WHAT EXACTLY DID THE GUY SAY?

My wife is always asking me ‘what exactly did the guy say’ because she doesn’t trust my ability to relay subtle nuance in conversation. I suspect she’s right—my tendency to embellish is legendary behind these four walls and hyperbole makes daily visits. With that as the backdrop, let’s see if we can come up with exactly what the guy said from yesterday’s MacT media avail.

CRAIG MACTAVISH SPEAKS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS

  • “My other mandate coming in here was to turn the team over to the core group of people who are going to lead us out of the malaise. Most of those players (core group) if not all of them have had career years.”

I’ll agree that Taylor Hall and David Perron had quality seasons, and Eberle delivered in his role. Is that MOST of the core? The possession numbers are a concern pretty much across the board, and Justin Schultz’ season was a train wreck defensively. MacT isn’t honor bound to tell the truth in the media conference format, but if he believes these things to be true then it’s a bad sign for the Oilers. I agree that the core group is outstanding, but beyond the boxcars talk of career years is best left for the future—perhaps next year.

 

  • “In my mind I’d like to add a very high-end defenseman.”

That quote could come from any of the 30 NHL cities, the trick is adding one. MacTavish seems to have something in mind, so my guess is he’ll be mining areas where there’s disenchantment with top flight defensemen. A list might include Dustin Byfuglien, Dion Phaneuf, Christian Ehrhoff, Brian Campbell and Alex Edler, but one longs for the days when the club could find a Staios or Hejda lying in the ditch by the side of the road.

 

  • On adding a high-end defenseman and the cost: “That’s a question I’ll be asking. There are lots of assets that we have, in developing defensemen.”

I wonder if the “three-for-one” I’ve been pushing since the turn of the century is finally near. MacT seems confident that he can get this done without touching the core—what would it look like? I suspect it would involve Marincin, who is young enough to play for a decade and established enough to project into the starting lineup next season.

 

  • MacT spoke at length about Justin Schultz, saying he’d have no problem getting his name on a long-term deal.

They love Justin Schultz, but I’m not sure why. He’s playing way too many minutes, doesn’t possess a power-play bomb and is a chaos blue. Is that what they’re going to build around? I would suggest this is a genuine concern and the contract is likely to run wildly out of time with actual value.

 

  • “Jeff Petry, for all the criticism he took, had a career year in a lot of statistical categories. He’s a developing player as well.”

Yep. Agree completely. It’s encouraging to me, because Petry might be the player other teams ask after in trade. It would be unwise to rob Peter to pay Paul in such a manner.

 

  • “If we have to go young (on defense) we go young!”

Agree again. If the Oilers begin the season with Marincin-Petry, Klefbom-Schultz, Ference-Greene there are going to be more growing pains. However, I’d rather see that development than trading Marincin or a mid-level option who can help a little in the short term.

 

  • “Don’t do anything stupid”

Many Oiler fans feel MacT has already done a few stupid things. Offering Clarkson crazy money, dealing Smid and signing Gagner to a $4.8 million dollar contract are often mentioned by detractors. I would argue the Gagner contract turned out badly due to Kassian, but the Clarkson contract could have been a disaster and the Smid trade left the team without a veteran hand on the blue. It was an uneven rookie season for the GM.

 

  • In regard to first-round selection: “I’ll entertain all offers. We’re charged with defining value. I went in to last year’s draft with the same sense, but there was nothing that tempted me.”

I think they keep the pick until it’s time to take it, and if Ekblad is there Edmonton will draft him. Same goes for Draisaitl. If both are off the board (unlikely), they might trade down but I’m thinking the chances are less than 5%.

 

  • “It’s more individual preference in the top 4 or 5 players (at this year’s draft).”

This statement is designed to be deliberately vague, but the problem is Jim Matheson tweeted out weeks ago that the team wants one of Ekblad or Draisaitl. MacT has to get his ducks in order in this regard, because it does hurt the franchise. If Calgary knows your list, they can probably plan accordingly. Burke may know (if we have the intel, he had it before we had it) that Edmonton is going to take Draisaitl, which gives him many weeks to shop Bennett for value.

 

  • “Our philosophy is to draft the player who will have the greatest impact on his team over time.”

This is funny to me, because GMs believe it. The real answer is “the scouts are going to come to us with a list and we’ll do some due diligence. Last season I was taken with Darnell Nurse as a person, and that decided things.” I’m not saying it’s a bad way to scout—I like the Oilers draft record since 2008—but I think MacT’s scouting department may be more advisory than decisioning. A good thing? Maybe. I’d prefer to have the scouts pull the trigger.

 

 ANTON’S GONEbelov4

belov back to khl

Sail on, Mechel Chelyabinsk. I thought you were pretty cool, and felt there was a player there, but it didn’t work out well enough to continue. I hope he’s glad to have had the experience, it’s never a good idea to reach 50 and not experience everything you wanted to (I would have, but Valerie Bertinelli wouldn’t return my phone calls!).

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Bertine2At 10 this morning, the Lowdown hits the airwaves. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Draft lottery, MacT, three-for-one.
  • Jay McKee, head coach/GM of the Champion Spruce Grove Saints. It’s a helluva program they’ve built, we’ll talk about it.
  • Kent Simpson, Oil Kings color commentator. We’ll talk OK’s and their next series, and the Masters! Kent was there this year, we’ll get some flavor.
  • Alex Thomas, Oilers Rig. Oilers moves this summer, do they trade the pick?
  • Brian King, PDO. We’ll preview the Eskimos season and talk about the CFL draft.

10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. One Day at a Time!

 

 

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147 Responses to "WHAT EXACTLY DID THE GUY SAY?"

  1. theres oil in virginia says:

    Regarding the “career years” of the core group, I’m reasonably sure that he said it was regarding boxcars, either for all of them or for Schultz specifically. I don’t remember in great detail, but I’m sure he qualified it a bit.

  2. Spydyr says:

    Funny Valerie would not return my phone calls either.She must not like Canadians.That has to be it,

  3. Numenius says:

    What if Ekblad is on the board at 3 and the Flyers come offering Couturier+?

    Do you make the deal?

    I would have said so earlier, but now I’m not so sure.

  4. sliderule says:

    The oilers have heavily scouted DalColle.

    If Oshawa get to m cup and he stars might the oiler list shift.

    MacKinnon might not have gone first overall without his cup run.He had a very poor WJC.

  5. Ducey says:

    LT I think you are out to lunch relying on Matheson as to who the Oilers will pick.

    Last year it became pretty clear that Nurse became the guy the weekend of the draft (MacT went on about how Nurse kept popping up in his life). The scouting staff hasn’t met. The combine hasn’t been held.

    I would think they don’t even know who they want.

    Anyway, Matheson was at one time in the loop but he isn’t any more. He went on and on about how the Oilers were always going to bring in Drew Stafford. Never happened.

    He is just guessing based on their need for a big center and a top end D. He has a 50/ 50 chance of being right, I guess, but an edcucated guess doesn’t = knowledge.

  6. theres oil in virginia says:

    If Schultz’s year was a train wreck, then his previous years were atom bomb explosions. He has a good stick, but still has warts; his decision making on pinches is often bad. He’s played 122 NHL games and has been given no shelter. Correlation?

    People said similar things about Petry and Gilbert when they were train wrecks defensively too. Schultz has more offensive upside than either of those two.

  7. Ducey says:

    Numenius: What if Ekblad is on the board at 3 and the Flyers come offering Couturier+?Do you make the deal?I would have said so earlier, but now I’m not so sure.

    Why in Gords name would the Flyers want to trade one of their best players, who has a value contract, for a maybe?

    Flip it around and ask yourself whether the Oilers would trade the Nuge for the #2 pick. There is no way.

  8. misfit says:

    All you have to do is look at what MacT said in his first press conference as GM, and the hockey world (the virtual one on the internet anyway)’s harping on “BOLD” moves that were apparently promised.

    The guy talked about the team having to be willing to take more risks, but everyone ever since has taken it to be a promise of a huge trade (or multiple major trades).

    So, I think a post like this is probably not only helpful, but entirely necessary.

  9. theres oil in virginia says:

    I was under the impression that it was the scouts job to report and advise, and the GM’s job to pull the trigger. Is this not so?

  10. su_dhillon says:

    Dennis tweeted yesterday ” Mact isn’t who we thought he was”. I tend to agree though, with the caveat that he may have been sandbagging the presser yesterday especially after realizing that he was too honest and forthcoming last year. I hope that’s the case. I really, really hope thats what yesterday was.

    Career years? Hall sure, Perron ok but outside of that I don’t see how you can make even an argument. No questions about the coaching staff? Has anyone seen the PP? Th inability for so ,many of the guys to understand basic positioning in their own end?

    The stuff about the assistants really got to me, if it is Eakins call then let him make the call there is no need to stand there and say in your mind you have all the right guys. What kind of position does that put the HC in? I love the question that was asked, I believe by Gregor, about what have the assistants done to retain their jobs while 2HC’s lost theirs?

    Oilers player development is the best in the league? based on who’s development? Taylor Hall’s? I could coach Hall and he would be a top 3 LW. How many guys came up from the system and made an impact this year? Marincin is 1, Kelfbom has been here less than a year, and at F I mean who have they developed? maybe there is a cluster coming, I would love for that to be the case but dont act like its a league wide held belief. You are not the Red Wings.

    The Justin Schultz love is also puzzling, its fine for them to make the case that he is young and will develop into a top offensive Dman, fine. Don’t stand there and say he had a great year when he was a train wreck for the overwhelming majority of the season.

  11. slopitch says:

    Ekblad could very well fall to #3. Who knows. I still like Draisatl although the Bennett/Toews comparisons scare me into thinking I’m overvaluing size. A top pairing D is so valuable they likely cant afford to pass on Ekblad even if he takes 4 more years to emerge.

    I think MacT and Tim Murray are going to be on the phone all damn summer. Would you do Rasmus Riso and NYI 2015 1st for the 3rd? Would you dangle our 2015 1st? A 10% shot at McDavid has value.

    The best play is likely to simply take the BPA, but the scenarios are gonna be fun to go over.

    Too bad about Belov. I still think he’d look good on a possession team. To much chaos here and Belov didnt have enough speed to make up for it. The fit wasnt there.

  12. Caramel Obvious says:

    I’m with steviezie. I’m glad they lost the lottery. There is only so much ignominity you can take.

    There are reasonable differences on which of the centers they should take. The one certainty is that they should not take Ekblad. That’s the only mistake they can make here. It is known.

    Finally, the way forward is to get Byfuglien or Subban. But they won’t want Byfuglien and Subban won’t be available so I’m not sure what they’ll do. Trading Marincin is a bad idea for anyone other than Subban.

    If I’m in charge, and blue sky dreams are out of the question (see above) I package Gagner for D (Josi) and sign Marcel Goc or someone like him and Daniel Winnik or someone like him and Anton Stralman.

    It would look something like this. I’m not sure this team can win but I think it is as good as can reasonably be expected:

    FORWARDS
    Taylor Hall ($6.000m) / Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($6.000m) / Jordan Eberle ($6.000m)
    David Perron ($3.813m) / Marcel Goc ($3.000m) / Nail Yakupov ($0.925m)
    Matt Hendricks ($1.850m) / Boyd Gordon ($3.000m) / Nikolai Kulemin ($3.000m)
    Anton Lander ($0.851m) / Mark Arcobello ($0.600m) / Roman Horak ($0.900m)
    Luke Gazdic ($9.000m) /
    DEFENSEMEN
    Roman Josi ($4.000m) / Anton Stralman ($3.000m)
    Martin Marincin ($0.730m) / Jeff Petry ($3.500m)
    Oscar Klefbom ($0.894m) / Justin Schultz ($4.000m)
    Andrew Ference ($3.250m) / Philip Larsen ($1.150m)
    GOALTENDERS
    Viktor Fasth ($2.900m)
    Ben Scrivens ($2.300m)
    BUYOUTS
    Eric Belanger ($0.000m)
    BURIED
    Jesse Joensuu ($0.025m)
    ——
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (estimations for 2014-15)
    SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $70,687,167; BONUSES: $3,340,000
    CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $412,833

  13. Numenius says:

    Ducey: Why in Gords name would the Flyers want to trade one of their best players, who has a value contract, for a maybe?

    Flip it around and ask yourself whether the Oilers would trade the Nuge for the #2 pick.There is no way.

    The Flyers want a Pronger. They need young D. Ekblad might be plug and play. They’re fairly deep at C already. Couturier was 8th overall.

    The Nuge analogy isn’t comparable. The Oil are not at all deep at C, he was a #1 overall, his numbers have always been better than Couturier’s.

    More comparable would be to ask if you’d trade Eberle for picking Reinhart or Draisaitl and you’re not drafting top 15 already.

  14. mumbai max says:

    Ducey: Why in Gords name would the Flyers want to trade one of their best players, who has a value contract, for a maybe?

    Flip it around and ask yourself whether the Oilers would trade the Nuge for the #2 pick.There is no way.

    I am not sure that comparing Nuge to Couturier is a good comparable. I certainly would not trade them straight up!

