A PERIOD OF TRANSITION

For Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe, the world—as they knew it—is likely over. Talk of Kevin Lowe exiting the system, Peter Chiarelli coming in and taking a position below Bob Nicholson but above MacT as GM, signal the end days for a management run that began in the spring of 2000 with Glen Sather’s move to Manhattan.

I don’t think it will reach the point where MacTavish is replaced as GM, but it’s absolutely true the conversations will be more formal and the fresh blood above him will have major impact on the decisions moving forward. Along with the Lowe exit, one suspects we’ll see some scouts let go—I don’t know when the scouts meet to decide on the actual list, but with Bob Green and Scott Howson retained and the scouting reports through the season, now is probably a reasonable time to fire all the scouts who won’t be moving forward.

Pro scouts? Amateur scouts? My guess is yes.

Is this enough? Is this better? I don’t think any of us can say with authority. It is different and does represent change, with one of the key men in the organization over the last 15 years apparently on the way out. A quick look at Peter Chiarelli’s track record suggests a successful GM who made some major errors (Seguin, Boychuk) but he’s a guy I would have had on a list of bona fide choices to replace MacT.

That doesn’t appear to be in the cards. To review (my guess):

  • Chiarelli as President of Hockey Ops (with a slight chance, say 20%, he is also named GM)
  • Kevin Lowe out to spend time with family
  • Many scouts gone, pro and amateur
  • MacT (likely) remains, with Chiarelli in mentor/authority role (80% there, there’s always a chance he balks)

Green and Howson review scouting reports, make recommendations to MacT and Chiarelli, and my guess is we see a skeleton crew at the draft table this summer.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

235 Responses to "A PERIOD OF TRANSITION"

« Older Comments
  1. gd says:

    SwedishPoster:
    One concern with Chiarelli(my phone wants to change it to Machiavelli, hmmm) is that he built a successful Boston by building a big bruising roster with a bunch of defense first D and C, with crazy goaltending and Chara as the golden goose. That’s nothing like the Oiler roster and that type of team seems to be losing ground, the future looks to be speed, puckmoving D and more speed. Size still holds value but not unless it comes with feet and hands, you can have the odd slower guy if he’s smart enough but the overall make up better have some throttle. Can PC adapt to this?

    He seems to have a good eye for goalies and undervalued D-men, or his old scouts did, which would help us big time.

    I also fear he might want to turn over the roster yet again and I don’t think that would be beneficial at all. We need key additions, mainly on D, but to swap out half the roster or more? Then we just move dial back with McDavids ELC ticking. This team could use some consistency within the roster, an underrated feature when creating a winning squad.

    Boston’s drafting in the last few years looks focused on speed and skill with lots of Swedish league picks, so it looks like he is at least open to new styles. Of course he was the one GM who didn’t have to look for the “next Lucic”.

  2. 5-14-6-1 says:

    Numenius: but I hate the Flames more, so there you go.

    Yeah, tough call. I hate the Nucks more. Much, much more.

    Hoping for the Flames to make it to the finals, right to game 7, overtime, and lose it on a bad call – missed off-sides, or missed high-stick – something like that.

  3. AZOIL says:

    RexLibris:
    AZOIL,

    I’d take Chiarelli.

    He actually built his team.

    Shero inherited a fair bit.

    I didn’t like what Shero did with his prospects.

    I have concerns about Chiarelli as well, but let’s face it, so long as they don’t trade the core group can we really say with a straight face that he would do worse?

    Ok what about Maclellan vs. Bylsma? If you had to pick amongst those two?

  4. rickithebear says:

    RexLibris: I have concerns about Chiarelli as well, but let’s face it, so long as they don’t trade the core group can we really say with a straight face that he would do worse?

    The fact you have to ask that says it all!
    1. MacT said he would not trade his young core.
    2. Chirelli Has done that!

