Oilers GM MacTavish Spotted In Toronto

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 05 2014 09:51AM

 

The Toronto Marlies have an 11AM home game today. Why? Because they hate logic (actually, it's a school day game, something they do a few times a season). To some, this isn't very interesting on the surface (if it is? We'll have a recap on TheLeafsNation), but a bit of an eyebrow raiser came in the form of Craig MacTavish being in attendance.

I can't tell you exactly what he's here for, but this is what we do know. 

  • The Marlies don't face Edmonton's AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons for another three weeks.
  • Oklahoma doesn't face San Antonio until March 2nd
  • If he's scouting a Panthers prospect, there are multiple other opportunities to see San Antonio in Canada ahead of the Trade Deadline (17th and 23rd in Hamilton, 22nd in Toronto)
  • If he's scouting a Leafs prospect, the Marlies play ten straight games at home through March 2nd.
  • With the Oilers in the middle of an Eastern road trip (Sabres/Rangers/Devils), this is a convenient time for him to check in on some players he's interested in. Given the amount of New York-based teams in the AHL, however (including games in Binghamton and Rochester tonight), it's unlikely that this is watching hockey for the sake of watching hockey.
  • The Leafs have a home game against Vancouver on Saturday night., but I don't think it's likely he's here because he plans on keeping tabs on that game as well.
  • Edmonton and Toronto don't face each other for the remainder of the season.
  • The Edmonton Oilers have five players and the head coach of the 2011/12 Marlies roster, and there's still two guys from that team wearing AHL blue and white today (Korbinian Holzer, a defensive defenseman, and Jerry D'Amigo, a utility bottom six winger).
  • The Oilers just acquired Mark Fraser from the Toronto Maple Leafs a few days ago.
  • MacTavish has been a regular at Ricoh Coliseum for several years, even as his role and employers changed.

What does this mean? I couldn't tell you for certain. But it's a thing that happened, if nothing else.

7cb905bdffc4d09e93770ff4a1889462
I bring news about the Toronto Marlies, opinions about the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a bunch of ridiculous thoughts about everything else.
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#1 Newj
February 05 2014, 10:38AM
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FYI...this in from HockeyBuzz.com (Eklund) .....yes its full of conjecture & hype (maybe that's why I read it?) but....

tracking something this morning....

I realize the Oilers came out recently and said they wouldn't trade away youth.....however....the Kings just might be offering up a "serious" deal for one of the Oilers top line guys...stay tuned today, all day...will have a major rumor/chart update in the next two hours...possibly sooner...

Also hearing Detroit in on Vanek. The Islanders are VERY taken aback by the fact their offer was dismissed...it was way more substantial than anyone else believed it would be....

more coming up.

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#2 Harlie
February 05 2014, 09:56AM
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C'mon MacT we need bold thinking and out of the box. Not another Eakins pet project.

Just why in the H E double Toothpicks do we even have a pro scouting Staff? What exactly do they do? Why does a GM need to have a look himself and can't trust his "scouts"? Why was there no interest in any Toronto deals until Eakins came on board.

Oh vey!

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#3 They're $hittie
February 05 2014, 10:02AM
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Finally The number ones will start on a line together.

Finally Eberle will have his ice time cut for lack of effort, stupid toe dragging and terrible d coverage.

Now Dallas please just go back to the PP from last year which featured Yak taking the shot. Getting a pass from a right handed passer, Eberle, Gagner or hemsky. Than base the second along a point shot with nuge passing to hall who is beside the net.

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#4 Reg Dunlop
February 05 2014, 10:10AM
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Sounds like D'Amigo would tantalize Mac. I have never heard of an 80 year old ex-linesman making a comeback as a role player though.

Another possibility is that the Marlies are giving out bogus MBA degrees during the intermission. Can never have too many of those.

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#5 Zarny
February 05 2014, 11:16AM
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I love it!

MacT goes to a Marlies game and the Eakins haters completely wet their pants and lose their sh*t.

