MCLELLAN TALKS NUGE: I BELIEVE IN HIM 100 PERCENT

Todd McLellan offered some clarity today in regard to the Edmonton Oilers and their opinion of their top center, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. As you will recall, I mentioned a walk back was possible from yesterdays verbal, and we got it today.

  • Todd McLellan: “Am I defending Nuge? Absolutely I am, because I believe in him 100 percent.”

Incredible it needed to be said after the years of hard work by this player, but we are here. McLellan mentioned his comments setting off a storm as a prelude to his overall verbal today, but for me the events after the Toronto game point to the Oilers organization inability to speak as one voice. It is very important to deliver information with clarity and in an organized way. When more than one manager speaks on an issue, it increases the volume.

I hope these kinds of things happen less often, as it confuses the issue for fans and suggests divisions within the organization that may or may not exist. I am worried the Oilers are returning to the days before Steve Tambellini, when information was available on every street corner and management criticized their players openly.

When a manager talks in a negative way about a player, it can have major impact, on value, relationships and future effectiveness. We know that in the Edmonton market and are reminded of it whenever a goaltender lets in a soft goal.

Good organizations have a single-mindedness about their approach and that includes media. The GM in Edmonton needs to be available from time to time and the rest should be handled by the coach.

I sincerely hope this is a lesson learned. From the days of my childhood, I was taught loose lips sink ships. That remains the industry standard.

Complete avail from Mr. McLellan is here.

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20 Responses to "MCLELLAN TALKS NUGE: I BELIEVE IN HIM 100 PERCENT"

  1. Магия 10 says:

    Verbatim from TMac’s 4+ minute pregame Ode to Nuge:

    Oh friends, not these sounds!
    Let us instead strike up more pleasing
    and more joyful ones!
    Joy!
    Joy!

  2. Jordan says:

    I’ve always found that turn of phrase should be paired with the one about opinions.

    If loose lips sink ships

    and

    Opinions are like rectums – everyone has them and most are full of crap

    Then if you have loose lips and provide your opinion to everyone, is it the equivalent of crapping on anyone you talk to?

    If we as a society could find a way to reduce loose lips, would it reduce global warming?

    Will verbal diarrhea be taxable under the the new climate change framework?

    Did Jack Dawson actually sink the Titanic himself trying to woo Rose, and unwittingly created the largest frozen chunk of feces the world has ever seen/

    The possibilities…. are larger than a repair bill for the septic system after Fat Bastard decided to indulge at the Mexican/Thai fusion restaurant.

  3. HugThePost says:

    The way the organization does this to player after player speaks to an unprofessional immaturity on an organizational level. It’s like some at Kingsway have an attitude of not having to be accountable or even on the surface professional.

    Perhaps that comes with their dynasty history and the fact that they have continued to sell out with the masses continuing to line up for their product no matter the quality, but that is no excuse for their overtly smug adolescent attitude and reactionary ways. Just shoot your mouth off with the first thing that comes to your mind, without an ounce of self-reflection.

    What’s even more galling is the latest outburst is by one of the new guys, a guy who was brought in to lend some credibility and professionalism to this shitshow.

    You would think 2 plus decades of wandering the hinterland of the NHL would teach these guys a little humility.

  4. Quinlan says:

    Love how McLellan brought up Nuge’s production to this point in his career. Not a “what have you done for me lately” approach like has been discussed here in recent days.

    Take a look at that draft (http://hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl2011e.html)…

    I don’t know if Pavel Datsyuk could have produced at those rates at the same age.

    He’s 22! 22!

  5. Ribs says:

    “It’s not Nuge’s fault that he’s 5ft 10. He can’t change that.” – McLellan

    Did he shrink? Listed 6ft everywhere I’ve looked.

    Not overly comforting.

  6. Halfwise says:

    HugThePost: You would think 2 plus decades wandering the hinterland of the NHL would teach these guys a little humility.

    These guys know a thing or two about humility, if there’s ever a concern.

    LT, what I like best about the hockey parts of your blog is the matter-of-factness around management accountability. If a guy does something or says something, you take it at face value and build out what it implies. This is a tremendous benefit for us wishful thinkers.

    If a guy does nothing or says nothing when clearly something needed to be said or done, you call him on it.

    In a perfect world, someone with the ear of Oiler management studies this blog and makes useful suggestions based on reason and probabilities.

    Meanwhile the rest of us kids can quarrel and piss and moan in our usual ways, until dad-LT lowers the boom on us. And when the team wins we all get giddy.

  7. Quinlan says:

    Ribs,

    Yeah, found that strange as well. And it wasn’t a slip of the tongue or anything – he referenced that twice.

    Granted, I recall confusion about just how tall he was back in his draft year.

    Split the difference at 5’11?

    Also, isn’t it crazy how much better 5’11 sounds than 5’10?

  8. Halfwise says:

    Ribs:
    “It’s not Nuge’s fault that he’s 5ft 10. He can’t change that.” – McLellan

    Did he shrink? Listed 6ft everywhere I’ve looked.

    Not overly comforting.

    I’m a glass-half-full guy. If Nuge is 5’10 and that successful, it says even more good things about him.

  9. BONVIE says:

    Halfwise: I’m a glass-half-full guy. If Nuge is 5’10 and that successful, it says even more good things about him.

    If Nuge was 5-10 then Eberle would be 5-8 there is a pile of pictures of the two of them together and it’s definitely about two inches in height he has over Eberle.