  5. 5-14-6-1 says:

    rickithebear: The fact you have to ask that says it all!
    1. MacT said he would not trade his young core.
    2. Chirelli Has done that!

    Aaaaaaaand – scene!

  6. Kitchener says:

    It’s easy to blame individuals for a group failure. Hopefully Nicholson doesn’t replace the wrong suits as the bathwater swirls. Tricky picking.

  7. cabbiesmacker says:

    Woodguy,

    At the 2006 draft, which Chiarelli would have arrived too late to impact much, the Bruins drafted Kessel, Lucic, and Marchand. Krejci was already in the fold for two years as was Bergeron and Tim Thomas.Pretty good foundation I’d say. No kudos.

    Chara came via free agency a little over a month after Chiarelli had been hired and being where he came from it’s a good bet chiarelli knew what he was getting. Kudos.

    In the three draft years following, which Chiarelli would have impacted, up to the Seguin pick in 2010. the Bruins managed to land…..basically fuck all. Not one player worth mentioning to any great extent unless it’s Joe Colbourne whose best days have probably been in a Flames jersey. Absolutely no kudos.

    The only player drafted by the Bruins during Chiarelli’s reign, 2007 thru 2014 to play 200 games is Seguin…..and we all know how badly he got fleeced when he gave that asset up. Minus huge kudos.

    Hamilton in 2011, Griffith in 12, and Pastrnak in 14 look like nice players. Early kudos.

    Traded away Boyes in his first season as GM. Traded away Blake Wheeler. Landed Seidenberg

    Traded away Kessell for picks that landed Hamilton, Nothing, and Seguin then blew his foot off when he traded Seguin.

    Landed Kelly and Kaberle in time for the cup run. Kelly good. Kaberle bad.

    Landed Rask for pretty much nothing. Kudos

    Quick synopsis: He trades better than he drafts. Seguin, Hamilton, and Pastrnak are the only players of consequence drafted during his tenure of 8 years. All in the first round. Seguin and Hamilton were top 10’s.

    Made good moves. Made bad moves. Pretty active little fella. The core that won the cup outside of Chara was pretty much in place by the time he landed unless you strongly believe he had a lot to do with that 2006 draft.

    If theres a glaring blemish on his resume we all know what that is and I suspect that and this seasons results were what took the shine off him.

    Better than MacT or Lowe? A Rhesus monkey is better than MacT and Lowe.

    All that said if he does land in Edm and he keeps Todd Nelson behind the bench he’ll be a cool dude in my books.

  8. cabbiesmacker says:

    AZOIL: Ok what about Maclellan vs. Bylsma? If you had to pick amongst those two?

    Nelson

  9. cabbiesmacker says:

    gd: Boston’s drafting in the last few years looks focused on speed and skill with lots of Swedish league picks,

    If that’s the case he was drafting speed and skill out of the Japanese leagues and Swedens third tier. Best pick by the Bruins in years, not in the top 10, is Pastrnak. Czech.

  10. wheatnoil says:

    Not sure if this was posted earlier…

    http://www.theplayerstribune.com/nhl-daniel-carcillo-steve-montador-video/

    Mental health in professional sports are an under-talked about issue at times, especially given how widely discussed most athletes’ physical injuries are.

  11. Yak2 says:

    rickithebear:
    Lowe:
    Finds dominate Dman
    Gets good Veteran Goalie
    Makes cup Fianl.
    Runs team into Ground!
    that is fucking awful.

    But we are going to Get Chirelli!
    I am Excited!
    Finds dominate Dman
    Gets good veteran Goalie
    Makes Cup final!
    Runs team into ground!

    Fuck!
    Katz And Nicholson are dumb fucks!
    Fuck!
    Fuck!
    Fuck!
    Way to kill the Mcdavid buzz!

