CLARITY AND VISION

Anton Belov is the first Oiler to speak (kind of) publicly in a negative way about Dallas Eakins and his coaching with the Oilers. It’s important to look at this in context, so let’s do that now.

MARCH 2014

nielson quote ireland quote

There are several ways to get better performance, and one of them is confrontation. It isn’t for everyone, and there’s a long list of men who failed doing it this way, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to point at Dallas Eakins STYLE as being the problem. There ARE things we can blame him for:

  • the Swarm, despite getting better shot differentials, gave opponents great scoring chances.
  • he’s stubborn on all kinds of things. He rode Nuge to the point where the kid lost effectiveness for a long stretch, he refused to put Arcobello back at 2line C when Gagner was clearly unready, and I do think he contributed to Smid’s departure by moving him down the depth chart.
  • the kids did not improve on their past established levels.
  • the team did not improve from beginning the end.
  • stubbornly continued a power-play plan that was very poor in terms of results.

That’s a lot, actually. I don’t think ‘demanding’ and ‘in your face’ are issues we should acknowledge. It’s also important to remember the value of consistency. Eakins is coming back, we know from MacT’s words and those of Taylor Hall last week.

My big concern? Roster makeup. Eakins came in and announced his presence with authority, received push back, and those issues are (hopefully) over. A huge concern involves what the team will look like in the fall.

THE CONVERSATION IN THE COACH’S ROOM

  • Eakins on having a hammer: “I can easily stand here and argue “Yes, we need that.” We’ve got a guy back there that’s more than willing to fill the role  with Mark Fraser and, uh, one side of me says “absolutely, we need the toughness up front, we need it on our back end.”
  • Final portion: “But, Mark [Spector], I… and that’s the honest to God’s truth, there’s one side of me that says: “Yes, we need to old school it and we’ve got to have those guys.” And, then there’s another side of me looking at how teams are, some other teams are building and… I’m not sure.”

Today, we’re going to read a lot about Belov’s comments and what they mean. A far more productive subject: how many Fraser’s and Gazdic will be on the roster opening night?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

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 Back on the radio with the Lowdown at 10, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. Terrific start to the NHL playoffs, what series is the biggest surprise?
  • Travis Yost, Hockeybuzz. The Senators offseason may be more about money than getting better.
  • Kirk Luedeke, Red Line Report. We’ll talk college and USHL kids at the top of the draft (Tuch, Demko).
  • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. Best goalies in the draft, Draisaitl’s progress this spring.

10-1260 text or @Lowetide_ on twitter.

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112 Responses to "CLARITY AND VISION"

  1. mumbai max says:

    Where/what are the Belov comments?

  2. mumbai max says:

    Ok, here is next years roster. No Mark Fraser. Put Gazdic on there just because it seems so inevitable.
    Capgeek numbers and transactions at the bottom. This exercise was useful in that with Gagner gone, there is a considerable amount of room to manuever. You can substitute your favourite signings or trade targets. It looks like a playoff team and it is doable. I hope we do it (or some similar version)

    Forwards

    Hopkins, Hall and R Callahan

    Stastny, Perron and Yakupov

    Gordon, Winnick and Clifford

    Arcobello, Lander, and Hendricks

    Gazdic

    Defence

    Petry Markov

    Letang Marincin

    Ference Shultz

    Klefbom

    Goal

    Scrivens, Fasth

    Total Salary 71,060.667. According to CapGeek I have 39,000 dollars left over.

    This GM’ing thing is a piece of cake. Stanley Cup here we come.

    Transactions

    Signed Callagan for 7 m x 6 ( i know this is crazy btw)

    Signed Stastny for 6.4 x 4

    Traded Gagner for Clifford

    Signed Winnick for 2m x 4

    Signed Markov for 7m x 4 (i know i know)

    Traded the 2014 first round pick plus Eberle plus parts for Letang
    (could be Subban, add the 2015 pick or Shultz) (bold)

    Signed Petry for 3.25m x 2 (bridge em up baby)

    Signed Shultz for 3.25 x 2

    Had a beer

  3. 719 says:

    Egor Ironko: Anton Belov on why he left the Oilers for SKA of the KHL: “Didn’t want to play under that coach”

    Everyone will pick up on this comment and state why Eakins should be fired/is no good. No one will mention the comments from Taylor Hall that supported the coach.

  4. jfry says:

    coach said a few weeks ago that he came like an asshole and he didn’t care if people liked him.

    it’s obvious he was trying to break the wild horse. the questions are. did the horse need breaking? if the horse is now broken, can he get anything out of the now domestic steed?

    next year is all on mr. coach. i honestly don’t think he showed enough this year to make me believe that he will know what to do other than being alpha prick. we’ll see, but on his way out (or other players) i wouldn’t be surprised to hear more talk like belov.

    too bad he wasn’t still signed and we could send him to chocolate town for daring not to be a robot. i would love to hear what taylor hall would really like to say.

  5. frjohnk says:

    Belov’s foot speed was the biggest issue.
    I don’t think he was much of an upgrade from Whitney. Both could make a good first pass, but both had issues with mobility. Both big, but both were not physical. Not sure why N Schultz played more.

    On a different team, Belov might have been able to stick.

    For MacT it was a swing and the outcome was a dribbler to first base. But I love the fact that he is up there swinging.

  6. Truth says:

    I think we need more context as to what Belov meant. He is a Russian Olympian, does he believe he should be in the lineup every night at minimum?

    Some players don’t mind a coach screaming and acting out, I definitely did not when it was warranted. As a player (and a coach) I could not stand a coach getting out of line all the time. Not only does it become very tiresome, it reduces it’s effectiveness as a motivating factor. The first few times it’s “wow he’s serious we better pick it up”, but after a season of being yelled at every game you see a lot more eyes rolling behind the coaches back. That water bottle hissy fit was enough to tell me what sort of coach Eakins is. But I could be (and hope) I am wrong.

    Yes they are hockey players and this comes with the territory, but what kind of manager are you more effective working under? What type of boss do you respect more? If I screw up I’ll take what I deserve, but If I bring you Mr. Sub for dinner instead of Subway and I get an earful it’s the last lunch I’m bringing for you. Might even take the long way back to the office next time.

  7. oilabroad says:

    I agree that you have to take the comments with a grain of salt as obviously he was not playing as much as he would have liked, but exit interviews are the most valuable an organization can do… if you think these comments should be offset with the comments of a current employee I would disagree, they need to be taken with the same grain of salt

  8. flyfish1168 says:

    Good to see how effective two former Oilers were in last nights game. Torres and Brown changed the momentum and started the comeback. Great work 4th line

  9. 719 says:

    frjohnk:
    Belov’s foot speed was the biggest issue.
    I don’t think he was much of an upgrade from Whitney.Both could make a good first pass, but both had issues with mobility.Both big, but both were not physical.Not sure why N Schultz played more.

    On a different team, Belov might have been able to stick.

    For MacT it was a swing and the outcome was a dribbler to first base.But I love the fact that he is up there swinging.

    Yes he was slow, but if you read Willis’ article on him at the cult of hockey, an interesting happened whenever he was on the ice, all his defensive partners were a lot better when he played.

  10. speeds says:

    mumbai max:

    Signed Petry for 3.25m x 2 (bridge em up baby)

    I’d be absolutely stunned if Stastny signs that deal with EDM, but the reason I replied is there is no bridge deal to be had with Petry. He’s an RFA this summer, and if EDM signs him to a one year deal (don’t think that would be their plan BUT Petry could opt for a 1 year deal via arbitration), a UFA in the summer of 2015.

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Today, we’re going to read a lot about Belov’s comments and what they mean. A far more productive subject: how many Fraser’s and Gazdic will be on the roster opening night?”

    These are actually the same conversation IMO.

    I don’t think Belov’s problem with Eakins was “style” or “being a hard-ass” or anything.

    I think his problem was that Eakins played him with Petry and Schultz through the first half of the year or so:

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1802&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    They had success.

    Then Eakins saw Belov bad.

    Then Belov sat for Nick Schultz for long stretches.

    Then Belov only got to play with Larsen, Fraser, Nick Schultz and only rarely Justin. His TOI was greatly reduced.

    Then he got routinely benched for Fraser.

    These are the issues that would piss me off. Not the style or manner or whatever in which it was executed. The message is the message in this case, not the medium.

    Eakins didn’t care for Belov. Belov figured, correctly I might add, I have no future here. End of story.

  12. icecastles says:

    jfry: it’s obvious he was trying to break the wild horse. the questions are. did the horse need breaking? if the horse is now broken, can he get anything out of the now domestic steed?

    Yes. The horse needed breaking. Edmonton has been a terrible team for years, with terrible habits in their own zone. That’s partly on roster make-up, but it’s also partly on the guys on the ice taking defensive responsibility and knowing how to do that.

    jfry: too bad he wasn’t still signed and we could send him to chocolate town for daring not to be a robot. i would love to hear what taylor hall would really like to say.

    So potentially sewering your own reputation by throwing your coach under the bus is “daring to not be a robot”? I hope you’re not applying that strategy to your own career.

