Lowetides' post on Lowe's abilities as a GM garnered almost no response at all so I don't know if anybody has opinions on MacTavish and Co. or not.
Lowe called his re-signing of MacTavish the most important priority this team had last spring. Since that time he has added Craig Simpson to the mix as well. We now have one of the largest (if not the largest coaching staffs in the league with MacTavish, Huddy, Moores, Simpson and Peeters. Three of the five have significant ties to the glory years and Moores has big ties to the community. Peeters is a bit of an anomaly but to be honest I don't know how involved he will be this season in the day to day.
I have posted earlier that I think that the training camp was the most professional I have ever attended but that said I would also say that at this point the expectations of MacT and his assistants are legitimately higher. They no longer can expect the luxury of claiming to be learning the job with the exception of Simpson.
There are things that I really like about MacT. He is usually controlled behind the bench and I believe in the room. I think this is key to longevity in this business. Ranting and raving usually has a short shelf life. I am very impressed with the 'team first' attitude that I see with all these guys. Ego has never seemed to be a problem for any of them. X's and O's? I assume that is Moores primarily but don't know. Everybody says he and Simpson will work on the pp (dreadful and frustrating last year).
It's important to stick with the coaching staff. Unlike players moving from team to team, unless the players have clued you out, which I don't think is the case with the Oilers, then it is extremely important to have a coach that can communicate with the team.
You are right stating that MacT is no longer a rookie coach, and with the exception of Simpson, our set of coaches have had alot of experience, even in their early years playing for the organization.
I'll wait for the season to commence a bit before I evaluate the coaching staff, but from the training camp so far, it does seem liek they are rating each player on how they fare on the ice, and not giving anybody a free shot to stick with the club.
Our coaching staff brings good leadership and defensive systems - but poor experience and PP system. IMO Moores is the one not holding up his end. The Power Play is absolutely brutal - and Lowe's talk about it being the players fault and not the coaches is WAY, WAY, WAY off. They are directionless and slow on the powerplay...... Perhaps Simpson will cure that, but that is an unknown...
There are things that I really like about MacT. He is usually controlled behind the bench..
MacT is not a guy that I would consider altogether calm behind the bench. There are very many times that I wish he would just shut up about yapping to the refs because you know they are going to stick him with a bench minor. It happened in preseason already.
Here's what I see... but who knows really (given all of the behind-the scenes stuff)?
MacT - 6.5/10
Strengths: Getting the team game and the defensive system down.
Weaknesses: Trouble getting consistent play. Some times too much focus on certain areas, while others just fall apart (example - the defensive game when offense was a focus early last year). Special teams have been horrible all three years.
Moores - 3/10
Strengths: I've heard he's good with the kids and has a good mind for the game.
Weaknesses: If the powerplay was his responsibility in the past he's done a terrible job with it.
Huddy - 7/10
Strengths: Great guy to teach the defensemen. Seems to be a good communicator and there have been some players that have really improved their game while under his wing (Ferguson, S. Brown, Brewer, Semenov, Staios, Pisa)
Weaknesses: There are other players who didn't seem to do well under him (Poti, in particular... may be the only guy actually).
Simpson - To early to rank, but I will say that although he was an absolute homer with Sportsnet, I really valued what he had to say about systems. I'm glad he's not coaching Salo, because he always seemed to think that Tommy was never at fault. On the plus side, his job should be easy because a monkey could improve the Oilers' PP.
Peeters - Also too early to rank IMO. But if he actually had a hand in getting Salo in to shape, then the early results look good.
Overall - 7.5/10
The new additions seem to address previous weaknesses. Probably one of the toughest teams to coach because of the young players, the expectation of playing a run-and gun style with limited use of the trap, no true star players, and knowledgable fans that will hold you accountable.
MacT does little things that drive me crazy, like his ref treatment as momentai mentioned, or the nightly PARADE OF LARAQUE where he does diddly unless the Oilers are up by a goal and BG is asked by a young fighter for a chance to show his stuff. Edmonton has done more for budding fighters than anyone in the NHL.
I also despise his silly line juggling.
On the other hand, he's been exceptional at taking somewhat incomplete talents and putting them into a position to succeed. I *****ed and moaned about how he brought Horcoff along, but the fact is the Oilers have a pretty valuable player who probably is maxing his talent. He loses a couple of go to guys every summer and just finds a new guy to fill the hole.
I'm especially impressed with his handling of Ales Hemsky, Alexei Semenov and Mike Comrie. He recognized their talent levels, and accentuated them. Guys like me rip him for giving Comrie the best wingers, but kudos to him for realizing Comrie could put up 60 goals if given those assets.
I think he'd do better with a more established team, but overalll the Oilers have benefited from his leadership imo.