The Future (More to Come)

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116 Responses to "The Future (More to Come)"

  1. mc79hockey says:

    You seem distressingly sure about all of this LT. If you’re right, I will have the blog post to end all blog posts on the matter.

  2. Mr DeBakey says:

    NO!

    Just say no.

    A minumum of 300 games experience
    as a head coach,
    Major Junior, University, Pro

  3. quain says:

    You know, I skipped rooting for the local Blackhawks when I got into hockey because of general front office ineptitude, and what do I get in thanks? Three playoff-less seasons and general front office ineptitude.

    This bandwagon sucks.

  4. HBomb says:

    Fuck that. Paul MacLean, please and thank you.

    Messier as a head coach, Buchberger as MacT’s replacement…either of these are simply “more of the same” and, as such, are unacceptable alternatives.

  5. The Forechecker says:

    But… he’s a leader! Everybody says so, they even give out a Mark Messier Leadership Award! It doesn’t matter if he can coach or not, he’ll just say a few words, pat a few shoulders, drop a few tears (ok, a lot), and your boys will grow into Champions!

    Coming from a fan of another middling Western Conference team, I say “go for it”…

  6. Mr DeBakey says:

    “Charlie.”
    “Yeah Bill, whass up?”
    “Why is the dressing room full of potato chips?”

  7. Jonathan Willis says:

    I’ll say it before DG can: Scott Arniel.

  8. Coach pb9617 says:

    And a Jagr overpay. It will be the perfect off-season.

    My nominations for coach:

    Any Boudreau assistant that knows his system and the ins and outs of that system.
    Kevin Dineen
    Jack Capuano
    Tom Fitzgerald
    Dan Bylsma

  9. godot10 says:

    Well, hiring Messier would be a sure fire way to get into the draft lottery next year! -)

  10. Psyche says:

    Scott Arniel, another former Wpg Jet, is doing well with the Moose:

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/hockey/moose/ahls-best-coach-has-title-plans-42656482.html

  11. geowal says:

    I know the organization seems to have a limited appetite for him (read: limited role), but…
    Rob Daum anyone?

  12. godot10 says:

    I would be leery of Paul MacLean because he has been content to be an assistant too long (in a nice safe place).

    If he really wanted to be a head coach, he would be riding the buses in the AHL instead of attaching himself at the hip to Mike Babcock.

  13. Schitzo says:

    Arniel, another former Wpg Jet, is doing well with the Moose

    Well, then he’ll do well as an assistant to The Moose.

  14. Matt says:

    As the estimable Tom Benjamin said in January:

    I don’t think there is a hockey person in North America who is unaware of the Messier ambitions. That he has not received a job offer – even from the Rangers – after nearly five years probably says that nobody thinks much of Messier’s qualifications or potential.

    Best of luck to the Edmonton Oilers this offseason.

  15. oilerdago says:

    LT: Messier? Surely you jest?

    Seriously, I have no prob if it’s as an assistant while he learns the ropes.

    But surely, Tambellini is not THAT stupid to throw an unproven coach into an environment where there is a lot of second guessing going on.

    Oh wait a minute, I’m giving Tambo too much credit. He got tied in nots by a simple question from Dan Tencer the other nite (when asked about the ongoing “contract negotiations” with Omark).

    I’m wondering if the shoes are too big for this man to fill.

  16. Jason says:

    Is the slightly more obvious choice of Brent Sutter not on the table anymore? He has all but said that he won’t be back with NJ next year because he wants to move back to Alberta and coach somewhere. Isn’t Edmonton in Alberta? Isn’t Edmonton somewhere?

  17. Schitzo says:

    You know what? It’s Rich Winter time as GM. We’ll finally land the Hossa we’ve always wanted.

  18. reijo29 says:

    Here's a name that I think alot of people are neglecting to mention.

    Mark "Frickin" Lamb

    1.) He is an Old Oiler but not necessarily part of the Old Boy Network, otherwise I'm sure he would be coaching here already like he did in '01-02.
    2.) Pretty sure he's buddies with Katz & alot of well to do Edmontonians. He is the main partner in Century Hospitality Group (Century Grill, Lux, Delux, Hundred) with Chris Lachance. Lachance & Katz are old buddies, so 2 + 2 = 4 here I think.
    3.) Done a fairly good as the right hand man in Dallas the past 6 years.

    Here's the link to his Bio on Stars website.
    http://stars.nhl.com/team/app?service=page&page=NHLPage&bcid=sta_bio-lamb

    You heard it here first folks.

  19. Jonathan Willis says:

    Incidentally, wouldn’t it make sense for Steve Tambellini, formerly of the Vancouver Canucks, to bring in Scott Arniel, Canucks farm team coach, this offseason?

    If Tambellini’s in charge, that is.

  20. Jonathan Willis says:

    Mark Lamb was also an assistant on the Oilers in 2001-02. He would seem to be a logical choice.

  21. Schitzo says:

    Anyone hear if that Scott Howson guy ever found work somewhere? I liked him.

  22. Sean says:

    I thought Messier wanted Sathers job

  23. Steve says:

    Sure, you guys are scoffing at this now, but just wait until we’re going into game 6 of a playoff series down 3-2 and we need somebody to GUARANTEE A WIN!

