Bakersfield Condors’ new coach, Jean Francçois Houle is the first manifestation of the Bob Nicholson effect, on the Oilers organization.
Nicholson is a month, into his Chairmanship of the Oilers Entertainment Group. His rollodex and relationships, built at Hockey Canada, are his calling card.
The hiring of Houle fits that perfectly. Houle comes to the Condors with 4 years in the Quebec JR league with a successful winning record 174-101-12-18, and Hockey Canada ties. He was tabbed to coach the Canadian under 17 team, this summer. He also spent seven years as an assistant coach, at Clarkson University, a recognized top tier NCAA hockey program.
So to the Oilers comes a set of relationships the organization did not have. The Oilers now have a network of eyes, in two develpmental hockey leagues they did not have before. That too is a Nickelson forte, insitituiting and personifying a practical action plan for a corporate strategy.
There’s an iceberg component to this,too. More to it that what is seen. Consider, the bulk of Oilers draft picks, this year are going to US College. Those picks largely panned by the Corsi crowd.
The OEG is all about ROI, making money. Its hockey franchises,the Oilers, Barons, and Oil Kings do that. Analytics are providing clues how revenues can be increased. The sports and business components intersect, particuarly, in US markets, when teams win, creating ‘buzz’ around the brand.
Winning teams, in Bakersfield, equal more asses in the seats and more merchandise sales, same in OKC. ROI peaks because player costs are low. Average ECHL salary is $600/week. The ECHL Is a salary cap league.
The Oilers 2014 entry draft selections, after the first round, can be considered a sneak peak, at the organizational strategy. None of these picks will be signed soon, at any level The rights retained at zero cost for 3 to 4 years.
An NCCA graduate playing three years in the minors is not. Correlating talent, at every level is the sweet spot for corporate divisional success. Minimal develpment cost leads to highly profitabe ROIs.
Draft picks, after the 3rd round, now have a new purpose. They are intended to provide talent across minor league affiliates. They are a low cost means of driving ROI. That’s one reason why Bob Nicholson was hired.