SportsExactly What Makes Keith Gretzky The Most Qualified Candidate To Become The Next Oilers GM?
Which NHL teams are the biggest letdowns of 2018-19?
Some NHL teams entered the 2018-19 season with some lofty expectations. While hefty expectations aren’t rare and can be difficult to achieve, four teams have failed so badly that they’re worth highlighting. Here are the NHL’s biggest letdowns so far this season. Florida Panthers – 65 points Florida entered the season desperate to make the playoffs after missing out in 2017-18 despite recording 96 points. This year hasn’t been better. The Panthers have taken a big step back by winning just 28 of their first 62 games and sit nine points back of the final Wild Card spot with less than 20 games left to play.
Many candidates, but the focus seems to be awfully high on the interim candidate who’s already here. Why?
It’s been a little more than seven weeks since the Edmonton Oilers let go of Peter Chiarelli midway through a loss to the Detroit Red Wings. The Oilers would pick up their 27th loss of the season (their 24th in regulation). Stacked up against 23 total wins at that point, it was way past Peter Chiarelli’s shelf life.
The guy to watch the mess in the interim? Keith Gretzky. That doesn’t seem to be too bad a thing. Figure that he’s got two months and change at the GM’s helm, don’t steer the team into a fiery wreck at the trade deadline, and then the team can conduct an exhaustive search for a GM that will try to pick up the pieces for what seems like the 47th time over the last thirteen years.
Draisaitl, Koskinen lift Oilers over Blue Jackets 4-0
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists, Mikko Koskinen made 30 saves and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 on Saturday. The Oilers used a three-goal second period to pull away from the Blue Jackets, who had won three of four and are fighting to stay above the wild-card line in the Eastern Conference. Koskinen improved to 18-15-4 with his fourth career shutout — all this season. Zack Kassian and Alex Chiasson also scored for the Oilers, who are 4-1-1 in their last six after a five-game losing streak. Connor McDavid had three assists. Kassian broke Brandon Dubinsky's eye socket in a fight in his previous game at Columbus.
Oilers GM search:
5 Names that make sense to me:
And Interim GM Keith Gretzky— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) March 11, 2019
Unfortunately, things haven’t quite gone that way since late January. Mind you, Keith Gretzky did not lead the team into a fiery wreck at the trade deadline (that’s good), but the exhaustive search seems to be a lot less exhausting than I would have expected to hear.
I see Keith Gretzky’s name coming up quite a bit, and I’m...well, not really sure as to why I keep seeing his name come up so much. I’m especially concerned because the season isn’t even over yet. Remember when the exhaustive search was supposed to begin? Call in a few folks, have an interview, grab lunch. Do that like twelve more times. Talk to a lot of people. Conduct an exhaustive search. The term “Exhaustive” should mean that you do so much work in finding a new GM that you have nearly ran out of capable candidates. Then, maybe prune that tree a little. Conduct a few more interviews. You get the idea.
Report: Oilers narrow down candidates in GM search
Edmonton Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson has narrowed down the list of candidates in his search for a new general manager, TSN's Darren Dreger reported on Monday's edition of ''Insider Trading.'' Dreger listed Kelly McCrimmon, Dave Nonis, Keith Gretzky, Sean Burke, Mike Futa, and Mark Hunter as candidates, though he noted there could be others. Gretzky has served as the Oilers' interim general manager since Peter Chiarelli was fired in January. Nicholson would like to begin seeking permission to speak with these candidates in the next 10-14 days, Dreger added. The new hire, if not Gretzky, would mark the Oilers' fifth general manager since 2008.
Hiring Keith Gretzky before the season is up is the actual antithesis to an exhaustive search.
I too join the chorus of followers of Keith Gretzky. He dealt with other GM's at the trade deadline and the strong word was this: he was calm, knew what he wanted and other GMs liked his work. He definitely should be considered for the vacant GM job.— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) March 10, 2019
Even moreso, he hasn’t really done anything to warrant serious consideration for the job.
What’s he done since becoming interim GM?
As of March 12th, the team has gone 8-7-4 under Keith Gretzky’s helm.
He’s made a couple of trades, one that absolutely had to be made in order to become cap compliant. The first deal he made sent Cam Talbot to the Philadelphia Flyers for goaltender Anthony Stolarz. The Oilers acquired Stolarz to free up cap space in order to activate Andrej Sekera, who had been on LTIR up until that moment. The market probably wasn’t too hot for Talbot, who has had a season he’d like to forget. Acquiring a goaltender that’s going to become a Group six UFA doesn’t seem like too good a deal, but that’s where the deal lies.
Tarasenko returns vs. Oilers after 5-game absence
St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko will be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Edmonton Oilers after missing the last five games with an upper-body injury, the team announced. The Blues sorely missed their leading goal-scorer; they won only one game in his absence while averaging just 2.2 goals per contest. Tarasenko started the campaign slowly after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, tallying just 22 points in his first 37 outings. But the 27-year-old racked up 36 points in the 29 games that followed, helping the Blues catapult up the Western Conference standings and into a playoff spot. Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc.
The other deal? Moving Ryan Spooner to Vancouver for Sam Gagner. The money was even on this one, but I still like the deal for Gagner. He’s picked up five points in twelve games since being reacquired by the team, which is more than Ryan Spooner could say for himself while he was here.
And? That’s it. The Oilers are hanging by a thread in the Western Conference playoff race (they need to win 9 games in their last 12 in order to have a ghost of a chance at getting in), but that’s all I can say for Keith Gretzky at this point. We haven’t had a really big body of work to judge the guy by, and that’s also one of the reasons why I don’t believe he deserves such a strong consideration. He’s probably a better choice than say, Dave Nonis,
But by how much exactly?
Is Keith Gretzky the best choice that’s available? I don’t believe so. And if he is, it had better be after the absolute most thorough vetting process ever. So far, that hasn’t happened yet.
The next hire must be after an exhaustive search. Figure out who can lead this team into the 2019-20 season with challenging roster issues, no cap space, and some wild ideas about how to make it all work with the world’s greatest player while on a strict budget. I’m not sure that I’m ready to hand the keys to the Buick off to a guy who’s been running the show for a couple of months. The stakes are just too high.
The next selection for GM absolutely cannot be anything less than a home run. If it isn’t, I can’t imagine what things will look like in two years.
Breaking down potential candidates for Oilers GM job.
We don’t know who is going to get the job, because Nicholson still doesn’t know. That won’t stop us from laying down thoughts on the various names floating around, however. The post Breaking down potential candidates for Oilers GM job appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.
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