RE 13-14 CRAIG MACTAVISH: YOU DON’T PULL NO PUNCHES, BUT YOU DON’T PUSH THE RIVER

In April of 2013, Craig MacTavish took over the Edmonton Oilers as their GM. His media conferences were so intoxicating Oiler fans began feeling better immediately. The general mood of the city improved, pregnancies spiked, people bought a Timmy for the truck behind them at the drive-thru at an 84% clip. It was, quite possibly, the highlight of his GM tenure.

  1. That was ugly. It was, indeed.
  2. You thought MacTavish would make a difference. I think he had an uneven debut, but there were some positive things. It’s fair to be critical, but also fair to point out this team was coming from a long way back.
  3. Name the good moves. Acquiring David Perron was a solid trade. They paid dearly—Paajarvi didn’t kill it but I’d take him back in a heartbeat—but that’s a nice hockey player who offers some unique talents to the team. I’d also list Boyd Gordon, who had other options but MacT got him to come here. You could argue Gordon was this team’s MVP, especially during the first half of the year. The Scrivens—Fasth moves addressed a massive need in season, and it was done at a reasonable price. I’d also include Anton Belov here, although mileage may vary.
  4. Is that a lot of good in one year? Oh yeah, if the Oilers had fewer than 400 holes and these were his only moves we’d be singing his praises. Steve Tambellini never had a summer like that one, and the Oilers haven’t had one since 2005.
  5. How many deals were neutral? I count Denis Grebeshkov and Ilya Bryzgalov. People I talk to get really angry about Grebeshkov, but I’m not sure why. He was banished early, but the numbers suggest he might have warranted a recall or more rope.
  6. Shouldn’t MacT get some credit for the draft pick they received for Bryzgalov? Sure, if you like. I’m not convinced that the pick has enough value for the investment, and the Bryzgalov signing worked in tandem with the Smid trade, so there’s an issue there.
  7. Let’s get to the good stuff. He made some big errors. The largest negative didn’t actually happen. MacT dodged a bullet when the Toronto Maple Leafs went over top of Edmonton to sign David Clarkson.
  8. Despite the Oilers offering more. I think it was a higher annual salary but fewer years (the Oilers offer). Is that correct?
  9. That’s not really the point. The value placed on him, and the money offered, is distressing. Yes.
  10. Yes? That’s it? David Clarkson was a famous player last summer, and outran his actual value by several miles. It’s a test of an organization’s mettle, and the Oilers failed the test. It’s not really something that we can spend time mulling, this is black and white.
  11. Any other negatives of note? I think trading Ladislav Smid was a mistake. Reading the tea leaves, something happened between the time he was signed by Tambellini and endorsed by Ralph, and the the MacT/Eakins’ arrival. Perhaps the organization felt that Ference filled that role, or that Ference, Schultz and Smid were the same player, but they traded the wrong guy.
  12. Anyone else? I would say dealing Hemsky is a mistake. MacT said right at the beginning of the summer that they weren’t going to sign him so after that 83 was a dead Czech walking in Oiler terms. Too bad, a character guy with all kinds of tools. I don’t think they got close to value for him.
  13. Anyone else? Not to pick on him, but signing Ryan Jones was a mistake.
  14. Man, is that the final shot at Ryan Jones?  Maybe. We still have the Lowe, Eakins and MacGregor RE’s.
  15. Ass. Guilty.
  16. His biggest mistake was hiring Dallas Eakins. I’ll keep the powder dry for the Eakins RE, but will agree that a lot of the trouble Edmonton encountered this season surrounded the coach. It was a learning year, and a year where imo both MacT and Eakins felt a need to change the culture. It would be impossible for me or anyone not directly involved to imply the problem, but the names included out are certainly a tell. Eakins himself abandoned a few things he held dear, and did not release some other foundation beliefs (power play, etc).
  17. You missed a few mistakes. Well, we’re not done.
  18. Okay, are we getting to the Sam Gagner overpay? That was a tough call. I wonder if MacTavish pondered dealing 89 last year, before he signed the $4.8 million contract. It had to be difficult, because he’s trying to add size at the same time, and Gagner’s deal was going to be inflated because he’d been in the NHL so long.
  19. MacT was at fault for that, by the way. I’ll say Lowe-MacT were responsible, but yes. Sam Gagner played at 18 because of the Oilers needing a positive story in 2007 fall.
  20. And then came the Gagner injury and Luke Gazdic. Yes, I think the Gagner injury caused a lot of knee-jerk reacting in the organization. I don’t know if it was Katz, Lowe, MacT or Eakins who reacted as they did, but the bottom line is we saw very little in the way of possession tactics after a strong beginning.
  21. The Oilers had the Corsi? Sure, early in the season they were rolling well by the shot differential, or at least better.
  22. The fact you haven’t mentioned Ference tells me you liked the signing. Yes, I did. I liked the signing—despite the overpay in dollars and years—because for me adding actual NHL players was a very important item for the team. The results were poor, no denying it. There’s also no denying he was on the downside of his career and that we might be looking at a buyout one year from now. At the time, considering the situation, I agreed with the signing and was pleased that Ference was an Oiler.
  23. And captain? Yeah, for sure. I’d rather have Ference answering those questions about losing streaks and dummy plays than one of the kids. Hall might have unleashed water bottles on the media!
  24. I think you’re dodging the point here. How so?
  25. Lots of people identified the signing of Ference as a poor move when it was made. I’m sure that’s true, but again I would argue that signing veteran NHL defensemen should be encouraged, not discouraged.
  26. Even if it’s an overpay with too long a term? Yes. That’s the price of doing business for a losery team.
  27. So, go sign Markov! Go sign Boyle! Yes. and yes.
  28. You’re crazy! Or we could play three rookies. Your choice.
  29. They should buyout Ference now. The Oilers dealt away Smid and Nick Schultz, I’d say Ference has a home on the third pairing for a couple of years. The LH side of the blue might be Marincin-Ference-Klefbom in the fall, I like the veteran presence.
  30. Do you think they’ll go that young? No. I think MacT will try to add an Ehrhoff, making it Ehrhoff-Marincin-Ference on the LH side.
  31. Is that good enough? It’s better, depends on RH side. If they go Petry-Schultz-Larsen that won’t do.
  32. MacT wasn’t a friend to Dubnyk. Yeah, that was a tough one. MacT does have some of that in his past. He was most unkind in the Dustin Penner handling, and I think DD’s troubles may have started when the GM publicly stated his uncertainty about the goaltending. Again, learning process, like the press conference that inspired unreasonable expectations last spring. Under promise, over deliver.
  33. Is that the theme this summer? Think so.
  34. How did they do at MacT’s first draft? I liked the draft, and there have been some positives in year one. Darnell Nurse had a fine season, Bogdan Yakimov made enough strides to earn a contract and a job as one of the team’s 8 NA pro centermen this coming season. Guys like Greg Chase and Ben Betker had nice seasons.
  35. Should have taken Nichushkin? I think it’s fine to say that, and it certainly looks that way today. However, the Oilers have a unique (on their list) defenseman who marries puck skills with mobility and physical play. That’s a valuable player, especially to the Oilers.
  36. So, draft for need. I think that’s exactly what they did, yes.
  37. Mistake! I’m sure Nichushkin would go higher in a re-draft, so there’s your answer. I’ll wait on Nurse, because he looks like a worthy player. We’ll see, but there’s no denying Nichushkin arrived in the NHL earlier, and in style.
  38. MacT took over a team badly lacking value contracts. How many are on the roster today? Petry was a value contract last season, for sure. This season, I’ll count Martin Marincin, Ben Scrivens and Mark Arcobello as value deals, maybe Klefbom.
  39. Why doesn’t he fire an assistant coach or two? I expect that’s Eakins’ decision to make, and MacT is a loyal guy. I do agree this team badly needs new ideas, and suspect we’ll see a new coach added at some point this summer.
  40. Nelson? Makes complete sense to me. He could be the next head coach depending on how things go in October.
  41. Lowetide, he made a lot of mistakes. Clarkson, Smid, Eakins, Ference, Hemsky, Gagner. It’s endless! I would argue that MacT’s positives (mentioned above) are the first constructive building moves for the team in years. You can’t take an abandoned house from horrible to beautiful overnight, and certainly not with a rookie GM and coach.
  42. And the mistakes? Eakins (we’ll deal with him next) is listed as a mistake, and I think that may change into the positive column. Clarkson is a concern because of talent evaluation, but it didn’t actually happen.
  43. Smid, Ference, Hemsky, Gagner? Ference was an actual NHL player added, I’m not going to be critical of that for some time. Gagner’s signing was a lot of money, but that’s not on MacT the GM (Gagner started early on the NHL contracts, flew through entry and bridge).
  44. Smid, Hemsky. Guilty. Guilty as charged.
  45. His punishment? He gets a chance to add to that group (Perron, Gordon, Scrivens, Fasth, Nurse, Chase) that will one day—soon!—bless this house and turn this derelict place into a home Oilers fans can be proud of for years to come.
  46. Why do you like him so much? He’s an intelligent man with the courage of his convictions. I was disappointed in his misguided trip for truculent, which caused him to abandon the possession game, but am confident that this organization has the tools to make this thing hum. He’s creative, has imagination, and after one year on the job, a little more battle hardened. He is entering a summer filled with land mines and grenades, but I’ll take intelligent thought and a strong belief system over mulling and doddering every time.
  47. Why this song? It’s a wonderful song.
  48. What does it mean? No idea. The title suggests strength on a journey whose outcome is uncertain, and in the balance.
  49. That could apply to the entire organization. No. There are areas of this organization that are not strengths.
  50. Are you going to name them? Stay tuned.

