Renney talks a good game

Robin Brownlee
May 05 2009 07:40PM

Tom Renney is a good NHL coach, but he's a hall-of-fame talker and somebody who is bound to impress Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini when they sit down to discuss why he's the right man to take over behind the bench from Craig MacTavish.

Renney's interview skills were never more impressive than this afternoon, when he spoke with Just A Game host Jason Gregor and co-host Dan Barnes on TEAM 1260 (listen to the whole interview here).

To be honest, I've long perceived Renney as a bit of a MacTavish clone, a guy who preaches defence first, covets safe players and doesn't necessarily get the most out of young, offensively talented players. Sound familiar?

In fact, Renney, 54, has pretty much won at the at same clip as MacTavish during his NHL coaching career with the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers, going 203-170-9-46 (.539) in 428 games. MacTavish, by the way, was 301-252-47-56 (.537) in 656 games with the Oilers.

While Renney is somebody, obviously, Tambellini wants to talk to, my take has been it's likely a stretch to think he'll be short-listed above candidates like Brent Sutter, Pat Quinn, Pete Laviolette, Bob Hartley and Marc Crawford.

I don't know if today changed my mind -- I'm thinking not -- but there's no question Renney, who has ties with Tambellini dating back to the 1990s in Vancouver, said the right things when Gregor and Barnes quizzed him today.

A silver-tongued devil he is.

Coaching the Oil

Barnes asked Renney if the Oilers have the kind of roster he'd like to coach.

"Absolutely," Renney said. "I think they've got a group of players within the ranks that would like to do something more than what they did last year. I think the leadership would like to make amends for a tough year that the team had.

"I think that's there's a lot of pride in that room, no question about that. You can draw on people who have had a tough time and use that to your advantage as a group and certainly as a coach. I think it's a great, young group. I think there's some untapped potential there, to say the least.

"I think what you've got to do is try to nurture that and inspire it, challenge it and hold it accountable and all those types of things that's incumbent with coaching. I just really like the upside of the team . . . "

Finding inspiration

Gregor asked about the coach's role in inspiring and motivating his players and how he approaches it.

"I think you've got to be that yourself," Renney said. "It can't be phoney. I mean, it's got to be the real deal and be one of those guys who gets up every morning looking forward to what's in front of you. You can kind of live that and allow others to view that as motivation before you even open your mouth.

"That's a good thing. There's a certain amount of motivation that comes from what we watch and see, never mind what we hear. Beyond that, you've got to translate all of that into what makes sense. It's got to be on a personal level for each and every player. You've got to have enough insight into each guy that you can help them understand that you get it on their behalf.

"Ultimately, as a group, it’s the same thing. I think that involves just being yourself, encouraging people and nurturing people and having a plan that makes sense, that you’re absolutely 100 per cent committed to.

"That becomes easy to follow, or it should. If it doesn't, then you're the wrong guy for the job or it's the wrong message."

Drawing the line

Barnes asked about Renney's approach to handling veterans versus younger players, specifically touching on MacTavish's penchant for giving some players in the dressing room much more rope than others.

"That depends on the circumstances, naturally," Renney said. "Let's just say that I'm the coach of that hockey club, for example, and they all understand where my bottom line is and what you can't do to cross it.

"I have no problem with that. I think it's a function of making sure you avoid the double-standard. I think it's a function of making sure guys understand you will draw that line. As a coach, you almost look for that opportunity, quite honestly . . .

"The bottom line, beyond that, is to be consistent. You don't sort of pick your spots. I think you have to be consistent. That doesn't mean you don't work with guys. That doesn't mean you don't give people a second chance. There's no question about that.

"The thing is, you don't discriminate between and older player making that decision or a young guy. As long as everybody knows and understands right off the bat where your bottom line is and you’re consistent with it, you're good to go.

"Those who can't handle it or whatever and choose to work outside the best interests of the team, they're probably going to have to answer to somebody else beside me."

Loose lips

Barnes asked Renney about his take on criticizing or calling out players through the media.

"I've never called out a player through the media," Renney said. "I think it's very dangerous to coach a player through the press. I think you're inviting problems you don't really, in fact, need.

"I don't think it has anything to do with accountability and holding people's feet to the fire and those types of things. That's a relationship between a coach and the player behind closed doors or within, at least, the confines of the team framework.

"I have no trouble challenging my team in the media and, often times, it serves as pretty good leverage. When players read about it they kind of get it that way, but I've not been one to single people out in the media. I'm not sure that's the appropriate way to go about things."

