RE 15-16 CRAIG MACTAVISH: PANCHO AND LEFTY

Sometimes the best stories are never written. Sometimes the back story is so damn good it never makes the papers. Sometimes decades long friendships fracture in a fortnight. And sometimes good things come from trying times.

  1. When did MacT know? Along about the time they told him. I’m pretty sure MacTavish was blindsided.
  2. How could you, or anyone, know this? I’m guessing. The good lord left us an interesting time line.
  3. Set ’em up. This report has Chiarelli being fired April 15, that was the Wednesday. Three days later—Saturday April, 18—MacT was dancing in a Swiss hotel hallway when the lottery hit. Now, we’re through the weekend and Monday April 20 Bob Nicholson is announced as CEO of Oilers Entertainment Group. That media avail was pretty damn promising. Everything happens for a reason, friend. Thursday, April 23, Friedman tells us Chiarelli will be announced on the Friday.
  4. When did they offer Chiarelli the GM job? We don’t have the clear facts, but by the time April 24 rolled in, Chiarelli had the GM’s job. It’s completely possible the OEG offer didn’t include the GM’s job, but rather an overseer role, more like Brendan Shanahan in Toronto.
  5. And Chiarelli balked? Well, it comes down to control and how the organization would look once PC was hired. In any negotiation you lose all the power once the document is signed. Chiarelli had the hammer and I’m sure the Oilers felt opportunity was knocking in a big way.
  6. Was this fair to MacTavish? Fair isn’t really the issue. The Oilers, after many years of wandering in the desert, had been blessed by the hockey Gods. It was time to go.
  7. Was this the right thing to do? Yes.
  8. Really? YES!
  9. Explain. The Oilers were still in their plan during the 2014-15 season. I think it must have involved not worrying about the results, or at least not fretting too much over turning north. Why? There were holes when they left the station, big holes, and MacT didn’t address them.
  10. Inexperienced? Yes. The GM (MacTavish) did have a time line, but it didn’t involve winning as much as development—things like putting his head coach in a position where he had to play Leon Draisaitl because there was no veteran center available. That riled me up, because it’s a tell. It just is.
  11. And then? Season starts, and at some point, I imagine the pressure changed ownership’s view on Eakins and there was a decision to fire the coach, and that decision has to have come from above the GM. MacTavish, having told Eakins he had another year to straighten out the kids, must have balked at the idea, preferring instead to go the season and re-set summer 2015. I think MacTavish lost his job, or at least the confidence of upper management, right there, in that Eakins release window, thus making the summer decision to move him into another role more palatable.
  12. So MacT lost the right to be GM because he followed the agreed upon time line? No, MacT lost the right to be GM-in-training because he didn’t read the tea leaves correctly. My suspicion is that MacT misread the pressure points during the Eakins firing, didn’t see the change in the weather. Even as late as March MacT said “I’m confident going forward with Oscar Klefbom, Justin Schultz, Nikita Nikitin, Andrew Ference and Mark Fayne.” He misread both the public and the power of the public, never understanding that, while he wasn’t completely responsible for years of terrible management decisions, fans didn’t care to make the distinction. It bit him in the ass when Chiarelli laid his cards on the table and the OEG agreed to the plan.
  13. What should he have done? Balanced the roster. Getting a veteran center was vital and he didn’t get it done. In a real way, Craig MacTavish didn’t give himself or Dallas Eakins a full and real shot because the roster lacked balance. You wait until McLellan gets here, that roster is going to have his imprint all over it. You and I can talk about this guy making the team or that guy being too old, McLellan’s Oilers are going to reflect a veteran coach trying to win hockey games. Eakins never had that kind of support and the fault lies with Craig MacTavish. He needed to get a center summer 2014, another goalie by Nov. 1.
  14. He tried! Yes, and he failed. That’s the reason he’s no longer the general manager. This is how it works.
  15. Tambellini got longer to prove himself. The script looked similar, though. Some improvements, I think the draft tweaks were helpful in 2013 and the Pouliot/Fayne signings were good but there was still a lot of learning on the job. I think most of us began the MacT as GM era with high hopes but he had to learn the ropes and that was taking time. McDavid changed everything, and I think that probably saved the Oilers from eventually doing something stupid with one of the gifted players.
  16. You’re a MacTavish guy! You bet, hope he finds a job he enjoys, and I thought he was a very good coach. However, he made enough errors as GM that we could have been dealing with issues through the end of the decade. Remember, the contracts we’re waiting on to expire, the ones that will impact McDavid’s first year, are all MacT hires (Scrivens, Nikitin, Ference, Purcell).
  17. What role will he play under Chiarelli? No idea. Howson appears to have found a home in amateur scouting, perhaps MacTavish can handle the pro side.
  18. What areas might he have helped this summer? He was at the draft, so we can probably assume Chiarelli received his opinion on McDavid, Reinhart, Talbot, others. He also received credit for gathering assets that were turned into actual NHL players. Chiarelli: “The way I look at it…the [previous management] helped gather some of these assets. We make decisions as a group.” Source
  19. Can this work? No idea.
  20. Why would this work? Craig MacTavish may feel he can work in this role, that he can make a difference. I don’t believe he’s the kind of man who will hang around for the paycheck. If that was the case, he’d still be coaching the Oilers in my opinion.
  21. Is he still impacting the roster? The Marincin trade suggests the answer is yes.
  22. Why this song? It’s about betrayal and survival and the things men do when the absence of alternatives leaves no options.

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70 Responses to "RE 15-16 CRAIG MACTAVISH: PANCHO AND LEFTY"

  1. Woodguy says:

    Inexperienced? Yes. The GM (MacTavish) did have a time line, but it didn’t involve winning as much as development—things like putting his head coach in a position where he had to play Leon Draisaitl because there was no veteran center available. That riled me up, because it’s a tell. It just is.

