Oilers notebook: Edmonton signs Yale captain Andrew Miller to entry-level deal

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They were seriously in the hunt for six-foot-four Yale centre Antoine Laganiere, Miller’ teammate, who was at the Oilers prospect camp last summer, but the Anaheim Ducks grabbed him.. Miller, 24, was the most outstanding player in the NCAA’s Frozen Four tournament when Yale knocked off Quinnipiac in the final.. And he’s not five-foot-eight and 170 pounds as the crack hockeydb.com website says.. He is five-foot-10 and 180 pounds, not exactly what the Oilers are looking for — they want to get bigger at forward – but Oilers new GM Craig MacTavish also knows that playing an uptempo game with skill is important.. “He’s not big, but he’s strong on the puck and he’s got great hockey sense.. He’s a real cerebral player,” said MacTavish.. Miller, who had a breakaway goal against Hartzell to make it 3-0 in the third period of the final game of the Frozen Four at the Consol Energy Center, won’t join the Oilers’ Oklahoma City Barons American Hockey League affiliate right now as they try to hold on to a playoff spot in the AHL’s Western Conference.. But he’ll be at the Oilers prospect camp on July 2, then the rookie camp and the main camp in September.. He has been told he’ll likely start in the AHL next fall.. But MacTavish likes what he sees from Miller, who plays centre or the wing. source: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Oilers+notebook+Edmonton+signs+Yale+captain+Andrew+Miller+entry+level+deal/8257388/story.html

Oilers finally fire Steve Tambellini, name Craig MacTavish new GM

Beyond that, he does have long experience in the game as a player and a coach.. MacTavish also spent his two years away from the game earning an executive MBA in business from Queen’s University, giving him an educational background more impressive than many ex-players.. The experience issue is the biggest one facing MacTavish, but he did get to cut his teeth during this truncated regular season.. He’s also surrounded by veteran hockey ops guys …. for better or worse.. Some might say “worse.” Tambellini was a failure as GM, but was part of an overall managerial team that contributed to that failure.. Which is a roundabout way of asking if any GM – let alone one one hand-picked and groomed as MacTavish was – can succeed if Kevin Lowe is the still the ultimate up or down vote?. Is it really regime change if Kevin Lowe is left standing?. If the guy that’s overseen two quarterfinals appearances and a fluke post-lockout Cup run in 2006, since taking over 13 years ago, is still in charge?. Is it really regime change if the new faces are old faces, like a former long-time coach and an assistant GM from 2002-07?. Look, we’re not saying the Oilers are recycling a bit too much here, but it wouldn’t surprise us if they drove a Prius … source: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/oilers-finally-fire-steve-tambellini-name-craig-mactavish-161846311–nhl.html

Above the 49: MacTavish has plenty to prove as new Oilers GM

While the Oilers may have trumpeted the need to make bold moves as part of Monday’s change of leadership announcement, unless MacTavish really steps up quickly – and by that we mean as soon as the Oilers finish off what will in all likelihood be their seventh straight season out of the playoff picture – and makes the so-called tough decisions the Oilers so desperately require, it’s hard to see this turnover as being anything other than a cosmetic change.. On Monday, the Oilers relieved Steve Tambellini from his position as GM after just shy of five years on the job that saw the team compile a dismal 138-185-46 record under his guidance.. The biggest criticism many had of Tambellini was the steadfast patience he showed during his team’s rebuilding process, which resulted in little to no moves being made beyond those involving bit players to give his team a realistic shot at making the playoffs.. But Tambellini’s lack of impact moves didn’t just mean standing pat and allowing his team to finish in the bottom of the league standings year in and year out, something which did have the benefit of yielding him three first overall picks in a row and allowed him to build a roster loaded with up-and- coming young stars that is the envy of many other general managers across the league.. Tambellini, despite being a rare outside hire by Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe and not being among their so-called old boy’s network, failed to help create a new identity for a team that, despite only being two seasons removed from an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals when he took over, had clearly allowed apathy to set in.. MacTavish’s task will now be to make those tough moves that his predecessor wouldn’t – moves that might not seem as difficult now to pull the trigger on given Edmonton’s run of futility over the past several years.. However, those moves may still involve more than just shipping out the likes of popular, long-time Oilers who have clearly overstayed their welcome such as team captain Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Smyth and Ales Hemsky.. It also might mean giving up their lottery pick in this year’s draft or one of their top youngsters – possibly one of their big four in Hall, Eberle, Nugent- Hopkins or Yakupov – to bring in some proven stars who can work with their existing young core.. It also may mean making a decision to walk away from No.. 1 netminder Devan Dubnyk in favor of bringing in an established goaltender such as Roberto Luongo or impending unrestricted free agent Mike Smith.. It could work if they feel they have the opportunity to make a legitimate run in the near future before the bulk of their young core gets to their next respective contract stage, which will hinder the team’s ability to spend money on the open market. source: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/17/5348817/above-the-49-mactavish-has-plenty.html

 

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