AHEM

I am not one to brag, because my Father hated it. I miss him so much it hurts, so not bragging is one thing I can do to honor his memory and tell him (I assume he’s in Heaven) he can be proud of me. That said, every man has his limits.

Mad-Hatter-Tea-Party-GIF

 

Blind squirrel, meet nut.

mckenzie 2012 draft 1mckenzie 2012 draft 2

This is important because it confirms what many of us in Edmonton were hearing during the period leading up to the draft. I remember it well because there was much talk about it, and a lot of questioning from posters on this blog. Allow me to revisit some of the comments from draft day:

  • Cactus: More seriously, as I mentioned in the last thread, the misinformation campaign the Oilers were running was airtight and pretty sophisticated. Seriously, they may have bad pro scouting but the next time I’m running any kind of communications campaign I want these Oilers comm guys on board to kill leaks and manipulate the media.
  • Gret99zky:I can’t believe I fell for the media hype. Oh well, I will be wiser the next time it happens. No I won’t.
  • Bookje: I think a trade was close perhaps, not a different pick.
  • Gret99sky:Media hype. I don’t think it was as close as you made it out to be LT. I’d like to see the other two posts as a kind of blooper reel. If you don’t mind

I did in fact post the other two items and they remain as part of the blog’s past. The #1 overall pick was Yakupov, and the comments here were posted in this thread. I sincerely hope no one is offended, but for me this was a point of high importance.

I don’t lie. It doesn’t benefit me and I’m horrible at it. I don’t have connections to the management of the Oilers, but I do have a house in the Edmonton area, and the Oilers are terrible at keeping secrets. I was told by several people (and well out) that Ryan Murray was a target, and that Griffin Reinhart closed late. I DID NOT know for a fact that a higher power had stepped in until last night when McKenzie tweeted it.

Why didn’t I know? Access. Bob McKenzie–who has access–knew it, and probably knew it before the draft. The only question left in this little mystery? Which higher power intervened. In studying the time lines, my suspicion is that it was Darryl Katz on the advice of Craig MacTavish.

YOU’RE NUTS, AND YOU SMELL BAD!

If you look at the time line for MacT’s hiring, you get:

  • Oilers talking about Ryan Murray as an option for #1 overall.
  • The Oilers hire MacT a precious few days before the draft.
  • The order changes in those 11 days.

I think that’s how it happened. I have no way to verify, but the only other way to explain it is by giving complete credit to the owner (and one assumes Redline or another scouting resource he’d be reading–remember, his advisors were claiming a defenseman was the better choice).

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63 Responses to "AHEM"

  1. Gerta Rauss says:

    Regardless of who said what and when, they made the right choice. I’d take Yak over Murray every day of the week.

    PJ was blathering on last night and Friedman did his best to insert some common sense into the discussion, but I think the Oilers selected the right players in the #1 position.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Regardless of who said what and when, they made the right choice. I’d take Yak over Murray every day of the week.

    PJ was blathering on last night and Friedman did his best to insert some common sense into the discussion, but I think the Oilers selected the right players in the #1 position.

    Three for three, but do not give MBS credit. :-)

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I still find it baffling that Galchenyuk wasn’t an option (or doesn’t appear to have been).

    Honestly, I adore Yak and think he’s going to be a stellar NHL talent. But, if were to bet on a player outpacing or matching Yak it would be Galchenyuk, not Murray.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    I still find it baffling that Galchenyuk wasn’t an option (or doesn’t appear to have been).

    Honestly, I adore Yak and think he’s going to be a stellar NHL talent. But, if were to bet on a player outpacing or matching Yak it would be Galchenyuk, not Murray.

    Rom, I’m going to disagree. Galchenyuk is super awesome but this Yakupov kid is going to be enormous. End of the world enormous.

  5. Gerta Rauss says:

    I think the injury to Galchenyuk(and subsequently missing most of the season) really affected his draft position-not so much overall(he was picked 3rd) but in that the Oilers were hesitant to draft a guy that barely played his draft season, while Yak had clearly separated himself from the other choices.

