Tuesday, 22 December 2009

(Second) Last Post of 2009

Before the year began most Oilogosphere posters had the Oilers as placing out of the play-offs with some, myself included, positing that they had a chance IF everything (in my case: EVERYTHING) went right for them. There were a few who pegged this for a team that could, on its own merits, finish 6th to 8th but even those posters didn't sound too enthusiastic about it.

Kind of a sad thing when internet bloggers have a better grasp of the capabilities of a team than masters of the trade like Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini. Let me come right out and say this clearly:

I don't actually think most NHL general managers are all that good at their jobs.

A Qualification

The one qualification I will allow for being this: I don't always know what those jobs are. Some GM's live to serve their master and if their master values ticket sales over all else then expect big names, regardless of team fit or need, to feature prominently on the menu.

The same sort of mechanic will follow depending on the goal - whether the goal be a new arena or the maximization of profits or just being able to meet the budget.

So maybe a GM is, actually, good at their job - we just don't know what that job is all the time.

And How it Applies to the Oilers

One can laud the competitive instincts of Tambellini, Lowe and Katz all they want, it doesn't really matter, competitive instinct doesn't mean dick when two lack capability and the third has other agendas in play.

For the record - while I believe the Oilers may have lost money last year I also believe they would only have done so in an accounting sense (wherein Katz is using the dollars generated by the team to pay himself back the purchase price of the team thus generating a 'loss' by the team) and in my world, only a weasel pulls that trick with a straight face.

There is, absolutely, nothing wrong with such an approach. Just don't try to tell me that fielding a winning team is your priority. Apparently the priorities list like so:

1. new arena
2. recoup investment through team generated cash flow
3. field a winning team

Back To Point

Spend enough years watching the NHL management teams at work and two things come quickly to the fore:

a. to become a GM in the NHL you generally have to be part of the family to start
b. as noted, most of these guys should not be GMs

Look. When I see a guy like Dawes, who had some very good underlying numbers the last few years, sign with a team, WITHOUT obvious holes that he would fill, for minimal money, at the end of the offseason, then it is clear that many of these guys don't know jack shit about putting teams together.

And you see that every year.

There are some good GMs out there. We know who they are. We also know who are not.

Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini are not good NHL general managers.

The Runs

Had a quick case of the runs recently. Luckily, as we know these things go, the runs usually - no pun intended - run their course fairly quickly and the body recovers. Painful and inconvenient? Yes. But only for a short while.

The Oiler will have another good run or two in them. In the long run this will not be a good thing. The team needs a rebuild in the worst way but I fear that won't happen with these jokers in charge.

For 2010 I predict the only runs you are guaranteed to continue to see are these:

1. The Oilers won't make the play-offs
2. Lowebellini will not turn this team around
3. Those inherent in my sentence structure


Have a great evening and a wonderful holiday season everyone.


Black Dog said...

Sad but true.

Best of the season to your family.

Scott Reynolds said...

We can only hope that the result of the low finish is a change (hopefully for the better) in upper management of the hockey club. Unfortunately, I figure Tambellini will get one more year no matter the finish this season and will feel that he needs to make the playoffs to keep his job (and he'd probably be right) and do further damage to the long-term future of the team.

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