When Bill Daly turned the golden card, I honestly didn’t even hear the words (might have zoned out). I just saw the card and laughed maniacally for a good 15 minutes, frightening my kids in the process. I was happy to hear McDavid would be coming to Edmonton. But I was laughing at what the fallout would be for the roster, for the fans and for the city. And especially what the perception and outrage would be outside of Edmonton.
The negativity towards the team by outsiders is warranted. This team has been pitiful for almost a decade, so the thought of McDavid heading to a poorly managed organization will fire up a lot of people. And the negativity will grow similar to how the Penguins get taunted because they have Crosby and Malkin. The hate towards Edmonton is real folks, and it’s gonna get worse once McDavid in the lineup.
Getting a talented player like McDavid is going to put pressure on management to get their act together. Get a goaltender. Get a couple defencemen. And get a coach. Surround this “generational talent” with the right players, because the entry-level years are going to fly by. And like Darcy mentioned in the Lowdown with Lowetide roundtable, McDavid will be commanding good money once the three years are done, and it’ll be around the time that Hall and Eberle are finishing up their mega-contracts. The pressure will be from fans and from the entire league to ensure this player does well, so the Oilers have moved towards adding experience to the front office.
What the addition of McDavid also does is improve the Oilers chances of signing some free-agents who may not have considered Edmonton a possible destination. And the Oilers increased their chances even more by bringing in Chiarelli, who can leverage his network to connect with players, or even rival GMs if he chooses to go the trade route.
The roster will have to be revamped as soon as possible, pushing those that were MacTavish’s acquisitions (i.e., Schultz, Nikitin) towards the exit. I’m hoping that Chiarelli moves forward building off the success of the existing minor league program, and refrain from bringing in say, his Boston/Providence connections. Lateral moves, something that happened when Eakins was coach, really aren’t necessary.
Chiarelli as GM gives me a lot more confidence in Oilers management. He’s the first GM hired by the Oilers who has past experience as GM. Plus he has a familiarity, and a relationship, with managers across the league, something MacTavish was still in the process of building towards. I didn’t mind the hiring of MacTavish as I thought he’d be able to bring some new ideas and apply something from his graduate school experience. But really, he should’ve been placed in an assistant GM role first before making the jump. Similar to what Steve Yzerman did with Detroit before moving on to Tampa Bay.
A lot of changes have been made because of McDavid and the kid has yet to play a game. We’re already feeling the impact as fans, and I think there’ll be even more to come especially with player personnel this summer. And if the off season changes are this big, imagine what impact McDavid will have on his teammates and the overall success of the on-ice product when the season starts.
This should be fun.
Old Boys Club Pronounced Dead – Copper and Blue
Beautiful Sunday – Lowetide
Bottoms Up: The Kool-Aid Kid – Oil Acumen
Is…Is This Happiness? – Black Dog Hates Skunks
Edmonton Oilers Shouldn’t Expect Connor McDavid to Match Sidney Crosby’s Rookie Scoring – Cult of Hockey
Mieux Respirer – Lowetide