Crazy

Lots of speculation about Tom Renney’s future out on the Edmonton streets today, but I keep wondering why the buck stops there. We’ve discussed this before, and changing coaches is something the Oilers do annually but this seems a little bizarre. Trading the team’s best defenseman at the deadline and then firing the coach at the end of the season because the wins aren’t coming quickly enough? Holy hell folks that’s borderline diabolical.

The first time we meet someone truly fetching, or watch a hockey player with amazing skill, or observe an organization making a series of moves that are sublime in their clarity and single minded devotion to accomplishing a goal–well, it’s beautiful. Remember the feeling we all had when Kevin Lowe went all Neil Smith at the 2006 trade deadline?

That isn’t this Oilers team we currently endure.

I think it’s crazy to lay this completely at the feet of the coach. Tom Renney is making some unusual decisions, but I think we can all agree that one tends to lose clarity when they find out the “call is coming from inside the house.” A lot of this talk comes directly after a period where Renney was being universally knocked for not playing the kids enough. Now, anyone with half a brain can tell that the coach is probably using the veterans for zone starts, tough opponents and line matching, in an attempt to keep the kids from having nightmare shifts (we’ll call them “Peckham’s” for short) and exposing them for GA.

Tom Renney has his faults (gives strange reasoning for his moves, makes strange roster and line decisions, and despite claims otherwise has indeed thrown his players under the bus at times) and maybe he isn’t part of the solution. Maybe the organization has a plan and perhaps they’ll have an answer we’ll all love come summer time. However, I can’t believe the negative reaction to Tom Renney since the deadline. The Oiler coach probably went into the deadline happy Hemsky was signed and looking forward to having a healthy and motivated lineup for the final stretch.

Instead, Renney’s boss trades his best defenseman for a lesser light and now he gets to drive around town and hear people calling for his head because he can’t hold the blue together with chicken wire, Wrigley’s gum and varsol. There’s a word for this. If they’re going to fire Renney, then the Oilers should clean house. Start anew.

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64 Responses to "Crazy"

  1. Bar_Qu says:

    If they’re going to fire Renney, then the Oilers should clean house. Start anew.

    Amen.

  2. Dipstick says:

    If Renney’s primary job is to not screw up the development of the kids, he has been a success. Paajaarvi aside, they are progressing at or above expectations.

  3. Henry says:

    How can Tambellini justify that three coaches could not succeed with the team he put together for them?

    Renney’s moves with each of the Swedes have me puzzled and occasionally infuriated. The powerplay, penalty kill and faceoff situation are vastly improved over last year. Personnel is only part of it. The coaches got the guys playing better as well. ST can’t fire Renney without showing himself out too.

  4. cabbiesmacker says:

    Renney should be no higher than #2 to head out the door with one Mr LowExpectations being the unanimous #1. With this guy steering the ship we really have no clue if ST or Renney are acting alone or not. I sincerely doubt it. If it turns out ST really is calling his own shots then he should be #2 with slivers in his ass but axe LE anyways just for shits and giggles and because I’ll sleep better.

    Dudley for GM? Nelson moved up to the bigs to continue mentorship of our youth? I don’t really care but Lowe’s hands have to be taken off anything to do with this team outside of fan breakfasts and glad handing the 80′s. In fact get him far enough away that his very aroma is undetectable. (Um, excuse me Mr Lowe but you’re no longer allowed to park here”)

    Off topic and I know it’s a small problem and non-Christian of me to go here BUT…someone seriously needs to speak with Taylor about shortening that stick. Yes he had 5 scoring chances last night but he totally whiffed on two while in prime position in the slot and this team cannot be squandering goal ops by one of their leading candidates when they present themselves.

    Yaya I can hear the catcalls now but ask yourself when the last time you saw the kid stickhandle was vs the Mike Comrieesque toe drag he employs. He’s just not good at it. Players like i.e Eberle, Gagner, and RNH are. He might lose a little bit of velocity but he won’t be fanning on as many as he does now.

    (sorry but it’s the minor hockey coach in me coming out)

  5. dulock says:

    LT do you see Nelson as the next coach? Gotta figure he’ll be on some short lists this summer if OK does well in the playoffs.

  6. Lowetide says:

    dulock:
    LT do you see Nelson as the next coach? Gotta figure he’ll be on some short lists this summer if OK does well in the playoffs.

    I think he’s a strong candidate, but would guess that Don Hay or Marc Crawford will get the nod. My choice? Craig MacTavish.

  7. knighttown says:

    So…you’re saying he’s crazy but because his boss is contributing to his craziness he should be kept? I’m an owner of some businesses and I constantly remind my managers that they can only control what they can control. Renney lost Gilbert and was given Schultz. Once that happens his only focus can be how best to deploy his 8 defensemen.