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112 Responses to "RE 13-14 CRAIG MACTAVISH: YOU DON’T PULL NO PUNCHES, BUT YOU DON’T PUSH THE RIVER"

  1. Lowetide says:

    Lowdown at 10, TSN 1260

    10:05 Steve Lansky
    10:25 Mark Matthews, Edmonton Rush
    10:45 Corey Graham, Edmonton Oil Kings PBP
    11:00 Steve Dangle, Leafs Nation
    11:25 Jeff Hauser, Radio Hauser (NFL draft)
    11:45 Paul Almeida, Saturday Sports Extra

    @Lowetide_ on twitter, 10-1260 text.

  2. Ca$h-Money! says:

    So tired of the pining for Hemsky. He wasn’t going to play for this team next year, and that’s not because of what MacT said at the start of the year. This was for sure, without a doubt, the last year of Hemsky. He got maximum value for him at the deadline; not because Hemsky is a bad player, but because other teams weren’t interested.

    Pittsburg placed greater value on Stempniak than Hemsky. That’s a team loading up for a cup run, and they didn’t feel Hemmer would help them with that in any appreciable way.

    Seriously, I liked the guy too, but crying foul on that guy leaving has to stop. That wasn’t a mistake, it was simply the reality of the situation.

  3. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Nelson? Makes complete sense to me. He could be the next head coach depending on how things go in October

    Are you sure we need another AHL wundercoach with no NHL head coaching experience?

    IMO, Laviolette would have been a damn sight better than the last rookie coach we signed. Man won a Cup and took the Islanders to the playoffs.

  4. jayzz says:

    Imagine if instead of taking nurse macT flipped yak to Nashville and picked Seth Jones, then took Nichushcin. This would have effectively solved 2 major organizational problems in one move. (Back when yaks value was high)
    I was furious when they passed on Nichushcin and time has only salted the wound… nurse couldn’t make wjc, and our Russian was sitting on his perogi watching the guy we let slip by playing in the Olympics ….
    This season such fail
    And right from the draft no less ..
    Go habs … I guess …

  5. leadfarmer says:

    No more people placed in jobs that they haven’t done before at the NHL level. You want to make Nelson head coach make him an assistant to a good coach for 4 years. Too much learning on the job from the coaching staff and management.

    MacT:
    Wasn’t set with Dubnyk in net, and he brought LAbarbara to remedy the situation, which anyone who watched him play knew he was at best a 10 start a year goalie.
    Set fire to the bottom nine saying you have to be a threat to score when your on the ice, and replaced those players who at least killed penalties with players that can’t score or kill penalties forcing players like Nuge to kill penalties. Although i do like the Gordon signing.

  6. Marcus Oilerius says:

    jayzz,

    … how can you possibly be disappointed by Nurse? You’re also comparing a forward (who can often come in and play the year after being drafted) to a defenceman (who usually take more time to develop). Subban spent his draft +1 and draft +2 years in the OHL, then a season in Hamilton, before coming onto the stage. The way Nurse plays, he’s a bigger Subban (not to sound racial or anything, but really…big shot, big hits, fast, quick decisions.)

    Good grief, last night, Cherry was lambasting Hockey Canada for its political selection process and used Nurse as an example of a player who got left out because he was yet another good defenceman from the O.

  7. Loweblow says:

    Denis Grebeshkov was often the 7th D on a young OKC Baron team, face it, it was a bad move. Oilers should of made Todd Nelson the coach, knows most of the players. Did miracles with the Barons and would have gone further in the playoffs if it wasn’t for Mactavish screwing up the team. Too bad the Oilers will most likely lose him.

  8. borisnikov says:

    Speaking of pushing the river… I’ve started a new series and Taylor Hall is my first subject. If you care to read, here it is. Dare to Compare.

  9. jayzz says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    Not saying nurse isn’t going to be a decent Dman …in a couple years… Wasn’t this year supposed to be the year it all turned around? No. Instead we get to wait another year for him to develop meanwhile Dallas gets the power forward we’ve all been clamoring for since pancakes left.
    The Wjc that Nichushkin and yak played in Nichushkin was clearly the better player between the two in my eyes and quite frankly everyone else’s so sit down plz your argument is lost .

  10. Hammers says:

    You forgot Horc and if you thought it was a good or bad move ? I like you loved Hemsky but that mistake really falls on Tambo as he should have been moved to LA instead of Penner when we may have got Voynov and not Tuebert . . Like it or not it was time for Hemsky to go and his trade value proved his value now .I had no problem with Smid going other than his character and his overpay .The other problem I did see was McT could have gotten any of Gilbert , Hainsey and passed on them and a couple of others .With all of it McT deserves a “B” grade against a “C-” for Tambo .

  11. Marcus Oilerius says:

    jayzz,

    Having seen Nichushkin play, I honestly have to say that he’s got a ways to go in the power forward department. Not that he can’t be great, but he’s got serious consistency issues. Worse, he’s a right winger (a left shooting one at that) and we’re a team that had three top-six right wingers to begin the season (Eberle, Hemsky, Yakupov).

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d be glad to have him, but I think it’s far too early to decide who will be better.

    Also, of all our defensive prospects, I can’t name one with higher potential than Nurse. We’re potentially looking at a 6’4″ PK Subban.

  12. Loweblow says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    Nurse can carry the puck, but what makes Subban so great is his shot, and Nurse doesn’t have the best of shots. Watching him play with the Barons, it was clear he’s still a couple of years off. Needs to bulk up, his accuracy of his shot, and work on his D.

  13. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Loweblow,

    Subban has a lot more than a shot.

    No doubt Nurse is a couple of years away, but like I said earlier, Subban spent two full seasons after being drafted in junior, and one more in the AHL.

    Of course, if we had drafted him, he’d have made the opening night roster and watched his career flounder due to confidence issue, because Oilers.

  14. jayzz says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    The key word is potential, and what i proposed was trading yak at the draft to Nashville for Jones and getting Nichushkin to replace Yak. But hindsight is 20/20.
    Make no mistake I’m very excited about Nurse … In a couple years
    Doesn’t it seem that MacT passed on Nichushkin because he thought he could sign Clarkson?Again i question MacT’s player scouting and evaluation techniques last summer and no. He doesn’t get a pass cause he is new to the job, these are massive decisions that will impact this team for years to come.

  15. Ducey says:

    Grebs: It cost some Katz dollars and a spot on the 50 man roster. They gave up nothing. He was a flyer. How is this a mistake?

    Belov: See Grebs

    Clarkson: Good possession numbers in NJ. Terrible year in TOR. Early suspension, injuries, pressure playing at home. I would think he will bounce back next year. Its funny how people always say ” I would take player X on an overpay”. When the Oilers overpay, they are outraged. I’d actually be happy if they added Clarkson now.

