DALLAS EAKINS IN A BOX

The official announcement is at least a day away, but based on twitter feeds from hockey insiders Dallas Eakins is the 12th coach in Oilers history. It is an interesting choice, and in order to better understand the coach I’ve run the ‘in a box’ on him as we’ve done in the past with Craig MacTavish, Tom Renney and Pat Quinn.

First, some background. Eakins came out of the famed Peterborough Petes in the mid 1980′s–that’s a team that is legendary (along with the Regina Pats) for delivering stunning two-way talents groomed under the watchful eye of men like Sam Pollock, Del Wilson and Roger Neilson. Eakins had a long pro career and turned to coaching very shortly after playing his final pro games (he is now 46 years old and less than one decade removed from life as a player).

Eakins played under a strong group of coaches: Peterborough (Dick Todd, Jacques Martin), AHL (Terry Murray, Ron Wilson), IHL (John Anderson) and NHL (notably Roger Neilson and Mike Keenan but also including Lindy Ruff, Perry Pearn, Randy Carlyle and Pat Quinn). He was under the direction of Neilson in Florida and Neilson had him again as an assistant coach in St. Louis. When discussing coaching mentors Neilson is the gold standard–he was so far ahead of the NHL he invented much of the language. A small writeup on Neilson (this doesn’t touch the tip of the iceberg) is here. Jason Gregor also talks to him here and Eakins talks about Neilson–that’s a great look at the coach.

Eakins tells small details of his relationship with Neilson here and it sounds very much like Eakins has his mentor’s work ethic and astounding attention to detail. James Mirtle was ahead of the curve again one week ago when discussing Eakins and the Oilers (here) and I wanted to grab this quote:

  • Mirtle: Eakins brings a decidedly “new school” approach behind the bench, and as a coach that players rally behind, is more in the mould of someone like Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma than the long list of veteran NHL coaches available right now.

There are some life details here (I warn you, this link leads you to a heartbreaking story that is not about hockey) and with that I’ll stop prying into his past and we’ll try to learn something about him as a coach and the Oilers future.

CHAPTER ONE: THE MARLIES

  1. Did the kids flourish under him with the Marlies? God yes. It has to be the number one reason he got the Oiler job. The list of players who adjusted quickly under his coaching and took steps forward is enormous for a coach with such a short (4 years in the AHL) resume.
  2. Name these players. Nazem Kadri is the one who gets the most attention, but beginning in 2009-10 Eakins coached and sent the following players to the NHL: Viktor Stalberg, Christian Hanson, Tyler Bozak, Darryl Boyce, Jay Rosehill, Carl Gunnarsson, Keith Aulie, James Reimer, Nazem Kadri, Joey Crabb, Korbinian Holzer, Jake Gardiner,  Ben Scrivens, Matt Frattin, Mike Kostka, Leo Komarov.
  3. How many of these players would have emerged anyway? Hard to say. Bozak, Gunnarsson, Gardiner, Kostka and Komarov for sure, maybe Stalberg. You can certainly give him full credit for helping along Aulie, Reimer, Kadri, Scrivens and Frattin.
  4. Is the total (16 players) good for 4 NHL seasons? Outstanding. Leafs certainly improved their chances by being aggressive in trades and college free agency but even with that the procurement and development department were certainly firing on all cylinders. During the same 4 seasons, the Oilers sent Devan Dubnyk, Theo Peckham, Teemu Hartikainen, Linus Omark, Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz. That’s 6.
  5. Different circumstances. Certainly. Eberle, Hall, Nuge, Yakupov all passed over the AHL, and that would skew the number. Still, impressive total for the Marlies.
  6. What kind of prospects flourished under him? Wide variety. I’d say the most impressive job was on Kadri, but we can also give some credit for the way Reimer and guys like Frattin turned out and Aulie too. The clay was there, but the results were also there (in 57 AHL games under Eakins, Frattin scored 33 goals) upon arrival. Those players are a big part of Toronto’s future–I’d say that the Oilers would be in a far different situation now with only Aulie and Frattin added to the current roster. Minor league development is really important, and based on the track record Eakins was a big part of a successful procurement and development group.
  7. How much of this was blind luck? Kadri was a player in some trouble in the organization. There were issues (I talked about that here) and the organization needed a steady hand with a young player in a volatile situation.
  8. Did he do weird stuff with prospects? I think he showed intelligence in all kinds of situations based on what I’ve read about him. Kadri needed to be handled one way, but Jeff Finger needed something else again.
  9. Anything else with prospects? It’ll be interesting to see if the Oilers and Leafs end up making some deals over the next few seasons. If Eakins and MacT agree the 3line needs a little offense while not giving up too much grit, maybe Matt Frattin is a target. Or, maybe he swears on a stack of Bibles that Drew MacIntyre can handle the backup or AHL job. I’m just saying we should probably get to know the Leafs better.

67s

 CHAPTER TWO: THE OILERS

  1. Which players will benefit most from Eakins arrival? I think the entire roster will benefit from having a coach who will do things like hard match, protect his lesser defensive players and shorten the bench, forecheck, breakouts, etc. I assume these are the things that concerned MacT (also the playing time for Hall through Yakupov) enough to make the move, and would also assume we’ll see someone with legit NHL experience behind a bench (Mark Lamb?) come in to help the process.
  2. Anything else? If we use the Kadri issue and place it over the Oilers as a team, I think players like Anton Lander and Teemu Hartikainen may benefit from that kind of handling. That’s a guess, though. I also think a player like Sam Gagner may benefit but that’s probably a systems thing.
  3. Who will be in his top 6F? Well, that’s an interesting question. I assume the Oilers are going to change gears at least a little in order to accommodate the new coach. If we follow the current wisdom, the top 6F will be Nuge-Hall-Ebs and Gagner-???-Yakupov but for me that’s fluid. The new coach may have ideas about line shuffling or moving people to their off wing, or to the wing.
  4. What Eakins coached player would look best in the top 6F? Probably Kadri although I like both Stalberg and Frattin too.
  5. Who will be in his bottom 6F? Hell, that’s a massive question. Paajarvi, Hartikainen, Lander? I don’t know how many of the veterans are coming back now. Even Ryan Smyth might be in peril. This coaching change gives the GM/Coach cart blanche–there are no strings and that won’t always be the way. So, if you’re going to make a change, now is the time.
  6. Will the 4line have an enforcer? Great question, don’t know the answer. Marlies were plenty tough, but that might be a Brian Burke driven priority.
  7. How will he handle the blue? Hopefully he can find a way to get Jake Gardiner here, but beyond that I don’t think we’ll know really until he arrives. It looked pretty traditional on the PP (Gardiner, Ranger with the big minutes and someone named Simon Gysbers seemed to be a hidden gem 5×4) and he did have some nice options available to him (why Gardiner was in the AHL is beyond the pale).
  8. Who will be in his top 4D? Smid, Petry, Schultz the younger and someone as it stands, but this thing is going to overundersidewaysdown.
  9. Which of the young D will benefit from Eakins? Great question, I don’t really have a reason to list anyone outside of the obvious (Klefbom, Marincin, Fedun) and point out that much of the NHL D is about as young as his Marlie blue.
  10. How are his special teams? Last season, both disciplines were mid-pack and in the previous season they had the best PK and a mid-pack PP. I don’t think the PP is going to be a problem through the end of the decade in Edmonton. MacT’s moves this summer will dictate the PK’s success.
  11. Anything else? I don’t want to overstate this, but among the intelligent Leaf media available there seems to be genuine disgust over losing the guy. There is ALWAYS a danger in over-selling a move–this guy could fail miserably–but the family he’s leaving are at the curb waving goodbye. Generally speaking, that’s a trustworthy tell about the impact left by a person.

