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Oilers hire ‘man of action’ MacTavish to do ‘bold things’

Apr 15, 2013, 1:20 PM EDT

Edmonton Oilers' MacTavish yells for referee in St Paul

Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe called his new general manager, Craig MacTavish, a “man of action” at today’s press conference announcing the “significant changes” in Edmonton.

MacTavish then called himself an “impatient guy” prepared to do “bold things” in order to “move the team forward in a rapid fashion.”

Translation: this summer in Edmonton could be a big one.

“The fact of the matter is, we are not where we want to be right now, nor where we should be,” said Lowe.

Lowe, at times getting defensive with reporters, said he relieved former general manager Steve Tambellini of his duties yesterday.

The Oilers also promoted former Columbus GM Scott Howson to senior vice president of hockey operations.

What kind of “bold things” MacTavish attempts will be the subject of much speculation. He said today that the club is in a position to “expose ourselves to some semblance of risk,” but when pressed for specifics, he was hesitant to say much more.

Might he trade one of his talented, young forwards — see: Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Jordan Eberle, and Sam Gagner — for help in other areas?

“We would part with those assets very begrudgingly,” said MacTavish.

  1. sharksfan754 - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    They PROMOTED Howson?! BAD CALL!

  2. raiderufan - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Taylor Hall – 21
    Jordan Eberle – 22
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – 20
    Nail Yakupov – 19
    Sam Gagner – 23
    Justin Schutlz – 22

    He’s got a great young core to work with…almost a full top 6 set of elite scoring forwards and a young center piece defensman….that said, I’m not sure what managment expected out of this club this year? Shortened season, a team of kids that would barely be out of juniors and suspect goalie play isn’t going to lead to consistency. They’re dangerously close. I’m not into the front lines of Oilers info but it seems breaking up front office consistency has a chance to really negatively affect this young team.

    • gospitfires - Apr 15, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      chicago had a cup under its belt before it had to start resigning all its young guns, the oil cant even make the playoffs with this roster and the clock is ticking, all these guys will want significant raises very soon. perhaps a average size skill guy with speed isnt what you need further on this roster. get some size, get some toughness, get some vets who can contribute. its time to put smith and horcroff to pasture.

  3. hockeyflow33 - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Definitely a smart move to promote the former Columbus GM. The Blue Jackets were always such a strong team with a tremendous track record with their draft and player development.

    (Please note the extremely thick sarcasm)

  4. tyler4richardson - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Oilers fans who support Kevin Lowe as the team president must really enjoy picking 1st overall. Out of anyone in upper management, he should have been fired first.

    • bbk1000 - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      The Rangers got Glen Sather…..we’ll trade you in a second….

  5. thehighcountrybear - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    First move…a new coach, book it!

    As for the ballyhooed to the point of nausea ‘young core’, they’re too small and too light and they bring offensive excellence not offset by durability our in-your-face toughness; not unusual in players bringing history of being pampered by people too willing to over look either short comings in grit or need to develop that grit.

    Who in core group is going to scare anyone outside an old folks home…? Only Yakupov, a Russian, shows signs of bred in the bone toughness…the rest will continue as prima donna pansies until they prove otherwise!

    Look for the so-called core to be dismantled…

    • blomfeld - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Nothing But a Bunch of Tinker Bells

      I concur with the sentiments of Highcountrybear. The Oilers should just order up 20 x sets of “attachable” wings and rename themselves the Edmonton Fairies! In all seriousness though, the liquidation of Tambellini was long overdue. That smarmy, disingenuous, manipulator did nothing during his tenure but sully the Oiler’s glorious legacy. In fact, going all the way back to his days here in Vancouver, I always found something about Tambellini’s presentation to be rather furtive and almost vermin-like? … same thing goes for that other snake oil salesman Tom Renney.