    The Oiler’s main failing from fall 2006 until spring 2015 has been the same issue over and over again:

    Putting rookies in roles they are not ready for.

    On the ice, behind the bench, in the GM chair…..the Oilers constantly put rookies into roles where the highest probable outcome was failure and a step back in development.

    McDavid changed everything.

    Thankfully.

  2. Woodguy says:

    Btw, on April 11th I made a sacrifice of burnt offerings and whiskey to the Hockey Gords.

    link: https://twitter.com/Woodguy55/status/587022355358097408

    My original ask was that BUF win so that EDM could move into 30th place and get a higher percentage change at McDavid.

    Apparently they liked the offering so much they just gave us McDavid.

    You’re welcome.

  3. Soup Fascist says:

    Pancho met his match you know, hiring a coach who sure did blow

    Nobody heard his dyin words, ah but that’s the way it goes

  4. Woodguy says:

    McDavid changed everything, and I think that probably saved the Oilers from eventually doing something stupid with one of the gifted players.

    Yup.

    You’ll notice the “Taylor Hall is the problem” shit has stopped.

    Hmmmmmm.

  5. Mr DeBakey says:

    MacT’s summer – the draft, the Centers, the RHD contracts.. – should’ve seen him fired Labour Day 2014.

    Is it true the Spurs are already in last place in the EPL?

  6. Lowetide says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    MacT’s summer– the draft, the Centers, the RHD contracts.. – should’ve seen him fired Labour Day 2014.

    Is it true the Spurs are already in last place in the EPL?

    Banned!

  7. kinger_OIL says:

    – Question # 19: Can this work? LT says “No idea”. You know it LT, you just won’t say it: there is no precendence for it working.

    – MacT isn’t the only guy in Hockey to be gifted jobs becasue he’s a “homer”, but MacT only got these jobs becasue he’s a “homer”: just sayin’.

  8. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – Question # 19: Can this work?LT says “No idea”.You know it LT, you just won’t say it: there is no precendence for it working.

    – MacT isn’t the only guy in Hockey to be gifted jobs becasue he’s a “homer”, but MacT only got these jobs becasue he’s a “homer”: just sayin’.

    Habs used to do this all the time. Claude Ruel, Al MacNeil, we’ve seen Larry Robinson do this many times over the years. Management is less likely because Chiarelli is VERY likely to want his own man in there, but it has happened.

  9. Soup Fascist says:

    Woodguy:
    McDavid changed everything, and I think that probably saved the Oilers from eventually doing something stupid with one of the gifted players.

    Yup.

    You’ll notice the “Taylor Hall is the problem” shit has stopped.

    Hmmmmmm.

    So do you play Hall with McDavjd as a “speed kills” scoring duo or split them up to hopefully create a matchup problem?

    I realize this is a silly question as they have never played a shift together and McD is a baby, but I am curious as to your thoughts.

    The obligatory, “depends on the situation” response is off the table, btw.

  10. jm363561 says:

    Was always a MacT fan and was very pleased when he got the GM job. But Eakins, Clarkson, Nikitin, Ference 4 years, Gagner contract, Shultz contract, Petry – just too many Big Time mistakes. Shame, I really like the guy.

  11. Woodguy says:

    Soup Fascist: So do you play Hall with McDavjd as a “speed kills” scoring duo or split them up to hopefully create a matchup problem?

    I realize this is a silly question as they have never played a shift together and McD is a baby, but I am curious as to your thoughts?

    The obligatory, “depends on the situation” response is off the table, btw.

    I am on record stating that Hall should not play with McDavid to start.

    Hall attracts the best opposition D and F when healthy.

    I think that’s a bit much to ask of McDavid as the jump from CHL to NHL is huge.

    McDavid will get there quickly and there are years and years to play those two together and cause every NHL coach to become constipated as a result, but not to start.

    Their first game is vs. STL.

    Hall will attract Bakes and Pietrangelo.

    Do we want McDavid’s first NHL shift to be against those guys or something like Stastny and Shattenkirk?

    McDavid will feel heat right away but knowingly dropping him in the deep fat fryer can be avoided.

    Put rookies (even generational ones) in positions to succeed and not get their head kicked in.

  12. verdad2.0 says:

    MacTavish did not plan for the Oilers to be so bad and lucky that they would acquire MacDavid.
    His acquisition is the only saving grace from the entire tenure of Craig MacTavish.

    He along with Kevin Lowe continued the decade abuse of Oilers fans. Never caring about winning in the present, rationalizing incompetence by invoking the future.

    It is not possible to make a case for anything that MacTavish did in his tenure that worked out other than the blind luck of getting MacDavid.

    His most unforgiveable mistake was Eakins, a true Ahab character that made every player worse justified for the sake of “stats” , ignoring that the game is about results not process.

    We all know the absolute low point of the Oilers fan base was the post season comments of MacTavish , where he said “internal development” was the sorry future for the Oilers. One knew that the fan base was mostly gone with that comment. It revealed a manager with no plan for improvement than more stumbling in the dark.

    MacDavid alone changed that.

    MacTavish should have long since gone, but especially after Chiarelli arrived. MacTavish’s innate intelligence didn’t work. Move on.

    Chiarelli may yet prove as big a bungler. Early indications are not encouraging. Keeping the garbage of Ference, Nikitin, and Schultz inspires no confidence is his acumen. Worse is his failure to acquire a genuine #1 defenceman at all costs. Other than MacDavid any Oiler player is expendable if the return is right.

  13. Lowetide says:

    jm363561:
    Was always a MacT fan and was very pleased when he got the GM job. But Eakins, Clarkson, Nikitin, Ference 4 years, Gagner contract, Shultz contract, Petry – just too many Big Time mistakes. Shame, I really like the guy.