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102 Responses to "DALLAS EAKINS IN A BOX"

  1. dawgtoy says:

    When the fans and the media are pissed that a guy is leaving, that tends to be a very good sign. Here’s hoping Maurice joins the team as the veteran associate coach. Seems like a match made in heaven.

  2. Ice Sage says:

    Mark Lamb fulfills the ‘once an Oiler’ criterion. MacT swaggerin’!!!

  3. dawgtoy says:

    “There’s going to be a lot of disruption this summer. It’s going to be a bit of a tumultuous summer ahead. There are going to be many more difficult decisions to be made.”

    For better or god forbid worse this is gonna be one hell of a ride. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.

  4. Dark Asia says:

    dawgtoy:
    When the fans and the media are pissed that a guy is leaving, that tends to be a very good sign. Here’s hoping Maurice joins the team as the veteran associate coach. Seems like a match made in heaven.

    ….and when your employer doesn’t think you’re worth retaining that’s another – just say’in.

  5. dawgtoy says:

    Dark Asia,

    That’s a fair comment. Either way in fine Oiler fashion we’ll see.

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Darcy Hordichuk is our new coach?

    Good for him! Always liked the guy.

  7. RexLibris says:

    Just the idea of adding Mark Lamb and *gasp* Jake Gardiner is enough to get me giddy.

    Not to mention, if the Oilers were able to plunder the Leafs’ for talent, after the Leafs’ history of abuse towards our sister-city to the south, that would be a good day indeed.

    Let’s see what the next few days hold.

    By addition I would love to see the Oilers acquire Couturier and Gardiner via trade. The latter in the next week or two as the Leafs assess a team that was “one goal away from unseating the SCF Eastern team” and may be vulnerable to a bad trade. The former at the draft if the Flyers see someone they like slide down to 7th.

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/2012/05/11/toronto_marlies_dallas_eakins_part_two.html

    wow…

    that is … wow… brutal.

    it feels unseemly to know these things.

  9. sliderule says:

    Eakins has the good resume.

    If he does not hire a whole new coaching staff he is in for a tough time.

    There are lots of bright young minds who would love to help.

    They are just not oiler alumni

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “The clay was there, but the results were also there (in 57 AHL games under Eakins, Frattin scored 33 goals) upon arrival.”

    I got my hockey metaphors tangled here… aren’t slow players often said to have “feet of clay”?

    I think that sense hit the override button in my brain and I had to re-read this sentence a couple of times.

    Language, memory and comprehension… weird things.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “The clay was there, but the results were also there (in 57 AHL games under Eakins, Frattin scored 33 goals) upon arrival.”

    I got my hockey metaphors tangled here… aren’t slow players often said to have “feet of clay”?

    I think that sense hit the override button in my brain and I had to re-read this sentence a couple of times.

    Language, memory and comprehension… weird things.

    Clay can be formed and moulded.

  12. Captain Obvious says:

    Dark Asia: ….and when your employer doesn’t think you’re worth retaining that’s another – just say’in.

    The Leafs this year consistently chose worse players over better players. This is a team that has no idea what it is doing.

  13. whale says:

    Who were Eakins’ assistants with the Marlies? Could he bring them with him?

  14. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Clay can be formed and moulded.

    I got where you were going on the 3rd pass…

    I just read the word “clay” and my brain said “clay” + “hockey” = “slow”… and my expectations of hearing about a slow player were so strong that I couldn’t make sense of your sentence for a minute.

    Not a criticism of your writing… just noting how weird the brain works, it’s constantly filling in blanks and making associations to hurry things along… but sometimes that doesn’t work out so hot.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Rom: I hear you. For several years now when I’m writing a comment of blog post I’ll spell a word we use everyday–like especially. And then I’ll look at the word and say “is that right? es-pecially?” and then have to google the damn thing!

    The mind is a pretty amazing thing. I think mine is actively trying to play tricks on me. :-)

  16. Ducey says:

    Willis has a post up at ON indicating MacT offered Bowness an Associate Coach job. Presumably that would have meant keeping Ralph.

    Gives you a clear indication of MacT’s evolution on the coaching decision over the last week.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Apparently they fired Krueger by Skype. That also suggests this thing came together very quickly.

  18. LMHF#1 says:

    I like the apparent decisiveness and putting the team winning ahead of all the background noise that has distracted previous decision-makers. This may be progress.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Rom: I hear you. For several years now when I’m writing a comment of blog post I’ll spell a word we use everyday–like especially. And then I’ll look at the word and say “is that right? es-pecially?” and then have to google the damn thing!

    The mind is a pretty amazing thing. I think mine is actively trying to play tricks on me.

    If you’ve got an hour. here’s a laugh. used to watch this with my grandma, we’d laugh pretty damn hard. must have burned through that vhs tape a dozen times.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwcSx0cU_x0

  20. RMGS says:

    Lowetide:
    Apparently they fired Krueger by Skype.

    That’s cold. It’s a tough business, I guess.

