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How Best Buy, JCP Are Like the Edmonton Oilers

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- You don't have to be a hockey fan to see the similarities between Best Buy (BBY - Get Report), J.C. Penney (JCP - Get Report) and the NHL's Edmonton Oilers.

The Oilers blew out their general manager Monday, replacing him with a member of the team's old guard -- Craig MacTavish. There's no need to get into specifics. Over at Yahoo! Sports Nicholas Cotsonika relays details and captures sentiment quite nicely in Same old Oilers: Edmonton hands GM job to Craig MacTavish. Maybe they'll bring Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky in as senior advisors. That will complete what might end up being one of the least imaginative moves in a franchise with unlimited potential.

In announcing the move, Kevin Lowe (yet another great from the Oilers' heyday), said the franchise can no longer be afraid to take risks. Sounds great. Now let's see some action. There's no reason why Edmonton cannot contend right away. The stable of young talent that team has rivals the speed and skill of the 1980s Stanley Cup teams.

Of course, the obvious similarity between BBY, JCP and the Oilers -- all three have gone with names from the past to chart a future that will look (or at least should look) decidedly different from what preceded it. Differences exist -- the Oilers have the equivalent of fresh and innovative tech executives in place (Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, etc.) while, relatively speaking, BBY and JCP do not -- but, for the sake of this discussion, we only need to focus on the broad thesis.

A considerable number of Oilers' fans have been hard on their team, both for not making the playoffs this season and populating so much of the front office with ex-Oiler players. They're hard on their team because they love them, want a return to the glory days and, even more so, because they see so much potential they fear will waste away without a fresh approach.

I take a similar perspective with respect to Best Buy and J.C. Penney. There's nothing I love more than a turnaround. Than a wholesale transformation. Than innovation. Why do you think I drool over what Howard Schultz has done at Starbucks ( SBUX - Get Report ) and Patrick Doyle at Domino's (DPZ - Get Report)? I also root for the Edmonton Oilers. There's nothing better than tabula rasa in sports or business.
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BBY $31.61 0.35%
DPZ $119.93 0.76%
JCP $8.93 -1.11%
SBUX $56.25 -0.25%
AAPL $93.24 -0.41%


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