COUNTER TREY

That old sly fox. Craig MacTavish, being of sound mind and body, delivered his least inspiring speech ever at the postseason media party a few weeks ago. Rife with hopeless imagery, broad brush strokes of black, maroon and burgundy, the verbal was decidedly negative. For a man who could easily win an election or inspire men good and true to grab their muskets and run over the hill, Craig MacTavish was stilted, grey, dull.

Today, he took action in a very good way.

The beauty of the Ramsay hiring is that Dallas Eakins has some real help heading into this season. I don’t think anyone can reasonably suggest last year’s Oilers coaching staff was locked and loaded, on message and in sync. In fact, I think you can reasonably state the opposite was true: Once men like Billy Moores and Tom Renney stepped away, the actual business of formulating and instituting a plan clearly didn’t happen. Dallas Eakins was a rookie coach last season, which should have given the team even more reason to give him astute and proven help behind the bench.

It is late, but it is here. Plenty of work to do, but this was a very nice start, and suggests that Craig MacTavish has changed his summer theme. Instead of ‘bold’ we might be seeing ‘under promise, over deliver’ in the next few months.

This was a good day to be an Oiler fan. A rare item, and a welcome one.

MACT’S SUMMER 2014 LIST

  1. A veteran top pairing defenseman. A real man, big time EV minutes and a history of successful sorties.
  2. A 2line C with experience and the ability to play a two-way game. This is the other vital piece.
  3. A legit two-way winger who can score 12-15 goals. The Pisani role. Mentor, calms the waters.
  4. Find a way to get value, or make use of, Sam Gagner. This does not include time at center.
  5. Improve the bottom 6F’s.
  6. Retain as much of the young cluster as possible, understanding that the player who represents #1 on this list might cost a young D who will one day fill that role.
  7. Get Petry signed long term.
  8. Sign Schultz but DO NOT break the bank.

Feels like a brand new day.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

61 Responses to "COUNTER TREY"

  1. John Chambers says:

    He may not build Rome this summer, but at least he’ll probably carry us out of the rubble of Chernobyl.

    We might have to settle for somewhere in the middle … Dresden.

  2. Lowetide says:

    John Chambers:
    He may not build Rome this summer, but at least he’ll probably carry us out of the rubble of Chernobyl.

    We might have to settle for somewhere in the middle … Dresden.

    lol, John. Nice.

  3. spoiler says:

    You’re right, it’s a year late. Hopefully it’s in the nick of time.

    It wasn’t on your list, but it was needed.

    Rishaug tweeted that there wasn’t much past connection between Eakins and Ramsay, so I am wondering if this is more of a MacT choice.

    Get another one hired, and while you’re at it swap the guy who’s been running the Nightmare in Net during The Big Suck for something better… Essensa? Ranford?

  4. zatch says:

    spoiler,

    Bring Back Backup Bob!

  5. VanOil says:

    OT but Slaughterhouse 5 is no where i want to be;

    What would a good draft + 2 season look like for the following I hope they are not in the NHL next year Jr’s?

    Nurse: he found some offense this year in the OHL, if he is there next year does he have to pull a Griffin Reinhart and Pronger his team to a Memorial Cup? Or would making the Hall star team at the WJC’c of Memorial Cup be good enough?

    Chase: How can he do better? Does he have to top 100 points and stay healthy?

    Roy: Good health obviously but does he also have to clock 100 points if he is back in the Q?

    I would like to know what others feel a RE of these 3 players is if they spend next season back in Jr.

  6. book¡je says:

    So, Ramsey believes strongly that the team needs to be having fun. I think we all know what that means: The ping pong table is coming back!

  7. FTO says:

    VanOil: OT but Slaughterhouse 5 is no where i want to be

    Goddamn masterful book that.

  8. Southern Oil says:

    At the min. this is a positive sign within the organization that Eakins has the ability to evaluate and choose his assistants. At the other end, this is a positive sign that MacT might have some brains and knows what to do moving forward. I am not as confident as you LT that this is the later of the two based on one decision. For all we know without pressure from Eakins, this never happens. Regardless, it is a positive move and with this club, you have to drink to that. It could be a few years before the next one.