Drawing it up

Gregor asked Renney about how rigid he is in his coaching philosophy and if he shapes his approach based on the personnel he has to work with.

"What you have to have is flexibility," Renney said. "If you're so rigid you can't do that, you may, in fact, have some problems. You might be asking people to do things that are maybe a little bit beyond them . . .

"Good coaches, and they all are in the NHL, recognize the need to have some flexibility with their approach to the game recognizing what their personnel might look like."

The above are just excerpts from the interview, but Renney covered a lot of ground with these answers and, I'm guessing, said the kinds of things a lot of Oilers fans want to hear.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 David S
May 05 2009, 08:10PM
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Well if this guy coaches like he speaks, the players will be hearing alot of locker room speeches and end up asking each other "WTF was he talking about?" afterwords. Not exactly committal to any actual point of view was he? Good for a politician I suppose, but lousy for a guy who's supposed to inspire.

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#2 Harlie
May 05 2009, 08:17PM
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"You’ve got to have enough insight into each guy that you can help them understand that you get it on their behalf."

that quote alone makes me want to see him behind our bench. He's kinda got that New Yorker air to him which is something this city may want as we take the proposed next step.

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#3 Jasmine
May 05 2009, 08:41PM
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@ Robin Brownlee

Last I checked Brent Sutter hasn't been fired in New Jersey nor has he resigned. Why does he get mentioned in you article as a candidate?

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#4 DonDon
May 05 2009, 09:21PM
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@ Jasmine: Because at the end of the Devils' season Brent Sutter publicly indicated a desire to move back home to Alberta, and he didn't elaborate that it would happen at the end of next season, that is why.

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#5 Robin Brownlee
May 05 2009, 09:26PM
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@ Jasmine: So, the first time I don't qualify a reference to Sutter with "should the Devils let him out of his contract, he'll be a candidate . . ." you bring it up? Isn't it clear from the other 23 times I've done it, and the other 50 times other people have done it? Must we start at square one in every single reference so you aren't confused?

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#6 Archaeologuy
May 05 2009, 09:45PM
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@ Robin Brownlee: could you re-invent the wheel while you're typing that up next time

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#7 Reggie
May 05 2009, 09:51PM
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I haven't had a chance to listen to the full interview, but did someone ask the tough question - What went wrong in New York ?

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#8 Robin Brownlee
May 05 2009, 10:10PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

@ Robin Brownlee: could you re-invent the wheel while you’re typing that up next time

Oh, I can dumb it down. Instead of writing:

"Wayne Gretzky is interested in coaching the Oilers . . ."

We can do this: "Wayne Gretzky, who wore jersey No. 99 in Edmonton, set 61 NHL scoring records, played on four Stanley Cup teams, had his number retired at Rexall Place, was inducted into the HHOF the first minute he was eligible, has a dad named Walter, scored an NHL record 92 goals, is the NHL's leading career scoring leader, was denied the Calder Trophy because of a goofy rule, never got a sip from The Cup after being sold by Peter Pocklinton, has a wife named Janet, drives a black Ford Focus, was born in Brantford, Ont., made his debut with Edmonton during the 1978-79 WHA season, played for Edmonton, Los Angeles, St. Louis and New York in the NHL, won the Hart Trophy nine times, had a career-high 215 points in 1985-86, has missed the playoffs in four straight seasons as coach of the Phoenix Coyotes and prefers Juicy Fruit gum to Trident, is interested in coaching the Oilers."

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#9 Archaeologuy
May 05 2009, 10:18PM
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@ Robin Brownlee: Last I checked Wayne Gretzky hasnt been fired in Phoenix nor has he resigned. Why does he get mentioned in your article as a candidate?

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#10 Word
May 05 2009, 10:26PM
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I didn't hear the whole interview, and it could be that the rest of his comments were much more poignant, but I'm with David S on this one.

He sounds offensively political while he spouts off with that heap of flowery noncommital tripe. The dude talks like a date rapist. Furthermore, he comes across as if he's trying to interview by playing to the fans, which strikes me as a little inappropriate.

We've already been spoon fed a rancid diet of false hope. I think it's time the Oil hired a guy that's willing to tell us (and the players) the truth, not just what we want to hear.

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#11 snipes67
May 05 2009, 10:34PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

@ Robin Brownlee: Last I checked Wayne Gretzky hasnt been fired in Phoenix nor has he resigned. Why does he get mentioned in your article as a candidate?

Pure comedy!

