Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Step 2 Of the Off Season Metamorphosis Of the Edmonton Oilers is Complete

Step 1-Fire Craig Mactavish
Step 2-Sign Pat Quinn and Tom Renney as coaches.

I must say that I am skeptical of Renney and I have been rather tough on him as a coaching candidate basically seeing him as MacT's brother from another mother. However having Quinn on board is a biggie. A veteran coach if there ever was one, a coach that has dealt with the Canadian media, and a coach that commands respect. This is a far cry from Ron Low, Kevin Lowe, or Craig Mactavish. This is a professional coach that has years of NHL head coaching experience to draw from. No need for on the job training for Mr. Quinn to say the least.

Back to Renney, if he can learn from Quinn and adjust his game plan to his on ice personnel he could very well turn out to be a superb coach. My only fear is that he is like Mactavish in that he cannot adjust his game plan to his personnel. The one time that he did ('05-06 playoffs) when he changed the game plan to play to Dwayne Roloson's strengths, it was his brightest moment in a tenure that was otherwise dull. If Renney can be more like Lindy Ruff than Craig Mactavish, we may the best of both worlds in a coach that can win with whatever style best suits his team.

Buchberger remaining seems odd to me, and perhaps it is the single finger print left by Lowe on the coaching staff. He did an alright job in Springfield in '07-08 and was around this year during the Oilers meltdown. Perhaps he is Lowe's eyes and the last remaining relic of the Oilers old boys club. However he is still young and will have served under 3 experienced NHL coaches by the time that his 2nd NHL season as a coach ends. I cannot speak for Buchbergers role in the Oilers implosion to end last season, however between Renney and Buchberger, Quinn will be fed a steady diet of recommendations for defensive hockey. Luckily Quinn is a strong enough personality that he will likely do it his way, which IMO is a good thing in this situation.

Above all else, it is promising that the Oilers and more specifically their owner is willing to spend $ to give the team any type of an edge that they can get. The coaching staff has definitely been given a tune up, if there can be similar changes or at least additions made to the scouting department, the Oilers could be much better for it in the long run. Improving in all of the areas that are critical to on ice success that aren't controlled by the salary cap is what can really give a team that added edge that can give a team that extra push to maximize their efficiency as an organization.

Score one for Daryl Katz, we've finally seen first hand that he is willing to go beyond the norm to get the results that he desires.

Now we need to see Step 3-Moving Moreau and Staios out of Dodge and Step 4-Trading up at the draft.

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