    Moose! Moose! Moose!

    Steve Smith
    Associate Undersecretary
    Department of Bad Ideas

  24. Traktor says:

    “The big thing as a coach is that you think you have all the answers and that you have a game plan that is the be all and end all. Then you get into situations where you have to make changes, recognizing that you have to adjust to your team and that every year is different… You have to tailor yourself towards the kind of team that you have. You can’t get locked into doing things a certain way all of the time.” – Scott Arniel

  25. Lord Bob says:

    My “no ex-Oilers as an anything” very specifically has a Messier exemption.

  26. pboy says:

    How about the Head Coach of the London Knights, Dale Hunter? Hockey Jesus would surely like that move.

    An experienced coach who has made a living as a the top man for no less than 5 years should be the way this team leans. Someone who played the game in the NHL or someone who has been primarily an assistant coach is going to have a steep learning curve. Katz should let some other team pay for the growing pains a young coach is going to go through and use his vast resources to get an experienced coach. MacT never ran a bench before he was given the reins however he did have 3 years as an assistant coach at the NHL level. Messier has zero experience, besides the fact that he is a legend, he has no qualifications at all. If Katz really is mesmerized by the “Boys on the Bus”, Messier would be considered royalty and his lack of qualifications would easily by overlooked by Batman. Bucky would be a horrible choice as well.

    Brent Sutter (if he was available), Ted Nolan, Peter Laviolette, Pat Quinn, Marc Crawford (gag) or Tom Renney will all be names thrown out there this summer. I think Tortorella would have been perfect but unfortunately he wasn’t unemployed very long.

  27. NBOilerFan says:

    Sean said…
    I thought Messier wanted Sathers job

    Walking around smoking large stoogies and bailing Peter Puck out of jail, you mean?

    ;-)

    LT… say it ain’t so!! No way the Oilers “braintrust” would be so stupid as to pull MacT out of the fire and throw in Messier?!?

    My god, as much as I like Messier, I sure don’t want him as a head coach, Bucky either.

    I suppose we’d end up with Messier as Head coach and MacT moved into a President of Coaching Operations type role. Who helps mold Messier and Bucky into MacT clones.

    ;-)

    I would be dumbfounded if that made this move.

  28. Icecastles says:

    One (compound) word:

    TheCoachEthanMoreau

  29. Sean says:

    Walking around smoking large stoogies and bailing Peter Puck out of jail, you mean?

    LOL

    I more meant to say that I thought Messier wanted a GM job not a coaching gig.

  30. danny says:


    “The big thing as a coach is that you think you have all the answers and that you have a game plan that is the be all and end all. Then you get into situations where you have to make changes, recognizing that you have to adjust to your team and that every year is different… You have to tailor yourself towards the kind of team that you have. You can’t get locked into doing things a certain way all of the time.” – Scott Arniel

    Hire the man now.

    Thats a true sign of intelligence right there, knowing that your way today isn’t always the right way tomorrow.

    I would just feel very confident as a fan that, your coach is going to get the most out of what he has.

    This season has been a story of a coach that doesn’t have enough to execute what he wants. Lowe wasn’t willing to help him out and he seemed incapable of helping himself.

    Scotts quote is sexactly how a coach of this roster needs to be. Ken Hitchcock wouldnt have gotten these Oilers into the playoffs. MacTavish woulda led the BJs to 6th though you can be sure of that.

    We need a coach that fits this team. Its just freakin easier that way, and we wont rely on the braintrust that failed to plug major holes year after year nearly as much.

  31. Icecastles says:

    Scotts quote is sexactly…

    I like Scott Arniel too, but that’s the most overt Freudian slip I’ve ever seen. ;)

  32. Schitzo says:

    TheCoachEthanMoreau

    Fuck, like this team needs more bench minors.

  33. danny says:

    i bolded it intentionally, as i think a coach that can roll with the holes lowe throws is sexy as hell.

  34. relic says:

    I’ve heard good things in the past about Brent Peterson, an assistant for the Preds. That Arniel quote is great though.

  35. oilerdago says:

    I’m really going to enjoy reading the posts and threads this off-season.

    Seriously, the season isn’t over yet (technicallity) and the coaching carousel is heating up.

    Imagine what happens when MacT officially resigns.

  36. danny says:

    ok yeah,

    Player / Head coach
    Ethan Moreau

    Book it.

  37. Jonathan Willis says:

    Of the NHL castoffs, Tom Renney would be my choice.

  38. R-Gib says:

    TheCoachEthanMoreau

    Fuck, like this team needs more bench minors.

    Damn that had me rolling on the floor!! Beauty.

  39. godot10 says:

    Brent Peterson has not ridden the buses in the AHL either. And been content to be an assistent to Trotz for a decade.

    Like Maclean, mo fire in the belly. How did perennial Detroit assistant David Lewis would out, twice!

    You want someone who wants to be a head coach, not someone who has been content to be an assistant to the same guy forever.

  40. George B says:

    I would have to change my user back from slats432 to Messier if this came to pass.

    Yikes!! A bad idea if ever there was one.

    I thought we didn’t want more of the old boys club?