  9. bsmart says:

    I believe Mac T was behind this move, I think he learnt from the bold moves speech. Be patient and act when you can improve the team. There are no definite timelines

  10. sumaclab says:

    Breaths big sigh of relief. Then looks at Lowetides summer list and takes another deep breath.Sigh. Its going to be a long summer.

    The good news the wife said I could go to the draft party at The Pint Takes his wins when he can get them.

  11. Bruce McCurdy says:

    spoiler: Rishaug tweeted that there wasn’t much past connection between Eakins and Ramsay, so I am wondering if this is more of a MacT choice.

    They both played junior in Peterborough & are Roger Neilson disciples. As per Young Willis over at ON, Eakins played in Florida for parts of 2 seasons that Ramsay was asst coach there.

  12. bsmart says:

    VanOil:
    OT but Slaughterhouse 5 is no where i want to be;

    What would a good draft + 2 season look like for the following I hope they are not in the NHL next year Jr’s?

    Nurse: he found some offense this year in the OHL, if he is there next year does he have to pull a Griffin Reinhart and Pronger his team to a Memorial Cup? Or would making the Hall star team at the WJC’c of Memorial Cup be good enough?

    Chase: How can he do better? Does he have to top 100 points and stay healthy?

    Roy: Good health obviously but does he also have to clock 100 points if he is back in the Q?

    I would like to know what others feel a RE of these 3 players is if they spend next season back in Jr.

    I think chase if a different player than Roy, I think Chase can score 30 less points than Roy next season and Chase will still have a better probability of being a pro with his skill set

    As for nurse he needs some world junior experience and to keep playing 25-30 mins a night in the ohl

  13. Lowetide says:

    Ramsay and Eakins are Neilson men. They’re Petes, for Pete’s sake. Joined at the brain.

  14. Racki says:

    Pretty happy with today’s move even though it’s the typical promotionfiring we are used to here.

  15. bigbadbruin24 says:

    I mentioned this potential offer on a prior post regarding knocking a few items off of the summer 2014 to do list.

    What about a deal with the Coyotes.

    Yandle, Samuelsson and the #12 for Gagner, Marincin and the #3.

    It gives the Oilers the top pairing D-Man along with a kid they know very well from the Oil Kings and a decent player will still be available in the twelve spot. The Yotes get some scoring help, a defencement who looks ready to contribute and whichever Sam is left in the three spot…assuming Ekblad is gone at number one. It depends how much value the Coyotes would place on moving up to the three spot.

    Thoughts LT or others?

  16. bsmart says:

    Lowetide,

    Lol, nice play on words

  17. bill needle says:

    Ramsay might make a good interim coach when the Oilers start slow out of the gate and Eakins is let go at the 20-game mark.

  18. bsmart says:

    bigbadbruin24:
    I mentioned this potential offer on a prior post regarding knocking a few items off of the summer 2014 to do list.

    What about a deal with the Coyotes.

    Yandle, Samuelsson and the #12 for Gagner, Marincin and the #3.

    It gives the Oilers the top pairing D-Man along with a kid they know very well from the Oil Kings and a decent player will still be available in the twelve spot.The Yotes get some scoring help, a defencement who looks ready to contribute and whichever Sam is left in the three spot…assuming Ekblad is gone at number one. It depends how much value the Coyotes would place on moving up to the three spot.

    Thoughts LT or others?

    I think Samuelson has heavy feet that will affect him at the next level. Also not a big fan of Yandle. OEL is a heck of a Dman. But they will never trade him.

  19. Lowetide says:

    bigbadbruin24:
    I mentioned this potential offer on a prior post regarding knocking a few items off of the summer 2014 to do list.

    What about a deal with the Coyotes.

    Yandle, Samuelsson and the #12 for Gagner, Marincin and the #3.

    It gives the Oilers the top pairing D-Man along with a kid they know very well from the Oil Kings and a decent player will still be available in the twelve spot.The Yotes get some scoring help, a defencement who looks ready to contribute and whichever Sam is left in the three spot…assuming Ekblad is gone at number one. It depends how much value the Coyotes would place on moving up to the three spot.

    Thoughts LT or others?

    I’d rather stay at No. 3 and address center or blue via the draft.