  6. hunter1909 says:

    Dear lames: Stop whingeing re Yakupov. Kid’s a fricking genius. That is all. Thank you.

  7. bookje says:

    So, as I think I noted at the time, it’s quite possible that the majority of the scouts wanted Murray and that one or more of these scouts were all over town telling their buddies and/or Mckenzie.

    It’s great to have this kind of insight, but anyone who has been in management knows, what the staff recommend is nice, but it’s not always what is done. The decision was made in a room with MBS, Tambellini, Lowe and probably Katz. That is what I said at the time and I think that’s the case. What we don’t know (still) is whether MBS went in and said “I recommend Murray” and was overrulled by Tambellini or Katz or Lowe. For all we know MBS went in and said “Most of my guys want Murray, but after talking to this Yak kid, I think he has star potential – that’s my take – I would take Yak”

    If the ‘leak’ is one of the senior scouts (but not Lowe, Tambellini, Katz, or MBS), then the story goes out that “It came down from above”, but that does not mean Katz’ kid chose Yak.

  8. TheOtherJohn says:

    YAK was, I think, the right pick. Don’t follow the logic that MBS gets the credit though for 3 for 3 unless Bookje’s theory as to MBS being in the room and either touting YAK or not.

    Most telling info, I thought, was the push that Ryan Murray was getting from Stauffer and his guests on the Thursday?? Friday before the draft. My sense was they knew something and clearly what they knew was what the scouts wanted.I think they took the better player.

    Also quite likethe Nurse pick, explosive 1st step for an 18 year gangly kid and he should be a top pairing guy in 30 lbs

  9. Pablo Aimar says:

    All the scouts who pushed for Murray over Yakupov should have been fired.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Rom, I’m going to disagree. Galchenyuk is super awesome but this Yakupov kid is going to be enormous. End of the world enormous.

    Oh, I agree. Hence my speculative and caveat-filled comment. I just don’t get the Yak-Murray comparisons (especially since comparing the developments of Fs and Ds is nuts) and think Gal is a much better comparison and will also probably be a better player than Murray.

    It’s still way early on that draft, but if you were going to blind project into the future who other than Galchenyuk would you possibly project as having a shot at outpacing Yak? (feel free to reject the question as too early)

  11. "Steve Smith" says:

    Pablo Aimar:
    All the scouts who pushed for Murray over Yakupov should have been fired.

    So should the ones who preferred Yakupov. I want everybody fired. One at a time, every time the Oilers lose a second consecutive game.

  12. bookje says:

    I would add that I don’t, in the slightest have any problem with LT and/or others making guesses, having opinions, or sharing inside information – that’s all great. I do the same thing (at least the guessing and having opinions). It’s great, its exactly what this site is all about, and kuddo’s to LT for having some good information on this one.

    My disagreements were only with the people who ‘filled in’ the rest of the story and argued (with great confidence) that Katz was interfering with the team, because while that may be true, we don’t know that it is.

    With that said, regards of who the ‘above’ was – Katz, Lowe, Tambellini, or MBS, thank goodness they were there to over-rule the body of scouts that wanted Murray.

  13. D says:

    Pablo Aimar:
    All the scouts who pushed for Murray over Yakupov should have been fired.

    I agree with this statement.

  14. "Steve Smith" says:

    D: I agree with this statement.

    I don’t agree with any statements. I want every one of them redacted. One at a time, every time the Oilers lose a second consecutive game.

  15. TheOtherJohn says:

    In fairness Steve it is the 3rd consecutive game: our NHL roster against Dallas’ AHL roster in the final preseason game in OKC. Guess we fire 1 1/2 persons.

    Since this remedy is finally being embraced: can whoever on the pro scouting staff touted signing Eric Belanger be tarred, feathered and forced to coach high school football in Montreal with Danny Maciocia

  16. D says:

    “Steve Smith”: I don’t agree with any statements.I want every one of them redacted.One at a time, every time the Oilers lose a second consecutive game.

