GUTS AND MONEY

Robin Brownlee
March 13 2012 05:21PM

I understand the sentiment that prompted Tom Renney to step away from his role as the designated piñata for a sizeable segment of frustrated Edmonton Oilers fans and direct some criticism toward his players after Monday's 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks.

It's not the intent but the execution, to borrow the jargon that often appears on white boards around NHL dressing rooms, of Renney's rant that might land him in trouble with his players – a group that, in the estimation of many fans, he has until now coddled to a fault by refusing to call-out more players and name names as his team lurches toward a third straight lottery pick.

For those who missed it, Renney said the following after watching the Oilers lose for 100th time in 151 games since he took over from bombastic Pat Quinn, who spoiled reporters by delivering similar heart-felt sentiments regularly during the 2009-10 season.

"It doesn’t take many for the wrong approach, the wrong attitude, the wrong give a shit to kind of make its way through your dressing room," Renney told assembled reporters. "It doesn’t take many guys at all.

"We have a few people who have to look in the mirror here because this is unacceptable. You’re the Edmonton Oilers, you’re a millionaire, you have an opportunity to play the game … Suck it up and play hockey."

STRONG WORDS

While Renney's players dutifully mouthed expected responses after a meeting and practice session Tuesday at Rexall Place, history tells me that some of them will have issues with the references he made to their level of professionalism and the amount of money they make.

Essentially, Renney told his players to stop acting like a bunch of entitled rich brats and get the focus back to trying to win hockey games, which is something the Oilers have done a pitiful job of for the better part of the last two seasons – I think 51 wins in 151 games can be characterized as such.

That said, referencing how much money players make sits mighty high on the list of things coaches can do to lose a player or a team, assuming they already don't have one foot out the door. Doing so didn't help Craig MacTavish coax any more effort out of disinterested, lazy Dustin Penner. It didn't help Quinn squeeze one single extra drop of effort out of his team during an altogether forgettable 27-47-8 season.

Likewise, while I sympathize with the sentiments that prompted it, I can't see Renney's rant, as framed, serving him well for what remains of the season. A quick jolt of we'll-show-you? Maybe. As for a benefit in the big picture and the long-term, which is something Renney has always stressed while playing piñata for those demanding results now, I don't see it.

Of course, Renney is a coach without a contract for next season, so maybe we shouldn't be thinking long-term. I can't help but think a usually gifted communicator like Renney – and he has been that, despite questions about his ability as a tactician – would like a do-over on the uncharacteristic rant we heard Monday.

Reminded me of MacT just before he, well, you know . . .

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show 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 Joels
March 13 2012, 05:28PM
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Tom Renney has the life expectancy of a dead man.

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#2 Spartacus
March 13 2012, 05:36PM
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It's tough to tell what's going on in the Oilers collective mind.

If the intent was to tank last year and then this year after the playoffs were out of reach, then Renney is being set up as the fall guy.

If the intent was to actually make a push for the playoffs this year, then Tambellini and even Lowe are every bit as responsible for where this team is now and should follow Renney out the door.

But who knows what the hell Batman is thinking?

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#3 Quicksilver ballet
March 13 2012, 05:41PM
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Either Tom appologized to the players this morning at practice, or this is as defiant as you'll ever see a coach before he reaches the end here.

Is Renney just giving the media what they wanted to hear last night or can he already see that bus coming. We won't have to wait long to find out.

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#4 Truth
March 13 2012, 05:47PM
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Barry Trotz is days away from being Marty McSorley'd behind the bench in Nashville. Maybe he says enough with that organization and will replace Renney.

It is funny that the Oilers didn't realize they had a good coach until he was gone. MacT was keeping the team afloat until it was absolutely picked apart and left hopeless. Time to find a new coach for the future. If the organization was to lose Lowe I wouldn't have any hurt feelings either.

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#5 Reality Check to the head
March 13 2012, 05:53PM
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I hate it when millionaire players get mad when people point out how much money they make.

I agree with Renney in the fact millionaires should feel privileged to be in the NHL. Maybe if one of these players was making $60-80,000 and shelling out 150-200 a game for a couple tickets and couple beers then they would empathize with the regular fan who has to sit through the kind of performance we have to watch.

LOOK IN THE MIRROR.

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#6 Toro
March 13 2012, 05:55PM
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Get rid of Lowe , we all know he is the puppet master and anything Tambo does has to go threw Klowe first, Only reason Lowe aint GM is cause his relationship with some of the other GM's around the league is soured

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#8 Buckwheat
March 13 2012, 06:15PM
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EXAMINATION QUESTION

Other than the acquisition of Peca and Pronger in the year after the lockout, please list the top 5 achievements of the Kevin Lowe regime.

