CHARACTER ACTOR TO TAKE THE FALL?

The problem is, you develop a past. Steve Tambellini spent a generation in middle management and that’s a place where your vision is less important than your ability to do the detail work. As a General Manager, Tambellini has done some good things: the Barons are a much better organization than anything we’ve seen since the Bulldogs of the 1990′s: they’ve churned out useful parts here and there and have helped some pretty good hockey players transition from junior or college to the NHL.  Tambellini has also put together a solid amateur scouting department under the guidance of Stu MacGregor and that group is responsible for the bright future the Oilers surely have waiting for them.

I’m not certain how much credit to give Steve Tambellini for the Justin Schultz signing, but inasmuch as he was responsible for hiring Ralph Krueger to coach and drafting Taylor Hall it’s likely worth a line in this story.

Let’s begin this piece by setting the Tambellini timeline:

  1. That beauty Oiler team loses G7 SCF to Carolina.
  2. Chris Pronger’s trade request is granted. Kevin Lowe adds prospects and picks and does not address a blueline that recently lost Pronger, Spacek and Dick Tarnstrom.
  3. Lowe does not pursue a long term contract with Ryan Smyth but signs everyone else.
  4. The first “new era” is launched with Gagner, Cogliano, Smid and others who don’t yet shave.
  5. 07-08 Oilers win 35 games under MacT–4th in the NW, no playoffs. Team leaders include Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff, both 20 goal scorers.
  6. Summer 2008: Katz gets the keys to the Oilers.
  7. In July of 2008–after the transactions of summer have been completed, Oilers hire Steve Tambellini as new GM.
  8. 08-09 Oilers win 38 games under MacT–4th in the NW, no playoffs. Team leaders include Ales Hemsky and Sheldon Souray, both 20 goal scorers.
  9. April 2009: Tambellini fires MacT after seasons of 35 and 38 wins.
  10. Tambellini signs Nikolai Khabibulin to a 4-year 35+ contract.
  11. Summer 2009: Oilers chase Dany Heatley like he’s Scarlett Johansson and this is the last night on planet earth. He says no.
  12. 09-10 Oilers win 27 games under Pat Quinn–5th in NW, no playoffs. This season features items like JF Jacques on the top line and Lubomir Visnovsky’s puck moving ability discouraged by the coach in favor of “moving the puck up to forwards” like Jacques. Leaders include Dustin Penner, who posts 32 goals–an amazing season while lost in the second division.
  13. 09-10: Owner Katz suggests and agrees to rebuild.
  14. Sheldon Souray talks to Mark Spector. April 2010
  15. Taylor Hall is selected at draft.
  16. 10-11 Oilers win 25 games under Tom Renney, 5th in NW, no playoffs. This season features 2 20 goal scorers (Taylor Hall and Dustin Penner before he was dealt) and a plethora of young talent–especially on the wings. The Oilers have what might be the strongest collection of rookie wingers in their history–Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi and Omark. Hartikainen rising.
  17. RNH is selected at the draft.
  18. Ryan Smyth trades himself to the Oilers for a Stanley Cup ring.
  19. Tambellini has his ‘stand and deliver’ July 1st: buys out Souray, signs Cam Barker, Ben Eager, Darcy Hordichuk, Eric Belanger, Corey Potter and trades for Andy Sutton.
  20. Tambellini trades Andrew Cogliano for a 2013 2nd round pick.
  21. 11-12 season, Oilers improve to 32 wins, the major stories include Jordan Eberle blossoming, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins impressing and Taylor Hall getting better every day. Devan Dubnyk also establishes himself as #1G.
  22. Summer 2012, Tambellini fires Tom Renney and replaces him with Ralph Krueger.
  23. Yak City is selected at the draft.
  24. The Oilers win the Justin Schultz sweepstakes.
  25. Steve Tambellini–incredibly–signs Lennart Petrell and Darcy Hordichuk, effectively returning the entire bottom 6F’s from previous season intact.

The problems for Steve Tambellini are as follows:

  1. He makes too many bad bets. The Cam Barker bet is the most galling, but there are many others up there including Pat Quinn and the JF Jacques generation and of course old goalie.
  2. He’s not the guy in charge. If you’re ever hired to do a job only to find out your boss is meddling and you’re the paper shuffler, the time to handle it is day one, hour one. Steve Tambellini isn’t the guy in charge and he’s going to be fired anyway. Man, that’s a bad career move.
  3. He’s too slow to make moves. Latest example was the inertia after the night Horcoff-Belanger went down. Even if you handle things well in summer, problems crop up that require in-season solutions. Oilers called up Lander, then VandeVelde and then Arcobello and finally (when it was too late) grabbed a 4th line option.
  4. He does not inspire confidence. Tambellini has improved a great deal at public speaking and being interviewed, but you never get the feeling he’s completely in charge of the moment. Compare his style to someone like Craig MacTavish–it’s miles apart. I think this is a major issue for him.
  5. He has now developed a track record as GM. His grade is in, and it is not a passing grade.

I wish Steve Tambellini no ill, in fact I think it’ll be a miscarriage of justice when he’s fired–but he was never a good choice for the GM job. I’ll bet all the tea in china we don’t see Kevin Lowe moved out of the ‘Godfather of hockey’ chair–and with that, changes will be made as they have been for the last dozen years in Oiler offices. Kevin Lowe’s management track record has some good things (an incredible stretch in-season 2006 is one of the memorable moments in Oiler front office history) and some bad, but expecting Oiler fans to endure more seasons outside the playoffs is not reasonable.

Next up: probably Howson, unless Craig MacTavish wants the job. The management needs to hire a GM with experience, and the first thing he’ll want is complete control with no strings attached.

The Edmonton Oilers have a problem, and it is them.

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153 Responses to "CHARACTER ACTOR TO TAKE THE FALL?"

  1. Captain Happy says:

    Bingo.

    I hear Brian Burke is available.

  2. DBO says:

    I’m probably worng, but it seems to be that successful teams have a good blend of youth hungry and fighting for jobs and vets with two way ability on their bottom 6. Yes some teams have knuckle draggers who play 6 mins, but most have a good blend. The Oil on the other hand seem to have exclusively a group of vets, not to mention outright old dudes on their bottom 2 lines.

    Smyth-Horc-Hemsky
    Petrell-Belanger-Brown
    with Jones sprinkled in when Hemsky is hurt.

    I think this may be a huge issue. Yes a big point is that our vets aren’t NHL calibre anymore, but often you see the kids turn it up in close games or when we need a spark, especially in the 3rd period. it is the kids that lead the charge. Our issue is that we have no one who can turn it up near the end of a game on our bottom two lines. Our pluggers are too old and slow. I truly believe if you add Lander and Hartikainen to the bottom pair, and bring in a better 3rd line winger with some size and two way ability then our bottom 6 becomes a much better blend of young vets and hungry kids.

  3. Henry says:

    LT,

    If Mac was willing to ride the buses with the Chicago Wolves, I’d like to think he would be up for the GM job with the Oilers.

    He seems the obvious choice unless they go outside the org. Howson didn’t succeed with CBJ, it would be foolhardy to give him the job. Do you think that would be a good move for the Oilers though? I really don’t know one way or the other.

  4. godot10 says:

    I think it is a 2nd round draft pick for Cogliano.

    The problem is that Tambellini isn’t a real GM. He is the GM of all the stuff that Kevin Lowe can’t be bothered to do properly, since they take a lot of time and aren’t much fun.

    Any competent GM candidate for Edmonton knows that Bob Pulford is here, so they won’t come, until Bob Pulford is gone.

    I doubt MacT wants to be a GM of gruntwork, like Tambellini has been willing to do. Maybe Howson, as you have suggested, but that means the Wirtz-Pulford model is still fully in place.

    And the real GM is Pulford/Lowe.

    It would be best if Lowe actually came out of the shadows, and officially took the title again, rather than blurring the lines of accountability for the public.

    If Lowe remains, and Tambellini is replaced. Nothing really changes. If Lowe stays, fix the model. The real GM (Lowe) should actually take the title of GM.

    Chicago roamed the wilderness for several decades with the Wirtz/Pulford model.

    The public face of the GM has to be the actual GM. Fix the model first. And since Lowe likely isn’t going anywhere, Lowe has to grow a pair, and take on the full role.

    I expect we see Howson. He is exactly where Tambellini was in Vancouver, where Edmonton will be his last shot at being a GM again, even if the position comes with a Pulford overseer.

    MacT might wait till Katz gives Lowe the boot. I think he learnt in the MBA program that consulting is safer and more lucrative than actually doing.

  5. Hambone678 says:

    Henry:
    LT,

    If Mac was willing to ride the buses with the Chicago Wolves, I’d like to think he would be up for the GM job with the Oilers.

    He seems the obvious choice unless they go outside the org.Howson didn’t succeed with CBJ, it would be foolhardy to give him the job.Do you think that would be a good move for the Oilers though?I really don’t know one way or the other.

    An experienced hockey executive with some comfort level with advanced stats, with the freedom to own his decisions, would be the right move. Other teams are using advanced stats and the Oilers will keep falling behind the good teams if they don’t wise up to it.

    I think MacT is bright enough to handle the stats and has good management chops thanks to his MBA. It’s the second factor I fear with him – KLowe casts a long shadow and MacT would be less inclined to resist meddling since he and Lowe are former Oiler players.

  6. BONVIE says:

    Lowe would be good at least for making trades and building a team, but the contract side of things is where he faltered kind like Tallon but not so drastic.

  7. BlacqueJacque says:

    Captain Happy:
    Bingo.

    I hear Brian Burke is available.

    As much as I think that might feel like sweet justice, after what Lowe has done to this team, bringing Burke in would be malicious.

  8. mustang says:

    I think Burke could pull this team from the wreckage that Lowe created. Thats what I would like to see Lowe and Tambi both fired, and Burke hired. He made some bad decisions in TO for granted , but his team is in the playoffs.I do believe this team was designed to get one more top 5 pick in this years draft, then playoffs next year. Except I don’t have the faith in upper management and our pro scouts to bring in the right players.

  9. bendelson says:

    Tambo was a shill from day one.

    As you suggest, a ‘real’ GM would never take the jobwith KLowe hanging around.

    MBA’s are purchased. Learning is not actually required. That being said, I do think MacT is an intelligent guy so maybe he put his time to good use at Queens and picked up some knowledge along the way.

    The organization has completely lost its way. The team has followed.

    I don’t know how it can be fixed with Howsen. MacT? Maybe (at best).

  10. BlacqueJacque says:

    C’mon people, someone get that Kickstarter thing going. Who was it who had the idea?

  11. bookje says:

    LT, where do you draw the ‘Katz suggested the rebuild” from. I thought it was pretty clear at the time that Tambellini was the one arguing for the rebuild while Katz and Lowe were chasing Heatly? The interviews from Tambellini at the time suggest that he was the one making the argument that they were not anywhere near being competitive and that it was time to ‘do what was necessary’. I also remember two points in time (ST2.0 and 3.0) where he indicated that he was now actually in charge of the team and had the authority to do what was needed. Do you have any real indication that this was Katz’ idea?

    I don’t really say this to defend Steve Tambellini. He is not a good GM and his time has passed. I think he only actually was in charge for about 2 years (from the ‘I am really in charge’ moment until the fizzle of the 11-12 season). He is not a confident man and while he has done some good things (Organization building, tanking without blinking, not signing a bunch of whales to NTCs, etc.), with him at the helm, the team has shown that it is unable to acquire NHL level talent, which is critical, so he needs to be replaced (Unless the ‘secret plan’ is to suck even longer than I thought was possible). With that said, Lowe and MacT have also been a part of this and I can’t imagine any reason to keep any of them around if firings are going to take place.