    Statistically, Gagner would be a better comparable. And YES, we would trade him for #3 pick.

    I think most teams would strongly consider trading a 40 point player for 3rd overall pick.

  15. Doomoil says:

    Numenius: The Flyers want a Pronger. They need young D. Ekblad might be plug and play. They’re fairly deep at C already. Couturier was 8th overall.

    The Nuge analogy isn’t comparable. The Oil are not at all deep at C, he was a #1 overall, his numbers have always been better than Couturier’s.

    More comparable would be to ask if you’d trade Eberle for picking Reinhart or Draisaitl and you’re not drafting top 15 already.

    Don’t forget that the draft is in Philly and Holmgren is unpredictable if anything.

    If they get swept out of the first round, who knows what they do.

  16. Genjutsu says:

    I am somewhat baffled why so many people think Ekblad will take 4 years to become an impact player.

    Why the four year rule for D men is thing is physical maturity and learning to think the pro game.

    By all accounts he thinks the game at a pro level now.

    His body is that of man now. This is the only man to play OHL at 15 years old as a defenceman.

    He’ll be in the NHL this fall.

  17. misfit says:

    I generally don’t have a problem with most of what MacT said about the coaching staff, but if Buchbeger’s primary role is that of a bridge to the “good ol’ days”, then I’m fully on board with the torches and pitchfork crowd who’ve been calling for his head for years.

    If you want players to have an example of what being “an Oiler” means, then it’s got to come from within the team. It’s Ryan Smyth. It’s going out and bringing Jarret Stoll, or Matt Greene, or signing Horcoff in the offseason after the Stars buy him out. Basically, someone who has been here, has been steeped in the culture and history of the team, and can go out and be an example of that as a player. What it’s definitely NOT, is a guy in a suit and tie standing on the bench saying “back in my day…” Anyone here with kids knows how much that means to people trying to form their own identity.

    Just ask Rothlisberger’s Steelers teams. Any of them who were around in the early days of the recent great Pittsburgh teams will tell you the best thing they did for that team was when they finally stopped parading out the Bradshaw/Greene/Steel Curtain teams of their past glory in front of the faces of the current day (current at the time) Steelers.

    How can you say to the world that your plan is to turn the team over to the core group, and then employ a person on your staff who’s main purpose is to tell/show them how to be an Oiler?

  18. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: Why in Gords name would the Flyers want to trade one of their best players, who has a value contract, for a maybe?

    Flip it around and ask yourself whether the Oilers would trade the Nuge for the #2 pick.There is no way.

    LOLMGREN just signed a bad Dman to 30MM over 6 years.

    Holmgren traded Richards and Carter near their peak in the same year.

    Never, ever underestimate what he’s capable of, especially in his desire to get another Pronger.

  19. mumbai max says:

    Genjutsu:
    I am somewhat baffled why so many people think Ekblad will take 4 years to become an impact player.

    Why the four year rule for D men is thing is physical maturity and learning to think the pro game.

    By all accounts he thinks the game at a pro level now.

    His body is that of man now.This is the only man to play OHL at 15 years old as a defenceman.

    He’ll be in the NHL this fall.

    Not for the Oil I hope. I would rather have Nurse graduate and pick one of the Centers.

    Or better yet, leave Nurse where he is, draft a centre and sign/trade for 1D and 2D.

  20. su_dhillon says:

    So if Reinhart and Bennett go 1-2 as LT just said coud happen, who do they take? I think I am in the minority but I think they need a young C more than a young D, I would take the German kid.

  21. Woodguy says:

    Genjutsu:
    I am somewhat baffled why so many people think Ekblad will take 4 years to become an impact player.

    Why the four year rule for D men is thing is physical maturity and learning to think the pro game.

    By all accounts he thinks the game at a pro level now.

    His body is that of man now.This is the only man to play OHL at 15 years old as a defenceman.

    He’ll be in the NHL this fall.

    Because we heard these exact same things about:

    Bogosian
    Johnson
    Hedman
    Boumeester
    Pietrangelo

    Etc, etc.

    History shows us that Doughty is on the far, far right end of the bell curve.

    Dmen take time, even the high end ones.

  22. supernova says:

    I love speculating about the 3 for 1.

    I think we do have the assets to trade that other teams might want.

    Gagner for all his warts the league knows he can produce 2 line offence and is still young with many games played

    Lander a Center by trade that has shown productivity in the minors, also has that “it” factor with being a player that the other teams want in the fact he is well respected as a leader and professional on his SEL and AHL teams, these players always get extra chances around the league

    Marincin- young, tall and good junior stats mixed with way above average expected showing in his half season in the NHL

    IMO this is a very traceable package for potential as well as the 3 combined are only around 6 million.

    Who do we get for this kind of package?

    Byfugelien?
    Coburn?
    Staal in Carolina ?
    Spezza?
    Erhoff?

    All these could be achievable with a few tweaks either way but I see a core of trading assets mixed with some possible veterans to take back.

  23. Jordan says:

    MacT spoke at length about Justin Schultz, saying he’d have no problem getting his name on a long-term deal.

    They love Justin Schultz, but I’m not sure why. He’s playing way too many minutes, doesn’t possess a power-play bomb and is a chaos blue. Is that what they’re going to build around? I would suggest this is a genuine concern and the contract is likely to run wildly out of time with actual value.

    Right now, Justin is developing, but he’s not a great defenseman. People talk about running Tom Poti out of town in connection with Petry, but the guy who plays most like Mr Oops I missed my assignment is Mr Schultz.

    I have to beleive this is a smokescreen. He didn’t say a negative thing about anyone, he supports his coaching staff, they’re meeting their goals to bring in character & leadership, blah blah blah…

    The only thing this presser told us is that Craig is playing his cards much closer to the vest this summer, which shows he learned from his mistakes last year. I think the assertion that he’s got some moves in mind is pretty clear, and it’s a matter of which pieces fall into place.

  24. Woodguy says:

    misfit:
    I generally don’t have a problem with most of what MacT said about the coaching staff, but if Buchbeger’s primary role is that of a bridge to the “good ol’ days”, then I’m fully on board with the torches and pitchfork crowd who’ve been calling for his head for years.

    If you want players to have an example of what being “an Oiler” means, then it’s got to come from within the team.It’s Ryan Smyth.It’s going out and bringing Jarret Stoll, or Matt Greene, or signing Horcoff in the offseason after the Stars buy him out.Basically, someone who has been here, has been steeped in the culture and history of the team, and can go out and be an example of that as a player.What it’s definitely NOT, is a guy in a suit and tie standing on the bench saying “back in my day…”Anyone here with kids knows how much that means to people trying to form their own identity.

    Just ask Rothlisberger’s Steelers teams.Any of them who were around in the early days of the recent great Pittsburgh teams will tell you the best thing they did for that team was when they finally stopped parading out the Bradshaw/Greene/Steel Curtain teams of their past glory in front of the faces of the current day (current at the time) Steelers.

    How can you say to the world that your plan is to turn the team over to the core group, and then employ a person on your staff who’s main purpose is to tell/show them how to be an Oiler?

    Awesome post.

    Your last paragraph should be on a billboard in front of the Kingsway offices.

  25. icecastles says:

    Jordan: I have to beleive this is a smokescreen. He didn’t say a negative thing about anyone, he supports his coaching staff, they’re meeting their goals to bring in character & leadership, blah blah blah…
    The only thing this presser told us is that Craig is playing his cards much closer to the vest this summer, which shows he learned from his mistakes last year. I think the assertion that he’s got some moves in mind is pretty clear, and it’s a matter of which pieces fall into place.

    Exactly my take as well.

    And if he wants to get maximum value trading anyone away, it’s not going to do him a world of good to talk publicly about what a disappointment they’ve been.

    I was surprised how clear and direct his messaging was about the ass coaches though: one would think he’d have wanted to leave a little more ambiguity there in terms of their future with the club. But I’m more than willing to wait to see what he does before reading much of anything into this presser.

    As Jordan says, MacT was bullish on pretty much every person in the org and every aspect of it, and we know that doesn’t jive with what this season brought. He’s not a stupid man. He’s learning rapidly and I suspect we’d be remiss judging the MacT of this year by looking at the MacT of last year.

  26. Clay says:

    “However, I’d rather see that development than trading Marincin (f)or a mid-level option who can help a little in the short term.”

    A million times. Marincin is legit (and I see him better than Klefbom at this point). Marincin for a few years of Byfuglien or Campbell would be the height of waste at this point.

    ” I would argue the Gagner contract turned out badly due to Kassian”

    People get hurt in the NHL every day. And maybe the injury set back Gagner’s offense, but I sincerely fail to see how Kassian prevents Gagner from covering anyone in the defensive zone on a nightly basis.

    If Gagner had a career high in points this year, his $4.8MM still wouldn’t be value, because of what he leaves behind.

  27. sliderule says:

    Woodguy,

    The Mact presser just laid out to the whole oiler world that Six Rings is the one who calls the final shots.

    Forget about any of the oilers for life being fired until Lowe retires.

  28. icecastles says:

    sliderule: The Mact presser just laid out to the whole oiler world that Six Rings is the one who calls the final shots.

    I don’t think this follows from that in any way whatsoever.

  29. admiralmark says:

    LT you didn’t mention “what he said” about the asst coaches. I think he did more damage to his reputation with his comments on that subject then anything. What the majority of angry fans have been saying for a while now is there is a old boys club that is perennially holding this team back from getting better. So what does he do? Goes into detail about “qualities” Buchberger has and experience from the winning days… blah blah blah = he’s in the ole boys club. I’m not one to say asst coaches are the biggest issue here. But I like many fans ask the question What has actually specifically improved with Smith and Bucky here? The D men are missing the Fundamentals of the craft. They have been here how long? Wouldn’t that be an area Smith or Bucky would work on? The PP this year.. horrendous! Bucky or Smith have anything to do with designing it? Improving it? Name one thing thats specifically improved with these two??

    And yet there’s MacT exalting how great a job they do as assistance?! All that said to the fan base is NOTHING has changed in this regard. Nothing. Thats a bad move on his part.

  30. Fauntleroy says:

    su_dhillon,

    SU_DHILLON, you raise a good point about player development. This raised eyebrows because it is probably one of the biggest contributing factors to the suckfest that is the Oilers right now. David Staples raised a good point by saying that the lack of two-way skills in the players the Oilers have drafted and developed is simply abysmal. For MacT to say what he said was probably more about following the philosophy of not saying anything bad publicly about your teammates. He’s probably smart enough to know otherwise in private, though.

  31. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    admiralmark: LT you didn’t mention “what he said” about the asst coaches

    I’d be interested in Mrs. LT’s take on the tone of the audio clip re: coaches. If I were an assistant it would not inspire me to make any major purchases the next while.

  32. denny33 says:

    Every once in a while LT hits a grand slam…take a bow sir.

    The core: Mac T is either flat out lying or he believes it. Pick your poison.

    Justin Schutlz : Even some of the people that were / are defending Dallas cannot defend the usage of this Brutal, Brutal player.

    Last 30 games – Mac T claims the team improved greatly over the last 30 games – despite what everyone else has been seeing.
    *************************************************************************************************
    Edmonton Oiler management – I believe – has a truly different take on the team that a lot of observers and fans.

    Like LT wrote – all 30 teams would like to add a top end D-man or Power Forward.

    Very nervous about Mac T….and how he views his team AND the organization as a whole.

  33. denny33 says:

    su_dhillon,

    Oilers player development is the best in the league?
    ******************************************************************
    League has stopped laughing at us and just staring now….

    Just waiting for Mac T to say the sky is red.

  34. Genjutsu says:

    Woodguy: Because we heard these exact same things about:

    Bogosian
    Johnson
    Hedman
    Boumeester
    Pietrangelo

    Etc, etc.

    History shows us that Doughty is on the far, far right end of the bell curve.

    Dmen take time, even the high end ones.

    I hear you he seems to be a bit of a one off. Playing D in the OHL at 15 is no joke. I think he play NHL hockey this fall, just not first pairing.

    I hope they take a C with pick just by the way. All three look all kinds of good and could be a good top two option with Nuge IMO.

  35. icecastles says:

    denny33:
    su_dhillon,

    Oilers player development is the best in the league?
    ******************************************************************
    League has stopped laughing at us and just staring now….
    Just waiting for Mac T to say the sky is red.

    Not sure why this comment of MacT’s is being met with such vitriol and scorn. The Oilers have a very good farm team with an outstanding developmental coach. They have what appears to be good communications and a smooth running pipeline from junior to AHL to the NHL. The callups we’ve had from OKC have done very well; I’d say they exceeded expectations more often than not (Marcincin, Klefbom, Arcobello…)

    There are a lot of things wrong with the Oilers. I don’t believe the development system is one of them.

  36. Ducey says:

    mumbai max: I am not sure that comparing Nuge to Couturier is a good comparable. I certainly would not trade them straight up!Statistically, Gagner would be a better comparable. And YES, we would trade him for #3 pick.I think most teams would strongly consider trading a 40 point player for 3rd overall pick.