    Gagner: Coming off a very good year last year. Terrible season but the boxcars started to improve after the mask came off. I would think his offense will return next year. Can Eakins teach him some D? You have to figure he will learn it sooner or later. Given the options (there are not a lot of bona fide 2nd line centers floating around) it was a reasonable gamble. Put him on the wing with Sam Bennett, feed him lots of PP time and soft minutes and then trade him next deadline.

    Bryz: It was a good try at fixing the implosion of DD. They could have fit him in and still kept Smid (IIRC – am I wrong?) so looked at in isolation it was fine.

    Smid: I don’t understand why this was done. It strikes me as similar to the Gilbert trade. I am betting that with both trades the players were unhappy and may have demanded a trade. Given the debacles the Oilers had in the past with guys demanding trades, they likely just got rid of him ASAP before the situation festered. I would sure like to know what the situation was.

    Hemsky: My oh my. The guy needed a change. The team needed a change. Deal with it.

  16. Marcus Oilerius says:

    jayzz,

    Nashville wants nothing to do with Russians after Radulov.

    Not sure where you’re getting the idea that MacT passed on Nichushkin because of Clarkson. They play different sides, Nichushkin slid from his projected #4/5 ranking to #10 because he interviewed badly and didn’t perform well at the combine. The Oilers aren’t the only team to pass him up.

  17. Rondo says:

    “His biggest mistake was hiring Dallas Eakins”

    MacT could correct this making Barry Trotz the head coach and Todd Nelson who has history with Trotz an assistant coach.

    At the very least they should interview Trotz and pick his brain regarding what is wrong with the Oilers.

  18. rich says:

    @jayzz – where was Nichushkin going to play? He was another rookie winger. Sooner or later, you have to start addressing the teams real issues.

    Going into last season, the Oilers had major issues on defense, at center and in the net.

    I’m generally a fan of MacT but also a realist. You’re not going to score on every shot. Some of his moves worked out, other’s didn’t and we’re very fortunate Toronto saved us from what could have been a huge mistake with Clarkson.

    MacT has upgraded the net. He’s done part of the job at C (Gordon) but still has much more to do there and he’s got a guy with defensive deficiencies who is not going to fetch value back (Gagner). Defense is not there either. There are good prospects in the system and two showed well in their initial foray’s but relying on them to play heavy minutes at their age is not a smart play.

    I said last summer that MacT’s job was going to be much harder than Tambellini’s because of the mess he inherited. His job this summer is not going to be any easier and MacT has also created a bit of a mess w/the Eakins hiring. I’m impressed that LT addressed this head on. I don’t want to see him turfed right now, but the guy needs help. If they get off to another bad start this season, that’s really on MacT just as much as Eakins.

  19. Loweblow says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    Yes Subban has a lot going for him, but you cannot compare Nurse to him at all, that’s what I was referring to.

    Hersey Bears head coaching job just became open, will they go after Nelson.

  20. jayzz says:

    Nichushkin played in the Olympics for Russia
    Clarkson and Nichushkin are power forwards the side they play completely irrelevant.
    I shouldn’t even have to spell it out for you

    Btw armchair Gm is my fav pass time lol i could literally talk about this crap all day

  21. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Loweblow: Yes Subban has a lot going for him, but you cannot compare Nurse to him at all, that’s what I was referring to.

    Why not?

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ca$h-Money!: So tired of the pining for Hemsky. He wasn’t going to play for this team next year, and that’s not because of what MacT said at the start of the year. This was for sure, without a doubt, the last year of Hemsky.

    This is possible, but not without a reasonable counter argument.

    All the verbal from Hemsky actually suggests he “accepted his fate” rather than “chose it” regarding leaving the Oilers.

    I think a plausible counter-factual could be built whereby MacT from day one, or at any point during the year, went to Ales and laid out a game plan for the short-long term (next 2-4 years) with him and made something happen.

    Marcus Oilerius: Are you sure we need another AHL wundercoach with no NHL head coaching experience?

    I think the idea would be interim coach with an inside look at a full-scale job opening (if Eakins stumbles out of the gate).

    I don’t have a problem with that at all. Nelson’s track record is strong enough that NHL head coach isn’t a far fetched idea, though it is more questionable that some suppose.

    JW had a very good piece on this the other day.

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/5/7/todd-nelson-s-options

  23. jayzz says:

    rich,

    Nichushkin played on the Olympic squad that Mr.Yakupov was left off of so I’m pretty certain we could have found room for a 6’4 210pnd winger that skates about as fast as Hall, what do you think?

  24. jayzz says:

    What really keeps me up at night is Perron.
    What if all the points he got this year are smoke and mirrors and his defensive play is why he was made expendable by the blues.
    Could the blues have actually won that trade ?Did we just pick up the garbage they didn’t want/need?
    Ever since last years draft I’ve had this feeling that MacT doesn’t get it.
    I give him a hard F for this year and i think by game 20 next year most of you will agree

  25. TheOtherJohn says:

    Everyone remembers the “bold moves” comments from the presser but MacT also said he was pretty optimistic that we can get some growth and change quite quickly

    Good moves
    Perron & Gordon I would add Hendricks (on 4th line) because he is uniquely rambunctious on this roster. Still bad contract, bad term

    Low cost moves that may work out
    Scrivens*, Fasth

    Mediocre to bad moves
    Smid trade
    Horcoff trade
    Ference
    Belov
    Joensuu
    Fraser
    SMac
    Gadzik
    R Jones
    Belov
    Acton
    Grebeshkov
    R Hamilton

    All in all lots of movement in & out but not much discernible improvement. So much of MacT’s perceived success as a rookie GM is tied solely to the Perron trade. If he keeps making 1 strong move per year we will be in the playoffs in 3 years

    * see my comments on the Scrivens post yesterday. It is less than clear that Scrivens Fasth was an improvement on the numbers put up by Dubnyk in November & December. Realize that runs contrary to the anecdotal storyline that Dubnyk alone ruined the season but in November/December 2013 he was mid level NHL starter and in March and April Scrivens had similiar numbers

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 16m
    I’m hearing there is a good chance Roman Horak may play in the KHL next season

  27. rich says:

    jayzz,

    Fair question. You draft Nichushkin and you add another teen age winger to a team that struggles down the middle. Where does he play? You had had Hall/Eberle on the top line – he’s not playing there. You had Hemsky/Perron playing 2nd line and Yak playing up and down the lines.

    Yak has his defensive deficiencies – and his inconsistency’s but finished his rookie year strong. Were you going to trade him to address the weakness at center and blue after his rookie season? Very likely you’re not going to get full value on that – so that’s bad asset management.

    MacT couldn’t get squat last summer (or at the trade deadline) for Hemsky. Given that, picking Nichushkin does not help the team in the short run. Only in the long-run.

    Given that, I like what MacT did in the draft. He thinks long-term, drafts a d-man who has a chance to develop into a top 2 pairing and sends him back to junior’s instead of rushing him.

  28. LMHF#1 says:

    They seriously just lost to France? Time for a national shaming day.

  29. TheOtherJohn says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer16m
    I’m hearing there is a good chance Roman Horak may play in the KHL next season

    If so, at least we got a 5th round draft pick (thank God he is an Oil King**** Oiler bonus points) in exchange for for a big body, good skating 7 year vet defensive D playing 18 TOI

  30. Lowetide says:

    jayzz:
    What really keeps me up at night is Perron.
    What if all the points he got this year are smoke and mirrors and his defensive play is why he was made expendable by the blues.
    Could the blues have actually won that trade ?Did we just pick up the garbage they didn’t want/need?
    Ever since last years draft I’ve had this feeling that MacT doesn’t get it.
    I give him a hard F for this year and i think by game 20 next year most of you will agree

    Great point. And Perron had zero goals in all his previous seasons, so he might go back to zero goals again.

  31. RexLibris says:

    They should buyout Ference now.

    Before this becomes a thing, I think we need to remember that Ference has a NMC and in order to buy a player out, whether it be a compliance buyout or standard, a team first has to place the player on waivers, something they are prohibited from doing under a Full No Movement Clause unless expressly agreed to by the player.

    So there is that.

    Ference is an Oiler until he retires, agrees to a trade, or becomes a free agent three years from now.