    I find it curious among the Eakins-haters (who seem unable to frame an argument about him without resorting to hyperbole like “alpha prick”), that if a player speaks ill of him, it’s the gospel truth. But if a player defends him, it’s because he didn’t say what he really wanted. Choosing facts to fit the narrative?

    I don’t think there’s a coach in the NHL who is beloved by everyone who plays for him. Moreso with a hardliner such as Eakins. As Woodguy pointed out yesterday, Belov has some reason to be frustrated – he wasn’t used well, which is indeed on Eakins. I like him and think he’s the guy for this team, but he absolutely has some warts.

    Of course, we all have reason to be frustrated in our jobs… it rarely helps our cause to bitch about it. Especially when the media is more than happy to put a microphone in front of our faces so that our frustration can be telegraphed to all potential future employees and coworkers.

  13. justDOit says:

    Leaving the entire league, just because he didn’t want to play for Eakins? Seems extreme. Surely there would have been interest from other NHL teams for his services. But I guess without enough NHL clout to get a NTC, there was always the risk that he could have found himself listening to ‘that coach’ again.

    Sail on, Anton (not you, Lander).

  14. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    frjohnk: I don’t think he was much of an upgrade from Whitney.

    I think he was clear of Whitney.

    Here’s whitney’s last year as an Oiler on the Vollman:

    http://public.tableausoftware.com/shared/WPZGMH7Q8?:display_count=no

    Here’s Belov’s year:

    http://public.tableausoftware.com/shared/D77KHWHYF?:display_count=no

    both using CorsiRel

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    justDOit:
    Leaving the entire league, just because he didn’t want to play for Eakins? Seems extreme. Surely there would have been interest from other NHL teams for his services. But I guess without enough NHL clout to get a NTC, there was always the risk that he could have found himself listening to ‘that coach’ again.

    Sail on, Anton (not you, Lander).

    I think the Eakins’ thing is enough to leave the Oilers.

    Leaving the league is probably a combination of: having a bad experience, missing homeland comforts and readiness of a nice long contract.

    Separate decisions IMO.

  16. Clay says:

    I’m no fan of Eakins, but I’m also not going to get too excited over anything Belov says. He was scratched a lot and so probably has an axe to grind anyway, but there’s also the language barrier / translation issue to consider, along with playing his first and only season of completely different hockey than he’s used to (NA versus European). If he was the 7th dman on the Redwings and was scratched more than he thought he should’ve been, he’d not be a big fan of Babcock. Doesn’t affect my opinion of Babcock.

    Like I said, I’m not a fan of Eakins, just saying that disgruntled is as disgruntled does.

  17. oilabroad says:

    icecastles,

    I find your comment about Eakins haters a bit bizarre… I think LT wants to keep him and this is his list of ‘warts’
    •the Swarm, despite getting better shot differentials, gave opponents great scoring chances.
    •he’s stubborn on all kinds of things. He rode Nuge to the point where the kid lost effectiveness for a long stretch, he refused to put Arcobello back at 2line C when Gagner was clearly unready, and I do think he contributed to Smid’s departure by moving him down the depth chart.
    •the kids did not improve on their past established levels.
    •the team did not improve from beginning the end.
    •stubbornly continued a power-play plan that was very poor in terms of results.

    These are not small issues… his team is worse than the coach they fired last year after a lot of moves to make it better. I am not sure why you don’t think this is a good reason to not be a fan of this coach???

  18. RexLibris says:

    Didn’t Belov sit for the first few games (perhaps only pre-season, I may be misremembering here) due to “fitness levels”?

    Ever had a good boss that just wasn’t the right fit for you? Miscommunications, differences in priorities, incompatible personalities, etc? I think Belov might just not have been the right fit for Eakins. That and what Rom notes above about the “seen him bad” chapter of the season.

    Oh well. Belov was an experiment from the start. It didn’t work out but at least the Oilers didn’t have to move a pick to bring in a player to cover his spot as they did last season with Peckham (granted, over very different circumstances).

    Eakins has divided the fan base so much this season that Joensuu could complain about his aftershave and we’d be debating it. Trotz and Babcock have both ticked off players in the past and probably been responsible for some of them leaving, but so long as the majority of the team is on board and the requests being made by the coaching staff aren’t out of touch with reality then this is just part of running a team.

  19. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think the Eakins’ thing is enough to leave the Oilers.

    Leaving the league is probably a combination of: having a bad experience, missing homeland comforts and readiness of a nice long contract.

    Separate decisions IMO.

    We also don’t know if anyone else in the league has expressed interest.

    You’re right. Could be homesick, could be the bloom is off the NHL rose, who knows.

    Wasn’t Roman Cervenka the best forward not in the NHL two years ago? He had one bad year on a bad team and went back to Europe. Is Belov much different? Does it mean that Cervenka quit the entire NHL because of one bad season or the way Bob Hartley cut his hair?

    I’m just not freaking out about this.

    Now if the team were to suffer an exodus of players like they did in the summer of 2006 then we’d have a problem that really needed attending to.

  20. Numenius says:

    It’s too bad Eakins didn’t know how to motivate Belov. At the beginning of the season, he said that motivating players was one of his strengths. Based on this season, we have definitely learned to take that with a grain of salt (see Yakupov).

    While there’s no doubt more to the story, one wonders if Belov could have been a solid D for us for years to come with a different coach.

  21. gcw_rocks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    It’s possible both the medium and the message was bad.

    But even if you are right and it’s just the message, Eakins looks bad because his decisions aren’t supported by the objective data.

  22. OilClog says:

    Oilers already have enough problems attracting any sort of “NHL” player and it seems they’ve figured out another way to handicap themselves.. Bravo

    Was Belov signed before or after Eakins?

    Belov > Fraser, Nultz, Larsen.

    When we can sit here and run down the long list of screw ups the coach did this season, then try to weigh it against the positives… Might be best to mentally “check out” the next 3 or 4 seasons until it’s safe to bring in a new coach. By that time maybe Babcock wants a new challenge.

  23. mumbai max says:

    We will know pretty quickly when the new season starts, if he has assimilated the learning from this year. It will be be obvious by his deployment, his assistants, the PP, and by the record. I am guessing anything less than .500 in the first 20 and MacT steps in. It is one thing to give him another chance, it is another to risk wholesale dissent. I hope he succeeds.

  24. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris: Didn’t Belov sit for the first few games (perhaps only pre-season, I may be misremembering here) due to “fitness levels”?

    Not really.

    He had visa problems and was stuck in an airport for a few days. He arrived and hadn’t slept properly or trained in weeks.

    It wasn’t so much he was loafing around as he didn’t have access to training facilities and arrived late to TC so was a few steps behind everyone.

  25. rickithebear says:

    Last 5 years
    Callahan :
    71gm/season
    13 EVG/season
    10 PPG/season
    46 pts -4 /season

    Sam Gagner 4.8M x 2
    72 gm/season
    12 EVG/season
    5 PPG/season
    45 pt -7 (except -29 this year)

    Callahan for 7M X 6
    BAT SHIT CRAZY!

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris: We also don’t know if anyone else in the league has expressed interest.

    You’re right. Could be homesick, could be the bloom is off the NHL rose, who knows.

    Wasn’t Roman Cervenka the best forward not in the NHL two years ago? He had one bad year on a bad team and went back to Europe. Is Belov much different? Does it mean that Cervenka quit the entire NHL because of one bad season or the way Bob Hartley cut his hair?

    I’m just not freaking out about this.

    Now if the team were to suffer an exodus of players like they did in the summer of 2006 then we’d have a problem that really needed attending to.

    I think the framing here is all wrong.

    These guys presumably don’t look at the situation this way.

    He may have had offers, he may not have.

    There was clearly a lot of interest in Russia though and it seems pretty likely he doesn’t think of taking this new contract as “quitting the entire NHL” or whatever. That only makes sense from a myopic NHL POV, which probably isn’t the POV of Belov.

  27. mumbai max says:

    rickithebear:
    Last 5 years
    Callahan :
    71gm/season
    13 EVG/season
    10 PPG/season
    46 pts -4 /season

    Sam Gagner 4.8M x 2
    72 gm/season
    12 EVG/season
    5 PPG/season
    45 pt -7 (except -29 this year)

    Callahan for 7M X 6
    BAT SHIT CRAZY!

    yes, but i am betting he gets it from someone

    or close to it….intangibles don’t you know

    and a super weak UFA crop (see Clarkson)

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    It’s possible both the medium and the message was bad.

    But even if you are right and it’s just the message, Eakins looks bad because his decisions aren’t supported by the objective data.

    I agree with this. One of the things about Eakins that I’ve complained about all year was roster decisions.

    Arco, Gazdic, Fraser, etc. some bad decisions for sure.

  29. gcw_rocks says:

    “There are several ways to get better performance, and one of them is confrontation. It isn’t for everyone, and there’s a long list of men who failed doing it this way, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to point at Dallas Eakins STYLE as being the problem.”

    From Gregor’s interview with Tippett.

    “You know the old days of you can really squash players, and rant and rave, I think that those days are by us.