    I think the team is in a great place. No anchors (Horcoff’s contract is the worst, but also not for much longer), lots of young talent, good organizational structure in place, and even some advanced stats guys on board (though nobody listens to them). However, they need someone who can assess NHL level talent. They need to add some bottom 6 players who outperform expectation and perhaps most importantly, add a defensman or two. This shouldn’t be hard at all, but I don’t see this management group being able to do this.

    In his pharmacy industry, Katz was not one to put up with failure for long and had no problem firing people. It will be interesting to see what happens here. Is it all of them? Just Tambellini ? Nobody?

  12. bookje says:

    MacT has presented nothing but absolute disdain for advanced statistics at every opportunity. He also demonstrated an abject ignorance of them. I don’t understand why anyone would think he would have an appreciation for them?

    His MBA – you do know what a professional ‘on-line’ MBA is, don’t you? It’s a revenue generator for Business schools at universities akin to the ‘sea-monkeys’ that they used to sell in catalogues. The difficulty of MBA courses are about the same as first year university courses, but with more generous grading and a lower quality of competition.

  13. BlacqueJacque says:

    bookje,

    Bingo.

    LT’s mancrush on him aside, I cannot think of anything positive between MacT and advanced stats.

  14. Kris11 says:

    What is best in life?

    To fire Lowe, and MacT, and here the lamentation of Tambellini.

    Sad that that’s two of my favorite Oilers ever,

  15. Bad Seed says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    C’mon people, someone get that Kickstarter thing going.Who was it who had the idea?

    That was Danny. I agree – time’s a wastin’.

  16. Bad Seed says:

    As much as I think Burke is a blowhard & overrated, I would still rather see him here than Lowe & his pet. He might even clean out the old boys club & get rid of Bucky, Smith & the pro scouting crew.

  17. Woodguy says:

    I posted this in the last thread.

    DIdn’t know you had a GM thread up.


    Don Maloney’s contract is up this summer.

    Would love for him to take over EDM.

    I doubt he goes here though.

    This GM job doesn’t come with the normal decision making powers.

    Could Maloney answer to someone he feels is inferior to take a plum job of building around 4-14-93-64-19-91-89?

  18. TheOtherJohn says:

    Bookje

    The attribution of Katz for the identification for the tear it down to the foundations rebuild is, I believe, Stauffer.. Shortly after we started this most pleasant exercise, he attributed the identification of the concept 100% to Katz. not Tambellini.

    Expect no one disputes that common lore now but just as victory has a thousand fathers and defeat is and always was an orphan, it may be someone else s idea.

    WG suggested D Maloney out of Phx & I think he would be a GREAT add. But he would not do the job if it entailed being a monkey to Lowe’s preferred organ grinder model

    Echo your comment re MacT’s disdain for analytics.

  19. Bad Seed says:

    Maybe somebody ought to tell Lowe & his pet that they should follow the current Chicago model, not the Pulford/Dollar Bill model. That’s why it’s all fucked up!

  20. TheOtherJohn says:

    If Detroit falls outside of the playoffs, Babcock may want to take a crack at running an organization and expect Ilitch would let him leave for that type of opportunity. He still summers in Saskatchewan.

    Hilarious if he brought Renney back as head coachand he made the playoffs

  21. rich says:

    @ LT: Amen.

    @ Godot: Perfect analogy: Katz/Lowe = Wirtz/Pulford. What GM worth his salt will come into that cluster without getting full control? KKlowe doesn’t want someone smarter in the room telling the owner that it’s not working.

    My sense is Howson get’s Tambellin’s job, Tambellini moves to some other role (Quinn’s Sr. Consultant) and MacT remains where he is…but if this team starts slow again next season…RK and his system get turfed by Boxing Day.

    One other thing. What happened after 2006 in the team’s pro scouting area to make things go from good to brutal? Is it the guys making decisions panicing, or were there changes in personnel?

  22. Maggie the Monkey says:

    bookje,

    bookje:

    His MBA – you do know what a professional ‘on-line’ MBA is, don’t you? It’s a revenue generator for Business schools at universities akin to the ‘sea-monkeys’ that they used to sell in catalogues.

    You’re off on this part. I know people, including my cousin, who were in the program with MacT at Queen’s. I can assure you that it is a full, challenging and highly respected program.

  23. Mr DeBakey says:

    Don Maloney’s contract is up this summer

    I believe its the entire hockey ops staff whose contracts are done after this season.

    I saw someone suggest Buffalo will hire the whole bunch.

    Oilers chase Dany Heatley like he’s Scarlett Johansson and this is the last night on planet earth.

    They made that into a movie, except it was Keira Knightley.

    Man, that Heatley /Khabibulin week was the worst week ever to be an Oiler fan. Welcome to Despairville.

  24. Captain Happy says:

    mustang:
    I think Burke could pull this team from the wreckage that Lowe created. Thats what I would like to see Lowe and Tambi both fired, and Burke hired. He made some bad decisions in TO for granted , but his team is in the playoffs.I do believe this team was designed to get one more top 5 pick in this years draft, then playoffs next year. Except I don’t have the faith in upper management and our pro scouts to bring in the right players.

    I’m curious what “mistakes” Burke made in Toronto.

    The narrative is he was a dummy to have traded all those picks for Kessel but even that depends on how you look at it.

    Burke took a gamble that his picks wouldn’t be that high and while he might not have won that bet, he certainly did come out alright.

    Phil Kessel is just entering his prime and , as of this writing is currently sitting in 11th place in league scoring (2 goals and 1 point ahead of Taylor Hall).

    Tyler Seguin, while a fine young player, is not yet at Kessel’s level of production and there is no way of knowing if he will ever be.

    Burke also lost the chance to draft Dougie Hamilton, who appears too be another fine young player but he would actually be surplus too what the Leafs need based on what Burke did in subsequent years and Burke is smart enough to know how long it takes D to develop.

    When you examine Burke’s entire body of work, you certainly see another picture. And let’s remember that Burke and Tambellini were hired at the same time.

    1) Trading spare parts for Dion Phaneuf

    2) Trading Beachemin for Gardiner and Lupul

    3) Acquired Cody Franson basically for nothing

    4) Acquired James Van Reimsdyk (on pace for a 30+ goal season) for a surplus young defenseman

    Then look at the draft:

    When Burke took over, their prospect pool was empty…and I mean empty.

    Currently in the pool:

    Matt Frattin

    Schenn traded for JVR

    Nazem Kadri (PPG)

    Gregg McKegg

    Jessie Blacker

    Stuart Percy

    Tyler Biggs

    Morgan Rielly

    Matt Finn

    Now, not all of those guys are going to make it but long gone are the days when the Leafs cupboard was bare.

    And, sure, Burke, like every GM made a few mistakes in veteran signings in Komisarek and Tim Connolly but he also dealt with those mistakes quickly and didn’t let the problems linger.

    If the Oilers need 2 top pairing D (and they do) I would be pretty certain that Burke would realize that pretty quickly and I would think he would have an excellent chance of doing something about it other than throwing another rookie into the deep end of the pool.

  25. Hambone678 says:

    bookje:
    MacT has presented nothing but absolute disdain for advanced statistics at every opportunity.He also demonstrated an abject ignorance of them.I don’t understand why anyone would think he would have an appreciation for them?

    His MBA – you do know what a professional ‘on-line’ MBA is, don’t you? It’s a revenue generator for Business schools at universities akin to the ‘sea-monkeys’ that they used to sell in catalogues.The difficulty of MBA courses are about the same as first year university courses, but with more generous grading and a lower quality of competition.

    I think you probably have the knowledge edge over me when it comes to MacT and advanced stats. I have not read up on his public statements on the topic. However, I have an MBA (taken full-time, from a Canadian university), and I find it hard to believe that given the analytical mindset that is encouraged in management studies, that a graduate of such a program would take a ‘gut feel’ approach to decision making.

    As for the Queen’s MBA that he took, I know a bit about it and I don’t think it’s quite in the category of the online MBA that you described. Maybe I was guilty of a bit of wishful thinking given that he has slagged advanced stats on the record.

  26. supernova says:

    The Oil GM job as it will sit at the end of season will be one of the best GM jobs available ( let’s hope it is available)

    The question is what is actually available a front man who does PR and has a 25% say.

    Or the full meal deal.

    I think MacT will be the guy, as he is great with the media, Rick O is the negotiator and details guy, and Lowe will “oversee”. I think Tambellini will be shown the door as he is already the odd man out.

    They also might promote Stu to MacT’s current role/ overseeing all of player personnel.

    Howson might add more to his title but also probably wants to not be to tied unless he gets the full GM job, Howson’s value could go way up if Columbus continue’s to shoot up the standings. He might get a good look In Florida ( if Tallon is shown the door) or even New Jersey if Lou gives up the GM title and acts like a Pierre Lacroix.

    Howson’s reputation went up a notch after the gaborik trade and with them still having 3 first rounders.

    Whether I like it or not I think Lowe has one more hire in him for the GM role or till the new rink is in move in condition. Lowe will make that MacT.

  27. supernova says:

    Thinking if MacT gets the GM job, Horcoff will be an Oiler post playing career for life just like Lowe and MacT, and Bucky.

    Might end his playing career somewhere else but this guy is the next in their club. Player Development, pro scout, assistant coach.

    If MacT gets the job and the Oil have any sort of success, Horcoff. Will be with us for a loong time.

  28. FPB94 says:

    I think it’s clear the Oilers need a guy not associated with the Org whatsoever.

    Maybe a fresh new face does the trick: Often gems that still shine have to be found on their own.

  29. Ryan says:

    That’s it. forget worrying about available UFA defensemen etc.

    Time for Katz to make a full court press for Maloney +

  30. cabbiesmacker says:

    bookje:
    MacT has presented nothing but absolute disdain for advanced statistics at every opportunity.He also demonstrated an abject ignorance of them.I don’t understand why anyone would think he would have an appreciation for them?

    His MBA – you do know what a professional ‘on-line’ MBA is, don’t you? It’s a revenue generator for Business schools at universities akin to the ‘sea-monkeys’ that they used to sell in catalogues.The difficulty of MBA courses are about the same as first year university courses, but with more generous grading and a lower quality of competition.

    Very, VERY well said.

    Why would MacT even consider advanced stats? He and every other hockey player who wore the Oiler jersey are so much smarter than anyone else in hockey.

  31. Bar_Qu says:

    Is this Dixie’s Death pool now? Is that the impetus for the post?

    Perhaps clip from Green Mile is in order.

  32. Lowetide says:

    I’m delighted MacT gets a full run this summer at helping improve the 3 and 4 lines. He couldn’t build a PP God knows, but the guy was splendid at finding 2-way players.

  33. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    So he’s going to be assistant coach?

  34. mustang says:

    Captain Happy,

    I’m referring to the Kessel trade, I don’t think he would make that trade again.

  35. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Lowetide,

    So he’s going to be assistant coach?

    No, but one imagines that in his current role he’ll impact procurement.

  36. fifthcartel says:

    Rajala is just killing it in OKC.

  37. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    See, this is the kind of stuff you have to explain and back up.

    It’s one thing to coach Fernando Pisani. It’s another to prove a link between coaching Fernando Pisani and creating Fernando Pisani. Then we’re making leaps and bounds the sizes of planetary orbits to suggest that MacT has some sort of innate ability to spot third liners.

    I suppose you could argue he was a champion of Brodziak?

  38. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Lowetide,

    See, this is the kind of stuff you have to explain and back up.

    It’s one thing to coach Fernando Pisani.It’s another to prove a link between coaching Fernando Pisani and creating Fernando Pisani.Then we’re making leaps and bounds the sizes of planetary orbits to suggest that MacT has some sort of innate ability to spot third liners.

    I suppose you could argue he was a champion of Brodziak?

    I think you’ll find that MacT did indeed have success in finding role players during his time in Edmonton. From Shawn Horcoff and Daniel Cleary in his first season through Brodziak (as you mentioned) he was indeed able to find that kind of talent.

  39. Bad Seed says:

    Lowetide,

    And Lowe used to be able to find defencemen. Now he can’t find his ass with both hands.