    Nick Schultz may not be Tom Gilbert but he’s also certainly not a 15:25 defenseman on this shitty team. Deploying him like that is either an attempt at undermining his bosses or incompetence but either way its fuckery and only Renney can wear that.

  8. dulock says:

    Lowetide,

    I agree with you on MacT. He almost made the playoffs several times with a lineup of chicken wire, wrigley’s gum, and varsol. Is Nelson in your top 5? I think he might be the best willing to work for the Oil.

  9. sliderule says:

    I would hire Craig mactavish as coach and GM.

    I can tell you he is way smarter than the other guys running things.Oil change has given all of us an insight of how little thought is being put into management decisions.this includes the scouting were we have seen that other than the first pick they are shooting from the hip.

  10. Lowetide says:

    knighttown:
    So…you’re saying he’s crazy but because his boss is contributing to his craziness he should be kept?I’m an owner of some businesses and I constantly remind my managers that they can only control what they can control.Renney lost Gilbert and was given Schultz.Once that happens his only focus can be how best to deploy his 8 defensemen.

    Nick Schultz may not be Tom Gilbert but he’s also certainly not a 15:25 defenseman on this shitty team.Deploying him like that is either an attempt at undermining his bosses or incompetence but either way its fuckery and only Renney can wear that.

    But now you’re evaluating a manager based on an extremely small sample size. Perhaps Renney likes his PK and wants to work the new hire in slowly (as an example)? I don’t understand the handling and there’s a lot I disagree with about his handling of the team.

    Having said that, the trade of Gilbert was a white flag on the season. I see no reason to evaluate Renney based on wins from that day forward.

  11. mattwatt says:

    I know ‘Angel from Montgomery’ is your favourite country song Lowetide, but this would have to be mine. Definition of pure country gold. Damn is it good. Thanks for the link.

    As for your words, they ring very true. My dad always told me, when you are calling everyone around you a loser, you are likely the biggest one. Tambellini and co. let go of many of the hockey operations personnel, to change the “losing” culture. MacT and Quinn have been previously fired, in hopes of stopping the “losing.” Numerous players brought in to stop the “losing,” but have had the opposite effect. Now it looks like Renney is being showed the door because the Oilers are “losing” to many games.

    Tambellini can keep talking, telling others how he is changing this culture from “losing” to “winning,” but these words are beginning to lose their clout. It is time those at the helm of all this “losing” start taking responsibility for their actions. For as more and more time goes on those “losers” let go of start to look less and less like what you said they were, while you start to look like the biggest one of all.

    Renney can’t take chickenshit and make chicken salad. Especially with the scatty ingredients Tambellini keeps giving him.

  12. Lowetide says:

    dulock:
    Lowetide,

    I agree with you on MacT. He almost made the playoffs several times with a lineup of chicken wire, wrigley’s gum, and varsol.Is Nelson in your top 5? I think he might be the best willing to work for the Oil.

    I haven’t that far ahead, think JW is going to do something. I do like Nelson based on our conversations. I don’t have a number though.

  13. Mr DeBakey says:

    Marc Crawford will get the nod.

    Hah Hah
    Hah
    Hah Hah Ho Ho Hee
    Hah Hah Ho Ho Hee Hee Hah Hah Ho

    Aieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  14. russ99 says:

    I like McTavish both as a person and a coach, but please, no more Boys on the Bus.

    What the Oilers do with Renney will be the best clue as to what the real plan was this year.

    They keep him and he’s been a good soldier all year following orders and promoting the tank job. They fire him and the organization also thinks that he’s been very poor at game time coaching, line matching, handling the 3rd-4th line and handling all young players not named Hall or Eberle.

  15. Downright Fierce says:

    Crow? Behind the home bench at Rexall? Oh no. Oh no, no, no, LT. Don’t put these images in my head.

    Hay is an interesting thought. I recall Renney saying Hay turned down an assistant gig with the Oil because he’d rather wait for a HC offer. Hay’s done a bang-up job with the Giants & could bring a sterner hand to the rudder. Renney appears to be a hell of a teacher, but I wonder if his lower-key, intellectual (for lack of a better term) style hurts him in the motivation department.

    Does MacT have a better shot at returning if Lowe’s in the GM seat? What about another GM altogether?

    I mentioned Jonathan Willis’ Cult of Hockey GM profile series late in the last thread. He asked on twitter today about prospective coaches, so very much looking forward to his new series. Should help shed light on some darker corners.

    Anyone but Crow.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    Marc Crawford will get the nod.

    Hah Hah
    Hah
    Hah Hah Ho Ho Hee
    Hah Hah Ho Ho Hee Hee Hah Hah Ho

    Aieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    They interviewed him last time, rumor had it he was in the running.
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2009/05/26/sp-hockey-oilers-announcement.html

  17. DSF says:

    Lowetide: I think he’s a strong candidate, but would guess that Don Hay or Marc Crawford will get the nod. My choice? Craig MacTavish.