    Chiarelli was able to KEEP that dominate defenseman. He had a goalie in waiting in Rask to take over for that aging goalie and was able to keep his team competitive. Just because BOS didn’t make the playoffs, doesn’t mean the team has been run in to the ground. Bergeron, Krejci, Lucic, Marchand and Rask are all still in their prime. They’ve got Hamilton to take over for Chara. Bartkowski is a good one. They’ve got some younger guys who can make a difference: Connolly, Pastrnak, Spooner, Khoklachev. Getting rid of Boychuk was obviously not a good idea, but that goes to the cap situation, which granted, he was supposed to be aware of, but he’s had a better track record than Lowe.

  12. SwedishPoster says:

    cabbiesmacker: If that’s the case he was drafting speed and skill out of the Japanese leagues and Swedens third tier. Best pick by the Bruins in years, not in the top 10, is Pastrnak. Czech.

    Who was picked out of sweden.

  13. SwedishPoster says:

    gd: Boston’s drafting in the last few years looks focused on speed and skill with lots of Swedish league picks, so it looks like he is at least open to new styles. Of course he was the one GM who didn’t have to look for the “next Lucic”.

    Haven’t really looked at his drafting the last few but if so it sounds like he’s not just out looking for big boys indeed.

  14. Kmart99 says:

    AZOIL: Ok what about Maclellan vs. Bylsma? If you had to pick amongst those two?

    Maclellan.

    1 Babcock
    2 Hitchcock
    3 Maclellan/Nelson

    The thing about Nelson is that we know the PP will likely do well, and weve seen how the offensive players seemed to flourish under him vs the dementor. Maclellan is more of a mystery. He’s held in very high regard and he’s coached his team to multiple 50+ win seasons, but couldn’t get the players to finish the job in the playoffs….
    I’d be happy with Either of Nelson or Maclellan. But if by some fluke miracle one of Hitch or Bab decides they want to coach McDavid… Then you have no choice.

  15. Kmart99 says:

    I wonder if Chiarelli(assuming he takes on some sort of job with Edm) could convince Seidenberg and Lucic to- … Nvmd, it’s too crazy.

  16. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Kmart99: Maclellan.

    1 Babcock
    2 Hitchcock
    3 Maclellan/Nelson

    The thing about Nelson is that we know the PP will likely do well, and weve seen how the offensive players seemed to flourish under him vs the dementor.Maclellan is more of a mystery. He’s held in very high regard and he’s coached his team to multiple 50+ win seasons, but couldn’t get the players to finish the job in the playoffs….
    I’d be happy with Either of Nelson or Maclellan.But if by some fluke miracle one of Hitch or Bab decides they want to coach McDavid… Then you have no choice.

    If we go with Babcock, we will have success but only if we get a good value from trading Nuge, Eberle, and Hall.

  17. sliderule says:

    Thinking about it a little more Chia must be interviewing for Lowes job.

    The only way that is happening is Lowe is voluntarily stepping down.

    I can see him exiting Edmonton for Kelowna in summer and Palm Springs in winter.

    There has been lots of heat on him and he looks tired.

    Mact would be safe for one more year and with a good goalie maybe longer.

  18. Kmart99 says:

    Remember when Schremp scored 47 pts in 19 playoff games as a 21 yr old in the OHL?… Then McDavid scored 51pts in his first 18 gp this season as a 17 yr old. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO*faints*

  19. slopitch says:

    Ca$h-Money!: If we go with Babcock, we will have success but only if we get a good value from trading Nuge, Eberle, and Hall.

    Lol ok then

  20. GCW_69 says:

    rickithebear: The fact you have to ask that says it all!
    1. MacT said he would not trade his young core.
    2. Chirelli Has done that!

    Chiarelli has not traded his core. His core was Chara, Kreji, Bergeron, Lucic, Marchand, Seidenburg, Boychuk, and Thomas/Rask. Boychuk got traded for cap reasonsbut only at the end . Kessel and Seguin were not the core for that team.

  21. Kmart99 says:

    Ca$h-Money!: If we go with Babcock, we will have success but only if we get a good value from trading Nuge, Eberle, and Hall.