  20. bigbadbruin24 says:

    bsmart: I think Samuelson has heavy feet that will affect him at the next level.Also not a big fan of Yandle. OEL is a heck of a Dman. But they will never trade him.

    OEL is definitely a heck of a Dman and I cannot see them trading him either. I think Yandle would be a more logical target to try and pry loose for the Oil but there are always other options available elsewhere.

  21. bigbadbruin24 says:

    Lowetide: I’d rather stay at No. 3 and address center or blue via the draft.

    Fair enough. They will most certainly be able to address one of the two drafting third. If Florida is still picking first I think they draft Ekblad so the Oilers should get a top notch center in my humble opinion.

    On another note, with rumours that Boychuk may be available perhaps he could help out the Oilers. Not a top pairing guy but certainly a solid d-man…and an Edmonton boy to boot.

  22. delooper says:

    We might have to settle for somewhere in the middle … Dresden.

    Dresden is really nice now. They completely rebuilt the centre of the city. Very cute little city nowadays, and a pleasant tourist stop. Make sure you get the tour of the VW factory.

  23. russ99 says:

    Didn’t see the Ramsay hire until now, but I have to give props to MacT and Eakins for making that difficult move and going a long way towards fixing the coaching staff.

    All may not be lost in the front office. Bodes well for the future.

    If Smith goes, I’d like to see Nelson get that gig.

  24. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: I’d rather stay at No. 3 and address center or blue via the draft.

    So… we’re waiting another 3 years?

    MacT doesn’t strike me as that patient.

  25. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: So… we’re waiting another 3 years?

    MacT doesn’t strike me as that patient.

    No, but in the deal suggested, I don’t feel the Oilers are getting a complete player for either D or C.

  26. wheatnoil says:

    delooper: Dresden is really nice now.They completely rebuilt the centre of the city.Very cute little city nowadays, and a pleasant tourist stop.Make sure you get the tour of the VW factory.

    And it took fewer “rebuilds” to get them there than the Oilers!

  27. LostBoy says:

    spoiler:
    Get another one hired, and while you’re at it swap the guy who’s been running the Nightmare in Net during The Big Suck for something better… Essensa? Ranford?

    It’s hard to really know Chabot’s quality given that what he’s had to work with has basically been Deslauriers, Khabibulin, and Dubnyk. Dubnyk spoke well of him, for what that’s worth. Essensa and Ranford are under contract, aren’t they? (So is Huddy, though his name might not be mentioned as much now that Eakins has said Ramsay will run the D.)

    Still searching for a reason to believe in Eakins, but significant reinforcements are a wonderful, wonderful thing.

  28. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: No, but in the deal suggested, I don’t feel the Oilers are getting a complete player for either D or C.

    I would agree with that. But something’s coming. Probably. Maybe. Doubtfully.

  29. wheatnoil says:

    I, like many here, really like this Ramsay hiring. It’s interesting that in Bruce McCurdy’s article, he notes that Eakins stated he’s going with a coaching staff of 3, rather than 4. So basically he traded Smith and Bukky for Ramsay. That doesn’t speak well of Smith and Buchberger.

    Krueger had a coaching staff of Smith and Buchberger for a shortened season and stated that he needed more help, leading to the search that resulted in Eakins replacing him in the first place. Eakins ended up adding some help in Acton, but still wanted more change and downsized his staff back to 3, replacing both his original assistants. You get the sense that this is what he might have wanted to do from the beginning.

    I firmly believe that a coach should be able to choose his staff. It’s good that Eakins finally gets the reign to do that. In the chaos of a regular season, I imagine it helps to have a cohesive staff, especially when you’re bringing in rookies by the day and the team is struggling.

  30. RexLibris says:

    delooper: Dresden is really nice now.They completely rebuilt the centre of the city.Very cute little city nowadays, and a pleasant tourist stop.Make sure you get the tour of the VW factory.

    They didn’t have much choice.

    There was more left of Berlin than Dresden by the time the Lancasters had finished their run.

    One of the darkest chapters of the Allied side of that war. Story goes that the flames were so intense that oxygen was being sucked into the city strong enough that it was creating a vacuum that would draw in people, livestock, and debris. Horrifying.

