Burning Daylight

by Lowetide

Ken Holland is the new general manager of the Edmonton Oilers. Fans and observers got a look at him yesterday (he was energetic, engaging and forthright) but the real work begins today and all the days that come. This is going to be an insane run through May, June and early July. This team has been running in place for some time, and now every minute that passes is burning daylight. It’s go time.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group.INSANE NEW OFFER IS HERE!

  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland steadfast that buck stops with him as new Oilers GM.
  • New Eric Duhatschek: Why any talk of Ken Holland being yesterday’s man should be put to rest.
  • Lowetide: How will Ken Holland proceed in Year 1 as Oilers general manager?
  • Jonathan Willis: What does the arrival of Ken Holland mean for the Oilers coaching search?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Prioritizing the roster issues that await Ken Holland in Edmonton.
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s Bakersfield production line: Elevating Jones and how long will success take?
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s procurement list for his rumored move to Edmonton will include front-office personnel
  • Jonathan Willis: A Milan Lucic trade is at the top of the to-do list for the Oilers’ next GM.
  • Lowetide: Should Oilers practice more patience in adding Evan Bouchard to the roster?
  • Jonathan Willis: Is Ken Holland yesterday’s man or the ideal GM candidate for the Oilers?
  • Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi and his uncertain future with the Oilers
  • Lowetide: ‘I see something special’: Are Oilers prepared to make Caleb Jones a fixture on the roster next season?
  • Jonathan Willis: Gritty comeback performance sends Edmonton’s farm team to the second round of the AHL playoffs.
  • Lowetide: Dylan Cozens might be ideal fit for Oilers at No. 8 overall in the 2019 draft
  • New Lowetide: Is this the season the Oilers take the plunge and draft a USHL player in the first round?
  • Lowetide: Red Wings front office shuffle could impact Oilers’ future.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ten prospects likely to be available when the Oilers make their first-round pick

THE DRAFT

One of the major areas Holland will focus is the draft. Detroit selects No. 6, the Oilers go No. 8. We’re through the U18’s now, so lists are coming into view. Here is my updated top 10 (I’ll have the complete update on the weekend) with NHLE’s:

Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko will go 1-2, and it’s a good bet Bowen Byram and Alex Turcotte will be chosen inside the top-5 overall. After that, things get interesting. Los Angeles could go any number of ways, I’ll suggest one of Dach, Cozens or Zegras land in California.

Detroit has chosen from the QMJHL (twice), USHL, BCHL and WHL in the first round over the last five seasons. They could go anywhere. Let’s predict LAK take Dach and the DRW choose Zegras at No. 6 overall. Buffalo is No. 7, I think the Sabres might choose Cole Caufield. He’s one dimensional but goal scorers are beyond the moon valuable.

That leaves Cozens, Krebs and Kaliyev available among my top 10. Edmonton isn’t likely to choose Kaliyev but the other two men are attractive options. Here’s my updated 11-20 just for the fun of it.

Connor McMichael, like Valiyev, should get top-10 consideration but I don’t believe either man will be chosen that high. I can see Alex Newhook being drafted by the Oilers, but they could trade down to get him. The NHLE I use doesn’t project Boldy as the offensive equal of the men in my top 10 (Bobby Brink is the next man up in NHLE for the USNDTP).

You may look at those NHLE’s for Swedish defensemen and wonder if I’ve gone mad. Call it the “Klefbom rule” but the Swedish blue have more offense than their boxcars imply, especially the teenagers.

If the Oilers are offered a young NHL winger for the No. 8 overall pick, is it worth more to Ken Holland than Cozens or Krebs? We don’t know the new general manager well enough to say with any authority. We can say the last time Holland dealt a first-round pick was 2016, when offloading Pavel Datsyuk’s cap money to move down four spots.

TRADING DOWN

Word is he was already heavily invested in this draft (in terms of scouting). Holland may want to trade down, adding more picks. He did exactly that in 2013, dealing No. 18 to San Jose so the Sharks could draft Mirco Mueller. Detroit received the No. 20 (Anthony Mantha) and No. 58 (Tyler Bertuzzi). Suspect Edmonton picks at No. 8.

The problem with handicapping the coaching competition is Holland knows the hockey world, so shopping for a coach is a global enterprise. Tippett would lead a word cloud easily based on media mentions, we’ll assume he is the front runner until further notice.

One name that may make sense: Jay Woodcroft. I read a rumor yesterday that he would be joining Todd McLellan’s staff in Los Angeles, and if you’re the Oilers that’s someone you don’t want to lose. Ideally Woodcroft would percolate on the farm for two more years but Edmonton may not have the luxury. Todd Nelson is the early, popular choice, and for good reason. He was effective in Edmonton the first time, but lost to a more famous Todd.