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: If you’ve got an hour. here’s a laugh. used to watch this with my grandma, we’d laugh pretty damn hard. must have burned through that vhs tape a dozen times.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwcSx0cU_x0

    the 28:30 mark he does a bit on “the mind playing tricks”

  22. Captain Happy says:

    John MacKinnon ‏@rjmackinnon 1m

    Ralph Krueger says he was blindsided by dismissal by #Oilers GM MacTavish. Says hiring an associate coach was his idea, not MacT’s. #oilers

  23. Lowetide says:

    Awesome, Rom. Love Bill Cosby. I used to watch him with my Dad when I was very young. One of my fondest memories of my Dad is laughing with him while we watched Bill Cosby.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Captain Happy:
    John MacKinnon ‏@rjmackinnon 1m

    Ralph Krueger says he was blindsided by dismissal by #Oilers GM MacTavish. Says hiring an associate coach was his idea, not MacT’s. #oilers

    OF COURSE he was blindsided. As for the assoc. coach, makes sense. I certainly understand the feeling that RK got screwed here, but I also can see the benefit for the organization. If Tambellini had just traded for a center the night Horcoff went down then this wouldn’t (or might not) have happened.

    Inertia. It’s death.

  25. Lois Lowe says:

    I think the fact that Ralph suggested hiring an associate coach says volumes about Bucky and Smith.

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: OF COURSE he was blindsided. As for the assoc. coach, makes sense. I certainly understand the feeling that RK got screwed here, but I also can see the benefit for the organization. If Tambellini had just traded for a center the night Horcoff went down then this wouldn’t (or might not) have happened.

    Inertia. It’s death.

    Of course, we might still have Tambo too… though in that alternative universe he’s a completely different manager and maybe that is a good thing.

  27. Captain Happy says:

    Lowetide: OF COURSE he was blindsided. As for the assoc. coach, makes sense. I certainly understand the feeling that RK got screwed here, but I also can see the benefit for the organization. If Tambellini had just traded for a center the night Horcoff went down then this wouldn’t (or might not) have happened.

    Inertia. It’s death.

    MacT said this the day he was hired as GM:

    “We have to realize we can’t continue to point fingers at the coaching staff. We’ve gone through 4 headcoaches already in the last 5 years. So my sense is we have to work to give the coaching staff greater tools for their job going forward”

    Now, I understand that, through the process of talking to other potential associate coaches, MacT may have learned that others were more aligned with his philosophy but I would think an astute GM would have already known this when he took the job.

    To me, this smacks of nothing more than a guy learning on the job and on the fly and it speaks to his overall lack of planning.

    While agree with your sentiment that inertia is death, so too is lurching from pillar to post.

    If we are to believe Krueger, MacT didn’t even initiate the search for an associate coach…Krueger did…so how do we credit MacT for having the foresight for “improving the team”?

  28. LostBoy says:

    Lois Lowe:
    I think the fact that Ralph suggested hiring an associate coach says volumes about Bucky and Smith.

    The Journal has a story up now based on a phone interview with Krueger today. In it, he says he felt he had plenty of “player” from Buchberger and Smith, but not enough “coach” and he felt he needed years more coaching on the staff. It didn’t come across as a knock, but there it is.

  29. Ducey says:

    The more I think about this, the more that I think you have got to give credit to MacT.

    He stands up for Krueger at year end, works with him in the offseason, tries to find him an associate coach, and along the way realizes that he can’t accept some of the coaching philosophies of Krueger.

    A lot of people probably would have looked at the situation, just got another associate, and rolled the dice with Krueger for another year. It would be the easy way, the “fair” way and the kind way.

    But MacT made the tough decision here to stick to his philosophy. I guess we will see how it all shakes out (we don’t really know what this philosophy is) but its clear that if MacT doesn’t agree with something, its going to change.

    Lets just hope he knows what he is doing.

  30. theres oil in virginia says:

    So, is it fair to say that this is a possibility:
    MacT attempted to hire the Assoc. Coach that would fit in with Krueger.
    The candidate turned him down to take the same job with another team.
    MacT tried to get Dallas Eakins in as Assoc. Coach, but he was only in the market for Head Coach and wouldn’t take the Assoc. Coach job either.
    MacT realized that he really liked Eakins as a fit and couldn’t find a suitable Assoc. Coach that fit the new philosophy and that would take the job.
    MacT realized that the better solution was to remove the coach that doesn’t really fit and get the guy that he thinks is a good match, even though it sucked to have to do it, and it sucked for the old coach.

  31. fifthcartel says:

    Matt Frattin would be a great pick up, hometown guy too.

  32. sliderule says:

    LostBoy,

    I think Eakins better take to heart this advice from RK .

    The oilers need three new assistants.

    One of which should be able to help coach face-offs.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Captain Happy: MacT said this the day he was hired as GM:

    “We have to realize we can’t continue to point fingers at the coaching staff. We’ve gone through 4 headcoaches already in the last 5 years. So my sense is we have to work to give the coaching staff greater tools for their job going forward”

    Now, I understand that, through the process of talking to other potential associate coaches, MacT may have learned that others were more aligned with his philosophy but I would think an astute GM would have already known this when he took the job.

    To me, this smacks of nothing more than a guy learning on the job and on the fly and it speaks to his overall lack of planning.

    While agree with your sentiment that inertia is death, so too is lurching from pillar to post.

    If we are to believe Krueger, MacT didn’t even initiate the search for an associate coach…Krueger did…so how do we credit MacT for having the foresight for “improving the team”?

    Sure, but you’re approaching it from the pov of a Canuck fan, who probably hoped Eakins was heading to the coast.

  34. BlacqueJacque says:

    Fuck Tambellini. Honestly, fuck the guy with an unripe pineapple. Until this mess with Krueger I thought he was merely an incompetent oaf, a KLowe sock puppet destined to take the heat of the rebuild until an EOOBC member could sit his rightful place alongside KLowe’s throne. If he’d replaced Horcoff and gotten a few skilled veteran wingers/defenders instead of goons, Krueger would still have had a fair chance. I’m not saying Eakins is worse or unworthy, I just really liked that Krueger had an ambitious system and the respect of the players, and deserved a training camp and a season.

    All due respect to MacT for pulling off a ballsy move, but I really think he wouldn’t have had to if we didn’t have that grinning, shameless idiot as GM.

    I just hope Eakins means the end of Bucky and Smith. Terminate with extreme prejudice. The only former Oiler who should be an assistant coach is the one they let go – Huddy.

    Anyway, LT, what respected/intelligent members of the Leafs media are mourning the departure of Eakins?

  35. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    It must be a cold day in hell, and it’s certainly a cold day in June, because I actually think the most negative man in the world has a decent point.

  36. Maverick says:

    Crazy 24 hours. Been working a double and quick nap and now I can catch up on the coaching changes with the Oilers. Some interesting comments and articles out there. I feel bad for Ralph seems like a really good man, and worked pretty well with the kids. But with more analysis of last year it shows he might be the ‘square peg’ in MacT’s philosophy.

