Oilers GM MacTavish Spotted In Toronto


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.

  • Brad 21

    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.

    • 24% body fat

      Has anyone met him? confirmed him as a legitamate source? Verified his account? Know he is even and adult and not some 12 year old?

      Good for a laugh and someone to tell shove it. Not good for credible info and rumours.

  • Kr55

    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.

  • Newj

    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.

    • Brad 21

      Anything is possible, I mean there have been lots of rumblings from all over about the Oil and the kings talking trade and from credible sources. Maybe as part of the big trade LA is interested in a player the leafs have. Maybe it will be a three way trade. If one of the young guns is included then there is likely a lot of pieces to the puzzle because I don’t see MacT being interested in 1st round picks.

  • Zarny

    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!

    • S cottV

      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.

      • Zarny

        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.

  • Word to the Bird

    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.

  • A-Mc

    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?

  • Reg Dunlop

    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.

  • 24% body fat

    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.

  • Spydyr

    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.

  • Spydyr

    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!

    • Zarny

      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.

      • Rob...

        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.

        • Zarny

          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.

          • Zarny

            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.