I’M HAVING A BEER AND THEN I’M HAVING ANOTHER ONE

A Craig MacTavish player has his head on a swivel, always aware of danger and possessing necessary discipline: it’s about what you accomplish with the puck, and it’s also about what you leave. Shawn Horcoff is the obvious example people mention in regard to MacT’s mentoring for the Oilers, but I’d throw Fernando Pisani and the electric Ales Hemsky into the discussion too.

I can say that this is the first hire in quite some time at the pro level that makes sense emotionally and intellectually. Craig MacTavish has a fine brain, and when he speaks to the fans through the media I sense he believes he is talking to someone who can understand the salient and the subtle.

Craig MacTavish was an excellent teacher of the game to players, fans and media during his time as Oilers coach. His loyalty is clearly enormous–he suggested Shawn Horcoff for Team Canada–and he is a communicator of ideas and creative in his problem solving.

I don’t know that I’m MacT’s most vocal fan, didn’t even know how famous he’s become. This is an excellent hire. I’m going to have a beer, and then I’m having another one.

PS, MacT was featured many times on this blog, if you want to check out the past click on ‘mact’ tag above. The media conference is schelued for 4:30 and available at Team 1260′s website.

Post media conference comments:

  • MacT is a master in front of the media. Smooth, intelligent, sincere and funny. God I feel better about being an Oiler fan just knowing he’s there.
  • Based on Steve Tambellini’s opening comments, I have no idea about the job MacT has been hired to do. Suspect it won’t matter long term. I can’t imagine Steve Tambellini lasting in his job for long.

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53 Responses to "I’M HAVING A BEER AND THEN I’M HAVING ANOTHER ONE"

  1. jb says:

    I think you deserve a 3rd beer for all the work put into this blog

  2. LP says:

    Excellent news, IMO.

    Good things can only come of this. He may eventually coach again, but I think he’ll make an even better GM one day.

    As soon as I heard this, I could picture LT smiling from ear to ear.

    Beer me indeed.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Listening to the PC, sounds like MacT is going to have a role in pro and amateur scouting, plus the coaching decisions. However, I’m not sure what Steve Tambellini was talking about there at the beginning. Did anyone catch it?

  4. nathan says:

    I’m having a MacT. Then I’m having a Cooper.

  5. regwald says:

    The only think that makes this hiring palatable for me is that it might end the reign of Tambo.

    Oh ya, and LT said we could have a beer. and then another. and possibly another.

  6. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide:
    sounds like MacT is going to have a role in pro and amateur scouting, plus the coaching decisions.

    What has ever indicated that he has any scouting ability?

  7. mustang says:

    LT, when the news broke I was trying to imagine the blog you would write and the headline. “I’m having a beer and then I’m having another one”…Perfect

    I’m going to have beer and then I’m going to five more….

    This hiring is perfect, one thing we know for sure, there is a man with a big brain
    in the room when all the important discussions are taking place.

    It’s a great day to be an oiler fan

  8. jake70 says:

    May as well have a six pack LT and sit back and watch the Bluejays play the Expo…..errr…Nationals in some interleague play.

  9. jake70 says:

    Duh, here I am mentionning baseball on a hockey blog on a night when Stanley’s mug may be won, sorry, shows how little I am into this final.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Baseball talk is always welcome here. ALWAYS.

  11. jake70 says:

    Sounds good. (and there is a guy right behind home plate at Rogers center with an Expos jersey – nice)

  12. spoiler says:

    LMHF#1: What has ever indicated that he has any scouting ability?

    He coached an NHL team for awhile. He coached an AHL team too, ¡¡rc.

  13. russ99 says:

    Let me preface by saying I am a fan of Mac T, and while he did a good job as coach, it was time for him to move on.

    Not a fan of the “Boys on the Bus” reunion in the front office, but Mr. Katz bought the club and if he wants to relive 1985, so be it.

    Hopefully the Oilers use MacT’s knowledge in player scouting to boost what has been a underwhelming part of the front office. Also, as a longtime coach, he lets the new head coach do his job.

    If this ends up a placeholder job while Tambellini is put on notice, it’s a good hire.

  14. speeds says:

    MacT from the press conference:

    “You ultimately win on offense, prolific offense is always going to win out over defensive minded teams, so from that standpoint the skillset of the team has changed, so that’s gonna be a more dynamic team.”