    For me, with a player whether it is the team aspect or individual aspect; I’m trying to help them, trying to make them succeed. A lot of players they recognize that, and they’ll try to
    give you everything that they’ve got. So, just an honest approach and make sure
    that they know exactly what is expected of them and it seems to have worked
    well.”

  30. mumbai max says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I agree with this. One of the things about Eakins that I’ve complained about all year was roster decisions.

    Arco, Gazdic, Fraser, etc. some bad decisions for sure.

    Don’t forget Acton and Hamilton!

  31. icecastles says:

    oilabroad: These are not small issues… his team is worse than the coach they fired last year after a lot of moves to make it better. I am not sure why you don’t think this is a good reason to not be a fan of this coach???

    I think you’re conflating some things I said with some thing LT said with some things neither of us said. I’ll try to give as succinct an answer as possible though, as the ground has been trod countless times in recent months.

    The ‘warts’ are indeed reason to dislike the coach. Nobody is wholeheartedly discounting that fact. There are reasons to like AND dislike Eakins, as there are with any coach. None of them should be viewed in isolation or without context. I believe the reasons to keep him on outweight the reasons to fire him. Those reasons are:

    - This team was not nearly as good last year as some people seem to recall. It is pure speculation, but I believe that over an 82 game season, the Oilers would have found themselves closer to that 1st overall pick than we care to admit.

    - There are massive holes in the ‘hockey sense’ of our team, particularly among the skilled core. They have been allowed and encouraged to play “their game” for a long time (Kreuger was equally guilty of this) which has resulted in terrible defensive habits. habits are very very hard to break. And when you go through that process, you almost invariably tend to get worse before you get better.

    - Nothing has done more damage to the team’s knowledge, psyche and general cohesion than the revolving door of coaches over recent years. This, more than anything, is why Eakins should stay on. Renney shouldn’t have been fired. Kreuger arguably shouldn’t have been fired. But they were and Eakins is currently the man. One season simply isn’t’ enough time with this group. They need consistency more than anything in the world.

    - The impact of the season start on this team probably can’t be overstated. I mentioned the team’s psyche above and we have seen that this is a very, very fragile group. Even under Ralph The Inspirational Speaker, they completely folded up all too often last season. That crushing start was just too much to overcome mentally.

    - Despite that, I would argue that the team showed more resiliency and more consistent pushback this year than they have in some time. Even when they were losing games or being completely outplayed, they were still fighting for the game. It’s a long time since we’ve seen that.

    - The roster sucks. Yes, it was improved, though I would contend that the goaltending issues, along with beginning-of-season injuries to Hall, Nuge and Gagner, more than cancelled out the benefit of any additions. In the first two and a half months of the season, the Oilers had lost more man-games to injury than any other team and it wasn’t close. It is going to take at least 3 seasons including the one just passed to get this roster where it needs to be. The person responsible for that mess is no longer employed by the Oilers.

    - In interviews and pressers, Eakins has showed a deep understanding of the game and of his players. Yes, he’s stubborn. But he’s also intelligent. I think this team needs some stubbornness. Even if I wish he would be more willing to let go of some of his preconceptions, he is willing to learn and adapt.

    - Every season, we fire a coach, see the crappy results the next year, and think “Well. I guess it wasn’t the coach” Rinse, repeat. How many times do we go through the same exercise expecting different results?

    Dallas Eakins may eventually be shown to be the wrong guy for this team. I personally don’t believe that but the crux is, given everything outlined above, it would be very, very hard to say that conclusively from where we stand right now. And it is high time to stop thinking the grass is greener on the other side and hope the next guy can magically fix everything?

  32. Numenius says:

    “Anton Belov is the first Oiler to speak (kind of) publicly in a negative way about Dallas Eakins and his coaching with the Oilers.”

    ————-

    I’d say Yak would technically qualify as the first due to his public comments earlier in the year.

    I’m fine with giving Eakins one more year, though. If there’s still no improvement after that, then it’d be time to move on.

  33. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris: I’m just not freaking out about this.

    I don’t think anyone should freak out either (I’m not)…

    I just think we should keep erroneous ideas at bay.

    The simple story is: MacT/Eakins saw Belov bad; Belov didn’t get to play; MacT/Eakins didn’t have time for Belov going forward; Belov didn’t want to play under a coach that didn’t play him; Belov offered long-term contract in homeland take it. End of story.

    This isn’t about character of anyone.

    It’s not a sign Eakins is a horrible coach, or Belov is a terrible NHL player. That Eakins is an arrogant prick, or that Belov is whiny prick.

  34. mumbai max says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: It’s not a sign Eakins is a horrible coach, or Belov is a terrible NHL player. That Eakins is an arrogant prick, or that Belov is whiny prick.

    Well, I would say it is a SIGN of all of the above, just not proof of any of them

  35. icecastles says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: This isn’t about character of anyone.
    It’s not a sign Eakins is a horrible coach, or Belov is a terrible NHL player. That Eakins is an arrogant prick, or that Belov is whiny prick.

    Exactly. Anyone who confuses opinions with evidence is is simply asking to be proven wrong. Unfortunately, the media (and those with an axe to grind) looks for spin, and this will give them something to spin.

  36. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    It’s not a sign Eakins is a horrible coach, or Belov is a terrible NHL player. That Eakins is an arrogant prick, or that Belov is whiny prick.

    IMO there’s just too much drama around Eakins. It’s almost like having Keenan behind the bench, everything starts becoming about him.

    After just one season, the man has a lot of negatives in terms of results, the things he’s said, and what’s been said about him. Outside of MacT and Hall giving Eakins an endorsement, I don’t really hear anyone stepping up. Hall might have given the endorsement just to not have to go through another coach again, or because of organizational pressure because he’s the face of the franchise and shitting on the new GM’s glorious “I will be judged by the results” hire isn’t the best politics, for all we know.

    Give him half the season next year, but have the sword sharp and a stump handy, because winter is coming.

    I’ve said it throughout the season and I’ll say it again – it’s hard to find definitive proof that Eakins is the problem, but there’s absolutely no evidence he’s been part of the solution thus far. Even the bright spots throughout the season, like our 9-10-2 finish, were actually horrible when looking at underlying stats. The Oilers were outshot 36-26 over the last 21, on average! A 10-shot differential! That’s beyond bad, that’s horrific. I honestly wonder if the OKC Barons wouldn’t have managed a better Corsi against the same competition.

  37. gvblackhawk says:

    icecastles: I think you’re conflating some things I said with some thing LT said with some things neither of us said. I’ll try to give as succinct an answer as possible though, as the ground has been trod countless times in recent months.

    The ‘warts’ are indeed reason to dislike the coach. Nobody is wholeheartedly discounting that fact. There are reasons to like AND dislike Eakins, as there are with any coach. None of them should be viewed in isolation or without context. I believe the reasons to keep him on outweight the reasons to fire him. Those reasons are:

    - This team was not nearly as good last year as some people seem to recall. It is pure speculation, but I believe that over an 82 game season, the Oilers would have found themselves closer to that 1st overall pick than we care to admit.

    - There are massive holes in the ‘hockey sense’ of our team, particularly among the skilled core. They have been allowed and encouraged to play “their game” for a long time (Kreuger was equally guilty of this) which has resulted in terrible defensive habits. habits are very very hard to break. And when you go through that process, you almost invariably tend to get worse before you get better.

    - Nothing has done more damage to the team’s knowledge, psyche and general cohesion than the revolving door of coaches over recent years. This, more than anything, is why Eakins should stay on. Renney shouldn’t have been fired. Kreuger arguably shouldn’t have been fired. But they were and Eakins is currently the man. One season simply isn’t’ enough time with this group. They need consistency more than anything in the world.

    - The impact of the season start on this team probably can’t be overstated. I mentioned the team’s psyche above and we have seen that this is a very, very fragile group. Even under Ralph The Inspirational Speaker, they completely folded up all too often last season. That crushing start was just too much to overcome mentally.

    - Despite that, I would argue that the team showed more resiliency and more consistent pushback this year than they have in some time. Even when they were losing games or being completely outplayed, they were still fighting for the game. It’s a long time since we’ve seen that.

    - The roster sucks. Yes, it was improved, though I would contend that the goaltending issues, along with beginning-of-season injuries to Hall, Nuge and Gagner, more than cancelled out the benefit of any additions. In the first two and a half months of the season, the Oilers had lost more man-games to injury than any other team and it wasn’t close. It is going to take at least 3 seasons including the one just passed to get this roster where it needs to be. The person responsible for that mess is no longer employed by the Oilers.

    - In interviews and pressers, Eakins has showed a deep understanding of the game and of his players. Yes, he’s stubborn. But he’s also intelligent. I think this team needs some stubbornness. Even if I wish he would be more willing to let go of some of his preconceptions, he is willing to learn and adapt.

    - Every season, we fire a coach, see the crappy results the next year, and think “Well. I guess it wasn’t the coach” Rinse, repeat. How many times do we go through the same exercise expecting different results?

    Dallas Eakins may eventually be shown to be the wrong guy for this team. I personally don’t believe that but the crux is, given everything outlined above, it would be very, very hard to say that conclusively from where we stand right now. And it is high time to stop thinking the grass is greener on the other side and hope the next guy can magically fix everything?