    Eakins does remind me of a young MacT when he first starting coaching the Oilers. Good bye Tambo era and hello MacTavish era. More changes are coming, interesting summer ahead.

    Lastly, I finished reading Matty’s and MacKinnon’s article at the Journal. Krueger is definitively well spoken and a classic act. I wish him well.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Fired+Edmonton+Oilers+coach+Krueger/8500603/story.html

  37. Woodguy says:

    Ducey:
    The more I think about this, the more that I think you have got to give credit to MacT.

    He stands up for Krueger at year end, works with him in the offseason, tries to find him an associate coach, and along the way realizes that he can’t accept some of the coaching philosophies of Krueger.

    A lot of people probably would have looked at the situation, just got another associate, and rolled the dice with Krueger for another year.It would be the easy way, the “fair” way and the kind way.

    But MacT made the tough decision here to stick to his philosophy.I guess we will see how it all shakes out (we don’t really know what this philosophy is) but its clear that if MacT doesn’t agree with something, its going to change.

    Lets just hope he knows what he is doing.

    Agreed completely.

    This move showed a lot of guts, to trust his own instincts (didn’t consult Yzerman or ask Stu what he thought of Eakins in his draft year) and the ability to move fast when an opportunity presents itself.

    All good traits of a good manager.

    Doesn’t mean every decision turns out, but ability to actually manage and make decisions is a refreshing change of pace in Edmonton.

  38. PunjabiOil says:

    Sure, but you’re approaching it from the pov of a Canuck fan, who probably hoped Eakins was heading to the coast.

    LMAO

  39. PunjabiOil says:

    (didn’t consult Yzerman or ask Stu what he thought of Eakins in his draft year) .

    Hahaha, what dark times for the Oilers during the Tambellini era..

  40. Maverick says:

    Woodguy: Agreed completely.

    This move showed a lot of guts, to trust his own instincts (didn’t consult Yzerman or ask Stu what he thought of Eakins in his draft year)and the ability to move fast when an opportunity presents itself.

    All good traits of a good manager.

    Doesn’t mean every decision turns out, but ability to actually manage and make decisions is a refreshing change of pace in Edmonton.

    Refreshing change of pace is an understatement! From “Sleepy Steve” to “Manic MacT” is a breath of fresh air! (manic may not fit, couldn’t find a good “M” word for describing MacT yet)

  41. Maverick says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Sure, but you’re approaching it from the pov of a Canuck fan, who probably hoped Eakins was heading to the coast.

    LMAO

    HaHa (love it)

  42. justDOit says:

    Comparing Eakins to Bylsma might have been a compliment at one point, but after that pathetic effort against the Bruins, I’m not so sure. But if Eakins does nothing else than bring in his own assistants, that will be a big improvement. Bucky can get an ECHL coaching position and Smith can hire himself out as a John Wayne impersonator.

  43. PunjabiOil says:
  44. theres oil in virginia says:

    I’m watching the F1 race (Canadian Grand Prix), and it strikes me that there’s a good analogy here:
    You don’t know when the perfect time is to change tires until you start losing time on the track, because your tires are too worn. If you change them before you start losing time, you never know if maybe you changed them a lap too early.

    Seems to me that I’ve seen a lot of comments (from some quarters) about “burning through ELC contracts of the core”, and “another wasted season”, and so on. So, now the management acts quickly and we get the opposite complaint that “he should have been given more time”, and so on.

  45. Captain Happy says:

    Lowetide: Sure, but you’re approaching it from the pov of a Canuck fan, who probably hoped Eakins was heading to the coast.

    Well, you would be wrong on both counts.

    While the Canucks certainly need a new coach that will play young guys and let them make mistakes, I’m not sure how well Eakins would fit with a veteran group like the Canucks.

    That the Oilers offered the associate job to Rick Bowness, who was fired on May 22 suggests this was a sudden, potentially knee jerk reaction by MacT.

    I would think that he came to the realization that the best candidates like Bowness and Eakins weren’t interested in working as an associate coach with the Oilers so he needed to up the ante.

    If Eakins is, as expected, the new head coach, you have to wonder how Todd Nelson feels about the situation.

    He certainly, on the surface at least, has pretty much the same qualifications as Eakins.

  46. Ryan says:

    I’m surprised at the mixed reactions at the Krueger firing.

    On the one hand, Krueger was a very eloquent speaker, likely a good motivator, and overall a very classy individual.

    On the other hand, as a head coach in the greatest hockey league in the world, there’s overwhelming evidence to suggest that he got his ass handed to him on a silver platter by the other coaches in this league.

    Tyler’s absolutely brilliant work at solving the caramilk mystery (corsi cliff that everyone fell off but the 3 giften kids) supports this–though his own charitable conclusions about krueger’s job as a coach perplex me.

    Presumably, the only reason the 3 gifted kids didn’t fall of this corsi cliff is because Hall didn’t play Krueger’s system.

    The secret Parkatti manifesto that we’re not privy to also appears to support this conclusion (but more on the line matching issue).

    One Oilers blogger whom I don’t always agree with (his opinions on Omark to start with), Derek Zona actually wrote an excellent article identifying one of the problems that we we’re all seeing with Krueger’s system:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/4/17/4230198/oilers-struggles-centre-systemic-slumps-ralph-malph

    I’m sure if I ever get the chance to meet Krueger, I’d be in awe at what an amazing person he is… That being said…

    Krueger wasn’t put into a situation to succeed (no training camp / short season) and he took a risk at implementing a new / different system. It didn’t work and in spite of that, he stubbornly stuck with his failed system. In today’s NHL, that gets you fired as head coach.

    IMO, heading into next season with a coach who stubbornly adhered to a failed system (hoping that he would implement a better one) and also didn’t line match would be a “debacle of monumental proportions.”

    Doing the right thing is typically harder than the wrong thing. Props to Mact for making a tough decisive decision to improve the team.

    Woodguy: Agreed completely.

    This move showed a lot of guts, to trust his own instincts (didn’t consult Yzerman or ask Stu what he thought of Eakins in his draft year)and the ability to move fast when an opportunity presents itself.

    All good traits of a good manager.

    Doesn’t mean every decision turns out, but ability to actually manage and make decisions is a refreshing change of pace in Edmonton.

  47. Lowetide says:

    There’s Oil: Exactly. I like Ralph and was onboard, but they were pushing the river LESS this season than a year ago. Backwards travelling is verboten, I like that MacT came to that conclusion.

