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possibly the Best GuyF interview yet

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01-19-2004, 05:29 AM
  #1
Mr Sakich
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possibly the Best GuyF interview yet

vrey good job on the new story. Kevin must really appreciate being interviewed by someone who has obviously done his homework.


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01-19-2004, 06:06 AM
  #2
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This IS the best article i´ve read about the Oilers since beeing an Oiler Fan.
Beeing from europe i´m not able to read that much like the northamericans, but this article has big statements, decent analysis, excellent comments, a bunch of information, a bunch of former unknown information.
Can´t explain it exactly - i´ve said thanks a lot for those articels, but i can´t say anything about the article. Thank you, good job - this would be an understatement.

Guy, i feel like i owe you something

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01-19-2004, 06:31 AM
  #3
Allan
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I hate to gush, but I agree with all of the above statements, and think they may not be enough. I think that this was the best article I've ever read about hockey. You did a fantastic job of taking common knowledge, and expanding upon it, so that there is a familiarity in the material, and yet there's still a great deal of new information to absorb. If you are still trying to decide upon an article to submit to the local papers, I think this is it.

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01-19-2004, 06:51 AM
  #4
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That was a great read. Well done Guy.

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01-19-2004, 06:51 AM
  #5
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Very good indeed. Kudos to you!

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01-19-2004, 07:01 AM
  #6
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There is a newspaper sports editor with an email from me with link to the article commending the writer, and recommending him for any hockey related job at that newspaper.

Guy, nicely done.

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01-19-2004, 07:15 AM
  #7
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Awesome article...

More than anything I can remember reading, this piece really illuminates how things were in the Bad Old Days of the early to mid 90's...the old guard stubbornly doing things the way they'd always been done because they won cups with it, the young guard doing their best to work around it. Interesting about how Kelly was a near unanimous pick over Doan amongst the staff, it goes to show that despite a team's best efforts, in the end the draft is more a spin on the roulette wheel than anything when you're drafting 18 year old kids.

One word to describe the difference between the Sather and Lowe regimes: Communication. Lowe gets everyone involved in the decision making process, whereas Sather's brand of communication was more of the 'one way' variety...he told you what to do, and you did it.

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01-19-2004, 07:25 AM
  #8
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Guy, this one is for you:



Great article!

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Old
01-19-2004, 07:31 AM
  #9
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Very nice interview GUY! Thanks again!

From a Loyal Oiler Fan out East


Rooks Oilers

Hey Guy, I have one question for you about one of the Oilers earlier draft picks, 1990 I believe, JASON SOULES what ever happened with him and the organization?

Thanks again.

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01-19-2004, 07:44 AM
  #10
Slats432
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger12
More than anything I can remember reading, this piece really illuminates how things were in the Bad Old Days of the early to mid 90's...the old guard stubbornly doing things the way they'd always been done because they won cups with it, the young guard doing their best to work around it. Interesting about how Kelly was a near unanimous pick over Doan amongst the staff, it goes to show that despite a team's best efforts, in the end the draft is more a spin on the roulette wheel than anything when you're drafting 18 year old kids.

One word to describe the difference between the Sather and Lowe regimes: Communication. Lowe gets everyone involved in the decision making process, whereas Sather's brand of communication was more of the 'one way' variety...he told you what to do, and you did it.
Another great point. Pendergast also points out that with all the shots thrown out at Fraser, 5 Stanley Cups is still a compliment that can't be taken away from him...or his harem in Mexico.

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01-19-2004, 11:44 AM
  #11
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Thanks, Guy. Articles like this are always appreciated but even more so when we need the distraction from the on-ice product and this year's on-ice product has definitely been up and down. I have a question for you though, related to one I asked before the interview concerning the decision making process at the draft table. It sounds like Kevin Lowe is just there for trip, that all the drafting decisions are made by Kevin Prendergast with democratic input by his staff. Is this the case and why is it then that GM's are revered and roasted based upon draft picks. I was also surprised to hear that there are only 2 pro scouts which leads me to believe that trades are very much more the GM's decision. Does this sound about right to you? Thanks again and much thanks to KP and his staff for making this kind of info available. It almost makes up for that last road trip.

