Coaches Wanted

Jonathan Willis
August 24 2009 11:36AM

Word came today that David Bell has joined the Barrie Colts as an assistant coach. Bell spent last season as an assistant coach to Jeff Truitt and Rob Daum in Springfield.

The announcement was a bit of a surprise because I hadn’t heard anything about the fate of the Falcons’ coaching staff. A quick check of the Falcons’ official website reveals that Rob Daum is still listed as head coach, with Gerry Fleming as his assistant.

According to The Republican newspaper (which does a fantastic job of covering the Falcons), Fleming was re-signed by the Oilers after his contract expired at the end of June. I don’t recall an official announcement being made, but Fleming expects to be working under Rob Daum in the fall:

"Rob did an excellent job coming in here . He'll be good for this team, and working with him will be beneficial for me, too."

Fleming seems like a logical hold-over; despite being only 41-years old he has spent over a decade in coaching, with eight years as a head coach at the ECHL level (and an impressive 320-189-53 record). He moved into coaching immediately after his playing career (which featured 9 NHL games and plenty of fights in both the AHL and NHL) ended in 1998.

It remains to be seen if the Oilers will add a second assistant coach to the Falcons’ staff, but it does seem likely. I haven’t heard anything one way or the other, but I wonder if Stockton Thunder head coach Matt Thomas might be a possibility. Thomas replaced the fired Chris Cichocki mid-season and his arrival triggered a remarkable turn-around for the Thunder. Prior to joining the Thunder, Thomas was the head coach of the successful-on-the-ice, unsuccessful-off-of-it Fresno Falcons, who folded mid-season.

That’s only one of the potential vacancies the Oilers’ might want to fill before training camp. There was some talk back at the start of June about adding a third assistant coach to the Oilers’ NHL group (and Craig MacTavish consistently had three assistants) but so far nothing has come of that.

Additionally, the Oilers have yet to add a development coach to replace Bob Mancini, who left for USA Hockey back at the start of July. Mancini remains listed in that role on the Oilers’ official website.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Dan the Man
August 24 2009, 12:01PM
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MacT is still available...

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#2 humantorch
August 24 2009, 12:51PM
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Dammit, if only Dallas hadn't been so quick to sign Crawford, we could have made him an AHL assistant! Curses!

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#3 oilFan
August 24 2009, 01:41PM
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I hope K Lowe trys coaching. It would be a great start lol

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#4 Librarian Mike
August 24 2009, 01:48PM
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oilFan wrote:

I hope K Lowe trys coaching. It would be a great start lol

Maybe they could offer it to Gretzky. It may be good for him to learn how to coach, and I'd hate to see him go straight into the NHL and embarrass himself.

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#5 MattL
August 24 2009, 01:50PM
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oilFan wrote:

I hope K Lowe trys coaching. It would be a great start lol

You mean again? Not sure where you're going with this one.

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#6 The Menace
August 24 2009, 01:56PM
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The season can't start soon enough. I love JW's steady stream of articles, but I need to start seeing some game action!

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#7 #Swiss Oil fan
August 24 2009, 02:23PM
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BTW, has Rob Shremp already signed his contract offer?

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#8 ronaldo
August 24 2009, 02:49PM
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#Swiss Oil fan wrote:

BTW, has Rob Shremp already signed his contract offer?

Thinking of offering him a coaching position?

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#9 Fish
August 24 2009, 03:29PM
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Oh. David Bell joined the Barrie Colts. Wow. Who gives a sh!t.

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#10 Jonathan Willis
August 24 2009, 04:13PM
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@ Fish:

Who do you think would be suited to the role of development coach?

Who would you like to see round out Pat Quinn's staff?

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#11 rhino9
August 24 2009, 04:27PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Fish: Who do you think would be suited to the role of development coach? Who would you like to see round out Pat Quinn’s staff?

You mean we had a coach with this title before!

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#12 Bob Cob
August 24 2009, 04:31PM
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@ Fish: I agree with you Fish, it must be a slow news day.

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#13 Jonathan Willis
August 24 2009, 05:00PM
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@ Bob Cob:

It's been a slow news day every day for the past month and a half.