    Gagner is worth considerably less than Couturier.

    Woodguy: LOLMGREN just signed a bad Dman to 30MM over 6 years.Holmgren traded Richards and Carter near their peak in the same year.Never, ever underestimate what he’s capable of, especially in his desire to get another Pronger.

    If we predicate all our trade predictions on the other team being nuts then we can speculate anything will happen. If we are trying to come up with realistic trade proposals, they should be based on some sense of value for value.

    Couturier is:
    1. 6′ 3″, 21 yr old, top 9 center,
    2. Noted for his ability to play against the other team’s top lines
    3. Plays the second most minutes of any forward on PHI
    4. Has a Cap hit of $1.75 M for the next two years

    I don’t see PHI trading that guy for an 18 yr old defenseman that isn’t going to help them win a Cup for another 3 yrs.

  37. rickithebear says:

    Lets see:
    MacT traded for:
    Perron; Hendricks; Scrivens; Fasth
    Perron-XXX-XXX
    Hendricks-XXX-XXX

    Scrivens
    Fasth

    He signed Ference; Gordon

    Perron-XXX-XXX
    Hendricks-Gordon-XXX

    Ference-XXX
    Stated he likes our young Core would not do somethiung stupid
    Hall; RNH; Eberel; Schultz.
    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    Perron-XXX-XXX
    Hendricks-Gordon-XXX

    Stated he wants an elite Top pairing Dman.
    won’t touch the core.
    We have prospects

  38. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I would not draft a D in the top 5 of any draft year as a general rule. I’m betting Ekblad doesn’t go in the top two this year.

    But on a separate scenario, and given where both teams are in their respective rebuilds, would we trade our #3 pick for Grigorenko in Buffalo? I’m thinking that Buffalo is really at the starting line of their rebuild and have an opportunity to harvest a lot at this draft. Exchanging a high end prospect like Grigorenko that has a couple years of seasoning for any of the three C’s at that top of the draft list and have the chance to add Ekblad as well would be enticing. Its not a major setback for Buffalo as they have Hodgson and Girgenson already playing minutes on the big club. It seemed there was some disenchantment by Grigorenko with Buffalo for not supporting him early on in his development and I will go to what LT has said a number of times on this blog – he isn’t Murray’s guy, he didn’t pick him so maybe the affinity isn’t there for Murray to hang on to him. Wouldn’t he be a nice fit with Yak given age and nationality? It gives us two years development and a 6’3′ center with upside. Can’t comment on his 200 ft game however.

  39. Woodguy says:

    sliderule:
    Woodguy,

    The Mact presser just laid out to the whole oiler world that Six Rings is the one who calls the final shots.

    Forget about any of the oilers for life being fired untilLowe retires.

    I think what we found out is that MacT thinks more like Lowe than we are comfortable with.

  40. icecastles says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic: But on a separate scenario, and given where both teams are in their respective rebuilds, would we trade our #3 pick for Grigorenko in Buffalo?

    If Buffalo did this, they would truly deserve to be as bad as they are. The only thing this would accomplish for the Sabres would be to set them back another two years in prospect development and take on additional risk in an untested prospect.

  41. Jordan says:

    icecastles: Not sure why this comment of MacT’s is being met with such vitriol and scorn. The Oilers have a very good farm team with an outstanding developmental coach. They have what appears to be good communications and a smooth running pipeline from junior to AHL to the NHL. The callups we’ve had from OKC have done very well; I’d say they exceeded expectations more often than not (Marcincin, Klefbom, Arcobello…)

    There are a lot of things wrong with the Oilers. I don’t believe the development system is one of them.

    Agree 100%. I’m not sold they’re the best in the league, but I’d bet they’re at least top 5 now.

    Question though – is that due to better development, better prospects, or (by extension) better drafting?

    Based on Larsen’s play at the beginning of the year vs. end of the year, I’d suggest it’s the development.

  42. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: Gagner is worth considerably less than Couturier.

    If we predicate all our trade predictions on the other team being nuts then we can speculate anything will happen.If we are trying to come up with realistic trade proposals, they should be based on some sense of value for value.

    Couturier is:
    1. 6′ 3″, 21 yr old, top 9 center,
    2. Noted for his ability to play against the other team’s top lines
    3. Plays the second most minutes of any forward onPHI
    4. Has a Cap hit of $1.75 M for the next two years

    I don’t see PHI trading that guy for an 18 yr old defenseman that isn’t going to help them win a Cup for another 3 yrs.

    You’re turning this into a “good players never get traded” argument.

    The correct assessment is the good players get traded less often than average players.

    LOLMGREN has traded more good players than your average GM and his decision to give 30MM to a marginal Dman show us that his decision-making is still at LOLMGREN levels.

  43. icecastles says:

    Jordan: Question though – is that due to better development, better prospects, or (by extension) better drafting?
    Based on Larsen’s play at the beginning of the year vs. end of the year, I’d suggest it’s the development.

    I don’t think better drafting has a lot to do with it. The top-end prospects have all gone straight to the NHL without any time in the Oilers’ development system… and in retrospect, I think some of them would have benefited from the experience. I feel that Schultz (not a draftee but you get my drift), Yak, Gagner perhaps even Nuge, truly suffered from having come up too early. We see guys racking up points and assume there is “no benefit” in keeping them down if they’re already dominating. Clearly there is more to the NHL game than boxcars.

    Larsen’s progress, along with that of the defensive prospects and what I’ve heard about that of Moroz, speaks very very well to the learning that is going on down there.

  44. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    icecastles,

    I’m not sure it sets them back because I don’t think there is any ‘back’ for them. My impression is they are dumping a bunch of players this summer and choosing to start at the start line. New regime, fresh start. I’m angling on the fact it isn’t entirely clear where Grigorenko slots for them considering Hodgson and Girgenson in front of him today and the fact he hasn’t been a happy camper at all. I agree they accept risk here but really how much when you’re dealing in top three C’s. If this Oilers odyssey has shown me anything, Buffalo has a long dark road in front of them before they can embrace hope for competitiveness. Hey…we’re speculating we might jettison Yak – who’s arguably had more impact than Grigorenko so far.

  45. TheOtherJohn says:

    Woodguy: You’re turning this into a “good players never get traded” argument.

    The correct assessment is the good players get traded less often than average players.

    LOLMGREN has traded more good players than your average GM and his decision to give 30MM to a marginal Dman show us that his decision-making is still at LOLMGREN levels.

    They also gave Bryzgalov a Billion $$* and could not buy him out too quickly = decisions* made in haste (the decision to sign him to that contract)

  46. icecastles says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic,

    Interesting perspective. It seems a strange path, but I see your logic.

    It begs the question though that if he’s a guy the worst team in the league has such doubts on, would Edmonton (who have made big noises about the importance of character on more than one occasion) necessarily want him?

  47. Kosmo Kraemer says:

    MacT’s conference yesterday scared me when he talked about assistant coaches. Said that he thought they were doing good jobs but in the end it was up to Eakins. So what does that say? Your boss says its up to you but I think they are doing a good job.

    Anyway my bold prediction. I believe that by the ned of 2014-15 Klefbom will be higher on the depth chart then Marincin.

  48. Jujhar says:

    Gagner contract turned out badly because of Kassian? HAHAHAHAH

    THe guy had a 43.1 CF% in this 12-13 “career” year. This to go along with his embaressing defensive play.

  49. Marcus Oilerius says:

    I was looking at the Oilers season to try and find some positives in it, unless I look at just the record over the last 21 games – even if I exclude the horrible 4-15-2 first 21, it doesn’t ever look pretty.

    If we remove those terrible opening 21 games, the Oilers record is 25-29-7, which if sustained would project to 33-39-9 or thereabouts, over an 82 game season. That’s an 9 point improvement in the standings, so.. not that much, really.

    It’s even less pretty if we compare front half vs back half of the season.

    The first 41 games the Oilers were 13-24-4. The last 41 games, they were 16-20-5. If they were as good over the whole season as they were over the last half, then they’d still have only a 32-40-10 record, or 74 points.

    If we look at just the final 21 games, things look better at 9-10-2, which would come out to be 36-40-8, or a 15 point improvement. But here we’re looking at a very small sample size, a sample that is unusually littered with a combination of very good teams and very bad teams, and not as much in the middle.

    If we look at shot totals at any point in the season, it’s a miracle the Oilers won any games. Even those final 21 games, when we went 9-10-2, the Oil outshot the opposition twice (Carolina and Nashville), tied shots three times (the 21-shot-each Minnesota snoozer, Buffalo for 36 apiece, and Phoenix for 26 each.) They also managed 582 shots for (just a hair under 26 per game) while allowing 749, or a hair under 36 per game. That’s about a 10-shot differential, every single game, on average, over the Oilers best quarter of the season in terms of record.

    Anyone expecting anything but a slightly mitigated disaster next season is in for a disappointment, IMO.

  50. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    icecastles,

    Maybe not doubts on ability and how he may project over time, more on how he fits in the mix versus getting something else of high end caliber with our pick (in exchange). We simply have more front end urgency than Buffalo I think – and a glaring need at 2C. I think they did right by Girgorenko by sending him down. He just wasn’t ready. But he ticks off a lot of needs for us. I fundamentally agree on character of which I have no sense with Grigoenko. I can understand his frustrations concerning his playing situation however. He really wasn’t handled well.

  51. OilClog says:

    Ekblad won’t be there at 3.

    I believe the Oilers have to take the C that is most opposite of Nuge to successfully fill that #2 spot.

    My perfect world, they move the pick for a Spezza or Dubinsky.

  52. su_dhillon says:

    Anyone expecting anything but a slightly mitigated disaster next season is in for a disappointment, IMO.

    Your 2014 Edmonton Oilers, Get your season tickets now!

  53. Ducey says:

    Woodguy: You’re turning this into a “good players never get traded” argument.The correct assessment is the good players get traded less often than average players.LOLMGREN has traded more good players than your average GM and his decision to give 30MM to a marginal Dman show us that his decision-making is still at LOLMGREN levels.

    Thats not what I am saying.

    I think that every team has a few players that they will be very unlikely to trade. In EDM thats Hall, Ebs, Nuge, and apparently Schultz.

    There are lots of good players that get traded because they are not seen as essential to the team in question or cost too much, etc

    Couturier is likely seen as a core piece in PHI. They would have no reason to want to move him. I would think they would move anyone but Giroux before they move Couturier.

    Holmgren making stupid moves doesn’t mean he always makes stupid moves. Even the MSM has figured out Couturier is a gem.

  54. Ducey says:

    Marcus Oilerius: .Anyone expecting anything but a slightly mitigated disaster next season is in for a disappointment, IMO.

    That might be a bit strong but yeah, this team isn’t making the playoffs next year.

    If they win 10 more games next year (that would be a 25 % improvement) they would go 39 – 34 – 9 and end with 87 points. That would leave them 4 points out of the playoffs.

    Thats likely the best we can hope for – and a good reason not to trade that 2015 first rounder.

  55. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Ducey,

    Outshot by 10 shots per game over their best 21-game stretch of the season.

    I stand by “slightly mitigated disaster”.

  56. anonymous says:

    If Mact posted these opinions on this or any other oilers site he’d get roasted by most posters. This leaves me with little confidence in his abilities.

  57. theres oil in virginia says:

    anonymous:
    If Mact postedthese opinions on this or any other oilers site, he’d get roasted by most posters. This leaves me with little confidence in his abilities.

    Many of the things he said are posted here. So, roast away…

  58. icecastles says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    Ducey,

    Outshot by 10 shots per game over their best 21-game stretch of the season.

    I stand by “slightly mitigated disaster”.

    I think you’re oversimplifying the convesation here. There were a lot of mitigating factors this season that made the team play considerably worse than their potential. The impact of that start can likely not be overstated. After so many awful seasons, that disastrous opening sucked the confidence and motivation out of the room to an unimaginable degree, and it proved too much to overcome for such a young group that is still extremely fragile. Plus, they were on yet another brand new coach who was also learning on the fly.

    The Oilers were not as good a team as expectations suggest. But just as Colorado is not as good a team as their season result would lead us to believe (or Toronto last year), I believe the Oilers are not as bad a team as the season’s results would suggest. That “unsustainable” thing has to work in both directions.

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic: I think they did right by Girgorenko by sending him down. He just wasn’t ready.

    I can understand his frustrations concerning his playing situation however. He really wasn’t handled well.

    I’m not sure these two statements agree with each other, but I’m also not very aware of what transpired with Grigorenko other than hearing that there was quite a bit of frustration.

    Was he bounced up and down a lot, or benched, or played on a grinder line with little chance to succeed, or was it a poor communication thing where the message he was being given didn’t match the way they actually handled him (assuring him he’d be on the big team then getting demoted)?

  59. icecastles says:

    anonymous: If Mact posted these opinions on this or any other oilers site he’d get roasted by most posters. This leaves me with little confidence in his abilities.

    So your confidence in the abilities of a GM are determined by whether a bunch of anonymous fans on a blog criticize him? I don’t like to be openly hostile, but that’s really stupid.

    Edit:
    REALLY stupid.