  32. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    TheOtherJohn: If so, at least we got a 5th round draft pick (thank God he is an Oil King**** Oiler bonus points) in exchange for for a big body, good skating 7 year vet defensive D playing 18 TOI

    When a player bolts for the KHL we get one back right… our choice, right?

    I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.

    Lowetide: Great point. And Perron had zero goals in all his previous seasons, so he might go back to zero goals again.

    I love it when you troll.

  33. Caramel Obvious says:

    A lot of irrational whining here the last few weeks. There is no planet on which signing Ference was a bad move.

    There are two ways to look at the trade.

    1) All Ference cost was money. The Oilers are not a cap team. Therefore in order for Ference to be a good deal he has to be an above replacement player. Ference is an above replacament player. Therefore this was a good deal.

    2) The counterargument is the opportunity cost angle. Ference cost the Oilers the opportunity to add someone better than Ference. There are two angles to this. The first is that Ference cost the Oilers at signing another, better, free agent. Even were this knowable it creates a false dichotomy between Ference and presumed better-Ference when, even if we accept the premise, there are actually four possiblities. Better-Ference, Ference, nothing, worse-Ference (Cam Barker). For this to be an acceptable deal all Ference has to be is better than nothing. Which returns us to #1.

    The other angle is that Smid was dealt for salary reasons which means that, implicitly, Ference cost them Smid. The logic here then is to compare Ference + Horak + Brossoit + draft pick in Bryzgalov trade against Smid. Prior to Romulus’ post I thought this was a clear victory for the Ference side. Now it’s closer.

    Still, the point holds. On it’s face adding NHL quality players is not a bad thing. In order to make signing Ference a bad thing you have to produce a compelling argument which his detractors are unable to do blinded, as they are, by frustration.

    Next year is going to be brutal around here. It would take a hall of fame general manager performance to turn this around this offseason such is the hole dug by Tambellini. If MacTavish is merely good this team is going to look rather similar. Then the stupid will turn nasty.

  34. rich says:

    TheOtherJohn: If so, at least we got a 5th round draft pick (thank God he is an Oil King**** Oiler bonus points) in exchange for for a big body, good skating 7 year vet defensive D playing 18 TOI

    Hey – we got a goalie out of that trade too! He’s ripping it up in the E(chl)!

    Sigh.

  35. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer16m
    I’m hearing there is a good chance Roman Horak may play in the KHL next season

    If he goes the way of Rajala and Hartikainen then I think questions about the communication between management and players can begin to take precedence.

    That would make three reasonable prospects defecting from the development system in one year under the new management.

  36. Bank Shot says:

    MacT did not really improve the team at all. Any addition to the roster was equally balanced by a subtraction.

    Perron in->Hemsky out
    Gordon in ->Horcoff out
    Ference in ->Smid out
    Mact replaced league average goaltending in 12/13 with league average goaltending in 13/14 after the season was lost.

    No bold moves. Lots of patch jobs.

    The only exception was the Perron move, but it was kind of baffling that Mact used up some of Edmonton’s more valuable trade assets to acquire a winger. A winger! That was the only position that the Oilers weren’t deficient in to start the season.

    His “value” signings/acquisitions were mostly all terrible:
    Grebeshkov
    Larsen
    Belov
    Fraser

    His depth D moves were all massive fails. He didn’t even find a guy that is a good bet to be in the NHL this season.

    His depth forwards moves:
    Joensuu
    Gazdic
    Ryan Hamilton
    Andre Miller
    Acton
    Hendricks
    MacIntyre
    Pinizotto
    Horak

    Only real NHler there is an overpaid 4th liner in Hendricks who may not make the end of his contract in the NHL.

    I really can’t look at the roster at the end of the 13/14 season and say it looks any stronger then the roster heading into the season. Mactavish made a lot of moves but pretty much ended up treading water. Not good enough for a team that is a perennial basement dweller.

    He needs to address team needs in a significant way in the offseason before I will begin to have any faith in him.

  37. jayzz says:

    rich,

    My hypothetical was to trade Yak at last years draft to grab the #3 or 4 spot and take Seth Jones, then draft Nichushkin to fill in Yaks place. Everyone has said the oil lack minute munching defensemen and a legit power forward to play in the top six.
    Nichushkin was the better player in the wjc that he and yak played in I’m jw why i seem to be the only one that noticed this.
    Its easy to sit here a year later and make fantasy trades and picks, but at last years draft I was dumbfounded by the Nurse selection and time is proving me and the Dallas Stars right …(like they needed another power forward right ??sigh) Not knocking Nurse in the least as i said earlier am very excited to have him in the wings, but if he cry’s again when he is cut from the team this fall there will be no mercy from me lol .

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris: If he goes the way of Rajala and Hartikainen then I think questions about the communication between management and players can begin to take precedence.

    That would make three reasonable prospects defecting from the development system in one year under the new management.

    The weird thing is the whole “new GM’s clean houses” idea takes a gut-shot if Horak is suddenly included in the list of players cleaned out.

    Also makes the Smid trade look even more loopy.

    Of course, it takes two to tango and if this is true, it’s possible it’s Horak’s choice.

  39. jayzz says:

    Lowetide,

    ? huh

  40. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: If he goes the way of Rajala and Hartikainen then I think questions about the communication between management and players can begin to take precedence.

    That would make three reasonable prospects defecting from the development system in one year under the new management.

    Gack! Gack! Gack!

  41. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: The weird thing is the whole “new GM’s clean houses” idea takes a gut-shot if Horak is suddenly included in the list of players cleaned out.

    Also makes the Smid trade look even more loopy.

    Of course, it takes two to tango and if this is true, it’s possible it’s Horak’s choice.

    True, and I’m alright with letting players try a different league provided they know they will have an opportunity to develop and are willing retain their relationship with the NHL club.

    Remember when Gernat went back to Slovakia to get his shoulder repaired a few years ago? People were freaking out, but I figured based on the culture shock and wanting to be near his family following surgery, it made sense. If Horak has similar motives – just need to spend a little time back home before making the big, long term commitment to North America – fine. If he’s received some sort of “vibe” from management that makes him want to jump ship, then we have an organizational disconnect.

    Yakimov has signed and is preparing to come over, let’s watch how that plays out before freaking out completely. :)

  42. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Gack! Gack! Gack!

    RexLibris: “Yakimov has signed and is preparing to come over, let’s watch how that plays out before freaking out completely.”

    Or we could start now. ;)

  43. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris: Yakimov has signed and is preparing to come over, let’s watch how that plays out before freaking out completely.

    sure.

    I don’t think the question is “handling euro prospects” though is it?

    the question is just “development and asset management/evaluation”

    MacT picked Yakimov. makes sense he’s pursuing him strongly.

    He traded for Horak, who had a good AHL season. without more info… we’re left to ponder, but it’s a weird situation.

  44. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: sure.

    I don’t think the question is “handling euro prospects” though is it?

    the question is just “development and asset management/evaluation”

    MacT picked Yakimov. makes sense he’s pursuing him strongly.

    He traded for Horak, who had a good AHL season. without more info… we’re left to ponder, but it’s a weird situation.

    Yep.

    There is a distinction between Horak/Yakimov and Rajala/Hartikainen. And that is that MacTavish picked the former and LT liked the latter.

    So obviously MacTavish hates LT.

  45. frjohnk says:

    Don’t know if anybody listened to the Draisaitl interview on the Gregor show. Here is the transcript.
    http://oilersnation.com/2014/5/9/draisaitl-i-know-i-m-a-competitive-person

    Great interview, great kid. I think he has a higher ceiling than most people believe he can reach.

    He is 6 foot 2 and should come into camp at 215 pounds. If drafted by the oilers and plays this fall, he will the be the heaviest forward except Gazdic.

    I’m officially back on the Draisaitl band wagon.

  46. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: Yep.

    There is a distinction between Horak/Yakimov and Rajala/Hartikainen. And that is that MacTavish picked the former and LT liked the latter.

    So obviously MacTavish hates LT.

    This is poo all over again. Poor Poo.

  47. frjohnk says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: sure.

    He traded for Horak, who had a good AHL season. without more info… we’re left to ponder, but it’s a weird situation.

