Monday, June 11, 2012
In an ironic twist just a few days after an extension for Steve Tambellini caused much laughter (amongst non Oiler fans - as a buddy of mine remarked, he doesn't know all of the ins and outs of the Oilers but giving a guy an extension after finishing 30th, 30th and 29th didn't seem something you could defend at all) and anger (amongst Oiler fans) it has become quite clear that the end game is now in place when it comes to our man Tambo.
Craig MacTavish is back with the Oilers.
Darcy McLeod, who goes by Woodguy, has commented a few times (including this past weekend at Lowetide's site) that Katz is buddies with many of the Boys on the Bus and it was his understanding (paraphrasing here) that the idea was that Lowe and MacT were to be given free reign to run the club some day.
When the club fell apart in the early days under Katz a scapegoat had to be made and so MacT was cut loose. Perhaps he was offered a role upstairs, perhaps he refused this role because he went back to school, earning an MBA. Then he battled cancer. His name was mentioned as a possibility in many discussions when coaching vacancies came up but his illness precluded these, one would think, and once he regained his health one wonders if the die was already cast for his return. Certainly one would think that if one had to choose between coaching and management one would take the latter path, especially when MacTavish already has seen how poor management can undermine any coach's ability to win games.
What does it all mean?
1/ Tambellini is next to go. Even without MacT's arrival this was the case but if this year, like the last six, goes off the rails, then Tambo's will be the head on the post outside of the city gates within the year.
2/ MacT is the GM in waiting. I have absolutely no doubt about this. Apparently he will have some say in the selection of the next coach. One might guess that he will 'recommend' the final hire. It will be his first coach in all but name.
3/ There were many who believed Lowe was pulling the strings all along ('Steve makes recommendations') - I'm not a big conspiracy guy but more and more I do think that Tambo is just another voice in the room here.
4/ The positive is if you think Tambo is lousy (and I do) then you can take heart in the fact that he will soon be gone.
5/ The negative is if you think Lowe is pulling the strings (and I do, to a certain extent) then know that Oiler fans will suffer for many years longer. Don't think so? Bob Pulford.
I think a lot of fans like this move. I do although I would feel a whole lot better if I knew Lowe were not going to be involved once MacT takes charge. MacT is a pretty smart guy and knows about a balanced roster, something Lowe certainly does not. He is educated, which is a nice change of pace. He is articulate and while plenty of folks didn't love him as a coach I think a) he still has a lot of goodwill amongst the fan base and b) after Quinn and Renney failed many saw that maybe MacT was not the problem after all
I think he will be a good GM. If Lowe were out of the picture I'd feel a whole lot better about it though.
Posted by Black Dog at 1:50 PM