DARYL KATZ

He stood and delivered. He took ownership of the past, and did it in a way that no one could doubt his sincerity.

He also looked far different than the last time we saw him, to the point of concern. When a media avail occurs, I listen to the radio and make copious notes (three full pages of typing yesterday). So, the television was on in the room but I didn’t see Katz until someone drew attention to his appearance.

It was a stark difference and alarming, in my opinion. I benefited from not seeing him (only hearing audio) when he gave his opening comments. When I checked twitter, there was of course a lot of positive, negative and cruel content.

After John Shannon’s tweet, lots of previous content disappeared and people tweeted regret, acknowledging the inappropriate tweets. This was followed by a series of “I’m disgusted by all of you who did this!” verbal and twitter was off and running on about 20 levels.

Here’s my take on the behavior yesterday. No one knew. It was shocking. I was working but reacted with shock and concern (we talked about it on the Lowdown right after the avail). I can understand why people would be alarmed, and further accept that some of us as a group would post things beyond what is considered good taste. Let he/she who has never done it cast the first stone. I can tell you there are several moments in my past that bring me shame when I think of them, doubt it’s unique to me.

The people who posted those things online felt bad, pretty much 100 percent sure it was universal. WHO would deliberately tweet something so cruel? Here’s the thing: They didn’t know, they were alarmed, they tweeted beyond the pale content. Before you shame them, understand they’re already there. If you did shame them, I would encourage you to think through your own past, to those moments in time I mentioned above, where maybe you did something hurtful and offensive.

We’re all learning together, friends. We all are susceptible to mistakes, going beyond the boundaries of good taste, feeling shame, learning about ourselves. Next time, my guess is that a lot of good people will think better of it, but a lot of other people will need to experience that moment of regret again, or maybe for the first time. What the world doesn’t need is someone to drop by with a “for all those losers out there…” to make people feel bad. You know why? They’re already there, and the person calling them out has no moral high ground based on their own past. Maybe Mother Teresa, after that we’re all equally prone to a misstep. Pretty sure.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. The thing about a day like yesterday is so much happened we’re still digesting it. That’s why having Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal at 10:20 is a gift. We’ll discuss the key points in yesterday’s avail and what it means for Oilers fans. James Herbert from CBS Sports will drop by to talk Raptors and NBA playoffs, while Jon Campbell from OddsShark talks Ken Holland, the Kentucky Derby DQ plus NHL and NBA playoffs. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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CallighenMan

PinkSocks: Just posted the full tweet above for those interested.I agree that the timing is probably not the best from Souray, but it was a direct reply in regards to Shannon’s tweets about the health of Daryl Katz.Whether Souray is being an ass and rubbing it in the face of OEG or he is legitimately sympathizing with Katz, only Sheldon knows.

Souray also says “I was told”. Meaning we don’t know if what he is tweeting about the mgt is actually true. Who “told” him? Spector?

Farnsworth Paradox

Hi all,

Normally I don’t bother commenting, as I prefer to hide under my rock and catch up by reading the threads and valuable comments at night, but I thought I would venture out for a moment to make one quick observation about the press conference. Nicholson gets a lot of well-deserved criticism and I am decidedly NOT a fan of his… but he has been getting a fair amount of criticism (from some people at least) for “jumping in” on that question about, essentially, getting rid of the problems in management that everyone can see are there. But, I remembered it differently and just went back to the video to confirm my memory. Gregor actually addressed that question to “Bob or Daryl”. It was never meant as a question for Holland. Again, not a fan of Bob and there is plenty to criticize him for, but I thought I’d at least attempt to correct the public record on that one…

*Scuttles back under rock*

who

theWaxCollector:
In terms of moving down, I could see Vancouver or Montreal being good dance partners. Something along these lines, your mileage will vary.

8th and Lucic for Pearson/Sutter and 10th

Or

Sekera, 8th, and Puljujarvi for Gallagher/Domi, Poehling, and 15th

I have speculated on a Lucic for Sutter trade, with Edmonton retaining salary and adding a sweetener, but I really don’t see it happening.
If Lucic goes to Vancouver, Erickson is coming to Edmonton.
Benning will probably have some expensive RFAs to sign in the next couple of years. Boeser, Peterson, Hughes.
Vancouver already has one buyout proof contract, no way they take on a second.

OriginalPouzar

Yes, to me it matters where he heard it from – goes to the veracity of the statement.

Any one is free to stop supporting the franchise for any reason they like. This fan will continue to support the franchise.

