Every Oilers general manager has his own style. Glen Sather was a grinder, and liked to tell stories. Trade acquisitions would be rumored for a long time (Garry Unger, the annual Reijo Ruotsalainen deal) and then Sather would have a story surrounding it that arrived in the days following. Those stories often involving Slats getting a better deal by waiting. He was smart, so I believed him pretty much always.
Lots of leaks, some true some not so much. He just said what he thought, traded with the same guys and won many times. No idea why Sinden, Nanne or Phil Esposito answered the phone.
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 Athletic, check it out here.
- New Lowetide: Oilers’ five-on-five with and without Connor McDavid is improving
- Lowetide: Bakersfield Condors forward prospects might need a history lesson
- Lowetide: Craig MacTavish’s most important Oilers moment? Picking Leon Draisaitl
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: If play does not resume, 5 notable questions that will go unanswered in Edmonton
- Lowetide: Making the call on RFA and UFA players on the Oilers’ 50-man roster
- Jonathan Willis: The 2020 NHL broadcast rankings: The best and worst markets to watch the games
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Scott Howson on new AHL job, Oilers’ unsung prospect and development updates
- Lowetide: A look back at reasonable expectations and the Oilers fantastic special teams in 2019-20.
- Lowetide: Will the Oilers rocket to Russia during free agency this summer
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Connor McDavid on a ‘fair season’, working out and picking quarantine teammates
- Lowetide: Dave Tippett deploys unproven talent expertly in first Oilers season
- Lowetide, Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Oilers ABC: Picking the best players in franchise history, from Anderson to Zuke
- Jonathan Willis: If the Oilers need to clear money with a buyout, they have one real option
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The 5 games that define Leon Draisaitl’s Hart Trophy-worthy season
- Lowetide: Final Oilers report cards: Second-half impact defines a successful season
Kevin Lowe’s regime was similar, moves weren’t necessarily telegraphed but the Comrie story was quite public and the media avails were part Knots Landing, part Burn After Reading. Lowe had an uneven record, but the 2006 deadline was fantastic.
Steve Tambellini was the one general manager who didn’t leak a thing, that’s why I think the Lubo-Whitney trade was Lowe (we knew about it) pulling the trigger on a deal the GM probably didn’t want to make.
MacT was similar to Lowe, he did some good things and some things that baffle to this day but mostly we knew ahead of time. I genuinely believe he would have been a great general manager if he’d worked his way through the ranks instead of just being awarded the top job. It’s the curse of all those glory Oilers of the 1980’s.
Peter Chiarelli was using an outdated blue book and didn’t value the pieces gifted, and he telegraphed everything from the Hall trade to the Lucic signing.
Ken Holland? No secrets. He tells you where he’s going, does what he wants. Kind of a bookend to Slats.
Remember this tweet? Pedersen was right on the mark, had the story over a week before the media avail announcing Holland.
Holland’s arrival was followed by Philip Broberg’s name moving up the wordle usage chart almost immediately. We knew Milan Lucic could be traded to Vancouver but Holland calmly held out for another rumored deal to Calgary.
Even this offseason, we’re getting snippets of information rolling down the tracks. Anton Slepyshev (more in a minute) might be coming over, Broberg will remain in Sweden for another season and talks continue with Filip Berglund and Markus Niemelainen (via Bob with Ken yesterday, I didn’t hear it but believe those things were said).
It doesn’t really matter how Holland goes about his business, it’s just interesting to see his style. It’s a perfect match for Edmonton to be honest, a straight shooter in a town that still does a lot of business over lunch.
Holland has enjoyed a good year. We’re already getting early news about the next one.
Toronto signed a nice player today (Alexander Barabanov) two-way forward who is 25 and owns an NHLE of 30.7. I expect he’ll see plenty of playing time in the top nine for the Maple Leafs next season.
That’s exactly the kind of role we might see for Anton Slepyshev, who is also 25 and has an NHLE of 54.9 after a fine 2019-20 season.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
It’ll be a busy show with more news breaking about plans to get the wide wide world of sports back in our living rooms. It all starts at 10, TSN1260. Jonathan Willis from The Athletic will pop by to talk about possible wingers for Connor McDavid and the emergence of Jones/Bear and what it means to the veterans. Adam Stanley, who writes about the PGA Tour, will discuss the cancellation of The Open and what might be the first sport to return. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!