    Well said. If MacT is reading this, he is likely thinking “I should have said THAT at my year end presser”!

  38. Henry says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I don’t think anyone should freak out either (I’m not)…

    I just think we should keep erroneous ideas at bay.

    The simple story is: MacT/Eakins saw Belov bad; Belov didn’t get to play; MacT/Eakins didn’t have time for Belov going forward; Belov didn’t want to play under a coach that didn’t play him; Belov offered long-term contract in homeland take it. End of story.

    This isn’t about character of anyone.

    It’s not a sign Eakins is a horrible coach, or Belov is a terrible NHL player. That Eakins is an arrogant prick, or that Belov is whiny prick.

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m not sure that MacT saw Belov bad. He apparently offered another contract.

    From the interview with Chesnekov via Puck Daddy:

    “There is no one reason that made it an abrupt change. It all was building up during the season, especially more so after the Olympics. And the hire of coach Bykov (by SKA) was also an influence. The other point is that I could have re-signed with Edmonton, but I didn’t want to stay with that coach [Dallas Eakins]…”

    You were offered a contract?

    “Yes… And another point is that not to re-sign with Edmonton means having to wait until July 1. And going to the World Championships I wanted to be under contract. Coming back to Russia was the only way out.”

    I’m disappointed, but not surprised that Belov wanted out though I’m not sure how badly that reflects on Eakins. If it was Boyd Gordon asking for a trade, I’d be pretty horrified.

  39. mumbai max says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Give him half the season next year, but have the sword sharp and a stump handy, because winter is coming.

    I say 20 games.

    The criteria:

    - .500 record (objective)
    - improved possession numbers (objective)
    - top 15 PP (objective)
    - effective use of personnel (subjective)
    - relationship with Yak sorted out (subjective)

  40. icecastles says:

    Marcus Oilerius: IMO there’s just too much drama around Eakins. It’s almost like having Keenan behind the bench, everything starts becoming about him.
    After just one season, the man has a lot of negatives in terms of results, the things he’s said, and what’s been said about him. Outside of MacT and Hall giving Eakins an endorsement, I don’t really hear anyone stepping up.

    This is the worst combination of heresay, saw-him-bad, gossip-mongering and speculation.

    And even if it were true, none of these other than results (which have been equally as bad for the better part of half a decade now) would even remotely pass as reasons to fire any coach.

  41. rickithebear says:

    Marcel Goc:
    65gm/season
    11.5 EVG/season
    14 EA/season
    26 PT +3 season

    you play him for full seasons he is a 13-14 EVG forward that gets you 30-31 EVP.
    That is a plus 11-12 EVG to jones.

  42. mumbai max says:

    icecastles: As I said before: anyone who confuses opinion with evidence…

    It’s not a sign Eakins is a horrible coach, or Belov is a terrible NHL player. That Eakins is an arrogant prick, or that Belov is whiny prick.

    The problem is that three of the four are extremely subjective, and not really open to proving with evidence. The closest you can come to be PROVEN to be an arrogant prick is if enough people voice that opinion. That is the only data there is, there is no blood test. So the opinion IS the evidence. I would say we have the signs of this now, but not a critical mass of opinions to call it proof.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Derek Van Diest ‏@SUNdvandiest 19m
    #Oilers announce assistant GM Ricky Olczyk is out. Replaced by OKC general manager Bill Scott.
    Expand

  44. Andy P says:

    Sorry to break the news folks, but it’s not Eakins. Nor was it Quinn, Renney or Krueger. It’s Bucky. The only constant in a half decade of suck.

    These people are like termites. Their deadly work is done behind the scenes, you cant put your finger on it till the floor collapses – i.e., you get fired. You don’t have to be good, you have to be conniving and connected.

    Either Eakins will get to choose his own assistants going forward or Bucky will eventually get his coveted HC position. And extend the rebuild by another 5 years.

    Because Katz. Because loyalty to Boys on the Bus, even the back seat farters.

  45. icecastles says:

    mumbai max: The problem is that three of the four are extremely subjective, and not really open to proving with evidence. The closest you can come to be PROVEN to be an arrogant prick is if enough people voice that opinion. That is the only data there is, there is no blood test. So the opinion IS the evidence. I would say we have the signs of this now, but not a critical mass of opinions to call it proof.

    Okay, that’s a totally valid point. Well put.

  46. mumbai max says:

    icecastles: Okay, that’s a totally valid point. Well put.

    Thank you and good night. I am 12.5 hours ahead of you and need my beauty sleep, even if the EVIDENCE shows that it is fruitless.

  47. Lois Lowe says:

    Lowetide,

    Rick O has made some pretty glaring mistakes as the Assistant GM.

  48. icecastles says:

    Andy P: Sorry to break the news folks,

    No need to apologize.

    but it’s not Eakins.

    Okay I’m with you…

    Nor was it Quinn, Renney or Krueger.

    Not sure I completely agree on Quinn, but I’m still more or less with you.

    It’s Bucky.

    You lost me.

    The only constant in a half decade of suck.

    No, he isn’t actually.

    These people are like termites. Their deadly work is done behind the scenes, you cant put your finger on it till the floor collapses

    Yes. You can.

  49. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Derek Van Diest ‏@SUNdvandiest19m
    #Oilers announce assistant GM Ricky Olczyk is out. Replaced by OKC general manager Bill Scott.
    Expand

    “I think Ricky is doing a great job” – Steve Tambellini

    I thought this would happen last year.

    Patricia Teter is saying some good things about Scott.

    I don’t know his work, but he did work in Nashville for a while.

    Seems to have done a good job with binding twine and gum to get OKC to the playoffs each year too.

  50. Marcus Oilerius says:

    icecastles,

    First of all, it’s all verifiable. The players didn’t go out of their way to defend the coach, no more than is required by protocol. Hall’s endorsement is noteworthy for that reason. MacT’s stands out because he’s rather alone in voicing such strong approval. I know we think we like to calculate everything, but stuff like this matters and isn’t quantifiable, Secretary McNamara.

    But if you like, how about some numbers?

    http://i.imgur.com/MMfrxRt.png

    In that first quarter, the Oilers record was 4-15-2. In the last quarter, it was 9-10-2. What do our fancy numbers tell us?

    Not much.

  51. Bar_Qu says:

    Lowetide:
    Derek Van Diest ‏@SUNdvandiest19m
    #Oilers announce assistant GM Ricky Olczyk is out. Replaced by OKC general manager Bill Scott.
    Expand

    This is actually good and significant news.

  52. mumbai max says:

    Woodguy: Seems to have done a good job with binding twine and gum to get OKC to the playoffs each year too.

    I remember a great quote from the deep dark past. It was someone talking about George Brancato, who I believe at the time was the Ottawa CFL team’s GM (Roughriders, Rough Riders?). They were a thrifty lot.

    ‘Give him a case of steel wool, and he’ll knit you a Cadillac’

  53. icecastles says:

    Marcus Oilerius: First of all, it’s all verifiable.

    Here’s what you said:

    “IMO there’s just too much drama around Eakins. It’s almost like having Keenan behind the bench, everything starts becoming about him.”

    Your words. That’s speculation, pure and simple.

    “Outside of MacT and Hall giving Eakins an endorsement, I don’t really hear anyone stepping up.”

    Verifiable observation, but your inference/conclusion that this can be construed as a smoking gun is, again, purely speculative.

    You could well be right. I disagree, but like you, that’s just my opinion. Calling these conclusions verifiable fact is simply incorrect.

  54. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Fair enough. You have to excuse me, I’m still learning how to debate with you guys.

  55. icecastles says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    We’re kind of insufferable. You hold your own pretty well though!

    You’ve got me thinking though…

    I wonder what would stand up as a lithmus test to counter your assertion. Like I said: it’s speculation, but none of that means you’re necessarily wrong in your speculation. What you say could absolutely be true.

    It seems to me though that without players being asked a specific question in an interview as Hall was, the only thing would be for players to call press conferences or send out random tweets of the “Eakins isn’t the problem!” variety. Players don’t, and shouldn’t do these sorts of things. When they do, they tend to get crucified for them, regardless of which side of an issue they come down on.

    And really, for those who have already made up their minds that Eakins has lost the room (which I would wholeheartedly and fervently disagree with), they would see a statement like that and think one of two things:
    1) “Well, if so-and-so had to come say it, obviously there is a problem in the room or he wouldn’t have needed to address it”; or
    2) “He’s just toeing the corporate line and isn’t saying what he really thinks” – an accusation that’s already been leveled against Hall more than once. Hall, who is as straight-talking a hockey player as I’ve heard.

    Silence taken as a tacit admission of guilt (so to speak) is a dangerous thing.

  56. admiralmark says:

    Derek Van Diest ‏@SUNdvandiest 19m
    #Oilers announce assistant GM Ricky Olczyk is out. Replaced by OKC general manager Bill Scott.

    So amongst other things I guess this makes Bill Scott the new “Capologist”? Can’t see where his experience would be in terms of NHL Cap expertise? I’ll admittedly say i’m not certain what would make one very good at this aspect of work. But I think its is essential that someone in this position on an NHL staff be excellent in this area for the teams long term success.