    LOL. I’m glad I didn’t take a sip of my coffee when I read this one.

  17. Lowetide says:

    bookje: Agreed, and we still don’t know how it actually went down. I have my own idea, but there’s zero factual evidence of it being true.

  18. Bruce McCurdy says:

    The MacT input theory makes sense, much more so than Katz himself, and might also explain why Tambellini didn’t look “so pleased to announce” the pick. Maybe he’d just gotten his first clear indication of the future, and he wasn’t involved in it.

    I do know it was a near thing re: Murray. At CoH I wrote this on the afternoon of the draft after penning this the day before. My working theory until now has been Katz read my stuff and decided I was right. :) But I’m not one to brag …

  19. Lowetide says:

    Pablo Aimar:
    All the scouts who pushed for Murray over Yakupov should have been fired.

    My own opinion is that this goes to how much they loved Murray and Reinhart, and how big the hole was on the defense at the time. The right player was chosen, but they were clearly focused on defensemen. Was that the scouts or an organizational order?

  20. Mr DeBakey says:

    I see I was shooting my mouth off in that Yak First thread.
    So far Dumba hasn’t made me look like an idiot.
    So far…..

    The Yak pick had made me all giddy

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Steve Smith”: I don’t agree with any statements.I want every one of them redacted.One at a time, every time the Oilers lose a second consecutive game.

    You’ve got yourself in something like a liar’s paradox here.

  22. "Steve Smith" says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I don’t believe in classical allusions. I want every one of them etc., etc., etc.

  23. jb says:

    Media say it’s Seguin due to the massive holes at Center.. some knew they where taking Hall all the way.

    Media say it’s the good old Western Canadian boys, due to massive holes on the backend. Some knew that it was Yak all the way.

    The scouts liking and considering the good old Canadian kids didn’t mean they disliked, or weren’t consider Yak did it? Pretty sure that was the last episode of the MSM drawing their own conclusions pretending they know.

  24. bookje says:

    On a related topic (as in it involves the Oilers), if Hall is brilliant at faceoffs and the centre he plays with is not (lets say Gagner), why doesn’t the coach just let Hall take the faceoffs and then play left wing. Really, this would not be hard – I don’t understand why it doesn’t happen in the NHL where maximizing every element of the game is important.

  25. Lowetide says:

    jb:
    Media say it’s Seguin due to the massive holes at Center.. some knew they where taking Hall all the way.

    Media say it’s the good old Western Canadian boys, due to massive holes on the backend. Some knew that it was Yak all the way.

    The scouts liking and considering the good old Canadian kids didn’t mean they disliked, or weren’t consider Yak did it? Pretty sure that was the last episode of the MSM drawing their own conclusions pretending they know.

    They clearly liked Yakupov, they took him. However, as McKenzie’s tweet details, this was a last second “reject all signals” call.

  26. Lois Lowe says:

    I thought this thread was going to be about the fact that Yak is not on either PP unit as of today’s lines. Curious decision to say the least.

  27. speeds says:

    I don’t know who might have intervened LT. Certainly could have been MacT, but hasn’t he said a couple of things (don’t have any links or quotes handy, can anyone confirm that?) indicating he had initial concerns about Yakupov? Would that have been before or after he was solidly in the room as part of the group making the 2012 1OV pick?

  28. Zipdot says:

    Lowetide: The right player was chosen, but they were clearly focused on defensemen. Was that the scouts or an organizational order?

    Well, let’s not forget the Oil Change episode. The scouts literally didn’t seem high on Yak at all, and it looks like they thought that because of their scouting ability and the Russian thing.

    On a side note, I am in total agreement with Romulus. Alex Galchenyuk will be a superstar, man. Hell, he is right now. I don’t see that Yak is much better, if at all. Alley Galley is the MAN.

    Gally and JVR are my two favourite non-Oilers players in the game right now.