    I’ve heard Don Hay say numerous times he has no interest in returning to the NHL. Happy as a clam with the Giants.

  18. dulock says:

    Lowetide,

    When you get to thinking about it, throw in Roy for fun. He’s one of my favourite candidates but I’m not sure he’d come here.

  19. oilersfan says:

    Well renney has done some strange things but don’t coaches get some credit for the best pp in the league and a move from last to 15th on the pk?
    If they fire renny I hope they keep krueger.

    And no doubt in my mind, if the oilers has kiprusoff they would be right in the mix.

  20. Downright Fierce says:

    I’ve found my new darkhorse candidate: Roy Sommer

    Ticked off his 500th AHL win in February, longest serving AHL head coach, and just open that link & view his picture at full-size & try to tell me that you aren’t instantly charmed by the guy. Distant ties to the Oil Kings of old & long list of NHL grads, the latest being Logan Couture. He was passed over for McLellan, so could be itching to move up. That, or he likes it where he is. But come on– check out that pic– he looks like Alan-A-Dale, the signing rooster from the animated Robin Hood. He’s probably lasted so long with a .500 record because HOW could you get mad at that face?

  21. steveb12344 says:

    Imo i am not sure the org views the Gilbert trade as a downgrade. I think maybe over time because we all liked Gilbert, and saw potential initially. That maybe we’ve started to overlook his shortcomings a little bit, and started to see him in a little better light than he really is.I know he shows decently with some of the math guys, but really? Is there anything that he is great at? A good wide range of skills, but definately not close to elite in any one disipline.

    Also if he is your teams best d-man, then i wouldn’t expect to get out of the lottery anytime soon. I think they felt they have enough of what Gibby brings to the table positive to make him expendable. While ridding themselves of the negative attributes from the blu’s leading minute getter.

    Schutlz, on the other hand brings something they don’t have near enough of, and obviously valued alot. As well as being a strong character guy in the room. With ST’s record of keeping his cards glued to his chest, you can rest assured when he comes out and says he is going to add a top D-man or two in the summer, that it will get done.

    I am thinking Minni probably came looking for Gilbert, with thier recent affinity for getting hometown players. Schultz was probably what the oilers felt would fit best in thier future plans. With gibby not being near good enough to be your teams best d-man, while schultz could be really key for his role moving forward.

    Let’s hope this is the first of a series of moves that will become a much stronger defence for next year. When it’s all said and done this summer it might actually all make sense.

    Also Gilbert 6gp 0,0,0 -2 Schultz 5gp 0,3,3 +1……Yes very small sample, but just sayin….

  22. David S says:

    It seems to me that it’s pretty hard to evaluate a coach unless you have some idea of how closely he followed his mandate. As was mentioned above, if he’s re-signed then it’ll be pretty clear his job was to focus on development and sell the tank job. None of us know his philosophy on development (i.e. his explanation on why he was breaking in Omark) so assuming he’s borderline insane because “that’s not what I would do” is a pretty poor measuring stick at best.

  23. Smarmy says:

    DSF: I’ve heard Don Hay say numerous times he has no interest in returning to the NHL. Happy as a clam with the Giants.

    You heard wrong. He’ll move for a head coaching gig in the NHL. He’s happy enough with the Giants that he can pass on assistant gigs and what not.

    As for Renney. He was dealt a shit hand but he did shit with it so send him out with the rest of the shit.

  24. danny says:

    Renney has to be the easiest coach to coach against in the NHL. Opposing coaches get carte blanche in line matches, they get gifts in situational decisions, overall, Renney makes their life easier than it should be.

    Renney is an intelligent person, but a whole bunch of his decisions this season, have been real mysteries. It’s almost too strange to think there isnt a hidden motive (losing), but the fact that a guys job is on the line squashes that. A guy asked to lose games, doesnt get canned for losing.

    I find it surpising anyone that appreciates the finer points of a guy like MacT could have anything but contempt for Renney during these past two years.

    I hope theres a book someday explaining what we have witnessed.

  25. neojanus says:

    This issue of coach and GM is a tough one indeed.

    Clearly, no decision has been decided yet or we’d hear about extensions (that rumble of Tambo’s extension has gone silent in the last few weeks).

    I think from Katz’s perspective, this is largely a failed report card for Tambellini and a D+/C- for Renney.

    Tambellini hasn’t provided Renney with a team that can compete consistently; the d-men are a mess, the goaltending is way below average, and secondary scoring has been more than lacking.

    The Oilers have three great players (all here through the Oilers playing like shit previously), a few under-performing vets, some catastrophes, and then the Action Bus players.