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#14 Rogue
August 24 2009, 05:14PM
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Jonathan....I must thank you for all your efforts at this site. Keeps the summer interesting and entertaining. But lets talk about all our new exciting players,the possible line combinations, their toughness, grit and face-off abil.......oh yeah. No new players, no excitement...."The Summer of Our Discontent" continues.......

*as i lay on the the floor in a fetal position, not unlike our small forwards, and play with myself.

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#15 Jonathan Willis
August 24 2009, 05:17PM
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Fleming's an interesting guy. I've never focused in on him before, but he definitely had some success coaching an ECHL team and as far as I can tell never really had much in terms of connection to the Oilers prior to taking the Springfield job.

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#16 oilitsinyoutogive
August 24 2009, 05:31PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: anyone with a record of 320-189-53, even at the ECHL level is worth keeping around. Must have some idea what hes doing.

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#17 Travis Dakin
August 24 2009, 05:33PM
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Bob Cob wrote:

I agree with you Fish, it must be a slow news day.

what the hell does a comment like that accomplish? What do you want him to make some news up for you? Ecklund does that all day so check that out if you like.

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#18 ronaldo
August 24 2009, 05:44PM
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This is kind of like nfl camp where we all fight amongst ourselves before the season starts and we get behind the team. Unless the team is crap of course, then we fight about who is most deserving of the horns and what needs to be done. Or if the team is good, then we fight about what we should do to tweak it or who is holding us back from the next level. Or if the team is great, then we fight about which teams in history this team could beat. Never mind.....damn I wish the season would start.

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#19 Robin Brownlee
August 24 2009, 05:47PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Bob Cob wrote: I agree with you Fish, it must be a slow news day. what the hell does a comment like that accomplish? What do you want him to make some news up for you? Ecklund does that all day so check that out if you like.

If an item doesn't interest you, don't read it. What could be more simple? It's like the mouth-breathing donkey at a Rexall Place who feels the need to yell "boring" every 45 seconds during a game. He might be right, but everybody thinks he's an as*hole for doing it. Don't be that guy.

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#20 Reagan
August 24 2009, 08:22PM
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Why don't the Oiler honour Mac contract and make him coach the Falcons. :)

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#21 Cam
August 24 2009, 09:40PM
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oilitsinyoutogive wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis: anyone with a record of 320-189-53, even at the ECHL level is worth keeping around. Must have some idea what hes doing.

My thoughts exactly. I love these articles tht tell me things I never would know about the oilers otherwise. I feel like a better fan every day.

Thanks JW

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#22 Dallas
August 24 2009, 10:35PM
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I agree great insight JW and brownlee. There has been a few articles I have just skipped over mainly stuff from flameout nation and canucklhead army though like buddys article about his computer being down how lame.

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#23 Dallas
August 24 2009, 10:37PM
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Actually I have checked out those sites outta boredom and wow there post numbers don't even come close to ours WE ROCK oil fans

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#24 oilerdiehard
August 25 2009, 12:43PM
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Thanks for this Johnathan. I guess unlike some I do find this sort of thing very interesting to follow. It is appreciated that you shed some light on things like this. I follow the Falcons pretty closely each season. I listen to some radio streams of games and buy/watch a few each season. I also keep an eye a little bit on the Thunder too.

I did not know Fleming had so much head coaching experience at the ECHL level. That is interesting and maybe he will eventually be Daum's successor? Either that or earn his stripes to move to another organization to be a head coach in the A.

Some AHL teams seem to only employ one assistant coach. I wonder if the Oil go that route or add someone else?

It seems like no one besides you is really talking about it lately. But I have been wondering if the decision has been made on whether to add another assistant to the Oil or not. At this late date I am thinking they may have decided not to.

It was interesting recently on Gregor's show. Prendergast mentioned that Renney would run the D corps on the bench (ala Huddy I guess). I wonder how the other areas will be handled? I assume that means Quinn runs the forwards and I wonder how the special teams will be handled? Quinn had said previously (at the time of his hire) that Bucky would probably continue to be the "eye in the sky" as he was before.

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#25 oilerdiehard
August 25 2009, 03:54PM
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Well this post was great timing.

The Oil just announced Wayne Fleming as the new assistant coach of the Oilers. He has a lot of years of experience in the NHL. Interesting choice. Another hockey Canada connection.

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