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#12 David S
May 05 2009, 10:39PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

@ Robin Brownlee: Last I checked Wayne Gretzky hasn't been fired in Phoenix nor has he resigned. Why does he get mentioned in your article as a candidate?

Maybe because he might be looking for a job now...

hxxp://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2009/05/04/daily23.html

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#13 Archaeologuy
May 05 2009, 10:53PM
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@ David S: it was just a joke, but I cant wait for the 'Yotes to move back to Canada just so I can watch Bettman's smug look fade away.

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#14 Robin Brownlee
May 05 2009, 11:07PM
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@ Word: I agree. It sounded to me like he tried too hard to give the right answer as opposed to what he thought.

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#15 humantorch
May 06 2009, 01:33AM
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Trying to talk sense into Narnia is about as useful as shooting yourself in the face, and usually more painful.

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#16 Greg MC
May 06 2009, 08:13AM
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Oil, please say no to Renney.

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#17 scorcoff hemmercules
May 06 2009, 09:00AM
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He looks way too much like Mact, if he opened his mouth a little more I would say they are a perfect match. I can't take another year of constant bickering about our coach and I have a feeling it would be that way if we hire Renney.

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#18 dragon
May 06 2009, 09:01AM
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I got some of the interview. He spoke highly of both Jagr and Hemmer, but I didn't get the whole answer...

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#19 dragon
May 06 2009, 09:03AM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

He looks way too much like Mact, if he opened his mouth a little more I would say they are a perfect match. I can’t take another year of constant bickering about our coach and I have a feeling it would be that way if we hire Renney.

good point. I also didn't hear enough 'I can win the cup' attitude in his speech. Smart but not enough determination.

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#20 Chris
May 06 2009, 09:05AM
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I wonder if Jager, Renny, and Strudwick are a package deal...

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#21 The Towel Boy
May 06 2009, 09:33AM
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I sure hope Sutter gets the job...

...assuming he resigns or gets fired from the Devils, thus allowing him to become a candidate for consideration to coach the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Earth.

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#22 nboilerfan
May 06 2009, 09:42AM
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I'll start by saying that I think Renney is a reasonable candidate for the position and I think he is certainly deserved of an interview. Tambs wouldn't be doing a good job if he didn't talk to Renney.

But my initial reactions are... why would Renney do these public interviews? Why wouldn't he keep out of the limelight until after his interview? And… I wonder what Tambellini thinks of him doing these interviews?

I suppose it gives him a chance to connect a bit with fans... but it could just as easily backfire (and according to the comments thus far, it appears to have possibly done just that). He's getting asked some questions that undoubtedly would be subjects of the interview, so why not wait until he meets with Tambs instead of providing it publically ahead of time? I would expect he will be more candid with Tambellini, but what does he gain from doing these interviews?

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#23 Jason Gregor
May 06 2009, 09:48AM
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nboilerfan wrote:

But my initial reactions are… why would Renney do these public interviews? Why wouldn’t he keep out of the limelight until after his interview? And… I wonder what Tambellini thinks of him doing these interviews?

He did the interview because we also talked about the World Championships, since he is an analyst on TSN.

Why would Tambellini be mad? Renney would probably say close to the same thing to him when they eventually get around to talking.

Why wouldn't the Oilers want a coach who states publicly he is interested in the job??

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#24 Robin Brownlee
May 06 2009, 09:55AM
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@ nboilerfan: Renney's pitching hard. For a guy who hasn't even talked to Tambellini yet he's been on CHED with Tencer and 1260 with Gregor. Usually, you can't get a peep out of coaching candidates while the process is going on, so this strikes me as odd. I'm not going to complain about Renney making himself available for interviews because reporters want guys who are accessible and have something to say, but it does seem self-serving on his part. Will Renney be as available for questions if he gets the job? Probably not.

This aspect aside, I just don't see enough difference in Renney's approach to the game -- I don't know him well because of all the time he's spent in the east and am relying on snippets of info from players etc -- to consider him the best option to take the team in the direction Tambellini has indicated he wants to go.

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#25 KSC10032
May 06 2009, 10:23AM
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@ Robin Brownlee: I think we all need to understand that -- at the time of decision -- it is going to be a matter of who is genuinely available.

Guys with the resumes of Sutter, Quinn et, al, are interviewing Tambellini as much as he will be interviewing them. They have to like what they hear from him as much as he has to like what they put forward.

Personally, I'm from the group who would prefer a "new" coach from the AHL ( Arniel, Dineeen) pool.

