Friday, November 17, 2006


Abracadabra...We Win!

Oilers coach Craig MacTavish is the subject of a feature article in the November issue of Alberta Venture. The cover of the magazine has a picture of MacT looking all dapper, plus the title, "The Making of a MOTIVATIONAL MASTER" bolded across the front in hot pink. I see, I say to myself, "Motivational master? You mean, like Vince Lombardi, Dean Smith, or motivational master magician Richard Saldan?" Self replies, "Well, duhhhh. Pick it up and read, braniac."

I should have known better. The magazine has always been fluff, and this was just more of the same. The only two insights I gained were that MacT was an assistant coach for Team Canada at the Loto Cup during the lockout, and that he had been accepted into the MBA programs at the University of Alberta and the University of Western Ontario before he decided to take the assistant coaching job with the Rangers in 1997. Both interesting insights, mind you--especially the desire for the MBA--but it wasn't surrounded by any other valuable information. We learn he's a great communicator. Anyone who has watched him in a post-game press conference already knows that (the McGeough blowup being the obvious exception). He's a players coach. We knew that, too. He says he came to appreciate the talents of his players more during the lockout. Okay, that's not bad, but he wasn't forced to play Brad Isbister and Brian Swanson last year, either. The Oilers had some new talent in 05/06 that vastly exceeded the talent level in previous years. He exuded more confidence, believing that the team could win on any given night. He learned to be more patient with his players after coaching his young son's hockey team. He appreciates the training staff. I hate to say this, but...gag, gag, gag.

MacTavish obviously isn't an idiot. He attended Lowell University--where Dwayne Roloson attended, I should add-- and was accepted into the best MBA program in the country, at Western. He was always known as being a smart, cerebral player. He's well spoken, an erudite man by all indications. But the entire article throws out these bloated intangibles as if they are imbued with great meaning. They're not. Maybe it's just me, but I would have liked to have gained some insight into MacT's work habits, specific analytical approaches that he feels lead a team to victory, and/or precise tools and strategies that he employs to motivate his players. Philosophies, decisions and approaches that, you know, business people engage in so as to achieve some level of profit. Something, anything, other than the usual hockey voodoo. But it was not to be. I suppose I was asking for too much, considering the piece was about "motivation," but it really was disappointing. The hot pink lettering and Sam Abouhassan suit gave me so much hope.


Helluva nice suit, though.

Shameless plug, but Western is not the best MBA program in the country:

Non-U.S. Top 10 MBA Programs
1 Queens University

2 Western Ontario (Ivey)

3 Toronto (Rotman)


5 London Business School

Go Queen's!

Eat it Western!

I like MacT.

That was quite the vaunt last night.

MacT always looks sharp.

PS: Ivey sucks.

Maybe Western was the best back when MacT was accepted.

And MacT would win the Best Dressed everyday!

Don't forget, you know all about the obvious statements made in this article, so, likely, do the majority of your readers. As for everyone else, he's the last player on the ice not to wear a helmet, he helped his team make the playoffs and put up an excellent fight, and he recently got fined $10,000 for complaining about a ref. A lot of people don't care to know more. Maybe now that it stares them in hot pink, he'll be known for more than the coach who used the word retard.

Good press as a motivational coach can't be a bad thing, no matter how fluffy it is.

Eat it Western and Go Queens, indeed.


Matt Fenwick
Sci '95

Queen's is considered the top-drawer Canadian MBA these days. On the other hand, I get the impression pretty much all MBAs are about as rigorous as the Dom Deluise Workout, so.

Did he say retard anywhere in the article? I know he is prone to such things.

I'm relieved to see Cosh nail the real nut of the comparison.

When real live businesses actively avoid hiring people with Masters of Business Administration, . . .

Good to see we all stayed on topic with this one...

As long as we all agree: U of T is the greatest law school in all the land.

I'd just like to note, for the record, that school supremecy is obviously measured by football supremacy.

Go Huskies.

U of T has a law school now?

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