Get a grip already.

MacT probably isn't looking at principles of any deal. Gags and Gardiner have been linked for over a year now. It likely wouldn't be straight up. Back in the day GM's used to just pick names off a list as throw ins. Today they do a little more research.

The LA rumors involving a major piece the Oilers need is interesting. Voynov and Muzzin on the blueline would be likely targets for the Oilers. Clifford and King on F perhaps. Or maybe a guy like Stoll?

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#6 Kr55
February 05 2014, 10:52AM
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MacT is losing it. We should not be modeling our team after the Leafs/Marlies. It's just a total fluke that the leafs are in a playoff spot right now after getting dominated almost every game they play. Looking like MacT is just a 1 trick pony with the Perron trade. His performance aside from that 1 move is largely a disappointment with the Eakins hiring the biggest mistake of them all.

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#7 Zarny
February 05 2014, 01:40PM
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Harlie wrote:

Oh really now? So your saying that every GM goes and looks at every single player he trades for? So what happens during trade deadline and multiple trades? The GM was secretly visiting and watching 10 players in advance or was it his Scouts?

C'mon man, these guys have Scout teams that this is their job to provide the data and information for the GM to make a decision.

Lastly, you tellin me that a GM watching one game is enough of a sample size to make a trade?

And yes, I guess I missed the memo on Gardiner. Thanks for scouting that out for me. Maybe I'll fly to Toronto and ask someone about the memo face to face to make sure it's a good deal first before I decide if it is or not.

No Harlie, GM's don't literally look at every single player they trade for. Don't be obtuse.

But key players and big trades? Absolutely. GM's and assistant GM's are always seen in the stands watching other teams leading up to the trade deadline.

I didn't say GM's ignore or don't listen to their scouts; but they certainly aren't their only source of info.

And no one game isn't likely enough. Of course, this isn't the first Marlies game MacT has been to now is it.

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#8 gcw_rocks
February 05 2014, 09:58AM
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Someone needs to tell MacTavish the Marlies are an AHL team, not an NHL team.

This probably bodes well for Leaf fans. Undoubtedly MacT will soon be offering something of value for the Leafs marginal players/prospects with little skill but have size.

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#9 Rob...
February 05 2014, 10:09AM
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Maybe he's there to beg them to take Eakins back.

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#10 Dar
February 05 2014, 10:29AM
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Jeff Veillette (Jeffler) wrote:

This is actually pretty plausible. I was surprised that Dallas didn't take Dineen and King with him when he left

please no please no maybe he wants Toronto totake Eakins back YES!!!!

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#11 Rama Lama
February 05 2014, 10:30AM
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If Mac T was really interested in improving his team, perhaps he should ask Dallas Eakins why he continues to use the same PP strategy ( using for or five forwards) over and over again.

Why would you reward this group when they have no plan to shoot ..........just making nice passes in not the point of the PP. Bench them until they figure out that the point of the PP is to put shots to the net!! HOw many time does a coach need to see odd man rushes to figure out something is not working.

Getting new players from a AHL team will not fix this problem. Hopefully Mac T is trying to trade Dallas Eakins back to the AHL where he belongs!

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#12 LOIL99
February 05 2014, 01:39PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Sounds like D'Amigo would tantalize Mac. I have never heard of an 80 year old ex-linesman making a comeback as a role player though.

Another possibility is that the Marlies are giving out bogus MBA degrees during the intermission. Can never have too many of those.

Why would he go all the way to T.O. for another degree? His first one was completed online, why not the 2nd?

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#13 Taylor Gang
February 05 2014, 10:28AM
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gcw_rocks wrote:

Someone needs to tell MacTavish the Marlies are an AHL team, not an NHL team.

This probably bodes well for Leaf fans. Undoubtedly MacT will soon be offering something of value for the Leafs marginal players/prospects with little skill but have size.

This 1000 times over

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#14 the tikk
February 05 2014, 10:07AM
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I can't stand the thought that MacT might bring in any more former Marlies to take up spots that should rightfully be occupied by former Oil Kings.