  48. Racki says:

    Lois Lowe:
    I think the fact that Ralph suggested hiring an associate coach says volumes about Bucky and Smith.

    This is a very good point, and why I hope Eakins is allowed full power to choose his assistants. MacT has to be able to separate himself personally from business and let Buchy and/or Smith go if that’s what Eakins wants. I’d imagine that MacT will do his best to coerce Eakins into trying those two out in addition to maybe one of his own choices though.

  49. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Captain Happy: MacT said this the day he was hired as GM:

    “We have to realize we can’t continue to point fingers at the coaching staff. We’ve gone through 4 headcoaches already in the last 5 years. So my sense is we have to work to give the coaching staff greater tools for their job going forward”

    Now, I understand that, through the process of talking to other potential associate coaches, MacT may have learned that others were more aligned with his philosophy but I would think an astute GM would have already known this when he took the job.

    To me, this smacks of nothing more than a guy learning on the job and on the fly and it speaks to his overall lack of planning.

    While agree with your sentiment that inertia is death, so too is lurching from pillar to post.

    If we are to believe Krueger, MacT didn’t even initiate the search for an associate coach…Krueger did…so how do we credit MacT for having the foresight for “improving the team”?

    Good effort here.

    I think we can put up reasonable critiques and defences of this move. They all fall well short of the hyperbole of your disapprobation though, or another’s approbation.

    At the same conference, he said he had serious questions for RK and would be having long meetings with him about the direction of the team.

    RK asking for another A Coach since he was hired is on ST, not MacT. All the verbal we have is that MacT was on the same page with RK on this. RK hasn’t said otherwise.

    The only difference in the record is that at some point MacT decided a new A. Coach wasn’t enough, or that better options were available for the top job.

    Arguing that he ought to have known that from day one seems reasonable, but to a very small extent.

    Day one he said he was going to evaluate everyone including RK, he was going to ask him serious questions about his coaching philosophy.

    In the process of doing that and interviewing for an A Coach he came to a decision and acted swiftly to secure his vision.

    Not sure why if he had axed RK on day one and skipped that process it would have been a better managerial move.

    As far as lurching from pillar to post… again that doesn’t fall on MacT. The organization yes. in spades. ST in all the spades ever.

    MacT picking a new head coach under his new regime by definition can’t be lurching from pillar to post. He’s setting up his own goal posts… when he starts to change them radically under his own watch then this critique will have merit.

  50. Smarmy says:

    I think a lot of people are revising their thoughts as they pertain to Krueger since he’s been let go. Either to understand it or to rationalize it.

    It’s not as if he was this mad man that pulled the wool over the organization. He was an associate coach for two years and convinced the brass (which Mac-T was part of) that he was the man to be the head coach of this organization when very few outsiders considered him a possibility for the position.

    He had a complex system. You learn systems in practice. There weren’t many practices this year. There was no camp this year. The roster was imbalanced and full of plenty of players who at best would be a non-factor.

    I don’t view this move as a simple case of Mac-T having philosophical differences and going another way. The Oilers knew of these traits and hired the man anyways. This move reeks more of chaos then anything else. And with the way this organization has been since 05/06 it could speak to their inability to run the organization going forward.

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    This is probably the most important part of the RK’s exit interview:

    “We spent the better part of a week together at the (IIHF World Hockey Championship in Stockholm, Sweden) and I never saw it coming. I’d have to concur it must be a philosophical void. I’ve never compromised my coaching philosophy over 24 years of coaching. I’m pretty adamant on it. People could ask me any question at any time and I’d give the answer because it would come out of my philosophy.”

    As much as MacT sought and found someone who matched his own coaching philosophy, he appears to have found an inflexible partner in RK.

    It sounds like part of those long meetings included a backandforth where MacT asked about line matching etc. and trying to tweak his system and RK may have been less than willing to moderate.

  52. Lowetide says:

    Darren Dreger Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger 33s

    Dallas Eakins will be introduced as the Oilers Head Coach tomorrow. #TSN
    Expand

  53. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Darren Dreger Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger 33s

    that’s got to be one too many Darren Dregers… at least one too many.

  54. RickDeckard says:

    If another team did this (fire their current coach and hire the top coaching prospect from outside the organization) everyone here would be complaining about the Oilers letting one get away.

  55. Ryan says:

    DSF, I’ve been one of the few here to agree with your position on various issues in the past–more than many others at least…

    That being said, I think we all recognized at the time that MacT’s comments (when he was hired as GM) about Kreuger were more a matter of not throwing Krueger under the bus than a ringing endorsement of his job as a head coach.

    Captain Happy: MacT said this the day he was hired as GM:

    “We have to realize we can’t continue to point fingers at the coaching staff. We’ve gone through 4 headcoaches already in the last 5 years. So my sense is we have to work to give the coaching staff greater tools for their job going forward”

    Now, I understand that, through the process of talking to other potential associate coaches, MacT may have learned that others were more aligned with his philosophy but I would think an astute GM would have already known this when he took the job.

    To me, this smacks of nothing more than a guy learning on the job and on the fly and it speaks to his overall lack of planning.

    While agree with your sentiment that inertia is death, so too is lurching from pillar to post.

    If we are to believe Krueger, MacT didn’t even initiate the search for an associate coach…Krueger did…so how do we credit MacT for having the foresight for “improving the team”?

  56. OilClog says:

    With MacT’s experience, I trust this decision. Kruger and staff blew a lot of leads last season, regardless of Timid Tambi’s actions.. He clearly couldn’t find an associate coach that would compliment Ralph well enough to coexist. He found a coach that can possibly stand on his own two feet a little more when the game is on the line.

    I’m excited for Eakins and whoever he brings with, so long Steve and Kelly.

  57. theres oil in virginia says:

    Smarmy:
    This move reeks more of chaos then anything else. And with the way this organization has been since 05/06 it could speak to their inability to run the organization going forward.

    I think what reeks of chaos is hiring a has-been-coach and replacing him after a year with his associate coach. Firing him a year too early, and replacing him with the associate coach. Signing the GM to a multi-year extension and then firing him after one year.
    This move reeks to me of the end of the chaos.

  58. Rebilled says:

    Lowetide,

    Eakins and J. Schultz in successive years.

    Who’s gonna turn down Hamcouver for the Goilers next year?

  59. jonrmcleod says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Do you know if there are other parts to that story? Is says “part two.”

  60. Ducey says:

    I don’t view this move as a simple case of Mac-T having philosophical differences and going another way. The Oilers knew of these traits and hired the man anyways. This move reeks more of chaos then anything else. And with the way this organization has been since 05/06 it could speak to their inability to run the organization going forward.