    Renney has made some critical errors, I think. He has underused some young players, overused others, and has wasted slots in the line-up at really dumb times (Hordichuck, Lander, Barker). Saying that, this team has improved on special teams immensely… with a better d, that PK could be top 10 easily. The coach has to take some credit there. No coach can make Peckham play like a professional or teach Whitney’s feet to function like a regular human’s.

    I think I’d bid farewell to Tambellini because he hasn’t turned this team remotely into a contender and I would instead check out one of Willis’ suggestions. Tambellini hasn’t made wise trades and some have hurt the team (Khabi shouldn’t have been signed so long, Barker is just… just…. he’s broken).

    I’d sign Renney for one year and give him 15 games to prove himself next season with an altered line-up. If Renney won’t take the one year, he’s toast. That’ll give a clearer picture of what the problem here really is.

    Like Hemsky, Renney hasn’t really earned more than a trial contract because 30th, and 29th isn’t nearly good enough for long-term commitment.

    It’s shrewd, but Tambellini is moving sideways and the Oil need some new ideas. Renney (based on special teams alone and such a piss poor roster) earns a short-term pass. Have the back-up plan simmering though.

    What do I think will happen? They’re both gone at the end of the season. Katz hates losers.

  26. Downright Fierce says:

    danny: I hope theres a book someday explaining what we have witnessed.

    I thought Dante already wrote Inferno?

  27. Mr DeBakey says:

    Schutlz, on the other hand brings something they don’t have near enough of, and obviously valued alot

    I, and I think most critics of the trade, feel the Oilers need Gilbert AND a guy like Schultz.
    If Schultz were paired with Gilbert, while the Smid-Petry pairing stayed together, and the bottom grouping featured Potter, Sutton & Barbaro, things are seriously looking up.
    Instead they’re looking sideways.

  28. godot10 says:

    Renney totally misused the supporting talent this year.

    The list of his misdeeds:
    1) Screwing up Paajarvi.
    2) Screwing up Omark
    3) Screwing up Hartikainen (Cornet got to play on a top 2 line. Hartikainen got to play with no rest with Horcoff and Green in a tough minutes role.)
    4) Playing Jones above the 4th line
    5) Playing Belanger above the 4th line.
    6) Not playing Eager above the 4th line, or above Jones and Petrell.
    7) Why the hell wasn’t Lander in the AHL.
    8) Gagner all over the place, except centre.
    9) Overplaying Horcoff and Smyth.
    10) Playing Whitney above the 3rd pairing.
    11) Goaltending rotation.

    I could go on.

    He is a nice guy and bad coach. It took a week for Krueger to put Jones in the press box. One week. It took one week for Krueger to move Eager up the roster. One week.

    Renney never used the lineup Tambellini gave him properly.

    Smyth, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Hall, Gagner, Hemsky
    Paajarvi, Horcoff, Omark
    Eager, Belanger, Jones/…

  29. DSF says:

    Smarmy: You heard wrong. He’ll move for a head coaching gig in the NHL. He’s happy enough with the Giants that he can pass on assistant gigs and what not.

    As for Renney. He was dealt a shit hand but he did shit with it so send him out with the rest of the shit.

    I heard right.

    Directly from the horses mouth.

    Several times.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Roy Sommer is from Oakland, so carries on the Oakland Seals name (not really, but I’m always look for an angle to mention the Seals). Plus he looks batshit crazy in that photo so I’m onboard. It’ll be like having John Malkovich coach the team.

  31. Traktor says:

    I would hire Marc Pouliot’s junior coach. Anyone with the ability to turn MAP into a 1st rounder is obviously some kind of hockey savant.

  32. hunter1909 says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Wayne Gretzky eventually returns as President of the Oilers. That’s Katz’s perfect storyline for the new arena, when all the pieces are supposed to be up and running. Or Mark Messier as coach next season.

    Let’s see, this season has given us RNH, Petry’s emergence as a hockey player, plus Gagner’s 8 point night and imo well-further development as a good NHLer.

    Tambellini might not be Sam Pollock, but how many would like a Dean Lombardi style regime, trading away draft picks, plus the Schenn’s and Johnson’s for “established” players who end up stinking out the joint? As a powerless fan, I really don’t think Tambellini’s fucked up all that much.

    GODOT10 hits a grand slam home run with that Renney evaluation, btw.

  33. DSF says:

    Glencross with his 6th goal in 6 games tonight.

  34. justDOit says:

    DSF,

    Lowe couldn’t sign him because he had $81M dangling in front of Hossa at the time.

  35. justDOit says:

    As for coaches, even though he had little success in his limited time behind the bench, I like how Krueger handled the assignments. Is it true that he intends to go back to Europe after this seasn?