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#15 Harlie
February 05 2014, 01:50PM
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Zarny wrote:

No Harlie, GM's don't literally look at every single player they trade for. Don't be obtuse.

But key players and big trades? Absolutely. GM's and assistant GM's are always seen in the stands watching other teams leading up to the trade deadline.

I didn't say GM's ignore or don't listen to their scouts; but they certainly aren't their only source of info.

And no one game isn't likely enough. Of course, this isn't the first Marlies game MacT has been to now is it.

You remind me of Tambellini in your ability to talk but have nothing of substance to say.

So on one hand you state "Any GM who relies solely on other people to form his opinions and fails to take a look at an asset he might acquire in person should be fired on the spot."

And then you come back and say "No Harlie, GM's don't literally look at every single player they trade for."

So I guess I'm the obtuse one as I can't figure out which statement you stand behind??

Be better Zarny.

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#16 Harlie
February 05 2014, 10:09AM
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Ricoh....Suave...Arena

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#17 A-Mc
February 05 2014, 10:13AM
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Just had a thought..what if MacT is there to scout the coaching staff? Maybe Eakins has mentioned that one of his Marlies coaches played a big role, and now MacT is taking a look at the resulting product?

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#18 Zarny
February 05 2014, 11:01AM
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Harlie wrote:

C'mon MacT we need bold thinking and out of the box. Not another Eakins pet project.

Just why in the H E double Toothpicks do we even have a pro scouting Staff? What exactly do they do? Why does a GM need to have a look himself and can't trust his "scouts"? Why was there no interest in any Toronto deals until Eakins came on board.

Oh vey!

Good grief.

Any GM who relies solely on other people to form his opinions and fails to take a look at an asset he might acquire in person should be fired on the spot.

And since you seem to have missed the memo there was conversations last year about Gagner for Gardiner...before Eakins came on board.

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#19 STAN
February 05 2014, 11:22PM
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PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE.

Let this be Mac fishing for the other guys he'll need in a package that sends Clarkson to Edmonton.

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#20 Joy S. Lee
February 05 2014, 05:08PM
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David S wrote:

[UPDATE] Undocumented souces report Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was spotted ordering coffee from McDonalds this morning instead of his regular haunt, Tim Hortons.

Follow details and analysis of this stunning revelation throughout the day at TSN.ca, your exclusive source for all that matters leading up to this year's trade deadline.

Not to be negative nelly, but man, you are becoming like the advertising mogul. Your postings consistently represent a business or product that the Oilers are flaunting...did you get a promotion? Kickbacks?

Well, nicely done. Good luck in your new role.

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#21 Fresh Mess
February 05 2014, 10:34AM
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He's probably checking out the career minor leaguers being offered for Ganger and Hemsky.

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#22 loweblows
February 05 2014, 12:17PM
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Alternatively maybe he is there to pick up the bag of pucks they threw in with Eakins.

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#23 Puck JammeR!
February 05 2014, 01:11PM
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Craig trades an idiot for a fart - a widely criticized decision

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#24 Harlie
February 05 2014, 01:18PM
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Zarny wrote:

Good grief.

Any GM who relies solely on other people to form his opinions and fails to take a look at an asset he might acquire in person should be fired on the spot.

And since you seem to have missed the memo there was conversations last year about Gagner for Gardiner...before Eakins came on board.

Oh really now? So your saying that every GM goes and looks at every single player he trades for? So what happens during trade deadline and multiple trades? The GM was secretly visiting and watching 10 players in advance or was it his Scouts?

C'mon man, these guys have Scout teams that this is their job to provide the data and information for the GM to make a decision.

Lastly, you tellin me that a GM watching one game is enough of a sample size to make a trade?

And yes, I guess I missed the memo on Gardiner. Thanks for scouting that out for me. Maybe I'll fly to Toronto and ask someone about the memo face to face to make sure it's a good deal first before I decide if it is or not.