  10. dustrock says:

    I wonder if McLellan was thinking of RNH as one of the people who need to play better – and he wasn’t usual Beast Nuge on the trip, and I think even LT mentioned he hasn’t looked the same since he missed the game with illness.

    Then you get Nicholson, Rishaug, Spector, Matheson, et al, all jumping on the “trade Eberle and RNH!!!” bandwagon, and I wonder if this was a learning moment for McLellan.

    Maybe things he could say in Detroit or San Jose, he can’t say here, because our MSM will misinterpret it and take it in the completely wrong direction.

    I think his comment was fair – it can’t just be Hall & Drai – and then that ballooned exponentially into “he wants to trade Nuge too !!1!1!!11!”

    Ridiculous.

  11. Lowetide says:

    dustrock:
    I wonder if McLellan was thinking of RNH as one of the people who need to play better – and he wasn’t usual Beast Nuge on the trip, and I think even LT mentioned he hasn’t looked the same since he missed the game with illness.

    Then you get Nicholson, Rishaug, Spector, Matheson, et al, all jumping on the “trade Eberle and RNH!!!” bandwagon, and I wonder if this was a learning moment for McLellan.

    Maybe things he could say in Detroit or San Jose, he can’t say here, because our MSM will misinterpret it and take it in the completely wrong direction.

    I think his comment was fair – it can’t just be Hall & Drai – and then that ballooned exponentially into “he wants to trade Nuge too !!1!1!!11!”

    Ridiculous.

    It ballooned because Bob Nicholson went on national television. Thats what released the speculation. cant do that. ever.

  12. AsiaOil says:

    Honestly some of you are treating these $6 million men like grandmothers shielding their sensitive little kids. Don’t criticize my precious little RNH and Ebs – they’re good boys. Both are good players but they sucked this road trip when they needed to step up. If they can’t deal with a little bit of heat that comes with that failure – and it was a failure – then I actually would deal them as that attitude will never win anything.

  13. Ribs says:

    Lowetide: It ballooned because Bob Nicholson went on national television. Thats what released the speculation. cant do that. ever.

    A truly bizarre and unnecessary appearance.

  14. Picturesque says:

    Lowetide: It ballooned because Bob Nicholson went on national television. Thats what released the speculation. cant do that. ever.

    Did Nicholson go to the Toronto media on orders from Katz? Is this one of those “I’m the owner and I’ll do what I want to do” sort of things? And this was a reaction based on the Oilers poor showing in the Leafs game? Like everyone else, I’m trying to piece this together, so maybe Chia and TMc also got blindsided by the Katz Boss – which could be one helluva surprise.

  15. Lowetide says:

    AsiaOil:
    Honestly some of you are treating these $6 million men like grandmothers shielding their sensitive little kids. Don’t criticize my precious little RNH and Ebs – they’re good boys. Both are good players but they sucked this road trip when they needed to step up. If they can’t deal with a little bit of heat that comes with that failure – and it was a failure – then I actually would deal them as that attitude will never win anything.

    It speaks to how the Oilers do their business and who is in control. This is a very disturbing event, but not because people are worried about pressure on these young men.

  16. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: It ballooned because Bob Nicholson went on national television. Thats what released the speculation. cant do that. ever.

    *calls publicist to cancel planned fireside chat*

    Duly noted.

  17. Магия 10 says:

    AsiaOil:
    Honestly some of you are treating these $6 million men like grandmothers shielding their sensitive little kids. Don’t criticize my precious little RNH and Ebs – they’re good boys. Both are good players but they sucked this road trip when they needed to step up. If they can’t deal with a little bit of heat that comes with that failure – and it was a failure – then I actually would deal them as that attitude will never win anything.

    The issue is who not whom. Not a word of complaint when the coach goes there [sparingly] or if needed the GM [very sparingly]. Chair or owner spouting off on which players are a concern is bizarro. Kudos to TMac for prefacing his remarks that he might have inadvertently started the media circus. But that’s just a polite way to walk back Nicholson’s loose lips.

  18. matt says:

    Lowetide: It speaks to how the Oilers do their business and who is in control. This is a very disturbing event, but not because people are worried about pressure on these young men.

    Yes. As I see it there are two options:

    1. The Oilers are executing a plan where Bob distracts fans from the standings (a suggestion of action substituting for action), while Todd repairs stuff in his wake.

    2. The Oilers are not run by smart people, as the standings alone might lead one to believe, and are broadcasting mixed views and plans, than a competitor may take advantage of in this trade negotitation or the next.

  19. Магия 10 says:

    matt: Yes. As I see it there are two options:

    1. The Oilers are executing a plan where Bob distracts fans from the standings (a suggestion of action substituting for action), while Todd repairs stuff in his wake.

    2. The Oilers are not run by smart people, as the standings alone might lead one to believe, and are broadcasting mixed views and plans, than a competitor may take advantage of in this trade negotitation or the next.

    Best case would be Bob regrets (with or without Chia pointing on the line that was crossed) and they agreed to send TMac out to shove Bob’s comments down the memory hole. Don’t ever want to see this again.

  20. Lewis Grant says:

    BONVIE: If Nuge was 5-10 then Eberle would be 5-8 there is a pile of pictures of the two of them together and it’s definitely about two inches in height he has over Eberle.

    I’m 5-9. I’ve met Eberle in person in street shoes. I’m taller than he is.

    But if we sell low on him, we’ll regret it.

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