    It could be as simple as his agent telling him he can get a KHL contract for 1.5 million over a couple years vs a two way deal with the oilers/barons where he makes 100 grand riding the bus in the A.

    And I’m sure when the agent works for a percentage that he will be whispering sweet somethings into Horaks ear for the KHL.

  48. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Chris Peters ‏@chrismpeters 2m
    USA D Pairings vs. BLR: DeKeyser-Trouba; McCabe-Jones; Petry-Gardiner; Donovan. Goalies: Thomas-Leggio

    Petry-Gardiner… hmmm (also… backwards… but who’s counting)

  49. jayzz says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I only read Alan’s blogs,can’t stand him on the radio(voice to nasal self important sounding) I really like his point of view on certain points, but his affection for MacT is making me question if he has a clue
    Also Van Morrison sucks

  50. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    frjohnk: It could be as simple as his agent telling him he can get a KHL contract for 1.5 million over a couple years vs a two way deal with the oilers/barons where he makes 100 grand riding the bus in the A.

    And I’m sure when the agent works for a percentage that he will be whispering sweet somethings into Horaks ear for the KHL.

    but this would have been true if Horak never came to NA at all or if he bolted last year after asking for a buy out.

    When a player blots is a key piece of information.

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    jayzz:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I only read Alan’s blogs,can’t stand him on the radio(voice to nasal self important sounding) I really like his point of view on certain points, but his affection for MacT is making me question if he has a clue
    Also Van Morrison sucks

    this is even trollier than LT’s post.

    keep it up guys, this is hilarious.

    haha. van morrison sucks. haha. too rich.

  52. Numenius says:

    jayzz:
    Lowetide,

    ? huh

    I believe LT’s point was that your worries are highly irrational.

    Two reasons why:

    1) There’s no reason to believe Perron was bad defensively with the Blues.
    Last season with the Blues he played some of the best comp and was top 6-7 on the team in CorsiOn and Rel.

    2) There’s no reason to believe that Perron will suddenly become bad defensively with the Oilers.

    The sky is not falling.

  53. jayzz says:

    Numenius,

    Why was he traded for a 4th liner?
    I’m not saying he’s bad, it’s just from what i remember he was looking for some freedom from Hitch’s system play which lends credence to my point does he have a problem playing within a tight defensive system?
    You don’t trade away a proven player for magic beans for no reason.
    Buy low sell high is the proven meta for winning teams
    Would you trade Perron for a piece we need while his stock is high ?

  54. frjohnk says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: but this would have been true if Horak never came to NA at all or if he bolted last year after asking for a buy out.

    When a player blots is a key piece of information.

    Last year was his 2nd year in his 3 year ELC. In his first year pro, he played 61 games for the flames and probably felt he could climb back to the NHL.

    All European players who come here want to give the NHL their best shot, but if they believe that the NHL just may not work out, why wouldn’t they go to the 2nd best league and make some cash? He made $62,500 last year in the AHL. If only the AHL and the KHL are the guarantees for next year, I would not be surprised for a European player on going to the KHL.

    I also wonder if Horak’s development was hindered by playing in the NHL in his first year of pro hockey, just like Lander.

    I like Horak, I think he could bring some skill, two way play and a value contract for the bottom six next year.

  55. oliveoilers says:

    So, the Phoenix Coyotes would suck at the WHC…..

  56. rich says:

    jayzz,

    I understand and we all like to spitball and say what if at some point. It’s the fun thing about this blog because LT allows us to throw just about anything up and then it’s open season for debate.

    You and I disagree. The Oilers (my opinion), were not going to trade Yak. He’d just gotten a big push from the former coach. Offering him for the #3 would not have gotten it done and is bad asset management.

    Why? Previous year’s #1 overall and you are already giving him up is what Tallon or Yzerman are saying (not even bothering to mention Poile because there is no way he’s taking a Russian after the experience with Radulov – especially given Yak’s dad and agent). You want our pick? Fine, it’s Yak plus something MacT (rookie GM).

    Now, put yourself in MacT’s shoes. Rookie GM and you’ve got to sell Katz (who word is over-ruled guys and told them to take Yak) and Lowe (who’s outback counting all his rings) on why you’ve traded Yak, + for a d-man (Jones) who will not play in the NHL this year (he shouldn’t have played last year – he was way over his head in Nashville). You argue it will all work out in a few years and we can replace Yak with another teenage Russian winger who is good, but doesn’t have the shot. So yes, some short term pain and maybe, some long-term gain?

    Me, personally I pass. Yak is a work-in-progress but if he can get his head screwed on right – he can be a 40 goal scorer. Nurse is going to be a top 2 d-man. And we didn’t have to give anything else up.

    Now get the coach some help.

  57. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    frjohnk: Last year was his 2nd year in his 3 year ELC.In his first year pro, he played 61 games for the flames and probably felt he could climb back to the NHL.

    All European players who come here want to give the NHL their best shot, but if they believe that the NHL just may not work out, why wouldn’t they go to the 2nd best league and make some cash?He made $62,500 last year in the AHL.If only the AHL and the KHL are the guarantees for next year, I would not be surprised for a European player on going to the KHL.

    I also wonder if Horak’s development was hindered by playing in the NHL in his first year of pro hockey, just like Lander.

    I like Horak, I think he could bring some skill, two way play and a value contract for the bottom six next year.

    Sure, I’m not disagreeing.

    Just noting that Euro money is available to these players all along the line.

    If they came over and played for a substantial amount of time, there is a sign of NA commitment and we can’t presume anything absent other info.

  58. RMGS says:

    I sincerely hope that MacT’s many player personnel blunders his first year (his one homerun notwithstanding) were due mostly to his being a rookie GM.

    Of course, that the team overlooked merit and due diligence and bet on someone with zero GM experience at any level to rebuild (!) the team after the Tambellini disaster is exemplary of the Oilers’ dysfunction.

  59. frjohnk says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Sure, I’m not disagreeing.

    Just noting that Euro money is available to these players all along the line.

    If they came over and played for a substantial amount of time, there is a sign of NA commitment and we can’t presume anything absent other info.

    Duly noted.

    I am not saying this to bash management because this may have nothing to do with managmen tbut its a huge concern if another young good European player who could make a difference ( even if its small) bolts back to Europe. Add this to the trouble of attracting good free agents and this makes the rebuild tougher.

  60. nycoil says:

    Well, if Horak leaves that is certainly troubling.
    Smid and Roy for Brossoit? Said it at the time and will say it again, the problem isn’t the trade so much as the return and the thought process on asset management. We have seen a number of teams out East express surprise Smid was available. Garth Snow was in all-in mode at the time and could have used a defenseman, and this was the guy who sent Niederreiter away for Clutterbuck.
    The Oilers invested heavily in and suffered through Smid’s development, then moved him for futures when the team was trying to right the ship in the now. It sent a message to the team, but I am still unsure what that message was meant to be– don’t tell it like it is or you are out?

    If Horak bolts MacT and his team did not do enough due diligence on the trade, and that’s just a mistake this team cannot afford to keep making– and let’s not kid ourselves, MacT was around for the last go-around when such mistakes were being made (2007 whale hunting).

    I am sorry, but I give MacT a D for this year. One step up from Tambo’s F. And the Perron acquisition is the difference. The goalie situation? I like the solution at the end but the start was a disaster. Was never on board with getting a buddy/clear backup for DD when we all thought at least a 1B was needed. Many of us pushed for Khudobin, who didn’t cost Carolina much to acquire. So I give offsetting scores on the goaltending that negate each other.

    Then the roster construction post-Kassian did not match the verbal about puck possession. Another glaring mistake. Too many mistakes to.give MacT this much credit.

    Is he smart enough to turn this around in year 2? Maybe. At least he has a pulse. But so far, I don’t think he has been very good and I would have far preferred Jim Nill.

    I know, LT, you like MacT and think he is smart. I think that is true relative to what we have seen before but this team can’t really afford a GM and coach learning on the job without a wealth of experience.

  61. LostBoy says:

    That Clarkson had high turkey potential was obvious at the time – his lockout season looks pretty good from a distance, but it was comprised of 16 points in the first 14 games, followed by 8 points over the remaining 34 games. His 30 goal season was a one-off 50% spike in his career shooting percentage. That said, I think it’s important to evaluate everything that did or didn’t happen within the universe of “Deals Which Could Actually Happen”. There aren’t really many of those in any given off season, and most of them are underwhelming. If you squinted, Clarkson was *exactly* what everyone was saying we needed last summer – big body physical play and enough offense to play in the top six. It was still a bad idea, but it’s not like there were many other ideas handy.

