Thursday, July 20, 2006


Much to the surprise of absolutely no one, the Oilers officially announced today that Craig MacTavish has accepted a four-year contract extension with the team. For some reason, this annoucement was made this morning at Edmonton's incredibly inconvenient International Airport, which, for our unfamiliar out of town readers, is akin to hosting a press conference on the highest bough of B.C.'s oldest Douglas Fir. Did they actually want people to attend this thing?

Anyhow, MacT — pictured here telling Jussi to go stop some pucks — is a players' coach with good motivational skills, endless patience for young talent and a winning record, and as such is obviously a good fit for the organization. Four years may seem like an awful long time to keep a coach around, but I agree with Black Dog's theory that such long coaching contracts will become a trend in a league where rosters are, sadly, becoming way more transitory. Maintaining a solid coaching staff provides stability and predictability, so if you've got a winner, keep 'em.

I've always been happy with MacT's work (well, for the past two years, anyhow), though surely we can all agree that getting results from the powerplay is the one area in which he needs to find a way to improve. Grabia's Gilgameshian epic, On Powerplay, seems to come to this conclusion, though admittedly, all those charts and analysis make a reactionary, overly-emotional chestpounder like me kind of dizzy. Check it out on BoA here. Andy, you're the hardest working blogger I know — which probably also mean you're the laziest worker at your actual job, but for that, we thank you.


mudcrutch79 said...

I just wanted to say that I agree with BDHS' idea as well. There's a ridiculous amount of NHL turnover; what he's saying makes sense to me.

Oh, and the picture on the front of my site is better.

Harvey the Hound said...

I'm scared

Alana said...

Whoooooo! MacT is my second biggest Oilers crush, and he's back, baby! Fuck Pronger - we've got a weird goalie and a funny coach. OILERZZZZ!

PS: What took them so long to renew his damn contract?

Andy Grabia said...

Thanks Chris! I admit, the charts even make me dizzy. I felt stoned half the time, writing that stuff.

As for the coach, I don't really think the years mean much. Coaches always leave or get fired in the middle of their contracts. I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed all four years, but neither would I be surprised if he was gone in two.

Anonymous said...

Well, i agree with the move. And i think MacT will continue to grow as a coach. He's not perfect, but he has the rings that demand respect and he proved he knows how to match up during the playoffs. In the end, a good playoff coach who can win with an 8th place team is more to me than a coach who can motivate that team to finish 4th but loses in the playoffs cuz he can't do matchups. Yee Haw!


namflashback said...

The real testament to his effectiveness was the way the players bought his playoff game plans. This is substantially a similar team and players we all gnashed our teeth at throughout the last 2 regular seasons.

I sure hope some of that intensity burned into the players psychic reflexes. Either that or that MacT's rep in the room is now such that the players take less slack days.

Now if he can bring the team back to ES glory (a probability given the depth, a liability given some of the youth) and get a far more creative PP going (please watch some tape of Nashville) you got something going.

go MacT go.

Anonymous said...

No wonder we signed MacT!

Chris! said...

Also, Bill Moores is doing an incredible C3P0 impersonation.

Anonymous said...

Lookit that first line score!