    Yeah, that’s where I am. Won’t forget the instructive coaching and the SC run, or the usage of two-way forwards, etc. He made too many decisions that didn’t move the needle on a team that had myriad areas for improvement.

  14. Clarkenstein says:

    I would have asked for MacTavish’s key and walked him out the door.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Clarkenstein:
    I would have asked for MacTavish’s key and walked him out the door.

    That may still happen, haven’t heard a strong indication about role, etc. Chiarelli may also be waiting for one of his lieutenants to be cut free.

  16. Soup Fascist says:

    verdad2.0,

    Not sure what Chiarelli’s legacy will be but what you are calling “failures” likely amounts to the “deal was not there”.

    He walked away from a “better” Andrew Ference in free agency two years ago. I am sure he would do it again if there was a suitable way out.

    In terms of acquiring a #1 D, not sure who has those available. He made a better offer than Calgary for Dougie – Christ, no grown man should be known as “Dougie” – but Sea Bass would have none of it.

    Tough to be real critical of Chiarelli based on his body of work as an Oiler, no?

  17. Bar_Qu says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, that’s where I am. Won’t forget the instructive coaching and the SC run, or the usage of two-way forwards, etc. He made too many decisions that didn’t move the needle on a team that had myriad areas for improvement.

    I think MacT experienced the same thing Daryl Sutter did, when he rose to be GM and immediately began making a hash of the Flames. Once Sutter was returned to the coaching ranks he was able to find his equilibrium again. MacT might find the same thing, but considering how long he was out of coaching before without NHL work, and with the stink of the last two years on him, I don’t know if he gets back to where he did his best ever again.

    As far as it being fair. No maybe it wasn’t, from the sense that he was “sold a bill of goods” and didn’t get it. But it is fair in that if in the NHL you don’t get it done, you get fired. He was clearly not getting it done, in most areas, with no real intimation that he had a plan going forward, so he deserved his fate. Worse, if the last few years of management moves in the NHL are at all instructive.

  18. commonfan14 says:

    On the timeline, MacT knew he was out as head man no later than April 22nd when Friedman AND Spector (the whole thing was a joint scoop) filed this story:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/what-peter-chiarelli-could-mean-to-the-oilers/

  19. verdad2.0 says:

    Soup Fascist,

    All I know is that we should expect fundamental improvement until that #1 defenceman in acquired.
    This franchise cannot wait years for Nurse and Klefbom to “figure it out”.
    We wasted a decade doing that.

    Making it happen is what GMs are paid for.

    OEL is the holy grail.

  20. Esa10 says:

    Lowetide, I just took my son to the summer showcase in calgary. I took him to a practice
    So that he could get some autographs and to a couple games. All the players were great with my son, except for DAl colle, and the hockey was fast, especially for summer hockey.

    Anyhoo: Mactavish, bob green, and at least a dozen oiler scouts were there for the first 2 days and then only d.sutter for the oilers on the last couple days. I think you may have it backwards and Mactavish is doing the amateur scouting and howson may be doing the pro side. No sign of howson but macT and green were front and center with the oiler scouts

  21. Bag of Pucks says:

    First, full disclosure: I think MacTavish is highly overrated as a coach. The Oilers Cinderella playoff performances under first Low and then MacT were hugely fueled by dominant unsustainable goaltending.

    By me eye, the same traits that made MacT a wonderful defensive C contributed to his key blindspot as a coach and GM. He values defensive traits (structure, discipline, physicality) over offensive traits (creativity, risk, chaos) and he places far too much value on unquantifiable intangibles (attitude, grit, leadership, toughness).

    He stifled offensive creativity as a coach. MacT’s dream shift as an HC was Smyth, Grier and Murray cycling the puck while Hemsky sat on the bench or in the doghouse. He thought Toby Petersen was a thing. With Eakins, he met his hockey soulmate and the once high flying Oilers officially became the team where offence came to die.

    His love for intangibles and complete disregard for realities (age, health, expense) led him to chase Clarkson, sign Ference and Nikitin, and the roster is now littered with 5/6 tier D on overpay deals.

    But his worst traits by far are his stubbornness and the inexplicable belief that permeated the entire Lowe regime that they were truly the smartest men in the rooms despite the graphic evidence to the contrary in the loss column.

    It all changed with McDavid. Thank you hockey gods. Thank you.

  22. Bar_Qu says:

    verdad2.0,

    OEL is not going anywhere. You need to stop beating that dead horse.

    Honestly, the Oil may not make the playoffs this year, but they will have gotten the teeth of Reinhart, Nurse cut and those are two of the three that will form the defence by committee dynamo that allow the Oil to soar in 2016-17. Klef being the third of course.

    Sekera, Klef, Nurse, Fayne, Reinhart make a pretty promising top 5 year after next. There seems to me to be no hurry to muck about with the D, or add an extra year of paying for Nikitin via buyout. Add in the ability to trade away Ference at the deadline, you would have a very successful year.

  23. oliveoilers says:

    MacT’s brutal honesty was what got him in the end.

    I remember thinking he was done the moment he said next season is another development season.

    Even if true, you don’t say it. You say “we’re going to strive to improve, whilst still trying to win hockey games. Play-offs are always the goal.” Or words to that effect.

    When you tell everybody it’s not going to be worth renewing season tickets, then I’m afraid there may be a pink slip in your in-tray by the time the cameras stop rolling.

    I do think he’d still be here if we hadn’t won the lottery, though.

  24. Bag of Pucks says:

    Another hallmark of MacT as an an exec was his poor people skills and the bungled usage of his media pulpit. He threw Dubnyk under the bus, alienated Petry, and when forced between trading Perron or firing Eakins, he traded Perron…and then fired Eakins anyway. And then after a true debacle of a season, he gives the Bush Sr “stay the course” speech.

