We all now know the Edmonton Oilers will select 7th OV at the 2013 NHL Entry draft in June. Or will they? We all know that Ralph Krueger is safe in his coaching position after only having a short lockout season to make something out of this squad of underachievers. Or is he safe?
Without hesitation, let's jump right into the meat and bones of this blog and discuss this more.....'Management'
Craig MacTavish is always good for a inspirational quote or maybe even a comedic quote. One thing that can be said about his hiring is, Craig WILL speak to the media and has no problem giving them something good to chew on. So the question that I hear lots is...why is Kevin Lowe still on the Oilers and not gone? That's a good question, but from a rebuild perspective it is hard to fault him just yet.
Kevin Lowe after stepping up to the Presidents role has really taken heat that HE is the real puppet master around the Oilers. Of course, until someone close within the organization can say that, I will have to say otherwise. Does he have a say? Of course he does but his GM does not have to make a move he does not want to make. The President is in charge of the rebuild from a overall perspective and it was agreed upon Hall's draft year that Edmonton would indeed be changing course and starting the rebuild. Lowe sets out the vision, gives a time frame and starts working on the smaller pieces. Lowe is responsible for hiring Tamby and no one else. If you ask me, he was always going to be a scapegoat. I know of no GM who has gone through a gutted and depleted crew and had to stand patiently for 5 years , all along making themselves a winner on the ice. It does not happen and in the end, Tamby will land back on his feet. Their was a bigger plan in place and the Oilers were working on it IMO for a couple years. If MacTavish fails epic this coming season and the Oilers miss the playoffs again? I am almost certain it will be put on the President and Kevin Lowe will be gone.
With MacTavish, he will be bold and he will make some moves because another year out of the playoffs will not be accepted any longer. Only concern with Craig will be, 'does he trade elite' talent to bring in 'big ' talent? In other words a elite talent going out for a higher priced big power forward and missing the playoffs will not be acceptable either. I do believe MacTavish is pretty good at seeing the hidden talent in players but he also will hold his players to accountability. MacTavish also was a coach once before and actually was good at it. If he hears the coach wants something, he will do his best to supply him with the right type of player (Character and work ethic will matter) . Craig needed players before as well and Lowe did not always deliver. MacTavish is not dumb by any means and is pretty sly if you ask me. Some people are already saying he is showing too many of his cards already, he needs to be a little more quiet about his plans. Nope....not his strategy! Let the teams know your pick is available, if they want it, they have to supply him with something good. It's all conditional anyway. Every year the pick is available but sometimes you have to be vocal about it to gather interest. Saying your open just creates a stir. At least this GM is talking, you can't make deals unless other teams know your open for business. Also, telling the league that your looking for certain types of players is not a tell-tale. No one knows the Oilers most pressing need? I think they all know and now Craig MacTavish is just telling other GM's. 'we have lots of prospects, picks and elite talent'. You got a player in the mold were interested in. 'call me'!! See if I like it and think it will work.
How many times in the past has there been NHL deals done and several other teams did not even know those players are available. Sometimes being quiet and waiting by your phone just does not work. This management will be proactive, only question remains is.....'Will they make the right decisions?' Only time will tell.
Talk some more next blog and this time, maybe we will finally hit the coaching questions.
In the meantime and in between time, keep on keepin on!