OriginalPouzar

Samorukov finishes with a couple of assists, plus 1 with 4 shots in a 5-4 win as Guelph evens the series at 2.

gimme shelter

canter : a pace of a horse or other quadruped between a trot and a gallop
I have never heard such a turn of phrase to describe a hockey player. He is CANTERING between two wingers O.K. Sounds about the speed of change within the oiler organization.

Strapping Jocks

Lowetide,

Where?

condormcdavis

OriginalPouzar,

Does it matter who he heard it from?

LT says it often and says it best….

Sometimes you develop a history

And the history in Edmonton surrounding the Oilers is exactly what Souray was describing.

A group of has been “smartest guy in the room” people who have run players, coaches out of town and simultaneously run the franchise into the ground.

If anyone needed another reason to stop supporting the team, here it is.

OriginalPouzar

Samorukov with a PP assist as Guelph takes a 2-1 lead to the first intermission.

Oil2Oilers

A team with some big decisions to make with 3 UFA forwards and a UFA goalie is NYI. Sure they have Lou and cap space but it seems likely one of the forwards will move on.

Reports are they are going to resign the Captain Lee, leaving Eberle and Nelson. I think Eberle may have played him self into another contract with his playoff performance. Meaning Nelson.might shake free.

He was the player the Oilers should have got as return for Eberle. Able to fill the 2nd line LW and 3C roles he would still be a good fit for the Oilers. If the Oilers are going to spend money at the forward position I hope it is at Left wing. I still have faith that Puljujarvi will work out as a top 6 winger and LTs draft list above is lousy with RC/RW in the range Oilers are picking, plus of course Yamamoto.

Sadly Nelson will likely be out of the Oilers price range this summer.

OriginalPouzar

Holland wants a goalie that can play 30-35 games and has pro experience. He will likely use free agency for that acquisition.

Nothing too surprising there.

I wonder about Mrazek.

High reward.

As an aside, one might posit he’s already got that goalie under contract and needs to find a guy to play the other 50 games…….

Silver Streak

Pouzar:
Anyone else scared to death that we lose Nuge for nothing and we don’t draft his potential replacement at #8?

Nuge was mature at 16….however any number 1 overall pick wants more than where he is slotted in the lineup….hopefully Holland will have more than a little chat with him, and if need be, move him quickly.

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr: Are you not worried he may not be ready? If he is really good is that an indication he may be ready in the fall forstep up. Asking for a friend.

Am I worried that he’s not ready for the 2nd line in the AHL? No, not really.

If he sinks in the role, then he sinks in the role.

At the same time, I’m excited to see him get a chance with some NHL-level skill (and excited to not have Benson centered by Esposito or Vesel). I’d rather him play on that line than with Callahan and Esposito.

godot10

Wolfpack:
In talking about possibly trading the first round pick for a young winger, I can’t help but think about Holland trading down as part of a strategy to move the Datsyk contract. What if he traded down in order to improve the current cap situation, is that something the people might be on board with?

I sit Lucic in the pressbox before trading down. I am not wasting an asset on him. I am willing to take a bad contract in return, or to eat salary, but I’m not trading a useful asset. The pressbox is a fine spot for him.

Woodguy v2.0

New Improved Darkness,

Top form sir.

Also,

Feeling empathy for more than 2 people at once is pretty easy imo.

Maybe Bloom is just a dink?

Maybe since I’ve been trained to identify what motivates people in order to sell them empathy is easy for me to slide into?

I dunno.

godot10

PinkSocks:
Sheldon Souray tweeted a response to John Shannon earlier today regarding Katz.This is it cleaned up:

Pretty disgraceful shit right there.Lowe and Tambellini should have been axed immediately for this, and if Katz was also part of that, maybe karma is a real thing and it caught up.

Told by whom? The story has diminished credibility because Souray does not say who said Oiler management thought that way.

I

OriginalPouzar

PinkSocks: Samorukov and McLeod for sure.Hopefully Bouchard as well.Maksimov also.Persson could be NHL#6 starting next season with a good camp.

Sure, if Persson #6 then they likely aren’t losing Jones.

OriginalPouzar

JimmyV1965: I see the Preds making a push for RNH. With his love of horses, it may be heaven on earth for him. Regardless, the Oil have to tread very carefully with RNH. As much as he likes it here, if he lines up with wingers like Lucic and whatever fourth liner you can name, he is a real threat to bolt at first opportunity.

Well, his most common linemate this past season was Connor McDavid – although, after that, it fell off quickly to Chiasson, Puljujarvi, Lucic and Kassian.

pts2pndr

OriginalPouzar:
McLeod is cantering Benson and Currie tonight.