    If Ference was on balance a bad idea, then so was Hendricks. The Oilers were hot after him as a UFA in summer, lost out, then completed their pursuit with a trade. Actual NHL players, yes please. But getting them at age 32 (or 34, in Ference’s case) just isn’t going to work. Hendricks isn’t a bad player at this point (if you want some banging and intangible attitude on hopefully your fourth line, at least), but signing guys that age to 3-4 year moderate overpays on the basis of who they were when they were 29-30-31 gets you almost nowhere most of the time.

  62. godot10 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer16m
    I’m hearing there is a good chance Roman Horak may play in the KHL next season

    The gift of Ryan Hamilton and Will Acton’s two year contracts keeps on giving. Who gave them two year contracts again, when AHL vets usually only get one. Money not duration should be the currency for signing AHL veterans.

    Hard to develop young D in OKC when your AHL veteran forwards on NHL contracts can’t score.

  63. Caramel Obvious says:

    godot10: The gift of Ryan Hamilton and Will Acton’s two year contracts keeps on giving.Who gave them two year contracts again, when AHL vets usually only get one. Money not duration should be the currency for signing AHL veterans.

    Hard to develop young D in OKC when your AHL veteran forwards on NHL contracts can’t score.

    This is quite the non sequitur, even for you.

    This doesn’t make enough sense to express in language let alone attempt to refute.

  64. godot10 says:

    RexLibris: If he goes the way of Rajala and Hartikainen then I think questions about the communication between management and players can begin to take precedence.

    That would make three reasonable prospects defecting from the development system in one year under the new management.

    Europeans coming off of ELC’s who aren’t qualified with one-way NHL deals, and who believe that they will clear waivers will make the sensible financial decision and go earn financial security for life in the KHL before taking another shot at the NHL.

    Lander had a good enough year in the AHL, that he has to believe somebody will claim him on waivers if MacT only qualifies him with a two-way offer.

    But Horak can earn 10x the money in the KHL that he can in the AHL. Go play there for two years, earn a million, and then maybe try the NHL again.

  65. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: This is poo all over again. Poor Poo.

    Non-regular readers of this blog are now very confused. And perhaps a tad concerned.

  66. godot10 says:

    jayzz:
    Numenius,

    Why was he traded for a 4th liner?
    I’m not saying he’s bad, it’s just from what i remember he was looking for some freedom from Hitch’s system play which lends credence to my point does he have a problem playing within a tight defensive system?
    You don’t trade away a proven player for magic beans for no reason.
    Buy low sell high is the proven meta for winning teams
    Would you trade Perron for a piece we need while his stock is high ?

    For the record, my position on the Perron deal is that it was a good deal if the Oilers progressed, but a bad deal if the OIlers regressed. The hiring of Eakins and the regression of the OIlers under Eakins negated all the good aspects of the Perron deal. Perron will be too likely be too expensive to re-sign and will have to be replaced, just when the Oilers would be hoping to be competitive again.

    St. Louis traded Perron for cap reasons. They had equivalent or better cheaper younger forwards who could do everything he could do, and they had a slew of more critical players to re-sign.

    So they got a bigger younger faster cheaper two-way winger in Paajarvi whom they could develop, and a 2nd round draft pick. The turned an asset they could no longer afford into potential future assets.

  67. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Are you sure we need another AHL wundercoach with no NHL head coaching experience?

    Jon Cooper says get it right the first time.

    http://oilersnation.com/2012/6/11/the-most-interesting-man-in-hockey-jon-cooper
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2012/03/28/profiles-in-coaching-jon-cooper/

  68. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    LMHF#1:
    They seriously just lost to France? Time for a national shaming day.

    M. Henderson. It’s someone calling himself Low on line deux.

    Merde.

  69. Big Dan says:

    I see Horak as a future Pisani, but he needs to add some weight first. He has the tools and defensive know-how to be an NHL 3rd line winger for many years. If he spends a year in the KHL, that’s fine with me. He’s going to be an Oiler. Too bad for next year though.. I was looking forward to an Arco-Horak-Yakupov 4th line, This likely improves Lander’s chances of sticking.

    In another blog I am in, I got an interesting tidbit from an Islander fans. They are so much in the same boat as us. Owner comes in and everybody is so happy. He hires a crony and they both incompetently run the team into the ground year after year (with the odd blip).

    Anyways, remember that Oil clip about MacT considering a trade of Gagner at the deadline for another soft player? We speculated it was perhaps Roman Josi. The Islander fan said from their side, the rumors they heard were Bailey for Gagner.

    Here is what the Isle fan had to say about Bailey=

    “Dan, sounded like two wastes changing places. Bailey is signed for a longer term, 4 more years to 2 for Gagner, but Baileys deal is much less per yr. I would do the deal simply because the isles are moving to a better situation, where they should be able to spend, and it would be nice to get a bad contract off the books sooner than later.

    It is a typical Garth Schmoe move. Make a lateral trade and hype it as a reason to get excited. Truthfully, for a moron like snow, a lateral trade actually IS something to be excited about.

    For EDM, maybe getting an overly sensitive wimp who the coaches are openly afraid to criticize because he gets hurt easily out of NY would help? He had a few nice stretches but always reverts back to perimeter play, avoiding contact and lazy defensive play,”

    So Bailey is inconsistent, not strong defensively, soft, and overpaid. Sounds like a purely sideways move, they may as well be twins. Or they may each blossom in a change of scenery?

  70. "Steve Smith" says:

    Caramel Obvious: 1) All Ference cost was money.The Oilers are not a cap team.Therefore in order for Ference to be a good deal he has to be an above replacement player.Ference is an above replacament player.Therefore this was a good deal.

    It’s true, because he was signed to a one-year contract, and we are now free of him.

  71. Gerta Rauss says:

    godot10: But Horak can earn 10x the money in the KHL that he can in the AHL. Go play there for two years, earn a million, and then maybe try the NHL again

    Yes, but how is this Dallas Eakins fault..?

  72. oliveoilers says:

    “Steve Smith”: It’s true, because he was signed to a one-year contract, and we are now free of him.

    LOL, yeah. All this vintage Aston Martin cost was more money. All it has to be to be a good deal is it just has to be better than my diesel Jetta. We’ll worry about cost later. Jagr @ 5million, anybody?

  73. gcw_rocks says:

    Ducey,

    It was a mistake because real NHL players were being signed for similar money and the Oilers didn’t have the contract spots to use on them because of Acton, Grebeshkov, Hamilton, and the other wannabes MacT signed.

  74. gcw_rocks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    If true, MacT continues an oiler tradition of turning something into nothing.

  75. Doomoil says:

    Just catching up on yesterday’s thread and I have to know.

    flyfish1168:
    JMHO. I have seen Randy Carlyle play for years. I believe he is a good judge of a good defense man. If Carlyle can’ttrust or play him on the Leafs top 6 regularly, how is he being rated as onetheir better d-man?Advance stats don’t show him rushing his passes or his nervous plays on the ice.

    This is expert level trolling right?

  76. Caramel Obvious says:

    “Steve Smith”: It’s true, because he was signed to a one-year contract, and we are now free of him.

    It was true last year. It is true this year. When will it stop being true?

    The Oilers are miles and miles away from the salary cap. Their problem isn’t salary cap space. Their problem is they don’t have anyone to give that salary too because their players are terrible. Ference is less terrible than the alternatives. You might call that damning with faint praise. I call it less terrible than the alternative.

  77. hunter1909 says:

    jayzz: nurse couldn’t make wjc,

    Hello and how did that work out? Canada won gold?

  78. hunter1909 says:

    jayzz: Not saying nurse isn’t going to be a decent Dman

    Thank you for talking hysterical. Yeah, let’s dump that bum Nurse before he plummets in value.