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#26 Robin Brownlee
May 06 2009, 10:26AM
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@ KSC10032: I agree. Aside from Sutter, if he's available, and Quinn from the pool of established coaches, I'd like to see Tambellini give a long look to Geoff Ward (Boston), Brent Petersen (Nashville) and Rob Daum from the group of assistants-in-waiting.

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#27 Rick
May 06 2009, 10:29AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

This aspect aside, I just don’t see enough difference in Renney’s approach to the game — ... — to consider him the best option to take the team in the direction Tambellini has indicated he wants to go.

What I can't get a read on is if Tambellini was really all that disillusioned with MacT's style of coaching or if it was just agreed on that the message coming from MacT was the problem after so many years.

As a fan I would love to see them go more up tempo but Tambellini's praise of MacT prior to the press conference seemed pretty genuine and in that regard I don't think Renney's similarities to MacT would work against him.

I am curious why you have included Pete Laviolette and Bob Hartley on your list. Is it just because they are out of work or do you see something there that makes sense from a hockey perspective?

It's tough to not look at the cup ring each guy has but outside of that they haven't exactly done great things with their other teams. At least Crawford has a reasonable amount of success from Vancouver, regular season anyways.

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#28 Robin Brownlee
May 06 2009, 10:36AM
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@ Rick: You might want to think again . . .

Crawford's career regular season winning percentage is .555 in 987 games. He has one Cup (1996) and is .518 in the playoffs.

Hartley's reg season is .579 in 650 games, despite some awful Atlanta teams. He has one Cup (2001) and is .583 in the playoffs.

Laviolette is .562 in 487 regular season games. He has one Cup (2006) and is 20-17 in the playoffs.

Why WOULDN'T you consider Hartley and Laviolette?

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#29 Rick
May 06 2009, 11:04AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

@ Rick: You might want to think again . . . Crawford’s career regular season winning percentage is .555 in 987 games. He has one Cup (1996) and is .518 in the playoffs. Hartley’s reg season is .579 in 650 games, despite some awful Atlanta teams. He has one Cup (2001) and is .583 in the playoffs. Laviolette is .562 in 487 regular season games. He has one Cup (2006) and is 20-17 in the playoffs. Why WOULDN’T you consider Hartley and Laviolette?

Personally I wouldn't consider Crawford either, but I can atleast see why his name keeps getting thrown out there. Not the least of which is his connection to Tambellini.

But with both Laviolette and Hartley there are two guys that seem, for different reasons, to have trouble keeping their players attention. Both guys have been referred to as coaches that ultimately seem to create a crappy atmosphere for their teams.

Their .579 and .562 winning percentages don't seem impressive enough to offset the other baggage that they would seem to bring with them.

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#30 erixon
May 06 2009, 11:15AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

@ Rick: You might want to think again . . . Crawford’s career regular season winning percentage is .555 in 987 games. He has one Cup (1996) and is .518 in the playoffs. Hartley’s reg season is .579 in 650 games, despite some awful Atlanta teams. He has one Cup (2001) and is .583 in the playoffs. Laviolette is .562 in 487 regular season games. He has one Cup (2006) and is 20-17 in the playoffs. Why WOULDN’T you consider Hartley and Laviolette?

Hartley, Loviolette I would consider good candidates. Crawford, I don't think so. Take away his time with Colorado, where my grandmother could have stood behind the bench with a winning record, and it doesnt look so good. While he does have 6 of 9 seasons of winning records away from Colorado, look at the playoffs, Out Out, Lost in round 1, lost in round 1, lost in round 2, lost in round 1, out, out. That does not indicate success to me. While I do not enjoy the Oil missing the playoffs every year, I don't know how much more I would like continuous first round exits either.

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#31 The Menace
May 06 2009, 12:26PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

has missed the playoffs in four straight seasons as coach of the Phoenix Coyotes and prefers Juicy Fruit gum to Trident, is interested in coaching the Oilers

I would like to hear a bit more of the Juicy Fruit discussion that has gone on - I hadn't read that anywhere before. My understanding was that since his playing days here, he has been an ardent Trident man.

