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.