    Can anyone shed light on why Bill Scott would be considered fitting for this part of the position?

  57. russ99 says:

    Nice move, MacT.

    Glad Olczyk is gone, and Scott did a fantastic job in OKC.

  58. russ99 says:

    admiralmark,

    Why do we need a “capologist” anyway?

    Scott’s work identifying, evaluating and bringing in players past the usual contract limits was solid.

  59. soup says:

    Romulus Apotheosis said…

    “I agree with this. One of the things about Eakins that I’ve complained about all year was roster decisions.

    Arco, Gazdic, Fraser, etc. some bad decisions for sure.”

    I understand the frustration with these decisions. On the surface, many made little sense. I assumed that the rationale at the time of the Gasdic, Hendricks, Fraser decisions (et al), a big part was aimed at not getting the youngin’s quite as roughed up as they were at the start of the year. If so, it seems as if there was some success, no? Accepted was, a reduction in the overall talent level, but the talent that was there was a bit safer than before.

    There appeared to be less liberties taken (saw them less beat up). It seemed as though Hall, Nuge, Ebs, Gagner and even Perron skated without looking backwards as much. I’m not as versed in the numbers as many here. It would be interesting to understand if this notion of the added line up beef resulting in less bruises for the others would hold up under scrutiny.

    Has anyone ever asked the kids if they felt less exposed once some bigger players were added?

    We’ve been considering that MacT couldn’t make all the changes needed within a year. We accepted that there would have to be some steps taken toward the balanced roster goal. Some interim steps. Ideally, it would be preferable if the “protection” was able to play at a higher level. However, if there were less walking wounded at the end of the year, and if these were indeed interim steps while waiting for the Lucic option, was it a success?

  60. Truth says:

    Let me get this right… Belov wants to play hockey and get paid. He’s playing in the World Championships and wants to be under contract prior to that in case of injury. Doesn’t want to re-sign in EDM due to lack of playing time or doesn’t get along with the coach. Can’t sign with another NHL team until after July 1st, so he signs a deal to play in the KHL now. Makes sense.

    MacT reportedly offers Belov a contract to come back next year, but Belov declines due to the coach. Makes sense.

    The coaching staff played Larsen, N. Schultz, and Fraser over Belov in the back half of the season. Doesn’t make sense according to advanced stats and people with the ability to see.

    So MacT believes Belov is able to play on this team, Eakins believes he slots in behind those three fringe NHLers. Seems to be a difference in opinion between Eakins and MacT (unless Larsen and Fraser are in the top 6 D next year and Belov would have slotted in as 7).

    My nightmare:

    MacT to Eakins: “Should we re-sign Belov?”

    Eakins: “Sure. He would slot in nice as an injury replacement on the roster”

    MacT: “Okay, sounds good. I have some work to do to bring in defencemen that would force him out of the lineup every night.”

    Eakins: “Yes you do, Larsen is a RFA so that should be easy. I believe we can also get Fraser back next year for the same money. If not, Hal Gill, Mike Komisarek, Matt Greene, and Nick Schultz are UFA’s. One of them will slot in nicely in front of Belov.”

  61. russ99 says:

    Truth,

    Lol. MacT is the GM, not Eakins.

    And I’m sure that MacT has a lot to discuss with Eakins regarding game-day decisions despite what he said in the presser.

    MacT didn’t make those kinds of decisions when he was the coach, so as much as they say things are on the same page, Eakins will be evaluated as any coach is, and will have some things to work on.

  62. admiralmark says:

    russ99 says:Why do we need a “capologist” anyway?

    Scott’s work identifying, evaluating and bringing in players past the usual contract limits was solid.

    Persoanlly I would be shocked if any of the successful NHL teams out there do not have at least one individual on their staff that is an expert in NHL Cap knowledge. But maybe thats just me?

  63. sliderule says:

    I am looking for positives and I think I have two.

    Late in season Eakins put in a pp zone entry using the trailer that seemed by eye very effective.

    Columbus was built by the much maligned Howson.Their success the last two years has to mean he brings something to table?

    That’s it for positive.

  64. russ99 says:

    admiralmark,

    We’ll, I’d think that would be something that someone like Howson would be doing anyway, and from what I understand there’s a cap reporting system that’s set up on a league wide basis.

    Not sure how that falls into an assistant GMs duties.

  65. B.C.B says:

    Bill Scott’s resume:

    - Graduated from Michigan State University in 2003 with a Bachelors degree in Business Management, and while at school he worked as ‘Student Manager’ overlooking both The Cold War (first outdoor game) and their run to the Frozen Four in 2001.
    - Started as an intern with the Pred, but was hired as their ECHL manager of hockey operations for three seasons.
    - Director of Hockey Operations for the American Hockey League for four seasons. His duties with the AHL included creation the league schedule, assisting in determining player fines and suspensions, supervised regular season and playoff games and interpreted by-laws and the Collective Bargaining Agreement for member teams.
    - The GM of the Oilers AHL affiliate since the beginning of 2010-11 season.

    All I can say is that I wish he had a law degree as well, but I think that is a strong resume for a non-Old Boy Club hire!!

    all info from http://okcbarons.com/index.cfm?fa=inthenews&ra=showarticle&guid=eabce716-eb14-4831-8ab5-0227d803f2b9

  66. admiralmark says:

    russ99 says: We’ll, I’d think that would be something that someone like Howson would be doing anyway, and from what I understand there’s a cap reporting system that’s set up on a league wide basis.

    Not sure how that falls into an assistant GMs duties.

    Scott is replacing Olczyk who as part of his duties was Cap management.

    Quote from Oilers:
    Scott, a 33-year-old from Unionville, Ont., will be responsible for player and staff contract negotiations, scheduling, salary arbitration, salary cap management and day-to-day administrative duties. He will also serve the club’s liaison to the NHL regarding matters pertaining to the collective bargaining agreement.

    So as it stands he is the Capologist so to speak. Again not saying he’s not suited. I didn’t get the feeling Olczyk was suited for the position and made errors in interpreting the contract. So was just curious as to what background Scott might have?

  67. icecastles says:

    russ99: Why do we need a “capologist” anyway?

    In the cap era, it is vital that a team understands and can manage the considerable complexities and subtleties of how the CBA and salary cap works. Calgary was saved by sheer luck from completely shooting themselves in the foot a couple years ago when they tried to offer sheet a player without understanding how the rules worked. New Jersey went over the salary cap last year and doesn’t have a first round pick in the 2014 draft as a result. After their 2010 S.C. win, Chicago lost quite a few key players because of previous poor cap management.

    Knowing what salary ranges are likely to be, when which contracts are up, where the ceiling is likely to be in coming years and coming team needs is huge if looking to build a contender. And given the number of missteps from various teams in the last 10 years, it’s not an easy thing.

  68. rickithebear says:

    I am confused!
    Aeakins Record.

    Versus the east hall @ centre and no Gagner
    4-3-1 .563
    without 3 of Hall; Perron; Smyth; Gagner
    1-5 .167%
    the rest of the time
    10-5-3 .639%

    versus CGY; NSH; WPG
    6-2-3 .652%

    Dubnyk and Labarbera the rest of the west.
    not exact sure
    but 2-18-2 seems correct

    Scrivens and Fast Versus
    ANA; VCR; PHX; MIN
    6-3 .666%
    SJS; STL; LAK
    1-5 .167%

    By the end of year;
    the coach and GM had a team being .600% +
    except BOS; STL; LAK; SJS.

    I do not give a rats about the high school drama.

    in the end we were kicking the shit out of everyone but.
    BOS; SJS; STL; BOS. and did not face CHI and DAL with Scrivens; Fasth; Marincin; Klefbom.

    I will be watching Nurse and Klef play Top 4 in the AHL playoffs.

  69. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Henry: Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m not sure that MacT saw Belov bad.He apparently offered another contract.

    From the interview with Chesnekov via Puck Daddy:

    “There is no one reason that made it an abrupt change. It all was building up during the season, especially more so after the Olympics. And the hire of coach Bykov (by SKA) was also an influence. The other point is that I could have re-signed with Edmonton, but I didn’t want to stay with that coach [Dallas Eakins]…”

    You were offered a contract?

    “Yes… And another point is that not to re-sign with Edmonton means having to wait until July 1. And going to the World Championships I wanted to be under contract. Coming back to Russia was the only way out.”

    I’m disappointed, but not surprised that Belov wanted out though I’m not sure how badly that reflects on Eakins.If it was Boyd Gordon asking for a trade, I’d be pretty horrified.

    When I wrote that I hadn’t read that interview.

    Still, we don’t know the terms of the contract. Could be anywhere from one year two-way league minimum to sky’s the limit.

  70. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    soup:
    Romulus Apotheosis said…

    “I agree with this. One of the things about Eakins that I’ve complained about all year was roster decisions.

    Arco, Gazdic, Fraser, etc. some bad decisions for sure.”