  41. relic says:

    in fairness to the guys who are assistants now, it’s probably safe to assume they’ve interviewed for head coaching jobs before. In Peterson’s case I remember an interview where he was frustrated at not being given a chance yet, possibly related to having parkinsons, and he’s ridden the bus in the WHL.

    found this which pretty much sums it up and dispels the “content to be an assistant” theory.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?id=2189844

  42. LittleFury says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: LT’s track record on predicting the Oilers’ next move has been total balls this year.

    I’m not worried. I’m not worried. I’m not worried.

  43. The Forechecker says:

    One thing about Brent Peterson is that I think he’s resigned himself that his window of opportunity as an NHL head coach has passed.

    He suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, and it’s progression means that it’s only a matter of time before he can’t participate on the ice any more. Will it be 3 years, 5 years, 10? In the article linked to above (from 4 months ago) he says…

    “I’d like to stay in hockey, the tough part for me is that I’m not going to get the chance to be a head coach. That window is pretty much closed now, but I understand that my condition has to be a consideration for any prospective general manager when he’s making a hire.”

    Too bad, really, because by all accounts he’s a great hockey guy and would otherwise make a prime candidate for a head coaching job.

    Relic, the ESPN article you point to is over 3 years old, and it looks like his condition has progressed since then.

  44. Rod says:

    The Scott Arniel quote is gold. Actual experience as a coach and head coach. Good results too (both in the standings, and developing players). Blindingly obvious Arniel’s a far superior choice to Messier, Bucky, or any of the current assistants as next Oilers head coach.

    Here’s another (from nhldigest.com):
    I still think I have lots to learn and experience as a Head Coach and I’m in no rush to get back. In saying that I will certainly look at any and all opportunities that are out there. I think it is very important that you align yourself with a G.M. that you have a history with and someone that has a lot of the same beliefs on the type of team and style of play that you want to play. Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff were a great example of that in Buffalo.
    —-
    What’s his history with Tambellini?

  45. Jonathan Willis says:

    I don’t know what Arniel’s relationship with Tambellini is like, but here’s the quote the Manitoba Moose’s GM offered when asked about Arniel’s AHL coach of the year win:

    “He’s had the luxury of pretty good players all three years he’s been here,” Moose GM Craig Heisinger offered. “Certainly, coaching’s a big part of it. But good players play a big factor in good coaching.”

  46. Schitzo says:

    But good players play a big factor in good coaching.

    Well, we’re screwed.

  47. jon k says:

    I will bet a six of Innis & Gunn that Messier is not hired as assistance coach for the Oilers.

    I'd guess the front runners are:

    Scott Arniel
    Greg Gilbert
    Marc Crawford

    I'll make another guess that Rob Daum is made an assistance coach, regardless of who they pick for head coach.

    Though it's necessary, it is a little sad to think of MacT stepping down. After listening to the game though I would not be surprised if he resigned by late next week.

    Hopefully Tambellini is already talking to his short list.

  48. Phil says:

    LT – are you saying for coach, or will he brought in higher up? (Didn’t somebody say in the GDT yesterday that Prendergast was on the outs?)

    Even though there are so many other better choices for coach from a hockey standpoint – if Katz and Co. are looking to get fans fired up about the team right effen now, Messier is the obvious choice. Plus, if he falters for a few years while the smidgets develop, the fans will show more patience for a rookie coach who is a local GOD, than they would for an established pro coach.
    expected to show results immediately.

    Messier makes great sense to a franchise that wants to win the fans back, and make sure the season ticket renewals stay high. It doesn’t make sense for a franchise that is too concerned about long term success.

    As an assistant GM, however – this would be another story.

  49. jon k says:

    "I will bet a six of Innis & Gunn that Messier is not hired as assistance coach for the Oilers."

    I'm on crack right now.

    The bet offer should read:

    "I will bet a six of Innis & Gunn that Messier is not hired as a coach, assistant or otherwise, for the Oilers."

  50. Lord Bob says:

    I support Moose as GM and Buchberger as head coach. Any chance of getting Shayne Corson in to run the farm team, do you think?

  51. misfit says:

    Can’t fool me LT. Messier is the past!

  52. PDO says:

    LT.

    You’re scaring me.

  53. Phil says:

    … and that Scott Arniel quote.

    Isn’t it just a really long-winded version of the Mike Tyson quote? “Everyone has a game plan until they get punched in the mouth”.

  54. Vic Ferrari says:

    Coach pb9617:

    At even strength the Caps had nearly identical (and impressive) underlying numbers with Hanlon as coach. He just started the season with a lot of road games and terrible SV% and shooting%.

    If they had held off firing Hanlon, I suspect that he would be the golden boy.

    Nothing against Boudreau, nice to see a guy who has paid his dues in full get the shot in the bigs. I just think that fans who think a change in head coach is going to make a material difference in results are setting themselves up for disappointment. And if management thinks the same way … we`re all getting set up for disappointment.

  55. Temujin says:

    Is Pat Quinn available?

  56. Quinn says:

    He said whatsit now?

  57. Jon says:

    It seems there are 4 different branches to reach from: the NHL castoff, hire an assistant coach on a winning team, standout AHL coach, Hire from within.