  36. Woodguy says:

    steveb12344,

    That maybe we’ve started to overlook his shortcomings a little bit, and started to see him in a little better light than he really is.I know he shows decently with some of the math guys, but really? Is there anything that he is great at? A good wide range of skills, but definately not close to elite in any one disipline.

    The entire team was better with him, than without him on the ice.

    Read this article

    Then read this article

    He was the team MVP in terms of making everyone better, and its not close.

    Also,

    godot10:
    Renney totally misused the supporting talent this year.

    The list of his misdeeds:
    1) Screwing up Paajarvi.
    2) Screwing up Omark
    3) Screwing up Hartikainen (Cornet got to play on a top 2 line.Hartikainen got to play with no rest with Horcoff and Green in a tough minutes role.)
    4) Playing Jones above the 4th line
    5) Playing Belanger above the 4th line.
    6) Not playing Eager above the 4th line, or above Jones and Petrell.
    7) Why the hell wasn’t Lander in the AHL. Gagner all over the place, except centre.
    9) Overplaying Horcoff and Smyth.
    10) Playing Whitney above the 3rd pairing.
    11) Goaltending rotation.

    I could go on.

    He is a nice guy and bad coach.It took a week for Krueger to put Jones in the press box.One week.It took one week for Krueger to move Eager up the roster.One week.

    Renney never used the lineup Tambellini gave him properly.

    Smyth, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Hall, Gagner, Hemsky
    Paajarvi, Horcoff, Omark
    Eager, Belanger, Jones/…

    Well done Godot. I think you nailed it.

    Kruger sat the players who were defensive basket cases and had the lines balanced.

    The 6-1 win in CAL, then the 2-0 win at home against PHI were as good as this team has played all year in terms of a complete game by balanced lines.

    Shanaban has it right in the first picture. “I don’t think this guy gets it”

    Renney seems like a nice man, but KT also nailed it in his post. His TOI decisions and Dpairing decisions are very wanting.

    Also,

    MacT as GM with an assistant with a long track record helping him other than Olcyzk (Lowe actually fits that role as long as MacT get to tell him to STFU)

    Kruger as coach.

    He and Smith are the Special Teams guys and he ran the bench the way it should be run.

    I wrote this in the PHI GDT:

    I’ve been impressed with how Krueger has deployed his players. Heads and shoulders above Renney’s decisions with the same players, imo.

    He ran Renney’s lines vs. COL and they lost.

    He mixed it up vs VAN and got spanked, but the best team usually wins and there’s a big chasm in talent between those two teams (which is why you never trade away talent unless talent is coming back)

    Then they smacked around a listless and injured CAL team with what I though was almost optimal deployment of the roster.

    Now they get a chance to do it against a playoff team in PHI.

    It still holds true.

    Renney came back for the PHX game after the PHI game and they have been 2-5-0 since in some winnable games including going 0-4 at home.

    Small sample, but Kreuger got much more out of the same roster.

  37. Woodguy says:

    justDOit:
    As for coaches, even though he had little success in his limited time behind the bench, I like how Krueger handled the assignments. Is it true that he intends to go back to Europe after this seasn?

    He’d stay for a Head Coaching job.

    He won’t for an Asst. or Assoc. Coaching job.

    Europe pays HC’s well in a few leagues and he’s in demand.

  38. jfry says:

    aren’t we happy with Krueger in a secondary coaching position? his “stable” has come to life this year…he’s like the eberle of coaching this year…wouldn’t we say?!!! i know WG agrees about this!!!

  39. Woodguy says:

    justDOit:
    DSF,

    Lowe couldn’t sign him because he had $81M dangling in front of Hossa at the time.

    Because Lowe finds it impossible to handle two negotiations at once.

    He didn’t even return Glencross’ repeated calls.

  40. Smarmy says:

    DSF: I heard right.

    Directly from the horses mouth.

    Several times.

    I call BS. You don’t know anybody.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Because Lowe finds it impossible to handle two negotiations at once.

    He didn’t even return Glencross’ repeated calls.

    I swear the Oilers management has more stories that begin “no one has talked to me since….” than Carter has liver pills.

  42. cabbiesmacker says:

    neojanus:
    What do I think will happen? They’re both gone at the end of the season. Katz hates losers.

    Which explains Kevin Lowe how?

  43. Downright Fierce says:

    Lowetide,

    You’re gonna like this article. So many gems (emphases mine):

    Sommer was in Muskegon for only one year before the entire staff lost their jobs and he found himself back in California working in the vineyards

    The insurance check got sent to Indianapolis where my ex-wife was and she cashed it. And that was the start of my coaching career.”