    Tambo hired Krueger. He liked him.
    MacT fired Krueger. He didn’t like his philosophy.

    Your notion that “the Oilers” don’t know what is going on doesn’t work here.

  61. justDOit says:

    Lowetide:
    Darren Dreger Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger 33s

    Dallas Eakins will be introduced as the Oilers Head Coach tomorrow. #TSN
    Expand

    Good news for Edmonton area realtors: Bucky and Smith might be worth a cold-call.

    Bad news for Oiler fans: Principe now armed with more pun fodder – and if they draft Nurse, even worse.

  62. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Do you know if there are other parts to that story? Is says “part two.”

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/2012/05/11/toronto_marlies_dallas_eakins_part_one.html

  63. Joel Pepin says:

    I like the things I’m hearing about Dallas Eakins, but am definitely sorry to see Ralph get punted. I get that Dallas’s former players highly praise him, and were very inspired by him. However, the Oilers last year (except Whitney) generally seemed to be truly inspired by Ralph. No matter how good Eakins ends up being, I imagine that it’s going to take some time for them to warm up to a new coach.

    I get that Ralph didn’t seem to take a conventional approach on some aspects of the game (like line-matching), but part of me definitely agrees with Dark Asia’s comments that Ralph seems really really smart… we may see how bright Ralph really is if he’s given a better team to coach (or simply a real training camp). Ralph did truly great things with the Swiss team if my memory serves.

    Offtopic: It looks like I missed a lot of great discussion in the last week regarding the drafting (my schedule prevents any kind of regular visits, so I’m just starting to play catch up from last weekend). In LT’s June 7th post on “Makes Amazing Look Stupid”, Vor had a great post:

    I asked here, when I first started the research, what metric to use to compare teams draft records over time and the best anyone could up with (and by the way it was Captain Happy) was games played since it allows you to compare defence with forwards though of course it wickedly penalizes goaltenders…

    I STILL haven’t had a chance to review Schucker’s work, but I’d like to propose a potential way to balance out the GP… would total time-on-ice (TOI) be useful? By comparing the total annual TOI of a drafted player, it could help differentiate between players that were playing just a few minutes per game, and players who quickly became trusted workhorses for their teams (i.e., let the coaches’ implementation of the players reflect the team’s perceived value/need of those players).
    - Relative to drafted forwards, this gives a bit of a boost for defensemen (who would typically play fewer games due to slower development, but then may play more minutes per game).
    - Relative to forwards, this would give a huge boost to goalies (who would typically play very few games, but would then amass 3-4 times the minutes per game they do get to play)

    I realize TOI still doesn’t take into effect injuries, changes in coaching staffs, player trades, the effects of good teams vs. poor teams, etc., but I think it could add another piece to the drafting puzzle (and it definitely seems more nuanced than simply comparing GP).

    The ESPN website appears to list average TOI. By also comparing the data of the same players over several subsequent years, I think this is going somewhere in terms of understanding average player useage and development.

    I’m considering using the HockeyDB draft data I’ve already summarized, and then manually populating the player data over subsequent years from other hockey sources (e.g., TSN), AND getting the TOI data from ESPN’s website. This is going to be a long and painful exercise in cutting and pasting. (DMW has mentionned to me that there is software available to quickly collect such data, but I may run one draft year manually just to get things going).

    A few questions for the community:
    - If anyone has already collected this data, I’d be very greatful if you don’t mind sharing it with me.
    - If somebody wants to help me collect the data (e.g., I do the 2006 draft year and other people collect the data for other draft years), that could be great too.
    - If anyone wants a copy of this data for their own work (should I get it done), just drop me a line… the more analysis, the better.

    REALLY Off Topic:
    Part of me really hopes that Boston doesn’t win the cup, just so that Seguin doesn’t get a second cup ring while Taylor Hall still hasn’t had a single playoff game. I realize Hall’s compete is second to none, but this kind of thing must grate on the guy.

    I think I’m more pessimistic than many on this front, but if Seguin wins a second cup and the Oilers miss the playoffs again next year, I just don’t see how Hall doesn’t demand a trade.

  64. bookje says:

    Dear Lowetide,

    Recently, I have experienced a difficult time. For a number of years I lived with a GM who was very inactive. He would sit for months contemplating while me and all of my friends would prognosticate and predict his next move only to find that his next move was to do nothing. After a while, it became very comfortable. I was lulled into a state of such monotony that whenever he did something like trade a 24th round pick for a 7th line player, it seemed dramatic to me (and my friends who would spend hours debating the move online).

    Recently, a new GM has come into my life. This new man does things that I couldn’t even imagine, he speaks of trading captains, first round picks, and other such ‘things’. At first, I thought it was just talk, but then, out of nowhere, he fired our new coach. It was terrifying, but also thrilling. I had gotten so used to monotony and mediocrity that I didn’t know how to respond. It’s different, unpredictable.

    I don’t know what the future holds, we could be heading to disaster or great success. It’s overwhelming and I am not sure if I and my friends can handle it.

    So, my question to you is ‘How can me and my friends handle this level of change after what we have gone through’? I know that fans of other teams across the league deal with this all of the time, but I don’t think they are as emotionally invested or fragile as we are. To be honest, we are all kind of freaking out right now.

    Help us Lowetide.

    Signed,
    Confused but Hopeful

  65. Lowetide says:

    Principe: “It’s been a road trip FILLED WITH EAKINS PAINS! So the coach did the only thing he could do–he called Oklahoma City and yelled–NURSE!!! And it’s all Darnel from here”

  66. justDOit says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks LT – I just threw up a little in my mouth with that scary impression of Gene. Then again, where else am I going to throw up?

  67. justDOit says:

    bookje,

    Sounds like a job for scotch. Is there anything it can’t do?

  68. jonrmcleod says:

    Lowetide,

    What does that even mean?

  69. Lowetide says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Lowetide,

    What does that even mean?

    What? The Principe bit? If that’s what the question is, the actual statement would be:

    Principe: “It’s been a road trip FILLED WITH ACHES AND PAINS! So the coach did the only thing he could do–he called Oklahoma City and yelled–NURSE!!! And it’s all DOWNHILL from here”

    Principe: “It’s been a road trip FILLED WITH EAKINS PAINS! So the coach did the only thing he could do–he called Oklahoma City and yelled–NURSE!!! And it’s all Darnel from here”

  70. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    tsn has RK’s interview up as an audible

  71. Bar_Qu says:

    Completely OT, but my well-documented parental failings as an Oilers fan may be drawing to a close. My middle child (stubborn, willful, bull-headed creature, who takes after his mother I believe) who has started the year a Flames fan, morphed to a Leafs fan, followed Iginla to the Penguins and now is a band-wagon jumping Hawks fan, is currently upstairs watching the game five of the SCF from 1984 Oilers vs Islanders wearing an Oilers jersey. I think he ran to grab it when they went up 3-0. He is learning the names Linseman, Lumley and Lowe, on top of the big guns from that team.