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#25 40 Double D (tier 1 in waiting)
February 05 2014, 01:46PM
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Our AHL team will soon be complete!

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#26 whichonespink
February 05 2014, 04:34PM
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He's here to take a look at Holzer. Eakens relied on Hozer a lot while he was with the Marlies. My guess, he's looking to poach a Dman or two.

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#27 A-Mc
February 05 2014, 10:11AM
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Nothing to get excited about if he is scouting the Marlies. Move along! Nothing to see here...

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#28 Andrew
February 05 2014, 11:12AM
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I just read Colby Cosh's McLeans article about the catastrophe that is the Oilers hockey club. He addresses everything from Katz to the bottom of the Oilers organization. This guy has it going on IMO. Check it out on Twitter. It reflects the general view of several recent blogs by Brownlee and Jonathan Willis but it is interesting to me that he is someone who isn't swimming in the Oiler Koolaid. Cosh identifies the massive arrogance of KLowe and the basic ineffective methods of the Oiler assistant coaches who have been insulated from anything even vaguely close to accountability. The stars seem to be alignlng when it comes to media reporters and a thoroughly disgusted fan-base. I just wonder if Katz 'et al' ever react to the fan's angst or is the only thing he responds to is really bad p.r. and....empty seats.

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#29 watkinator
February 05 2014, 11:21AM
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Could MacT be playing the Kings and Leafs off against each other, trying to get them to up the return, bidding war style? It's what I'd expect my GM to do.

IMO, MacT should wait for the offseason to trade Gagner. Right now everyone probably wants him to hold on to a bunch of his salary for THREE years just to fit under the cap for two months. Wait until the offseason and then tell Gagner to give you a list of teams he'd accept being traded to and get him to waive the NTC. The return would have to be way better then than it is right now.

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#30 Lowe Expectations
February 05 2014, 12:06PM
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Probably there to ask the school kids what to do about the Oilers. Lord knows, it's better than talking to 6 rings and the rest of the old boys club here.

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#31 Serious Gord
February 05 2014, 12:39PM
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If Klowe isn't with him then nothing is going on. MacT is just scouting.

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#32 Zarny
February 05 2014, 01:30PM
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S cottV wrote:

Geez - Rama Lama, you're gonna get Zarny going again.

Using 5 forwards on a pp is really going too far, except maybe if you are in desperate need of a goal, like down by two - late in a game.

The one time that really stands out in my mind, where Eakins used 5 forwards - at the wrong time, was when Chicago was in town and Yak coughed it up vs Toews early in the first period. Full house, lots of energy, big game, get an early pp opportunity and allow the Stanley Cup Champions to stick the 5 forwards up your @ss. Now that was really dumb. Giving up a short handed goal when you fly or outright laugh in the face of what is considered reasonable risk, knocks the stuffing out of your hockey club.

4 forwards is a little more conventional but with J. Schultz the lone d man, it's damn close to going with 5 forwards. The 4th forward really has to be able to handle the puck up top and not get burned in the process. Putting Yak in that position is like russian roulette and 5 of 6 bullets loaded in the gun. It's tempting because he can shoot but I wouldn't put that gun to my head.

The reason they are over working the puck is because no one is really big enough / strong enough or couragious enough to hang around the front of the net for long. If you don't use an umbrella, then you really need two stellar point guys who can create enough time and space between them, to set up a shot that gets through, with 2 guys in front and the 3rd going to the net. Oilers - don't have those 2 point guys or the kind of guys who can or will stand in front down low for any length of time.

So - in some ways Eakins is forced into what they are doing, but - geez, let's not outright laugh in the face of reasonable risk in the process.

Haha...nope nothing new to add.

Using 4 or 5 F on the PP makes sense when your options on D include Ference, Petry, Belov and the rest that sorry lot.

4 F have been used extensively on the PP in Pit, Chi, Wsh, Det not to mention the Oilers of the 80s used to do it.

My criticism yesterday wasn't specifically about using 4 or 5 F on the PP.