    NHL castoff – Patt Quinn…just a guess from the Olympic experience.

    Ass’t on a winning team – Geoff Ward from Boston has a history with K.Lowe

    AHL – Scott Arniel seems like a good fit with the Tambo connection

    Within- Rob Daum, No way they hire Bucky. They need to appease the angry fans not laugh in their face.

    Wildcard – probably a 0% chance but Brent Sutter…who knows

  58. Jonathan Willis says:

    Speaking about Hanlon, he was the coach in Jokerit last season and had a nice run (32-30-2-4) and his team was eliminated just short of the finals.

    I wonder if his NHL career is done though; his AHL teams never did much (outside of one year) and the Boudreau thing in Washington undoubtedly figures in many minds.

  59. Jonathan Willis says:

    Sorry, that should say Jokerit went 32-20-2-4 last year.

  60. Bruce says:

    Not sure there’s a rush. For one thing, as of now we still have a head coach. There’s spadework to be done, whether it’s to bury the hatchet or the body.

    The pool of available coaches will get bigger before it gets smaller. Brent Sutter is a person of interest, although you can bet Sour Lou would ask for compensation. Guys like Dave Tippett might show up on the scrap heap as well. I’d rather know the market before deciding prematurely on the likes of a Marc Crawford or another recyclable.

    Then again, if Tambo is absolutely sold on somebody like Scott Arniel then there may be no reason to wait and every reason not to.

    But first things first. It’s still Craig MacTavish’s team, and the task at hand is to knock Calgary out of first place. Then let’s see what happens next Monday.

  61. stratedge says:

    I can handle Messier as an assistant coach, unlike Bucky who offends me by being behind the bench of the team I support.

    For a head coach, I’m still kind of crazy enough to believe that a coup to get Brent Sutter here could be successful.

    If not, I like Scott Arniel of the options mentioned, but this conversation definitely proves to me that there are some good options out there and so no excuses will be acceptable for a crappy decision by management.

  62. Vic Ferrari says:

    Honestly, jonathon, I don`t think it makes a hell of a lot of difference.

    On a game to game basis, I don`t think you gain a hell of a lot with Hitchcock over Ron Low. Granted, Hitchcock turned Nash into a difference maker, but he squished Zherdev in the process, and that only gets done if the coach has real power and the players know it.

    Personally, I`d be okay with Messier, seriously. I would prefer Ted Nolan, I like the kind of game his teams play. But that won`t happen. And prospect fans would do their nut when he started grinding down the youngsters who cheat for offense and don`t pay the price for possession.

    The people who flew into rages over guys like Winchester and Petersen getting icetime over guys like Rita and Schremp … it would be a brand new circle of hell for those cats.

    This org doesn`t have anything close to the stones to hire him, though. And in fairness, Ted has kind of made his own bed.

  63. CrazyCoach says:

    Why does this rumour have me feeling like Quebec Nordiques fans did about two weeks into their inaugural WHA season?

  64. Coach pb9617 says:

    Nothing against Boudreau, nice to see a guy who has paid his dues in full get the shot in the bigs. I just think that fans who think a change in head coach is going to make a material difference in results are setting themselves up for disappointment.

    Vic, I’m interested in Boudreau for the system he runs. I think it fits the current personnel more closely.

  65. Dennis says:

    Bruce: I’d say it’s more important that we lose both games in regulation and then perhaps plummet to 8th place. That’s where we could land if both the Sens and Stars pass us, right?

    I honestly won’t be surprised at anything this org does.

    Missing the playoffs five out of the last seven years means that pessimism is the new Oilers realism.

    And a few people have embraced that for awhile now.

    But, if I’m translating Lowe’s comments correct, is the “unexpected” missing then playoffs? You know, given that we can
    “expect the unexpected”?

  66. jon k says:

    On a game to game basis, I don`t think you gain a hell of a lot with Hitchcock over Ron Low. Granted, Hitchcock turned Nash into a difference maker, but he squished Zherdev in the process, and that only gets done if the coach has real power and the players know it.

    Are you serious?

    Hitchcock is likely heading to a legacy as being one of the better coaches in NHL history.

    He’s won at every level he’s ever coached. He inherited a team that had never made the playoffs and within one season they’re in it.

    The contribution of Mason to that can’t be underestimated of course, but still.

    Hitchcock is a coach not unlike MacT in regards to preferred style of play, but he has the advantage of not making the occasional screwy decision and he doesn’t try to micromanage gameday decisions.

  67. jon k says:

    Dennis: The new motto should be “expect the expected”.

    Not make the playoffs… Check.
    Not play some of the youth to fall in the standings… Check.

    Looking back in time:

    Not correct glaring depth issues at C and D… Check.
    Trade for players that don’t address those issues… Check.

  68. mc79hockey says:

    Hitchcock is likely heading to a legacy as being one of the better coaches in NHL history.

    He’s won at every level he’s ever coached. He inherited a team that had never made the playoffs and within one season they’re in it.

    Points in the standings. How many points in the standings do you think Hitchcock is worth?

  69. Icecastles says:

    My (rather unpopular) professor just told us that he doesn’t mark our papers (a TA does) and this gives him the chance to be “more of a coach and less of a referee.”

