The case for naming a new GM

Make no mistake about it, the clock is ticking on the Eskimos search for a new general manager. The Esks fired Danny Maciocia without having a replacement at the ready, which in turn has left the team in a little bit of a directionless abyss. The new general manager is going to have a strong idea about where they want the team to go and what type of personnel changes might be order for a group that has shown no desperation in their game during the first six weeks of the season. The current situation, however, speaks to a different direction, and it’s curious that the Esks have decided to wait on naming a new captain to steer the ship. Whoever takes the helm of the organization’s football operations will need to make some changes. A 1-5 start to the season guarantees some turnover.

So why not get the person in the chair as soon as possible?

Why wait until the end of the season? If the Rick LeLacheur and the Board of Governors hold off until the off-season to make this important decision, are they not putting themselves and the new general manager behind the proverbial eight-ball? Are they not effectively stating that they are content with the current situation?

Conducting a proper search and evaluating the potential candidates is something that should not be rushed, however, the organization needs get the decision done as soon as possible to allow the general manager plenty of time to evaluate what type of assets they currently have and where the major deficiencies are found. Taking a couple of weeks to find the right person is okay, but a couple of months is out of the question.

 One only needs to look at the Edmonton Oilers as a prime example of how long it actually takes for a general manager to start making their mark on an organization. It can be argued that Steve Tambellini started to only really make the wholesale changes that he determined would propel the Oilers organization in their new direction a full 18 months after taking over from Kevin Lowe.

Football is not hockey and the CFL is much different than the NHL in the way that contracts are structured, but only giving someone six months, assuming that the new general manager is in place by December 1st, is not a lot of time for them to overhaul a football operations group that consists of close to 60 people when you include all the coaches, players, and management. Wouldn’t it be better to get the issue out of the way and give everyone more time?

Fans probably won’t be expecting changes mid-season to the core group of players, although by not naming the general manager until after the season probably keeps the coaching staff intact until after the final game is played. This issue is going to hang over the organization until a plan is put into action to bring in new leadership. The sooner it happens, the better it will be for everyone involved in the long run.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by TurfToe on August 11, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Another excellent name was brought up over at … Bruce Lemmerman. Thanks to several years of working in management /player personnel positions south of the border (including some NFL experience) this wouldn’t just be bringing back one of the old guys. Plus, he was around when the team made it’s turnaround from the late 60s into the 70s.


  2. Posted by TurfToe on August 11, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Oh, and I forgot to add…

    What are your thoughts on not just a GM, but a Dir/Pres of Football operations. Someone to work shoulder to shoulder with Lelacheur but focused on the football operations. There’s been more than a little talk about how RL, while excellent at running the Esks business side, could use some help when it comes to big picture football decisions.


  3. @TurfToe

    Excellent suggestion on Bruce Lemmerman. There have been many quality individuals mentioned by various people for the job of general manager. Some, like Warren Moon, have pretty much removed themselves from consideration while others have said nothing and must be considered. Rod Pedersen posted my article about possible replacements on his site and that prompted a few more names such as Neil Lumsden and Jock Climie to be thrown out there. One has to think that with this many quality candidates, the Esks should be able to find a replacement soon.

    As for the Dir/Pres of Football Operations, I think it’s a great idea. I know that Jason Gregor on the Team 1260 has mentioned this on his radio show and I fully support the idea. When Hugh Campbell was the President of the team, he could do it all because he had the experience as a player, coach, and GM that LeLacheur lacks. Although LeLacheur has done a great job on the business end of things, having that senior football guy makes sense.


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