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
- A veteran top pairing defenseman. A real man, big time EV minutes and a history of successful sorties.
- A 2line C with experience and the ability to play a two-way game. This is the other vital piece.
- A legit two-way winger who can score 12-15 goals. The Pisani role. Mentor, calms the waters.
- Find a way to get value, or make use of, Sam Gagner. This does not include time at center.
- Improve the bottom 6F’s.
- 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.
- Get Petry signed long term.
- Sign Schultz but DO NOT break the bank.
Feels like a brand new day.