  40. Lowetide says:

    Rajala now 42, 15-26-41. I’d love to see him get some NHL time.

  41. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    Yeah, but Mac was also likely involved in the massive Horcoff overpay and he didn’t exactly save us from giving Cleary away.

    I’m not saying he does everything wrong – he helped make the likes of Torres into better hockey players – but he has an unhealthy fetish for effort without enough acknowledgement of actual results, IMO.

  42. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Lowetide,

    Yeah, but Mac was also likely involved in the massive Horcoff overpay and he didn’t exactly save us from giving Cleary away.

    I’m not saying he does everything wrong – he helped make the likes of Torres into better hockey players – but he has an unhealthy fetish for effort without enough acknowledgement of actual results, IMO.

    The one time he had the horses, he marched them right up to the 7th game SCF. I understand MacT is not a popular figure for Oiler fans, but the man had things he did well and one of them was identifying the EXACT player type the club needs.

    After he left? Well, let’s have a look:

    1. April 15, 2009: Oilers fire MacT
    2. June 27, 2009: Oilers trade Kyle Brodziak

    And they’ve been looking for Brodziak since.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2009/04/exile-on-main-street.html

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2009/06/oilers-trade-brodziak.html

  43. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    Arguably, the horses dragged MacT along to the Cup Finals.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Oilers blocked shots and sacrificed, but from a fan’s distance, it’s hard to say whether that’s “Chris Pronger wants a Cup and is dominating the dressing room” or “MacT inspires/leads’/coaches well.” Given the results after Pronger’s departure, one can only continue making arguments for both.

    Not filling the Pronger/Spacek/Tarnstrom void is the biggest mistake KLowe and Tambellini have made. Dennis Wideman could have been the difference between now and 8th-9th place right now.

    But it’s not as if MacT was performing miracles to get us into the playoffs without them.

  44. Hammers says:

    If I was Katz I would tell Lowe take over as President (still) / GM with Howson to do donkey work ( like before ) and MacT to give imput Krueger keeps his job (this year) . If Katz wants what we want he tells them playoffs or else . It can be done as the core is there and there will be some movement this summer due to cap .OMG lets hope .

  45. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Lowetide,

    Arguably, the horses dragged MacT along to the Cup Finals.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Oilers blocked shots and sacrificed, but from a fan’s distance, it’s hard to say whether that’s “Chris Pronger wants a Cup and is dominating the dressing room” or “MacT inspires/leads’/coaches well.”Given the results after Pronger’s departure, one can only continue making arguments for both.

    Not filling the Pronger/Spacek/Tarnstrom void is the biggest mistake KLowe and Tambellini have made.Dennis Wideman could have been the difference between now and 8th-9th place right now.

    But it’s not as if MacT was performing miracles to get us into the playoffs without them.

    I guess we’ll agree to disagree. I do think MacT missed on Hejda, though. That was on him, and the Penner stuff was ugly–that was the point where I felt he needed to go.

  46. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    Penner/Peterson is why I think Mac has proven himself to be unqualified as a judge of results/ability, so we can agree on that.

  47. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Lowetide,

    Penner/Peterson is why I think Mac has proven himself to be unqualified as a judge of results/ability, so we can agree on that.

    Petersen for me was MacT proving a point (he didn’t have the horses, he wasn’t going to reward lollygaggers) but that’s when he was (imo) set to leave.

  48. asiaoil says:

    “Rebuilding” is a great way to keep your job longer than you deserve. Let’s say you are an NHL executive and you are failing miserably at your job which is building a winner and being successful. That was Lowe’s position after the Souray situation blew up. He was in over his head and if he kept trying to compete with the big boys he would have been fired for sure. So what do you do? Change the definition of success. By “rebuilding” you can change failure in to a virtue as you gain the NHL biggest loser award in the form of a high draft pick – and Lowe has been fantastically successful at losing. Far better at it than winning by a long shot. Problem is, at some point you have to start showing skill at your job when you have the high draft picks in hand (that would be now) and all evidence this season suggests that Lowe is still a terrible executive. But he’s good at surviving and covering at his ass with multiple flunkies like Tambo, MacT and now Howson.

    The problem is Lowe. He’s the source of the rot and dysfunction. Get rid of him and hire a real GM who will clear house where necessary and build a proper supporting cast and this team would turn around in no time. As others have said – Lowe = Pulford. Follow the Chicago model and fire Lowe. Keep him and I’m pretty sure that after next year Lowe will achieve a 90% failure rate by missing the playoffs again next year.

  49. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    I can sort of see that, but the I don’t know whether he was sending a message to fans, to management, or to his players.

    Judging from the reaction on the ice, the players took it as a slap in the face or a sign that management had quit on them. Mac upset the natural order of the dressing room and elevated a scrub above talent. The talent wasn’t getting the job done, but it was really due to the shortfalls of the roster rather than any excessive lack of effort on the talent’s behalf. Extended periods of losing do wear people down. By favoring a guy with no ability to create or finish, Mac seems to have alienated the room more than communicated anything to fans, media, or management.

    It seems to me that the hope with the Oilers management hydra is that they all compensate for each other’s weaknesses, but instead they seem to be indulging each other. Petrell and Belanger could be MacT moves. Hordi reeks of Tambellini. Hemsky’s, Khabi’s and Eberle’s contracts (and, to be fair, Hall”s) suggest the work of Kevin Lowe. Overpaying for apparent results while ignoring underlying issues/sustainability questions.

    I don’t think anyone knows for sure what’s going on up there, but those seem like reasonable guesses to me.

    One good leader is better than three bad ones.

  50. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Lowetide,

    I can sort of see that, but the I don’t know whether he was sending a message to fans, to management, or to his players.

    Judging from the reaction on the ice, the players took it as a slap in the face or a sign that management had quit on them.Mac upset the natural order of the dressing room and elevated a scrub above talent.The talent wasn’t getting the job done, but it was really due to the shortfalls of the roster rather than any excessive lack of effort on the talent’s behalf.Extended periods of losing do wear people down.By favoring a guy with no ability to create or finish, Mac seems to have alienated the room more than communicated anything to fans, media, or management.

    It seems to me that the hope with the Oilers management hydra is that they all compensate for each other’s weaknesses, but instead they seem to be indulging each other.Petrell and Belanger could be MacT moves.Hordi reeks of Tambellini.Hemsky’s, Khabi’s and Eberle’s contracts (and, to be fair, Hall”s) suggest the work of Kevin Lowe.Overpaying for apparent results while ignoring underlying issues/sustainability questions.

    I don’t think anyone knows for sure what’s going on up there, but those seem like reasonable guesses to me.

    One good leader is better than three bad ones.

    I think it started with Stoll-Torres. There was a famous event when he sent them out with Stortini and the two of them turned around and headed off the ice. MacT sent them back, poor fucking Stortini I felt really bad for him.

    Anyway, they offloaded those two and then of course the talent trades were never level so you’re constantly going the wrong way talent-wise.

    After a time, that has to get to you. He spent too long at the fair.

  51. Captain Happy says:

    For anyone with NHL CI…Filip Forsberg is making his NHL debut against Detroit right now.

  52. Captain Happy says:

    mustang:
    Captain Happy,

    I’m referring to the Kessel trade, I don’t think he would make that trade again.

    Perhaps not…but he didn’t think it would be a 2nd overall pick.

    But even so, he still hasn’t lost that trade.

  53. Mr DeBakey says:

    Penner/Peterson is why I think Mac has proven himself to be unqualified

    “The Legend of Toby Peterson”, that’s a scary one.
    I always thought
    “Ladislav Smid, Left-Wing Stooge” was over-hyped.

  54. Bad Seed says:

    asiaoil,

    Post of the year!

  55. Lowetide says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    Penner/Peterson is why I think Mac has proven himself to be unqualified

    “The Legend of Toby Peterson”, that’s a scary one.
    I always thought
    “Ladislav Smid, Left-Wing Stooge” was over-hyped.

    Hahaha. Smid on the wing. That was funny. Hah. Miss those days. NOT!

  56. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    Wow, I don’t remember that incident at all. Terrible, if true. Torres always had an attitude but I’d been sorry to see Stoll go, at least until now. In that kind of situation it’s hard to not support the coach and ship the attitudes out. Storts always had a great attitude, so it’s especially shitty to see teammates ditch him like that.

    Ultimately, I am not convinced that MacT helps the management group, and my desire to see all ex-Oilers disappear (if only to get rid of the old boys club mentality) outweighs what marginal effects he might have on the team.

  57. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    But it’s not as if MacT was performing miracles to get us into the playoffs without them.

    Last 2 years with MacT, then 3 years without as head coach.

    88
    85
    62
    62
    74

    He wrung points out of a mostly AHLer team to finish 19th then 21st in the NHL and the next coach promptly drove them to the basement, and they haven’t left, even with the good kids.

    I don’t know if he’s helping in the front office, this summer will probably tell. It will be his first summer as a decision maker.

    I hope they try to hire Maloney, he demands autonomy, and they give it to him.

  58. Woodguy says:

    re: Toby Peterson and Smid on the wing

    That is the head coach telling the GM they aren’t giving him the right players.

    Nothing more, nothing less.

    Its like Krueger’s refusal to play Peckham and benching Jones every chance he gets.

  59. TheOtherJohn says:

    Captain Happy: I’m curious what “mistakes” Burke made inToronto.

    The narrative is he was a dummy to have traded all those picks for Kessel but even that depends on how you look at it.

    Burke took a gamble that his picks wouldn’t be that high and while he might not have won that bet, he certainly did come out alright.

    Phil Kessel is just entering his prime and , as of this writing is currently sitting in 11th place in league scoring (2 goals and 1 point ahead of Taylor Hall).

    Tyler Seguin, while a fine young player, is not yet at Kessel’s level of production and there is no way of knowing if he will ever be.

    Burke also lost the chance to draft Dougie Hamilton, who appears too be another fine young player but he would actually be surplus too what the Leafs need based on what Burke did in subsequent years and Burke is smart enough to know how long it takes D to develop.

    When you examine Burke’s entire body of work, you certainly see another picture. And let’s remember that Burke and Tambellini were hired at the same time.

    1) Trading spare parts for Dion Phaneuf

    2) Trading Beachemin for Gardiner and Lupul

    3) Acquired Cody Franson basically for nothing

    4) Acquired James Van Reimsdyk (on pace for a 30+ goal season) for a surplus young defenseman

    Then look at the draft:

    When Burke took over, their prospect pool was empty…and I mean empty.

    Currently in the pool:

    Matt Frattin

    Schenn traded for JVR

    NazemKadri (PPG)

    Gregg McKegg

    Jessie Blacker

    Stuart Percy

    Tyler Biggs

    Morgan Rielly

    Matt Finn

    Now, not all of those guys are going to make it but long gone are the days when the Leafs cupboard was bare.

    And, sure, Burke, like every GM made a few mistakes in veteran signings in Komisarek and Tim Connolly but he also dealt with those mistakes quickly and didn’t let the problems linger.

    If the Oilers need 2 top pairing D (and they do) I would be pretty certain that Burke would realize that pretty quickly and I would think he would have an excellent chance of doing something about it other than throwing another rookie into the deep end of the pool.

    Gotta say Cap’n you’ve convinced me that Burke is better than LoweBellini. And? When you try and spin Kessel as a “win” that’s not trolling, that’s being stupid. Kessel is a good player when he scores. When he’s not scoring he’s Ryan Jones. If the reference is to being slightly ahead of Taylor Hall was intended to stir up Oiler fans, if you want to wager a very nice bottle of wine on career #’s i am game. Or was your point that Kessel at his absolute peak, on a decent team can score a titch better than Hall on the 12/13 Oilers. Sequin & Hamilton will 2/5ths of Boston’s core in 3 years for a decade.

  60. dessert1111 says:

    Lowetide:
    Rajala now 42, 15-26-41. I’d love to see him get some NHL time.