    Definitely a municipal tabula rasa for postwar redevelopment.

  31. RexLibris says:

    If Eakins struggles early on in the season I wonder if we won’t see addition before replacement. Perhaps moving Nelson or an available veteran like Pearn (should he be available) in to support before they look at firing the coach.

    MacTavish has invested a lot with Eakins and I suspect he sees replacing the coach (again) as the last resort.

    My guess is, if it all goes horribly wrong, it goes – player trade, talk from GM, coaching addition, fire the whole lot and have MacT take over.

    Let’s hope this discussion is moot for 2014-2015.

  32. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: I would agree with that. But something’s coming. Probably. Maybe. Doubtfully.

    Yes. But it has to be Brayden Schenn at the very least, not Samuelsson.

  33. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Yes. But it has to be Brayden Schenn at the very least, not Samuelsson.

    Why? We all know that MacTavish will trade the 3rd to the Islanders along with Sam Gagner for Tavares and Snow will then flip both picks (#3 & #5) to Ottawa for Jason Spezza and Zach Smith.

    I read it online today.

  34. danny says:

    When a fanbase is truly surprised and excited by what amounts to an obvious improvement to make, it really frames the issue that we’ve fallen victim to.

  35. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Yes. But it has to be Brayden Schenn at the very least, not Samuelsson.

    We agree on this 100%.

  36. VanOil says:

    wheatnoil: And it took fewer “rebuilds” to get them there than the Oilers!

    Look up the timeline and $$$ spent on the Dresden recovery. If the Oilers take that long most of us will not live to see it. But as FTO suggested the narrative in the Vonnegut book is better. Mind you the locals moved Putin onto other positions in organization so maybe there is a Bucky parallel. I hope Bucky has as much success in future endeavors.

  37. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: Why? We all know that MacTavish will trade the 3rd to the Islanders along with Sam Gagner for Tavares and Snow will then flip both picks (#3 & #5) to Ottawa for Jason Spezza and Zach Smith.

    I read it online today.

    Ha! How about:

    Yakupov and Gagner

    for

    No. 5 and Josh Bailey

    ?????

  38. justDOit says:

    Lowetide: Ha! How about:

    Yakupov and Gagner

    for

    No. 5 and Josh Bailey

    ?????

    I’d prefer this.

  39. franksterra says:

    A veteran top pairing defenseman. A real man, big time EV minutes and a history of successful sorties.
    - # 2 or 3 for me, the C is #1
    A 2line C with experience and the ability to play a two-way game. This is the other vital piece.
    - #1 for me. Gagner isn’t it, never could be, and we have not a soul in the system trending this way. Bank breaker, mega deal. Stasny, Staal, Couturier, do it. Makes the team so much more appealing to other FAs too, not so much the money but the commitment to winning.
    A legit two-way winger who can score 12-15 goals. The Pisani role. Mentor, calms the waters.
    - yes. don’t over reach/spend though. Too much in the Hendricks, Gordon guys. Need a steal, a real level up, to leave it. No Tambo-type evaluations.
    Find a way to get value, or make use of, Sam Gagner. This does not include time at center.
    - a move to wing if and only if the #2 C and top pair D-men moves happen. This is the only way this roster can afford that and thus one of the many reasons why those two moves are solo crucial.
    Improve the bottom 6F’s.
    - I know it’s 4th on your list, which is good. Get a proper NHL #2 C and legit help on D and this becomes almost a luxury problem to have – given we’re not at playoff/pennant./Cup levels yet.
    Retain as much of the young cluster as possible, understanding that the player who represents #1 on this list might cost a young D who will one day fill that role.
    - the 2015 pick plus someone from the Gernat/Musil/Simpson bracket would do it -does MacT use his Mcdavid chip this way?
    Get Petry signed long term.
    - no doubt
    Sign Schultz but DO NOT break the bank.
    - crackly signals indicate hold out. but Do not PUNT in KLowe man-rage reactionary way, He needs to be paid, mentored…and also have his ass kicked.

  40. franksterra says:

    crap. that’s some ugly reading. sorry folks.

  41. franksterra says:

    VanOil,

    meaning…not a lot?

  42. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Ha! How about:

    Yakupov and Gagner

    for

    No. 5 and Josh Bailey

    ?????

