February 13, 2013
MacTavish says pain and suffering of Oilers rebuild almost over

Oilers vice-president of hockey operations, Craig MacTavish, says while there's pain and suffering in a rebuild, he doesn't expect it to last much longer. (Codie McLachlan, Edmonton Sun)

Craig MacTavish’s job is big picture.

So is Kevin Lowe’s and Steve Tambellini’s. But their big picture is surrounded by smaller pictures, like trade deadlines, waiver wires and decisions with one eye on today and another on tomorrow.

While MacTavish becomes the third man in on much of that, his new job as senior vice-president of hockey operations of the Edmonton Oilers is the really, really big picture.

And as Edmonton fans ride the roller coaster of a compact 48-game, lockout-shortened season watching a team with an actual chance to make the playoffs for the first time since the Oilers went to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, the season after the last lockout, maybe it’s time to look at what’s going on here through his eyes.

MacTavish wasn’t sure what this was going to be like away from the action. After 17 years as an NHL player — eight of them, including three Stanley Cups, with the Oilers and another ring with the Rangers — he had a dozen-year career as