    I understand the frustration with these decisions. On the surface, many made little sense. I assumed that the rationale at the time of the Gasdic, Hendricks, Fraser decisions (et al), a big part was aimed at not getting the youngin’s quite as roughed up as they were at the start of the year. If so, it seems as if there was some success, no? Accepted was, a reduction in the overall talent level, but the talent that was there was a bit safer than before.

    There appeared to be less liberties taken (saw them less beat up). It seemed as though Hall, Nuge, Ebs, Gagner and even Perron skated without looking backwards as much. I’m not as versed in the numbers as many here. It would be interesting to understand if this notion of the added line up beef resulting in less bruises for the others would hold up under scrutiny.

    Has anyone ever asked the kids if they felt less exposed once some bigger players were added?

    We’ve been considering that MacT couldn’t make all the changes needed within a year. We accepted that there would have to be some steps taken toward the balanced roster goal. Some interim steps. Ideally, it would be preferable if the “protection” was able to play at a higher level. However, if there were less walking wounded at the end of the year, and if these were indeed interim steps while waiting for the Lucic option, was it a success?

    I don’t see any evidence that this is true. And, I’ve yet to read any evidence anywhere that having terrible hockey players that can hurt people (even when they don’t) makes for a better hockey team.

  71. flyfish1168 says:

    Excellent article and interview with Dave Tippett. He says something in the second question that I have been saying for a long time. Something I believe eakins should hear. Managing people have changed, no different from your place of work or NHL dressing room.

    If Tippett becomes available he should be hired as one of the associate coaches to go with eakins

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/4/21/talking-tippett-and-yakupov

  72. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    One part of capology is interpreting how the CBA actually impacts the cap in the case of any player move. Something that the Oilers (and even more spectacularly some other teams) have gotten wrong, so this part of Scott’s bio is encouraging.

    “supervised regular season and playoff games and interpreted by-laws and the Collective Bargaining Agreement for member teams”.

    The bigger part is evaluating the cap risk of various contracts and how they fit into a movable cap market. That requires hockey, people, and business sense. The whole management team counts there with the buck stopping with the GM. MacT’s MBA and Scott’s undergrad degree are both positive on paper.

  73. Doc Savage says:

    At the end of a thread yesterday, I posted a concern about what seems to be a shift from comments in the past from players about being bitter about not being retained by the Oilers (ie. Moreau, Whitney), to a state where players seem to be openly commenting on not wanting to play for the team. Belov is not the first case as many would like to think. Hemsky’s comments before he left were brutal for someone who has been loyal to the team for so many years. Ryan Jones’s instant reply of “Not here” when asked where he will play next year, or Nick Schultz’s brother’s twitter comments, which may or may not reflect Nick’s own point of view. Add in Belov’s comments and you are getting a pretty consistent picture. And it’s not just that the team was bad last year, they’ve been bad for a long time and player’s had no problem re-upping with the time, like Hemsky, Gagner, and Jones.

    I know its dangerous to cherry pick a single statistic from a group of hundreds to make a point, but there is one stat that I just can’t get past, it’s the goal differential last year compared to other years in the rebuild:

    2009-10 Quinn ; Goal Differential: -70
    2010-11 Renney ; Goal Differential: -76
    2011-12 Renney ; Goal Differential: -27
    2012-13 Krueger : Goal Differential: -15 [projected]
    2013-14 Eakins: Goal Differential: -67

    Something is definitely not right. This isn’t about one or two players underperforming, this is an indication of a team underperforming on a massive scale. I just don’t believe a comment such as “but I don’t think it’s reasonable to point at Dallas Eakins STYLE as being the problem” is a fair assumption to make. I think it has to be considered amongst everything else as a possible, if not likely part of the problem.

  74. godot10 says:

    Woodguy: “I think Ricky is doing a great job” – Steve Tambellini

    Tambellini inherited Olczyk. He is one of Lowe’s hires.

    Tambellini hired Bill Scott.

    The only place Tambellini was not allowed to fired anybody was in Lowe’s head office.

  75. Truth says:

    flyfish1168,

    The minute Tippet becomes available is the minute Eakins should be packing up his desk.

  76. OilClog says:

    rickithebear:
    I am confused!
    Aeakins Record.

    Versus the east hall @ centre and no Gagner
    4-3-1 .563
    without 3 of Hall; Perron; Smyth; Gagner
    1-5 .167%
    the rest of the time
    10-5-3.639%

    versus CGY; NSH; WPG
    6-2-3.652%

    Dubnyk and Labarbera the rest of the west.
    not exact sure
    but2-18-2 seems correct

    Scrivens and Fast Versus
    ANA; VCR; PHX; MIN
    6-3 .666%
    SJS; STL; LAK
    1-5 .167%

    By the end of year;
    the coach and GM had a team being .600% +
    except BOS; STL; LAK; SJS.

    I do not give a rats about the high school drama.

    in the end we were kicking the shit out of everyone but.
    BOS; SJS; STL; BOS. and did not face CHI and DAL with Scrivens; Fasth; Marincin; Klefbom.

    I will be watchingNurse and Klef play Top 4 in the AHL playoffs.

    What about all those late season Eggs that were laid at home against the likes of the Mighty Sabres..

    Oilers are a team, top teams have to make sure they stay awake during the games, Oilers get back up goalies, 13th forwards, and rookie auditions playing against them.

    I didn’t see the Oilers kicking the crap out of anyone but themselves.. How many games did we get outshot to end the season? All of them except 3 or 4? That’s not beating the competition, that’s riding the goalies until they collapse. Example: Toronto.

    Only progression this team had was new goalies, and the top line being reunited and reverting to old habits.

  77. hunter1909 says:

    719: Everyone will pick up on this comment and state why Eakins should be fired/is no good. No one will mention the comments from Taylor Hall that supported the coach.

    Taylor Hall is going to say anything else? What planet will Hall tell anything but PC pap about Eakins?

    Hilarious as Lowetide himself bends over backwards trying to defuse an actual Oiler speaking the truth about a shit coach.

    Watching the Avs playing like dynamite, with Patrick Roy(a real coach) , and believing that Eakins will once more fuck everything up and have the team out of the playoffs by November …while Trotz is available, and that Hartley and Laviolette, and Hitchcock and Sutter(four cup winners) were all available at one point in the past, winning proven coaches.

    Some of you hope MacT will do a great job, and I honestly hope you’re right. I don’t. Not after eight years wandering in the wilderness.

  78. godot10 says:

    Hall’s endorsement of Eakins was hardly inspiring. To paraphrase, he was a rookie coach who made a lot of mistakes, but I don’t want another new coach. And the blah, blah, blah about how things seemed to be getting better late in the season, when actually the advanced stats show otherwise, masked by a high PDO.

    And a player being forced to give a vote of confidence in the coach is even worse than the GM having to be asked the question.

    If you have to ask the question…

  79. godot10 says:

    From Gregor’s interview with Tippett, cut and past of ON:

    =========
    Tippett: Well, you know what, my philosophy is that first off all you look at the players you have and you try to formulate a plan on how you’re going to win. Ultimately, it’s all about winning. Whoever you’re
    coaching, whatever team, or organization you want to try to win. You look at
    your players, you formulate a game plan, you get those players to recognize
    that they can be a part of that formula and you move ahead with it.
    ========

    The anti-Eakins if there ever was one. Eakins didn’t bother looking at the game tapes from previous seasons, and came in with a pre-defined system of how the team was going to play.

  80. bendelson says:

    Disgruntled Russian balks at the Oilers contract offer, preferring to sign a new deal in the KHL instead.
    During an interview, he comments on how he didn’t want to play for the head coach in Edmonton.

    Well, I’m glad we are talking about Belov…

  81. speeds says:

    Big game for Nylander at the U-18′s, would be lots of interesting storylines were EDM to pick him at 3 OV

  82. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    speeds:
    Big game for Nylander at the U-18′s, would be lots of interesting storylines were EDM to pick him at 3 OV

    ROMULUS APOTHEOSIS says:
    April 19, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    The true trolling move wouldn’t be for MacT to call Bennett’s name.
    It would be to say “Nylander”
    Worth it just to watch everyone’s head explode.

  83. Melman says:

    Maybe a bit of a reach, but does promoting the GM from OKC give any kind of hint that Nelson may follow join as an assistant? Probably, but it also may be that they recognize talent elsewhere in their org is better than the talent at the NHL level and if you want to keep those people you have to bring them up. It’s hard to imagine Nelson will want to spend another year in OKC with a new manager if he has other/better options which you would expect will be coming his way.

  84. prairieschooner says:

    I have little confidence in Eakins.
    He has demonstrated that he was not the knight in shinning armour come to rescue the Oilers.
    Hopefully he will learn how to be an NHL coach quickly enough advance the Oilers enough to make the play offs.
    MacT hired him and this is on MacT too, initially I thought it a gutsy and correct move to hire his own guy.
    I wonder if hiring Eakins was one of those moves that MacT was not saved from.
    Next year will tell

  85. hunter1909 says:

    prairieschooner:
    I have little confidence in Eakins.
    He has demonstrated that he was not the knight in shinning armour come to rescue the Oilers.
    Hopefully he will learn how to be an NHL coach quickly enough advance the Oilers enough to make the play offs.
    MacT hired him and this is on MacT too, initially I thought it a gutsy and correct move to hire his own guy.
    I wonder if hiring Eakins was one of those moves that MacT was not saved from.
    Next year will tell

    Another 4-17 start and things get interesting, particularly now that Katz’s morning glories have been left standing in the NHL dust by Colorado.