    These are not the actions of an intelligent man.

    He gets far too much credit for being brainy cos of an online MBA funded by TOBC imo.

  25. admiralmark says:

    Tambellini had a mandate to mess around but don’t win too much. He was perfect for the role. MacT on the other hand has made moves he felt would “actually” improve the team and he was bad at it.

    MacT should not be involved in any role that requires the ability to assess talent period.

    PS: Admire immensely the player he was. Was underrated by many in his role on those winning Stanley Cup teams. And was masterful in 2006 as Coach.

  26. Lowetide says:

    commonfan14:
    On the timeline, MacT knew he was out as head man no later than April 22nd when Friedman AND Spector (the whole thing was a joint scoop) filed this story:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/what-peter-chiarelli-could-mean-to-the-oilers/

    Yes. When did he know? that is the question.

  27. unca miltie says:

    Bar_Qu:
    verdad2.0,

    OEL is not going anywhere. You need to stop beating that dead horse.

    See previous thread..In my dream I could not find Maloney’s phone number so no OEL.

  28. rich says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Another hallmark of MacT as an an exec was his poor people skills and the bungled usage of his media pulpit. He threw Dubnyk under the bus, alienated Petry, and when forced between trading Perron or firing Eakins, he traded Perron…and then fired Eakins anyway. And then after a true debacle of a season, he gives the Bush Sr “stay the course” speech.

    These are not the actions of an intelligent man.

    He gets far too much credit for being brainy cos of an online MBA funded by TOBC imo.

    This is a very good point. Wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s “not intelligent”.

    But would say that this is an example of someone who was way over his head as a GM.

    The skills that make you a good “manipulator” of the talent in the room, pushing buttons to improve performance do not translate to a good GM.

    The bluster that fired up the fans in his first days as GM (and I admit, I loved what he said), came to bite him in the tail because he was swimming in a pool with 29 other sharks who understood the play book better than him.

    Blame all around. The guys who promoted an inexperienced GM with the wrong skill set deserve just as much as MacT.

  29. G Money says:

    *** NERD ALERT ***

    Part 3 (of 4) of SwedishPoster’s look at the 2015 draft. Part 3 looks at a number of undrafted players.

    https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/guest-columnist-swedishposter-reviews-2015-undrafted-players-and-a-few-other-interesting-bets-part-3/

  30. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Yes. When did he know? that is the question.

    Probably when Bob Nicholson called him back early from SUI.

  31. G Money says:

    MacT was handed the task of turning around the worst franchise in the NHL. In a fishbowl market. As a rookie.

    He was in way over his head, and it showed.

    Suggesting he somehow knows nothing about hockey or isn’t intelligent is a fucking ridiculous statement to make. Just dumb. Sorry. It is.

    Ditto comments about MacT’s coaching. Just shows how little is remembered about the context of those Oiler teams. Small struggling market in a $.60 world and an uncapped league. The Oilers were basically a farm team for the big money markets. Yet every year, MacT’s star-less teams were competitive, and in the playoff hunt at the end of the year – something they’ve never done, not once, since he left, despite a significant influx of high end talent. The first year MacT was given some stars in a capped world, he took his team to within one game of a Stanley Cup.

    Apprenticing at the side of an experienced GM like Chiarelli is probably the perfect situation for an intelligent, knowledgeable, and passionate hockey man like MacT. Maybe he’ll be a good GM someday, maybe he won’t. Either way – it won’t be because he doesn’t know hockey.

  32. rickithebear says:

    G Money: Apprenticing at the side of an experienced GM like Chiarelli is probably the perfect situation for an intelligent, knowledgeable, and passionate hockey man like MacT. Maybe he’ll be a good GM someday, maybe he won’t. Either way – it won’t be because he doesn’t know hockey.

    this was better than watching Bautista’s homer yesterday!

  33. rickithebear says:

    Purcell<- Gagner Purcell showed a stronger consistent game under Nelson.
    Fayne UFA 1st comp 44.79
    Pouliot UFA 1st comp PvP 30G pace under Nelson
    Klink and Pit #16 for a negative generating Perron.
    Freeing up 5.5m by not signing petry 58.39 last 3 years.
    Slats doing the old oilers a favour on talbot trade!

    Negative Transactions
    Eakins for Krueger
    Ference UFA
    Trading Dubnyk because Eakins pinch

  34. rickithebear says:

    MacT drafting:
    Nurse 2gm 3rd comp 45.38
    Yakimov drove offensive play end of year in OKC
    Slepyshev bump from 11 to 16 min produced at same rate as Tarasenko same age!
    Platzer
    Betker very mobile Def D.
    Chase
    Draisatl WHL playoff MVP; Mem cup MVP
    Lagesson SWE WJC @18
    Mcdavid lottery Win

    Picking Eakins over Krueger cost this team 2 years!
    It cost MacT his Gm job!
    Overseeing Amt scouting makes sense.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Probably when Bob Nicholson called him back early from SUI.

    Was it ‘come back, we’re going to get Chiarelli in the Shanahan role’ or was it something else? When did he know?

  36. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Was it ‘come back, we’re going to get Chiarelli in the Shanahan role’ or was it something else? When did he know?

    Being recalled by your boss rarely has a good outcome.

    Perhaps it was done during the phone call “come back, Chiarelli is going to be the new Pres/GM and we want to discuss your future role in the org”

    It might have been more vague… “Kevin is stepping aside to allow Chiarelli to become President and he wants to discuss the GM role with you”

    My money in on the first scenario.

    That would have been a long trip back.