    In my mind, I just kept thinking “fire the coach!” So Now I’m reading LT during class.

  70. Coach pb9617 says:

    Points in the standings. How many points in the standings do you think Hitchcock is worth?

    What is less than Steve Mason, more than Craig MacTavish?

  71. Vic Ferrari says:

    Actually, I think he does micromanage. So does MacTavish. I just don`t think it matters much to results. Though regardless of the fanbase or the sport, it is much easier to believe that the coach is a drooling moron than to believe that the playersaren`t good enough.

    And as far of style of play, I like the Jackets` game, but it`s a surprise to me from Hitchcock. Rob Brown said that in the AHL that was the game Hitchcock played, though.

    In any case, I really believe that a coach can play a big part in changing the culture of a team. But day to day … it`s deck chairs on the Titanic imo. Not that some effer off the street could do just as well, just that there is a very marginal difference between reasonably qualified guys.

    Ron Low motivated the players to hit and play aggressive and he let the D pinch and the third forward engage. A bit of a free-for-all in the offensive end really, which is hard to defend.

    Want a good team? … get good players.

    Need a scapegoat? … fire the coach.

  72. Dennis says:

    Vic: OK, if we’re talking that coaching is just moving around the chairs, what do you make of the Oilers ’09 PK?

    I guess you’re leaning towards the opinion that there was nothing MacT could do any different to fix it because the deckchairs weren’t “stacked” in his favour;)?

  73. jon k says:

    The Columbus Blue Jackets:
    Games Wins Losses Ties GF GA Points

    2006-2007
    82 33 42 7 201 249 73

    2007-2008
    82 34 36 12 193 218 80

    Year he came in at the 6th game mark. Instituted his system.

    2008-2009
    79 40 29 10 218 218 90

    Well the team has improved on its past point totals the two seasons he’s been behind the bench.

    This season his team has scored 10 less goals than the Oilers but allowed 25 less, despite Mason and Roloson having very similar save percentages (0.918 versus 0.915 respectively).

    Do I think he’s a good coach? Yes.
    Is there a definitive metric by which we could figure out how many points he’s worth in the standings? Doubtful.
    If someone is aware of it let me know because I’m confident that Hitchcock is a valuable coach by that or any standard.

  74. dawgbone says:

    I don’t understand why everyone keeps mentioning guys like Bucky and Mess for the coach.

    If the Oilers go with someone with organizational ties, it will be Huddy.

    You can’t think he’ll accept getting passed over (even if it’s for a friend) by a guy with no NHL coaching experience.

    If it stays in the Old Boys Network, it will be Huddy.

  75. doritogrande says:

    My (rather unpopular) professor just told us that he doesn’t mark our papers (a TA does) and this gives him the chance to be “more of a coach and less of a referee.”

    In my mind, I just kept thinking “fire the coach!” So Now I’m reading LT during class.

    Odd. I just finished up a class very similar to what you’re outlining. And what’s more, I have Showerhead, if he’s lurking in the backgroung, to back me up on this one.

    It’s nice to see the likes of Jonathan et al backing my idea of Scott Arniel. Gilles makes a good point that he’s had some pretty good teams over the last three years, but he’s also had to deal with a lot of meddling from Vancouver with personnel, more injuries than last year’s Oilers, and the untimely death of Luc Bourdon threw a big wrench in the entire organization’s plans. Sometimes players can make their coach look good, but it takes a good coach to deal winning hands from a short deck.

  76. pboy says:

    Great point.

  77. spOILer says:

    I’m pretty much on board with everything Vic is saying above.

    I don’t think a different coach would’ve had that big of an effect this year, but he makes an easy scapegoat.

    That said, in a conference where 1 point might be the difference between 7th and 10th… it don’t take much to have a significant effect.

    But, I still vote for the return of MacT, give him a balanced team and if they suck at Xmas, then fire him, when the firing can have some psychological effect on the season… I know I know, I’m just about the only one riding the MacT scooter these days.

    Also, for all thecaptainethanmoreau haters — you should hear Loubardias iterate thecaptainjaromeiginla 42 times per game.

    It’s just a thing they do for some reason.

  78. Vic Ferrari says:

    jon k:

    Howson has changed over almost the entire roster. I`m sure Hitchcock had a say in that, mind. In fact the writing was on the wall for MacLean the day that hitchcock inked a deal in Columbus, I suspect. And it is unimaginable that he didn`t have input into Howson`s hiring.

    And when he started riding guys everyone in the room knew that they were going to be punted out the door years before he was, if it came to that.

    As I say, dude has had a huge impact on the culture of the team.

    Day to day `he can really find chemistry!` stuff, the video game sims … I don`t buy it.

  79. HBomb says:

    spOILer: I think the fact that Iginla is about a million times the player Moreau is, was or will be makes it a little less annoying to hear him referred to as the captain.

    He’s the type of player who actually has business wearing a “C” on his chest, in other words. Moreau as captain is a sick, cruel joke of Corsonian proportions.

  80. Dennis says:

    I love Hitchcock as much as anyone but I can sorta see what Vic’s saying.

    Howson’s made a lot of nice moves and above all that, there are some games where Mason’s just wonderful.