  29. Zipdot says:

    Lowetide: They clearly liked Yakupov, they took him.

    Man, again, are you totally disregarding the Oil Change episode in which the scouts looked decidedly cold or lukewarm at best towards Yak? And that’s the “best” they could put on the show; obviously if there was a better reception, it would have been included in the footage.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Zipdot: Man, again, are you totally disregarding the Oil Change episode in which the scouts looked decidedly cold or lukewarm at best towards Yak?And that’s the “best” they could put on the show; obviously if there was a better reception, it would have been included in the footage.

    He was one of their final 5 invites, I’d say that’s liking him, no?

  31. BlacqueJacque says:

    I remember the most telling thing is when on Oil Change they did that piece about the scouts before the draft and who they wanted to choose. Only one scout, and not Macgregor, said Yakupov. They edited it to look like a consensus by NOT showing the votes of anyone else.

  32. Zipdot says:

    BlacqueJacque: I remember the most telling thing is when on Oil Change they did that piece about the scouts before the draft and who they wanted to choose. Only one scout, and not Macgregor, said Yakupov. They edited it to look like a consensus by NOT showing the votes of anyone else.

    Yes, this is what I meant, but of course you have made the point in a much more eloquent way. This was the big tell, I think.

  33. bookje says:

    Zipdot: Man, again, are you totally disregarding the Oil Change episode in which the scouts looked decidedly cold or lukewarm at best towards Yak?And that’s the “best” they could put on the show; obviously if there was a better reception, it would have been included in the footage.

    Well, it depends who you think ‘they’ is. Really, the way an NHL organization is structured, the decision is solely the GM’s to make – everyone else just gives that person advise. Now, the President of Hockey Operations (in the Oilers) and the Owner(s) are above the GM, but typically they should leave the GM to do his job. If they are interfering with decisions like this, it’s a pretty good sign that they have lost confidence in you and you should probably start looking at your future alternatives.

    It’s quite possible that Stu and maybe even Tambellini wanted Murray. If Tambellini did, then he was over-ruled by Lowe and/or Katz. When Tambellini was fired, Lowe said something to the effect of “Tambellini was free to make decisions regarding the organization, however, near the end, there were a few times where we pushed him to make different decisions than he intended”. That’s paraphrased from memory so it could be wrong. Perhaps one of those decisions was Yakupov.

  34. Hammers says:

    No matter who did it we lost Tambellini then 8-9 guys he stuck with . Not saying McT has done a fantastic job but considering how many changes have been made he has done a very good job . Perron ; Gordon : Ference ; all major upgrades . Joensuu upgrade over Petrell ; To my eye Belov upgrade over Whitney . Not so sure on Acton for Smithson . Now its in Eakins hands and hopefully he goes with some conventional lines letting RNH get back with Hall & Ebs & Putting Hemsky and Smyth with Gordon . Arco , Yak & Perron so when Gags is back he slides in . Also think Justin Schultz should be on 3rd pairing and I would put Belov with Ference .

  35. LMHF#1 says:

    The kind of scouts that considered Murray or even Reinhardt (which is truly crazy) over Yakupov should be fired.

  36. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide: My own opinion is that this goes to how much they loved…. Reinhart,

    Which begs the question – what exactly were they watching that suggested that Reinhart is a franchise defenceman? It isn’t there.

  37. Lowetide says:

    LMHF#1: Which begs the question – what exactly were they watching that suggested that Reinhart is a franchise defenceman? It isn’t there.

    I don’t think either Murray or Reinhart are enough offensively to be conisdered that, so a guess would be they were drafting for need. There may have been other factors, but that’s probably the most obvious one.

  38. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide: I don’t think either Murray or Reinhart are enough offensively to be conisdered that, so a guess would be they were drafting for need. There may have been other factors, but that’s probably the most obvious one.

    I thought the scouts were the ones supposed to be most concerned with BPA, regardless of need, and it was GMs that took need into account? I mean, how are scouts supposed to know what the GM plans for trades/signings to fill needs?