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#32 swany
May 06 2009, 12:28PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Archaeologuy wrote: @ Robin Brownlee: could you re-invent the wheel while you’re typing that up next time Oh, I can dumb it down. Instead of writing: “Wayne Gretzky is interested in coaching the Oilers . . .” We can do this: “Wayne Gretzky, who wore jersey No. 99 in Edmonton, set 61 NHL scoring records, played on four Stanley Cup teams, had his number retired at Rexall Place, was inducted into the HHOF the first minute he was eligible, has a dad named Walter, scored an NHL record 92 goals, is the NHL’s leading career scoring leader, was denied the Calder Trophy because of a goofy rule, never got a sip from The Cup after being sold by Peter Pocklinton, has a wife named Janet, drives a black Ford Focus, was born in Brantford, Ont., made his debut with Edmonton during the 1978-79 WHA season, played for Edmonton, Los Angeles, St. Louis and New York in the NHL, won the Hart Trophy nine times, had a career-high 215 points in 1985-86, has missed the playoffs in four straight seasons as coach of the Phoenix Coyotes and prefers Juicy Fruit gum to Trident, is interested in coaching the Oilers.”

This has to be a joke, RB, I get your beening sarcastic but the first line has me guessing, Gretz isn't intrested in the job is he? and the only reason I ask that is because of Bryn and Jakes poll on 1260 about him coaching the Oil.

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#33 Peter Pan
May 06 2009, 12:50PM
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I think we are all over-rating the importance of coaching. You could get Scotty Bowman, Pat Burns, Mike Babcock, Don Cherry, and Moses to coach this team and still we will not be a contender or playoff team. A coach is only as good as the tools he has to work with. The Oil do not have an NHL calibre goalie! The Oil do not a first line centre! The Oil do not not have a first line leftwinger! The Oil do not have size! The Oil do not have heart! The Oil do not have depth! The Oil do not have much salary cap space! The Oil do not have Blue-Chip prospects in the system! The Oil do not have a respectable powerplay! The Oil do not have a respectable penalty kill! The Oil do not have the ability to win faceoffs! The Oil do not have the ability to win at home! The Oil do not have a superstar! The Oil do not have a winning line up!

SO HOW IN THE HELL IS A COACH GOING TO RECTIFY THESE PROBLEMS! Unless Tambo brings in the tools for this new coach, its going to Groundhog Day here in Edmonton!

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#34 Rich Zeng
May 06 2009, 01:43PM
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Dude looks way too much like MacTavish... NEXT!!!

:p

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#35 Archaeologuy
May 06 2009, 01:46PM
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@ Peter Pan: STEP AWAY FROM THE LEDGE!

Things will get better. A new coach can help with the lack of Heart. The Oil could probably re-sign Roli for a year if they cant acquire another tender. There are 4 months to address the LW and Cap issues. There are Blue Chip prospects in the system: Eberle, Omark, Chorney The powerplay and PK are directly a product of coaching strategies The ability to win at home isnt something inherent in the players themselves. The Oilers under Ron Low's final year were pathetic at home, the next year under someone else it got better. No superstar, agreed, but Crosby and Malkin dont win the Cup every year either.

Coaching can fix a lot of problems, and it is a bad argument to say that a coach needs the tools to win. The Wild were a competitive team under Lemaire for years with a sub-par talent level. A good handi-man never blames his tools.

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#36 David S
May 06 2009, 02:24PM
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A good handyman makes sure he has a set of Snap-ons in his toolbox. Right now, all we've got is a set of Walmart Taiwanese knock-offs.

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#37 Robin Brownlee
May 06 2009, 02:30PM
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@ Peter Pan:

So, don't hire a coach until the other issues are addressed? A person would be infinitely dim to think simply hiring a coach is the answer, and I don't know anybody who thinks that, so you're not breaking any new ground here. You have to start somewhere.

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#38 Robin Brownlee
May 06 2009, 02:33PM
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David S wrote:

A good handyman makes sure he has a set of Snap-ons in his toolbox. Right now, all we’ve got is a set of Walmart Taiwanese knock-offs.

Snap-ons or strap-ons?

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#39 David S
May 06 2009, 03:34PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Snap-ons or strap-ons?

Your call. Either does the job.

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#40 Oilman
May 06 2009, 03:38PM
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Peter Pan wrote:

I think we are all over-rating the importance of coaching. You could get Scotty Bowman, Pat Burns, Mike Babcock, Don Cherry, and Moses to coach this team and still we will not be a contender or playoff team.

can you imagine Moses teaching our guys how to split the defense!

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#41 DK0
May 06 2009, 04:08PM
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Oilman wrote:

can you imagine Moses teaching our guys how to split the defense!

Calgary, Detroit, Carolina we are gold! I don't think he knows how to split any other color of sea though...

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#42 Peter Pan
May 06 2009, 04:19PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

No, I'm not saying that and I agree with you - one step at a time. Just needed to vent. All this smoke in the air has made me pretty grumpy.