    Me too — I am very curious to see if he can sustain his offensive creativity in the NHL. And let’s not forget our other diminutive friend in OKC is 4th in league scoring. Any chance they bring up a few OKC players this week or next? Normally they seem to do this, but normally they are decimated by injuries right about now.

    Interesting that two of the preferred callups, VandeVelde and Teubert, were HS’ed today.

  61. Captain Happy says:

    TheOtherJohn: Gotta say Cap’nyou’ve convinced me that Burke is better than LoweBellini. And? When you try and spin Kessel as a “win” that’s not trolling, that’s being stupid. Kessel is a good player when he scores. When he’s not scoring he’s Ryan Jones. If the reference is to being slightly ahead of Taylor Hall was intended to stir up Oiler fans, if you want to wager a very nice bottle of wine on career #’s i am game. Orwas your point that Kessel at his absolute peak, on a decent team can score a titch better than Hall on the 12/13 Oilers. Sequin & Hamilton will 2/5ths of Boston’s core in 3 years for a decade.

    You might want to do some reading and see what Randy Carlyle thinks about Kessel’s two way game.

    Calling someone stupid because you haven’t kept up with a player’s progression under a new system says much more about you than it does about me.

    And then to suggest one of the highest scoring young players in the game is akin to Ryan Jones in any fashion is much the same.

    Hall may well end being a better offensive player in his career…no one said otherwise…in fact I didn’t say anything about Hall at all.

    But, in his 21 year old season, Kessel scored 36 goals and 60 points.

    As for Hamilton, he may well be what you say he is but Burke also managed to acquire Phaneuf, Franson, Gardiner and Holzer while having Morgan Rielly and Matt Finn (among others) in the pipeline.

    I don’t think he would miss Hamilton much at all.

  62. BlacqueJacque says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    To be completely fair, Burke stuck by Wilson far too long, and Wilson hated playing youth (like Kadri.)

  63. cabbiesmacker says:

    Woodguy:
    BlacqueJacque,

    But it’s not as if MacT was performing miracles to get us into the playoffs without them.

    Last 2 years with MacT, then 3 years without as head coach.

    88
    85
    62
    62
    74

    He wrung points out of a mostly AHLer team to finish 19th then 21st in the NHL and the next coach promptly drove them to the basement, and they haven’t left, even with the good kids.

    Cmon WG. We’re going to compare before and after the tank job by the team? I’d say the guys that have come along after MacT were given a helluva lot less to work with.

    Yay MacT went to the cup with Chris Pronger. So did Anaheim and Philly right afterwards. Pronger or MacT?? Hmmmm

    How many times did MacTavish get the team into the playoffs even? Fewer than Ron Low?

    And not to your point but I’d like to know how the guy is supposed to help this team round out the bottom 6 and D. From his TSN time? AHL stint? We know he doesn’t look at fancy stats so unless he got a Hockey MBA I don’t get where all the player sense came from all of a sudden.

  64. ohhell says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    To be fair, Kadri is probably better off because of Wilson’s reluctance to play him. Wouldn’t it be ironic for Burke to be the man that sent Lowe packing? After all the blood feuds? Makes me smile. Put me in the “I’d rather have Burke” camp/

  65. Captain Happy says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    TheOtherJohn,

    To be completely fair, Burke stuck by Wilson far too long, and Wilson hated playing youth (like Kadri.)

    Yes. His loyalty can be a flaw.

  66. leadfarmer says:

    Captain Happy,

    Considering that Hamilton will probably be the best of them I would disagree. Also, if he is such a great GM than why did he get canned and why is he unemployed. I want a new GM but not the headache of Burke.

  67. leadfarmer says:

    Or Kadri was not ready. Which he wasnt.

  68. Captain Happy says:

    Terry Jones calls for Tambellini’s head:

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/04/14/jones-times-up-tambellini

  69. gcw_rocks says:

    Hambone678,

    18 months in an MBA program is not going to change what 20 years in the game has taught you.

  70. regwald says:

    You can debate if Kessel was a good trade or not, but as for procurement it was a failure. He gave up more in a trade to get Kessel than if he gave him an offer sheet. It was a given that Boston didn’t have the cap space to match without having to dump someone else.

    Burke had leverage with the offer sheet and overpaid with picks to get him. All because he doesn’t believe in offer sheets. Bad business decision.

  71. Kris11 says:

    Burke made some good trades. (Though DSF conveniently left out trading Seguin and Hamilton for 5 years of a Kessel rental.)

    Actually, I think of Burke and Lowe as very similar GMs. They both were good at making some good deals and weren’t afraid to pull the trigger, even making some bad deals.

    But the fundamental problem for both Lowe and Burke was total inability to think about where the team was at and have a, say, 3 year plan to improve and win.

    Burke came into TO, which was clearly in need of total destruction, with very little chance of making the playoffs, and lots of chances of getting in the lottery, and he traded away 2 first rounders, even when the Leafs cupboard was pretty empty. He started making acquisitions and building from there, but think of how great TO’s options would be going forward if Burke had tanked for one year before building and didn’t trade for Kessel. So much better.

    Lowe, on the other hand, after Pronger left had a collection of decent hockey players, many of whom he proceeded to overpay greatly on the basis of the small sample size of the playoffs. (Pisani, Moreau, Horcoff.) He then went insane trying to get big ticket free agents, despite not having the cap space to really get the team to cup contention that way.

    Similar guys.

  72. kinger_OIL says:

    At least 6 times I posted the same query over the last 30 months: it was rhetorical. Not once did I get response. It was: Is Big Sexy a NHL D? He was given up for nothing. All the blog writers and bloggers carried the party line: “Bid Sexy said bad things , he is bad people”. I kept asking the same question: Is Big Sexy a NHL D. Of course he is. And he was given up for free. Not one blogger that I am aware of made that distinction when discussing him…As much as I like reading these blogs, it is the same as Leafs Fans: Fanatical… No perspective: so frustrating reading bloggers perspectives.

  73. Captain Happy says:

    regwald:
    You can debate if Kessel was a good trade or not, but as for procurement it was a failure. He gave up more in a trade to get Kessel than if he gave him an offer sheet. It was a given that Boston didn’t have the cap space to match without having to dump someone else.

    Burke had leverage with the offer sheet and overpaid with picks to get him. All because he doesn’t believe in offer sheets. Bad business decision.

    Has the trade had a negative impact on the Leafs in any way?

    No it hasn’t.

    Might it some day?

    Sure.

    But last time I looked, hockey was all about winning NOW…not someday.

  74. regwald says:

    Captain Happy,

    That’s like saying you bought a good car for $20K above list price and because it hasn’t broken down it was worth it. I am not questioning the value of Kessel to the Leafs, just that he overpaid when he had an option to get the exact same player for less via an offer sheet.

    My point still stands. He paid more than he needed to.

  75. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL:
    At least 6 times I posted the same query over the last 30 months: it was rhetorical.Not once did I get response.It was: Is Big Sexy a NHL D?He was given up for nothing.All the blog writers and bloggers carried the party line: “Bid Sexy said bad things , he is bad people”.I kept asking the same question: Is Big Sexy a NHL D.Of course he is.And he was given up for free.Not one blogger that I am aware of made that distinction when discussing him…As much as I like reading these blogs, it is the same as Leafs Fans: Fanatical… No perspective: so frustrating reading bloggers perspectives.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2010/09/albatross.html

    From that post:

    Can Souray help this team? Of course he can. He’s an NHL veteran with a cannon from the point, good size and a mean streak. But I can’t see the organization starting the Taylor Hall “Boys on the Bus 2.0″ era with the kind of distraction that the words above will no doubt inspire.

    I think a lot of people (given the same circumstances) would keep Souray away from the cameras and the microphones and the future. A difficult situation.

    I don’t think you have to look very far on any good Oiler blog to find similar.

  76. Woodguy says:

    Captain Happy:
    Terry Jones calls for Tambellini’s head:

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/04/14/jones-times-up-tambellini

    Some quotes from Jones’ piece:

    It’s the bottom six forwards, not the top six.

    And it’s not the top four defenceman, although it’s hard to say they really have a top four defenceman. The defence is especially substandard.

    It’s the periphery players. The supporting cast.

    The man in charge of acquiring those players is Tambellini. And he’s failed.

    Also,

    To get the players the Oilers need, they’re going to have to give up more than a Hemsky. You have to give up something to get something. Tough decisions lie ahead.

    Is there any public confidence in Tambellini, based on his record and the performance of the pro scouting department in general, to make the deals to get the right guys to give the young talent the chance to succeed?

    The answer is no.

    Nice to see that this evaluation of Tambellini is no longer just on the Oilogosphere.

  77. Captain Happy says:

    regwald:
    Captain Happy,

    That’s like saying you bought a good car for $20K above list price and because it hasn’t broken down it was worth it. I am not questioning the value of Kessel to the Leafs, just that he overpaid when he had an option to get the exact same player for less via an offer sheet.

    My point still stands. He paid more than he needed to.

    Okay, granted.

    But if you have a GM who has the best interests of the game at heart, I have a great deal of respect for that.

    Not only will Burke not use offer sheets but he also wouldn’t hand out back diving contracts for the very reasons that prompted the NHL to outlaw them.

  78. Woodguy says:

    kinger_OIL,

    : it was rhetorical. Not once did I get response.

    If it was rhetorical, why did you want a response?

  79. Captain Happy says:

    Woodguy: Some quotes from Jones’ piece:

    It’s the bottom six forwards, not the top six.


    And it’s not the top four defenceman, although it’s hard to say they really have a top four defenceman. The defence is especially substandard.

    It’s the periphery players. The supporting cast.

    The man in charge of acquiring those players is Tambellini. And he’s failed.

    Also,

    To get the players the Oilers need, they’re going to have to give up more than a Hemsky. You have to give up something to get something. Tough decisions lie ahead.


    Is there any public confidence in Tambellini, based on his record and the performance of the pro scouting department in general, to make the deals to get the right guys to give the young talent the chance to succeed?

    The answer is no.

    Nice to see that this evaluation of Tambellini is no longer just on the Oilogosphere.

    Amazing how long it take some folks to see the obvious.

  80. Woodguy says:

    Tyler calling for Tambellini’s head too:

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=5756

  81. kinger_OIL says:

    Lowetide: http://lowetide.ca/blog/2010/09/albatross.html

    From that post:

    Can Souray help this team? Of course he can. He’s an NHL veteran with a cannon from the point, good size and a mean streak. But I can’t see the organization starting the Taylor Hall “Boys on the Bus 2.0″ era with the kind of distraction that the words above will no doubt inspire.

    I think a lot of people (given the same circumstances) would keep Souray away from the cameras and the microphones and the future. A difficult situation.

    I don’t think you have to look very far on any good Oiler blog to find similar.

    OK – I bite: are you saying the OIL is better because they gave him away for nothing? There is no way the better good of the team improved by some comments from a disgruntled player. He only said what players think? Is Souray a bad seed on his team today? Players know the score: whether they say it or not is just fodder for the press. I’d like to see more perspective from players: they don’t buy the BS that you bloogers fall for and write. You think if Hall called the truth a la Souray he would get the same treatment. Lowetide, you just parroted the party line, and everyone bought it. Give me a break, when is the truth a “distraction”. We gave up a NHL D for nothing, and the party line was : it was justified” BUSH. I bet large this team is playoffs with Souray: most players would agree: so who is right?