    Edit 2:
    Like… GriffCity-level stupid.

  60. Ducey says:

    anonymous: If Mact posted these opinions on this or any other oilers site he’d get roasted by most posters. This leaves me with little confidence in his abilities.

    I have little confindence in posters who can’t understand that a GM in MacT’s situation isn’t going to come out and throw his players, coaches and scouts under the bus.

  61. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: Thats not what I am saying.

    I think that every team has a few players that they will be very unlikely to trade.In EDM thats Hall, Ebs, Nuge, and apparently Schultz.

    There are lots of good players that get traded because they are not seen as essential to the team in question or cost too much, etc

    Couturier is likely seen as a core piece in PHI.They would have no reason to want to move him.I would think they would move anyone but Giroux before they move Couturier.

    Holmgren making stupid moves doesn’t mean he always makes stupid moves.Even the MSM has figured out Couturier is a gem.

    I don’t know how you can say this when he traded Richards and Carter.

    How more core is their current 3C than their 1C AND 2C?

  62. Marcus Oilerius says:

    icecastles: I think you’re oversimplifying the convesation here. There were a lot of mitigating factors this season that made the team play considerably worse than their potential. The impact of that start can likely not be overstated. After so many awful seasons, that disastrous opening sucked the confidence and motivation out of the room to an unimaginable degree, and it proved too much to overcome for such a young group that is still extremely fragile. Plus, they were on yet another brand new coach who was also learning on the fly.

    The Oilers were not as good a team as expectations suggest. But just as Colorado is not as good a team as their season result would lead us to believe (or Toronto last year), I believe the Oilers are not as bad a team as the season’s results would suggest. That “unsustainable” thing has to work in both directions.

    The final quarter of the season is as far removed from the 4-15-2 start as possible. That 10-shot-per-game differential is what I calculated over the last 21 games, the Oilers best quarter of the season.

    If anything is unsustainable, it’s the Oilers 9-10-2 record to end the season. We are far more likely to see a 4-15-2 start than 9-10-2.

  63. Ducey says:

    Woodguy: I don’t know how you can say this when he traded Richards and Carter.How more core is their current 3C than their 1C AND 2C?

    Holmgren isn’t some kind of robot. I would expect that he will have learned a few things, including from that trade. You could argue that the fact he traded Ricards and Carter makes him less likely to do something like that again, not more.

  64. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    icecastles,

    I may be off base and others can correct me, but he was a classic case of a prospect rushed onto the NHL roster right away pre Lafontaine and Murray. When Lafontaine arrived, the decision was made to move him off the NHL roster. But, given his age, it meant junior – not AHL. So, it was a big step back for Grigorenko and a tough pill to swallow. It was provoked by the leadership change and his frustration did leak to the public media domain. Hopefully, I have that accurate. My apologies in advance if I have errored.

  65. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Ducey,

    Plus, there have been rumors of the owner, Snyder, meddling with personnel decisions going back to this trade. Snyder’s absolving Holmgren of blame for moves Snyder himself commanded would go far to explain Holmgren’s continued employment.

  66. russ99 says:

    Ducey: I have little confindence in posters who can’t understand that a GM in MacT’s situation isn’t going to come out and throw his players, coaches and scouts under the bus.

    Agree, but there’s ways to do it that doesn’t make you look completely out of touch with reality.

    IMO, he pulled a complete 180 and this is almost as damaging as last year, with the direct “bold” comments on what he’d do. How can any opposing GM take what he said even remotely seriously?

  67. Marcus Oilerius says:

    russ99,

    I’m pretty sure opposing GMs pay attention more to what he says in private and if he negotiates in good faith and isn’t a hard-to-deal-with prick than media comments for public consumption. They know a lot of fluff gets thrown around to sell tickets and hope.

  68. anonymous says:

    russ99: Agree, but there’s ways to do it that doesn’t make you look completely out of touch with reality.

    IMO, he pulled a complete 180 and this is almost as damaging as last year, with the direct “bold” comments on what he’d do. How can any opposing GM take what he said even remotely seriously?

    This was more or less what I was getting at.

  69. icecastles says:

    Marcus Oilerius: The final quarter of the season is as far removed from the 4-15-2 start as possible. That 10-shot-per-game differential is what I calculated over the last 21 games, the Oilers best quarter of the season.
    If anything is unsustainable, it’s the Oilers 9-10-2 record to end the season. We are far more likely to see a 4-15-2 start than 9-10-2.

    I’ll put money on you being wrong. Seriously – at the 21-game mark, what do you want to wager that they will be closer to 20 points than to 10? 15 points after 21 games can be considered a draw.

    And no, the final quarter of the season is not all that far removed from the end of the season. Since they’re you know, part of the same damn season.

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic,

    Now that you write it, I recall reading something like this. I can see exactly what you mean then. good to send him down, but a crappy way for it to happen indeed. I can see how this would be felt by the player as a real vote of non-confidence.

    A lot of managers seem to duck behind the smokescreen of “we’re all men” and forget that when a lot of these guys come to the NHL, they may have man size and man skills, but they are still teenagers and have the maturity and fragility of any teenager. Good development means looking after and developing the person, not just the on-ice ‘product’. Otherwise, you get a guy with a killer shot but, without the confidence to unleash it.

  70. Doomoil says:

    Ducey: Holmgren isn’t some kind of robot. I would expect that he will have learned a few things, including from that trade.You could argue that the fact he traded Ricards and Carter makes him less likely to do something like that again, not more.

    Did you miss the freshly minted 30M contract for middling to bad defenseman MacDonald?

  71. icecastles says:

    anonymous: This was more or less what I was getting at.

    And yet it’s not even close to what you actually said.

  72. theres oil in virginia says:

    icecastles: And yet it’s not even close to what you actually said.

    And still pretty much substance-free.

  73. icecastles says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    That was beautiful.

  74. Melman says:

    Woodguy: I think what we found out is that MacT thinks more like Lowe than we are comfortable with.

    What he also said more than once is that his words, rightly so, are just words. Ultimately he’s to be judged on his moves. He had some solid wins (Perron, fixing the G) a couple whiffs (Grebs, Joensuu) and a huge bullet dodged (Clarkson). I agree that flushing/burying Marincin/Klefbom for a middling D doesn’t make sense – hopefully he can hit the home run there – fill in some solid 2/3 line forwards and keep the mantra “don’t do anything stupid” front and centre in his head.

  75. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    icecastles,

    I couldn’t agree with your last paragraph more. So true. Now apply those exact sentiments to Ekblad who has a more difficult position to develop in at the NHL level. What would be right is to give Ekblad two seasons of development before you think about putting him on the NHL roster. And if that is necessary (it always is), is it the right selection for the Oilers today? This has been a base rationale for why I feel an exchange of our pick for a Grigorenko or an Adam Larsson makes sense. It has to do with where the Oilers are in their current player and contract mix and team development trajectory. MacT said it last year – another 18 year old prospect will not help this club move forward today.

  76. anonymous says:

    Mact seems to believe the coaching staff is good and all the core oilers had career years. Stats and optics disagree. Leaves me with little confidence, clearly I was wrong about placing value on what posters think. IMO.

  77. Marcus Oilerius says:

    icecastles: I’ll put money on you being wrong. Seriously – at the 21-game mark, what do you want to wager that they will be closer to 20 points than to 10? 15 points after 21 games can be considered a draw.

    I’ll put up a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black, with the proviso that if the Oilers trade for/sign a quality defenceman (Markov/Niskanen/Ehrhoff type or so), or get a legitimate top 6 centre (whether of the Legwand/Couturier/Richards two-way mould or a Stastny scoring type), we call it off.

    edit: also, if we get a ridiculously easily schedule, like the Flames/Sabres/Panthers a lot, I’d like some consideration for that.

  78. Ducey says:

    Doomoil: Did you miss the freshly minted 30M contract for middling to bad defenseman MacDonald?

    1. Other bad moves don’t mean that he will trade one of his young, cheap, core players
    2. MacD is actually seen in some circles (MSM) as a good defenseman. Holmgren obviously agrees and its possible that he is no smarter than the average Mark Spector. However, it should be noted that while Couturier was a hidden gem before, now the MSM has noted he is good too.
    3. The MacD signing actually makes it more important that PHI keeps their cheap effective players as they will have less cap room
    4. My suggestion when all of this discussion started was that we should discuss reasonable (value for value) trades not unreasonable ones.
    5. The fact that everyone that has taken issue with my suggestion that Ekblad < Courturier counters with "Holmgren is crazy" would suggest that Ekblad < Couturier :)

  79. hags9k says:

    Woodguy: I think what we found out is that MacT thinks more like Lowe than we are comfortable with.

    I guess so. Those two have been talking hockey together for so long they likely finish each others’ thoughts.

  80. theres oil in virginia says:

    anonymous:
    Mact seems to believe the coaching staff is good and all the core oilers had career years. Stats and optics disagree. Leaves me with little confidence, clearly I was wrong aboutplacing value on what posters think. IMO.

    So, if I understand correctly, the two issues you have are the coaching staff and the “career years” of the core. I think if you look at the year that the core guys had, boxcars-wise, it’s pretty good. The team as a whole was a disaster and that probably had a large impact on possession stats. I’m pretty sure that MacT stated that he was using boxcars (although not using that term) in his assessment. It looks to me like Taylor Hall, Perron, and Nuge had “career years” while Eberle and Schultz held par. I think he was using this as an indication that these guys did not take a step back, or at least not as big a step back as some think. It’s debatable, for sure, but I figure he was trying to put some positivity into the discussion and while that is warranted, he probably should have chosen his words more carefully. I don’t think it’s worth all of the reaction it’s getting. It’s all very loose anyway. Just who are the core? What does it mean to be the core? Does it mean they aren’t tradable, or something else?

    The coaching staff hardly seems like the issue to me. I wholeheartedly endorse Woodguy’s statement from a previous post: “It’s the roster.” MacT said as much, and said that it was on him to fix it. Again, his choice of words and arguments could have been better, and he came off a bit “old boys club” (especially regarding Bucky), but really, coaching didn’t keep this club out of the playoffs.

    I think the bottom line is that it isn’t likely that MacT will be able to fix enough of the problems to get the Oilers into the playoffs next year, and fans are sensing that. I figure that’s where the angst is coming from. Firing a coach, or trading a “core” guy isn’t going to be a magic elixir, either. There is no quick fix and MacT knows it. Better to proceed with caution and keep improving the club, even if the going is slow. Nobody wants to hear that, of course. It’s also possible that some of these young d-men hit the ground running and the club takes a major step up. Couple that with a few well-placed acquisitions and good things could happen. (Goaltending certainly looks better than it has in quite some time.) At this point, though, playoffs next year would be a bad bet. Maybe the offseason changes that, but thankfully, MacT is wary of doing something stupid in search of a quick fix.

  81. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I’m pretty cheezed about the Belov situation. I was loving those WOWYs all year.

    I think LT’s right. Eakins/MacT saw a few too many big mistakes see Dellow on this recently:

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6905

    and missed the forest for the trees.

    I also think he’s an upgrade on the Greene or Engelland options floating out of Matty.

    ———-

    On petry/schultz I think it could happen again that two signings will happens relatively close together and with Petry, we’ll be stoked by the price but bitter about the term and with Schultz we’ll be bitter about the price, like we were with Dubnyk

  82. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    BTW, I wrote a piece today on a few comments MacT made on developing players

    http://theoilersrig.com/2014/04/im-tryin-get-home/

  83. vangolf says:

    Re: Draft, I see Draisatl as a big late riser a la Barkov (if we remember he was a lock to go #4 to Nashville up to the day before draft) and see Buffalo taking him. I am going to consciously take a step back from all the pre-draft hoopla and be content that we are getting a great player, with the likely identity of such player only revealing itself immediately before or at the draft.

  84. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: I think what we found out is that MacT thinks more like Lowe than we are comfortable with.

    I think that is a fair assessment in terms of what he values and the fact that he puts a premium on character, etc.

    one thing that seems different from both Lowe and Tambo, is that he seems pretty invested in building a robust structure of support to whatever decisions he’s making… I tried to outline this in the article I posted above.

  85. gvblackhawk says:

    icecastles: So your confidence in the abilities of a GM are determined by whether a bunch of anonymous fans on a blog criticize him? I don’t like to be openly hostile, but that’s really stupid.

    Edit:
    REALLY stupid.

    Edit 2:
    Like… GriffCity-level stupid.

    Please keep the conversation civil. You can make your point without acting like a condescending ass.

  86. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I figured you wouldn’t take the Belov departure sitting down. It sounds to me like MacT is not interested in signing Greene, et al (no middling options, or something to that effect), and Belov is is that class, even if a bit better. I took it to mean that MacT will look for a top guy or fill the spot with youth (read Nurse).

  87. godot10 says:

    vangolf:
    Re: Draft, I see Draisatl as a big late riser a la Barkov (if we remember he was a lock to go #4 to Nashville up to the day before draft) and see Buffalo taking him. I am going to consciously take a step back from all the pre-draft hoopla and be content that we are getting a great player, with the likely identity of such player only revealing itself immediately before or at the draft.