  86. Andy P says:

    icecastles,

    Hey Ice,

    I compared the Coaches, Assistants and Rosters for the year of Quinn and the year of Eakins.
    Sam was the only player left, and Bucky the only Assistant. You could say Katz and 6 Rings are the other constants, and you’d be correct, but I was looking at HC downwards for the constants.

    Bucky’s a well connected BOTB, he’s been reported a couple of times to have made some derogatory comments about Eakins behind his back, and I’m not sure Sam has the gravitas to do damage like Bucky has.

    I dont think we can blame too much on 6 Rings, he’s really little more than Katz’s loudspeaker. However it is also significant how this team has deteriorated under Katz’ direction. A Bucky problem is easy to fix. A Katz problem equals a doomed franchise.

    I’m hoping that makes more sense.

  87. elpolodiablo says:

    the Swarm, despite getting better shot differentials, gave opponents great scoring chances.
    he’s stubborn on all kinds of things. He rode Nuge to the point where the kid lost effectiveness for a long stretch, he refused to put Arcobello back at 2line C when Gagner was clearly unready, and I do think he contributed to Smid’s departure by moving him down the depth chart.
    the kids did not improve on their past established levels.
    the team did not improve from beginning the end.
    stubbornly continued a power-play plan that was very poor in terms of results.

    That’s definitely enough to get fired for, you can look at Belov’s comments in isolation however if Yakupov feels that way you have serious issues. They should fire Eakins and get Trotz and stick with his regimen.

  88. DeadmanWaking says:

    icecastles: Krueger arguably shouldn’t have been fired.

    This is apples and oranges. If MacT is opposed to frequently churning the coach (which he seems to be), his first priority is to find himself a coach he can live with for the long term–not just a one-term co-op roommate, but an actual house mate who shares in the mortgage payments.

    If Krueger was not that man, then firing Krueger immediately is the most expedient route to the promised land of coaching stability.

    Tambi had no such argument replacing Renney with Krueger.

    Second, on the motivation front, Eakins job was not so much to motivate players to deliver peak performance on any given night as it is to motivate players to aspire (by sensible methods) to become the best possibly player they can become.

    It’s one thing to get baby bird to jump off the home perch for the first time. It’s another thing to get baby bird beyond fluttering from twig to nearby twig never more than the outstretched claw of a leaping house cat above the worm belt.

    Yakupov needs more than a boot in the ass to pull up fatter and longer worms. He needs to soar above the tree tops. He needs to etch contrails in the stratosphere.

    I’m far from decided on whether Eakins has failed to motivate our fledgling albatross.

    SUSTAINED FAST TRAVEL BY A GRAY-HEADED ALBATROSS

    A [tagged] Gray-headed Albatross (Thalassarche chrysostoma) was recorded traveling, in the course of a foraging trip, at a minimum average ground speed of >110 km/h for ~9 h with virtually no rest. After taking into account the sinuosity of albatross flight, actual mean ground speed was predicted to be ≥127 km/h, achieved in association with high tailwinds during an Antarctic storm. Despite its high speed and the storminess of the sea, the albatross still managed to successfully locate and capture prey at a rate comparable to that achieved under less extreme conditions. This individual’s performance suggests that albatrosses have the capacity to maintain positive energy budgets while quickly covering long distances and taking advantage of the strong winds that are frequent in the Southern Ocean.

    That’s where Yak has yet to discover his true Albatross nature. He’s not yet much good in a swarm or a storm.

  89. Lois Lowe says:

    Andy P:
    icecastles,

    Bucky’s a well connected BOTB, he’s been reported a couple of times to have made some derogatory comments about Eakins behind his back, and I’m not sure Sam has the gravitas to do damage like Bucky has.

    Where was this reported? You keep saying it, but I have not seen those reports anywhere.

  90. sliderule says:

    Truth:
    flyfish1168,

    The minute Tippet becomes available is the minute Eakins should be packing up his desk.

    Turris wanted out from under Tippett so bad he wouldn’t resign in Phoenix.

    At WC he was in charge of forwards so the might check how Hall feels about him..

    At any rate he is locked up by Coyotes for a while.

  91. spoiler says:

    The Hockeycentral crew was not impressed with Belov’s comment on Eakins.

  92. Rebilled says:

    Ralph was 19-22-7
    Dallas was 29-44-9

    This was supposed to be a turnaround year.

    the Swarm, despite getting better shot differentials, gave opponents great scoring chances.
    he’s stubborn on all kinds of things. He rode Nuge to the point where the kid lost effectiveness for a long stretch, he refused to put Arcobello back at 2line C when Gagner was clearly unready, and I do think he contributed to Smid’s departure by moving him down the depth chart.
    the kids did not improve on their past established levels.
    the team did not improve from beginning the end.
    stubbornly continued a power-play plan that was very poor in terms of results.

    Key variables not Eakins fault:

    1. Gagners jaw/Nuge injury to start season and our lack of centres.
    2. Dubnyk’s play
    3. The overall quality of the D and 4th line.

    Fixes:

    1. Gagner’s career will be decided by how insanely hard he trains this offseason. He has one year left to turn it around. Trading this summer probably gets some nosebleed picks. I’d like a different centre over Gagner and we’ll probably use Leon for that. Sam on the 4th. Nuge improves/heals.
    2. DD is gone
    3. Nultz is gone, Fraser, Larsen, and thecaptain remain. Nurse and MacT’s added dman next season. We’ll see what else MacT adds(Perron was encouraging).

  93. icecastles says:

    DeadmanWaking:
    This is apples and oranges.

    It’s also completely tangential to the argument I was making. I’m not sure your post has anything to do with anything I wrote, so I’m not certain why you quoted me at the beginning. As always though, I like what you had to say. And there’s bird crap all over my car today. Enough for an albatross.

    Andy P: I compared the Coaches, Assistants and Rosters for the year of Quinn and the year of Eakins.
    Sam was the only player left, and Bucky the only Assistant. You could say Katz and 6 Rings are the other constants, and you’d be correct, but I was looking at HC downwards for the constants.

    Fair enough, but a culture is a culture because it maintains itself past a single generation. Managers often tend to hire assistant managers who share their values. For example, if you are a boss who likes a conservative, stay the course style, you’re not likely to hire someone who’s a wild risk taker. People who come into an org with a particular culture tend to eventually adopt that culture or not stick around.

    When we try to find a singular source of the trouble in Edmonton, we make the mistake of thinking it comes down to one person when it’s often a bit more insidious than that. I have no idea if the Oilers have a culture problem. But if they do, I think we would be remiss in trying to find any one guy and saying he is the problem because he’s the only constant when he is more likely part of a continuum.

    Andy P: I dont think we can blame too much on 6 Rings, he’s really little more than Katz’s loudspeaker. However it is also significant how this team has deteriorated under Katz’ direction. A Bucky problem is easy to fix. A Katz problem equals a doomed franchise.

    That is a horrifying, horrifying truth. And an R.E. post on Katz would not be pretty, I think.

  94. Latigo777 says:

    Lowetide,

    Heard a interview with the new Asst. GM. He is very well spoken and comes across as very confident and knowledgeable about the areas that will be his responsibilty. If first impressions, mean anything, he might be a good one.

  95. icecastles says:

    Andy P:
    Lois Lowe,

    ON.

    That is a horrible, horrible source. I believe that dude Lowetide contributes there. Total hack.

    Seriously though, do you have a link? I’d be curious to read the article though I’m a bit skeptical. Oilers Nation has some very good writers, but I don’t know any of them have any particular inside knowledge aside from Gregor and, well, Gregor’s a bit of an idiot.

  96. G Money says:

    icecastles: But if they do, I think we would be remiss in trying to find any one guy and saying he is the problem because he’s the only constant when he is more likely part of a continuum.

    That’s all fair comment, but I would note that (one of the few) things that the Oilers might have done well is to stairstep away from a continuum.

    In the GM chair, Tambo and MacT don’t seem very similar to me.

    In the same vein, Quinn, Renney, Krueger, and Eakins all represent a fairly wide spectrum of backgrounds for coaches.

    So it does seem odd to point at Bucky and say he’s the problem – let’s face it, the real common thread for this team has been a roster full of sewage.

    BUT – given some of the other constants over The Suck Years, one of which appears to be a poorly coached team and the other being the same seemingly underqualified assistants year after year, I don’t it’s unreasonable to argue that change there should be a first step, not a last resort.

  97. Andy P says:

    It was a while back and it was in the comments section. One person mentioned how it had happened, and what Bucky had said, and how he felt about it. Another 1 or 2 people then chimed in with similar experiences and feelings.

    But I’ll see what I can do because my honor is at stake here :)

  98. G Money says:

    Andy P,

    If it helps, I remember something like that as well.

    Character witness, or character assassination?