  39. GordM says:

    Davidson recalled as per Oilers twitter.

    been watching football all day so maybe I missed something…Ference or Smid more than just a maintenance day???

  40. Ribs says:

    And so the injuries begin….

  41. fifthcartel says:

    Davidson? I don’t understand.

  42. LMHF#1 says:

    GordM:
    Davidson recalled as per Oilers twitter.

    been watching football all day so maybe I missed something…Ference or Smid more than just a maintenance day???

    Good for him, but that’s kind of an odd recall isn’t it?

  43. Ribs says:

    fifthcartel:
    Davidson? I don’t understand.

    He’s left handed.

  44. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque: I thought the scouts were the ones supposed to be most concerned with BPA, regardless of need, and it was GMs that took need into account?I mean, how are scouts supposed to know what the GM plans for trades/signings to fill needs?

    I would certainly hope that would be the case, but I don’t think there’s any way to suggest that Reinhart was a better player than Yakupov, or Murray either. So, assuming that the scouts are smart people, there must be an alternate explanation.

  45. Ribs says:

    Looks like Fussy was hearing the same things as LT…

    Tracy Lane ‏@TreenasOil Protected account 3 Jun 12
    Oilers before today had Yakapov and Murray 50-50 Murray will be in town Thursday

    Tracy Lane ‏@TreenasOil Protected account 22 Jun 12
    Oilers will be selecting Murray as the first pick this year, other player that was being considered was Rienhart not Yakapov as per Gardield

    Tracy Lane ‏@TreenasOil Protected account 22 Jun 12
    Tambellini ” Oilers to select the best Person”

    Tracy Lane ‏@TreenasOil Protected account 24 Jun 12
    The Oilers were set on taking Murray but were vetoed by Mr Katz 2 hours before the draft. Katz didn’t want to deal with damage control A P G

    Tracy Lane ‏@TreenasOil Protected account 24 Jun 12
    @sasknash scouting staff did recommend Yakapov Oilers need was D and brass were set on taking Murray

  46. RexLibris says:

    LT, when MacTavish was hired you described him as VP of “Are You Sure You Want To Do That”.

    Sounds like this Yakupov over Murray draft decision fell right into his wheelhouse, then.

  47. sliderule says:

    Those that have any contact with current and ex oiler players and media had heard that Murray was the guy.
    Some of the reasons for spurning Yak didn’t sound right like father interference etc.
    This was true right up to hours before the pick so you have to think someone changed their minds.

  48. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ribs:
    Looks like Fussy was hearing the same things as LT…

    Tracy Lane ‏@TreenasOil Protected account 24 Jun 12
    @sasknash scouting staff did recommend Yakapov Oilers need was D and brass were set on taking Murray

    That’s a completely different idea:

    1. scouting staff want Yak
    2. mgt. want Murray
    3. katz pulls rank and take yak, siding with scouts.

  49. godot10 says:

    First and foremost: The fat lady hasn’t sung yet. She has only finished doing warmup scales.

    That said:
    1) Yakupov’s first season was awesome.
    2) Galchenyuk hasn’t played much centre, #seguined in Montreal.
    3) Reinhardt was always only a trade down option.

    Like with Nurse/Nichushkin, it will take at least five years to pass judgement.

    Eakins with Yak isn’t trending so well at the moment, IMHO. It’s early, but my spidey sense is tingling. I always had a good feeling about Krueger and Yakupov.

  50. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10,

    and, I think Galchenyuk is still on the wing in Mont. but I think that is pretty normal for a young C.

  51. "Steve Smith" says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    godot10,

    and, I think Galchenyuk is still on the wing in Mont.but I think that is pretty normal for a young C.

    Exactly; Taylor Hall played wing his first three seasons too.

  52. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Steve Smith”: Exactly; Taylor Hall played wing his first three seasons too.

    excellent semi-colon.

  53. slopitch says:

    Fascinating stuff. I’m with LT in that I think MacT was involved. But what do I know.