    Yeah. Agreed. But they also need to get value in trades for Draisaitl, Yak, Poo, and Nurse. As long as they move out all their best players, they will have success. They’ve done a good job thus far with the removal of Perron and Petry.

  22. GCW_69 says:

    gd:
    GCW_69,

    Any chance he has a similar deal this time with Hamilton?

    No, because he isn’t a free agent. But Soderburg, maybe.

  23. Ca$h-Money! says:

    slopitch: Lol ok then

    The point being that Babcock’s style isn’t at all suited to a core built around those players.

  24. Ca$h-Money! says:

    And now, literally upon completion of my morning cup of coffee, I realize I said Babcock when I meant Hitchcock.

    So nevermind….

  25. godot10 says:

    AZOIL: Ok what about Maclellan vs. Bylsma? If you had to pick amongst those two?

    McLellan has a much deeper, longer, and diverse coaching experience, with multiple organizations. He has done well in more than one place.

    Bylsma’s coaching experience is rather limited, nor in multiple organizations, and he has not faced the broad range of coaching challenges that McLellan has over his career, and the challenges the Oilers represent. He has been a head coach in only one place, and he had Crosby and Malkin.

  26. Pouzar says:

    Dustin Nielson ?@nielsonTSN1260 ·
    Dreger tells us that Chiarelli’s meetings with the Oilers continue today.

  27. russ99 says:

    sliderule:
    Thinking about it a little more Chia must be interviewing for Lowes job.

    The only way that is happening is Lowe is voluntarily stepping down.

    I can see him exiting Edmonton for Kelowna in summer and Palm Springs in winter.

    There has been lots of heat on him and he looks tired.

    Mact would be safe for one more year and with a good goalie maybe longer.

    I agree.

    MacT’s faults are mostly due to lack of any real oversight and accountability and the scouting staff being loaded with nepotism hires.

    Get Chiarelli over him to get an experienced voice in the decision making process and purge the majority of the scouting staff and MacT has a chance.

    However, he’s on notice, and if there’s no real growth in one year, Chiarelli will surely bring in his own guy.

  28. AZOIL says:

    godot10: McLellan has a much deeper, longer, and diverse coaching experience, with multiple organizations.He has done well in more than one place.

    Bylsma’s coaching experience is rather limited, nor in multiple organizations, and he has not faced the broad range of coaching challenges that McLellan has over his career, and the challenges the Oilers represent.He has been a head coach in only one place, and he had Crosby and Malkin.

    Byslma was promoted from Hershey right?

    I don’t know maclellans history very well, before the Sharks he was with Detroit as an assistant right? What about before that?

  29. neojanus says:

    I think it is important for the Oilers to start placing personnel on the team with a winning record. It makes sense in hockey terms, but it is vital from a brand perspective.

    McLellan, if he does want the job, has that record. Great optical move.

    Ditto with Chiarelli; ditto with Nicholson for that matter.

    These moves (if they happen) are manoeuvres that the sports world will accept as the Oilers no longer embarrassing themselves with status quo decisions regarding upper management. That’s a big deal.

    The Oilers have really been mired in pretty mediocre/terrible hockey for more than twenty years now (with one year as a special exception). It’s time to bring in new thinkers that aren’t bleeding Oil yet in order to put Edmonton in a position where it sits at the top of the food chain again.

    We can argue about the personnel until we are blue in the face, but it really is time for brand new perspectives.

  30. RMGS says:

    russ99: I agree.

    MacT’s faults are mostly due to lack of any real oversight and accountability and the scouting staff being loaded with nepotism hires.

    Get Chiarelli over him to get an experienced voice in the decision making process and purge the majority of the scouting staff and MacT has a chance.

    However, he’s on notice, and if there’s no real growth in one year, Chiarelli will surely bring in his own guy.