      Anyway, MacTavish is guaranteed to at least do a better job, even though they still have to somehow get “bigger & tougher” pretty quick. It’s not by coincidence you know that we Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings are also “physically” the biggest and toughest team in the league today, bar none. At any rate, I do wish the Oilers well in going forward and perhaps MacTavish will have them looking to eat more of their very own Alberta “Grade A” beef ! :)

  6. rpiotr01 - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    MacTavish Bold Move #1 – no more helmets. Makes players soft.

    • cardsandbluesforever - Apr 15, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      no helmets apparently also make you a lot better in the faceoff circle. when Mactavish was a Blue at the end of his career i dont think i ever saw him lose a faceoff playing for us.

  7. oquintero99 - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Lowe and Howson should have definitely been fired.

  8. zappxx - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    “MacTavish missed the 1984–85 season after being convicted of vehicular homicide, having struck and killed a young woman while he was driving under the influence of alcohol. MacTavish pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol in an accident the night of January 25, 1984, in Peabody, Massachusetts. Kim Radley, 26, of West Newfield, Maine, died four days later of injuries sustained in the crash. MacTavish spent a year in jail as punishment for this offence.”

    The only action this “man” should take is cleaning urinals with a toothbrush.

    • blomfeld - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      That’s fair comment friend, but at least MacTavish was charged and convicted. To this very day, Robert Wagner continues to prance about “free as a bird” despite having killed his wife Natalie Wood in 1981 “in concert” with Christopher Walken.

      • zappxx - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:25 PM


        I contend that one year in Walpole was an unacceptably light penalty relative to his crimes. Others may disagree.

        As a Kings fan since 1970, I will take this opportunity to thank you for your insights and entertaining commentary. In my view, the best part of last year’s Cup run was giving fans like yourself, Bob and Jim, and so many others the chance to enjoy a win that seemed so unlikely after decades of mediocrity.

      • blomfeld - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:32 AM

        Zappxx – Just back home from the golf course and now learning more of the tragedy there in Boston … it’s a somber day to say the least. But on a happier note, thanks for your kind words and good to hear that you’re one of us! Last year was truly magical for us LA King’s fans, especially those of us like you who’ve been supporting the cause over the long haul (ie: I’ve personally been a fan since ’73). Even today, I still get “tears of joy” whenever I watch footage of that final minute play out in game 6 against the Devils! It’s a wondrous thing for a fan to have his/her team “win it all” and it’s something which all “true” fans deserve to experience at least once in their lifetime’s.

        ps: with all kidding aside, I do firmly believe that we Kings have a shot to repeat …

  9. ray2013 - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    If Mac-T & Howson are the answer, I’d sure love to know what the question was.

  10. thehighcountrybear - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Craig MacTavish is a class act…I cannot see him doing anything but improving the Oilers. Anybody caught taking a shift off under his watch will ride pine; take a night off, plan on taking a bus to OKC.

    Oilers are instantly better as of today’s appointment, period!

    Insofar as his DUI, resulting deaths and year in jail, MacTavish paid the price society demanded of him…I can’t imagine the burden on heart and conscience will ever be relieved?

    Who among us does not shelter in heart and spirit, regret over a moment of careless stupidity we wish we could redeem? We can’t roll back time, but we can make amends in thought and deed…who knows what Craig has done in effort to balance the scales?

    To err is human after all, to forgive divine…

  11. ray2013 - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    I live in Edmonton. Talking with other people here, the general reaction was “WTH?” We knew Tambellini was done. Had they said, MacT as interim GM while we do an exhaustive GM search, then no problem. Gives MacT a little more experience while they find some experienced GM to improve the roster. But just to hand to a former Oiler with no track record of success as a GM makes little sense. How does the Owner Katz become a billionaire with a management approach like this? If he wants to hang out with Oilers from their Cup days, have an alumni dinner for them and hire an experienced GM to run the NHL team.

  12. bills4 - Apr 15, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Kevin Lowe is president of the Joy Luck club!

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