It was simply that using 4 or 5 F on the PP had nothing to do with players shooting more, making stupid passes east-west across the ice or anything else Rama Lama mentioned.

It's like the wailing about Eakins being a rookie coach. That's not actually a point. Jon Cooper is a rookie coach and TB is doing ok. Bylsma was a rookie coach and Pit has done fine. Being a rookie coach isn't really relevant in terms of whether or not he's a good coach or the right coach.

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#34 freelancer
February 05 2014, 10:29AM
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Off topic: Hope that the blame game this year falls on the coaching support staff, Smith, Bucky, Chabot, time to move on. Now back on this, Kulemin, Bolland, and of course Gardiner are three actual roster players I could see as a possible target.

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#35 Taylor Gang
February 05 2014, 10:30AM
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A-Mc wrote:

Just had a thought..what if MacT is there to scout the coaching staff? Maybe Eakins has mentioned that one of his Marlies coaches played a big role, and now MacT is taking a look at the resulting product?

I sure hope so. At this point, anyone is an upgrade over Smith and Bucky

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#36 Brad 21
February 05 2014, 10:53AM
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I can't even read anything Eklund writes, he is so full of crap. Not one thing he has ever written has come to fruition. Just throws things against the wall and hopes they stick. I know 10 year olds who could be better reporters.

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#37 S cottV
February 05 2014, 11:50AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

If Mac T was really interested in improving his team, perhaps he should ask Dallas Eakins why he continues to use the same PP strategy ( using for or five forwards) over and over again.

Why would you reward this group when they have no plan to shoot ..........just making nice passes in not the point of the PP. Bench them until they figure out that the point of the PP is to put shots to the net!! HOw many time does a coach need to see odd man rushes to figure out something is not working.

Getting new players from a AHL team will not fix this problem. Hopefully Mac T is trying to trade Dallas Eakins back to the AHL where he belongs!

Geez - Rama Lama, you're gonna get Zarny going again.

Using 5 forwards on a pp is really going too far, except maybe if you are in desperate need of a goal, like down by two - late in a game.

The one time that really stands out in my mind, where Eakins used 5 forwards - at the wrong time, was when Chicago was in town and Yak coughed it up vs Toews early in the first period. Full house, lots of energy, big game, get an early pp opportunity and allow the Stanley Cup Champions to stick the 5 forwards up your @ss. Now that was really dumb. Giving up a short handed goal when you fly or outright laugh in the face of what is considered reasonable risk, knocks the stuffing out of your hockey club.

4 forwards is a little more conventional but with J. Schultz the lone d man, it's damn close to going with 5 forwards. The 4th forward really has to be able to handle the puck up top and not get burned in the process. Putting Yak in that position is like russian roulette and 5 of 6 bullets loaded in the gun. It's tempting because he can shoot but I wouldn't put that gun to my head.

The reason they are over working the puck is because no one is really big enough / strong enough or couragious enough to hang around the front of the net for long. If you don't use an umbrella, then you really need two stellar point guys who can create enough time and space between them, to set up a shot that gets through, with 2 guys in front and the 3rd going to the net. Oilers - don't have those 2 point guys or the kind of guys who can or will stand in front down low for any length of time.

So - in some ways Eakins is forced into what they are doing, but - geez, let's not outright laugh in the face of reasonable risk in the process.

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#38 David S
February 05 2014, 12:29PM
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Zarny wrote:

I love it!

MacT goes to a Marlies game and the Eakins haters completely wet their pants and lose their sh*t.

Get a grip already.

MacT probably isn't looking at principles of any deal. Gags and Gardiner have been linked for over a year now. It likely wouldn't be straight up. Back in the day GM's used to just pick names off a list as throw ins. Today they do a little more research.

The LA rumors involving a major piece the Oilers need is interesting. Voynov and Muzzin on the blueline would be likely targets for the Oilers. Clifford and King on F perhaps. Or maybe a guy like Stoll?