    …While he was on his way to a piece of land he owned in Montana (“I used to spend the summers there and lived in a teepee,” he said nonchalantly) he stopped in Minot for an interview and ended up with the job…

    …he met Henry Brabham, founder of the ECHL and owner of the Roanoke Valley team… “He tells me to hold my hands above my head,” Sommer recalled of the confusing moment. “He starts punching me in the stomach and goes, ‘You tough boy? I’ll tell you what, you bring a team in here. We can’t have no wussies – that don’t sell in Roanoke. If you want the job, it’s yours, ’cause I like you son.’ ”

    as he was coaching in the world championship of roller hockey, [Sommer] got the call from Sims informing him he’d gotten the [San Jose assitant] job…

    As if I didn’t already love this guy enough… His son, Moe, helps out in the WorSharks locker room: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIg8hzhC3Yk

  44. Gret99zky says:

    Isn’t Lowe the defensman genius upstairs?

    I just figured Tamby was picking the Offense and Lowe the D.

  45. hunter1909 says:

    cabbiesmacker: neojanus:
    What do I think will happen? They’re both gone at the end of the season. Katz hates losers.
    Which explains Kevin Lowe how?

    Kevin Lowe, with SIX cup rings, a loser?

  46. Traktor says:

    Gilbert? MVP? Oh god.

    Rickibeari has proven using math that Gilbert is average at best.

    Math needs to stop contradicting itself.

  47. "Steve Smith" says:

    Traktor,

    The sum of his jersey digits was higher than almost any Oiler since Gretzky.

  48. Clay says:

    The way I see it, this whole situation hinges on the relationship between Katz and Lowe. If you believe all the anecdotes, the two are pretty good friends. I honestly believe that Katz is smart enough to not get involved in any hockey decisions personally.

    Lowe has basically been in charge of this team for 12 seasons, and aside from a very fortunate run to the finals, the team has been horrible for the duration of his leadership. The man he hired to replace him at GM had no previous NHL GM experience, was a buddy of Lowe’s from their time together with Team Canada, and has succeeded in building a roster that has been the worst in the league for 3 consecutive years.

    Now, imho, the future of this team hinges on the ability of Katz to set aside his personal relationship with Lowe, make a sound business decision, and bring in someone who knows how to build a proper NHL team.

    Until this happens, we will see Lowe either stand pat with Tambo, or cycle in a new guy based on cronyism, but either way we will watch the young talent on this team wither on the vine waiting for a balanced roster that will never come.

  49. In the Grease says:

    Here’s the thing:

    Before any question about coaching, management, etc., ….. have you asked yourself : Is the mandate from ownership – yes, from Mr,. Katz, apparently a semi-intelligent businessman – to BE AS COMPETITIVE AS POSSIBLE, WIN AS MANY GAMES AS POSSIBLE, COACH AS BEST YOU CAN, MAKE ALL THE RIGHT DECISONS, AND HOLY S*** WE CAN’T BELIEVE WE HAVEN’T BEEN SUCCESSFUL DESPITE OUR BEST EFFORTS!!! – or is it (and I think this was addressed in a Willis or Staples article recently) to really, actually, YES indeed, conspiracy theorists…. really tank???? LT, don’t you think a smart business man would want the second overall pick (or maybe even the first, given how Columbus has played recently…) to add to the two recent firsts?, for the bigger picture??? Why would anyone want to dissect Renney’s decision-making if looking through that lens?

    In your/our criticism of the way the team is being coached and managed right now, isn’t it of tantamount importance to first decide on your position?? i.e. This is a team being run by consumate professionals who are: a) trying to do the absolute best job they can, and hoping to win, win, win down the stretch (to teach the young core how cool winning is) or b) they have been given the order to “make appearances”, semi-appease the fan base, and “make it look good” but goddam we better pick 2nd – or better yet (!) – 1st overall again!

    Almost everyone here seems to base their criticism on the assumption that, by golly yes, everything is on the up on the up, we are Honest Canadians after all, and we are trying our hardest to best we can can be! …. truth be told, I’m American, I live in NY, I’ve seen greed run people’s iives and actions, and hell yeah , you better believe that when millions and millons of dollars are at stake in the bigger picture, the directive from the owner may very well be : TANK.

    I think there is a lot of naivete running through the heart of criticism and commentary in Oilerland at the moment. Guess it would be nice to win a few games, have the D playing better, and more logical coaching, but hell that was a 4-point game with Montreal and losing was way more important than winning at this juncture wasn’t it?

    Just saying…. look in the mirror. This is big business. Your honesty is getting in the way of your perception.

  50. DeadmanWaking says:

    It seems to me that it’s pretty hard to evaluate a coach unless you have some idea of how closely he followed his mandate. As was mentioned above, if he’s re-signed then it’ll be pretty clear his job was to focus on development and sell the tank job. None of us know his philosophy on development (i.e. his explanation on why he was breaking in Omark) so assuming he’s borderline insane because “that’s not what I would do” is a pretty poor measuring stick at best.

