Wednesday, 30 December 2009

(New) Last Post of 2009

My apologies to those who thought I was done for the year.

Blame Scott. His response to my 'Last' (now '(Second) Last') post of the year got me to thinking; first, his post verbatim:

"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."

Mostly right Scott.

There are three possible ways for Tambellini to keep his job longer than the end of this year (in no particular order):

1. Katz mulligans Tambellini for Lowe's team build and his own (Katz's) sanctioning of Tambellini's management strategy; major changes could take place but this would be the put-up or shut-up year for Tambellini and Jagr (you heard me)

i.e. everyone agrees it was a f^&ck-up by all and Tambellini gets one more year to turn it around; note that this

2. The team goes on enough of a tear in the new year that the team sacrifices some young talent (not named Eberle or MPS) in order to secure enough veteran talent to make a run that takes them into, or just barely out of, the play-offs

i.e. this cluster-f^&k that we call a roster gets another year older but not another year better and Tambellini will dodge the bullet for one more year

3. Tambellini starts the rebuild; in this case the blame falls on Lowe's team build and all agree the team needs a rebuild. Moreau, Staios, Souray and others head out the door while Horcoff goes in for surgery and gets the 'C' for 2010-11

i.e. what should have started in 2006-07 (Pronger) and must have started in 2007-08 (Smyth) will finally start now and Tambellini will get to do it


The problem with these scenarios are three fold:

1. in each case Tambellini, and Lowe, get to keep their jobs

2. the obvious scenario is the third

3. in the case of third scenario Tambellini, and Lowe will get far more than one more year in which to produce results

I may not think much of Lowe and Tambellini's managerial skills but they aren't stupid people.

-- Lowe was smart enough to get out of the way just before it became obvious to joe-everyfan (not just the Oilogosphere) that he was the problem and

-- Tambellini was smart enough to pull the trigger on MacTavish while the paint used to draw the face was still fresh

Think about that for a second. The rebuild is becoming obvious. So much so that it may be impossible, even for those with the hubris that is the calling card of Oilers team management, to avoid.

Do you know any GM's who only get one year to rebuild a team? When it is universally acknowledged as being one?

I don't believe there are any such names out there.

And that is the problem.

Lowebellini will start the rebuild, be lauded for seeing the light and for being courageous enough to do so - despite the rabid fan base the Oilers have - and it will be years before their failings will be found out.


You don't always get what you want.

And sometimes when you do, it isn't what you need.

I think this team needs a seachange in its management group. If they take the path of the rebuild, something I have wanted them to do for a while now, I won't get to see it.

For years.

My great fear is that they try to short-circuit the whole thing. Draft top-3 this year and then spend all their money on Jagr, Redden and whoever else they can max Cap on. My call? It won't work... it may get me the management turnover I want but it will set this team far, far back of where a proper rebuild would take them.

We are about to see our very own, homegrown, version of Mike Milbury in action. Draft well and then shit the bed, rinse, repeat.



Have a great evening everyone. And a wonderful new year :-)


misfit said...

Have you heard the "two letters" joke where the new leader of some country was given two letters from his predecessor. He was told that if he found himself in a hopeless situation he could not escape, to open the first letter. And if he once again found himself in another situation he couldn't escape, to open the second.

So when he found himself in such a situation early on, he decided to open the first letter, which read "Blame everything on me". So he did, and everything was fine for a while until he found himself in a similar situation which he couldn't find a way out of. At that point he opened the second letter, and it read "sit down and write two letters".

Tambellini will get himself another year at least by opening that first letter. I expect a rebuild this year starting at the deadline. Unfortunately, this is the guy who had all of last year to evaluate the team, and decided that all it needed was a new coach, a more famous goalie, and Mike Comrie. I suspect he'll be opening the 2nd letter before long.

YKOil said...

Yep. It is a great story. I remember it from The West Wing and from a few other spots as well. There is also a Three Letters version:

1. last guys fault

2. circumstances fault

3. write three letters

I do have to say that this was, I think, the most depressing post I have ever written here.

As much as I don't think Lowebellini will provide Cup caliber management I also think that, if they do enter the rebuild, they will get several more years out of it all under the guise of:

"how can you blame them - all rebuilding teams are bad"

i.e. repeated use of letter #2 of 3. How many years was MacLean in Columbus and Milbury in New York?

Too many. But the owners liked and trusted them too.

misfit said...

Lowebellini will start the rebuild, be lauded for seeing the light and for being courageous enough to do so - despite the rabid fan base the Oilers have - and it will be years before their failings will be found out.

I must've missed this part when I first read your entry, but it's exactly how I see things going. Zero faith in this management group.

Personally, I don't believe this team needs to sell everything off and spend the next 3-4 years in the NHL toilet rebuilding. I still think this team could be competative now if they can add some NHL quality depth and adress the PK.

But I also think this team is set up pretty well for the future as well. Gagner is a gem, Eberle and MPS are legit prospects worth getting excited about, and Gilbert and Smid are effective players now with their best years well ahead of them. We'll be getting a very high pick this year by the looks of things which should help too.

Scott Reynolds said...

Good post YKO. At this point I don't think the second option is an option. They've waited too long, they're too far behind and they just aren't good enough. I agree that the third option should be the obvious one but I doubt it goes that way. You alluded to the fact that since the Pronger trade they've repeatedly tried the first option and I don't see this summer being any different, especially if attendance continues to wane as the season goes on. The main goal for the next couple of years is likely a new arena and that will be a tough sell when the current arena has empty seats and the team stinks. I think they tank this season, try to move some contracts and go for a "reload" in the off-season with the goal of getting this club into the playoffs next season. If Tambellini misses again, he's toast. From a hockey perspective the timing is right for a rebuild (has been for a while) but from a business perspective there's a short term need to not be awful and I think the business goal wins out.

Black Dog said...

Late to the party, great (though depressing) stuff.