Posted - 05/18/2012 : 08:39:38 Yesterday, the Edmonton Oilers released a statement that Tom Renney would not receive a contract extension and I do not like the way this was handled at all. This is likely a decision that was made right after the season or at the most, a few weeks after. Why wait until now to announce this? It does not show a lot of class in the way Renney was treated. The start of the 12/13 season will have the 4th coach in 5 seasons behind the Oilers bench and the past three coaches (MacTavish, Quinn, and Renney) have been punted rather unceremoniously. The Oilers are not making themselves look like an employer of choice for today’s NHL coach.
With that said, I believe it is Renney's time to leave. The Oilers did make improvements over the past season and the young skilled players have developed well under Renney’s tutelage. Eberle has emerged as a legitimate star in the making and Hall and Hopkins have both shown streaks of brilliance around some challenging injuries. It is hard to argue with a 12 pt improvement year over year. However, when that 12 pt improvement moves the team from 30th to 29th it’s just not enough.
More importantly, Renney is not a motivating coach. He is a great teaching coach, the players respect him, and he is a skilled tactician of the game. Unfortunately, he does not seem to have the ability to drive his team to execute those tactics. Furthermore, the veteran players under Renney have floundered. Smyth started like a house on fire but fizzled out quickly around the Christmas. Shawn Horcoff’s performance dropped on both sides of the ice and he rarely looked interested in anything. Eric Belanger was a bust from game one but Renney continued to ride that horse far too long. Andy Sutton and Darcy Hortichuk brought sand paper to the line up but spent most of their time in the press box early in the season in favour the turn over king Cam Barker and the offensive enigma Linus Omark.
It is time for a change in Edmonton. The question is who should be the next coach? Brent Sutter appears to be a favorite at this time for some reason. The guy has done very little in regards to playoff success and he took New Jersey from one of the best teams in the East to an average team in a matter of 2 seasons. He did nothing in Calgary but also had little outside of aging stars to work with. He was also unable to get out of the quarters at the World Championships with what many consider a good enough team to win it all.
There are other discussions of a current Oiler coach moving up the ladder. Specifically Ralph Krueger, the current ‘associate coach’ for the Oilers. He has a solid track record with the Swiss national team. Although if he is not the coach than his fate, along with that of Steve Smith and “the Beauty” Kelly Buchberger, will be determined by the new boss.
The others that are being discussed are AHL coaches. The leader of that pack appears to be Todd Nelson who has been cutting his teeth with the Oilers farm team in Oklahoma City. Another is the head coach of the team those Oil Barons are current playing in the AHL playoffs. Many insiders have discussed Dallas Eakins disappointment in the Leafs organization for not giving him a crack at the big club when Ron Wilson was fired. He might be interested in making the leap to the NHL with a team other than the Leafs.
There are also some well-known coaches who are currently looking for work. Although long, long, long shots, guys like Ron Wilson, Marc Crawford, and Terry Murray are being muttered under the breath of a few Oiler fans.
The are only two things we can say: there will be a new coach behind the Oilers bench next season and they will be expected to lead this team to the playoffs. If not, it is likely it will not be the coach leaving next summer. There are only so many coaches a team can fire before the need to look upstairs.
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Posted - 05/22/2013 : 08:34:30 Nothing significant will change until they get rid of Lowe and MacTavish. They might squeak into the playoffs but the Oilers will never be a contender again until you get rid of those two and make some other significant changes to the way the organization operates.
Posted - 05/23/2012 : 14:18:15 choose ralph kruerger he is a great motivator sure did good with the austrian team and swiss nationals