So Mac T steps behind the bench and is the interim head coach, but then Todd Nelson is going to take over at some point and he’ll be the interim head coach. If that doesn’t spell dysfunction, I don’t know what does.
The THEORY is that MacTavish is going to coach so he can get a better feel for what moves need to be done. But that can backfire. MacTavish could easily find himself growing more fond of these players and want to make a move even less!
Nelson deserves a shot to show what he can do in the NHL. He has a good track record in the AHL, but it’s not THAT great. He is known to be a guy who relies heavily on his AHL vets which isn’t what other coaches down there are doing. Most teams are looking to play there kids and develop them. Nelson is healthy scratching Mitch Moroz, who is one of the Oilers best and most important prospects! This doesn’t mean that I expect Nelson to fail at all, just that maybe temper the expectations because some people are really geeked about the idea of him behind the bench. But I don’t have any problem with him as the interim coach for the remainder of the season.
Oh and congrats on being back Buchy! Man, that was a brutal 5 months he was gone. They must have really missed him in the old boys club. But now Buchy who has literally one of the worst track records of anyone currently employed in hockey is back with the organization, this time in OKC.
As the title says, reduce, reuse, recycle. The Oilers never let any of “their guys” go to waste. I won’t be anything shocked if they do make a big front office shake up. It’ll go like this: “we are here today to announce the changes in our front office. Kevin Lowe is out as President of Hockey Operations. Scott Howson is out as Vice President of Hockey Operations. And Craig MacTavish is out as General Manager. Now to announce the men taking over those roles. I would like to introduce new GM, Scott Howson. New Vice President of Hockey Operations, Kevin Lowe. And the new President of Hockey Operations, Craig MacTavish. Also, we would like to introduce our new Sr. Vice Chairman of the Oilers Entertainment group, Daryl’s son, Afro Katz.”
Do you actually think this organization knows how embarrassing they are to their fans? No they don’t. If they did, management would have been cleaned out 2 or 3 years ago. Kevin Lowe would have never saw the rebuild, he would have been axed along with Steve Tambellini after the 2010 season. How was Tom Renney supposed to succeed, or Ralph Krueger, or the now former coach Dallas Eakins?
I never understood the Renney firing, yet so many fans wanted him gone. Why? The number 1 reason given by fans at the time was “well he played Eric Belanger on our 2nd unit PP”. That unit ranked 3rd in the league that season. The team had improved a lot from the year prior, they were competitive every night, and actually had some real impressive wins. That had to be one of the most ridiculous firings in league history.
The fact is that none of these coaches have had a chance. This organization hasn’t taken any of the key positions seriously. Center, defense, goaltending. They loaded up with undersized wingers which are a dime a dozen. I would rarely draft a pure winger, and if I did he would have to be at least 6’1, 200. There are teams in the NHL that have this same philosophy. Definitely aren’t the Oilers.
Now I have to address Darren Dreger coming out and declaring that Hall will be in play before the trade deadline. I’m a big Dregs fan, but he is clearly speculating here and I don’t know why. You’re an insider, so all you’re doing is creating a buzz to what has turned into a completely dead trade market until mid February.
If you trade Taylor Hall, you aren’t getting equal return and a guy like Dreger should know that. And as much as the Oilers are a shit show, they know that. But he says it because it gets clicks. Fans of 29 other teams salivate at an Oilers fire sale because they think their team will get them for cheap and they’ll become the superstars they’ve been expected to be.
As much as all the people who don’t know the Oilers cry for them to trade the kids, they never have a suggestion as to whom the Oilers could get back. “They need a D-man!! Trade the kids for a D-man!” Ok idiot, who is giving up that stud D-man that they need? The reason you don’t have a response is because there isn’t one that a team will deal. “Trade the kids for a stud center!” Right, and again, who is dealing that guy? Unless you have the answer, shut up. I don’t defend much the Oilers do these days, but nobody trades any more. Figure it out.
