There’s some tough hombres out there trying to beat the other guy, and staying ahead of the competition is a 24/7 job. Oilers management has had a nice summer. Is their resume improving? Is MacT helping?
The fallback position on the internet for a credible Oiler fan is to poke holes in Oilers management. It’s a fairly safe bet too, based on the seasons 2006+, and despite drafting as high as high can be it wouldn’t take a lot for the Oilers to finish 29th or 30th again. Having said all of that, this has been a strong, logical summer.
Not perfect, God knows the Oilers like to start each season so out of balance that liftoff is a 50/50 proposition. However, when you look at the transactions since May 1, there’s some reason and good sense in most of them:
- June 11: Oilers hire MacT as Senior Vice-President of Hockey Operations.
- June 19: Signed Lennart Petrell to a 1-year, $825,000 contract.
- June 27: Named Ralpk Krueger head coach.
- July 1: Won the Justin Schultz sweepstakes.
- July 1: Signed Ryan Smyth to a 2-year, $4.5M contract.
- July 1: Signed Darcy Hordichuk to a 1-year, $850,000 contract.
- July 1: Signed Yann Danis to a 1-year, 2-way contract.
- July 5: Signed Jeff Petry to a 2-year, $3.5M contract.
- July 5: Signed Devan Dubnyk to a 2-year, $7M contract.
- July 16: Signed Theo Peckham to a 1-year, $1.075M contract.
- July 20: Signed Sam Gagner to a 1-year, $3.2M contract.
- August 22: Signed Taylor Hall to a 7-year, $42M contract.
I know they fell ass over tea kettle into Yakupov and I know Ryan Smyth traded himself here and I know Justin Schultz was apparently persuaded by Hall, Krueger and the roster present and future. However, there are some solid bets and signings in here. During the period June-August the Oilers:
- Hired a strong mind in MacT to oversee/advise Tambellini’s work and perhaps disarm some of Lowe’s emotional bent.
- Drafted the right guy 1st overall.
- Won the Justin Schultz sweepstakes
- Hired a coach who seems to have the chops.
- Got Ryan Smyth’s name on a very reasonable deal.
- Signed Petry to a ridiculous contract.
- Set the outer marker for the gifted kids on long term deals with the Taylor Hall contract.
They haven’t addressed the blue (top 4D) or the G (replace NK) and that is frustrating I’ll give you that. But if we go back to previous seasons, there’s also no crazy long term free agent deal and no Cam Barker ‘save the lottery pick’ contract.
I think we may have to start doing one of two things: giving Steve Tambellini absolute credit (and we’ve kind of given him absolute blame) or credit the MacT/Lowe team for giving sage advice.
Too early? Sure. But that’s a much better summer than we’ve seen around these parts in some time. Who gets credit?