History of Change – by Horpensky

By , December 28, 2009 12:01 am

As the Oilers have fallen 6 straight in a row, fans are screaming for CHANGE CHANGE! We haven’t done anything in the past few years! CHANGE! Well, the players may not have changed, but the organization as a whole has actually been dynamically changing the past few years, from the top down.

July 2, 2008
Daryl Katz is announced as the new official owner of the Edmonton Oilers.
This happened only just one and a half years ago. This was a sign of a new era. The Oilers now have a single owner with lots of money, were able to spend to the cap now, take on front loaded contracts, and be able to compete financially. With seemingly unlimited money, this changes the way not only how the entire organization pays players, but more importantly they can spend more on the ‘grinders’ of management, the scouts, coaching staff, development team, capologist, negotiators, etc.

July 31, 2008
Steve Tambellini named GM of the Oilers
Now with the owner change, the next guy in line is the GM. With Kevin Lowe’s feuds and offer sheets, it’s no secret not a lot of GM’s will be willing to deal with the Oilers anymore. Just about one month later, Kevin Lowe was replaced with Steve Tambellini. This brought about a new vision for the Oilers, the guy who makes it happen.

April 15, 2009

Craig MacTavish is relieved of his duties as head coach of the Oilers
Following one dismal season under Tambellini, Craig MacTavish was fired. In order for a coach to be effective, the players need to listen to him. It was clear he had lost the room, and change was needed. Pat Quinn and Tom Renny were both brought onboard to attempt to right the ship. I don’t believe Craig MacTavish’s system is better, or Quinn’s system is better, but the primary reason they were brought in to gain new respect from the players. The system comes secondary, and the thing we want to see is, do we have the right players to play the system?

With all these changes on the top level, I believe it isn’t done yet, and the next guys in line after the coach, is the leadership core. The coach can only do so much to get the team going, and listening to Quinn night after night talking about the guys jumping ship, I can’t help but think the leaders aren’t strong enough to keep the team onboard when things start going south. So who are the leaders? I truly believe that you have to be an on ice leader to lead. When you’re playing Calgary, guys like Gagner, Brule, Cogs, are crapping their pants at the thought of playing against Iginla, Bouwmeester, and Phaneuf. They’ll look to their own leaders to go and score a goal, make smart decisions, make great passes, and make important decisions to get them back into the game when they’re down. When you see your own leaders doing this, it really motivates the rest of the team to follow suit rather than jumping ship. I know it’s only been 3 months, but I see this season as an evaluation season for the leadership under the new coach, and at this rate, new changes should be coming later in the year.

So, looking back in the past one and a half years, the organization has changed a lot in that time, from the Owner, then to the GM, and then the coach. Who knows who else has been hired on the side in the development/scouting department, but we seemed to have gotten a lot better as we drafted guys like Eberle and MPS, and development of Potulny take a huge leap. This team has some bright spots ahead and already has gone through some massive changes that we don’t see on ice. It has only been 1.5 years, but it seems like forever that Tambo has done jack all even though the organization has been changing as a whole to fit a more sustainable future. As fans, it’s easy to say waive so and so, trade this guy, sign that guy, but we aren’t Tambo, and who knows what goes on in his office every day. I do believe more change will come to the organization, and this time the be the guys on the ice will be next.

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