  82. Woodguy says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    MacT’s top 21 players sorted by TOI, min 20 games for his last season as HC:

    Sheldon Souray
    Lubomir Visnovsky
    Tom Gilbert
    Shawn Horcoff
    Denis Grebeshkov
    Steve Staios
    Patrick O’Sullivan
    Ales Hemsky
    Sam Gagner
    Ales Kotalik
    Dustin Penner
    Ethan Moreau
    Fernando Pisani
    Robert Nilsson
    Ladislav Smid
    Andrew Cogliano
    Kyle Brodziak
    Jason Strudwick
    Marc-Antoine Pouliot
    Liam Reddox
    Zack Stortini

    OTC’s same list the next year that finished 30th

    Ryan Whitney
    Sheldon Souray
    Tom Gilbert
    Shawn Horcoff
    Ladislav Smid
    Dustin Penner
    Ales Hemsky
    Patrick O’Sullivan
    Taylor Chorney
    Jason Strudwick
    Sam Gagner
    Ryan Potulny
    Aaron Johnson
    Robert Nilsson
    Fernando Pisani
    Ethan Moreau
    Mike Comrie
    Gilbert Brule
    Andrew Cogliano
    Marc-Antoine Pouliot
    Jean-Francois Jacques

    Those lists are awfully similar.

    MacT should have received at least 1 retro-active Jack Adams for squeezing as many points as he did out of teams with 50% AHLers.

    I have no idea how he’s going to help, only to know that he can’t possibly be worse than Tambellini, and his experience coaching very good bottom 6ers can’t hurt his evaluation skills. I hope.

  83. Woodguy says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    Cmon WG. We’re going to compare before and after the tank job by the team?

    In 09/10 they added Khabby and spent to the cap.

    The were not trying to tank the first year they finished 30th and drafted Hall.

  84. PunjabiOil says:

    Lets look at it objectively. The team has made the playoffs only 2 out of the last 11 years. Two out of the last 11.

    No other franchise accepts incompetency over such a lengthy period. Instead of firing key personnel, the organization creates faux management level positions (See Quinn, Pat and Lowe, Kevin). Instead of hiring coaches externally, the team has promoted 2 assistants the last 2 times. 2 assistant coaches are former Oilers. Scouts are have former Oilers. Hell, they’re even drafting sons of former Oilers (Musil, Simpson, and Keegan Lowe would have been another if he didn’t outright indicate his desire not to be drafted as an Oiler).

    3 different coaches under Tambellini, a complete inability to address team holes. Going based on his quotes, it seems he knows that the holes are (wanted to add 2 defencemen last summer), but kept the team the same as the prior year, 2 rookies aside.

    Part of me thinks Daryl Katz is behind this rebuild plan. Is the team actively not attempting to improve? Remember the Kevin Lowe’s quote a few seasons ago (4-6 year years before we have a contender) on a CBC telecast? That being said, management’s inability to understand asset management and (Glencross, Brodziak, Eager, Hordichuk, JDD, wasting 3rd and 4th round picks on 4th liners) expresses severe doubt as to whether this is the management can transition the team from the rebuild stage to a contender.

    It’s quite sad, actually.

  85. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL: OK – Ibite: are you saying the OIL is better because they gave him away for nothing?There is no way the better good of the team improved by some comments from a disgruntled player. He only said what players think?Is Souray a bad seed on his team today?Players know the score: whether they say it or not is just fodder for the press.I’d like to see more perspective from players: they don’t buy the BS that you bloogers fall for and write.You think if Hall called the truth a la Souray he would get the same treatment.Lowetide, you just parroted the party line, and everyone bought it.Give me a break, when is the truth a “distraction”.We gave up a NHL D for nothing, and the party line was : it was justified” BUSH.I betlarge this team is playoffs with Souray: most players would agree: so who is right?

    In your original post, you said

    “At least 6 times I posted the same query over the last 30 months: it was rhetorical.Not once did I get response.It was: Is Big Sexy a NHL D?”

    And I responded with a post that said:

    “Can Souray help this team? Of course he can. He’s an NHL veteran with a cannon from the point, good size and a mean streak.”

    Now you’re asking something else, and I will respond with what I wrote at the time:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2010/10/the-cask-of-amontillado.html

    The thing I’m most interested in at this point is which fellow is going to be painted as the villain of this piece. I suspect that even though Tambellini represents Montresor and Souray is surely Fortunato at this point, history will write this episode in a very different manner.

    Something about “cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

    Your memory of the blogs being pro-Oiler and anti-Souray are incorrect.

  86. Woodguy says:

    Re: Burke and Toronto

    Toronto is riding ridiculously high SH% and a SV% that is starting to normalize.

    They are certainly better than they were, but they are not a team I would bet to make the playoffs next year.

    I would bet FLA making the playoffs next year ahead of TOR.

    TOR has the highest 5v5 SH% at 12%. League average is 8.2% same as every year.

    TOR 5v5 SV% has normalized at .920 (16th in NHL), but was riding sky high up until 2 weeks ago.

    ANA is in the same boat.

    All SH% and SV% and no sustain.

  87. Captain Happy says:

    Woodguy:
    Tyler calling for Tambellini’s head too:

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=5756

    I think Tyler has an inkling that Lowe is the problem but, as an Oiler fan, won’t let himself admit that it’s likely that that is true.

    Replacing Tambellini while leaving Lowe in charge is a HUGE gamble for the organization…one that would take another 3-4 years to play out.

    And, I can’t see any competent GM candidate, like Maloney, taking the job if he knew all his decisions had to pass over Lowe’s desk.

  88. VanOil says:

    Speaking of Kabby, does he get one more win as an Oiler? 32 wins would have been nice if they had come in one season not 4. Does 33 wins make the 15 million dollar contract more palatable? In Tambo the Terrible’s rain no player has given MBS so much.

  89. Lowetide says:

    I don’t know where this Kessel trade stuff began in this thread, so I want to say for the record that the Kessel deal was a terrible one for Toronto. Just incredibly bad, and Burke imo would still be in Toronto if he’d been a little patient.

    Good for Kadri though. I’m happy he’s having a great season. Hope they don’t hate him when he gets paid.

  90. Lowetide says:

    Captain Happy: I think Tyler has an inkling that Lowe is the problem but, as an Oiler fan, won’t let himself admit that it’s likely that that is true.

    Replacing Tambellini while leaving Lowe in charge is a HUGE gamble for the organization…one that would take another 3-4 years to play out.

    And, I can’t see any competent GM candidate, like Maloney, taking the job if he knew all his decisions had to pass over Lowe’s desk.

    I think Tyler has a different opinion, and if he felt Lowe was in charge would have said that. I’ve read Tyler for a long time, vague he is not.

  91. Ryan says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    C’mon people, someone get that Kickstarter thing going.Who was it who had the idea?

    Count me in if we’re talking about a full page ad in the Edmonton journal begging Maloney to fire off a CV to Katz.

  92. regwald says:

    Lowetide:
    I don’t know where this Kessel trade stuff began in this thread, so I want to say for the record that the Kessel deal was a terrible one for Toronto. Just incredibly bad, and Burke imo would still be in Toronto if he’d been a little patient.

    Good for Kadri though. I’m happy he’s having a great season. Hope they don’t hate him when he gets paid.

    Sounds like they will break the bank for Tyler Bozak first and the fans their whipping boy at the cost of shipping out Grabovski.

  93. Captain Happy says:

    Woodguy:
    Re: Burke and Toronto

    Toronto is riding ridiculously high SH% and a SV% that is starting to normalize.

    They are certainly better than they were, but they are not a team I would bet to make the playoffs next year.

    I would bet FLA making the playoffs next year ahead of TOR.

    TOR has the highest 5v5 SH% at 12%.League average is 8.2% same as every year.

    TOR 5v5 SV% has normalized at .920 (16th in NHL), but was riding sky high up until 2 weeks ago.

    ANA is in the same boat.

    All SH% and SV% and no sustain.

    None of those matter next year.

    There will be roster turnover and changes in “luck” for all teams.

    Vancouver, for example, used to ride their league leading PP into the NW championship but this season their PP has gone absolutely into the tank. (24% two years ago…13% this season) which is a cautionary tale for the Oilers.

    And, in that 2 week period where Toronto’s save percentage has “normalized”, they’ve gone 7-2-1.

  94. Woodguy says:

    Captain Happy: Amazing how long it take some folks to see the obvious.

    Or for those of us who think that Lowe tips the media about future moves, Jones has learned that Tambellini is on the way out so he lets rip.

  95. Woodguy says:

    regwald: Sounds like they will break the bank for Tyler Bozak first and the fans their whipping boy at the cost of shipping out Grabovski.

    I’d be all over Grabbo. Would be nice for them to hold some of his salary.

    +50% CF and +50% GF for the last 5 years except this year on bad TOR teams.

    From 2008-2012 when he was on the ice TOR:

    Took 53.8% of the attempted shots
    Scored 53.4% of the goals

    On terrible TOR teams. Solid, solid player who did most of that against tougher comp.

    If this year is a one off and TOR is willing to hold some salary a smart GM is going to score with that pick up.

    The big difference this year is that him 2nd most common F line mate is Jay McClemment and 2nd most common D line mate is Kostka.

    Carlyle makes some bizarre decisions.

    He’d be my 10 replacement in a heartbeat and could be 2C.

  96. TheOtherJohn says:

    Captain Happy: You might want to do some reading and see what Randy Carlyle thinks about Kessel’s two way game.

    Calling someone stupid because you haven’t kept up with a player’s progression under a new system says much more about you than it does about me.

    And then to suggest one of the highest scoring young players in the game is akin to Ryan Jones in any fashion is much the same.

    Hall may well end being a better offensive player in his career…no one said otherwise…in fact I didn’t say anything about Hall at all.

    But, in his 21 year old season, Kessel scored 36 goals and 60 points.

    As for Hamilton, he may well be what you say he is but Burke also managed to acquire Phaneuf, Franson, Gardiner and Holzer while having Morgan Rielly and Matt Finn (among others) in the pipeline.

    I don’t think he would miss Hamilton much at all.

    I stand what I said. When Kessel does not score he is Ryan Jones. You have repeatedly shot off your mouth about wagers you made with WG. If you are suggesting, Kessel is a better player than Hall, put your wallet where your mouth is. If not, quit beaking off. Kessel is not Hall. You look stupid suggesting it

  97. VanOil says:

    Woodguy: Or for those of us who think that Lowe tips the media about future moves, Jones has learned that Tambellini is on the way out so he lets rip.

    In the previous tread I said we had heard nothing to suggest Tambellini’s job was in jeopardy. Jones being willing to take the stand he has changes my opinion. Love or Hate Terry Jones or any of the old school MSM media he would not take this stand unless he felt the writing was on the wall. His relationship with the team and quite frankly Oilers fans/readers who trust him would be jeopardized. Lowe tip or not I do not know but I now believe there is a possibility for a change of GM.

  98. regwald says:

    Woodguy: I’d be all over Grabbo.Would be nice for them to hold some of his salary.

    +50% CF and +50% GF for the last 5 years except this year on bad TOR teams.

    From 2008-2012 when he was on the ice TOR:

    Took 53.8% of the attempted shots
    Scored 53.4% of the goals

    On terrible TOR teams.Solid, solid player who did most of that against tougher comp.

    If this year is a one off and TOR is willing to hold some salary a smart GM is going to score with that pick up.

    He’d be my 10 replacement in a heartbeat and could be 2C.

    I agree with you. He would look good in an Oiler jersey. He also brings some size and is a skilled forward.

  99. PunjabiOil says:

    On another note, it’s refreshing to see the papers being more hostile against the management this season.

  100. Captain Happy says:

    TheOtherJohn: I stand what I said. When Kessel does not score he is Ryan Jones. You have repeatedly shot off your mouth about wagers you made with WG. If you are suggesting, Kessel is a better player than Hall, put your wallet where your mouth is. If not, quit beaking off. Kessel is not Hall. You look stupid suggesting it

    This seems to be a “thing” for you.

    I have never suggested, not even once that Kessel is a better player than Hall although I think the difference between the two is much smaller than you think it is.

    If you think a player that consistently scores 35+ goals a season is like Ryan Jones “if he doesn’t score” then you don’t know much about hockey.

    Thing is, Kessel does score, he scores a lot, always has and scoring goals is the hardest thing in hockey.

