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JR Ewing

Elliote Friedman: "Oilers an organization on edge"

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Elliotte Friedman had a Monday afternoon radio hit on

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, and was asked about “coach watch” and if he thought Todd McLellan’s job could be in imminent danger.

 

“I don’t think it’s just coach watch, I think everybody in that organization is on pins and needles right now,” said Friedman. “And I’ve said this before. Right from the start of this year, it was on edge in Edmonton. I just think that it has gone away at certain times. They lost their first two games - it was crazy intense for two games into the season. They kind of righted the ship. They’ve been very streaky, and every time they go on one of the bad streaks, people tell me the intensity of the heat just ramps up again.

 

“It certainly felt that way last week. And then they went and they got that big win against Montreal, the 6-2 game that could have been 12-2 if Niemi hadn’t stood on his head.

 

“Well then you lose that game to (the Flames), and then you lose again to Vegas - and that was a really ugly loss last night, there’s absolutely no doubt about that.

 

“What I think you’re looking at here is every time the heat goes on the coach - there’s no question about that, yes. But the fact is that I think it goes deeper than that. I think that everybody in that organization is looking over their shoulders.

 

“A couple of years ago, they started looking internally at, ‘Do we run our organization efficiently,’ and they’ve made a lot of changes behind the scenes. The kind of stuff we don’t see on the outside. People in the business side, the people whose work doesn’t necessarily impact the hockey decisions. And it’s put the whole organization on edge. And I think that has continued now over to the hockey side. I know that a lot of us are talking about McLellan, but I think it goes a lot deeper than that. I don’t know too many people that feel that safe there right now.”

 

Friedman hadn’t specifically mentioned Peter Chiarelli by name, so the Insider was asked about the general manager.

 

“Like I said, I think it’s just about everybody in the hockey ops department,” noted Friedman. “I think the only guy who’s probably 100 percent safe, if that, would probably be Gretzky. But other than that, I think everybody there is looking at it like, ‘This organization has made a lot of off-ice change. It’s not working yet on the ice.’

 

“What’s fortunate for Edmonton is that the division is so bad, you can right yourself and still do okay and still have a chance to make the playoffs.

 

“But look - you guys just talked about Rittich. You guys are making the switch. Rittich is going to be your goalie now for awhile. He won the other night.

He was very good. He stopped three breakaways, and he’s going to get the net tonight against Vegas. It’s his opportunity to run with it.

 

“I think we’re going to see that in Edmonton too. Koskinen, tough loss on Saturday but generally he’s outplayed Talbot. I think you’ve got to give him a chance to run with it. You’re going into a hornet’s nest tomorrow night. San Jose is starting to go, and I think he’s the guy who gives you a better chance to win. I think that’s what you have to do, and see if he can build you some momentum.

 

“But I think overall it’s an organization on edge, and it’s certainly that way today. I mean, if something had happened today, I don’t think anybody would have been surprised.”

 

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A series of bad moved have doomed the Oilers

 

Drafting Nail number one. Granted it was a poor draft class but still he bombed and is in the argument as the worst number one ever.

 

Hall for Larsson even up.

 

Eberle for Strome

 

Reinhart for what turned out to be Barzal

 

Giving up on Schultz instead of defining a role

 

The Lucic signing

 

Constant rotation of other organizations lower end rejects such as Rattie, Kassian and Chiasson expecting them to play bigger roles than they are ever going to be capable of

 

drafting Puljujarvi ahead of Tkachuk, Nylander or Keller who went right behind

 

so bad drafting, even worse developing, questionable decision making as for roster management, trading players out on a whim, horrible signings and hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with other teams rejects which happens but rarely. 

 

McDavid and Draisatl could be playing with Hall, Eberle, Barzal,  Galchenyuk (if taken ahead of Yakupov) and RNH, Schultz could and should be in the middle pair bringing veteran presence to the defense instead of Larsson who I like but who would not have been needed if they hadn't given up on Schultz at about the time he finally completed the difficult learning curve of an nhl defenseman.

 

  This organization needs a complete overhaul, management wise. They have very few actual movable pieces at this point, they need to hold their picks and draft well and probably make a splash in free agency but it is looking pretty bad. Frustrating when you have a generational talent who will keep you from picking at the bottom of the draft singlehanded but the talent around him is not playoff caliber.

 

 

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The one word I would use to describe the Oilers is this 

 

REACTIVE

 

Schultz isn't developing fast enough, dump him. Hall has struggled, dump him. Eberle has a poor playoff run, dump him. Then they look around and realize they have nothing left and overpay for a Russell and Lucic. Bad organizations do that

 

PROACTIVE is what great organizations are described as. Take the Penguins, Neal is developing a bad rep, trade him for essentially the same player at less money in Hornqvist. Kessel is available, get the Leafs to take part of the salary. Make it an open secret that Fleury is a goner to the Knights but keep him around to mentor Murray as long as possible. Add Schultz and Oleksaik and hand them off to the d-man whisperer. 

 

 reactive creates chaos. Proactive creates winners.

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Start off by dumping Chiarelli, a move that should have taken place last April. Let the pegs fall.

 

 

 

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Welp, looks like they fired McLellan and hired Hitchcock.

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    • 3
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      A series of bad moved have doomed the Oilers   Drafting Nail number one. Granted it was a poor draft class but still he bombed and is in the argument as the worst number one ever.   Hall for Larsson even up.   Eberle for Strome   Reinhart for what turned out to be Barzal   Giving up on Schultz instead of defining a role   The Lucic signing   Constant rotation of other organizations lower end rejects such as Rattie, Kassian and
    • 1
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      The one word I would use to describe the Oilers is this    REACTIVE   Schultz isn't developing fast enough, dump him. Hall has struggled, dump him. Eberle has a poor playoff run, dump him. Then they look around and realize they have nothing left and overpay for a Russell and Lucic. Bad organizations do that   PROACTIVE is what great organizations are described as. Take the Penguins, Neal is developing a bad rep, trade him for essentially the same player at less mone
    • 1
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      I thought Hitchock was retired and done for coaching.
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