More MacT Gold….

By , May 24, 2013 10:11 am
I just keep becoming more and more infatuated with this guy...

I just keep becoming more and more infatuated with this guy…

Tencer has a summary of the MacT phone interview with fans from yesterday. Read here.

I absolutely love that he was as honest as he was about some things, namely the goalie situation, and to an extent, Shawn Horcoff. I’ve always liked Horcoff, but I can’t help but think he’s replaceable with some names out there. That would give a fair bit more salary for the team to work with too. I hate to say it, because I’ve always been a big supporter of his.

The big thing for me in that interview was recognizing the goalie issue we have here. Pre-MacT, we would have heard all about how good Khabi was for us the past couple years, and how Dubnyk is blossoming into a great goaltender. However, MacT said exactly what I’ve been seeing, and what I wanted to hear…. Khabi is great in the games he played, lately, but the fact is, he’s broken. He can’t play enough games to be a consideration for our backup. That’s a huge concern. Dubnyk is looking better each year, but even in him, there is room for improvement.

I think MacT will look for a #2 for Dubnyk, but he mentioned they’d be looking for AT LEAST a couple goaltenders. So, you could take that as meaning that they’re shoring up the goalies in Oklahoma too, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to land someone who could push for starter here. I still say that Mike Smith is the best guy for this job, although he won’t come cheap. But the one aspect of Dubnyk’s game I can’t tolerate isn’t the “one bad goal a game he gives up”… it’s that he’s an awful puck handler. This kills our breakout. Having a guy like Mike Smith back there firing the puck up will speed up our break out immensely. Our skill players are only going to score goals if they get out of our zone… Dubnyk hinders that, Mike Smith facilitates that.

There is more to a breakout than just the goaltender, obviously.. we need the right defense to help in that regard too. But I think if you look at this team player by player, you are almost fooled. You’ll say “well Horcoff isn’t bad is he? Ryan Jones should be doing better… Ryan Smyth was good once… why can’t he work? Corey Potter has showed flashes of brilliance, and isn’t a bad 6/7 guy… etc, etc.”. Simply put, there are plenty of guys who look “good enough” on the surface. And I think we won’t necessarily looking for giant improvements in certain areas, but rather minor improvements all across the board, save for possibly our bottom six. Every little change is going to help in some regard, I think. If an area can be improved, I think MacTavish should put the effort in, in doing so. This is why I think picking up a guy like Mike Smith would really help here. He might not be all that much better in net than Dubnyk, but when you add up all those extra times he helps the D break out of the zone quicker, coupled with the minor tweaks across the board, it could equal one giant improvement.

5 Responses to “More MacT Gold….”

  1. Metal&Oil says:

    I’ve never been a Horc hater ether and have always blamed the man that gave him that ridicules salary, not the player.

    Now just may be the time to move on and buy him out. It’s an attractive time since he can be booted without any cap penalty and since the amount of money due to Horcs is less then his cap hit it makes it less of a tough pill to swallow on Katz’s side of things. It is time for Hall to take the reins of captaincy.

  2. oilinblood says:

    Its been a while, I hope everyone is healthy and in good spirits for next year (board members).

