    Do you think Rishaug is just upset about everything and is taking wild swings, or is it that obvious that they should have taken the goalie? Thank you.

  37. PhrankLee says:

    Shame on these guys, all. A very promising career snuffed out. Dallas Eakins will suffer for this. Maybe it turns him into a much better coach. I truly wish I could just sit down and talk to the guy. I wish he didn’t have a NDC a mile long and could just rip the team or management in his own words.

    But wishing something does not make it so.

    Like Brad Hunt being a threat.
    Like Petry being a #1D.
    Like Leon being an NHL C this year.
    Like NN covering his contract.
    Like Schultz being Norris material.
    Like 2 backups being “enough” to compete regularly in the NHL.

    I’d hate to loose Hall. But a GM has to be decisive. A head coach has to rule. Professional players are supposed to be professional. Teachable.
    Is it just me or does it seem like every interview is couched in the meassage “we know, we know. Now stand aside because I are a majick hockey lejend in the NorthPole, bitches!” (puts helmet on backwards and pees self)….

  38. Woodguy says:

    hunter1909:
    No one notices “Bucky” being slimed back onto the gravy train.

    Can’t wait until the next purge. That’s probably when Steve Smith rejoins the Brady Bunch.

    Bucky never left.

    After being turfed as asst. coach he was put into a “Manager Player Personnel” role between EDM and OKC and the ECHL.

    Not kidding.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=33068

    I was on that page the other day and his title and role was the same so they haven’t changed anything since The Sacking.

    Its impossible to fire these guys.

    Notice the guy who’s picture comes up first on that page?

  39. Pouzar says:

    We’ll see pretty early what stamp Nelson will have on this team based on personnel decisions and deployment. If 2 of Lander, Hero, and MM aren’t up AND Ference is getting 20+ minutes a night we know he is a goner.

  40. PhrankLee says:

    So Bob Nicholson..You’ve had a couple days to look into the nooks and crannies.
    What have you found so far?
    http://imgur.com/r0rENKf

  41. GCW_69 says:

    TireFire:
    godot10,

    What the fuck are you even going to post about now? Are you super depressed and sad that your life’s work is over?

    The work is not done until Lowe, MacT and all their cronies are gone.

  42. frjohnk says:

    Taro Tsujimoto:
    Dreger’s hot takes usually boil down to “It may happen, it may not happen, but I think, if you’re asking me right now what I think is going to happen, I think it may happen. There’s a sense that something may happen, and if it were to happen, you have to think it wouldn’t be not happening. Everything is possible. Now, having said that, you don’t make it happen unless you’re damned sure you want to make it happen. Does [GM] want to make it happen? I can’t answer that question – I’m not a mind reader. But certainly the signs are there. Everything is possible. So, what we’re looking at is a situation where, if you want to make it happen, are you prepared to make it happen? That’s what [GM] has to ask himself. I don’t envy him.”

    I’ve re-read this comment more than any other comment on this blog ever.
    THE.BEST.

  43. frjohnk says:

    GCW_69: The work is not done until Lowe, MacT and all their cronies are gone.

    Here is something to chew on.

    Katz might believe that Lowe, and MacT and the others have suffered so much as well, that Katz might believe they should be here no matter how long it takes until this team turns north.

    Katz may never cut the ties with old boys.

  44. Ca$h-Money! says:

    frjohnk,

    Agreed.

    Taro Tsujimoto wins the thread (and the 1974 draft).

  45. MenovOil says:

    @Katz may never cut the ties with old boys.

    I believe that is the case as well, Bucky being assigned to OKC is proof of that.

    IMO, the order to fire Eakins came from Broadway, as in Commissioner Bettman’s office. I believe Management were content to let another season go to waste and keep Eakins on board to guarantee a top two pick but the league stepped in and said ‘Stop making this shit so blatantly obvious, it’s making the league look bad’.

  46. nelson88 says:

    TemujinBC,

    Temu,

    Great post. I only have 2 tickets but could probably hook you up for a nice discount. Lord knows the only people buying right now are the breed that gets a perverse satisfaction out of car crashes and funerals.

  47. delooper says:

    PunjabiOil:
    New article in journal with quotes.

    Doesn’t seem like Hall or Eberle desire to leave.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/touch/story.html?id=10549036&cid=dlvr.it-twitter-edmontonjournal

    Dreger what a twat

    Or perhaps the Oilers are so good at corporate-speak, a direct quote isn’t quite enough to determine what their intentions are. MacTavish had all the confidence in the world in Eakins until he fired him.

  48. And your name is? says:

    Taro Tsujimoto,

    This is brilliant on every level. While it’s all about the texture, the master stroke was dividing this into thirds around the marble pillow “Everything is possible.” This creates the bedtime story arc.

    To my ear, the intimate sound comes from the pronoun cadence:

    it/it/I/you/me/I
    I/it
    it/you/it
    etc.

    Pronouns often signal a shift in camera angle, but regardless of camera angle, all you get is more mesmeric shuffling of it/I/you/me/happen/think. There are twelve repetitions of “happen” packed into this tiny gem.

    The slight deviations from this patter are usually signalled by “s” words: ask/sense/sure/signs and then back to ask again. Revisiting “ask” is also a master stroke: by this point, the narrative has gone from us asking Dreger, to [GM] asking himself. These prominent “s” words amplify and reinforce the expansive bean stalk “possible”.

    Twice you depart from s-exceptional patter in short phrases: “I’m not a mind reader” and “I don’t envy him”. Both are negative phrases, rebukes, distancing, with no s-word in sight. This parallel negation is yet another master stroke, and it offers you a solid piling to terminate the babbling brook, providing a sense of completion to this little story where completion is hard to come by.

    Jesus, after one whittles away the master strokes, there’s just not much left here to further discuss.

  49. Ca$h-Money! says:

    delooper:

    MacTavish had all the confidence in the world in Eakins until he fired him.

    That’s not even true. MacTavish has been very clear that he still has all the confidence in the world in Dallas Eakins, but he should fire him anyway.

    So the guy who has all the confidence in the world in a guy he hired for a job he didn’t plan to make available at the begining of the interview, who went on to an unspeakably bad record over 1.5 seasons, is going to take over and do not 1 but 2 jobs.

    I’m confident this will make things better.

  50. Really? says:

    The concept behind drafting the BPA is that hockey players are not personalities but rather they are assets of the hockey club. Like most fans I tend to have attachments to certain players because I saw them good or just like their style of play. I am sure many in hockey management fall into the same trap.

    At this time it is critical that Oilers management maintain total objectivity in terms of their assets. If they don’t they will over value their assets due to personal attachment. This would ensure the death spiral will continue.

    What management must do is ensure that any trade they enter into, for whatever player(s) are involved actually addresses existing holes in the lineup. They have to measure what the incoming assets bring to the table versus what they lose. If this means that Hall or any other Oiler is traded then management must get good asset value in return. Given Lowe’s emotions and MacTs stubbornness and loyalty, this could be a real problem. It does not mean that they cannot make any trades, just that they must have a clearly developed plan for the short and long term and stick to it.

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