Terry Jones had the story in the Edmonton Sun today, Mac is back and we’re just waiting for the title. I find it interesting that the title is to come, it perhaps implies there may be an addition (possibly Mike Babcock as the ‘coach and player personnel) to the management group. I also wondered if Chiarelli could be bringing someone with him from Boston (Scott Bradley?) to help with the chores, but he can’t talk to them (as Jones discusses in the article).
- Chiarelli: “He’ll be No. 2 in all aspects. He’ll be my eyes and ears in all areas. I want to have strong people with strong opinions.”
One wonders about the conversations over names like Niki Nikitin but they’ll survive. I’m kind of split on this decision to be honest. MacT (as you know) is someone this blog’s author respects a great deal and when he was announced as GM it was a good day for me. Things did not work out well, but then again it’s been two years not five.
I’m of a mind that you start as you mean to go, which in this case means cut ties with the past and move on down the line with a new group. Chiarelli’s thinking probably reflects greater maturity and familiarity with the actual business of turning north in the NHL:
- Chiarelli: “One of the first things I have to do is find out what the landscape is. There may be changes. But they are not imminent.”
I think that’s the thread here, folks. Chiarelli is unable to talk to Keith Gretzky or Scott Bradley at this time, so there’s a period of time where status quo makes sense. Fair?
The next group we should hear about is the scouts. I imagine we’ll hear about the scouting meetings in the next 10 days and then the draft end of June, but in between those two periods (early May to late June) is likely the time of the bullets.
Scott Howson seems safe, according to the train of thought offered by Jim Matheson at the Edmonton Journal.
- Chiarelli: “I haven’t talked to Scott (about the current management shift) but I dealt with Scott a lot of years in Columbus. I like him a lot. He’s got a really good eye. I remember talking to him when they drafted (Ryan) Johansen (fourth overall in 2010). He hadn’t developed yet, but I remember thinking they might have had the best player that draft. If he’s not, he’s pretty darned close.”
Great article by Matty, both are must read. At the end of the day (thanks Chris Pronger!) I think that’s the thrust of today’s news. Peter Chiarelli doesn’t have access to his people, they are under contract to the Bruins. He has a lot of information to digest in a quick hurry and there’s mutual respect here.
I have argued for years that the amateur scouting (since Kevin Prenderast moved out) has improved and believe it has (the wobbly 2014 draft aside). If the scouts get the bullet and no one else does, for me that’s a crazy crazy result for the forensics.
Today’s news has me happy for MacT but wondering, at least a little, about the process and the value of Chiarelli’s hire. Oilers fans need his team building ability and clarity, and if he can do it with MacT as his number one then it’s a good day.