    I’m sure we’ll be reading between the lines from now until the draft, but that quote doesn’t lead me to believe MacT would have vote for a D if a F is considered the BPA.

    Although he’s not really talking about the players at the top of the draft with that quote, so I’m not sure one should read too much into it either.

  15. skidplate says:

    Cheers LT!!

    Excellent hiring. You can never have too many good hockey people running a team.

  16. spoiler says:

    I wonder how long Katz can keep up the safety blanket hiring policy before potential candidates shy away?

    With this hire, would you take the head coaching job?

    I’m not a member of the NHL community, so I have no concrete idea about what sort of effect there is, if any, but it does make me wonder.

  17. delooper says:

    Nice play to Brown and Doty. 1-0 Kings. … and Brown again. 2-0 Kings.

  18. delooper says:

    Wow, LA’s power play finally comes together. 3 goals on one 5-minute major.

  19. Lowetide says:

    I wish the Oilers played against Steve Bernier more.

  20. spoiler says:

    I would like to take this opportunity to offer Alyssa Milano a celebratory hug. And then another one. In fact, Alyssa, you can have all the celebratory hugs you like.

  21. Ribs says:

    So how does that game go?

    President – Kevin Lowe
    Vice President – Craig MacTavish
    Secretary – Kelly Buchberger (I imagine they’ll have to give him some sort of title)
    Asshole – Steve Tambellini

    I keed, I keed. Glad to have MacT back in any fashion. Can’t wait for him to convince Kevin and Steve to hire Doug Weight and Adam Oates as Associate Coaches.

  22. delooper says:

    If Brown keeps up this kinda play during tonight’s game he might prove me wrong.

  23. nathan says:

    delooper,

    Somewhere RNH is watching and wondering if the zebras will still call majors when he grows up.

  24. nathan says:

    Bookje noted that MacT is being welcomed as the replacement for Tambi, the next coach, and Lowe. Hell with that MBA he could also replace the guy who counts calls-ups, calculates cap, and the next Rexall drugs manager that misses quota.

  25. Traktor says:

    Listening to the press conference its obvious that management is going to be more aggressive in addressing some needs (trades or free agent signings).

    Seeing how only an idiot would put all their hopes in free agency I think there is a very good chance that Edmonton either trades something like Hemsky or Gagner for help on D or does something with the 1st overall other than draft Yakupov.

    You can draft Yakupov but he doesn’t solve the other holes in the lineup and as said previously only a fool would count on free agency to address needs.

    The only thing is MacT probably has good memories of Hemmer and Gagner.

    I think we’re all in for a shock before July 1.

    The only thing I will be truly upset with is if we deal prospects like Klefbom and Pitlick for a quick fix good but not great veteran.

  26. DSF says:

    Traktor:
    Listening to the press conference its obvious that management is going to be more aggressive in addressing some needs (trades or free agent signings).

    Seeing how only an idiot would put all their hopes in free agency I think there is a very good chance that Edmonton either trades something like Hemsky or Gagner for help on D or does something with the 1st overall other than draft Yakupov.

    You can draft Yakupov but he doesn’t solve the other holes in the lineup and as said previously only a fool would count on free agency to address needs.

    The only thing is MacT probably has good memories of Hemmer and Gagner.

    I think we’re all in for a shock before July 1.

    The only thing I will be truly upset with is if we deal prospects like Klefbom and Pitlick for a quick fix good but not great veteran.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if both Gagner and Hemsky were gone by July 1.

    It’s the smart move.

  27. Traktor says:

    Bryce Harper is fun to watch. His hockey equivalent is probably Eric Lindros.

  28. spoiler says:

    That is now 4 goals and I haven’t seen Alyssa jump and down for joy once. This might be the most disappointing Hockey Night in Canada broadcast of all time.

    And yes, I’m counting the Orr penalty, the Miracle on Manchester, “Steve Smith” and the first day they announced Glenn Healey as the colour broadcaster.

  29. anonymous says:

    Mact fell on the sword honorably and it’s nice to have him back.
    Hopefully this means Cooper is the coach. 28 wins in a row, wow!

  30. SierraRacs says:

    “Based on Steve Tambellini’s opening comments, I have no idea about the job MacT has been hired to do. Suspect it won’t matter long term. I can’t imagine Steve Tambellini lasting in his job for long.”

    When I was listening to Gregor and Ruban this afternoon I was thinking that if I was the Oiler’s new coach I would be looking over my shoulder (i.e. Quinn and Renney).