  79. gcw_rocks says:

    I think you need to also note that MacT mis-read the free agent market last summer. It was a buyer’s market and yet MacT didn’t walk away with any bargains. When you have a team full of holes, you can’t completely mis a buyer’s market. And it’s not like he didn’t know. Everyone knew there were going to be a few veterans left without a dance partner last summer. That so many of the ones that ended up being available fit needs of the team only makes it worse.

  80. gcw_rocks says:

    1) All Ference cost was money. The Oilers are not a cap team.

    The Oilers traded Smid because they were capped out at the time. They certainly started the season as a cap team.

  81. Caramel Obvious says:

    gcw_rocks:
    1) All Ference cost was money. The Oilers are not a cap team.

    The Oilers traded Smid because they were capped out at the time. They certainly started the season as a cap team.

    Do you read all the posts?

  82. Bar_Qu says:

    Caramel Obvious: Do you read all the posts?

    Why in heavens would anyone do that? I read the headline of the article, the name of the person commenting then fire away with whatever half-baked thought and preconception is on my mind at that moment.

    Doesn’t everyone?

  83. Woodguy says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    ) All Ference cost was money. The Oilers are not a cap team. Therefore in order for Ference to be a good deal he has to be an above replacement player. Ference is an above replacament player. Therefore this was a good deal.

    How do you conclude that Ference’ play was above replacement?

  84. Woodguy says:

    No time to post a long one, but the essence is:

    The Oiler’s biggest failing is that the constantly put players in slots above their NHL ability.

    This year they had a Rookie GM.

    Rookies, almost by definition, are slotted above their established NHL ability.

    I hope he learned a ton from all his mistakes. They are fairly listed above.

    Fucking rookies.

    Man.

  85. nycoil says:

    Woodguy:
    No time to post a long one, but the essence is:

    The Oiler’s biggest failing is that the constantly put players in slots above their NHL ability.

    This year they had a Rookie GM.

    Rookies, almost by definition, are slotted above their established NHL ability.

    I hope he learned a ton from all his mistakes.They are fairly listed above.

    Fucking rookies.

    Man.

    This. You said it in about 1/10 the words I used to try to say the same thing.

  86. speeds says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    A lot of irrational whining here the last few weeks.There is no planet on which signing Ference was a bad move.

    There are two ways to look at the trade.

    1) All Ference cost was money.The Oilers are not a cap team.Therefore in order for Ference to be a good deal he has to be an above replacement player.Ference is an above replacament player.Therefore this was a good deal.

    2) The counterargument is the opportunity cost angle.Ference cost the Oilers the opportunity to add someone better than Ference.There are two angles to this.The first is that Ference cost the Oilers at signing another, better, free agent.Even were this knowable it creates a false dichotomy between Ference and presumed better-Ference when, even if we accept the premise, there are actually four possiblities.Better-Ference, Ference, nothing, worse-Ference (Cam Barker).For this to be an acceptable deal all Ference has to be is better than nothing.Which returns us to #1.

    You can’t handwave the opportunity cost of the money, nor the fact that his presence blocks a roster spot (3LD) that would arguably be better used for development (Nurse, Klefbom) along with leaving money to address other lineup holes.

  87. speeds says:

    Just to elaborate, either the Oilers are a cap team, or they aren’t.

    If they are a cap team, they should be aiming to spend their money as efficiently as possible.

    If they are not a cap team, they should be aiming to spend their money as efficiently as possible.

  88. fifthcartel says:

    Stauffer said 95% chance Horak is gone to KHL and Oilers are talking with Lander right now. I guess that’s encouraging? Would have rather had Horak on the 3rd/4th lines than the other suspects.

  89. RexLibris says:

    Horak going to the KHL could be a blessing in disguise. I mean Giordano played over there before returning to the Flames. Maybe when Horak comes back he’ll be ready to become the Oilers’ 1st pairing RD?

    What? There is nothing wrong whatsoever with that logic!

  90. Zangetsu says:

    I think some hopped on the MacT bandwagon too soon. I wanted to wait a year to gauge him. I’m going to put MacT in the same category as Lander. There was some really good, but there was also enough bad that it’s questionable whether he is capable. Both have earned another year.
    When I look thought the list of mistakes, I find myself blaming Eakins more often than not. Then Kevin Lowe and tambo’s decisions fill in a few (hemsky). I honestly want to say that MacT is surrounded by idiots and is still intelligent, but it is hard to make a guess like that.

  91. Andy P says:

    Numenius: I believe LT’s point was that your worries are highly irrational.

    Two reasons why:

    1) There’s no reason to believe Perron was bad defensively with the Blues.
    Last season with the Blues he played some of the best comp and was top 6-7 on the team in CorsiOn and Rel.

    2) There’s no reason to believe that Perron will suddenly become bad defensively with the Oilers.

    The sky is not falling.

    It fell a while back already.

  92. nelson88 says:

    Marincin with no points against the czechs but lead the D core in ice time with 23 minutes. If they trade him for anything but gold I may have to find another team to cheer for.

  93. Caramel Obvious says:

    Woodguy:
    Caramel Obvious,

    ) All Ference cost was money. The Oilers are not a cap team. Therefore in order for Ference to be a good deal he has to be an above replacement player. Ference is an above replacament player. Therefore this was a good deal.

    How do you conclude that Ference’ play was above replacement?

    Well that’s the rub. But that has nothing to do with his contract. If he was below replacement the contract would be bad if he played for free.

  94. kinger_OIL says:

    This was a great piece LT. To the extent that Hockey Franchises should be run like businesses, by far the most worrisome thing about MacT is how the Ralph firing/Dallas hiring transpired. I would have liked your take on that LT. On one hand the boss tells your organization and shareholders that Ralph is your trusted leader, and that you are going to bolster him by bringing in better support. At the same time, you are telling others that Ralph “isn’t your guy”. Then MacT, on his own, based on a gut call after interviewing Dallas, fires the leader in the most classless way I have heard any executive getting fired: by skype (would be like sending him a fax 20 years ago, or leaving a voice message). That there was no apparent process, that MacT could do it all on his own is a reflection of a business that is poorly managed and without systems in place. Most people associated with a company that was run by a disingenuous leader with an unfettered ability to hire and fire would want no part of said company. As long as I was there, I would not believe anything that management told me, and that would be detrimental to the organization. That folks is MBA 101. A great case analysis, assuming MacT had any case studies as part of his MBA, when learning about OB (organizational behaviour|).

  95. Logan91 says:

    nelson88:
    Marincin with no points against the czechs but lead the D core in ice time with 23 minutes. If they trade him for anything but gold I may have to find another team to cheer for.

    I’m with ya on that one! He had no points, but he sure did look good out there.

  96. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    nelson88:
    Marincin with no points against the czechs but lead the D core in ice time with 23 minutes. If they trade him for anything but gold I may have to find another team to cheer for.

    any word on whether Gernat was considered for the team?

  97. Caramel Obvious says:

    speeds:
    Just to elaborate, either the Oilers are a cap team, or they aren’t.

    If they are a cap team, they should be aiming to spend their money as efficiently as possible.

    If they are not a cap team, they should be aiming to spend their money as efficiently as possible.

    That’s nonsense and you know it. The point isn’t to build the most efficient team. The point is to build the best. The team with the most value contracts won’t win if it doesn’t also have the best players. The latter does not automatically follow from the former.

    Contracts only really become bad when the player isn’t good enough to play on the team anymore. I can’t imagine anyone thinks that describes Ference. The Oilers don’t have six guys better than him. And the contract isn’t preventing them from signing those guys. There is no free agent store where you can just go out and get good value.

    Now Ryan Callahan. That guy is going to sign a bad contract. If the Oilers sign him then you can complain.

    Paul Stastny. I bet he signs a terrible contract.

    Vincent Lecavalier. That’s a terrible contract twice over.

    Those are the landmines you need to dodge. Sad as it is, Ference is one of the Oilers better defensemen.

    And the idea that he is taking up a development spot is ridiculous. We’ve complained for years that the Oilers promote guys too fast. If Ference is taking a young guy’s spot that’s a good thing. An absolute positive.

  98. tcho says:

    Lovin’ the Van Morrison (and cool to finally get the “pushing the river” line so often referenced on this site). Not lovin’ the thread. Jayzz – Oilers Nation, maybe?

  99. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    wait. Stasny is a landmine?

