Craig MacTavish is having a bad year and I think it will cost him his job as Oilers GM. By this time next season, we’ll know the Jeff Petry story better, we’ll know the Justin Schultz signing and we’ll know how he’s addressed the goalie and center positions. Looking back at his last 10 significant transactions, we can see an alarming trend:
- January 2014: Traded Devan Dubnyk to Nashville for Matt Hendricks. Dubnyk appears to have recovered from his MacT—Eakins experience and “it’s not you, it’s me” has found an NHL home.
- January 2014: Traded a 3rd round pick to Los Angeles for Ben Scrivens. Edmonton’s choice for DD’s replacement played well after arrival but mirrored Dubnyk’s downward spiral this year. The draft pick, Dominic Turgeon, continues to develop in the WHL.
- March 2014: Traded a 2014 fifth-round pick and a 2015 third-round pick to Anaheim for Viktor Fasth. He is wildly inconsistent and one wonders about his trade deadline value. The selection, Matthew Berkovitz, is developing in the USHL.
- March 2014: Traded Ales Hemsky to Ottawa for a fifth-round pick in 2014 and a 2015 third-round pick. The first selection, Liam Coughlin, is not a promising selection, but the third rounder in 2015 should be a solid prospect.
- June 2014: Acquired the rights to Niki Nikitin. MacT takes Howson’s advice and blows his foot clean off.
- June 2014: Traded Sam Gagner to Tampa Bay for Teddy Purcell. I was and am fine with this trade. I do think the Oilers, as in the case of Dubnyk, have a terrible habit of flushing their youth for the next big thing from the draft.
- July 2014: Signed D Mark Fayne as a free agent. Very pleasing at the time, has not been as good in actual fact.
- July 2014: Signed L Benoit Pouliot. A brilliant signing, only the Gordon acquisition a year previous was a better one.
- December 2014: Traded Mark Arcobello to Nashville for Derek Roy. This was a very good trade in the short term.
- January 2015: Traded David Perron to Pittsburgh for their first-round selection and Rob Klinkhammer. Good to very good value in return for a contract with 1.5 years to go. I’m not sure how it compares to the original Perron trade, we’ll have to see. It seems pretty good. The larger concern is that this once again re-sets the roster and allows management more losses in the name of the damnable rebuild.
So, it is with that recent resume Craig MacTavish, being of sound mind and body, has apparently decided to trade Jeff Petry, sign Justin Schultz in summer and run with a RH blue that includes Schultz and Mark Fayne.
VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER (AFTER 50GP) THE BLUE
The Oilers have two blue bubbles in the “shut-down” portion of the Vollman graph and they’re apparently trading one of them and don’t like the other guy. I think Craig MacTavish needs to re-think this plan of action, sign Jeff Petry and closely examine the poor performances on this graph.
- Andrew Ference is not performing well, but is facing the toughest zone-starts and tough opposition. This is perhaps asking too much from him at this stage of his career.
- Mark Fayne is struggling but as with Ference there’s a reason for it (toughest opposition based on the Vollman, ZS under 5o%).
- Niki Nikitin is getting a ZS push and has struggled all year long.
- Justin Schultz is playing in the spots normally reserved for rookies and impact offensive defensemen. He is NOT an impact offensive defenseman at evens (ranks No. 63 at 5×5/60 evens among regular defensemen).
If the Oilers signed Petry?
The fact Edmonton is apparently focused on trading Jeff Petry suggests to me there is something to the Johnny Boychuk rumors. So it’s wait and see for Oilers fans but I’m quickly coming to the conclusion that we’re going to have to wait for Daryl Katz to tire of losing millions and millions on bad decisions.
It’s time for the Edmonton Oilers front office to grow up and create a model for internal and external player evaluation based on trusting your men in the field, having a central figure suss out the list, using analytics to get an edge and competing like a mature organization. Sign Jeff Petry, send your fan base some sign of hope for 2015-16.
Sign him today.