    I’m totally on board with that opinion. It’s like hearing the neighbours have a row over the fence, then coming to an opinion about who started it. You just don’t know the facts. In one case I witnessed, GF locked bubba out of the suite after much altercation, so he breaks into her car (a sporty thing) and shreds the rear tires to ribbons (fat sporty tires) with a shrieking burnout under the deck. All this at three a.m. Then he drives her car up and down the driveway (on the rims) beside her bedroom. You could have mounted those tires in a car wash and run it as a hippo massage parlour and not made more noise. So, yeah, something was not quite right between them. But I’m not quick to judge. I mean that. The guy was a total ass and was flirting with custody followed by twenty semesters in the world’s dullest anger management program (under failed florescent ballasts salvaged from the 1970s) . But I’m not quick to judge. Really. I want to ask the guy, “What was with that?” and then pop my OMG cork.

    And that’s the problem with the Oilers. You have no freaking idea what the mandate is, so how do you judge from over the fence? Renney, what’s the deal with the Swedes? We want to know.

    But then, I was always a MacT fan. People called for his head and I would comment that it’s no better than a coin flip the next guy amounts to an improvement. Angry people don’t care. It was almost a relief to see him go. He had blender madness at the end. I’ve said this before. The problem with MacT is that he doesn’t understand the changing pace of the game. With the athletes so fit, you can’t drive them at a playoff pace for half the regular season. The regular season pace is simply a lot more demanding than when he played the game. No coasting and few pylons. There were far too many games where the team came out flat. Game after game he’s asking for sixth gear. The teams he played on himself held half a gear in reserve. Those teams had talent. Not every game was won on effort alone. Under his demands eventually the guys can’t deliver, then they get blamed for not caring. In the playoffs where this kind of intensity is expected, he had good results.

    I haven’t seen MacT demonstrate that he can coach an energy efficient style to help his guys make it through a long regular season. The ideal time to bring MacT back is for a forty game schedule after a half-season lockout and a Shea Weber transplant.

    From Whatever happened to Dan Cloutier?:

    The Mont-Laurier QC native is not sure what he wants to do with the rest of his life, but for time being has decided to give coaching a try. Late last month Cloutier signed a one year deal with the Barrie Colts, of the Ontario Hockey League, to serve as their part-time goaltending coach.

    There’s the upside with Crow.

    Man with very large trenchcoat: Hey, want to buy an elephant?
    Uri Geller fan club member: WTF would I do with an elephant?
    Man with very large trenchcoat: Half price!
    Uri Geller fan club member: I’ll take two …

  51. In the Grease says:

    p.s. I know this idea has been put out there many times, but so much of the criticism/ thought process of commentators here seems to overlook the very real possiblitiy that Katz, Lowe, Tambo, and Renney have taken a meeting, and talked about the importance of losing right now for the future of the franchise, and the BUSINESS.

  52. In the Grease says:

    “And that’s the problem with the Oilers. You have no freaking idea what the mandate is, so how do you judge from over the fence?” – Exactly.

  53. In the Grease says:

    It seems to me that it’s pretty hard to evaluate a coach unless you have some idea of how closely he followed his mandate. As was mentioned above, if he’s re-signed then it’ll be pretty clear his job was to focus on development and sell the tank job. None of us know his philosophy on development (i.e. his explanation on why he was breaking in Omark) so assuming he’s borderline insane because “that’s not what I would do” is a pretty poor measuring stick at best. -Double exactly….

  54. Dave Casselman says:

    It’s quite apparent, to me at least, that the best before date on Kevin Lowe has long since expired. He’s had 12 years, 12 FUCKING years, of being in a position of significant influence, to put together a winner and now the Club is yet again on pace to draft in the top 3 come June. How he’s been able to keep his job is truly one of life’s deep mysteries. . .

    Steve Tambellini should audition for the role of Dopey in the next Snow White re-make. Or maybe Sleepy, don’t make no never mind. What has he accomplished during his tenure, what’s the guy done for the Oil? My answer is: Not much. There was a reason he was passed over in Vancouver all those many years. . .

    Tom Renney seems a very nice man. A good teaching coach? Probably. A good tactician? Maybe not so much. Wouldn’t his talents be better served in a development league such as the AHL? I’m thinking that maybe next season is going to be a different year in the sense that there’s going to be more internal pressure to win, and I don’t think Tom Renney is going to be the right guy.