    BD: maybe Huddy gets passed over just like Tambellini did with the Dys.

    Twice I might add;)

  81. Vic Ferrari says:

    Oh I think they should move out MacTavish. I just don`t like long tenures for coaches. Everyone has bias, and players need fresh starts now and again.

    I mean Keenan is a good coach, probably the best bench coach imo, but you could built a freaking good team from the players that he`s run out of town on a rail. Same goes for most coaches, just less obviously.

  82. misfit says:

    The Oilers’ 09 PK suffered from the same problem as the rest of the team. Fewer qualified guys down the middle. They lost two of MacT’s most leaned upon penalty killers in Stoll and Reasoner, both of whome could win a draw. It also meant less responsibility for Horcoff.

  83. godot10 says:

    //The Oilers’ 09 PK suffered from the same problem as the rest of the team. Fewer qualified guys down the middle.//

    Does MacT talk to Kevin Lowe? How difficult is it for him to say to Lowe that Brodziak isn’t ready to be a third line centre, and that he had zero confidence in Pouliot as a player, much less a centre.

    MacT also threw Glencross under the bus out of blind loyalty to Moreau.

  84. Vic Ferrari says:

    I think Moreau is a good captain, he`s overpaid as a player though.

    I admire him for calling things as they are, for the most part, as well. Knowing full well that fandom doesn`t want to hear it. If he said `with all the talent in this room, we should be doing better, we just have to start giving 110% and delivering in the clutch` … 99% of the Gregorites would nod in agreement. I would never be able to take the guy seriously again.

    If he said `A lot of these guys aren`t as good as they think they are, and it`s high time they set their balls square and worked for every inch of ice, played for their teammates`. Of course he can`t say that, but he`s far too sharp a guy to know that`s not true.

    MacTavish had a terrific comment in the famous Pitkanen bon voyage interview. Ironically it was the one passage never quoted by mainstream media or bloggers. Something along the lines of “You can tell a lot about a player as a person by the decisions he makes on the ice. Hockey is a funny game that way.” Hockey may not be the most beutiful game, but it is the most revealing. And with this squad … no wonder the fucker is going gray.

  85. Traktor says:

    “The Oilers’ 09 PK suffered from the same problem as the rest of the team. Fewer qualified guys down the middle.”

    BS.

    The only thing MacT had going for him was the PK and this season he gave that responsibility to Bucky who’s only previous coaching experience yielded results near the bottom of every category.

    Guys like Horc, Staios and Moreau who’ve historically put up good PK numbers in the past were dreadful this year. Losing Greene, Stoll and Marty didn’t help but the bigger issue is giving a proven loser the responsibility to come up with PK systems.

  86. Vic Ferrari says:

    Dennis

    You won`t want to here this, but I think that the majority of the Oilers PK woes stemmed from plain old bad luck. Not to worry, the hockey gods seemed to spread that back onto EV play in equal measure but the opposite direction.

    PK and PP are tricky things though. Unlike EV where the puck has to be somewhere, with special teams streaks of lower shot rate coincide with hiher shooting% (I suspect by eye, I`ve never done the math). And the results of clones in a parallel universe, as I talked about at MCs earlier today … doesn`t work anywhere nearly as well with special teams.

    Still, at some point this summer I`ll make the effort to kill you with your own sword on the issue, Dennis. I`m not at all sure that I`ll be able to do that, though. But I do feel that you`re underestimating the role of chance in this season`s PK. Proff will be in the pudding, I suppose.

  87. mc79hockey says:

    I think Moreau is a good captain, he`s overpaid as a player though.

    I admire him for calling things as they are, for the most part, as well. Knowing full well that fandom doesn`t want to hear it.

    I would have been pretty happy to hear “I just love taking hooking penalties in the offensive zone, so fuck the team” a few times. Seems we heard a reasonable amount from him about the kids and the PP. He seems to have a tremendous eye for fault in areas that aren’t his responsibility. That’d grate on me if I was his teammate.

  88. Vic Ferrari says:

    I do think that Staios was a bad PK option. Then again, is Grebs better? How about Smid? Vis would be, but since he`s the first choice for any 5v5 situation (need a goal, clinging to a lead, out against the other team`s best, needing to exploit a shift against the other team`s 4th line that just iced the puck … vis is your man) So the difference in impact was probably less on the PK than PP or EV, likely the best time for Huddy to rest him.

  89. JRM* says:

    Has anyone else heard anything about Swedish Jesus signing in the KHL with Dynamo Moscow? One of my buddies, a Marlies staffer, says he’s out of the picture for next year for sure.

  90. Traktor says:

    JRM:

    There was just no way to guarantee Omark a roster spot with gems like Reddox, Pouliot and the newly acquired Ryan Stone already in the fold.

  91. jon k says:

    Vic: “Day to day `he can really find chemistry!` stuff, the video game sims … I don`t buy it.”

    I’d agree with that. So much of the game is chance, personnel, and individual effort within the greater framework of coaching.

    Personnel and individual effort is probably the most glaring issue with this team.

  92. jon k says:

    I think it’s a valid argument from management that we don’t have space for a prospect we need to guarantee a spot.

    We already have Brule, Stone, Reddox, and JFJ for that role.

