So anyway, Mike Illitch hires Jim Devellano in 1982 and Jimmy D picks Steve Yzerman in the ’83 draft and in the soonafter Detroit won the Stanley. If “soonafter” in your world is 15 years, then that’s what happened. Reality? Far different story.
By 1989, Devellano was in real trouble with Red Wings fans and the Illitch family. As GM, he went to work, trading young Adam Oates to St. Louis for Bernie Federko and signing veteran defender Borje Salming. He also grabbed Marc Habschied for good measure, but the bottom fell out in a big way. In 89-90, Detroit fell to 28 wins, missed the postseason and got their coach (Jacques Demers) fired and their GM (Devellano) bumped upstairs in favor of Bryan Murray.
That was 1990. It had been 8 years since Mike Illitch hired Jimmy D to bring glory back to Hockeytown. It would be another 7 years before Stanley came home.
I don’t know too much about Darryl Katz. I suspect he likes it that way, and that’s cool a man has a right to privacy. I have said for some time now that the report card is in for this management group and what we’re waiting for is that point when Mr. Katz reaches the conclusion (as did Mr. Illitch in 1990) that it is time to re-work the offices and the name plates.
Steve Tambellini and Tom Renney are without contracts for next season, and I think Kevin Lowe might be without one too. It’s a reasonable guess (made less so because I predict it every spring) that the Oilers may move around the job descriptions over the next few weeks. Kevin Lowe might play a more prominent role, Steve Tambellini might do the things that Jim Devellano did after getting bumped upstairs (scouting, business side) and the club has to decide on their coaching staff and pro scouts.
It all comes down to Mr. Katz. I don’t think we should be surprised if the Oilers give another contract to Steve Tambellini and decide to retain Tom Renney too. But I don’t think it’s a certainty those things happen this summer.
This is our new dog Ziggy. She’s chewing a hedgehog and in just four months has gone from tentative little doggie running around making a mess to running around the house like she owns it and making a mess. I promised her the Oilers would make the playoffs before she turns 18. She’ll turn 18 in dog years spring 2014.
Will the Oilers make it?
A busy Saturday, noon start on Team 1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Jonathan Willis from the Nations Network, Cult of Hockey, Hockey Prospectus and ESPN Insider. We’ll talk about the Oilers season, the draft, the importance of adding a defenseman and other items that might be on the shopping list.
- Jason Gregor from The Jason Gregor Show on Team 1260. There’s a reason his show is a must listen for Edmontonians, Jason has an opinion and brings it every time. We’ll discuss the Oilers management, the draft and I’ll ask how many holes the Oilers can close up in one summer.
- Danny Gray from Leafs Nation, It’s been a weird year for Toronto and the knives are out for everyone. I’ll ask Danny what the Leafs need to do and find out which defender might be available via trade.
- Corey Graham Edmonton Oil Kings pbp man updates us on the team that cannot lose these days. Edmonton is up in their 2nd round series and Oiler prospects are looking good. We’ll get an update from Corey.
- Kent Wilson from Flames Nation and Hockey Prospectus. Calgary is facing an off-season of great change, and Mike Keenan didn’t make things better. We’ll talk about it with Kent.
- Robert Cleave from Flames and Jets Nation. Robert gave us great insight into the Jets down the stretch and this time we’ll talk about the owner’s sublime press conference, the entertaining coach and the team that conquered central Canada this winter.