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MacTavish may not be totally gone – Metro US

MacTavish may not be totally gone

Craig MacTavish is done as coach of the Edmonton Oilers after being relieved of his duties April 15, but does that mean he’s off the payroll and out of the organization altogether?

I’m not convinced about the latter, and I wonder if MacTavish and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe were discussing the possibilities a week ago in Las Vegas or if they were just hanging out in Sin City.

MacTavish will get his full salary, about $1 million, for the 2009-10 season. The question is, will he earn it in a position in hockey operations or simply be paid out while he takes a year off?

MacTavish’s ties within the organization run deep, from owner Daryl Katz to Lowe and GM Steve Tambellini. If MacTavish, who has yet to speak with reporters since being let go, wants to make a move into management, my guess is he’ll get the chance.

Tambellini spent last week assessing hockey operations from top to bottom, including assistant coaches, assistant general managers Kevin Prendergast and Rick Olczyk, the scouting staff, and players.

Stay tuned.

ESKS GEARING UP
The Edmonton Eskimos will wear retro jerseys for three home dates at Commonwealth Stadium this season.

The first date is July 16, when the Esks will wear jerseys circa 1963 against the B.C. Lions. They’ll add other touches, such as making the video screens and scoreboard black and white, and there’s a possibility retro concession items will be added. Does that mean hotdogs for 25 cents?

Here and now, it was obvious the signing of Jesse Lumsden in February would change the face of coach Richie Hall’s offensive backfield, but it’s still a bit of a surprise that the Esks released A.J. Harris Friday.

Harris played 11 games with the Esks in 2008, picking up 557 yards on 99 carries and adding 422 yards on 37 receptions. He had six touchdowns.

Apparently, the feeling is imports Ciatrick Fason or Arkee Whitlock, both former Minnesota Vikings, will be a better fit.

The CFL’s Canadian draft takes place Saturday. The Esks don’t have a pick until the second round, 11th overall.

WHILE I’M AT IT . . .
The uniforms unveiled by the Edmonton Capitals of the Golden Baseball League are trimmed, not surprisingly, in the colours of the Oilers. All in all, the new threads for Katz’s baseball team look sharp.

One question, though, for local designer Sheehan May: What’s with the caped superhero shoulder patch? Call me dim, but what does this still-unnamed “Capital Man” have to do with baseball?

After four seasons and two CIS hockey titles, Alberta Golden Bears coach Eric Thurston must have set some kind of unofficial record for being in limbo before having the “interim” tag removed from his job title by the U of A Thursday. It’s Thurston’s gig now as he takes over for Rob Daum.

– In a decade covering the Edmonton sports scene, Robin Brownlee has been the newsbreaker and insightful voice for sports fans in Oil Country; edmontonletters@metronews.ca.

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