Obviously means Marody is still out but a nice opportunity for Ryan.

Are you not worried he may not be ready? If he is really good is that an indication he may be ready in the fall for step up. Asking for a friend.

pts2pndr

John Chambers:
Also, say what you want about KLowe and MacT as managers – they are both well-meaning and kind-hearted men.

As it relates to Maroon, they wanted him to be in St Louis to be close to his people and his son. Well Paddy, and young Anthony, had the moment of their lives last night. It may be my second favourite Maroon highlight next to his savage beatdown of Brandon Manning.

It brings to mind an old saying that goes when someone is right no one remembers when someone is wrong no one forgets. Both Lowe and MacT deserve more credit and less abuse.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– You know, Ken is really a classy dude. Imagine how things could have been different here if Sather had mentored someone like Lowe for instance. And then Lowe could have passed the torch to the next guy. You have to respect Detroit and their legacy, and Holland’s part in this

– It’s a shame that we never had the same here: This is really well articulated by our GM:

““I knew it was time. I knew it was time for a change in leadership, I knew it was going to be great for the organization, great for the fans, great for our owners. It was time for Steve Yzerman to come home,” said Holland. “I realized it was my time to step aside and I feel good that my last move as the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings was to hand the keys to Steve Yzerman, who I have the greatest respect for and have a great friendship [with]. And whatever status I’ve got in this industry, he’s a massive part of it.””

Wolfpack

In talking about possibly trading the first round pick for a young winger, I can’t help but think about Holland trading down as part of a strategy to move the Datsyk contract. What if he traded down in order to improve the current cap situation, is that something the people might be on board with?

pts2pndr

Lowetide: One of the things we have to get our head around is this: Our perception of this roster in no way resembles Holland’s view of the team. The Edmonton Oilers are not a winning team. There is no such thing as 10 untouchables on this roster.

This is very true however moving one of the marginal parts has to make the whole better. This is particularly important if the part you are moving is for example JP where there is room for this player to be much better than what you would receive in a trade at this time. I believe the management has to get together and place a upper and lower value and not accept low ball offers. We have been bleeding talent for a number of years and or over paying for players ie Russel’s second contract. This has to stop.

PinkSocks

OriginalPouzar,

Good point. There is a bit of hearsay in there that may have altered the truth somewhat. Regardless, not a good look.

OriginalPouzar

godot10: Why trade a player playing for a new contract in the last year of his contract? That last year has incredible value for money.If somebody makes a great offer, sure.But this notion that one should trade good-but-not-elite players rather than keeping then for the last year is somewhat wrong-headed in a hard cap world.One would not be losing him for nothing.One is getting $6 million in cap space.

Not to mention, aside from the elite (and even some of the elite), its fairly rare for a player to sign his extension with the full year left – it does happen, of course, but its the exception, by far. It would be fairly unusual for Nuge to sign next off-season. Of course, if he’s willing to go 4 X $6.5M, I’m all over it but it would be a bit unusual.

OriginalPouzar

Ughh – I read those Souray tweets about an hour ago or so – certainly doesn’t look good on the organization.

One interesting nuance though, he said that “he heard” management thought he was milking it – not that management actually said anything to him along those lines. Heard from who? His agent? A media member? His nurse?

PinkSocks

Professor Q:
I wonder if Souray brought up the old news bad management and personalities of Edmonton because of Katz’s story?

If so, not sure if it was the proper time. It sucked when it happened a decade ago, but seems like it might be a bit of limelight-mongering today.

Just posted the full tweet above for those interested. I agree that the timing is probably not the best from Souray, but it was a direct reply in regards to Shannon’s tweets about the health of Daryl Katz. Whether Souray is being an ass and rubbing it in the face of OEG or he is legitimately sympathizing with Katz, only Sheldon knows.

Munny

New Improved Darkness,

Brad Marchand would like to have… well, a word.

PinkSocks

Sheldon Souray tweeted a response to John Shannon earlier today regarding Katz. This is it cleaned up:

This is awful. I can relate….Here’s a little story for you: After I broke my hand in a fight with Iggy in 2010 and needed pins put in to set the fracture, the Oilers insisted I get the surgery done in Edmonton. After some discussion, I agreed. Sometime during the Olympic Break, my hand became infected and I got very sick. I flew back to EDM from LA and went to the hospital that night. I had a bad blood and bone infection (MRSA). After spending a few days in ICU and a couple more surgeries later, I was close to having my hand amputated. I spent about 12 weeks on the IV bag with a PIC line on my heart to keep the infection from killing me. During the 10 days in the hospital, I was told that Oilers management(Katz,Kevin, Tambellini) thought I was “milking” the injury. When I spoke to the press in April 2010, I still hadn’t talked to management. I wasn’t mad they “didn’t check on me”. I was floored they thought I was using this injury not to play again that season. Obviously the rest is history. These infections are real and serious.