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01-19-2004, 12:16 PM
  #12
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I know some GM's are more hands on at the draft table than others. For instance, I know that Montreal GM Andre Savard wore pretty much two hats - GM and head scout. Although he wasn't technically head scout, he did a lot of amatuer scouting, and was the final word in selecting players over in Hab-Land. I also know that guys such as Pat Quinn just leave it up to their head scouts.

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Old
01-19-2004, 12:31 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theoil
It sounds like Kevin Lowe is just there for trip, that all the drafting decisions are made by Kevin Prendergast with democratic input by his staff. Is this the case and why is it then that GM's are revered and roasted based upon draft picks. I was also surprised to hear that there are only 2 pro scouts which leads me to believe that trades are very much more the GM's decision. Does this sound about right to you? .
My understandingis this: Kevin Lowe, as the GM, decides what the team is lacking and expresses his desires the K.P. about what types of players he wants to fill specific holes/needs. K.P. then leads the staff of scouts in finding those types of players. So while it is K.P. who picks the players, it's the type of player that Lowe has asked for.

That's only MY understanding and I could be wrong. That's something I will have to ask Kevin Lowe in the planned interview coming soon (well, in a month or so).

There arre the 2 pro scouts but also K.P. covers both pro and amateur so I guess you could say 3.

Hope that helps.

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01-19-2004, 12:58 PM
  #14
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Great article. I appreciated the honesty of the staff, not only about Kaberle, but also that they all agreed on Kelly over Doan. It just goes to show that no matter how much work they put in, the draft is still somewhat of a crapshoot.

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Old
01-19-2004, 01:04 PM
  #15
Guy Flaming
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The point I was trying to make when showing that taking Kelly over Doan was a unanimous decision was that the staff had blinders on because they were focused on speed.

The point wasn't supposed to be "wow, look, they ALL were wrong" but rather "wow, look, they were so mislead by their desire for speed."

That's why the bit about Stortini was included, it shows that the staff doesn't think soley that way anymore.

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01-19-2004, 01:14 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyF
The point I was trying to make when showing that taking Kelly over Doan was a unanimous decision was that the staff had blinders on because they were focused on speed.

The point wasn't supposed to be "wow, look, they ALL were wrong" but rather "wow, look, they were so mislead by their desire for speed."

That's why the bit about Stortini was included, it shows that the staff doesn't think soley that way anymore.
Now they think solely about size . Seriously though, I have so much more faith in these guys then the previous scouts, but I wish they weren't so focused on "heart and soul." As I said in another thread, those are abstract qualities that are impossible to measure. They should stick with assesing things like skill that are easier to evaluate. And to follow along with the rest of the guys, GREAT ARTICLE!

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01-19-2004, 01:19 PM
  #17
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But you have to agree that it would have been pretty easy for them to say , "Yeah, I liked Doan better, but the team direction was speed, so we went with Kelly." I just always assumed (without any basis) that this was a Fraser-Sather decision, but the article proved me wrong, and makes it a whole lot easier to swallow.

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Old
01-19-2004, 01:35 PM
  #18
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Way-to-go Guy!

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Old
01-19-2004, 01:51 PM
  #19
Digger12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyF
That's why the bit about Stortini was included, it shows that the staff doesn't think soley that way anymore.
Duly noted. Now here's hoping the current scouting regime doesn't get a similar fixation on size like it used to have on speed. At least it sounds like they've learned from their mistakes and now look at ALL facets of a player, not just one or two.

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Old
01-19-2004, 06:23 PM
  #20
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I saw the article this morning when I got to work, but had lots to do so printed it off and just finished reading it.

There's so much IN IT that it's about a year's worth of work for the dailies if they ever bothered to get off their *****.