  101. eidy says:

    I would be thrilled with Maloney if that worked (or shero, doug wilson, chiarelli)

    If we go with someone without GM experience, Jim Nill would be good.
    http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/22084/assistant-gms-ready-to-take-next-step

    I remember LT posting before about Katz taking over and how in Detroit they roamed the desert for a long time before finding the right GM. I suspect 15 years in Detroit dealing with a franchise with a rich owner like Ilitch might give Nill some insight dealing with the Batman owning the oilers.

    also then we could really be on the Detroit plan. also, I think he is in charge of their amateur scouting and they seem to avoid coke machines.

    However, if Howson is hired we could go back to when Lowe was GM and Howson was assistant GM

  102. kinger_OIL says:

    Lowetide,

    OK – I bite again, as not once when I “asked” if Big Sexy should be down in the hinterlands, or given up for nothing was there a response. : Lowetide: you have the database, you have nuanced views in your blogs. You say in one Souray is bad people he is no doubt a bad seed, he should go. In another you say, time will tell who is wrong and who pays. You don’t ask the hard questions… In 2009 forward you did not, nor did any blogger say: Big Sexy just speaks the truth, and he is bona fide NHLer, and we shouldn’t flush him for nothing – but with the help of the press who ate what was fed to them by the team… To be clear, anyone who plays or has played high level hockey would understand that Souray is and was a player, and he spoke candidly and would be supported by his teammates. When he was playing in the minors there was not one article about bringing him back… This blog jumped to the defense of the organization (not the players), without question:. You think Hall has anything good to say about the organization? If he said what he thought, would he be flushed? It would just take one quote on a bad do for him to do a Souray. Hall and Ebs and Gagner, etc certainly say what they think to their teammates (and friends and peers), and the team (or the blog and press) wouldn’t be impressed. Write some article from the perspective of the players and team. I like these articles for their perspective, but a player’s perspective would be helpful. As much as I love you guys, you have no clue what players think or how they behave or react to the situation they are in.

  103. Lowetide says:

    This article has the Oilers, Penguins, Canucks and Habs in on Laganiere

    http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2013/04/14/antoine-laganiere-interesse-marc-bergevin

  104. Captain Happy says:

    For those who don’t read French:

    The Montreal Canadiens made a phone call to the agent Antoine Laganière Sunday after the first victory of the Yale University men’s hockey championship of the NCAA.

    The 22-year-old got a gift, who ended his academic career scoring with 83 points, including 45 goals in 120 games.

    “They do not manifest themselves throughout the year. In fact, they have shown interest today (Sunday), “said Athlete of the Île-Cadieux at TVA Sports.

    Laganière is now a free agent and can get along with the team of his choice.

    Although he would have liked to hear the Habs earlier, it is better late than never. Wear the uniform blue-white-red is a childhood dream for those who track the performance of said Canadian from the United States.

    “Of course I want it! I look since I was very young, he started from Connecticut. I’m glad he showed some interest and part of me wants to see how far the progress of discussions go.

    “It would be a good time for me to join the Canadiens as the team wins. It would be nice to be part of this success. ”

    Other courses in portrait

    Great choices need to skater 6 feet 4 inches. And he will have his head well rested to take the most important decision of his career, who did not find sleep after his last college game.

    In addition to calling the Canadiens, Laganière confirmed that the Vancouver Canucks are among the formations being in the race for his services.

    GM Mike Gillis has already made the trip to see it work. The organization had also invited his development camp in 2011.

    The oldest of the Châteauguay Patriotes also participated in similar activities with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers.

    Laganière said receive much attention Bettman club circuit for a few weeks.

    “I’ll talk to some teams Sunday and Monday. I will be able to decide after a good night’s sleep! “He decided.

    The striker said he will make a decision within 48 hours. Meanwhile, the Habs fans can still hope to see succeed in Montreal.

  105. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL:
    Lowetide,

    OK – I bite again, as not once when I “asked” if Big Sexy should be down in the hinterlands, or given up for nothing was there a response. : Lowetide: you have the database,you have nuanced views in your blogs.You say in one Souray is bad people he is no doubt a bad seed, he should go.In another you say, time will tell who is wrong and who pays. You don’t ask the hard questions…In 2009 forward you did not, nor did any blogger say: Big Sexy just speaks the truth, and he is bona fide NHLer, and we shouldn’t flush him for nothing – but with the help of the press who ate what was fed to them by the team… To be clear, anyone who plays or has played high level hockey would understand that Souray is and was a player, and he spoke candidly and would be supported by his teammates.When he was playing in the minors there was not one article about bringing him back…This blog jumped to the defense of the organization (not the players), without question:.You think Hall has anything good to say about the organization?If he said what he thought, would he be flushed?It would just take one quote on a bad do for him to do a Souray.Hall and Ebs and Gagner, etc certainly say what they thins to their teammates, and the team (or the blog and press) wouldn’t be impressed.Write some article from the perspective of the players and team.I like these articles for their perspective, but a player’s perspective would be helpful. As much as I love you guys, you have no clue what players think or how they behave or react to the situation they are in.

    Where did I say Sheldon Souray is bad people. WHERE?

  106. VanOil says:

    regwald,

    The problem with Grabovski as an Oiler is he is 2 million dollar a year over paid and might cost too much to acquire. If Garbo is added to RNH Gagner and Horcoff the Oilers are a better team. If he is swapped for Gagner it just seems like a Gilbert-Schultz trade. If he costs Hemsky, maybe if we have a plan for a Right winger to replace him. If he costs the right to Jones and a 2nd round pick and they eat at least 1M in salary go for it.

  107. regwald says:

    VanOil:
    regwald,

    The problem with Grabovski as an Oiler is he is 2 million dollar a year over paid and might cost too much to acquire. If Garbo is added to RNH Gagner and Horcoff the Oilers are a better team. If he is swapped for Gagner it just seems like a Gilbert-Schultz trade. If he costs Hemsky, maybe if we have a plan for a Right winger to replace him. If he costs the right to Jones and a 2nd round pick and they eat at least 1M in salary go for it.

    Fair enough assessment on cost. That cost might be a bit less in the summer once all the teams have sharpened their pencils and given their calculators a work out and try to fit in under a reduced cap. Fire sales similar to what happened in the summer of 2005 that delivered Peca and Pronger.

    I suspect that is the biggest plan the Oilers mgmt team is banking on.

  108. Bar_Qu says:

    Watching the history of Australia, the first 4 Billion years.

    It feels fairly high paced, i mean, compared with the Oilers rebuild.

  109. TheOtherJohn says:

    Captain Happy: This seems to be a “thing” for you.

    I have never suggested, not even once that Kessel is a better player than Hall although I think the difference between the two is much smaller than you think it is.

    If you think a player that consistently scores 35+ goals a season is like Ryan Jones “if he doesn’t score” then you don’t know much about hockey.

    Thing is, Kessel does score, he scores a lot, always has and scoring goals is the hardest thing in hockey.

    I invited you to list Hall’s 21 year old numbers and Kessel’s. You refuse to do so because it proves you are wrong. Hall is not like Kessel. you know it and anyone not brain dead knows it too. When Kessel does not score he adds very little to his team, the same is not true re Hall.

    Want the wager or want to quit intimating they are similar players?

  110. bookje says:

    kinger_OIL:
    Lowetide,

    OK – I bite again, as not once when I “asked” if Big Sexy should be down in the hinterlands, or given up for nothing was there a response. : Lowetide: you have the database,you have nuanced views in your blogs.You say in one Souray is bad people he is no doubt a bad seed, he should go.In another you say, time will tell who is wrong and who pays. You don’t ask the hard questions…In 2009 forward you did not, nor did any blogger say: Big Sexy just speaks the truth, and he is bona fide NHLer, and we shouldn’t flush him for nothing – but with the help of the press who ate what was fed to them by the team… To be clear, anyone who plays or has played high level hockey would understand that Souray is and was a player, and he spoke candidly and would be supported by his teammates.When he was playing in the minors there was not one article about bringing him back…This blog jumped to the defense of the organization (not the players), without question:.You think Hall has anything good to say about the organization?If he said what he thought, would he be flushed?It would just take one quote on a bad do for him to do a Souray.Hall and Ebs and Gagner, etc certainly say what they think to their teammates (and friends and peers), and the team (or the blog and press) wouldn’t be impressed.Write some article from the perspective of the players and team.I like these articles for their perspective, but a player’s perspective would be helpful. As much as I love you guys, you have no clue what players think or how they behave or react to the situation they are in.

    First, you referring to Souray as ‘Big Sexy’ over and over again negates any point you are trying to make. Nobody will take you serious.

    Whether Souray was ‘right’ or not about what it was like to play for the organization is actually irrelevant. Here is what we know.

    1. Souray asked to be traded.
    2. Souray ranted about his organization in a way that no other NHL player ever has.
    3. Later, when there was talk in the Edmonton media about a ‘forgive and forget’ and a return to the NHL and the Oilers were warming to the idea – he ranted again in the media, thus sealing his fate.
    4. Nobody in the NHL stood up for him and said Souray was being treated poorly. Why – because he was a total idiot. There are ways to address his concerns without going public in the way that he did. Loads of NHL players find themselves in his situation, but deal with it through their agent (or playing out the contract).
    5. Souray had a contract that could not be traded by anyone, ever, anywhere. He was sent through re-entry waivers and nobody wanted him at half price.
    6. He was playing at the level a bottom pairing defenseman at the time and in Hershy, he was showing poorly as an AHL defenseman. (He deserves credit for waking up long after the fact and realizing that he had to put work into getting back to being an NHL calibre defensman).

  111. VanOil says:

    regwald: Fair enough assessment on cost. That cost might be a bit less in the summer once all the teams have sharpened their pencils and given their calculators a work out and try to fit in under a reduced cap. Fire sales similar to what happened in the summer of 2005 that delivered Peca and Pronger.

    I suspect that is the biggest plan the Oilers mgmt team is banking on.

    I hope your right. This would be good news. This summer with the Cap crunch and buy outs will be interesting.

  112. regwald says:

    VanOil: I hope your right. This would be good news. This summer with the Cap crunch and buy outs will be interesting.

    I saw a tweet from Capgeek that something like 14 teams have issues to deal with Cap space to fill out their rosters.

  113. Woodguy says:

    Captain Happy,

    And, in that 2 week period where Toronto’s save percentage has “normalized”, they’ve gone 7-2-1.

    Yeah, scoring at 15% clip will overcome goaltending.

    None of those matter next year.
    There will be roster turnover and changes in “luck” for all teams.

    Their luck will normalize and you take into account who goes out and who goes in.

    Remember I agreed with you that MIN would take a big step forward and make the playoffs based on who they brought in.

    Their castle this year is built on sand though, and the tide is coming in.

  114. Woodguy says:

    VanOil:
    regwald,

    The problem with Grabovski as an Oiler is he is 2 million dollar a year over paid and might cost too much to acquire. If Garbo is added to RNH Gagner and Horcoff the Oilers are a better team. If he is swapped for Gagner it just seems like a Gilbert-Schultz trade. If he costs Hemsky, maybe if we have a plan for a Right winger to replace him. If he costs the right to Jones and a 2nd round pick and they eat at least 1M in salary go for it.

    I agree that $5.5 is a little much, but $4.5 is probably close to correct, especially if he plays 2C.

    Trading Gagner straight up for him is a bad trade. Not terrible, but bad. Gagner has much more value than Grabbo with his boxcars this year.

  115. Woodguy says:

    regwald: I saw a tweet from Capgeek that something like 14 teams have issues to deal with Cap space to fill out their rosters.

    The OIlers have a ton of room for next year.

    This summer will make or break the rebuild.

    Man I hope Tambellini isn’t in the room and someone smarter, who isn’t in the org right now, is in the room.

  116. kinger_OIL says:

    Lowetide: Where did I say Sheldon Souray is bad people. WHERE?