    I don’t know. Some of the fine commenters on TSN.ca believe that Gagner, the #3 and Klefbom for Gardiner and Kadri is a fair deal.

    Do people even try to use their brains sometimes?

  43. VanOil says:

    franksterra: the C is #1

    So it goes.

  44. Rondo says:

    danny:
    When a fanbase is truly surprised and excited by what amounts to an obvious improvement to make, it really frames the issue that we’ve fallen victim to.

    Agree Oilers fans have such Lowe expectations that they get excited over the hire of an assistant coach.

  45. Andy P says:

    So MacT and Eakins actually purged the incompetent but nice Assistants, and made a brilliant choice for the Defensive Assistant. Is it now reasonable to expect that whoever we have on D will now play to their ability and develop as they should? Will we actually graduate to an average, or perhaps better than average D?

    How about Offense? Is Acton up to the job? Is there a better choice out there? From OKC? or from the Oil Kings?

    That’s the question.

  46. slopitch says:

    It’s funny that with bad decisions we often try to cast blame but in this case, I don’t care who gets the credit. People are hired to do make the right calls so credit should be shared. I think the nice part is that Eakins and MacT appear to be on the same page.

    That’s a long list LT. 8 improvements might require 12 or more moves to get there. I’d like to see a series of small moves that each look ok but in aggregate appear like success. That may take 2 years, but cap space could shorten the journey. It gives them more options.

  47. HallDown says:

    I don’t think MacT will consider firing Eakins anytime soon. Team progress is not on the coach right now, its on the GM. Eakins needs better players. He needs experienced players who can play 2-way hockey. He needs players playing in their proper roles, not above them.

  48. LostBoy says:

    Andy P,

    It doesn’t sound like there’s going to be another assistant added. But if Oates doesn’t land one of the vacant head coaching jobs, I’d snap him up.

  49. Andy P says:

    LostBoy,

    Brownlee seems to be betting on Laxdal:
    http://oilersnation.com/2014/6/10/oilers-get-it-right-with-ramsay

    Racki (Comment #13) apparently saw MacT and Eakins at the Oil Kings games. I’d suspect that protocol requires that Smith vacates before they announce Laxdal.

  50. franksterra says:

    VanOil,

    Think that’s bad?

    That aint’t bad.

  51. Big Dan says:

    justDOit,

    Justdoit, funny response.

    That rumor is actually reasonable compared to the boneheaded ones we read.

    Gagner and Bailey are pretty well the same player. Soft, streaky, and spotty defensively. Gagner is better as a center than a winger IMO (but not good enough for what we need). Bailey is better as a winger than a center. So it fits.

    So it boils down to Yakupov for #5. I think Yakupov for one of Reinhart, Ekblad, Drasaitl, or Bennett is very fair. Yak is 2 years ahead but I think those four will have great careers. I wouldn’t be upset at all if MacT made this trade.

    Draft prediction:
    1. Buffalo – Sam Reinhart
    2. Florida or somebody – Aaron Ekblad
    3. Edmonton – Leon Drasaitl
    4. Calgary – Sam Bennett

    However, I think there is a drop after those four. If the big four are all picked (aka someone doesn’t go off the board, I definitely WOULD NOT trade Yakupov. Yes, I am sure Dal Colle or Ehlers are fine gentlemen but Yakupov has waaay more upside.

  52. Big Dan says:

    RexLibris,

    Just curious, do you think that’s a bad deal for TO or for Edmonton.

    I think if the Oilers can pot Kadri and Gardiner for Gagner and Drasaitl, that’s a win for the Oilers. Perhaps we’d need to add a little sweetener to the deal.

    But not Klefbom; that’s nonsense! Since they liked Hartikainen’s KHL rights, how about Horak? Or Lander? Or Musil? Or a pick? Then it’s not so insane.

  53. franksterra says:

    Leon.

  54. jp says:

    VanOil:
    OT but Slaughterhouse 5 is no where i want to be;

    What would a good draft + 2 season look like for the following I hope they are not in the NHL next year Jr’s?

    Nurse: he found some offense this year in the OHL, if he is there next year does he have to pull a Griffin Reinhart and Pronger his team to a Memorial Cup? Or would making the Hall star team at the WJC’c of Memorial Cup be good enough?