    Disclaimer: I don’t have any issues with Draisatl if he is the choice. There is no way I will have seen Draisatl or Bennett enough to have a conclusive opinion.

    The big difference between Draisatl and Barkov is that Draisatl is one of the oldest players in the draft, whereas Barkov was one of the youngest. Barkov is 7 weeks older than Draisatl.

    Bennett is actually more like Barkov in being one of the youngest players in the draft.

  88. Hammers says:

    I felt that Klefbom was in his core just because of the way he spoke about him . Not so sure about Marincin now as it seemed the “D” he is comfortable with is Ference / Schultz / Klefbom / Petry / Nurse . . Hope I’m wrong but Martin may very well be part of a trade package along with Gags as Gags on his own isn’t going to get us that much . Also a bit surprised no direct comment on Perron who was McT’s best offseason move .

  89. anonymous says:

    theres oil in virginia: So, if I understand correctly, the two issues you have are the coaching staff and the “career years” of the core.I think if you look at the year that the core guys had, boxcars-wise, it’s pretty good.The team as a whole was a disaster and that probably had a large impact on possession stats.I’m pretty sure that MacT stated that he was using boxcars (although not using that term) in his assessment.It looks to me like Taylor Hall, Perron, and Nuge had “career years” while Eberle and Schultz held par.I think he was using this as an indication that these guys did not take a step back, or at least not as big a step back as some think.It’s debatable, for sure, but I figure he was trying to put some positivity into the discussion and while that is warranted, he probably should have chosen his words more carefully.I don’t think it’s worth all of the reaction it’s getting.It’s all very loose anyway.Just who are the core?What does it mean to be the core?Does it mean they aren’t tradable, or something else?

    The coaching staff hardly seems like the issue to me.I wholeheartedly endorse Woodguy’s statement from a previous post: “It’s the roster.”MacT said as much, and said that it was on him to fix it.Again, his choice of words and arguments could have been better, and he came off a bit “old boys club” (especially regarding Bucky), but really, coaching didn’t keep this club out of the playoffs.

    I think the bottom line is that it isn’t likely that MacT will be able to fix enough of the problems to get the Oilers into the playoffs next year, and fans are sensing that.I figure that’s where the angst is coming from.Firing a coach, or trading a “core” guy isn’t going to be a magic elixir, either.There is no quick fix and MacT knows it.Better to proceed with caution and keep improving the club, even if the going is slow.Nobody wants to hear that, of course.It’s also possible that some of these young d-men hit the ground running and the club takes a major step up.Couple that with a few well-placed acquisitions and good things could happen.(Goaltending certainly looks better than it has in quite some time.)At this point, though, playoffs next year would be a bad bet.Maybe the offseason changes that, but thankfully, MacT is wary of doing something stupid in search of a quick fix.

    Actually I have no problem with the “core” other than disagreeing about career years, coaching on the other hand I disagree. Prior to the season consensus was that there were roster improvements (Gordon, Perron, Ference) and have regression to show for it. Whether its wins and losses, powerplay, player stats etc. it’s hard to say the coach got the most from his players.

    The last thing I’d want to see is a trade of a young player only to have Eakins flounder out of the gate next season.

  90. godot10 says:

    Belov’s transition to the NHL was done in by a floundering rookie coach. He chose the wrong team. He chose opportunity, when he actually should have chosen the coach and organization, like the Swedish and Finnish goaltenders who chose the Canucks and Blackhawks over the Oilers.

    The Swede and the Finn probably had people they could ask for advice about the strengths and weaknesses of different organizations, whereas in Russia, Belov wasn’t so lucky. So he chose wrong.

    Now it is hard for him to turn down that KHL contract instead of trying another organization.

  91. blainer says:

    theres oil in virginia: So, if I understand correctly, the two issues you have are the coaching staff and the “career years” of the core.I think if you look at the year that the core guys had, boxcars-wise, it’s pretty good.The team as a whole was a disaster and that probably had a large impact on possession stats.I’m pretty sure that MacT stated that he was using boxcars (although not using that term) in his assessment.It looks to me like Taylor Hall, Perron, and Nuge had “career years” while Eberle and Schultz held par.I think he was using this as an indication that these guys did not take a step back, or at least not as big a step back as some think.It’s debatable, for sure, but I figure he was trying to put some positivity into the discussion and while that is warranted, he probably should have chosen his words more carefully.I don’t think it’s worth all of the reaction it’s getting.It’s all very loose anyway.Just who are the core?What does it mean to be the core?Does it mean they aren’t tradable, or something else?

    The coaching staff hardly seems like the issue to me.I wholeheartedly endorse Woodguy’s statement from a previous post: “It’s the roster.”MacT said as much, and said that it was on him to fix it.Again, his choice of words and arguments could have been better, and he came off a bit “old boys club” (especially regarding Bucky), but really, coaching didn’t keep this club out of the playoffs.

    I think the bottom line is that it isn’t likely that MacT will be able to fix enough of the problems to get the Oilers into the playoffs next year, and fans are sensing that.I figure that’s where the angst is coming from.Firing a coach, or trading a “core” guy isn’t going to be a magic elixir, either.There is no quick fix and MacT knows it.Better to proceed with caution and keep improving the club, even if the going is slow.Nobody wants to hear that, of course.It’s also possible that some of these young d-men hit the ground running and the club takes a major step up.Couple that with a few well-placed acquisitions and good things could happen.(Goaltending certainly looks better than it has in quite some time.)At this point, though, playoffs next year would be a bad bet.Maybe the offseason changes that, but thankfully, MacT is wary of doing something stupid in search of a quick fix.

    Scotty Bowman could not coach this squad. The player mix needs to be changed.. so Lets give MacT his chance. I mostly agree with him as he is watching the same team we are. He is correct that we are on the back nine of the rebuild and this pick is gonna be a big help. I am glad we finished in the top three. Very painful year but its done now. Better to draft in the top three than picking 12th. He will get the right mix over the summer hopefully.

    Hall Nuge Eberle
    Perron Draisitl Jagar
    Winnik Gordon B. Pouliot
    Hendricks Boyle Arco

    Markov Myers
    Marincin Petry
    Klefbom Shultz
    Ferrance

    Size and or talent on every line and every pairing. I think this would be a puck possession team. Don’t think it will even come close to happening though…

  92. Bag of Pucks says:

    Wow, MacT takes the stump to spin this debacle favourably to the season ticket base, and the crowd goes wild (or is it crazy?).

    On the assistant coaches comment, MacT is saying “I’m not firing my friends. That’s Eakins’ call if he wants to make it.” This is consistent with what MacT has said on this topic all along. What’s the issue? Eakins’ has had a year to decide. If he honestly thinks Bucky and SS are holding him back, he’s not going to put his own neck on the line to save them. Does Eakins’ strike anyone as a shrinking violet that will kowtow because of perceived political implications? Seriously.

    Two, MacT supports his players and very very rarely will this team use its media pulpit to publically criticize players. Hence, the vote of confidence for Schultz and the perplexing ‘career years’ quote. MacT is simultaneously pumping their tires whilst holding them accountable (i.e. this team will go as far as this core takes it). This is what good management does. Keep it in the room is good business. Unless you want to operate like the Vancouver Canucks.

    Three, the final verdict is in on the Smid trade as a MacT mistake before the prospect acquired (Brossoit) even plays a game in the bigs? Got it. Guess I missed the Cliff Notes on that one.

    “Don’t do anything stupid” Easy to say. Far harder to do, in every single walk of life – not just hockey. In terms of a mantra, it’s certainly a lot more conservative and realistic than ‘bold moves’ however. It seems MacT IS learning on the job.

    Finally, the #3 slot is perfect for this team. Now they can’t overthink it. This team does better with T/F questions (e.g. Taylor or Tyler).

  93. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I figured you wouldn’t take the Belov departure sitting down.It sounds to me like MacT is not interested in signing Greene, et al (no middling options, or something to that effect), and Belov is is that class, even if a bit better.I took it to mean that MacT will look for a top guy or fill the spot with youth (read Nurse).

    That’s how a lot of people read it. I read it differently.

    I’ll have a post up later on my take, but the short version is:

    MacT said he wants high end D, not middle of road

    Said he thought UFA market for D was “weak”

    I think we can infer from that the UFA D he considers to be “middle of the road” and not high end and that he think he’ll have to trade for what he deems high end.

    That means potentially he doesn’t see much in Niskanen, Fayne, Hainsey, Gilbert, Quincey, Nikitin and whomever else you might point to as possible targets.

    But, it says nothing about what Matty has been saying all along: they want to add a tough bottom pair guy, i.e., a better Fraser. so, Greene or Engelland.

    Stauffer echoed that here just the other day:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=604081&catid=4

    5:30 mark “maybe a 3rd pairing tougher right shot defenseman”

  94. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    .5 would be a fair over/under on coaching staff changes by free agency. I’ll take over.

  95. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: I don’t know how you can say this when he traded Richards and Carter.

    How more core is their current 3C than their 1C AND 2C?

    I’m a little baffled by how a guy who ranks #2 among forwards in both total & average TOI can be considered a 3C?

    I would also be reluctant to hold out the trading of Carter and Richards as proof of incompetence on Holmgren’s part. Proof of bad faith, sure, given he traded both a week before their no-trade clauses kicked in, but that’s just the Philadelphia/Snider Way.

    Holmgren extracted major value in moving those guys along, getting back current core forwards Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, Jake Voracek and the draft pick that became (drum roll) Sean Couturier. That quartet all finished in Philly’s top seven forwards for both scoring and ice time this year, so not exactly Nilsson/O’Marra/Plante level of return. Dumping that pair was definitely a “bold move”, may even have effected “culture change” to invoke a couple of overused cliches. But it’s hard to say at this distance and elapsed time that Philly clearly lost either deal.

  96. theres oil in virginia says:

    anonymous,

    The start of the season has been dissected quite a bit, but I’m not sure anyone really has it figured yet. Early this year, I remember seeing the team look, at times, better than at any time last year, and they still lost. (Pretty sure the possession stats were in agreement with that assessment.) Not every game, but some games. The goaltending was horrid (are either of EDM’s two goalies from game 1 still in the NHL?), and we’ve heard Eakins say that the system, or poor execution of it, was hanging them out to dry. I figure it’s a combo of the two, and more. I think no confidence in the goaltending must have affected the young team quite a bit. I’m sure there was more going on too. I don’t agree with the talk about regression (going backward). Nuge was coming off shoulder surgery and missed games, Gagner had his face smashed and should have missed more games, Hall’s leg bent sideways (I saw it). These guys are trying to learn a style of play that will win in the NHL. They have to improve on the aspects of their game that don’t immediately show up in the boxcars. I saw progress in this area, even though there is further to go. I think having Marincin and Klefbom really strengthened the team. They still get trapped in their own zone too much, and seem disjointed on breakouts. Replacing Fraser with Nurse would be a big step up IMO. It still won’t be anywhere close to good enough, unless they get a top UFA. I don’t see it.

    They were weak at center to start with and didn’t address it. They were weak at the top-half of the defense to start with and didn’t address it. We don’t know whether MacT tried and failed, but his verbal indicated that he did not. Saying that Eakins had a better roster than last year is not accurate. It had many, or all, of the same shortcomings that it’s had since Tambi gutted the D and brought in POS. If there’s a criticism of MacT, I think it should be centered there, but I don’t think there’s much more he could do to speed it up.

  97. FastOil says:

    Bennett is so much younger I think a better evaluation is almost to take Draisaitl and Reinhart’s previous year stats. I think he’ll be the best offensively, and that is what would make him BPA for the C’s in the future, if not right now.

    Still I would take Ekblad if he was there because the forwards aren’t really that impressive and the miss could be a big one. If he’s too slow deal him right away while the shine is still on.

  98. regwald says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I’m a little baffled by how a guy who ranks #2 among forwards in both total & average TOI can be considered a 3C?

    I would also be reluctant to hold out the trading of Carter and Richards as proof of incompetence on Holmgren’s part. Proof of bad faith, sure, given he traded both a week before their no-trade clauses kicked in, but that’s just the Philadelphia/Snider Way.

    Holmgren extracted major value in moving those guys along, getting back current core forwards Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, Jake Voracek and the draft pick that became (drum roll) Sean Couturier. That quartet all finished in Philly’s top seven forwards for both scoring and ice time this year, so not exactly Nilsson/O’Marra/Plante level of return. Dumping that pair was definitely a “bold move”, may even have effected “culture change” to invoke a couple of overused cliches. But it’s hard to say at this distance and elapsed time that Philly clearly lost either deal.

    Don’t forget all the chatter out there in Philly about Lupul, Carter and Richards and their partying lifestyle and not conforming to the “dry island” theory. I am sure Holmgren had enough phone calls and whispers in his ears about the party nature of these players and all the money he sunk into them with long term contracts. A bit of buyers remorse I am sure.

  99. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Agree that he never ruled out trade. He may have even explicitly ruled it in…I don’t recall. I just don’t think it will happen, because I don’t think he’ll like the proposals he gets. Hopefully, something is out there, because this team needs it.