  93. Traktor says:

    I heard 27 has chemistry with 10 and 83.

    Of course MacT isn’t the only coach who would sabotage it. I’m sure Hitch would’ve broken up our only functioning line out of spite as well.

  94. Vic Ferrari says:

    Fair enough, Tyler. You`ve certainly followed the Oilers quotes closer than me, the only time I read the rags is when one of you guys link to it (usually it`s just your site, IOF on the off chance, BofA, LTs but posts only (just too much otherwise), then Gospel of Hockey, YKoil and JLikens on the off chance, Pat, C&B and I`m out.) Maybe KentW and one or two others once a week. I used to buy both papers just for the Oilers stuff, now even when I do buy the paper it doesn`t even occur to me to open the sports page.

    He should be accountable to the team for taking stupid penalties, especially the needless ones in the offensive zone.

    It seems like a hell of a stretch to me to believe that Moreau is the problem though. Next DET game you watch count how many times they chip at chase at the offensive blue line, and how many times they carry it over. Arund 50/50 I think. Last time I counted they chipped and chased 7 of 8 times (CGY was leading iirc and was giving them odd man rushes). DET may well be leading the league in carrying it over, but EDM surely leads the leaue in trying to.

    Now some of that is the coach not putting down the boots, some of that is coming direct from Tambellini (it is with Gagner I know, but as I say I haven`t listened along as well as you). And some of that is just players taking the easy route, and nothing says èff everyone else, I`m Robert F. Nilsson! (or whomever) like that play. Especially when it`s the end of a shift. There is literally no downside from a presonal stats POV in that play.

    People who are oblivious to this don`t like Horcoff. Or Legwand or Langkow or the Sedins or Forsberg or Havlat.

  95. Vic Ferrari says:

    Traktor:

    Penner makes MacTavish nervous in critical situations, so he doesn`t see them as much.

    Like when Horcoff-Smyth-Hemsky were together for most of 05/06. Hemsky put up nearly identical QualComp numbers and better EV+/- and better shots+/- as well?

    Was he the driving force on that line? Were me, Dennis, RiversQ and LT idiots for clamouring for his demotion from that line before the playoffs? Was MacTavish an idiot for doing just that at game 80of the season and carrying it through into the playoffs? (where Smyth/Horc/other faced Zetterberg, as yet unfamous, and Lidstrom shift after shift on the first round?

    And before you can say it, Pronger was NOT behind them most of the time, Staois and Spacek were. The Wings were too deep and 44/21 were left to face Yzerman`s line more often than not.

    Convenient answers are often wrong. No denying the convenience though.

  96. PDO says:

    Vic, you’re a spree today.

    Just figured I’d give you a hand.

    Hit ctrl + shift and you’ll be able to fix the weird spacing your keyboard is giving you. Might take two or three tries to get it back to normal.

  97. Jonathan Willis says:

    Vic: Do you see those situations as analagous? When Hemsky was demoted, Stoll, Samsonov and him were supposed to provide some offensive punch behind the top line with the assumption being that whichever joker got stuck with Horcoff and Smyth would shomehow muddle through.

    This year, Penner hasn’t been demoted to provide offensive punch, he’s been pushed right out of the lineup or stuck on the Brodziak line while Hemsky and Horcoff struggled to outscore.

    It’s not the same situation, JMO.

  98. Jonathan Willis says:

    Jon K: What are the odds that nay of those guys eclipse Omark as a player? I’d say slim.

  99. Jonathan Willis says:

    RE: Moreau quotes.

    He’s generally on target, but it sure as hell bugs me to watch him play it straight with the skill guys in the room but then deflect attention to the powerplay when the PP went 1 for 4 and the PK went 1 for 4 like it did against Anaheim the other night.

    He just strikes me as a guy who’ll hang a teammate out to dry if he isn’t a fan of his work ethic, but figures he’s immune to criticism because he’s hustling. Again, JMO since I don’t know him, but that’s the feeling I get.

  100. jon k says:

    JW: I don’t think any of those players are overly effective. The problem is that they’re all essentially guaranteed roster spots already either by contract or circumstance.

    To clarify, I think the organization made a mistake in letting Omark walk.

    I don’t think they made a mistake in refusing to guarantee him a roster spot though.

  101. godot10 says:

    Shouldn’t one have done what it takes to sign Omark, and then loaned him to a KHL or Swedish club if he isn’t good enough?

    It is only money. Is there anything “illegal” about doing that under the current CBA?.

  102. Jonathan Willis says:

    Godot10: Exactly my thought. If he can’t make it in the NHL, send him to the KHL. They would have been no worse off doing that than they are right now.

  103. Jonathan Willis says:

    I just hope that if Daum does end up with the NHL team, Matt Thomas gets moved to Springfield from Stockton.

  104. Vic Ferrari says:

    I do think they are analogous. And he was being moved away from trouble, plain and simple.

    I mean in G4 against S.J Smyth played every shift against Thornton excepting a couple just after PPs, Horcoff, Pronger and Smith werenè far behind.

    Just by memory, I’d say that Hemsky played half of the Smyth/Horcoff icetime. And without looking I would bet money that he put up way better underlying numbers in that game. But it sure as hell wasn’t because he was making 10/94 a whole bunch better. MacTavish was making him look a whole lot better, that’s all.

