Friday, January 21, 2022

My choice for the next transition coach

Now hear me out. It’s a crazy idea and I’m just a Joe Blow with hopes and dreams for a team I love like the rest of you. No inside info here. 

The Oilers need a name that we know can get the best out of players. He’s vocal, he’s demanding, he expects hard work and grit. He knows how to win with marginal players and this current team isn’t marginal. 

Katz would sign off on this move 100%.  Ken Holland is more than familiar with him due to Team Canada connections. He was an integral part of the Oilers dynasty back in the day. 

That man? Craig MacTavish. 

He came back to the franchise as an assistant coach back in 1999-00, before he took over the reigns as the head coach in 2000-01. His last season was with the Oilers in 2008-09. The team was 38-35-9 for 88 points that year. Missing the playoffs in the last 3 seasons before he was fired April 15, 2009 with one year remaining on his deal. It was his 10th year coaching the fabled Oilers. He was a good coach and I enjoyed they way he ran the bench. MacT was always working with a limited roster due to money restraints from the Oilers Entertainment Group, so he was always working with a disadvantage. 

We all remember the cup run of 2006. But my reasons for wanting him as the next transitional coach isn’t because of that cup run, but it obviously helps. MacT was tough as nails. He expected the best out of his players and if he didn’t get it, they rode the pine. It was as simple as that. Play the system or don’t play at all. 

MacT was a breed of his own. He was an old school person but seemed to adapt to the newer NHL style, no matter what it was. He understood that he needed to adapt accordingly to the team(s) they faced. Play wide open, or play the trap. He did what was in the teams best interest to win games with the limited skill he had to deploy. If he had a better roster in those years, he could have done better then just the 2006 run and also what the stats for that 10 years suggest. 

He coached a few different versions of Team Canada and did pretty well. His last kick at the bucket was the 2019 Spengler cup where he lead the team to a gold medal. 

His year in the KHL wasn’t very good. Not sure the reasons for his departure, but his coach style simply didn’t translate well over there. 

If the Oilers fire Tippett soon, Craig MacTavish is the guy I would look at to finish off this season before a search for a new permanent coach takes place. He’s the most logical choice right now. He would be my go to guy so they don’t have to disturb the good things happening in Bakersfield. 

MacT is the stop gap. What do you think? 


  1. They need a coach that can coach the forwards particularly McDavid and Draisaitl. Our stars are getting forced to outside, boxed by two or three players and they still hang on to the puck and get punished into the boards or knocked down for good measure. When they slow up at half boards they get dominated. If they do not have the speed advantage in transition they gave to go pro, smart dump, take the body, then work from there. If teams want to double or triple team below goal line then fine feed the point and for gosh sakes go hard to the net for rebounds not half hearted.
    Basic give and go, and change of pace shooting quick release through screens as Nurse did last game to beat Bobrovksy clean are all options they have forgotten about. Take the puck duster away. They need to trust Bison King with the puck again and the quick give and go is one ofJesse's top skills besides his huge effort EVERY GAME!They really miss Nuge's creativity. Tie Kassian's butt to the bench with the same rope he drags the piano around with for 1/2 or 3/4 of the game. He needs to earn his 3.3M and get in on the forecheck faster consistently and take the body to wear down the oppositition defence. In the last two periods Ekblad and Gudris punished the stars and supporting cast and took little to no body from the Oilers.

  2. never would have thought of MacT, but you could have something there

  3. I'm surprised the woke movement hasn't caught up with MacT yet ref his departure from Boston as a player. That said as a hockey move it could be great. I would want to give Woodcraft (sp?) first Dobbs or at least tell him he's head coach after the season. I think they need a shake up, Tipp should go.

  4. MacTavish is not the answer. Knowing the Oilers penchant for doing "extensive analysis" on hiring they'd probably end up removing the interim tag and annointing him head coach next year. Hard pass.

  5. MacTavish coaching years has not been spectacular and he has not coached in quite a few years. He would not be my choice period. We need a younger coach with a good resume.


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