    EDIT: I do think though that MacT is at least saying that they will not look for a guy like Greene, and will rather fill that with youth. Maybe his actions will be different, but that’s how I read his words.

  100. regwald says:

    Four things that struck me as interesting from the presser:

    1) Committed to Yak and his development and believe he will be a high end scorer. Loved to hear that.
    2) Defense of the coaching staff to the extreme. Either justifying a bad decision or trying to take some of the heat off the coaching staff.
    3) Adding a top end dman or go with what he’s got with youth. Risky if he can’t get that dman, but better than last summers strategy of bringing in 6 bottom pairing dmen hoping for a miracle.
    4) Don’t do anything stupid. Always important.

    What ever happened to adding an experienced NHL coach to the coaching staff ? Not a whisper.

  101. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: That’s how a lot of people read it. I read it differently.

    I’ll have a post up later on my take, but the short version is:

    MacT said he wants high end D, not middle of road

    Said he thought UFA market for D was “weak”

    I think we can infer from that the UFA D he considers to be “middle of the road” and not high end and that he think he’ll have to trade for what he deems high end.

    That means potentially he doesn’t see much in Niskanen, Fayne, Hainsey, Gilbert, Quincey, Nikitin and whomever else you might point to as possible targets.

    But, it says nothing about what Matty has been saying all along: they want to add a tough bottom pair guy, i.e., a better Fraser. so, Greene or Engelland.

    Stauffer echoed that here just the other day:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=604081&catid=4

    5:30 mark “maybe a 3rd pairing tougher right shot defenseman”

    I construed it that way as well. Mandate seems clear.

    1) Org would like a vet 1D or 2D
    2) If they can can acquire one without dealing the ‘core,’ they’ll do it.
    3) Otherwise they’ll draft it (Eklbad) or roll with the youth they have

    Key discussion point is thus “Who does MacT consider as the untradeable core?” The players mentioned yesterday were Hall, Eberle, RNH and Schultz. Suspect this team would trade Yakupov for someone like Campbell or Myers in a heartbeat.

  102. Bag of Pucks says:

    regwald: Don’t forget all the chatter out there in Philly about Lupul, Carter and Richards and their partying lifestyle and not conforming to the “dry island” theory. I am sure Holmgren had enough phone calls and whispers in his ears about the party nature of these players and all the money he sunk into them with long term contracts. A bit of buyers remorse I am sure.

    Ironic that a few years’ out, Carter and Richards now have rings and Laviolette is unemployed. How is that ‘dry island’ policy looking in hindsight?

    Absolutely hate it when employers try to dictate morality.

  103. Bruce McCurdy says:

    regwald: Don’t forget all the chatter out there in Philly about Lupul, Carter and Richards and their partying lifestyle and not conforming to the “dry island” theory. I am sure Holmgren had enough phone calls and whispers in his ears about the party nature of these players and all the money he sunk into them with long term contracts. A bit of buyers remorse I am sure.

    Yes, that was at the root of my “culture change” remark. A lot of teams talk about that, Holmgren actually did something about it. Not my call as to whether he was right or wrong about that, but from a hockey perspective he got a lot of value in return for them.

  104. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Ironic that a few years’ out, Carter and Richards now have rings and Laviolette is unemployed. How is that ‘dry island’ policy looking in hindsight?

    Absolutely hate it when employers try to dictate morality.

    Agreed on the second point. On the first, it was the very next year that Richards & Carter were reunited & won a Cup together. So one could certainly conclude that LA “won” the combined deals, even as it’s a bit more complicated to conclude that Philly “lost” them.

  105. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Yes, that was at the root of my “culture change” remark. A lot of teams talk about that, Holmgren actually did something about it. Not my call as to whether he was right or wrong about that, but from a hockey perspective he got a lot of value in return for them.

    Like the Voracek, Simmonds and Couturier return. They were fortunate that the latter slid so far in the draft.

    A lot of the eggs in the Philly ‘rebuild’ basket are invested in the two Schenn boys. Fair to say, their development is tracking below what the Flyers likely projected?

  106. Marcus Oilerius says:

    I’m at the pub reading the Sun (forgive me) and one of the statements Jones picked out is that MacT is glad they didn’t fall to fourth. Do they see it as a three-way race then? Who’s out? Imo Draisaitl because of his age, but LT and Matty keep saying he’s on the shortlist.

  107. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Agreed on the second point. On the first, it was the very next year that Richards & Carter were reunited & won a Cup together. So one could certainly conclude that LA “won” the combined deals, even as it’s a bit more complicated to conclude that Philly “lost” them.

    Right now philly would not trad Schenn, Courturier, Simmonds, and Voracek for Carter and Richards. Philly won this swap. LA is no doubt happy with their players. Columbus lost out, though.

  108. theres oil in virginia says:

    regwald,

    1) Nail. Agreed. Hopefully that will defuse a lot of the angst regarding him being sent away for nothing.

    2) Coaches. I think MacT believes in his coaching staff. Right or wrong.

    3) I’m guessing more youth.

    4) So far, so good…

    Serious question. Would Trotz come to EDM as Assoc. Coach?

  109. blainer says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    anonymous,

    The start of the season has been dissected quite a bit, but I’m not sure anyone really has it figured yet.Early this year, I remember seeing the team look, at times, better than at any time last year, and they still lost.(Pretty sure the possession stats were in agreement with that assessment.)Not every game, but some games.The goaltending was horrid (are either of EDM’s two goalies from game 1 still in the NHL?), and we’ve heard Eakins say that the system, or poor execution of it, was hanging them out to dry.I figure it’s a combo of the two, and more.I think no confidence in the goaltending must have affected the young team quite a bit.I’m sure there was more going on too.I don’t agree with the talk about regression (going backward).Nuge was coming off shoulder surgery and missed games, Gagner had his face smashed and should have missed more games, Hall’s leg bent sideways (I saw it).These guys are trying to learn a style of play that will win in the NHL.They have to improve on the aspects of their game that don’t immediately show up in the boxcars.I saw progress in this area, even though there is further to go.I think having Marincin and Klefbom really strengthened the team.They still get trapped in their own zone too much, and seem disjointed on breakouts.Replacing Fraser with Nurse would be a big step up IMO.It still won’t be anywhere close to good enough, unless they get a top UFA.I don’t see it.

    They were weak at center to start with and didn’t address it.They were weak at the top-half of the defense to start with and didn’t address it.We don’t know whether MacT tried and failed, but his verbal indicated that he did not.Saying that Eakins had a better roster than last year is not accurate.It had many, or all, of the same shortcomings that it’s had since Tambi gutted the D and brought in POS.If there’s a criticism of MacT, I think it should be centered there, but I don’t think there’s much more he could do to speed it up.

    This is so very accurate. I also remember the beginning of the season and saying..where are the rest of the changes. I suspected we were out of the playoffs when Mact said he was comfortable with the team he had to begin the season.. Keeping the SOFT Gagner, and the ex Marlies..I assume that had to be his plan b because he couldn’t get anything else done. I was also disappointed they let fistric go. Then to add salt in the wound they go and get Fraser. Well I guess it will all work out if we get one of Ekblad, Reinhart or Draisaitl..

  110. regwald says:

    Bag of Pucks: Ironic that a few years’ out, Carter and Richards now have rings and Laviolette is unemployed. How is that ‘dry island’ policy looking in hindsight?

    Absolutely hate it when employers try to dictate morality.

    Yes, the only difference is that the Flyers sunk major $$ and security with long term contracts. It all speaks to them getting nervous or shocked that millionaire 20-somethings in peak physical condition might be as popular at the bar, nightclub or party scene with the young ladies. Stories of athletes and drinking and partying are all part of the folk lore of sports and the stories more available now with camera phones, social media, blogs, etc.

  111. Numenius says:

    FastOil:
    Bennett is so much younger I think a better evaluation is almost to take Draisaitl and Reinhart’s previous year stats. I think he’ll be the best offensively, and that is what would make him BPA for the C’s in the future, if not right now.

    That’s not fair to Draisaitl. His previous year was his first year in juniors and he had to adjust to the new ice surface, new country, and new language.

    You could make the case that it would be better to compare Bennett’s and Draisaitl’s two junior seasons straight across, since any age advantage Draisaitl had would be cancelled by the adjustments to a new situation:

    Sam Bennett
    ’12-’13: 60gp 18 22 40
    ’13-’14: 57gp 36 55 91

    Leon Draisaitl
    ’12-’13 64gp 21 37 58
    ’13-’14 64gp 38 67 105

    That gives Draisaitl the edge.

    The quality of teams (this season at least) was also largely equal and so was likely irrelevant. Both teams just made the playoffs and were out in the first round. The next highest scorers on both teams were also roughly equivalent in points.

    There’s a good case for Draisaitl over Bennett. (Edit: Though not conclusive, of course.)

  112. icecastles says:

    gvblackhawk: Please keep the conversation civil. You can make your point without acting like a condescending ass.

    I said his comment was stupid, not him. If someone says something remarkably stupid, I will say it’s remarkably stupid, and why. With Anon’s comment, it didn’t even make enough sense to require more than a two sentence rebuttal.

    I’ve been posting here for seven years and in all that time, only one of us has ever called someone a “condescending ass.”

    Ironically, you called me a condescending ass while reminding me to be civil.

  113. Bag of Pucks says:

    I hate it when Internet posters try to dictate morality. lol

  114. regwald says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Yes, I think they did make good trades and got value in return.

    LA did win that cup and Carter and Richards were key contributors, but how do you think LA feels about paying Richards $7.6M for 41 pts and Carter $6.5M for 50 points for this season ?

    I know LA plays a tight defensive style and doesn’t score enough which can be partially attributed to Sutter’s style. If those two players don’t deliver for a playoff run, Lombardi might be drawing the same conculsions that Holmgren did.

  115. gvblackhawk says:

    icecastles: I said his comment was stupid, not him. If someone says something remarkably stupid, I will say it’s remarkably stupid, and why. With Anon’s comment, it didn’t even make enough sense to require more than a two sentence rebuttal.

    I’ve been posting here for seven years and in all that time, only one of us has ever called someone a “condescending ass.”

    Ironically, you called me a condescending ass while reminding me to be civil.

    I get the feeling that you are one of ‘those people’ who never admit they are wrong about anything. Correct?

    Your Edit and Re-Edit was remarkably stupid, btw, for a guy who prides himself on being the smartest guy in the room. How’s that for ironic?

  116. Bag of Pucks says:

    Jeff Carter is a big, fast, natural goal scorer. I think he’s good value for money.

  117. regwald says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    regwald,

    1) Nail.Agreed.Hopefully that will defuse a lot of the angst regarding him being sent away for nothing.

    2) Coaches.I think MacT believes in his coaching staff.Right or wrong.

    3) I’m guessing more youth.

    4) So far, so good…

    Serious question.Would Trotz come to EDM as Assoc. Coach?

    After 16 years of delivering good results, with little offense from his forwards, I think Trotz will be a well sought after hire. I would be shocked if he took any associate coach position.

  118. gvblackhawk says:

    regwald: Yes, the only difference is that the Flyers sunk major $$ and security with long term contracts. It all speaks to them getting nervous or shocked that millionaire 20-somethings in peak physical condition might be as popular at the bar, nightclub or party scene with the young ladies. Stories of athletes and drinking and partying are all part of the folk lore of sports and the stories more available now with camera phones, social media, blogs, etc.

    It is a bit comical when you consider that the long term, big money contracts were awarded based on previous performance, which would have occurred while they going out to bars, nightclubs, party scene (presumably).

  119. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: Holmgren isn’t some kind of robot. I would expect that he will have learned a few things, including from that trade.You could argue that the fact he traded Ricards and Carter makes him less likely to do something like that again, not more.

    That may be.

    My point is that you discount it entirely, which is demonstrably incorrect.

    Unlikely?

    Perhaps, but not out of the question.

  120. Bag of Pucks says:

    regwald: Yes, the only difference is that the Flyers sunk major $$ and security with long term contracts. It all speaks to them getting nervous or shocked that millionaire 20-somethings in peak physical condition might be as popular at the bar, nightclub or party scene with the young ladies. Stories of athletes and drinking and partying are all part of the folk lore of sports and the stories more available now with camera phones, social media, blogs, etc.

    Oh, absolutely that could be what influenced the Flyers to deal them.

    My feeling is employees should be judged on their job performance only and not anything they do outside work hours. The only reason management hears these rumours is because hockey players are famous. Essentially then, they’re being penalized for being famous, and thus expected to conform to a standard of behaviour not expected of ‘normal’ folk.

    The optimal scenario is you walk into the strip club and your boss is already sitting there. Then it becomes something you can do together during office hours : )

  121. regwald says:

    gvblackhawk: It is a bit comical when you consider that the long term, big money contracts were awarded based on previous performance, which would have occurred while they going out to bars, nightclubs, party scene (presumably).

    unless you consider their lifestyles are party like a rockstar in LA which was worse than it was in Philly.

  122. blainer says:

    icecastles: I said his comment was stupid, not him. If someone says something remarkably stupid, I will say it’s remarkably stupid.