  37. rickithebear says:

    PC
    Acquired Reinhart (pit pick +) w/ Dehann 3gm 44.03
    Gryba 2nd comp 51.20
    Korpikoski>- Gordon change foot speed.
    Sekera UFA was petry’s money 1st comp 51.38
    Letestu targeting specific side FO%
    Nilsson Strong CA/60vs EVGA curve

    PC drafting:
    Bear; jones 1st comp in JR.
    Pyagin 1st comp U20 WJC
    Svoboda 6’3″
    17 yr Czech u18 U18 reg .919 Playoffs .928
    18 Yr Czech U20 reg .937 playoffs .930
    19 year
    Czech U20 Reg .917
    Czech Extralegal Playoffs 1gm 1.000
    Czech Div 2 Reg .910 Playoffs .928 avoids relegation
    U20 WJC .942

  38. G Money says:

    As my company (energy services) grapples with the energy downturn, layoffs have become a steady refrain. (I was actually expecting I too would be unemployed in August).

    Employees knew that another ‘event’ would be occurring in late July or early August. I had one employee tell me that if it were to happen that she was to be part of the next event, she really really wanted it to happen on July 21st, because she was going on vacation for two weeks on the 22nd and didn’t want it to be interrupted!

    Better to know I guess.

    (For the record, yes, sadly I did have to let her go, and yes, it was on July 21st)

  39. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Being recalled by your boss rarely has a good outcome.

    Perhaps it was done during the phone call “come back, Chiarelli is going to be the new Pres/GM and we want to discuss your future role in the org”

    It might have been more vague… “Kevin is stepping aside to allow Chiarelli to become President and he wants to discuss the GM role with you”

    My money in on the first scenario.

    That would have been a long trip back.

    Yes, wouldn’t have been fun. McDavid changed absolutely everything, and I think when we look back Nicholson’s presence during that period will have been key. A lot of furniture got moved that week, best to have someone who doesn’t remember what happened in those chairs once upon a time.

  40. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    As my company (energy services) grapples with the energy downturn, layoffs have become a steady refrain.(I was actually expecting I too would be unemployed in August).

    Employees knew that another ‘event’ would be occurring in late July or early August.I had one employee tell me that if it were to happen that she was to be part of the next event, she really really wanted it to happen on July 21st, because she was going on vacation for two weeks on the 22nd and didn’t want it to be interrupted!

    Better to know I guess.

    (For the record, yes, sadly I did have to let her go, and yes, it was on July 21st)

    Shitty. I’ve never been fired (seriously, it’s luck of the draw) but have had to fire people and I can remember every last detail. It’s awful thing to have to do, glad I only had to do it a few times.

  41. Lowetide says:

    rickithebear:
    PC
    Acquired Reinhart (pit pick +) w/ Dehann 3gm 44.03
    Gryba 2nd comp 51.20
    Korpikoski>- Gordon change foot speed.
    Sekera UFA was petry’s money 1st comp 51.38
    Letestu targeting specific side FO%
    Nilsson Strong CA/60vs EVGA curve

    PC drafting:
    Bear; jones 1st comp in JR.
    Pyagin 1st comp U20 WJC
    Svoboda6’3″
    17 yr Czech u18 U18 reg .919 Playoffs .928
    18 Yr Czech U20 reg .937 playoffs .930
    19 year
    Czech U20 Reg .917
    Czech Extralegal Playoffs 1gm 1.000
    Czech Div 2 Reg .910 Playoffs .928 avoids relegation
    U20 WJC .942

    I like Chiarelli’s summer with the following exceptions:

    1. Reinhart cost too much
    2. Marincin is a far better defenseman than the Oilers think he is

    After that, I thought they had a strong summer. I really like the draft, wish they could have kept more pieces but a lot changed that weekend for the better imo (McDavid set aside).

  42. speeds says:

    Lowetide: I like Chiarelli’s summer with the following exceptions:

    1. Reinhart cost too much
    2. Marincin is a far better defenseman than the Oilers think he is

    After that, I thought they had a strong summer. I really like the draft, wish they could have kept more pieces but a lot changed that weekend for the better imo (McDavid set aside).

    When MacTavish was made GM, I thought it was an interesting exercise to look at his summer and imagine that Tambellini was still in control, and see if that did or didn’t change your view of the transactions.

    With Chiarelli now in control, maybe it’s a worthwhile exercise again (if it ever was)?

  43. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money:
    MacT was handed the task of turning around the worst franchise in the NHL.In a fishbowl market.As a rookie.

    He was in way over his head, and it showed.

    Suggesting he somehow knows nothing about hockey or isn’t intelligent is a fucking ridiculous statement to make.Just dumb.Sorry.It is.

    There’s a fairly substantial gap between saying someone isn’t intelligent full stop, or suggesting their intelligence has been overrated or that certain actions taken have not been intelligent ones.

  44. Bootstrap Effexor says:

    Bag of Pucks: The Oilers Cinderella playoff performances under first Low and then MacT were hugely fueled by dominant unsustainable goaltending.

    That squad would not have worn the “Cinderella” tag in the first place without vexatiously subdominant goaltending for the majority of the regular season. Check out the numbers. In the battle of the crease—prior to the Roloson airdrop—we were spotting the other team nearly half a goal per game, and yet somehow we made the playoffs (must have been those nutritious and delicious Cinderella snacks).

    And really, was Roloson (riding 30 minutes a night of CFP’s coattails) really any better than Cujo’s best post season performance, or even Salo’s best post season performance?

    Cujo 12-5-7 1.93 .928 (1997–98)
    Salo 6-2-4 2.22 .920 (1998–99)
    Cujo 43-23-20 2.18 .932 (1999-00+00-01+01-02 w/Leafs)
    Rolo 18-12-5 2.33 .927 (2005-06)

    Roloson was hardly outperforming a 100% sustainable Curtis Joseph, or one more epic snag per series by a still-confident Tommy Salo.