    I continue to be flabbergasted at the amount of slack MacT gets among some fans. The Oilers have Connor McDavid. Why in the world would fans support wasting even one year of his first contract on a poor GM learning slowly on the job?

  31. Chamucks says:

    Maybe the Oilers are just going down the ladder?
    Katz hires Nicholson as CEO of the whole damn place.
    Nicholson installs Chiarelli as his POHO.
    Chiarelli installs his GM? That guy then hires the coach?

  32. Unicorns says:

    neojanus:
    I think it is important for the Oilers to start placing personnel on the team with a winning record. It makes sense in hockey terms, but it is vital from a brand perspective.

    McLellan, if he does want the job, has that record. Great optical move.

    Ditto with Chiarelli; ditto with Nicholson for that matter.

    These moves (if they happen) are manoeuvres that the sports world will accept as the Oilers no longer embarrassing themselves with status quo decisions regarding upper management. That’s a big deal.

    The Oilers have really been mired in pretty mediocre/terrible hockey for more than twenty years now (with one year as a special exception). It’s time to bring in new thinkers that aren’t bleeding Oil yet in order to put Edmonton in a position where it sits at the top of the food chain again.

    We can argue about the personnel until we are blue in the face, but it really is time for brand new perspectives.

    This is true. Not all new perspectives are good ones though, and that makes me nervous. Bourne at the score and sometimes on LT’s show has written a lot about strategy. IIRC Bylsma was not great at strategy for example. I see this as key for a team like the Oilers.

    He also wrote that the best players are treated differently than the rest of the team. Not in terms of expectations or accountability, but style.

    This may be at the root of Eakins’ issues. When you have special players, which the Oilers do because of their draft positions, you make decisions based on maximizing what they can do because they are better than everyone else.

    Like Kurri being the defensive player instead of Gretzky who normally would be as centre. Maybe that has to happen with McDavid to allow him to bring all that he has, and they should REALLY want that.

    You don’t hook thoroughbreds up to the plow. I’m not saying they don’t have to play responsibly, but there are many ways it can look if not locked into stale ideas.

    The Oilers need a coach that will tailor things to maximize his embarrassment of riches, work to keep it effective and keep adapting as teams scramble to try to stem the onslaught WOOOOOOOTTTTT!!!!!
    not stifle them, yes, just like Sather did. Like Eakins didn’t.

    They need a GM that can see what is lacking and provide it, and get it right more often than not, and never dead wrong. It’s one thing to acquire a player that doesn’t then impress, it’s another when they are outright bad. That means there are big issues evaluating, like what we have now.

  33. SiouxtheOilers says:

    AZOIL,

    McLellan spent some time in Houston within the Wild organization. Won a championship there, I believe.

  34. Numenius says:

    Unicorns,

    Well put.

    The phrase “brand new perspectives” sounds good rhetorically, but there no guarantee that something’s newness makes it better. Tambo was new at one point and look how that turned out.

  35. matt says:

    I am cautiously optimistic. Not excited (other than about #97), but find myself defending this guy’s record despite some well-developed cynicism.

    I don’t see the Seguin trade as an error. It was a bet on Erikson-in-Boston over Seguin-in-Boston that, while not unreasonable, did not work out. By definition, we can never know what pitfall was avoided, but we know the upside he missed out on. I’m happy we have a guy who both had the balls to make that call, and who has been burned by it.

    Horton and Boychuk were errors, but partially mitigated by being the outcome of reasonable spending decisions in previous years that were part of taking hard, credible runs at the cup (Iginla, etc.).

    There are no free lunches. You get what you pay for. There are no silver bullets. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. Etc. Chiarelli likely knew those things then, but certainly knows them now. I don’t think the former (!) management group did. So many free agent signing attempts/successes/absences and draft choices reflect an ethos of planning for the best, and being shocked (or feigning shock) when something less arrives.

« Older Comments

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!
© Copyright - Lowetide.ca