    I think the above quote nails who is in danger with MacT coming back into the Oiler fold. I have always believed that you could never have enough hockey brains in an organization and in that regards this is a good hire. I think, unbeknownst to Tambo, he has just announced the hiring of his potential replacement.

  31. spoiler says:

    Exhortative Alyssa is almost as good.

  32. Henry says:

    The rehiring of Mac seems to explain why it took so long to finalize Tambi’s new contract. It must have been interesting negotiations between him and Lowe. The perplexing thing is that if Katz and Lowe were buying insurance by bringing in MacTavish, why reup Tambi at the end of his contract anyway? Can’t be a loyalty thing during the rebuild considering how they treated Renney. They must think Tambi is the right guy to steer the ship. This club is curious.

  33. speeds says:

    Traktor:
    Listening to the press conference its obvious that management is going to be more aggressive in addressing some needs (trades or free agent signings).

    Seeing how only an idiot would put all their hopes in free agency I think there is a very good chance that Edmonton either trades something like Hemsky or Gagner for help on D or does something with the 1st overall other than draft Yakupov.

    You can draft Yakupov but he doesn’t solve the other holes in the lineup and as said previously only a fool would count on free agency to address needs.

    The only thing is MacT probably has good memories of Hemmer and Gagner.

    I think we’re all in for a shock before July 1.

    The only thing I will be truly upset with is if we deal prospects like Klefbom and Pitlick for a quick fix good but not great veteran.

    A team may not want to put all their hopes into free agency, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t decide to see how things play out before making trades prior to July 1. Unless, I suppose, the trades they’re considering definitely won’t be available on July 7th or so.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Milano is good. Very good. And now, here’s PJ Stock!

  35. Woodguy says:

    Ribs,

    President – Kevin Lowe
    Vice President – Craig MacTavish
    Secretary – Kelly Buchberger (I imagine they’ll have to give him some sort of title)
    Asshole – Steve Tambellini

    That’s pretty good.

  36. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: He coached an NHL team for awhile. He coached an AHL team too, ¡¡rc.

    I hear he played some too.

  37. spoiler says:

    Matthew Perry is far too intelligent for Oakeward to interview.

    More Milano.

  38. Lowetide says:

    I’m nervous for the Kings. 2006 ruined me.

  39. spoiler says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m nervous for the Kings. 2006 ruined me.

    Pressure can destroy any group.

    But it’s okay…

    That’s why we draft for poise!

  40. Woodguy says:

    SierraRacs,

    Based on Steve Tambellini’s opening comments, I have no idea about the job MacT has been hired to do

    Best description I’ve seen so far is Ryan Lambert’s:

    “mactavish’s official job description will be telling tambo and lowe”i wouldnt do that if i were you”"

  41. Woodguy says:

    In the last 17 years Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish have won zero Stanley Cups in any capacity and Dustin Penner has won two with two different teams.

    Maybe they should re-hire him too?

  42. wordbird says:

    Quite a night. Sunny, warm, SCF about to wrap up (congrats Stoll and Greene), Nats on the other channel, girls wearing less clothing at the dog park, LT’s beverage recommendations… and MacT!!

  43. russ99 says:

    So is Penner going to fill the cup with pancakes on his day with with it?

    Congrats former Oilers.

  44. spoiler says:

    The world will never hear so many car alarms in one night again.

  45. nathan says:

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2012/06/11/oilers-hire-triple-threat-in-mact

    Terry Jones riffs the triple option thingee.

    Can’t wait ’til Oil Change – Survivor Editon. Where Katz tells Tambi MacT is being groomed to replace Lowe and tells Lowe MacT is being groomed to replace Tambi. Season finale, they both get voted off the Island and MacT and Cooper have a free hand.

  46. spoiler says:

    Oake is just killing it.

    Every time he opens his mouth, it’s so thrilling that I get up and do laundry.

  47. DSF says:

    delooper:
    If Brown keeps up this kinda play during tonight’s game he might prove me wrong.

    He did.

  48. LMHF#1 says:

    Traktor:
    Bryce Harper is fun to watch. His hockey equivalent is probably Eric Lindros.

    He’s made me a whack of dough in the past few days as well. It is awesome to see a kid living up to the hype. I’m very thankful that his career goals include playing for the New York Yankees and becoming the greatest player of all time.