    So many of these narratives are so damn convenient, they get escalated to gospel.

    I worked the numbers before, but this time I’ll let a handy blog post fill in the blanks.

    Looking Back at the Oilers’ 2005-2006 Season

    The Oilers put together some fantastic numbers over a full season, and compare well to some of the more recent top teams. The Oilers were a strong possession team over 82 games and had the sixth highest offensive zone starts. The team allowed the fewest shots in the league, but had the worst on-ice save percentage. That of course impacted the PDO, which was one of the lowest in the league.

    Their season-ending save percentage included the uptick from the Roloson games over where it had been before his arrival.

    Bear in mind that Roloson essentially asked the team to play differently in front of him, so his own regular season numbers included a miniature training camp conducted in the midst of a playoff stretch drive.

    Pardon my French, but for my liking, that Cinderella meme can go fuck itself.

    Just think if we had had the Vollman hammer for the whole of the CFP miracle year how the story would now differ.

    ———

    I feel somewhat the same about MacT as GM. The established players of our dreams weren’t exactly jumping for the worm prior to lancing our hook into fish heroine.

    Then in a surprising moment the GM’s careworn carpet tilts downhill, and then elite management and coaching are suddenly beating the door down.

    Causation or correlation? Choose carefully. The cachet to pick your own coaching spot is self-sustaining. You just need one Cinderella season to establish yourself, then if you play your cards right you can ride advantaged situations into the sunset.

    ———

    The hardest job for a GM is to guide the unloved, Siberian step-child back to respectability when the likelihood of having a desirable player return your phone calls is directly related to player beginning to realize he’s negotiating his last payday (at which point, an extra year of term is found money).

    Tambi handed out extra years of term like gumdrops in order to plug bodies into roster spots. MacT typically chose the brutal short-term overpay so as not to be handcuffed when the worm finally turned.

    Tambi actually said about Éric Bélanger that his demand for a third year “proved he wanted to be here”. I just slapped my forehead and said to myself, “oh, god, we’re so screwed”.

    And then what?

    Edmonton Oilers waive Eric Belanger; will buy him out

    Oh, Tambi. A demand for an extra year is right out of The Market for Lemons 101, which happens exactly when the player himself knows a year ahead of time what the world at large will soon discover. Tambi should have adopted a posture of maximal lemon fear, but instead of dealing with hard reality he grabs himself a shaker can of silver-lining spray paint.

    When you’re the Siberian step-child incumbent, the alternative to a promising GM learning on the job is a formerly promising GM playing out a sad string à la Èric Bèlanger (accent grave).

  45. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bootstrap, cutting to the chase, are you suggesting that a .927 save percentage in the playoffs is a realistic expectation for a team to rely on?

    Edmonton doesn’t get past Detroit or San Jose that year without Roloson playing like Hasek imo. Ditto for CuJo in the series wins over DAL and COL.

    Absolutely, this small market team squeezed some optimal performance out of oft overmatched rosters but it’s extremely telling that both Low and MacT failed to find HC employment elsewhere. Evidently if MaCT was a brilliant coach, it wasn’t being recognized league wide.

    Hot Gs have made many a coach look better than they are.

  46. oliveoilers says:

    Bootstrap Effexor,

    Everything I ever wanted to say about the Oilers. Thank you.

    For me, it’s the buzz words and sentences. ‘Unsustainable’ being one, when it has been demonstrable over two or three seasons. What’s the line in the sand for sustainability? A career? Won’t we find out until after retirement?

    The Cinderella meme may well go eff itself, but the ‘I don’t thing that word means what you think it means’ might as well put the kettle on.

  47. oliveoilers says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Bootstrap, cutting to the chase, are you suggesting that a .927 save percentage in the playoffs is a realistic expectation for a team to rely on?

    Edmonton doesn’t get past Detroit or San Jose that year without Roloson playing like Hasek imo. Ditto for CuJo in the series wins over DAL and COL.

    Absolutely, this small market team squeezed some optimal performance out of oft overmatched rosters but it’s extremely telling that both Low and MacT failed to find HC employment elsewhere. Evidently if MaCT was a brilliant coach, it wasn’t being recognized league wide.

    Hot Gs have made many a coach look better than they are.

    Not sure what to make of this post. I agree with your last statement, but Lowe never HAD to find employment as a HC after his move upstairs.

    No team ‘relies’ on anything in the play-offs.

    Oh, and the NYR are not a good team without Lundquist, eh?

  48. Bag of Pucks says:

    oliveoilers:
    Bootstrap Effexor,

    Everything I ever wanted to say about the Oilers.Thank you.

    For me, it’s the buzz words and sentences.‘Unsustainable’ being one, when it has been demonstrable over two or three seasons.What’s the line in the sand for sustainability?A career?Won’t we find out until after retirement?

    The Cinderella meme may well go eff itself, but the ‘I don’t thing that word means what you think it means’ might as well put the kettle on.

    The results themselves show the unsustainability. Low could ride CuJo for a first round upset, maybe two, but eventually the goaltending reverts to established levels and the losses mount.

    Roloson was the Conn Smythe favourite prior to his injury. He was playing like Roy in 93. Absolutely you strike while the iron is hot and ride those type of career defining performances to the hilt, but to suggest they’re sustainable YoY or the result of coaching acumen? Meh.

  49. Bag of Pucks says:

    oliveoilers: Not sure what to make of this post.I agree with your last statement, but Lowe never HAD to find employment as a HC after his move upstairs.

    No team ‘relies’ on anything in the play-offs.

    Oh, and the NYR are not a good team without Lundquist, eh?

    Ron Low not Kevin Lowe.

  50. oliveoilers says:

    Bag of Pucks: Ron Low not Kevin Lowe.

