For the first time since the Katz ownership regime began, there appears to be actual movement in the corridors of power. In the hours after the shocking lottery win, Bob Nicholson has been named the de facto capo di tutti capi of the Edmonton Oilers.
Four days ago: Bob Nicholson Not Finished Forensic Audit of Oilers. Today: Bob Nicholson Named CEO, Takes Control Of Hockey Ops. Good timing
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) April 20, 2015
The Oilers under Daryl Katz have been a galling organization. He’s a very successful businessman who is also a tremendous Oilers fan—these things should bode well for success! The venture has been lucrative off the ice, Oilers fans still buy tickets and Katz has delivered a cap team several times during the seasons under his watch.
It has been a disaster. Bob Nicholson’s forensics of the organization should be focused on:
- Procurement of players
- Development of players
- Roster management as it pertains to the cap and 50-man list
And beyond that the decision-making process behind all of the moves, good (Gordon, Pouliot, Fayne) and bad (Petry, etc) needs to be evaluated. I had planned to do a long MacT RE (and will if it’s still pertinent) but the main point of the post surrounded the idea of waiting for MacT to make his mistakes and learn on the job.
ARE the Oilers better off with MacTavish? OR should they hire a more experienced hand to handle this team moving forward? Paul Fenton might be the key to the highway. I suspect the forensics will see some scouts heading out (Nicholson was vocal about the lack of successful second-round picks on a Toronto radio station in the winter time) and maybe a tweak here or there. Nicholson’s a connected guy. If he chooses to bring in a GM to replace MacT, suspect it’s a bona fide name.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) April 20, 2015
This has major implications for the Oilers, as McLellan (from Melville, SK) would be near the top of most lists for best coach available at this time. If the Oilers have a shot, Nicholson probably knows enough about the target to make it attractive. McLellan has a terrific reputation for producing offensive teams, specifically with the man advantage. I’ve also been impressed over the years by his ability to put young, inexperienced defenders in positions to succeed at the NHL level. Perfect fit? We’ll see. He’s available now, but there will be many teams after him.
Winning the lottery gives Edmonton a plethora of jacks and kings but those pesky 6’s and 7’s and 9’s have proven elusive. I think Craig MacTavish has done a good job acquiring plumber forwards (Gordon, Hendricks, Klinkhammer) but there is absolutely a problem in procuring defensemen and the meter hasn’t clicked on the goaltending position, either.
If the Edmonton Oilers replace Craig MacTavish, it will come down to holes in goal and on defense. I’m not going to rip MacT for sending Devan Dubnyk away (he was awful) but that’s part of his record all the same. Ben Scrivens was a good bet (imo) and did not work out. I see the GM getting one more swing of the hammer (which is not certain) and my guess is he’ll go for a veteran with a proven track record.
Todd McLellan as coach, Antti Niemi in goal? It might be an idea to include Marc-Edouard Vlasic on the flight from San Jose.