    Lots of potential head coaches out there. If Uncle Tom takes the gas pipe it’ll be one very interesting decision as to the winner. (And so much will depend upon just who is the GM.) Wish there were a way to quickly further evaluate Ralph Kreuger as head coach material. He’s done a remarkable job in Switzerland and he’s done a remarkable job with special teams this year. He seems to be an excellent tactician and quite clearly his personnel opinions differ from those of the head coach. (In a good way.) Sure do wish I knew whether the players would play for him. . .

    Guess it’ll all turn out in the wash. It always seems to, and just maybe it’ll include the Cup in 15.

  55. DeadmanWaking says:

    Crowtide? Still trying to cope with that thought. I think I’d have to say “so long and thanks for the fish”. Or Irontide, for that matter. I’m reminded of Very Tough Love. Makes Judge Judy look like the Idol softwipe. True story.

    And look what I found: Monster Ironside. “We have a report of tire carnage. Are you the resident at this address? Well, smarten up! You’ve made me late for Murderball“. Actually, I had forgotten all about that movie. Liked it a lot. Really stands apart in the angry Canuck jingoistic testosterone tear-jerker genre.

  56. Woodguy says:

    Traktor:
    Gilbert? MVP? Oh god.

    Rickibeari has proven using math that Gilbert is average at best.

    Math needs to stop contradicting itself.

    I wrote:

    He was the team MVP in terms of making everyone better, and its not close.

    There are some players on the Oilers who are better hockey players, but none affected scoring chances this year like Gilbert. Not even close.

    Ricki counts goals. Dennis counts scoring chances. They are different

    Math needs to stop contradicting itself.

    Because everyone involved in any endeavor which involves math always agree?

    Like every economist agrees with each other?

    Ok then.

  57. knighttown says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about qualifying that statement Woodguy. Until the Carcillo hit he might have gotten my vote for team MVP. At the time I thought Gibby was the force behind Smid’s improvement and that pairing was rollin’ but it seems Smid’s turned a corner so I’d probably split a vote between those two if the injury hadn’t happened. The gap between the first 3 D and the second 3D is way bigger than our first 3 F’s and the second 3.

    Now the argument could be made that the gap is a more a testament to how terrible the defense is than how good Gilbert is and I wouldn’t argue but if anything that reinforces his importance to this team. Again not best player but one of the most valuable to this team.

    Like Schultz too and clearly put him in our top 3 but it seems he suffers from emphysema and can’t play more than 15 minutes a night.

  58. Dalton says:

    <s

    DeadmanWaking: I haven’t seen MacT demonstrate that he can coach an energy efficient style to help his guys make it through a long regular season. The ideal time to bring MacT back is for a forty game schedule after a half-season lockout and a Shea Weber transplant

    Hmmmmmmmm……. It’s offhanded comments like this that tend to be the most prescient.

    Also, these things you describe about MacT seem to me to sound very familiar in the Renney era…

    DeadmanWaking: There were far too many games where the team came out flat. Game after game he’s asking for sixth gear..

    trong>DeadmanWaking,

  59. gcw_rocks says:

    I don’t get all the fucking love for MacTavish. The “boys on the bus” delussional culture that permiantes the Oilers is part of the problem. Bringing back MacTavish only contrubtes to the problem. It’s time this team put the past behind them and focused on the future.

    Additionally, I think MacTavish’s coaching style lines up better with veteran teams, which this is not. He should have been hired in Washington. That would have been a great fit for him. This young Oilers team, not so much.

  60. DSF says:

    Smarmy: I call BS. You don’t know anybody.

    No.

    But I have a radio.

    Actually I have several radios.

    On each and every one of my radios (and occasionally my dental work if the atmospheric conditions are just right), I can tune into the Team 1060 in Vancouver.

    Once a week, on all my radios (and occasionally my dental work, as noted earlier) I can listen to the Don Hay segment in which he discusses the Giants, junior hockey, the game in general and has often been asked if he would consider returning to the NHL.

    Each and every time I have heard him answer that question he says NO…been there done that and much prefers his life as the coach of the Giants.

    Now, it’s possible he is is lying but, without some insider information that you may have, I would be hesitant to call the man that considering he seems honest, straightforward and somewhat charming.

    At least on my radios.

    Don’t know about yours.

  61. Nostradumbass says:

    DSF,

    I call BS you dont own a radio

  62. FastOil says:

    gcw_rocks:
    I don’t get all the fucking love for MacTavish.The “boys on the bus” delussional culture that permiantes the Oilers is part of the problem.Bringing back MacTavish only contrubtes to the problem.It’s time this team put the past behind them and focused on the future.

    Too true. ST’s culture change was about as significant as the culture change with Putin as Prime Minister. With this as a filter things seem more clear to me.

  63. Gret99zky says:

    That picture is worth at least RelCorsi1000words.

  64. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Nobody mentioned that Roy Sommer played for the Oilers? 1980-81, 3 GP, scored a goal. Of course EVERYBODY scored in thos days.

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