    LOL, my bad. But it is true that Kevin has never found another HC job, despite everything he knows about winning.

  51. Bag of Pucks says:

    oliveoilers: LOL, my bad.But it is true that Kevin has never found another HC job, despite everything he knows about winning.

    Employers don’t pay nearly enough attention to the rings you wear to the interview. It’s a big problem.

  52. Bag of Pucks says:

    Btw, the biggest problem with debunking 06 being a Cinderella run? Everything that followed for 9 straight seasons of suckage.

    Man, did Lowe and MacTavish’s competence depart drastically and unexpectedly. It was almost like their hockey acumen left alongside Chris Pronger.

    Thankfully ‘Six Rings’ was there to provide a viable explanation. They were chasing the dream!

  53. LMHF#1 says:

    If you watched that 2005-06 season closely, as I did (attended every single preseason, season and postseason home game, plus game 5 in Raleigh) you know that was a damn fine hockey team. Detroit should have been the only series in question and Manny Legace’s attitude that he was about to lose his job meant he had no confidence. Not going to win with a headcase in net.

    Pronger and Pisani were both clear of Roloson for the Conn Smythe as well.

  54. SwedishPoster says:

    Bag of Pucks: Employers don’t pay nearly enough attention to the rings you wear to the interview. It’s a big problem.

    Tell me about it. I always turn up packing every ring in my collection and never seem to score a job. The world has truly gone mad.

  55. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: There’s a fairly substantial gap between saying someone isn’t intelligent full stop, or suggesting their intelligence has been overrated or that certain actions taken have not been intelligent ones.

    You are correct.

    My comment wasn’t necessarily aimed directly at your previous comment (though it did trigger it), moreso a response to a general theme of MacT commentary that comes up any time he’s discussed.

    It is a characteristic of many posters (far fewer here at LT than most places) that they have no ability to see granular distinctions in the world. MacT is an idiot, his results as GM prove it. Eakins is a moron with no knowledge of hockey, no redeeming qualities, hell, not even a soul – his results prove it. Etc.

  56. Bag of Pucks says:

    Employer. ” Mr Lowe, what would you say is the single strongest strength you would bring to our GM position?”

    Lowe. “Without a doubt, it’s the fact that I know a thing or two about winning. I won the Stanley Cup 6 times.”

    Employer. “Those accomplishments were as a player. Do you have an example from the management ranks?”

    Lowe. “Traded for Pronger and Rollie in 06 and taught them a thing or two about winning.”

    Employer. “Can you elaborate?”

    Lowe. “Totally. In 83, after we lost to the Isles, Gretz and I were walking past their dressing room and…”

    Employer. “Sorry Kevin, I’m going to interrupt you there. Do you have a more recent example of utilizing your strengths to help build a team ?Something on the management side? Something more recent than 9 years ago by chance?”

    Lowe. “I have the scoresheet from the first game of the franchise. Do you want to see it?”

    Employer. “Kevin, I think we’re going to go in another direction with this hire. Get someone with a fresh perspective. Someone like Jimmy Rutherford or Jay Feaster. Thanks for your time….”

  57. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money: You are correct.

    My comment wasn’t necessarily aimed directly at your previous comment (though it did trigger it), moreso a response to a general theme of MacT commentary that comes up any time he’s discussed.

    It is a characteristic of many posters (far fewer here at LT than most places) that they have no ability to see granular distinctions in the world.MacT is an idiot, his results as GM prove it.Eakins is a moron with no knowledge of hockey, no redeeming qualities, hell, not even a soul – his results prove it.Etc.

    If you’re suggesting Eakins has a soul, you’ve lost all credibility in my books ; )

  58. Bag of Pucks says:

    Btw, been following this team since 78. I’m a relative pup compared to LT. lol

    But one thing that probably makes me a bit unusual on this board is I don’t deify the 06 run.

    Reason being, I was working overseas in Cyprus that year and the best I could manage with the time change and web infrastructure of the era was next day goal highlights.

    My sister in law taped the entire run on VHS so I watched that run 6 months after the fact and far removed from the hoopla and hysteria that engulfed the city. Gives me, I think, a very different and dispassionate view of that playoff season.

    They were a good, not great, team with great goaltending and a game changing defenceman in the prime of his career. A lot of circumstances lining up in their favour, which is kind of the definition of ‘cinderella’ imo.

  59. LMHF#1 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Btw, been following this team since 78. I’m a relative pup compared to LT. lol

    But one thing that probably makes me a bit unusual on this board is I don’t deify the 06 run.

    Reason being, I was working overseas in Cyprus that year and the best I could manage with the time change and web infrastructure of the era was next day goal highlights.

    My sister in law taped the entire run on VHS so I watched that run 6 months after the fact and far removed from the hoopla and hysteria that engulfed the city. Gives me, I think, a very different and dispassionate view of that playoff season.

    So you did or didn’t experience the regular season?

    That’s key context. The team was much better than the results of the regular season suggested.

  60. Bag of Pucks says:

    LMHF#1: So you did or didn’t experience the regular season?

    That’s key context. The team was much better than the results of the regular season suggested.

    If memory serves, I left for Cyprus in December, so only saw the first two months of the regular season.

    Not sure how that regular season context changes the fact that Roloson had a career playoff run. That’s not attributable to good coaching imo.

    Were they not badly outshot by both DET and SJ?

    Kind of odd to suggest Rollie wasn’t the decisive factor when they lost the first series he couldn’t finish?

  61. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    I think when we look back Nicholson’s presence during that period will have been key

    Agreed.

    If Katz didn’t come to the conclusion that his buddies needed an overseer MacT would still be GM.

    I’d like to thank whoever it was that convinced Katz that he needed Nicholson.

  62. Revolved says:

    Woodguy:
    Lowetide,

    I think when we look back Nicholson’s presence during that period will have been key

    Agreed.