Pretty disgraceful shit right there. Lowe and Tambellini should have been axed immediately for this, and if Katz was also part of that, maybe karma is a real thing and it caught up.

Professor Q

I wonder if Souray brought up the old news bad management and personalities of Edmonton because of Katz’s story?

If so, not sure if it was the proper time. It sucked when it happened a decade ago, but seems like it might be a bit of limelight-mongering today.

Professor Q

jtblack: I don’t like bringing back people that have already been in the business or organization once …You get your chance and if it doesn’t work out so be it .. .maybe it will in a different market ..

Nelson is prob a great guy, I just don’t repeat coaches OR GM’s …except in a rare case, but this is not that …

He had half a chance, or really a quarter of a chance before MacT took over the shared role.

He could do well and deserves a fair and full NHL chance, in my opinion. He has done well in the situations he has been put in, and it would help repair some damage.

Can’t repair the damage done during the Krueger fiasco, however. Can only repent and trust to improve.

Professor Q

OriginalPouzar:
McLeod is cantering Benson and Currie tonight.

Obviously means Marody is still out but a nice opportunity for Ryan.

Has he joined the Kentucky Derby re-race?

Reja

leadfarmer:
If Holland can trade Lucic forSutter 1 for 1 I would have to farm a lot more lead so you guys could build a statue of him

leadfarmer:
If Holland can trade Lucic forSutter 1 for 1 I would have to farm a lot more lead so you guys could build a statue of him

As much as some posters bitch and whine like school girls that have been cut off from snap chat about the OBC every fricking team has a OBC the stakes are to high to allow arm chair Riff Raff in. Holland was brought in and payed to use some of his markers that he has accumulated over the I scratch your back you scratch my back wink wink. As I watched the handshakes after Maroon’s OT winner it’s like one big love fest with the opposing team not like the old days where competitors ruled over money but then again the coin was not even close to the amount being shelled out today.

OriginalPouzar

McLeod is cantering Benson and Currie tonight.

Obviously means Marody is still out but a nice opportunity for Ryan.

DieHard

New Improved Darkness: Yes, we all feel shame, but shame has an early exit ramp labelled “I’m sorry” followed immediately by a perilous fork in the road: to the left, contrition; to the right, a hollow apology with no true root system.

You have left/right backwards.

theWaxCollector

In terms of moving down, I could see Vancouver or Montreal being good dance partners. Something along these lines, your mileage will vary.

8th and Lucic for Pearson/Sutter and 10th

Or

Sekera, 8th, and Puljujarvi for Gallagher/Domi, Poehling, and 15th

OilFire

New Improved Darkness:

I suspect that fully half of virtue signalling is a race to declare yourself as having successfully decoded the special of the day, first of all. The daily special is not decreed top down, but usually emerges bottom up. Sometimes the day arrives where Harvey Weinstein finds himself in the crosshairs for his 15 minutes of Twitter fame, and everybody guesses the special of the day pretty much simultaneously; other times, there’s more social fog of war.

You’ve definitely hit on some of the driving force there.

Or maybe I’m just making the effort to write out this comment because that same dopamine pathway is pushing me to hold up my hand and be seen joining what my intuition for what the daily special will be?

maudite

I hope holland takes his time on the coaching front.

IMO a good GM would hopefully sit down with the likes of Connor unofficially. Recognize he is vital cog in private and ask him his thoughts about coaches thus far. Good and bad no judgement. Just respect that his insight is probably pretty valid. After that maybe all players to some degree. Not sure exactly how much or to what level but one would hope he does the internal home work first and then makes call. If it’s a snap finger here’s your coach process. I wouldn’t be too enthused about prospect of really changing the trajectory of things around here.

OriginalPouzar

PinkSocks: I am very interested to see how Woodcroft does next year if he loses all of Benson, Marody, and Jones, possibly even Starrett, to graduation.

He’d be adding Samorukov, Bouchard, Maksimov, McLeod, maybe Persson, likely Safin.

Dustylegnd

Kinger_Oil.redux: – Yes: Owner fighting for his life, for last few years still comes to presser because it matters so much is a lot different than “Absentee LA party-boy”

– Really poor job last few years by any reporter to suss this out.I respect Katz’s privacy,Maybe last few years hes been so “negligent” because he’s been focused on survival

– I does put pause though to “What if Katz were to pass away”?What would a new owner look like?

