It’s not often you hear the general manager of a team which has just finished 30th, 30th, 29th, 24 and 28th talking Stanley Cup. But the day before the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs began, Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was doing just that. On the first anniversary of the day he was hired, MacTavish wasn’t promising bold moves like he did last year. But he was bold. “We are building a team which is going to be capable of winning the Stanley Cup. That’s what we’re doing. “I know that falls on some dead ears currently. But that is our vision. And that’s why we’re in it as Edmonton Oilers. “I think I have a pretty good idea of the pulse of our fans and what our fans want. It’s been a painful process for them as well as us but every decision I make as a manager starts with that first question. Does that help us build a team that can win a Stanley Cup?” Speaking at the annual GM State of the Oilers year-end press conference, MacTavish said every decision is also focused on one specific ingredient. “We want character. When I took the job, my mandate was to bring in character, to bring in leadership. We are very much committed to character. We are going to be very committed to it as an organization, through the draft, trades, signings … I want players on our bench when that puck goes in our net to feel as bad as the coach. I think we’ve already made those types of inroads in adding those types of elements to our developing core group of players who are ultimately going to lead us out of this.” MacTavish reflected on the season just ended. “Right from the start of the year things didn’t go well. Frankly, we didn’t function well as a group early on in the year. The coaching change. The personnel change. It was exactly the start we didn’t want. “I mean, it was chaos early. It was absolute chaos. There was disappointment and there was negativity in the coaches room.” He ended up giving the coaching staff his total endorsement (see Derek Van Diest, Page 4) and mostly concentrated on the Oilers going forward.
Craig MacTavish says team is closer to end of its journey than the beginning
Edmonton Sun | Apr 16