[UPDATE] Undocumented souces report Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was spotted ordering coffee from McDonalds this morning instead of his regular haunt, Tim Hortons.

Follow details and analysis of this stunning revelation throughout the day at TSN.ca, your exclusive source for all that matters leading up to this year's trade deadline.

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#39 Show me da Money
February 05 2014, 12:56PM
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Just saw Sportsnet's Hockeycentral at Noon. They had Mark Messier on as guest.

At the very end of the show they finally asked him what he was doing as an advisor in Edmonton. He advises.

How do you feel about your old friend Kevin Lowe being under the gun by fans in Edmonton? "Well, we all know you're judged on your results". And then he added but he led them to a Stanley Cup final a few years ago and many teams would give anything to be there. Huh?

Maybe he was advising MacT?

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#40 Zarny
February 05 2014, 01:33PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Gardiner skates with the Leafs, and not the Marlies.So why go to Ricco to see Gardiner when he is not there.

MaT, might be doing an upgrade on his MBA, and his thesis is on comparison of hot dogs at AHL arenas.

Like I said...a hypothetical trade for Gags & Gardiner would likely not be straight up.

Ergo, MacT goes to scout some Marlies to see if any catch his interest as an addition to said hypothetical trade.

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#41 STAN
February 05 2014, 05:14PM
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I'm certain Mac was misquoted when he said he would "make bold moves". I heard from the usually unreliable sources that he said "make Broll moves" or perhaps "make Bodie moves".

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#42 Frameworth Sport Marketing
February 07 2014, 08:49AM
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Frameworth is hosting a Public Signing with 6 Toronto Maple Leaf Players including Bernier, Bozak, and Rielly on February 22nd 2014. Check out Frameworth.com for details.

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#44 Dan
February 05 2014, 11:43AM
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Craig's son goes to Queen's, I bet he is just stopping by Toronto during a visit.

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#45 loweblows
February 05 2014, 12:12PM
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Maybe he is there to learn how to run a team like Harold Ballard used to. :(

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#46 vetinari
February 05 2014, 12:14PM
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MacT should be at as many NHL and AHL games as possible.... it's his job!

He also may be looking at an AHL swap of contracts (remember the deal with Florida a few weeks back). The Barons at least have an outside shot of making the playoffs so maybe this is more about them than the Oilers.

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#47 Tikkanese
February 05 2014, 12:29PM
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Maybe he's there to mock them in person for taking Cameron Abney.

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#48 madjam
February 05 2014, 12:32PM
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Maybe he is looking at a minor league job for himself if our team remains on bottom of league ? Maybe a sabbatical ?

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#49 ubermiguel
February 05 2014, 01:11PM
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Show me da Money wrote:

Just saw Sportsnet's Hockeycentral at Noon. They had Mark Messier on as guest.

At the very end of the show they finally asked him what he was doing as an advisor in Edmonton. He advises.

How do you feel about your old friend Kevin Lowe being under the gun by fans in Edmonton? "Well, we all know you're judged on your results". And then he added but he led them to a Stanley Cup final a few years ago and many teams would give anything to be there. Huh?

Maybe he was advising MacT?

Our Boy on the Bus just got thrown under the bus by Mess. Deservedly so. 2006 was 8 years ago.

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#50 Joy S. Lee
February 05 2014, 05:16PM
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40 Double D (tier 1 in waiting) wrote:

Our AHL team will soon be complete!

Actually, not so fast. They have a ways to go there, too, not kidding.

You'll recall, some of Kevin Lowe's earlier moves included having shared farm teams. Before that, no farm team at all.

No doubt this reflects the sheer genius of the man with 6 rings. Who needs a farm team, anyway?

Ok, I'm being sarcastic. The farm team is one of the most important things a team has, and we all know it. MacT knew it when he started trading down for more picks last year, too. Long way to go just yet...won't be finished until every player on the team is a truly potential call-up. At least that would be my gauge.

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