Will Bob Nicholson Clean House?
Yeah. I thinks so.
If Nicholson had finished his evaluation of the current management group and concluded that they were the right group going forward he would have made that announcement by now but it was clear in his press conference that he wants to wait until the playoffs are over.
The only reason to wait for the end of the playoffs before an announcement is he has decided that the current group just isn’t getting the job done but hasn’t settled on the replacements yet. There may be potential pieces to this puzzle who are currently working for other teams and Bob hasn’t yet had the chance to recruit them.
I think we’ll see Kevin Lowe, Scott Howson and Craig MacTavish relieved of their duties before the draft and the new management team announced followed shortly with an announcement of who the new coach will be.
Bob Nicholson has so many hockey connections to guys that would be great for the job there is no doubt in my mind that he’ll put together a winning combination and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Peter Chiarelli is involved at some level.
What About The Coach
Todd Nelson did an admiral job down the stretch for the Oilers considering the roster he had to work with but if the Oilers are serious about making the playoffs next season they’re going to need more experience behind the bench. Like everybody else I would love to see Mike Babcock come to Edmonton when his contract expires in Detroit at the end of the season and there is a real strong connection between Babcock and Nicholson so you never know. Winning the draft lottery and the right to draft Connor McDavid really makes Edmonton a much more attractive destination for prospective coaches, so I really think bringing in Babcock is within the realm of possibilities.
Outside of Babcock I would give Todd McLellan really strong consideration and we know the Oilers have already reached out to McLellan to gauge his interest. It will be interesting to see how McLellan uses Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle in the up coming world championships where he has been named the head coach.
I’ve heard a lot of people suggesting to keep Todd Nelson or recruit Dan Bylsma as an associate coach but honestly I would like to see the Oilers make a decision on the head coach and then let him pick his assistants.
I agree that bob is searching for a coach and waiting til playoffs are done for certain teams inperticular Detroit. As for cleaning house it will happen to some degree. Instead of taking out the trash though, it will be more of a sweeping the dirt under the door mat or throw dirty clothes into a closet scenario! One thing bob mentioned that poeple need to understand is the loyalty factor.. Bobs a loyal guy and Katz/Lowe would have not brought him into the fold if he wasn’t. It’s called job security. Lowe will remain an oiler employee to some degree in the distant background, which is better than the poho position he has been in til now. If things get headed in right direction they will play the loyalty card and keep Lowe around for that reason. Mac will get another season to right the ship but Nelson won’t be bench boss, for his sake I hope he is an assistant with Ramsey though. Stu will be gone and same with Scott. I also believe that Mac will have a easier time getting vet help. Not just cause of mcdavid but by not having lowes reputation over is head. Just not sure if one yr is enough to rid the bad rep Lowe clouds the team with or having Lowe under the door mat will be enough either. Gonna take time to rid the bad rep. Bob helps in this regard so time will tell I guess. Will bobs new personal and there reputation over see lowes if Lowe isn’t completely out of picture? I’m not sure but time will definitely tell.
Or perhaps MacTavish hasn’t made an announcement regarding Todd Nelson yet because he has in fact been restricted in his role. It is entirely possible however that Nicholson finds Kevin Lowe is responsible for the mismanagement of the Oilers and MacTavish will actually stay on as GM.
Nicholson might clean house but I have not seen any indication from MacTavish that he is restricted in his role. I would think that if Nicholson was to relieve Lowe, MacTavish etc. of their positions he would tell them not to make any moves… which begs the question; who contacted Todd McLellan, MacTavish or Nicholson?