When the Oilers hired Craig MacTavish to be their new GM, he called himself an “impatient guy” prepared to do “bold things” in order to “move the team forward in rapid fashion.”
Well, things haven’t gone exactly to plan.
And now MacT is getting antsy.
“I’m a little frustrated,” he told the Edmonton Journal. “I had certain objectives in mind, and I think I’m going to be able to accomplish some of those things, but it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to accomplish all the things that I wanted to.”
What he wanted to accomplish — the aforementioned “bold moves” — never came to fruition.
MacTavish was either unable to or refused to move the No. 7 overall pick at the draft, and ended up taking OHL Sault Ste. Marie product Darnell Nurse, a tantalizing prospect but one that’s a few years away from helping the big club.
The Oilers then missed on a number of high-profile targets in free agency — David Clarkson chief among them — and ended up with a handful of solid, but hardly spectacular signings: Andrew Ference, Boyd Gordon and Jason LaBarbera.
As for trades, there was just one — shipping captain Shawn Horcoff to Dallas in what amounted to a salary dump, as the Oilers only received defenseman Philip Larsen and a 2016 seventh-round pick in return.
MacT also re-signed Ryan Jones and held onto Ales Hemsky (pegged as a likely trade candidate). He’s also going down to the wire in contract talks with Sam Gagner, who has salary arbitration rights.
That said, the Oilers GM still thinks he can make that big move.
“I’m trying to get the right piece or another piece that would start to excite me in terms of how our team is shaping up,” MacTavish said.