I have never viewed Katz as negligent, he hired what he thought were the best people, gave them autonomy after being linked to the Yakapov draft….allowed Bob to demote MacT and Hire Chia

Katz built a new arena invested in Edmonton’s down town build out via the Ice District etc etc

When he is involved in the draft, he is criticized and when he steps back he is criticized….what we do know is he provided a new arena and spends to the Cap every year…I am not sure how he can do much more other than hire better people…his hiring decisions are not a result of a lack of passion

I assume a guy worth 3 Billion has a very detailed succession plan in place

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide: If Bakersfield loses tonight, they’re down 3-0 in the series. Right?

Right – my mistake – for some reason, I thought they were down 2-1, not 2-0 – yikes.

Hopefully Marody is back (and Yamamoto but I think he’s likely done for the year).

godot10

Pouzar:
Lambert is intriguing just b/c he has been Barry Trotz’ right hand man for years.

Nelson is from the Trotz tree too.

Pouzar

Very interesting tidbit on Gregor’s interview with Holland and the new GM talking about his intricate knowledge of the USHL kids in this draft. Hmmmmmm…

jtblack

Munny: Associate coach of NYI, Trotz protégé, former Cougars and Admirals head coach, played with Holland in Detroit.

thanks

jtblack

godot10: Why wouldn’t you want Todd Nelson?

I don’t like bringing back people that have already been in the business or organization once … You get your chance and if it doesn’t work out so be it .. .maybe it will in a different market ..

Nelson is prob a great guy, I just don’t repeat coaches OR GM’s … except in a rare case, but this is not that …

New Improved Darkness

As much as I understand how Lowetide is trying to steer the ship, a small rant from Lowetide-past concerning abuse of the word “sorry” or the phrase “I’m sorry” springs to mind.

The Adelson forces buy a newspaper, journalists fight back — 30 December 2015

In today’s episode of ‘Adelson buys a newspaper, journalists fight back’ we deconstruct a note to readers published yesterday by Michael Schroeder in the Bristol Press. It was presented as an apology and mea culpa. But it is neither of those things. Schroeder only pretends to take responsibility. His apology is fake. Not the “I’m sorry if you were offended” kind of fake that we’re so used to seeing on the internet. More the “if I admit what I did I would have to resign and disappear in disgrace but I’m not strong enough to face that right now and besides there’s no one to make me…” kind of fake. Is there a word for that? I guess denial will have to do, but that might be giving him too much credit.

Yes, we all feel shame, but shame has an early exit ramp labelled “I’m sorry” followed immediately by a perilous fork in the road: to the left, contrition; to the right, a hollow apology with no true root system.

A) I’m sorry for doing X.
B) I’m sorry for—ear-splitting pregnant subtext—getting caught doing X.

People in group (B) are thinking with their exposure hat.

This largely divides along traditional fault lines between process vs. outcome, and intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation.

———

What Straight-A Students Get Wrong — 8 December 2018

In a classic 1962 study, a team of psychologists tracked down America’s most creative architects and compared them with their technically skilled but less original peers.

One of the factors that distinguished the creative architects was a record of spiky grades. “In college our creative architects earned about a B average,” Donald MacKinnon wrote. “In work and courses which caught their interest they could turn in an A performance, but in courses that failed to strike their imagination, they were quite willing to do no work at all.”

They paid attention to their curiosity and prioritized activities that they found intrinsically motivating — which ultimately served them well in their careers.

This article by Adam Grant is not the best or only version of this story, but Adam Grant is easily the most unassailable luminary in the field right now if you want to throw the hoe down with your HR department.

Adam Grant is the woke guru of the moment for the bespoke suit crowd.

———

Twitter to remove ‘like’ tool in a bid to improve the quality of debate — 29 October 2018

Founder Jack Dorsey last week admitted at a Twitter event that he was not a fan of the heart-shaped button and that it would be getting rid of it “soon”.

The feature was introduced in 2015 to replace “favourites”, a star-shaped button that allowed people to bookmark tweets to read later.

Similar buttons to “like” or show appreciation of people’s status updates, pictures and videos have become a central function of every popular social media service since Facebook introduced them.

Why add it in the first place? Because extrinsic motivation (gold stars, high grades, likes, retweets) fills a yawning void if you’re not fundamentally confident in your core abilities. There’s gold in them thar hills pandering to the insecurities of people who can’t like themselves unassisted (you know, people who couldn’t possibly piss a drop unless Conner serves up a dreamy saucer, and even then the dreamless schmuck schlubs it wide of the yawning half-cage half the time).

———

I’ve never aspired to be a perfect person on any dimension, and I’ve been known to indulge in barbed speech from time to time. But I’m generally fairly careful to traffic in thorns rather than hot tar.