    Lowetide – you’ve got a cool job posting, and this site is awesome, and the access you have to a team we all love. But you bought the “framing: presented to you by the organization: here is your quote:

    ” But I can’t see the organization starting the Taylor Hall “Boys on the Bus 2.0″ era with the kind of distraction that the words above will no doubt inspire.

    I think a lot of people (given the same circumstances) would keep Souray away from the cameras and the microphones and the future. A difficult situation.”

    In my mind, you are saying Bid Sexy is bad people when I read that (correct me if I am wrong). I am sure you recognize that this team would have been, and would still be a better team with Souray on D, no matter what he said about the organization. At the time though, you tell us that towing the party line is the most important thing. You thought that “words” are more important than “ability”: Truth is a “distraction”, and that is exactly what the organization wanted you all to believe. On the other side, there isn’t a player in the NHL that would think the Oilers are a better team without Souray (and they all think that, just get some good inside intel): the press and blog thought differently. Not one article on how the team should kiss and make up – just that Souray is “bad people” and has to go. And then it was forgotten that he was a real player. as if he would disappear, for being candid (and frustrated).

    Anyway, the bigger context is that this team is still brutal. Souray would have been a good player on this team. They do not have him, and he could have played on this team,….

  117. Captain Happy says:

    TheOtherJohn: I invited you to list Hall’s 21 year old numbers and Kessel’s. You refuse to do so because it proves you are wrong. Hall is not like Kessel. you know it and anyone notbrain dead knows it too. When Kessel does not score he adds very little to his team, the same is not true re Hall.

    Want the wager or want to quit intimating they are similar players?

    What does Hall add to his team (16-18-7) when he is not scoring that Kessel doesn’t add to his team (23-13-5) when he is not scoring?

    Steely looks?

    Truculence?

    Babe magnet?

    Be specific.

    You can list their 21 year old numbers all by yourself but since you don’t seem to be able to do that:

    Hall – 38GP 13G 28A 41P

    Kessel – 70 GP 36G 24A 60P

    GPG

    Hall – .34

    Kessel- .51

    See which player is way ahead?

    Remember that scoring goals is the hardest thing in hockey?

  118. PunjabiOil says:

    The fact that Tambellini’s extension was for 2 years, not 3, is suggestive ownership was not overly comfortable with him.

  119. lawrenharris says:

    Biggest problem with the Oilers isn’t even personnel, it’s persistence, dog-after-a-bone, Energizer-Bunny hunger on the puck and on the check, fighting through resistance ALL THE TIME (see Canadiens, Montreal). They will play like this for a period or two, maybe even a whole game once in a long while, otherwise it is the same story in the post-game interviews (“we have to learn to be more consistent”). MacT was a guy who wouldn’t put up with players who wouldn’t play their guts out, hence his love for Toby Peterson’s ilk, and his dislike for Dustin Penner’s. “Talent is all very well, but if you don’t work, you’re trash.” Flash forward to the kinder regime of Renney and Krueger, where creativity and flow are encouraged to blossom. “Just let them mature, and learn the system.” This year’s Jekyll-and-mostly-Hyde team shows fantastic ability and application in stretches, then loses the thread, gets discouraged, goes through the motions., wonders what page we’re on now. This is not an argument for another MacT, whose most outstanding quality to my mind was his ability to speak in complete sentences including adverbs, a rare gift in his profession. Surely it is possible to combine the best of those two philosophies?

  120. regwald says:

    Woodguy: The OIlers have a ton of room for next year.

    This summer will make or break the rebuild.

    Man I hope Tambellini isn’t in the room and someone smarter, who isn’t in the org right now, is in the room.

    I think you can get players if you have the cap space. Since the Oilers don’t have a huge savings by buying out anyone with their two buyouts, maybe they get a high pick or prospect to buy out a bad contract ?

    I don’t buy that they dump Horcoff’s contract or even the 1 year for Belanger or Eager. Seems like a small savings in the big picture for Belanger or Eager. I think they see value with Horcoff’s cost. And if he falls off the cliff this coming season, there is only one year left.

  121. Lowetide says:

    Kinger: I don’t have access to the Oilers or any of their employees. I’d prefer not to comment on the rest, beyond saying that at no time did I say Sheldon Souray was a bad person. I do not believe that, and would not say it on this blog even if I did believe it. This blog is not devoted to personal attacks.

  122. TheOtherJohn says:

    Captain Happy: What does Hall add to his team (16-18-7) when he is not scoring that Kessel doesn’t add to his team(23-13-5) when he is not scoring?

    Steely looks?

    Truculence?

    Babe magnet?

    Be specific.

    You can list their 21 year old numbers all by yourself but since you don’t seem to be able to do that:

    Hall – 38GP 13G 28A 41P

    Kessel – 70 GP 36G 24A 60P

    GPG

    Hall – .34

    Kessel- .51

    See which player is way ahead?

    Remember that scoring goals is the hardest thing in hockey?

    You do not believe what you write.. As a result,you have been embarrassed before and, if need be, will be again. Hall at 21 drives the Oiler bus. Or do you want to dispute that too? Kessel was about the 3rd or 4th or 5th passenger on thr Bruins bus. Sufficiently so that, at 21, he was moved out for picks. He was a sufficiently one dimensional player that the Bruins had no hesitancy moving him for futures

    You could not trade for Hall. For anyone in the game. Its not his steely gaze, it is how he plays the game. It cannot be taught.

    Now I am busy tonight but expect I will set out a case for why Kessel is not Hall. Expect your argument is as ridiculous as an argument that 20 years ago Pierre Larouche was just as good M Messier. He was not and you know that. just like your ridiculous Kessel argument and the drivel you write about Canucks

  123. bookje says:

    Kinger (aka Big Sexy’s mom) – you clearly are a big Spuray fan – that’s great, but you are really misreading LT and looking a bit disrespectful doing it. LT was pretty fair to Souray. People like me were somewhat less so.

    Also, stop referring to him as Big Sexy, it’s creeping everyone out.

  124. bookje says:

    Lowetide,

    Your Honour, as evidence that my client, Mr Alan Lowetide, does not have , and never has had, any access to the Oilers organization, I submit to the court Exhibit A – The 3 for 1 trade prediction!

    I rest my case.

  125. art vandelay says:

    I competely agree that the Oilers shouild make their crappy old-school ex-coach the next GM.
    I will enjoy another 10-20 of mocking the worst org in the NHL as it continues to recycle the past.
    I wonder if Bugsy Watson will be available when they wack Freddy Krueger?

  126. Lowetide says:

    bookje:
    Lowetide,

    Your Honour,as evidence that my client, Mr Alan Lowetide, does not have , and never has had, any access to the Oilers organization, I submit to the court Exhibit A – The 3 for 1 trade prediction!

    I rest my case.

    You’re DAMN right!

  127. Lois Lowe says:

    I love it when DSF makes arguments like this. Is GPG the new goalpost or are you going to use PPG when it suits your argument? At least you’re consistent in your methods.

    BTW – Jeff Carter .57 GPG Sidney Crosby 0.42 GPG

    Jeff Carter is the better player.

    QED

  128. Captain Happy says:

    art vandelay:
    I competely agree that the Oilers shouild make their crappyold-school ex-coach the next GM.
    I will enjoy another 10-20 of mocking the worstorg in the NHL as it continues torecycle the past.
    I wonder if Bugsy Watson will be available when they wack Freddy Krueger?

    George Burnett is still waiting patiently for a second chance.

    Sadly, Bep Guidolin never got his.

  129. VanOil says:

    In honor of the LT ‘call’ that one day will actually happen. Eager, Belanger and Jones to TO for Garbo. With the 3 Million in dead money they would be taking we would eat Garbo’s over pay. If it does not work out we would still have at least one buyout to use on Garbo at the end of next year. It would be a Big Sexy deal. That might even get bookje approval. Cherry would hate it for EDM, which would be worth it in its own right for me.

  130. Captain Happy says:

    @TOJ

    Just ran across this for your spread sheet:

    “Since the start of the 2010-2011 season, RW Phil Kessel has tallied 124 points in 123 games, fifth-most in hockey behind Steven Stamkos, Evgeni Malkin, Claude Giroux and Martin St. Louis. ”

    And that is playing with Tyler Bozak as his centre.

    The defense rests.

  131. Captain's Log says:

    Summer 2009: Oilers chase Dany Heatley like he’s Scarlett Johansson and this is the last night on planet earth. He says no.

    I have a problem with your analogy. Who in their right mind chases the beautiful Scarlett Johansson during the last night on planet earth? Too much competition. Go for a solid 5 and be happy.

  132. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    If Howson is the replacement, does CBS’ rise to respectability this year increase your confidence in him? Before the Gaborik deal this was still the team he built, it just suddenly had goaltending.
    Does this change his legacy?

    Terry Jones: To get the players the Oilers need, they’re going to have to give up more than a Hemsky. You have to give up something to get something. Tough decisions lie ahead.

    I think Jones is making a common mistake here thinking “you’ve got to give to get.”
    For sure we need more good players, but trading good players to get them just breaks even. I could do that. The reason a good GM is worth millions is that he gives little and gets a lot. A three for one would be nice, but what we really need to do is trade Stojanov for Naslund, or draft Datsyuk in the fifth. I know this is hard- that’s why it’s a seven figure job.

    Also…
    I am a Gagner fan but moving him for Grabo and/or Gardiner could meet both team’s needs real well. Grabo is well paid and poorly liked by his coach (who isn’t going anywhere), and Gagner has better boxcars than maybe he deserves. This creates opportunity.

  133. Woodguy says:

    lawrenharris,

    Biggest problem with the Oilers isn’t even personnel, it’s persistence, dog-after-a-bone, Energizer-Bunny hunger on the puck and on the check, fighting through resistance ALL THE TIME (see Canadiens, Montreal).

    I would argue that the lack of intensity all the time IS a personnel problem.

    They’re pros and coaches can’t rah-rah them into doing their job every day.

  134. FastOil says:

    Kris11:
    What is best in life?

    To fire Lowe, and MacT, and here the lamentation of Tambellini.

    Sad that that’s two of my favorite Oilers ever,

    Awesome

  135. VanOil says:

    Captain’s Log:
    I have a problem with your analogy.Who in their right mind chases the beautiful Scarlett Johansson during the last night on planet earth?Too much competition.Go for a solid 5 and be happy.

    Tell the solid 5 that she is Scarlett Johansson and you may both end happy!

  136. Captain Happy says:

    stevezie:
    Lowetide,

    If Howson is the replacement, does CBS’ rise to respectability this year increase your confidence in him? Before the Gaborik deal this was still the team he built, it just suddenly had goaltending.
    Does this change his legacy?

    I think Jones is making a common mistake here thinking “you’ve got to give to get.”
    For sure we need more good players, but trading good players to get them just breaks even. I could do that. The reason a good GM is worth millions is that he gives little and gets a lot. A three for one would be nice, but what we really need to do is trade Stojanov for Naslund, or draft Datsyuk in the fifth. I know this is hard- that’s why it’s a seven figure job.

    Also…
    I am a Gagner fan but moving him for Grabo and/or Gardiner could meet both team’s needs real well. Grabo is well paid and poorly liked by his coach (who isn’t going anywhere), and Gagner has better boxcars than maybe he deserves. This creates opportunity.

    While I think that would be a great trade and kudos to WG for suggesting it, I think Carlyle would have some real issues with Gagner’s “compete level” in his own end.

  137. dangilitis says:

    The 3rd and 4th line don’t scare me as much as the Oilers’ 2nd line forwards and 2nd line Dmen.