  100. Big Dan says:

    I was going to dispute your “Lecavalier is a landmine” comment. $4.5M for four more years for a 60-point, tough-minutes guy sounds fine.

    I didn’t realize he was already 34 years old. Yeah, you’re right. Considering his injury history, he is likely on his way down in a hurry.

  101. speeds says:

    Caramel Obvious: That’s nonsense and you know it.The point isn’t to build the most efficient team.The point is to build the best.The team with the most value contracts won’t win if it doesn’t also have the best players.The latter does not automatically follow from the former

    You are right, the goal is not to have as many people under value contracts as possible, but having many players under value contracts gives you the flexibility to overpay for value if/where necessary in other areas.

    Contracts only really become bad when the player isn’t good enough to play on the team anymore.I can’t imagine anyone thinks that describes Ference.The Oilers don’t have six guys better than him.And the contract isn’t preventing them from signing those guys.There is no free agent store where you can just go out and get good value.

    There are good deals in free agency that are found every year, but they are rarely the players signed in the first day or two (Gordon seems like a possible exception).

    And the contract absolutely prevents them from signing other players, because there’s an opportunity cost involved both with the money and with the roster spot. That money committed to Ference can’t go to a different player. I don’t want to debate the merits of Ference vs. Gilbert for the 50th time on this blog, but it is exceedingly unlikely that Ference for 4 yrs at 3.25M is better than Gilbert for one year at 0.9M + 2.35M to spend on someone else.

    Even if the contract isn’t/didn’t directly preventing them from signing someone this/last summer, it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be better with Gilbert at 1.75M + 1.5M to spend on someone else than Ference (plus whoever those other additional players are) instead of Ference at 3.25M.

    And the idea that he is taking up a development spot is ridiculous.We’ve complained for years that the Oilers promote guys too fast.If Ference is taking a young guy’s spot that’s a good thing.An absolute positive.

    Some have complained that the roster was left too thin to start the year, the result of which has been players being promoted more quickly than might be ideal, but that is not exactly the same thing as just generally complaining that the promotions have occurred too quickly. There’s a difference between leaving the D thin enough that rookies are playing top 4 minutes, and having 6 good D ahead of players on rookies have to earn their way into the 3rd pair.

    With respect to Stastny, I think the Oilers would get more out of overpaying him for 4 years than overpaying Ference for 4 yrs.

  102. Zangetsu says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    The goal isn’t to have the most cost effective team, but Stasny is an overpay.
    Did I get that right?

  103. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Break Serve! Oil Kings win 3-2 on road and can win pennant Sunday.

  104. Gino says:

    The Mac T. presser after he took over as GM was awesome, all fire and brimstone and the infamous bold moves quote. I almost came in my pants the excitement was so overwhelming. He made so many trades throughout the season my head was starting to spin. It was so refreshing after being exposed to Dithers for so many years. But here we are 1 year later and still face the same on ice issues. So much was promised and so little was delivered. The hyped free agent signing’s in the summer; dumping Smid for basically Ference instead of keeping him which exposed our D-Core even more so than it was already exposed. The good moves Boyd Gordon, David Perron and time will only tell (small sample size) the new goalies. The future will require us to move some of our pretty things to fill out our future shortcomings and man they are aplenty.

  105. Gino says:

    НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴,

    AWESOME!!!!!!!

  106. Gino says:

    Should the team play hardball with Schultz and only offer a similar Subban 2 year bridge contract around 2.5 – 3.0m this summer. If the team is looking at free agent defensemen to sign they can free up some future cap space with a bridge contract for him. Petry will also be asking for at least 4m or more on a long term deal.

  107. DeadmanWaking says:

    speeds: There are good deals in free agency that are found every year, but they are rarely the players signed in the first day or two (Gordon seems like a possible exception).

    If you’ve got a long shopping list, there’s an opportunity cost for sitting on your thumbs trying to jimmy ten percent. This is not boxing day bargain hunting. You need to come home with a matched set of clubs and not a fist-full of six irons, four for the price of two.

    In such a situation, played tactically, the first deal you sign is called a hedge. You pay a little extra to protect your room to operate on the remainder of your wish list.

    Japan’s incompatible power grids

    It used to be that certain appliances, including microwave ovens, electric clocks and some washing machines, couldn’t be used if you moved from, say, Tokyo to Nagoya, but that problem has largely been eliminated now that most appliances are made to work on either frequency. Compatibility information is posted on a permanent label on appliances, like the one shown in the photo accompanying today’s column. It’s usually on the back or side. On refrigerators, it should be on the inside of a door. If you see “50-60 Hz,” the appliance can be used safely anywhere in Japan.

    This also applies to coke machines. Let’s say Edmonton can only supply 50 Hz (also known as the Canadian dollar). The Rangers and some other privileged teams are dual frequency. If the Rangers snap up the 50 Hz coke machine, when the dust settles on back-up-the-truck bargain day, there could be a glut of bargain-priced 60 Hz coke machine wall flowers, none of which will do you much good at any price.

    If you even wanted a coke machine in the first place.

    It’s way more important to get the right car at a price you can live with than the wrong car on a screaming discount.

    Some people don’t want to rush Nurse to the show, but they do want to rush Hall to the C. The whole point of the Ference deal was obtaining a role model so that when Hall is ready to assume the mantle (I presume it will be Hall), he can step into the role with some maturity.

    Hall and the rest of our nucleus are being groomed for big things. That was quite clear in MacT’s end of season presser.

    Lesson One: Defense Against the Dark Arts.

    That’s always Lesson One after you fire the coach. Next season I’d settle for Care of Magical Creatures 101 and call it a victory–even Sybill sticks around to coach the PP and Rolanda sticks around to teach defense.

    Sybill slaps hand to forehead, swooning. “I see, I see, … an umbrella”. But actually this wasn’t a premonition at all. She was merely lost in the coat rack. False alarm! False alarm! Everyone back to your assigned seats.

  108. speeds says:

    DeadmanWaking: If you’ve got a long shopping list, there’s an opportunity cost for sitting on your thumbs trying to jimmy ten percent.This is not boxing day bargain hunting.You need to come home with a matched set of clubs and not a fist-full of six irons, four for the price of two.

    In such a situation, played tactically, the first deal you sign is called a hedge.You pay a little extra to protect your room to operate on the remainder of your wish list.

    Point taken, and I had no problem with such a strategy for Gordon. IIRC, there weren’t exactly a ton of other options to fill that role. There’s a difference between paying a small premium to fill a genuine area of need when you don’t have other options, and paying a large premium for a specific solution when you have many other options available, a number of which might be both better suited to your needs and priced more reasonably.

    It is risky, perhaps even reckless, to wait until Christmas Eve to start shopping for your spouse, looking for a deal, but surely there is a middle ground between that and and paying a huge premium to purchase her gift on September 8th when history and the market suggest strongly that particular gift can be purchased at a more reasonable price elsewhere, still well before Christmas. A bottle of Coke doesn’t taste any better just because you spent $3.25 on it at the liquor store, two weeks before your party, instead of $1.75 at Superstore one week before your party. It might make you feel better inside to have it in your house and know it’s there, but there’s no reason you can’t check out the grocery store a couple times in that first week, see what the bottle of Coke costs along with how many bottles are in stock. And then act, in tons of time for your party.

    DeadmanWaking:It’s way more important to get the right car at a price you can live with than the wrong car on a screaming discount.

    There’s a difference between paying a fair price for a car you need, and spending a bunch of money for a car that has visually caught your eye.

  109. bill needle says:

    Slim Slow Slider just about says it all.

  110. bill needle says:

    And Pay the Devil for the worse-than-useless Ference.

  111. gcw_rocks says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Yes, but the rest of your arguments were so nonsensical they were not worth commenting on.

  112. gcw_rocks says:

    DeadmanWaking,
    It’s way more important to get the right car at a price you can live with than the wrong car on a screaming discount.

    Problem is Ference wasn’t the right car. They needed top pairing defenders and a bottom pairing defender. Ference isn’t good enough for top pairing and way overpriced for bottom pairing, especially for the Oilers. Bottom positron should cost about $3M for the pair. They were already paying Nick more than that.

    They only way Ference at that amount made sense, ignoring term, would have been to buy out Schultz Sr, and then sign Hainsey.

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