    If Katz didn’t come to the conclusion that his buddies needed an overseer MacT would still be GM.

    I’d like to thank whoever it was that convinced Katz that he needed Nicholson.

    I think this is really where the story of this summer starts. Does anyone know how Katz and Nicholson met, and how Katz managed to recruit him to our, beloved, tire fire?

    It begs the question: would all of this had happened without winning the lottery? Did Katz know the time to win was now and prepared to act on it by hiring Nicholson in April?

  63. Woodguy says:

    Revolved: I think this is really where the story of this summer starts.Does anyone know how Katz and Nicholson met, and how Katz managed to recruit him to our, beloved, tire fire?

    It begs the question: would all of this had happened without winning the lottery? Did Katz know the time to win was now and prepared to act on it by hiring Nicholson in April?

    Katz was heavily involved in the Sochi Olympics.

    Flew staff and players in his jet to and from the games.

    Bought a private box for Hockey Canada (USA Hockey had to sit in the regular seats)

    They also had a retreat of all the Hockey Canada brains at Katz’ place in Palm Springs.

    I think he knew Nicholson before, but it was Sochi and everything around it that brought them together often.

    Originally Nicholson was hired to run the business side of Rexall, but after some prodding (not sure from whom, Nicholson was probably part of it) he took over the hockey side too when named CEO.

    Rumour has it that The Orr Group (represents Hall and McDavid) made a call after the lottery to Katz and maybe there was a call from the NHL as well.

    Perhaps the call went something like…..

    “Darrell, I know Kevin and Craig are your friends, but they are the laughing stock of the NHL and have pissed away 5 years of Hall already. McDavid represents and whole different level of player and can be worth hundreds of millions to Rexall Sports, but you can’t have Itchy and Scratchy continue at the helm of the team”

    Less than a week after they won the lottery Lowe was out of the hockey side (he was ready to step back anyhow) and MacT was an employee without power or a title.

    That’s not a coincidence.

  64. Gerta Rauss says:

    Woodguy: but you can’t have Itchy and Scratchy continue at the helm of the team”

    Scott Howson is Poochy then..?

    I like Mactavish and have a lot of respect for him as a player, but I wish he had moved along after Chia was hired. The org needed a clean slate imo. Maybe he leaves the org next summer(or is forced out), we’ll see.

    Love the song LT, EmmyLou was quite the looker when she was younger. Wow.

  65. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    Poncho and Lefty without Willie? Crazy.

  66. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy: Katz was heavily involved in the Sochi Olympics.

    Flew staff and players in his jet to and from the games.

    Bought a private box for Hockey Canada (USA Hockey had to sit in the regular seats)

    They also had a retreat of all the Hockey Canada brains at Katz’ place in Palm Springs.

    I think he knew Nicholson before, but it was Sochi and everything around it that brought them together often.

    Originally Nicholson was hired to run the business side of Rexall, but after some prodding (not sure from whom, Nicholson was probably part of it) he took over the hockey side too when named CEO.

    Rumour has it that The Orr Group (represents Hall and McDavid) made a call after the lottery to Katz and maybe there was a call from the NHL as well.

    Perhaps the call went something like…..

    “Darrell, I know Kevin and Craig are your friends, but they are the laughing stock of the NHL and have pissed away 5 years of Hall already.McDavid represents and whole different level of player and can be worth hundreds of millions to Rexall Sports, but you can’t have Itchy and Scratchy continue at the helm of the team”

    Less than a week after they won the lottery Lowe was out of the hockey side (he was ready to step back anyhow) and MacT was an employee without power or a title.

    That’s not a coincidence.

    Interesting speculation and view. I would love to have been a bug in the room.

  67. GCW_69 says:

    Woodguy: I am on record stating that Hall should not play with McDavid to start.

    Hall attracts the best opposition D and F when healthy.

    I think that’s a bit much to ask of McDavid as the jump from CHL to NHL is huge.

    McDavid will get there quickly and there are years and years to play those two together and cause every NHL coach to become constipated as a result, but not to start.

    Their first game is vs. STL.

    Hall will attract Bakes and Pietrangelo.

    Do we want McDavid’s first NHL shift to be against those guys or something like Stastny and Shattenkirk?

    McDavid will feel heat right away but knowingly dropping him in the deep fat fryer can be avoided.

    Put rookies (even generational ones) in positions to succeed and not get their head kicked in.

    If Hall and McDavid attract the top Blues opposition then Nuge and Eberle will kill the Blues. The point is to win hockey games and if that means McDavid has to learn the hard way, I think he can handle it provided he has the right wingers. Hall is one and of the current roster Purcell is probably the other.

    They can give McDavid and Hall some cover by giving them more favourable zone starts and ask Nuge and Eberle to start from further back if they are playing softer opposition.

    I suppose you could put Hall with Nuge and Purcell and give McDavid Eberle and Pouliot, but I think Nuge and Eberle are so good together I would be reluctant to break them up.

  68. Gret99zky says:

    LMHF#1: So you did or didn’t experience the regular season?

    That’s key context. The team was much better than the results of the regular season suggested.

    So, visually better?

  69. verdad2.0 says:

    Bar_Qu,

    This mentality has sewered the Oilers for a decade.
    Making the playoffs this season is all that matters.
    Otherwise nothing ever changes.

  70. GCW_69 says:

    “. I don’t believe he’s the kind of man who will hang around for the paycheck. If that was the case, he’d still be coaching the Oilers in my opinion.”

    When MacT left the first time he may have felt, and I would have agreed, that he would be in some demand. Buy now he has been out of coaching at the NHL level for some time and has a disastrous run as GM tied to him as well.

    He may feel his options are limited and I would guess the pay cheque he gets is a pretty healthy one.

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