  105. Jonathan Willis says:

    Vic: But the key point is that even though Hemsky was moved away from the power vs. power role, he was still used on the team in a major way.

    Not so with Penner, who whatever his faults is certainly one of the Oilers’ top two LW’s.

  106. Vic Ferrari says:

    PDO:

    Thanks for the keyboard tip. My regular tactic is to reboot.

    And yeah, I have been on a spree. Turns out just spewing a stream of consciousness is quicker than forming coherent paragraphs.

    And I’ve frittered away most of the day, yeeps. I’ll show myself out now.

    Peace, brothers and sisters.

  107. Jonathan Willis says:

    Vic: As long as you wander over to IOF and write some of that stream of consciousness stuff into a blog entry. It’s been too long.

  108. gary b says:

    I’d guess the front runners are:

    Scott Arniel
    Greg Gilbert
    Marc Crawford

    Crawford isn’t a REAL coach, he just plays one on TV.

  109. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Summary is I get with the same coach with the same tactics but plays Penner with Hemsky and I get us with almost 5 more points (12.3 more goals and 2.5 goals to affect a point). Wish it would get a little more to say it puts us in the playoffs, but surely firing bucky would count for at least 2 pts…

    (Note: this doesn’t even touch the PP and PK which I feel alone should warrant a coaching change for those numbers)

    —–

    Long Version (aka check my math):

    10-27-83 production as a unit has been a fairly consistent metric. Sure hindsight blah blah, but it has been fairly obvious to most that Horc-Horpensky was an outscoring line against the heavies. So just one variable changed with some rough math:

    Caveat: I assume 83 w/ 27 would also be fairly accurate to assume 10 was on the line as well.

    GF/GA per 20 as per:
    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/200809players/player0614.php#esoffwith

    27 w/83 gf = 1.245, ga = .735
    27 wo/83 gf = .828, ga = .715
    83 wo/27 gf = .698, ga = .931

    They played 3:53 together this year and penner played 5:31 apart. (I use Penner as Hemsky tends to get double shifted a little more late in the games.)

    Take all the time Penner played away from Hemsky and change Hemsky’s totals to play that time with Penner:

    1.245 – .698 – (.735 – .931) = .743
    Goal diff for 5:31 = 12.3 goals

    Sure it is short sighted that it leaves a hole defensively where Penner played, but in a pretty simple example it shows a pretty significant swing (unless my math or logic is wrong).

  110. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    I meant to preview that first, oh well.

    Just meant to add that I don’t think changing a coach is as definitive change in the point standings as I wrote, but one simple grudge seems to have left some points on the table to say the least. 5 seems arguable though a bit contrived.

  111. Bruce says:

    Ken Hitchcock posted a .622 Pts% in Dallas; his predecssor Bob Gainey was at .470. In Philly Hitch merely maintained the going rate by posting a .614 mark. In Columbus his .518 (and rising fast) is the best mark in franchise history, well ahead of his predecessor Gerard Gallant’s .430. Hard to say what portion of the improvement is in game-to-game stuff; does Hitch get specific credit for picking Stve Mason to start tonight’s game, or does he just get more general credit for running with the rook right from the get-go? Moot point to some extent … so much of coaching is development.

  112. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @LT
    Right then I knew she’d seen my schtick enough to see it coming. So you either have to work harder to make her laugh, give up that part of your life, or find someone else.

    Sure just leave us hanging.

  113. Coach pb9617 says:

    Re: Moreau I admire him for calling things as they are, for the most part, as well.

    Vic, you’re either being glib, or not hearing Moreau’s words.

  114. Vic Ferrari says:

    till_horcoff_is_coach:

    I appreciate the work, I just think think that luck alone would be enough that we could find a similar line on any team in the league, apply this treatment, and get a similar result.

    I think Penner is a better playerthan most Oiler fans do, but this sort of magnitude makes him a generational player. And I’m with Bowman on chemistry (everyone has chemistry with good players, nobody has chemistry with bad players).

    And if Penner is a bonafide difference maker, then we’ll see that on the lines he gets moved to. In fact I’m sure we do. To some extent at least, I’m sure that the lines Penner was on did better than when he wasn’t.

    So if someone went through the games where Penner played on the top unit, as opposed to when he didn’t … then checked the scoring chance and corsi numbers for those games, that would seem like a fairer way to try and pin a value on hs impact.

    Of course you’d want to be sure that both samples had a similarly healthy roster for the Oil (esp. 71, 83 and 10) and that the sked difficulty was similar over the two samples.

    And I suspect that you are right, On the whole I suspect the Oilers did better when Penner played, and played more, specifically top line icetime as you’ve said.

    I would be shocked if the impact is more than one point in the standings, though. In fact I would take the under on that bet.

    And a coach generally has to sacrifice something to make a point. Short term pain for long term gan and all that. For that matter think Penner has improved his overall game quite a bit under MacTavish.

    Look at hi role and underlying numbers in Anaheim and you can see why he was Carlyle’s whipping boy.

  115. Vic Ferrari says:

    cpb:

    No, I’m not being glib.

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