  49. copperblueandwhite says:

    Brown using the F word was the most exciting part…good on Stolly and Greene…and Willie Mitchell…

  50. FastOil says:

    Great title LT. I’m happy for you receiving a little joy in MacT coming back after putting in all the great work following this team that has been pretty dry for passionate fans. Congrats to the Kings and former Oilers, they surely deserved to win after such a great run.

    Thinking about being an Oilers fan and MacT coming back into the fold, it occurs to me I might have to alter the way I follow the team, which has been an ongoing process after I started following the Oiler blogs. The good ones like yours have made me grow in knowledge of the game, made me drop mythologies collected while being a life long hockey fan, first of the dynasty Habs, then of the dynasty Oilers.

    I suppose all teams are “toys” of their wealthy owners. Being highly successful businessmen, all are likely very competitive (which attracts them to sports ownership) and many seem to want to win above all else, even if many don’t.

    It may be different with the Oilers. Not that Katz doesn’t want to win. It seems he wants to win with his friends, a close group conquering the world together. Pretty fantastic if you’re in the circle and it works. Likely the closest thing to being on the winning team with your buddies on the ice.

    As a fan however, for me it might change the nature of my relationship with the team. I like the positiveness of taking care of people (although taking care of all of the players, and those not in the circle respectfully appears to need some work still). But is everything being done that could be to create a winner?

    The relationship turns from passionate, “live and die with” Oiler hockey fan, to “curious” Oiler fan watching an experiment in friendship. Can the buddies do it? Can they conquer all odds? I suppose the reality TV aspect of the team (which I enjoy but have found odd) really makes sense in that light. Does Katz have a Donald Trump flavour to his personality, albeit very shy?

    I find I have a different take on Tambellini as well, thanks again to you LT mentioning his public awkwardness being nerves and not incompetence. Not that I should have realized it given I would be vomiting and sweating profusely if I had to talk to a class of first graders. He just seemed so Bush Jr. at times I couldn’t help but wonder if he was running equivalent horsepower.

    I can’t know for sure, but after Lowe’s comments and MacT’s return, Tambellini might just be a really good team player, neck on the block under the guillotine, never mandated or empowered to do differently than he has, and will have his place in the organization when the time comes for the blade to fall. Maybe Renney will show up again too or at Hockey Canada courtesy of Lowe.

    I wonder how many sacrificial lambs there is room for, or if this structure has any better chance of success than other hockey buddy routines we have seen fail?

  51. gcw_rocks says:

    Yep, great to see the Oilers front office add someone who has deep management expereince.

    Clearly, based on his history MacTavish’s knowledge of the CBA and salary cap is superior to all the other potential candidates out there. This was clearly evidenced when he did, um, hmmm.

    He has also shown great accumen in make trades, and should be a real boone to the Oilers front office and pro scouting staff. Why when he made that trade that fleeced, umm, wait.

    His work with free agents is amazing. When he signed that guy to that deal it showed real understanding of the market and he got great value for… No wait, that was somebody else.

    The pro scouting department he built for…, Damn, nothing there either.

    His understanding of player development is a real strength. Why when he sent Gagner back down so he could develop properly and not burn the first year of his ELC that was a real show of big picture thinking. Oh, damn. That didn’t happen.

    Well, I am sure he can do wonders with the Amateur scouting department because… Hold on, that doesn’t need fixing.

    Well, at least he spent all those years as an Assistant GM learning from one of the best GMs in the game. Oh wait, that doesn’t apply either.

    Well, his track record in management in junior and the minors only serves to show his managenment potential. Damn it, that doesn’t apply either.

    Well, clearly this hire plugs all the holes in the Oilers front office. Thank god. This being the most critical juncture in the Oilers history since 1990 and all.

    At least he is a great quote. Maybe the best in hockey. Perhaps he can give Tambo lessons in that area.

  52. Ribs says:

    Asked if the decisions will be made on a two-out-of-three voting system in the new triumvirate, MacTavish laughed.

    “I think it will work like it did with my three assistant coaches. They each got a vote and I got four.”

    A pretty good indicator of what kind of influence Lowe has right now.

  53. BlacqueJacque says:

    I know for a fact that I never want MacT coaching again, and I’m not sure I ever want him as GM.

    He’s got this incredible, deeply buried psychological blindspot for grinders with no talent but all heart. Toby Peterson being the obvious example I’ve trotted out, but throw in guys like Marty ‘Sakic’ Reasoner and Scott Ferguson, and there’s a clear trend in consistently poor evaluation of some kinds of talent.

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