    I’ve been posting here for seven years and in all that time, only one of us has ever called someone a “condescending ass.”

    Ironically, you called me a condescending ass while reminding me to be civil.

    I think that all of the posters here say Really stupid things sometimes. I also think that the real GM can also say things that we disagree with that sound stupid. For all we know he might very well be posting all the time anonymously. I sometimes shake my head at what people say and find it quite funny and entertaining also.. that is why I enjoy these blogs as I too can say stupid things.

  123. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think that is a fair assessment in terms of what he values and the fact that he puts a premium on character, etc.

    one thing that seems different from both Lowe and Tambo, is that he seems pretty invested in building a robust structure of support to whatever decisions he’s making… I tried to outline this in the article I posted above.

    My comment was more about his attachment to the Cup era teams from ……25-30 years ago.

    Misfit said it perfectly. :

    How can you say to the world that your plan is to turn the team over to the core group, and then employ a person on your staff who’s main purpose is to tell/show them how to be an Oiler?

    MacT went on about how he wants the core group to feel like “they are the Oilers”.

    Eakins went as far as to remove pictures of Gretzky, Messier etc,. from the room.

    Then they employ Smith and Bucky in the name of culture?

    He mentioned two polar opposite positions in the same breath.

    Not good.

    If he won’t sack Smith and Bucky because he thinks Smith is a good coach and Bucky is his Culture Officer, he should sack them because they are exactly they kind of thing that keeps the core of this team from owning it.

  124. icecastles says:

    gvblackhawk: I get the feeling that you are one of ‘those people’ who never admit they are wrong about anything. Correct?

    You don’t come here very often, do you? Three short days ago:

    icecastles: Damnit, that’s right. I misremembered. Sorry, One-timer.

    The rest of your post, well I think the words and tone speak for themselves. The less said about it the better.

    Marcus Oilerius: I’m at the pub reading the Sun (forgive me) and one of the statements Jones picked out is that MacT is glad they didn’t fall to fourth. Do they see it as a three-way race then? Who’s out? Imo Draisaitl because of his age, but LT and Matty keep saying he’s on the shortlist.

    Same reaction here. And the troubling thing isn’t that there is disagreement on the top picks because they’re all so good, but because they’re not (as compared to other draft years). I don’t read up on prospects nearly as extensively as many others on here but when we’re usually hearing incredible hyperbole about one prospect or another, I don’t know I’ve heard a single remark from scouts that there are any “sure-fire franchise players” this year.

    Some years, you’ll hear that about as many as six or seven guys. This year, not one barring perhaps some very cautious remarks to that effect about Eckblad who seems far from a lock to even be top two.

  125. blainer says:

    icecastles: You don’t come here very often, do you? Three short days ago:

    The rest of your post, well I think the words and tone speak for themselves.The less said about it the better.

    Same reaction here. And the troubling thing isn’t that there is disagreement on the top picks because they’re all so good, but because they’re not (as compared to other draft years). I don’t read up on prospects nearly as extensively as many others on here but when we’re usually hearing incredible hyperbole about one prospect or another, I don’t know I’ve heard a single remark from scouts that there are any “sure-fire franchise players” this year.

    Some years, you’ll hear that about as many as six or seven guys. This year, not one barring perhaps some very cautious remarks to that effect about Eckblad who seems far from a lock to even be top two.

    I think that says that the picks this year would be lower in a draft year like stamkos or.. they are all franchise players. lets hope its the latter.

  126. lazerguidedmelody says:

    Off topic (sorry), but fascinating Ralph Krueger interview in the Guardian today on his strange journey to the EPL via Edmonton. Worth a read.

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/16/ralph-krueger-ruthless-southampton-chairman-mauricio-pochettino

  127. DeadmanWaking says:

    anonymous: Mact seems to believe the coaching staff is good and all the core oilers had career years. Stats and optics disagree. Leaves me with little confidence, clearly I was wrong about placing value on what posters think. IMO.

    I’m pretty sure it was MacT and not Eakins who commented in a presser mid-fiasco that he didn’t want the players getting down on themselves because of all the losing when much of the losing wasn’t their fault. Both MacT and Eakins are on record with comments to the effect that the present roster is simply not built to compete against the Blues or Kings. “We stack up better against teams in the Eastern conference.”

    What MacT is doing is subtracting out all kinds of horror on the ice and putting it on his own tab: team badly constructed to play the heavy grinding game. Must fix.

    After performing this mental subtraction, MacT evidently likes what he sees. There’s no intellectual inconsistency in this anywhere.

    Whatever strength they were aiming to cultivate in Justin, it clearly involved logging heavy minutes. One of the hardest of all skills for an attacking defenseman to learn is when to sortie and when to step back. They seem to agree that the path to success in this discipline is 10,000 hours and that this ice time investment in Justin will ultimately be well rewarded.

    It’s also pretty clear that this team will gain size and grit over time. With Justin himself becoming stronger, and a Nurse or Ekblad beside him to break the cycle, his defensively liabilities are potentially not that great.

    Now if MacT were on record as saying he thinks that this roster is brilliantly constructed to compete against the behemoths of the western conference, we’d have good cause to be worried about his view that all these guys had career years because the net results don’t support this view.

    If, however, he feels the roster was carrying a mill stone the entire season because it was badly constituted due to his inability to make even more changes than he did in a single off season, he can quite reasonably enthuse about players who failed to achieve a sterling outcome.

    MacT is basically on record as saying “help is on the way”. Our development pipeline has been significantly upgraded (Tambi deserves some credit for this, if nothing else) but the home truth is that home cooking simply takes times. Home cooking doesn’t remember “because seven years”.

    To make sense of MacT + Eakins, one has to take the view that they regard the present problem with the team as fairly transparent, and that even through the problem is fairly transparent, there is no cheap and quick fix available.

    MacT: I can fix what ails this team tomorrow, if I mortgage the future, and personally guarantee we make the playoffs next year or the year after.

    Katz: At what cost?

    MacT: Pretty much no hope of ever winning the cup unless we go full-on Cinderella.

    Katz. No thank you. Hold the course no matter how ugly it gets. You have my complete support.

    ***

    MacT: How long do you figure it’s going to take for Justin to anchor the power-play on a Stanley cup winning team?

    Eakins: About 25 minutes a night for four seasons.

    MacT: At what cost in the meantime?

    Eakins: Our advanced stats will blow extra super many goats in a season that already blows the goat farm. Then he’ll be a net neutral for a year or two. Then he’ll become sublime.

    MacT: Well then, let’s get started.

    ***

    What happens when the season is shot by mid November is a management and agenda MIRV. Things are done for reasons that straddle the present season, the next season, and seasons even further down the road.

    You don’t the opportunity to do all these things in a season where you’re a bubble team from December to April. When that day comes, Eakins management horizon shrinks down to the next 48 hours. Every day in his life becomes 24.

    When locusts raze the orchard, it’s a good year to tighten your belt buckle and repair the roof. When the bumper crop comes around and it threatens to rain and rot the fruit, I guarantee fixing the roof is off the table, even if the homestead ends up with a tin bathtub in the middle of every room.

    Comparables don’t exist in a blown season. We won’t even know what state the new roof is in until future inclement weather. For all we know it’s Gene Hackman up there from Unforgiven.

    I’m not arguing whether we should take MacT’s comments as positive or negative. What I’m saying is that the argument from intellectual inconsistency doesn’t hold any water. MacT could be hopelessly wrong here operating from a completely consistent vantage point.

    I personally don’t think MacT has much time or use for intellectual inconsistency, and neither does Eakins. These are both men of conviction who admit they might be wrong, and take the view “so be it”. If we pilot the ship into a large rock, we go down with the ship, and the next management group picks up the pieces. What they won’t accept is to be caught dead having no conviction or not having enough backbone to accept the risk that goes along with having a conviction.

    I can’t judge their competence. I only know that if I were in the room with MacT and Eakins and I had some job to do (e.g. Howson’s) I would be signing up to the same set of convictions and piloting the ship toward the same pinching isthmus gap of glory.

    It’s not like MacT never shared the player’s bench with an elite attacking defenseman. He’s seen a few. He clearly seems something in Justin that reminds him of what set those guys apart from the stay-at-home stalwarts.

    Grumpy old men sometimes fall into the trap of reliving their glory years. It might be a Coffey mirage and not an actual Coffey oasis. (Why, we have in this very thread a certain amount of middle-aged Bertinelli groupthink. It’s been known to happen.)

    MacT is certainly being paid enough to know the difference. If he proves wrong, that’s on Katz. Katz is certainly the kind of man who steers directly into the oncoming lights. If we learned one thing from the arena, we learned that.

    As ever … we wait.

    As for his message of support for the assistant coaches conceding that it’s Eakins call, this too is not a mixed message. MacT is saying these are valued hockey people, but perhaps not the right fit with Eakins’ personal style. Sometimes you have to replace a good man with a different good man to reach an effective meeting of minds.

    Eakins is ballsy enough to let the assistants go if he decides to do so. “He said it was my call. This is my call. If you don’t like it, lump it.” This will be Eakins’ presser whether he keeps the assistants or lets them go.

    Deflecting Eakins is like talking down the bomb on Dark Star (never seen it, but I once had a friend who use to quote half the movie).

    Pinback watches his videodiary:

    For official purposes this recording instrument automatically deletes all offensive language and/or gestures


    Pinback: I went to Doolittle on the hall today. I said "«deleted» Doolittle". He said "«deleted»". I said "well «deleted»«gesture deleted» and he didn't get it".

  128. anonymous says:

    icecastles,

    Most of my comments are posted using an iPhone, I lose patience typing on it and I’m guilty of summarizing my thoughts poorly at times.

    My gist was that if Mact was a poster and commented on career years for players, how much he liked the coach, Bucky being a bridge between the old and new oilers etc. he wouldn’t be very well recieved.

    I understand he’s not going to bury his team but sometimes it’s better to say nothing. If I thought the post was as stupid as you do I would have followed my own advice.

  129. prairieschooner says:

    With the comments that MacT made about Eakins and his assistants I will not be surprised to see Bucky and Smith released. I think it is an excellent way move to silence those of us who dislike the Old boys club and to re enforce the narrative that Eakins is his own man.
    On draft picks for some reason when I hear talk about the big German I am thinking more than 6′ 1″
    The other forwards under consideration are 6′ even hopefully whoever we get has a growth spurt.

  130. icecastles says:

    blainer: I think that says that the picks this year would be lower in a draft year like stamkos or.. they are all franchise players. lets hope its the latter.

    Agreed. It would be interesting to take the top six from the last five years and rank them by their draft year assessments as sort of a fantasy first round. What would me even more interesting is to go back to the same list with considerable distance, say ten or fifteen years, and see how much change there is between pre-draft ranking and where they ended up as players.

    Scouting has taken great strides in recent years, but I suspect we’d found out there is still a lot of voodoo in ranking and selection, particularly when it comes to European-born players who rarely receive the benefit of the doubt and don’t have as sophisticated on-ice statistics available in their junior careers.

  131. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: My comment was more about his attachment to the Cup era teams from ……25-30 years ago.

    Misfit said it perfectly. :

    How can you say to the world that your plan is to turn the team over to the core group, and then employ a person on your staff who’s main purpose is to tell/show them how to be an Oiler?

    MacT went on about how he wants the core group to feel like “they are the Oilers”.

    Eakins went as far as to remove pictures of Gretzky, Messier etc,. from the room.

    Then they employ Smith and Bucky in the name of culture?

    He mentioned two polar opposite positions in the same breath.

    Not good.

    If he won’t sack Smith and Bucky because he thinks Smith is a good coach and Bucky is his Culture Officer, he should sack them because they are exactly they kind of thing that keeps the core of this team from owning it.

    I don’t disagree with that assessment, I was adding a tangential point.

    ————-

    On this argument though… I think he’d square it by saying: I want them to own it, but I want them to own it in this particular way and I think these people can tell them what the process was like for them.

    Something like that. I’m not saying it’s right (in fact, on the personnel, I’ve said forever these guys should at minimum have to re-interview against other candidates), but I would note it isn’t necessarily contradictory.

    For example, I want you to freely create a poem. But that poem has to be a sonnet. There’s nothing necessarily contradictory about that from a meta perspective.

    From the nitty gritty fact that in this case, the particular restrictions are “Bucky’s version of Oilers”… wow, yikes!

  132. icecastles says:

    anonymous: I understand he’s not going to bury his team but sometimes it’s better to say nothing. If I thought the post was as stupid as you do I would have followed my own advice.

    Haha nicely said! I think this is one of the crappy things about being in a position such as the GM: if you say too much, or if you say too little, you’re roasted. The middle ground is infinitesimally small, and often the only way to even know where that middle ground is, is to look at it in hindsight. Which I suppose is why I give these folks the benefit of the doubt in their pressers.

    I loved what Eakins said to the media in this regard during his very first press conference after being hired: “I won’t always tell you guys everything, but I won’t lie to you.” I think he’s done an admirable job living up to those words.