    The 2nd line D currently is Schultz elder and Schultz younger, which as we have seen, would have ideally been made to be the 3rd line D pairing this year with 2 better D options on the roster. When a team’s 1st line D are good but not great (Smid and Petry), then 2nd line D need to be above average to balance out. So the Oil need to find 2 above average #3/4 D-men (if that takes a trade with use of Schultz the elder, so be it as far as I am concerned, sell “high”), and leave JSchultz as a 5-6 option next year with whoever you find in that role not named Ryan Whitney or Mark Fistric. Of course, this will not happen. The other option would be hitting a hail Mary and getting a true, bonafide top pairing D man with a broad skill set. Extremely hard and would only happen if we traded away a big part of the roster, thus creating a new hole. But if they did, suddenly Smid can pair with that D man on line #1, Petry and Schultz line 2 and that’s not bad. I know I am dreaming…

    OK, if you somehow managed to address those issues, then you have to turn your attention to 2nd line forwards. Yakupov, Gagner, Paajarvi and Hemsky have seen most of the time as of late in this role. Even when Gagner scores, he is leaking chances and often runs a negative +/- ES. I defended him in the past, but I am not sure what the Oilers do and I am not certain enough he will put it all together (e.g. scoring consistently without cheating defensively) to be a part of a winning core. Committing long term to him based on this season would be a mistake because the defense has deteriorated from last year. If the demands are large contracts for 4 or 5 years, then trading him to a team who only looks at points as a measure of player success and fetching a good return would be optimal, but we would need a #2 center coming back – how do you pull a trade like that? You would have to give up some offensive upside coming back, and that’s always risky if the defense that the #2C provides falters. Tambellini definitely incapable of a trade like that. Then as much as I like Paajarvi and Yak, I don’t think they should or could handle this duty next year (more like 2/3 line duty part time). Hemsky should be traded in the off season if they think they are not going to re-sign him at 2.5 line value, rather than trading him for nothing at the trade deadline. One of Hemsky or Gagner was the problem this seasom, though, and whenever I look at a goal that Hemsky is blamed for, his mistakes never seem to be as glaring as Gagner’s. So as much as I think Hemsky will be traded first, Gagner’s value has never been higher and he may be the issue instead of Hemmer, who could potentially be resigned cheaper. And #2 LW/RW don’t grow on trees.

    So there you have it. Even if they sign “6′s and 7′s” in the off season or find them through development (e.g. Hartikainnen), they still need an upgrade of 4 or 5 of the “jacks” – 2 to 3 of the 2nd line forwards and 2 of the 2nd line D. Another year of experience might make better players out of Paajarvi and Yakupov, but as many rightly say, expecting this without addressing the glaring need for a better 2nd line battle is not the way Detroit would handle this situation, it would be addressed by bringing in proven players.

    Most scary, however, is my ever growing fear of both Gagner and Paajarvi as 2nd line forwards that can’t get the jobs done both defensively and offensively at the same time.

  138. Gret99zky says:

    Woodguy: Or for those of us who think that Lowe tips the media about future moves, Jones has learned that Tambellini is on the way out so he lets rip.

    This. Totally this.

    Also I’d like to say that this thread has been an outstanding read. Thanks to those who have contributed. Well done.

  139. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy: Or for those of us who think that Lowe tips the media about future moves, Jones has learned that Tambellini is on the way out so he lets rip.

    Worst of all, it’s been his plan to have the sacrificial sock puppet from the beginning, so he can re-install himself or put MacT in the GM spot.

    God I hate how deliberate this team is with its tanking and other dirty shenanigans.

  140. maudite says:

    Woodguy:
    Tyler calling for Tambellini’s head too:

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=5756

    Shouldn’t you just have a link to Dellow’s blog and like a 2009 post (with the statement “just keep scrolling up until you get to the end”)

  141. boopronger says:

    Captain Happy,

    No one is stopping you from being a leafs fan. Go ahead, fill yer boots. Canucks fan, leafs fan whatever, why are you on this blog?

  142. maudite says:

    kinger_OIL: OK – Ibite: are you saying the OIL is better because they gave him away for nothing?There is no way the better good of the team improved by some comments from a disgruntled player. He only said what players think?Is Souray a bad seed on his team today?Players know the score: whether they say it or not is just fodder for the press.I’d like to see more perspective from players: they don’t buy the BS that you bloogers fall for and write.You think if Hall called the truth a la Souray he would get the same treatment.Lowetide, you just parroted the party line, and everyone bought it.Give me a break, when is the truth a “distraction”.We gave up a NHL D for nothing, and the party line was : it was justified” BUSH.I betlarge this team is playoffs with Souray: most players would agree: so who is right?

    Kinger,

    I remember a lot of anger about dumping Souray for nothing (especially after he apologized and made it easy for them to bring him back in to play while they sorted out a trade). I don’t get your point on this one.

  143. maudite says:

    Captain Happy: What does Hall add to his team (16-18-7) when he is not scoring that Kessel doesn’t add to his team(23-13-5) when he is not scoring?

    Steely looks?

    Truculence?

    Babe magnet?

    Be specific.

    You can list their 21 year old numbers all by yourself but since you don’t seem to be able to do that:

    Hall – 38GP 13G 28A 41P

    Kessel – 70 GP 36G 24A 60P

    GPG

    Hall – .34

    Kessel- .51

    See which player is way ahead?

    Remember that scoring goals is the hardest thing in hockey?

    You forgot poise

  144. Captain Happy says:

    maudite: You forgot poise

    Kessel does lack poise.

    He’s like the pimply geek standing in the hallway at the prom.

    But he sure can play hockey.

  145. maudite says:

    stevezie:
    Lowetide,

    If Howson is the replacement, does CBS’ rise to respectability this year increase your confidence in him? Before the Gaborik deal this was still the team he built, it just suddenly had goaltending.
    Does this change his legacy?

    I think Jones is making a common mistake here thinking “you’ve got to give to get.”
    For sure we need more good players, but trading good players to get them just breaks even. I could do that. The reason a good GM is worth millions is that he gives little and gets a lot. A three for one would be nice, but what we really need to do is trade Stojanov for Naslund, or draft Datsyuk in the fifth. I know this is hard- that’s why it’s a seven figure job.

    Also…
    I am a Gagner fan but moving him for Grabo and/or Gardiner could meet both team’s needs real well. Grabo is well paid and poorly liked by his coach (who isn’t going anywhere), and Gagner has better boxcars than maybe he deserves. This creates opportunity.

    If everything old is new again is our options:

    Howson would be my choice. The guy did make deals. While not all perfect he definitely knew how to pick up the phone and was unafraid to shuffle things around. His reputation died on goal-tending but I don’t think his record is that bad.

  146. FastOil says:

    Tambellini will be given a job that suits his abilities such as overseeing OKC and the O Kings. A reward for taking on one of the crappiest jobs in the NHL – pretend GM of one of the worst teams in a long time.

    The guy has taken a lot of personal and professional hits in doing the dirty work. I am not sure why he would do it, but he has. Weird.

    I don’t see anything changing unless Katz cleans house which I think would only happen under the most extreme circumstances ( losing A LOT not being one of those) or his son graduates from college.

    As for Burke, while he is active and I like that he can actually accomplish a deal, he is cut from the same cloth as these guys. He’s easily distracted by shiny baubles that don’t matter enough. He has improved the Leafs but they are set for a middle of the pack existence unless they get really lucky at the draft, if they have any picks left.

    We need to and deserve to be debating if player A had a slightly better Fenwick Close than player B, not living with a feeling of impending doom at trade deadline, draft day and the few choice other times during the year because the yahoo in charge won’t take freely available information, can’t figure out what a good player is, or build a team.

    I don’t know how these guys can watch certain peers run laps around them and stick to their old jammed guns.

  147. TheOtherJohn says:

    Cap’n

    This is not going to end well for you

    Hall on a full season is on track for 28 goals & 88.5 points. Kessel scored 36 24 60. That is a discrepancy of almost 50% in Hall’s favor. From Kessel’s total at same age. That is, Hall outscored Kessel by almost 50%. You quite rightly pointed out that Kessel was a sniper of epic proportions. Literally a modern day Pierre Larouche.( sarcasm fully intended)This spectacular shooter Kessel scored 13.33 % of his teams goals. Hall, being the crappy player you intimate he is, scored 12.63% of his teams goals. Without the benefit of an 88 pt centre in Marc Savard and a 73 pt scorer in David Krecji.

    Now I’m not saying Kessel had a lucky rabbits foot that year but he shot 15.5% in scoring 36 compared to Hall’s 13 on a 9.6 shooting %. Now I fully expect you to say but Phil, like that useless piece of crap Pierre LaRouche, typically had a really really high and completely sustainable shooting percentage.

    Psst: **** he did not
    in 09/10 his Shooting % was 10.1
    In 10/11 his shooting % was 9.8
    In 11/12 his shooting % was 12.5
    in 12/13 his shooting % was 10.6

    Guess what? In 08/09 his shooting % was unsustainably high and Boston sold high. kudos to Boston for selling high. And holy shit did they get value: a 1st line forward and a puck moving top pairing D

    P.S. Kessel played 16.33 TOI, Hall 17.02.

    I can waste more of my time showing how Hall is not like Kessel but it is not that difficult. And I did not even get to steely gaze but in that too Hall kicks Kessel’s ass

  148. PunjabiOil says:

    The problem with drafting Howson is he’s not the best option out there.

    Lets not forget he gave up far too much for Jeff Carter, and got far too little for Jeff Carter. Jack Johnson? Really?

    Detroit or Pittsburgh’s assistant GMs would be better options, IMO. if internally, MacT.

  149. Captain Happy says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Cap’n

    This is not going to end well for you

    Hall on a full season is on track for 28 goals &88.5 points. Kessel scored36 24 60.That is a discrepancy of 33% in Hall’s favor.From Kessel’s total at same age. That is, Hall outscored Kessel by 33%. You quite rightly pointed out that Kessel was a sniper of epic proportions. Literally a modern day Pierre Larouche.( sarcasm fully intended)This spectacular shooter Kessel scored 13.33 % of his teams goals. Hall, being the crappy player you intimate he is, scored 12.63% of his teams goals. Without the benefit of an 88 pt centre in Marc Savard and a 73 pt scorer in David Krecji.

    Now I’m not saying Kessel had a lucky rabbits foot that year but he shot 15.5% in scoring 36 compared to Hall’s13on a 9.6 shooting %. Now I fully expect you to say but Phil, like that useless piece of crap Pierre LaRouche, typically had a really really high and completely sustainable shooting percentage.

    Psst: ****he did notin 09/10 his Shooting % was 10.1In 10/11 his shooting % was 9.8In 11/12 his shooting % was12.5in 12/13 his shooting % was 10.6

    Guess what? In 08/09 his shooting % was unsustainably high and Boston sold high. kudos to Boston for selling high. And holy shit did they get value: a 1st line forward and a puck moving top pairing D

    P.S. Kessel played 16.33 TOI,Hall 17.02.

    I can waste more of my time showing how Hall is not like Kesselbut it is not that difficult. And I did not even get to steely gaze but in that too Hall kicks Kessel’s ass

    Hall hasn’t scored a point in 5 games.

    Let’s see how the season plays out before you start making outrageous claims.

    Oh, and in case you missed it:

    “Since the start of the 2010-2011 season, RW Phil Kessel has tallied 124 points in 123 games, fifth-most in hockey behind Steven Stamkos, Evgeni Malkin, Claude Giroux and Martin St. Louis. “

  150. Gret99zky says:

    Sounds to me like Tambi is on his way out.

    That’s something. Hope he leaves behind his draft tie, though.

    In seven games we will know for sure one way or another.

  151. FPB94 says:

    Hahaha. Howson is really considered? They made the playoffs one and drafted mildly at best.

  152. maudite says:

    FPB94:
    Hahaha. Howson is really considered? They made the playoffs one and drafted mildly at best.

    You have to hope not but at this point maybe MacT or Howson are the only options being considered/would take the current Coiler “GM of some stuff” position, if Lowe makes Tambo fall on the sword.

  153. TheOtherJohn says:

    Capn

    Let me see if AI understand your counter argument…..Hall over the last 5 games

    Did you want to make the wager or not? If not quit yammering about Kessel

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