    Chase: How can he do better? Does he have to top 100 points and stay healthy?

    Roy: Good health obviously but does he also have to clock 100 points if he is back in the Q?

    I would like to know what others feel a RE of these 3 players is if they spend next season back in Jr.

    Do you want an RE or a “good draft + 2″? Not the same thing.

    My take on a good draft +2:

    Chase – just do it again. No regression and that’s still a great prospect. 100 pts would be gravy.

    Nurse – MAKE the Jr team. Otherwise no regression and he’s still looking solid. Hope/expect the offense to last all season and make an all star team or two, but that’s not essential to stay on track.

    Roy – improvement is a must here. Does he even get a contract if he doesn’t score a PPG? I’d be very concerned if he doesn’t score on at least an 80 point pace. Avoiding injuries would be great too, but I’m much more worried about the offense. Though of course the two are related…

  55. Hammers says:

    Like all here happy with the addition of Ramsay . Lt I don’t see how McT can get the quality you want in both the “D” and 2nd line center . There are 40 + UFA players available . If lucky we get 1 quality player but no guarantee its a 2nd line “C” or the “D” we want & need . If super Lucky we get 2 from the UFA group . Gags doesn’t get us what we need on his own BUT the 3rd overall pick & Gags should , plus a return pick at some level . My question is will McT move the 3rd pick ?? My other point is Gags & Perron may get 1 of the 2 key pieces needed but it has to be Gags + something . I also feel McT may have a surprise up his sleeve . Personally I keep the 3rd pick and if lucky he makes the jump (even though he should go back to junior ) and yea we miss the playoffs again . Fun times coming , LA wins then the World Cup.

  56. delooper says:

    The VW factory in Dresden is transparent. Glass everywhere, you can see through the entire building into all the rooms. And all the machines are electric. The loudest noise you’ll here there is a “brrr” or a “whizzz!” or a pneumatic “pshhhh!”

  57. VanOil says:

    delooper:
    The VW factory in Dresden is transparent.Glass everywhere, you can see through the entire building into all the rooms.And all the machines are electric.The loudest noise you’ll here there is a “brrr” or a “whizzz!” or a pneumatic “pshhhh!”

    Brilliant

  58. VanOil says:

    jp: Do you want an RE or a “good draft + 2″? Not the same thing.

    My take on a good draft +2:

    Chase – just do it again. No regression and that’s still a great prospect. 100 pts would be gravy.

    Nurse – MAKE the Jr team. Otherwise no regression and he’s still looking solid. Hope/expect the offense to last all season and make an all star team or two, but that’s not essential to stay on track.

    Roy – improvement is a must here. Does he even get a contract if he doesn’t score a PPG? I’d be very concerned if he doesn’t score on at least an 80 point pace. Avoiding injuries would be great too, but I’m much more worried about the offense. Though of course the two are related…

    This seems like a low bar for them each to clear. I hope they do it.

  59. wintoon says:

    It is my hope that MacT retains the 2014 #3 pick and it becomes a quality #1/#2 Centre. I am more confident that this bird in the hand is more effective management of assets than trying for 2 in the bush through some form of trade. If, for example, Draissaitl is drafted by the Oilers, what are the positives/negatives associated with keeping him on the Oilers and playing him as a winger rather than his natural centre position for the first year? This would help him acclimatize to both the team and the NHL. This is similar to the route taken by the Habs with Galchenyuk. In addition, he is a relatively big body which we currently don’t have on the wing.

  60. Bruce McCurdy says:

    wheatnoil: It’s interesting that in Bruce McCurdy’s article, he notes that Eakins stated he’s going with a coaching staff of 3, rather than 4.

    He was referring specifically to # of coaches on the bench. Last year they went with 4 & it was a crowd. Sounds like he’s got his 3 behind the bench already, and the 4th, be it Steve Smith or somebody else, might be the eye in the sky up in the press box.

  61. Concerning Brayden Schenn - The Oilers Rig says:

    […] then on Tuesday night (the 10th) @lowetide_ posted this reply to some comments on his site about a suggested acquisition of Oil King […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca