Congratulations, Craig MacTavish. You are the new general manager of the Edmonton Oilers, replacing Steve Tambellini.
So what are you going to do now? And you have much autonomy in your decision making?
After all, Kevin Lowe remains team president. Some critics see this GM move as simply shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.
“Maybe there are some skeptics out there,” MacTavish told reporters during his introductory news conference. “There are going to be in this business. You don’t take a position like I’m taking right now with rose-coloured glasses on. It’s not for the faint of heart.”
The Oilers kept this hire in the family. MacTavish played for the Oilers. He has served as an assistant coach and head coach. He has also been a scout and vice president of hockey operations.
He remains good friends with Lowe, a former Oilers player and GM. That appears to be his primary qualification for this job, given the franchise’s inability to remain in Stanley Cup contention.
“I don’t know that I’ve failed this organization in any of those regards before in any of the decisions or the jobs that I’ve taken with this organization in the past,” MacTavish argued during his news conference.
When Lowe was GM of the team. Scott Howson was his second in command. Howson moved on to Columbus to become general manager of the Blue Jackets and earn mixed reviews.
Now Howson will serve as MacTavish’s right hand man, overseeing scouting and player development.
So if you are hoping to get a fresh set of eyes on the Oilers and some new ideas in the hockey operation, it appears you are out of luck. It’s business as usual in Edmonton.