    I have hope he will join me on the right side of cheering for the Oil. All I gotta do is let him watch the other 9 disks in the set over the summer and he should be fully indoctrinated.

  72. Lowetide says:

    Bar_Qu: They’re a crazy lot, aren’t they. My son toured Vancouver Film School last summer (for the third time) and met the big cheese–a Canucks fan. He is now a Canucks fan, and even worse he followed them this year–he never followed the Oilers even when I took him to Oiler games and he’d beg me to leave in the third period because he was so tired (which I did, fool that I am).

    Well, there’s still my daughter, maybe she’ll show interest?

  73. Bar_Qu says:

    Lowetide,

    Wow, a Canucks fan. Well, you have my sympathy. Their attitudes are a lot harder to change in their late teens than at 7, so you may have some fracas at family gatherings for a few years.

    And with any luck your daughter will discover an aptitude for matters financial and let her old man retire to a comfortable convalescent home, rather than the ‘shower once a week’ kind. And at that point, I’m sure it won’t matter what team she cheers for.
    ;-)

  74. prairieschooner says:

    This is Mac T’s team, he owns it from here on in.
    He has made a tough decision regarding the coach but he now has” his guy”
    This saves time down the road with philosophical difference firings.
    The support staff will go because the new coach will have his own guys.
    This is the end of the old boys club.
    We are no longer the Oilers of Sleepy Hollow
    Moving Horc and Hemmer creates space for new blood and young blood, it was a sooner or later eventuality, so I am OK with that too.
    We did not acquire the Leafs players by osmosis, we acquired their AHL coach.
    Mean Gene the Pun Machine will do a lot better/worse with the new material we just have to groan and bear it

  75. Captain Happy says:

    Bar_Qu:
    Completely OT, but my well-documented parental failings as an Oilers fan may be drawing to a close. My middle child (stubborn, willful, bull-headed creature, who takes after his mother I believe) who has started the year a Flames fan, morphed to a Leafs fan, followed Iginla to the Penguins and now is a band-wagon jumping Hawks fan, is currently upstairs watching the game five of the SCF from 1984 Oilers vs Islanders wearing an Oilers jersey. I think he ran to grab it when they went up 3-0. He is learning the names Linseman, Lumley and Lowe, on top of the big guns from that team.

    I have hope he will join me on the right side of cheering for the Oil. All I gotta do is let him watch the other 9 disks in the set over the summer and he should be fully indoctrinated.

    Don’t be too optimistic…It didn’t work on Dany Heatley. :)

  76. Captain Happy says:

    And, for LT’s son, you can let him know that the Canucks did not offer Eakins a job, preferring to wait until they could talk to their real target.

    John Stevens…former Flyers head coach and assistant with LAK.

  77. Bar_Qu says:

    Captain Happy,

    Chuckle.

    My son is no Dany Heatley.

    He likes to work hard. ;-)

  78. Ducey says:

    Captain Happy: Don’t be too optimistic…It didn’t work on Dany Heatley.

    Or Captain Happy.

    Apparently the three box set of Canuck”s crushing defeats was more compelling.

  79. Marc says:

    I wonder how much MacT’s own coaching experience affected this decision?

    I think it’s fair to say that there was something of a disconnect between the players Lowe was bringing in as GM and the the players MacT wanted/needed to make his coaching philosophy work. Ultimately that situation wasn’t good for the coach, the players or the team (it didn’t seem to affect the GM much) so I can see MacT being accutely aware of the potential for problems if his coach isn’t on the same page as he is. Especially if he’s planning to bring in 8-10 new players, giving up some pretty good assets in the process, with a view to playing in a particualr way.

  80. Ryan says:

    As the average fan, we all saw things we didn’t like.

    Watching the Oilers play last season, Mact would have to see things we couldn’t even dream of given his vast coaching experience.

    I think he had a pretty clear idea if he “didn’t like Krueger’s philosophy.”

    The one thing both Mact and the rest of us saw was a 10 points south of the cut-line for the playoffs during a truncated season on a team with 3 #1 OV’s.

    Marc:
    I wonder how much MacT’s own coaching experience affected this decision?

    I think it’s fair to say that there was something of a disconnect between the players Lowe was bringing in as GM and the the players MacT wanted/needed to make his coaching philosophy work.Ultimately that situation wasn’t good for the coach, the players or the team (it didn’t seem to affect the GM much) so I can see MacT being accutely aware of the potential for problems if his coach isn’t on the same page as he is. Especially if he’s planning to bring in 8-10 new players, giving up some pretty good assets in the process, with a view to playing in a particualr way.

  81. cabbiesmacker says:

    Of course I’m a little biased here but just what is Mr Eakins claim to fame over that of Todd Nelson other than being Mrs Eakins son?

    Looking at AHL records the past couple of years it would seem Eakins hasn’t accomplished more WITH more.

    Would it not make sense to bring a guy in as an assistant that’s been around the kids before?

    Of course we’re talking the OIlers here so any relevance to common sense or doing the smart thing is out the window but…

  82. Woodguy says:

    Marc:
    I wonder how much MacT’s own coaching experience affected this decision?

    I think it’s fair to say that there was something of a disconnect between the players Lowe was bringing in as GM and the the players MacT wanted/needed to make his coaching philosophy work.Ultimately that situation wasn’t good for the coach, the players or the team (it didn’t seem to affect the GM much) so I can see MacT being accutely aware of the potential for problems if his coach isn’t on the same page as he is. Especially if he’s planning to bring in 8-10 new players, giving up some pretty good assets in the process, with a view to playing in a particualr way.

    I think this is pretty astute.

    MacT wants to build a team a certain way, and those players will fit one system better than another.

    Might as well get a coach who shares his philosophy.

  83. thebiggestmanintheworld says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    If I was Todd Nelson, I would start packing.

    Just to be on the safe side……

  84. Lowetide says:

    Biggest man: Yeah, that was a kick square in the nuts. The kind that makes you wish for death.

  85. striatic says:

    Any chance this sees the Oilers sign C Tyler Bozak as a UFA this summer, as a Horcoff replacement?