Sidenote: Met J. Spacek at JFK Airport on a business trip yesterday. He has nothing but great things to say about playing in EDM and would play here again "in a heartbeat". Liar (LOL). Nothing but high praise for MacT. Thought the fans and media were too tough on him. I politely disagreed with him, but he was in the dressing room not me. But everybody loved MacT in '06 right?

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#43 Oilersordeath
May 06 2009, 05:52PM
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Look at Vancouver with the exception of Luongo, they dont have any superstars but their coach seems to be able to get them to play his system, why couldnt the same happen for the Oil??

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#44 myteammytown
May 06 2009, 07:35PM
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Peter Pan wrote:

I think we are all over-rating the importance of coaching. You could get Scotty Bowman, Pat Burns, Mike Babcock, Don Cherry, and Moses to coach this team and still we will not be a contender or playoff team. A coach is only as good as the tools he has to work with. The Oil do not have an NHL calibre goalie! The Oil do not a first line centre! The Oil do not not have a first line leftwinger! The Oil do not have size! The Oil do not have heart! The Oil do not have depth! The Oil do not have much salary cap space! The Oil do not have Blue-Chip prospects in the system! The Oil do not have a respectable powerplay! The Oil do not have a respectable penalty kill! The Oil do not have the ability to win faceoffs! The Oil do not have the ability to win at home! The Oil do not have a superstar! The Oil do not have a winning line up! SO HOW IN THE HELL IS A COACH GOING TO RECTIFY THESE PROBLEMS! Unless Tambo brings in the tools for this new coach, its going to Groundhog Day here in Edmonton!

in other news, the sky is blue, and word is a man may walk on the moon soon.

give your head a shake man. nobody is saying a new coach is going to fix this team.

Panic!!!Panic!!!Panic!!! WAHHHHHH!!!!!

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#45 Robin Brownlee
May 06 2009, 08:18PM
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@ Oilersordeath: It's not as simple as that. Tell me which six Oilers forwards stack up better right now than Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Pavol Demitra, Alex Burrows and Mats Sundin?

It's not all system. The Canucks are a more talented and balanced team.

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#46 Harlie
May 06 2009, 08:19PM
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Canes steal it with a giveaway from Chara!

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#47 Dan
May 06 2009, 08:59PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

@ Oilersordeath: It’s not as simple as that. Tell me which six Oilers forwards stack up better right now than Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Pavol Demitra, Alex Burrows and Mats Sundin? It’s not all system. The Canucks are a more talented and balanced team.

Vancouver has two very good players having very good years, two players having career years and two players whoose best years are behind them. Sounds like the recipe for any successful team. Every team hopes for this, few teams get the results.

I don't think Vancouver are world beaters by any stretch, they have a nice forward group but the strength of their team lies in goal and on the defence. They are getting some nice matchups thus far, St.Louis was cannon fodder, Chicago is green, They could take Detroit, I think they would have issues with Anaheim.

If the Oilers make necessary tweaks to the top 6 and actually slot players in their right spots, as well as consciously get bigger, they could be in the running for the division title as much as anyone. We don't really have an epic team in our division, at least not like the other divisions have.

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#48 Robin Brownlee
May 06 2009, 09:08PM
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Dan wrote:

If the Oilers make necessary tweaks to the top 6 and actually slot players in their right spots, as well as consciously get bigger, they could be in the running for the division title as much as anyone.

And if I was younger, better looking and could act, I could be as leading man. The necessary tweaks, as you put it, are far easier said than done, especially when one of the needs is a top-six scorer. Then there's finding a defensive forward who can win face-offs and there's the PK and the PP . . . This team isn't nearly put together right and it's naive to think otherwise.

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#49 Dan
May 06 2009, 09:28PM
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I see a need for 2 top 6 forwards, the bottom six can be filled quite well with the players we have, a need for a Dman, if we believe that Gilbert will be the bait for one of the top 6 players. And perhaps a goaltender if Roloson walks. So that only 4 spots to fill, but the key is they need to be filled with big bodies. So, its not totally outrageous as long as tambo understands what we have and what we need.

The bigger problem is we have a lot of riff raff that we need to purge.

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#50 Peter Pan
May 06 2009, 11:19PM
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myteammytown wrote: in other news, the sky is blue, and word is a man may walk on the moon soon. give your head a shake man. nobody is saying a new coach is going to fix this team. Panic!!!Panic!!!Panic!!! WAHHHHHH!!!!!

I shook my head as you suggested... got very dizzy. Thanks for the tip.

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