  99. Andy P says:

    G Money: That’s all fair comment, but I would note that (one of the few) things that the Oilers might have done well is to stairstep away from a continuum.

    In the GM chair, Tambo and MacT don’t seem very similar to me.

    In the same vein, Quinn, Renney, Krueger, and Eakins all represent a fairly wide spectrum of backgrounds for coaches.

    So it does seem odd to point at Bucky and say he’s the problem – let’s face it, the real common thread for this team has been a roster full of sewage.

    BUT – given some of the other constants over The Suck Years, one of which appears to be a poorly coached team and the other being the same seemingly underqualified assistants year after year, I don’t it’s unreasonable to argue that change there should be a first step, not a last resort.

    If you were fixing a company and one of the managers was the constant of suck when the directors and 99.9% of the staff had turned over, and you heard that the manager was backstabbing the director, wouldn’t you at the minimum, if he was the boss’s son’s close friend, move him to another part of the organization to find his happiness?

  100. icecastles says:

    G Money: That’s all fair comment, but I would note that (one of the few) things that the Oilers might have done well is to stairstep away from a continuum.
    In the GM chair, Tambo and MacT don’t seem very similar to me.

    100% agree. the accusations of fostering an “old boys club” in recent years ring quite hollow.

    Andy P: If you were fixing a company and one of the managers was the constant of suck when the directors and 99.9% of the staff had turned over, and you heard that the manager was backstabbing the director, wouldn’t you at the minimum, if he was the boss’s son’s close friend, move him to another part of the organization to find his happiness?

    If I were fixing a company, I would hope I were not basing my decisions on gossip and wild speculation.

  101. pboy says:

    I’m really looking forward to tonight’s St Louis – Chicago game. If it’s a blowout by either team, I think it’s going to get ugly and Duncan Keith might get chased around the rink by the entire Blue’s team. He was the ringleader in escalating the hatred last game and his “Wakey, Wakey Backes” chirps probably won’t be forgotten anytime soon by the guys in the St Louis dressing room. I’d love to have a prick like Keith on the Oilers.

  102. G Money says:

    Andy P,

    Yep.

    The only thing to be cautious of in your analogy is that
    - we assume that this manager is a constant of suck based on results, but we don’t have enough visibility into the organization to *know* that this manager is actually sucky (even though his name rhymes with it)
    - any company manager – let alone an outsider like we are to the Oiler organization – should take rumours of backstabbing with a massive high-blood-pressure-inducing bucket of salt

    Given what we know of the Old Boys Network in the Oilers, I don’t think it’s unfair to point out that past organizational behaviour suggests that Bucky & Smith would not get fired almost no matter how bad they sucked. And the external evidence does suggest that, at the very least, they aren’t good.

    But inferring and knowing are different.

    I argue that removing B&S is logical given the record (or flip that, that *keeping* B&S is illogical given the record and the change in other parts of the organization), but I can’t argue that point on what I *know* of them, which is little.

  103. G Money says:

    icecastles: 100% agree. the accusations of fostering an “old boys club” in recent years ring quite hollow.

    I think the OBC doesn’t appear to be in force for the HC position – but given the omnipresence of Bucky and Smith, the rehiring of MacT, and the recent appearance of Moose … there are OBC sightings to be had for sure. It’s a bit of an odd contradiction, actually. Why only the head coach?

    I hope that someday this franchise will no longer inundate us with weird ‘why’ type questions …

  104. icecastles says:

    G Money: I hope that someday this franchise will no longer inundate us with weird ‘why’ type questions …

    Then what will we talk about??

    What exactly is the deal with Messier, anyway? I was under the impression that he was being groomed for management in NY and was named assistant GM, then all of a sudden there is loads of talk about him being somewhere in the Oilers structure… My understanding was that he still works in New York, no? I know he left the Rangers, but what exactly is his Edmonton connection now?

  105. hags9k says:

    Big, huge, gigantic, shocking surprise to hear a departing player take a shot at Eakins.

    Hall’s endorsement means zero to me. Lip service. What the hell is he going to say? Hands are tied. He has to toe the party line.

    “There ARE things we can blame him for:
    •the Swarm, despite getting better shot differentials, gave opponents great scoring chances.
    •he’s stubborn on all kinds of things. He rode Nuge to the point where the kid lost effectiveness for a long stretch, he refused to put Arcobello back at 2line C when Gagner was clearly unready, and I do think he contributed to Smid’s departure by moving him down the depth chart.
    •the kids did not improve on their past established levels.
    •the team did not improve from beginning the end.
    •stubbornly continued a power-play plan that was very poor in terms of results.

    That’s a lot, actually.”

    Yes. Yes it is. It was an entire season of Oiler hockey flushed away in 30 games. The axe should have come down in November. Our potential to sign FAs is impacted, these NHLers see and hear and I can’t imagine the meme surrounding our HC is at all positive. The bright side is we have a real shot at McDavid. This guy has been brutal.

  106. justDOit says:

    Just to give some perspective, Eakins is not the only coach being talked about in an unflattering way.

    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Colorado/2014/04/21/21616966.html

  107. Gerta Rauss says:

    icecastles: What exactly is the deal with Messier, anyway?

    The one job description I read–and this was ages ago–was that he was going to be helping with college recruiting. I don’t know what that means but I guess if you’re trying to convince a young hockey player to join your organization having Messier on your recruitment team can’t hurt. I can’t recall where I read it (or the validity of it)

  108. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I don’t think anyone should freak out either (I’m not)…

    I just think we should keep erroneous ideas at bay.

    The simple story is: MacT/Eakins saw Belov bad; Belov didn’t get to play; MacT/Eakins didn’t have time for Belov going forward; Belov didn’t want to play under a coach that didn’t play him; Belov offered long-term contract in homeland take it. End of story.

    This isn’t about character of anyone.

    It’s not a sign Eakins is a horrible coach, or Belov is a terrible NHL player. That Eakins is an arrogant prick, or that Belov is whiny prick.

    Nope, and I would never suggest either was the case.

    Just that it might not have been the right fit between the two.

    Call it a day and go your separate ways. It was worth a try and it sure felt nice that he chose Edmonton. Too bad he leaves with a bad taste in his mouth, but no sense losing sleep over this.

    Olcyk out and Scott in. Hmm, nice move. Maybe there’s room for Nelson on Eakins’ squad this fall. Move Laxdal up to OKC and give Hamilton the Oil Kings coaching job?

  109. Andy P says:

    icecastles: 100% agree. the accusations of fostering an “old boys club” in recent years ring quite hollow.

    If I were fixing a company, I would hope I were not basing my decisions on gossip and wild speculation.

    well yeah, of course, but just the manager being a constant in the suckage would be reason to give him the chance to progress elsewhere in the company.
    If firm evidence – as opposed to hearsay – of backstabbing surfaced, then that should trigger action starting with conversations and feedback, and if it persisted, then while it would be nice to think that the backstabber would be disciplined, that’s not how things generally work. The privileged friend usually wins over the consultant and the outsider. Hence, my point that if Bucky stays and Eakins goes, we would have to hope that Bucky was the good coach in waiting ready to take the team to the promised land. However I have seldom seen a backstabber who has the competence to do a better job than the backstabbed. So, Oilers.

  110. Andy P says:

    G Money:
    Andy P,

    Yep.

    The only thing to be cautious of in your analogy is that
    - we assume that this manager is a constant of suck based on results, but we don’t have enough visibility into the organization to *know* that this manager is actually sucky (even though his name rhymes with it)
    - any company manager – let alone an outsider like we are to the Oiler organization – should take rumours of backstabbing with a massive high-blood-pressure-inducing bucket of salt

    Given what we know of the Old Boys Network in the Oilers, I don’t think it’s unfair to point out that past organizational behaviour suggests that Bucky & Smith would not get fired almost no matter how bad they sucked.And the external evidence does suggest that, at the very least, they aren’t good.

    But inferring and knowing are different.

    I argue that removing B&S is logical given the record (or flip that, that *keeping* B&S is illogical given the record and the change in other parts of the organization), but I can’t argue that point on what I *know* of them, which is little.

    Except that few of us have any insight, so all we can do is speculate and extrapolate within reason to some degree. In this case reading 3 comments of people who claimed they themselves had heard Bucky say stuff etc, was enough for a speculative extrapolation on the assumption the fellas were telling the truth. Obviously, in real life, either Bucky has undermined the coaches to 6 Rings and, more recently, MacT, or he has not. I’m expecting tha tMacT is well enough connected to figure tis out and deal with it in a discreet manner. Which is a long way of saying that I hope Bucky is put elsewhere before next season.

  111. refmaksy says:

    hunter1909,

    Great post Hunter, you’re the only person on this blog who understands what is the problem in any business organization or team when the leader acted like an asshole and alienated his team – there’s no going back. Eakins is in so far over his head its not even funny. We have a great hockey team, and if Tippet or Hartley were coaching the Oilers we would have had playoffs this year. Ralph had people developing and heading in a positive direction. Eakins has the players stagnated, the powerplay regressed, the players hate him, and with better talent than last year his win loss record is much worse. And yes, those assistant coaches all need to go as well.

    Maksy.

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