    I cant agree more with you Rack on pretty much everything you stated. MacT has always had great intelligence and hockey IQ, as well as honesty and humor. Alot of what he said is obvious to people who know the sport but to hear him talk about it candidly is a breath of fresh air (big difference from Tambo).
    On the Horcoff scenario; most people on the board here know i was a fan, then changed to simply a defender who based his defense on pure logic, and occassionally -this past season- went off on him after bad games. I still think when Horcoff gets injured you see how weak the pivot position truly is on this team. That says alot considering this past year was likely our strongest at that position in the last 4?-5?. I mean that position has been atrocious.
    The impression i am getting from a couple MacT and Lowe comments and also guys like Tencer and Matheson is that Horc is a professional and pushes the emotions of the losses and failures in to the back of his mind so he can get a clean slate for the next day. Unfortunately; if you dont face things, as hard of a worker as he is, its going to linger back there. MacT I think is finally starting to say that Horc might be best served in being bought out. I think its true. All 3 parties; unemotional organization of the Oilers, Horcoff himself, and the human emotional peers that respect him, all need to see that its likely unhealthy to continue with this arrangement.
    Also, as you already stated this is a year where a buy out on that contract would make complete sense. I expect him to be bought out… to put it bluntly i think he looks tired of being an oiler and getting tapped on the back. He says one thing, and works hard but it almost feels like a guy who is doing everything because of strong work ethic and because he doesnt give-up… but he doesnt have the emotion and i dont think he will get it back. He needs a fresh start, far from the Oilers.
    Goaltending- Dubnyk isnt a number 1. As of right now Dubnyk has shown nothing to say he is a number 1. Like MacT said, If you have to ask the question you already know the answer. Is this an NHL team or not? It needs a starter. MacT knows this from vast experience.
    Mike Smith is a decent option but I think he will be looking to cash in on his stats. I certainly dont think he is as good as those inflated numbers in a Tippett snooze-fest system pad him to appear. I do think he is a better goalie than Dube and a better puck mover hands down. The issue with this guy will be price. He is likely looking to cash in big time. I just dont see it working out. Personally i thought i saw alot of ego out of Smith this year too. He doesnt have the talent to back up his visions of himself IMHO.(HOWEVER– if you sign Mike Smith, i would think you are then moving Dube. There is no way Dube stays with that contract. That is proven starter money and complete incompetence from prior management. That and the Hemsky contract are comical in their insanity. Terrible business decisions.)

    I liked MacTs quote on the draft. If they move the pick to move down, it sounds like MacT will need a player who the Oilers want in the lineup opening night. In my opinion thats the only time you let someone move up… not even for another draft pick. This team isnt supposed to be rebuilding anymore.

    I think alot of Gagners future hinges on whether he goes to arbitration. If he goes to arbitration he will be traded before the season starts while his stock is as high as it has ever been. If he doesnt they could get a decent deal in place. He still has alot of lackings..but Patrick Kane does as well.

    Just so everyone is on the same page. no oiler goalie should be making more than Niemi’s 3,8, unless they can beat his resume of a stanley cup+++, and have vezinas, and be in his prime playing years. The fiscal insanity is going to end.

  3. Racki says:

    Hey OIB.. good stuff.

    I never thought Horcoff would be bought out until recent interviews with MacT.. now it really sounds that way. I think it is a good idea for both sides, much like I think it’s a good idea for Hemsky and for the Oilers to part ways too. Interesting to hear Craig Simpson echo those thoughts (from Oilers Now Twitter account): “Simpson thinks it’s time for both Hemsky and Horcoff to move on. Says Hemsky should have been traded last season.” I’d say it should have happened in 2010-11, and would have, but Hemmer got hurt near the deadline.

    As far as Smith, I agree with you and others that he isn’t worth huge cash. I think he’d be a big improvement on Dubnyk though, but the amount of money he’ll be demanding is likely going to be regretted by anyone that pays it. And yes, goalie salaries are getting way out of hand.

    I’m starting to fear just how many holes this team has. Really we should rebuff the entire bottom six… Nuge will miss part of the start of the year.. we could move Gagner… we need improved goaltending… we could use another solid d man.. that’s a lot of work for a new GM.

  4. john says:

    Very refreshing to hear most of what I have been thinking the past year or two is right up the same alley as MacT is saying. Yes getting rid of the dead wood could open up a lot of holes throughout the lineup but that’s what mangement gets paid the big bucks to deal with! Adding a few good 2nd & 3rd liners like Horton & Stalberg, trading for a top 2 & 4 Dman, & getting a Mike Smith type goalie could go a long way towards putting our speedy skill guys into a position to finally succeed on a significant level.

  5. Alan-NottsUK says:

    signed a left hand puck moving D with a bit of crazy to him.

    apparently he can play either side, and according to some people would have won the russian ‘norris’ if it existed.

    +2 in the 8-3 loss to the US at the worlds, and is looking good for a roster spot at sochi.

    if there are no more moves made with the D then I guess

    Smid – Petry
    N. Schultz – Belov
    Klefbom – J. Schultz

    also from random youtube clips looks like he’s going to give Yakupov some competition when it comes to celebrations.

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