Dapper dress shirt: This Serenity Now thing doesn’t work. Just bottles up the anger, and then—eventually—you blow.

George: I thought you were in the nuthouse.

Dapper dress shirt: What do you think put me there?

George: I heard they found a family in your freezer.

Dapper dress shirt: Serenity now, insanity later. [knowing smile]

No need to mince words—or meekly digest your own liver—but neither do you need to traffic in indelible ink. I don’t mind if my barbs draw a few drops of blood, here and there. Life is a contact sport. But you really don’t know the whole story about anybody you’re interacting with. You make your point, the thorns exchanged can be plucked out, you rest your case, and you move on.

———

I was engaging in some subtle trash talk in these very pages over the last few days. First with my uncharacteristically short “sad day for the meatball crowd” (referencing hasty, meatball surgery) and then later with my characteristically less short “sad day for the taint crowd” (referencing the notion that consultation and collaboration is only ever as good as the least reliable person in the room—all the better to fire them all).

Xbox Has New Guidelines on How to Talk Trash Without Getting Banned — 2 May 2019

Looking for some new sick burns to throw out at other players on Xbox Live? Microsoft’s got you covered. In its new community standards, published this week, the company’s got some examples of acceptable trash talk, including gems like:

* Get destroyed. Can’t believe you thought you were on my level.

* That was some serious potato aim. Get wrecked.

* Only reason you went positive was you spent all game camping. Try again, kid.

* Cheap win. Come at me when you can actually drive without running cars off the road.

* That sucked. Get good and then come back when your k/d’s over 1.

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

———

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?

A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.

The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.

The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.

All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.

This is a famous refrain. Less well known is that future King Solomon authored this on a particularly gossipy day during his late-adolescent school years. The indifferent yarmulkes with spaghettini biceps were really taking on the chin at the pointed jowls of the natty yarmulkes with the linguine biceps.

———

Vanity is a harsh mistress, and no envy burns brighter than the vain against those who shirk basic vainhood. Part of what you learn in high school is the art of logrolling. In the news today: Is the person-who-must-not-be-named a billionaire because of the financial empire he still possesses, or because of what once passed through his tiny, sieve-like fingers? One does need to master the find art of knocking people down a peg who erect a false veneer with a secret sneer. Does he or doesn’t he? He’s now 72 years old, and yet still continues one of the greatest reputational shell games in my lifetime. You can say many things about old jimmy-legs, but you sure can’t fault his universal will to prevail.

Vanity is, of course, primarily a pyramid scheme: many must lose so few can win. Long ago I came to accept my fate on the bottom rung of indifference. Someone has to do it, and the bootprints on my back cause me less distress than most other people. At the same time, I resent any unnecessary kick on the way up, so I coddle my pouch of thorns—so as never to pass up a shooting lane. (Practice makes perfect does not apply to character.)

Much like the hockey code, there are acceptable liberties, and then there are unacceptable liberties. I may turn the other cheek, but strike it at your peril.

———

* Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion by Paul Bloom — 2016

As for innumeracy, Bloom points out that it’s really hard to truly empathize with more than one or two people at the same time.

Seriously: Try it. You won’t be able to do it.

Empathy, then, often causes us to focus so intently on individuals — often in a way that paralyzes us with grief or anger — that we miss the bigger picture.

I also read a book titled Pathological Altruism which was pathologically dry, so I mentioned the above instead.

I also vaguely recall Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi devoting a late chapter to the problem of priming the altruistic social pump to a fatal fault. The anecdote, possibly in this book, is that medical students who were competitive-minded received higher grades for two or three years. Then, as residency requirements kicked into force, the competitive-minded sots were completely out of their depth, having little social capital to fall back upon as the going got tough, this time in a messy open-ended environment.

———

I recall a few years back someone on Al Gore lauded Lowetide’s writing as pin sharp, a diagnosis itself pin sharp. This is a good kind of pin sharp, whereas my own ambit would be more along the lines of a porcupine with Huntington’s chorea. (Sure, if you want to climb over my back, fill your boots.)

———

I’m presently reading Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil (2013) by Paul Bloom. Unfortunately, it’s mostly lulling me to sleep. I’m barely managing a single chapter at a time.

The problem is that I’ve completely lost faith in the type of study where they put the subject into a novel social context, and then say “here, follow this arbitrary rule”. People simply don’t behave that way. Almost universally, some part of our brain tries to guess the surrounding social game: what earns the most brownie points in today’s special fire drill?

Bloom himself ought to know this, as evidenced by the previously quoted sentence: “As for innumeracy, Bloom points out that it’s really hard to truly empathize with more than one or two people at the same time.”