    Eakins and Bozak have a history via the Marlies.

  86. Bank Shot says:

    theres oil in virginia: I think what reeks of chaos is hiring a has-been-coach and replacing him after a year with his associate coach.Firing him a year too early, and replacing him with the associate coach.Signing the GM to a multi-year extension and then firing him after one year.
    This move reeks to me of the end of the chaos.

    Really? This fly by night firing and hiring couldn’t have been more chaotic.

    It seems like some are letting their hopes or personal like of Mact colour their thoughts on this whole process.

    This looks like an extremely chaotic move by MacT who seemingly was 100% in Ralphs corner in every interview up until now.

    This still looks a lot like the norm since Lowe has been in charge, No plan.

  87. VOR says:

    Joel Pepin,

    Don’t get me wrong Joel I think minutes played would be a great metric, certainly better than just games. That said you are opening up a can of worms. You run straight into the Sam Gagner problem. Any minute played metric looks Gagner look very good indeed and since there is a huge group of Gagner bashers here you are just buying yourself a world of pain and the need for a derived statistic becomes obvious.

    Gagner is 2nd in total minutes in his draft year (also games played). Thus your approach moves him above his 6th OV draft position. If you take average minutes Gagner drops to 7th OV and that includes 4 defencemen.

    The obvious problem is that young players on bad teams get more opportunities and players picked in the first round get more opportunities to play. That massive opportunity advantage materializes itself in more total minutes early in careers. That means you are going to have to look at career arc somehow.

    You can’t just look at the last year they played and not just because Gagner is 7th overall in total minutes played this year amongst his draft classmates. It is just too small a sample size. So how are you going to resolve that?

    There are people (I am not one of them) who argue only 5V5 minutes matter so you could try that metric though it changes very little.

    Gagner is 2nd in total even strength minutes in his draft class and 8th in average even strength minutes in his draft class. He is 8th in total even strength minutes and average even strength minutes played this year.

    So either Gagner is a very good hockey player and an excellent draft pick given where he was chosen or you need a different metric.

  88. VOR says:

    By the way, while I was preparing that I realized that Sam Gagner was one of the best penalty killers in hockey this year. Amazing numbers he put up while averaging, according to behindthenet, 1.60 minutes a game on the PK. I had no idea.

  89. theres oil in virginia says:

    Bank Shot,

    If by “some” you mean me, you can just say so. Otherwise, it sounds a bit passive aggressive. My position has nothing to do with hope, although I think we all hope that he succeeds. I don’t know him personally, so “personal like” is out too. And I could make the opposite claim against you with just as little evidence. My position is well-reasoned, and well-stated. I like what I’ve seen from him as a player, a coach, and now, so far, as GM.

    I don’t think that you could say he has been 100% in Ralph’s corner, although he did say that the monumental suckitude that has been the Oilers lately wasn’t caused by coaching. That isn’t quite the same as saying that Ralph’s our guy and we won’t be changing coaches.

    This looks like definitive decision-making toward some overall goal. Even when the decisions aren’t easy, or popular. I respect that. Trying to put all of the pieces in place that would, in his view, become a stable, winning franchise. It doesn’t mean it’s going to work. I hope it does. I’m a little concerned that he won’t follow through and let the new guy pick his assistants, etc. Also, making tough decisions regarding other personnel (ahem, pro scouts) would be nice to see.

    Also, this is the second time Tod Nelson has not even been considered for the head coaching position. That has to mean something.

  90. Clarkenstein says:

    The Skype thing with Krueger is so typical of this organization tripping over itself again and again and again. There might not have been a better way I suppose but it just doesn’t seem right. And it just adds to the salaries this team continues to pay to past employees. In the KLowe era I wonder what his bad decisions down the line have cost the team? No playoff games, firing people, et al… it has to be in the tens of Millions of dollars. Staggering really.

  91. Lowetide says:

    Folks, I understand anger and frustration but please understand if you post things that are outside the realm of good taste I will delete or alter your post.

  92. jake70 says:

    Lowetide:
    Apparently they fired Krueger by Skype. That also suggests this thing came together very quickly.

    “They” ?? Lowe and MacT? …. MacT made the decision right? ;)

  93. namflashback says:

    Clarkenstein:
    The Skype thing with Krueger is so typical of this organization tripping over itself again and again and again. There might not have been a better way I suppose but it just doesn’t seem right. And it just adds to the salaries this team continues to pay to past employees. In the KLowe era I wonder what his bad decisions down the line have cost the team? No playoff games, firing people, et al… it has to be in the tens of Millions of dollars. Staggering really.

    Skype is the new long distance telephone call. Ralph was in SUI. Not sure that it being Skype is any worse than if it was done by telephone.

  94. FastOil says:

    It’s odd that Krueger put such an unusual system for the NHL in given that he didn’t have any lead or practice time, knew the system as it was, and not moving forward was going to be a problem. The team moved forward in points, but didn’t really cover the bet in many ways.

    This makes me think he had the blessing of ST to go for it and get a jump on the following season, which both guys now don’t have at this time. Risky apparently.

  95. Bank Shot says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Bank Shot,

    If by “some” you mean me, you can just say so.

    Nah. I meant there is a fairly good size group looking for the silver lining in all things MacT is now doing.

    I don’t see how this can be looked at as part of the plan however or krueger would have been gone at the end of the season. Looks like another fly by the seat of their pants decision by management.

    Also by leaving the assistants in place, it puts Eakins in the awkward position of having to be the hatchet man immediately upon beginning his new role if he wants to bring in his own guys.

    It’s poor form at best.

  96. theres oil in virginia says:

    Bank Shot,

    Well, I think there’s a point we can agree on regarding the assistants. If Eakins wants his own, but MacT gives resistance, then we’re moving backwards. I think most reasonable folks here are saying as much. MacT says that while hoped they would be retained, it would be the choice of the new coach. I wonder if Eakins (or any coach) puts things like “power to choose own assistants” in the contract. I wonder if he feels like he needs to have that in a contract.

  97. theres oil in virginia says:

    Bank Shot,

    theres oil in virginia,

    Of course, now Brownlee says at ON that “his sense of things” is that the assistants are staying.

  98. gcw_rocks says:

    Lois Lowe,

    yes, it does. very loudly. If MacT retains Bucky and Smith, it says all the wrong things about MacT.

  99. russ99 says:

    I wonder if Maurice is in as Eakins’ associate coach?

    Also, I’m very hopeful that Eakins brings his Marlies assistants (Gord Dineen and Derek King ) to Edmonton with him.

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