    And kudos for posting from your iPhone: I’ve tried that a few times and quickly realized I don’t have the patience for it. Especially since the in-line Youtube links often seem to crash the process entirely.

  133. hunter1909 says:

    regwald: unless you consider their lifestyles are party like a rockstar in LA which was worse than it was in Philly.

    Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

  134. hunter1909 says:

    godot10,

    Do these guys sign secrecy clauses, because if not, someone should be talking to them.

  135. hunter1909 says:

    theres oil in virginia: Serious question. Would Trotz come to EDM as Assoc. Coach?

    We can dream. Then wake up to Woodguy’s scary analysis of the reality.

    It’s a great idea. I’d go for Laviolette at the same time. Both of them, standing behind superdallasthecoacheakins.

  136. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    DeadmanWaking: I’m pretty sure it was MacT and not Eakins who commented in a presser mid-fiasco that he didn’t want the players getting down on themselves because of all the losing when much of the losing wasn’t their fault.Both MacT and Eakins are on record with comments to the effect that the present roster is simply not built to compete against the Blues or Kings.“We stack up better against teams in the Eastern conference.”

    What MacT is doing is subtracting out all kinds of horror on the ice and putting it on his own tab: team badly constructed to play the heavy grinding game.Must fix.

    After performing this mental subtraction, MacT evidently likes what he sees. There’s no intellectual inconsistency in this anywhere.

    Whatever strength they were aiming to cultivate in Justin, it clearly involved logging heavy minutes.One of the hardest of all skills for an attacking defenseman to learn is when to sortie and when to step back.They seem to agree that the path to success in this discipline is 10,000 hours and that this ice time investment in Justin will ultimately be well rewarded.

    It’s also pretty clear that this team will gain size and grit over time.With Justin himself becoming stronger, and a Nurse or Ekblad beside him to break the cycle, his defensively liabilities are potentially not that great.

    Now if MacT were on record as saying he thinks that this roster is brilliantly constructed to compete against the behemoths of the western conference, we’d have good cause to be worried about his view that all these guys had career years because the net results don’t support this view.

    If, however, he feels the roster was carrying a mill stone the entire season because it was badly constituted due to his inability to make even more changes than he did in a single off season, he can quite reasonably enthuse about players who failed to achieve a sterling outcome.

    MacT is basically on record as saying “help is on the way”.Our development pipeline has been significantly upgraded (Tambi deserves some credit for this, if nothing else) but the home truth is that home cooking simply takes times.Home cooking doesn’t remember “because seven years”.

    To make sense of MacT + Eakins, one has to take the view that they regard the present problem with the team as fairly transparent, and that even through the problem is fairly transparent, there is no cheap and quick fix available.

    MacT: I can fix what ails this team tomorrow, if I mortgage the future, and personally guarantee we make the playoffs next year or the year after.

    Katz: At what cost?

    MacT: Pretty much no hope of ever winning the cup unless we go full-on Cinderella.

    Katz.No thank you.Hold the course no matter how ugly it gets.You have my complete support.

    ***

    MacT: How long do you figure it’s going to take for Justin to anchor the power-play on a Stanley cup winning team?

    Eakins: About 25 minutes a night for four seasons.

    MacT: At what cost in the meantime?

    Eakins: Our advanced stats will blow extra super many goats in a season that already blows the goat farm. Then he’ll be a net neutral for a year or two.Then he’ll become sublime.

    MacT: Well then, let’s get started.

    ***

    What happens when the season is shot by mid November is a management and agenda MIRV.Things are done for reasons that straddle the present season, the next season, and seasons even further down the road.

    You don’t the opportunity to do all these things in a season where you’re a bubble team from December to April.When that day comes, Eakins management horizon shrinks down to the next 48 hours.Every day in his life becomes 24.

    When locusts raze the orchard, it’s a good year to tighten your belt buckle and repair the roof.When the bumper crop comes around and it threatens to rain and rot the fruit, I guarantee fixing the roof is off the table, even if the homestead ends up with a tin bathtub in the middle of every room.

    Comparables don’t exist in a blown season.We won’t even know what state the new roof is in until future inclement weather.For all we know it’s Gene Hackman up there from Unforgiven.

    I’m not arguing whether we should take MacT’s comments as positive or negative.What I’m saying is that the argument from intellectual inconsistency doesn’t hold any water. MacT could be hopelessly wrong here operating from a completely consistent vantage point.

    I personally don’t think MacT has much time or use for intellectual inconsistency, and neither does Eakins.These are both men of conviction who admit they might be wrong, and take the view “so be it”.If we pilot the ship into a large rock, we go down with the ship, and the next management group picks up the pieces. What they won’t accept is to be caught dead having no conviction or not having enough backbone to accept the risk that goes along with having a conviction.

    I can’t judge their competence.I only know that if I were in the room with MacT and Eakins and I had some job to do (e.g. Howson’s) I would be signing up to the same set of convictions and piloting the ship toward the same pinching isthmus gap of glory.

    It’s not like MacT never shared the player’s bench with an elite attacking defenseman.He’s seen a few.He clearly seems something in Justin that reminds him of what set those guys apart from the stay-at-home stalwarts.

    Grumpy old men sometimes fall into the trap of reliving their glory years.It might be a Coffey mirage and not an actual Coffey oasis. (Why, we have in this very thread a certain amount of middle-aged Bertinelli groupthink.It’s been known to happen.)

    MacT is certainly being paid enough to know the difference.If he proves wrong, that’s on Katz.Katz is certainly the kind of man who steers directly into the oncoming lights.If we learned one thing from the arena, we learned that.

    As ever … we wait.

    As for his message of support for the assistant coaches conceding that it’s Eakins call, this too is not a mixed message.MacT is saying these are valued hockey people, but perhaps not the right fit with Eakins’ personal style.Sometimes you have to replace a good man with a different good man to reach an effective meeting of minds.

    Eakins is ballsy enough to let the assistants go if he decides to do so.“He said it was my call.This is my call.If you don’t like it, lump it.” This will be Eakins’ presser whether he keeps the assistants or lets them go.

    Deflecting Eakins is like talking down the bomb on Dark Star (never seen it, but I once had a friend who use to quote half the movie).

    Pinback watches his videodiary:

    For official purposes this recording instrument automatically deletes all offensive language and/or gestures


    Pinback: I went to Doolittle on the hall today. I said "«deleted» Doolittle". He said "«deleted»". I said "well «deleted»«gesture deleted» and he didn't get it".

    This.

    The dead man is wide awake and extremely unelliptical.

  137. Numenius says:

    On the subject of assistants, it was interesting that at Smytty’s final game, Eakins, Buchberger, and Smith all gave Smytty a hug and seemed to have a bond with him.

    Acton, on the other hand, just gave him a formal handshake.

    I might be reading to much into it, but it supports my belief that Acton has little rapport with the players, little personality, few inspirational skills, and is really the one who should be fired.

    I’m sure he’s a nice guy. Just not a good hockey coach, especially for this team.

  138. blainer says:

    icecastles: Agreed. It would be interesting to take the top six from the last five years and rank them by their draft year assessments as sort of a fantasy first round. What would me even more interesting is to go back to the same list with considerable distance, say ten or fifteen years, and see how much change there is between pre-draft ranking and where they ended up as players.

    Scouting has taken great strides in recent years, but I suspect we’d found out there is still a lot of voodoo in ranking and selection, particularly when it comes to European-born players who rarely receive the benefit of the doubt and don’t have as sophisticated on-ice statistics available in their junior careers.

    Agreed . That would be interesting to see. I like this way of thinking also…there are three or four potential 1st overall picks out of the first 5 picks. Imagine for a moment that we end up getting the best of the bunch by far..Kinda of like a lottery of the four picks…it could turn out like we actually had the 1st pick. Would hate to see Calgary get a better player than us. Anything can happen at the draft. We could still end up with Ekblad… Did Montreal end up doing better with Galchenyak? Time will tell…

  139. anonymous says:

    icecastles:

    I loved what Eakins said to the media in this regard during his very first press conference after being hired: “I won’t always tell you guys everything, but I won’t lie to you.” I think he’s done an admirable job living up to those words.

    I liked Eakins to start but was unimpressed at how he handled things once it went bad. Yakupov handling primarily.

  140. Numenius says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    DMW wins the thread again. Wow.

  141. icecastles says:

    Numenius: On the subject of assistants, it was interesting that at Smytty’s final game, Eakins, Buchberger, and Smith all gave Smytty a hug and seemed to have a bond with him.
    Acton, on the other hand, just gave him a formal handshake.
    I might be reading to much into it, but it supports my belief that Acton has little rapport with the players, little personality, few inspirational skills, and is really the one who should be fired.

    I think that is definitely reading too much into it. Acton doesn’t have as much history there. He might not be a hugger. He might have a bad left shoulder that prevents hugging. Could be he was feeling awkward after the more-intimate-than-expected very private moment the two shared before the game. There are literally a hundred possible reasons for no hug.

    You could be right and it may be that he has failed to establish a rapport, but I don’t think this particular example demonstrates it.

    When I was in the intelligence industry, we received extensive training (and practice) in interrogation (“advanced questioning technique”) and surveillance. The first and most important rule we learned was that while body language can tell you damn near everything, if you don’t have a very strong baseline of your subject, it will tell you damn near everything wrong. We don’t have much of a baseline on Acton.

  142. blainer says:

    Numenius:
    On the subject of assistants, it was interesting that at Smytty’s final game, Eakins, Buchberger, and Smith all gave Smytty a hug and seemed to have a bond with him.

    Acton, on the other hand, just gave him a formal handshake.

    I might be reading to much into it, but it supports my belief that Acton has little rapport with the players, little personality, few inspirational skills, and is really the one who should be fired.

    I’m sure he’s a nice guy. Just not a good hockey coach, especially for this team.

    I will support MacT whatever he decides to do. As he said when he took the job he will be judged on his decisions. I wonder though how long does he wait to change the coaching if they stumble again next year. I was impressed with the answer that he does not want to even entertain that idea as it would be defeatist. I still suspect he has a plan anyway. It would be great if we won the presidents trophy next year. It can happen if ..Scrivens has a 940 save %. That means Eakins will be the coach of the year..oh wait.. Am I still asleep?…

  143. Numenius says:

    icecastles: I think that is definitely reading too much into it. Acton doesn’t have as much history there. He might not be a hugger. He might have a bad left shoulder that prevents hugging. Could be he was feeling awkward after the more-intimate-than-expected very private moment the two shared before the game. There are literally a hundred possible reasons for no hug.

    You could be right and it may be that he has failed to establish a rapport, but I don’t think this particular example demonstrates it.

    When I was in the intelligence industry, we received extensive training (and practice) in interrogation (“advanced questioning technique”) and surveillance. The first and most important rule we learned was that while body language can tell you damn near everything, if you don’t have a very strong baseline of your subject, it will tell you damn near everything wrong. We don’t have much of a baseline on Acton.

    You could be right that there are other reasons.

    But have you encountered any evidence to the contrary, supporting that he has good rapport with the players?

    There may be some, I just haven’t seen it.

  144. stevezie says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I would also be reluctant to hold out the trading of Carter and Richards as proof of incompetence on Holmgren’s part.

    Definitely not, since he got a fine return. It is a sign of his willingness to move core pieces though, no?

    I’m not Philly expert, but a quick glance at their current roster and prospects I’ve heard of shows makes them look a lot stronger at C than at D. If Ekblad is still available I think they might be tempted, especially if their dick owner decides he wants to looks cool while hosting the draft.

    regwald: After 16 years of delivering good results, with little offense from his forwards, I think Trotz will be a well sought after hire. I would be shocked if he took any associate coach position.

    Yeah, but look at Larry Robinson. Some guys don’t think the stress is worth it. I’m not saying it is likely, but I could imagine a world in which Trotz says, “Boy, I’ve been head coach for 15 year! Thats is a long time! I’m ready to accept a ridiculously lucrative offer to go be the #2 guy- especially since it will give me the chance to work with skill like I’ve never had before on a team that is begging for my particular skill-set.”

    I’d say getting Oates to come fix our PP is more likely.

  145. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Well reasoned. Geez I might have to extend a smidge more rope to Eakins. It’ll still have the noose on it though.

  146. edoil1 says:

    Numenius,

    No, it should be Bucky and Smith gone pronto,let Dallas pick his men not Lowe(don’t get me started on him),picture this, new arena 2036 both still on the bench one with a walker,pen and paper ,the other with a cane and chewing gum, because they were good old oiler’s,what a load of garbage,they are the George Costanzas of the Assistant NHL ranks,the less success the team has the more bullet proof they become another reason the new GM should have NOT been McT.This team without some coaching/scouting moves will remain the same.End Rant

  147. book¡je says:

    I come on here this evening and can’t believe what I am reading – people calling others a ‘condescending ass’. How dare you! If anyone here deserves the title of condescending ass, it’s me you morons! There might be a few insolent pricks or haughty twats on this board, but I am pretty sure that nobody has out condescended me over the last 7 or so years! So, I know it’s hard for you to do so with your little brains and all, but can we please maintain a little perspective and portionality here!

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