Some things that jumped out at me:

*the fact the scouts ALL see the top 50. Logic dictates that a scout would talk up the guy from his area, because he's seen him and doesn't want to lose the pick because he isn't vocal enough. This framework completely neutralizes that. All the scouts see the top guys, and then sit around and discuss it. It's so damn logical, one wonders why they weren't doing it ten years ago.

*He gives Fraser props, and we shouldn't forget that. I think this article really hilights that the Oilers needed an upgrade from the Fraser years: by the end, this organization had a 70s mindset in a 90s world. Doesn't mean Fraser isn't appreciated, just that he didn't want to move forward in his thinking and the organization let him do it out of loyalty. Certainly understandable.

*The Kelly pick. Very interesting. I'm impressed that he didn't try to cover his ass on that, to me that really gives Prendergast a lot of credibility. Also, it points to the fact that this isn't an exact science.

*Kaberle. Guy, how many times did the scout use the F word when discussing that?

*Guy Flaming. Top drawer. Sincerely. Well written, tons of really good stuff that we not only hadn't seen before but wouldn't have gotten from the print media covering the team without HF and Guy.

That's a shame, but it's another matter.

The one thing I can say is that the only writer I know who takes the time and effort to uncover real and interesting items about our Oilers is Guy Flaming.

Thankyou, Guy, for caring enough to get the story, write it well, and pass it along. If God's an Oiler fan, you'll reach a wider audience pretty damn soon.

It's well deserved.

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Old
01-19-2004, 06:40 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Thankyou, Guy, for caring enough to get the story, write it well, and pass it along.
I'd like to echo that sentiment. I thought this article was very balanced; Guy does a very good job of being a fan (which I suspect fuels his efforts) but sets that aside when it's time to write, so the writing is stronger for the objectivity. Let's hope someone notices this, and decides to pay the man for more of the same.

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Old
01-19-2004, 07:06 PM
  #22
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Kudos Guy. Best Oilers article I have read in years if ever.

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Old
01-19-2004, 07:20 PM
  #23
Guy Flaming
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All I can say is that you guys and girls are awesome.


Thank you thank you thank you thank you.

I'm glad this is being well received because I honestly feel very proud of it myself.

I spoke with one of the local daily newspapers about this story but they wouldn't look at it until I chopped it back to about 1000 words (it's about 4500 as is here). I told them I couldn't do that without losing a ton of the good stuff. Don't hold that against them, they didn't actually read the story so I'm not taking it as a knock on me. It's a question of room they are willing to give to a bascially unknown freelancer like me.

That's cool, now I know for next time. To be honest, I give the sports editor I talked to a huge tip of the hat for even replying to me (The other paper's editor didn't!)

Thanks again everyone... I'm glad you've all liked it so far.

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01-19-2004, 07:26 PM
  #24
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So how much do we have to pay for the audio tapes?

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Old
01-19-2004, 07:27 PM
  #25
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Guy, congratulations on what is by far your best and most thorough feature. It tells very well the Oilers transition from old-school hockey management (autocratic approach) to the modern necessity for a democratic, inclusive, team approach to talent evaluation. Kevin Pendergast clearly embraces the latter principles which are so necessary in this modern era where global talent is identified early and documented for all to see and anticipate. Judging by this feature, he is a true leader.

I appreciate that you asked some challenging questions and did not resort to simple homerism. If I had one constructive criticism, I found some of McCarthy's comments a wee bit catty and condescending regarding Fraser's choice of residence but thankfully Pedergast was professional. Perhaps if Fraser had adapted to a more democratic, team approach the residence matter wouldn't have been a sore spot. Scouting is about beating the bushes, cold arenas, and countless air and car miles.

While I still disagree with some of the Oilers recent drafting decisions (and rationale) that is the fun in being a fan and enjoying the safety and no pressure sactity of our cheap seats and living room. All of our questions will be answered in the upcoming years.

Great work again! I hope in your future work you will continue to ask some of the tough questions we all have as fans and challenge the Oiler management. Take a much deserved bow for your hard work. As should Pedergast and McCarthy for making themselves assessible and candid in their remarks.

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