For the same reason, nobody virtue signals with two different pucks on the ice. (Name a lethal sport with more than one puck, and I will award you a lifetime subscription to Neck Brace magazine.) Of course, we all want to virtue signal, but first you have to figure out the chef’s daily special: Bold or prudent? Window or stay the course? I suspect that fully half of virtue signalling is a race to declare yourself as having successfully decoded the special of the day, first of all. The daily special is not decreed top down, but usually emerges bottom up. Sometimes the day arrives where Harvey Weinstein finds himself in the crosshairs for his 15 minutes of Twitter fame, and everybody guesses the special of the day pretty much simultaneously; other times, there’s more social fog of war.

You can’t just leave this as a clipped, disconnected wire—with no ground reference—and trust anything that such a psychological experiment “reveals”.

———

Nevertheless, even after tossing out half of his assembled evidence, Bloom still manages to demonstrate that babies and toddlers are extremely opinionated. You present a toddler with table where he gets one candy, and the toddler on the other side gets four candies. Then you give the toddler the option to either A) eat his one candy, while the other toddler gloats with puffy, disgusting lips though candy-stuffed chubby cheeks; B) kick the table over so that no-one gets any candy. Pro tip: head for the hills, the candy table is heading into low orbit with probability one. This formula never changes, but what does change is more context is brought to bear as we gain maturity.

Unless we’re on Twitter—and the candy supply is extrinsic likes.

Apology is hard because change is hard. Shame is too often transitory—without leaving much of a trace—for the same reason.

———

One of tactics I use to keep myself humble—quite deliberately—is to incorporate a sprinkle of Escher juice into most of what I write: it’s best that the stairwells mesh at odd angles from time to time. Among other things, this wards off ineluctable logic (nothing pumps your own tires like ineluctable logic). Meanwhile, the “inconceivable” reality about ineluctable logic is that it ultimately persuades anyone else exposed. I did this yesterday when I described the brain-sucking tentacle of boredom that sometimes emanated from the television in my early childhood years as causing my neurons “bathtub wrinkles”. Neurologically, cortical wrinkles are usually considered a good thing. The incongruent image conveyed a subtle whiff of paint drying to a good purpose: that maybe the channel was merely too educational and that in my sometimes excessive childhood impatience—there, I said it—I was emotionally inured to a good thing. Possibly, once or twice.

———

Nabokov once said that anyone who can only write one autobiography isn’t trying very hard.

[*] I’ve failed to track this nugget down again after the fact, but I’d wager 10% of my elephantine attic that it pertains to Speak, Memory.

How easy this is to forget about yourself in your most reflective moment; how certain this is to be forgotten about anyone else, in the heat of the Twitter moment.

Richard Gilbert who finds the long genealogical histories tedious notes that Nabokov apparently bullied his younger brother and “doesn’t pretend to guilt he doesn’t feel”, nor is he asking for sympathy when his idyllic world is crushed by the Russian revolution.

———

I, too, was a bully to my younger siblings, until about the age of 10. From my present vantage point, I’d say that the world simply moved too slow for my racing mind and a four-year-old of my temperament can only handle so much externally-imposed serenity now. That’s one story. The other story is that I was just a dick (and still am).

True story: I shamelessly humble-brag about my ever-ready “other cheek” porcupine quills well into my fifth decade.

But life is a contact sport, and you do need to feel some pride in the jersey, such as it is.

Pouzar

Lambert is intriguing just b/c he has been Barry Trotz’ right hand man for years.

Darth Tu

jtblack: Glen Gulutzan – NO THX
Trent Yawney– NO THX
Jay Woodcroft – NO THX
Todd Nelson – NO THX
Laine Lambert– Dont know anything about him

I’m fine with Nelson.

I wouldn’t want Woodcroft at the moment, but if he can continue to do well in Bakersfield, maybe in a few years? I’ve enjoyed watching the Condors (from about Feb onwards when I really started paying attention) this season, structurally they’ve been good. As commented by others previously, how much of it is down to quality of roster, and how much is him is a little up for debate, but from what I’ve seen (and OP can probably speak to this a little more), he’s made the right coaching decisions at the right times more often than not.

Lambert, he’s probably in that Woodcroft camp as well, I know he was head coach in the AHL (Milwaukee?), and then has been an assistant for a while – albeit on some good teams. I don’t know enough about him to really comment though.

With you on Yawney. *edit* and Gulutzan

Munny

jtblack: Laine Lambert – Dont know anything about him

Associate coach of NYI, Trotz protégé, former Cougars and Admirals head coach, played with Holland in Detroit.