I have one answer. And again, I will discuss my favorite guy….Ryan O’Reilly. Now, this is all assuming that the since fired Adrian Dater of the Denver Post was correct in his assessment that the Avs and O’Reilly marriage is nearly done. It was a contentious this summer for the 2nd time in 3 years between the Avs and O’Reilly. And the Avs don’t use him at center where he is most valuable.
IF things are bad between the Avs and O’Reilly and IF they are willing to move him, I don’t understand why the Avs and Oilers haven’t hooked up on a deal that would see Jordan Eberle going to the Avs and Ryan O’Reilly heading to Edmonton. Both making 6 mil per, I believe O’Reilly is the better player but Eberle might be a better fit for the Avs and is locked down for a much longer time than O’Reilly (Eberle is a UFA after the 18-19 season, O’Reilly is after next season). They are a little under 9 months apart in age too. But again, this is all assuming the Avs are interested in moving O’Reilly now while they can get something for him rather than risk losing him as a UFA after next season.
Eberle and I would say David Perron are guys who make sense to deal. Not that any Oiler fan wants to see Perron go, but he wants out and he’ll get a good return. I would say Yakupov, but I don’t think you can move him now. If anything I would say he is the guy that you need to look to pad his stats for the rest of this season and if you do than maybe you get some decent offers. I don’t personally see it with Yak. As hard as he works, he just doesn’t have the hockey sense and his talent while really good, isn’t elite enough to overcome that lack of hockey sense. I like the kid, but I’m not seeing a 35-40 goal guy that he was projected to be.
But as for the D, the only way the Oilers are going to fix that is continuing to build the blueline and maybe more so playing a more structured game that sees what would be a HUGE improvement on the defensive end from the forward group.
Then you have the goaltending, that hasn’t been taken seriously by this organization for a long time now. The fans and media who still stick with this team want to look down at teams like the Leafs, Avs and Flames who get good goaltending. “Well the analytics say it won’t last and also say we’ll improve”. Shut up, please. They have great goaltending, and just because the Oilers analytics say they’re better than they are doesn’t mean they’re right. Analytics don’t show the quality of shots the Oilers are getting on goal, or how much traffic they are getting in front of opposing goaltenders. Maybe those teams can’t sustain what they’re doing but trust me they are doing MUCH more right than the Oilers are.
But I got off track there. The goaltending. They have to start taking it seriously. You need to bring in goaltending specific amateur and pro scouts. You need to go out and acquire a legit number 1 goaltender. Cam Ward could likely be had, as long as he’s willing to waive his NTC. Same thing looks like it’ll go for Mike Smith. I would bet the Coyotes would love to shed his deal, but he has a NMC. Craig Anderson still has 3 years left on his deal AFTER this season and might be the ideal guy as he plays better the more his team relies on him. Antti Niemi is a UFA after this season. You would have to overpay to get him, but you probably could get him. I like a few of these options, but will the Oilers actually step up and get a goaltender? Who knows.
But this is all old news talking about what needs to be fixed with this roster. We all know by now. The gameplan for the rest of the season has to be to end up 30th, or at the very least 29th which would guarantee Noah Hanifin who is maybe the best D prospect since Drew Doughty. And obviously people are going to roll their eyes at that and cry “well it hasn’t worked for them”, they haven’t had a shot at prospects like the top 3 in this draft. It is literally like Crosby, Stamkos and Doughty are at the top of this draft. Now, maybe these kids don’t reach their potential, but that is the type of potential we are talking about. And while all the critics of the team will shit all over the rebuild, I personally still think it is the best way to build a hockey team and it take extraordinarily bad management to screw it up.
Which as we know the Oilers have. So until 6 rings, and Colin Cowherd, and accountable Mac, and the pro scouts, and the amateur scouts are wiped out and competent/experienced people are brought in, not even Connor McDavid becoming better than Crosby will get this sorry ass franchise out of the gutter.
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