    I’d also like to know what happened to the Schneider trade. I know Dubnyk was notified it was happening unless Gillis flaked out. The rest is unknown.

    And good call putting Hall back on LW. I was hopeful it would work. Oh well. Team is better with Nuge and having Hall on LW.

  54. Zipdot says:

    bookje: Zipdot: Man, again, are you totally disregarding the Oil Change episode in which the scouts looked decidedly cold or lukewarm at best towards Yak?And that’s the “best” they could put on the show; obviously if there was a better reception, it would have been included in the footage.

    Well, it depends who you think ‘they’ is. Really, the way an NHL organization is structured, the decision is solely the GM’s to make – everyone else just gives that person advise. Now, the President of Hockey Operations (in the Oilers) and the Owner(s) are above the GM, but typically they should leave the GM to do his job. If they are interfering with decisions like this, it’s a pretty good sign that they have lost confidence in you and you should probably start looking at your future alternatives.

    I meant “they” as in Aquila Productions, who I think has been kind enough (and probably required in some way) to edit out any conversations that show the coaches or management saying negative things about the players.

  55. stevezie says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    You think they semi-colon’s good, wait till you see the fully realised version!

    All seriousness aside, that anyone is taking anything from Oil Change as valuable insider information shows a willingness to trust that crosses the bridge from optimism into naivete. I think. I dunno; I’m pretty cynical.

  56. jb says:

    sliderule:
    Those that have any contact with current and ex oiler players and media had heard that Murray was the guy.
    .

    So everyone parroting Murray was proven to be out of the loop right?

  57. FastOil says:

    LT your assessment makes sense, but MacT’s erratic choices that we know of makes me wonder if perhaps Katz is a hands on owner. I hope not, but I think most of us here if we had the bank would probably be playing with our toy.

    If he is and does and you are reading fine sir, get some freaking good centres and a stud D. Please.

  58. gcw_rocks says:

    I don’t know why MacT would need Katz involved if he wanted Yakupov. Unless he was end-running Lowe, the guy who hired him twice, as GM he could take who he wanted. That is, you know, HIS JOB to make those calls, even if he disagrees with the scouts.

    I know MacT smells like dog poo these days, and the MacT fans are looking to give him props, but this seems like a real stretch.

    That said, I think the first half of your theory has credence in Katz made the call. But I suspect is was because someone outside the organization whispered in his ear saying, “Are you guys fucking nuts with this Murray thing?”

  59. Ribs says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: That’s a completely different idea:

    1. scouting staff want Yak
    2. mgt. want Murray
    3. katz pulls rank and take yak, siding with scouts.

    Well, it sounds to me like the scouts were divided between Yak/Murray. Bob says the majority wanted Yak, but who knows how close it was? Maybe some of the scouts held more weight when it came to the decisions, who knows.

    in any case, big thank you to whoever forced their hand to pick Yak. He was the clear choice in my opinion.

  60. Nostradumbass says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    I always though that OilChange episode made it clear that the scouting was not high on Yak

    When Bob Stauffer (who’s midget coach was Stu McGregor) sets the table for Ryan Murray for two weeks and then tells you during the draft broadcast that Oilers might do something shocking you can read the tea leaves what happened

    Either Lowe or Katz made a late play and my guess is on the owner

  61. gcw_rocks says:

    I withdraw my previous comment. Tambo was still around and an end run might have been necessary to avoid taking a dman over the Russian. To bad whomever did it didn’t have the smarts to end run the decision to pick a dman over a Russian again this year.

  62. Cactus says:

    LT,

    I know I’m a little late to the game (current job is much busier than I anticipated!), but I’m here to concede defeat. Hopefully you don’t think that any of us critics were doubting your honesty. For myself, I found the Murray rumours lined up too conveniently with some of the doom-peddling that goes on around here (a natural response to so many years of losing, but often full of terrific leaps of logic). Good on you for getting such a scoop confirmed.

    Keep up the great work.

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