(Take as much time as needed, weeks and months if need be.)

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#9 @NateInVegas
March 13 2012, 06:17PM
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Some of the coaching decisions have been so mind-numbing the only conclusion is that management's goal was to be in contention for the Draft lottery.

- Addressing the blueline with Potter and Barker? Whitney's skating 60% at the moment ?

- Not starting Taylor Hall most nights.

- Not using RNH as much as possible on the PP.

It's like playing Hall-RNH-Eberle together has created a disconnect all of a sudden. The Oilers have been sending mixed messages for years, maybe it`s time for an outside perspective

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#10 Wanyes bastard child
March 13 2012, 06:19PM
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@Buckwheat

Ummm...

Roloson, Spacek, the run in 06, Gilbert for Salo, and the Burke feud.

But thats just the top of my head...

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#11 Harlie
March 13 2012, 06:22PM
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I just got a text from Katz. Renney ain't going anywhere!

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#12 Jasmine
March 13 2012, 06:38PM
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@Truth

There was a rally organized to get rid of MacT. Fans ran MacT out of town, yet you want him back.

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#13 Woodguy
March 13 2012, 06:49PM
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I'll give Renney this:

Many of the best coaches across all sports have all said at one time or another that "the best coach is the one who gets off the bus with the best team"

Tambellini and Lowe haven't given Renney a whole lot to work with in terms of a complete and balanced roster.

They did the same with MacT.

Its seems to have driven both of them crazy.

The first person who needs to look in a mirror is Tambellini. Is he going to give Hall et al an incomplete unbalanced team again next year and ratchet the frustration levels up even higher?

If Tambellini doesn't start to deliver, next step might be players wanting out.

They may be millionaires playing a boys game, but they probably hate to lose as much as their coach.

Probably even more.

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#14 David S
March 13 2012, 06:54PM
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Spartacus wrote:

It's tough to tell what's going on in the Oilers collective mind.

If the intent was to tank last year and then this year after the playoffs were out of reach, then Renney is being set up as the fall guy.

If the intent was to actually make a push for the playoffs this year, then Tambellini and even Lowe are every bit as responsible for where this team is now and should follow Renney out the door.

But who knows what the hell Batman is thinking?

On a recent interview (Stauffer?) Lowe said the team knew playoffs were out of the picture in October. Any idea we may have had that the team was going for it was grossly misplaced. There was no intent to compete this year. None at all (IMO the worst thing that could have happened was that win streak we had at the beginning of the year).

Which is at the root of the problem I think. This team has no organizational desire to compete. Sooner or later the players are going to clue in that the ask for them to win is a hollow sentiment. The young guys who still have some win left in them from their junior days haven't been affected yet, but anyone here for more than a few years is probably sick of hearing repeated demands for performance far beyond what they are collectively capable of. I mean, if you're Sam Gagner you look across and see half a dozen guys who shouldn't be walking on that fancy Oilers rug in the locker room. What sort of motivation is that for a young athlete?

The only recourse for the players (who still give a crap) is to try to play far beyond what's possible for them on a nightly basis. That's why they have moments of brilliance, but nothing more. They simply cannot play at 110% just to compete every night - it's impossible and exhausting. So we see what we see. Everybody is mentally beat to hell, which manifests as frustration and "mailing it in". And the older the athlete, the more it shows.

Quite frankly this makes me sick. We're squandering the careers of talented young athletes. All the good we're witnessing is being tainted by a management team who has come to believe losing is OK and the path to winning. That's B.S. in my book.

I wouldn't be half surprised to see "And BAM, Stanley Cup!" in big red letters on the white board in the Oilers main boardroom. Brutal.

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#15 They're $hittie
March 13 2012, 06:56PM
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@NateInVegas wrote:

Some of the coaching decisions have been so mind-numbing the only conclusion is that management's goal was to be in contention for the Draft lottery.

- Addressing the blueline with Potter and Barker? Whitney's skating 60% at the moment ?

- Not starting Taylor Hall most nights.

- Not using RNH as much as possible on the PP.

It's like playing Hall-RNH-Eberle together has created a disconnect all of a sudden. The Oilers have been sending mixed messages for years, maybe it`s time for an outside perspective

while i agree with you on some of this. Did you not know that the oilers powerplay became number one after RNH got hurt.

The oilers powerplay and RNHs minutes on it are not a concern.

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#16 robert
March 13 2012, 07:38PM
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@Reality Check to the head

Amen. I'm about to make the 8hr drive to Edmonton for the battle of Alberta. And although im sure it will be a great time ....god I hope they win after I shell out $500 for the package. At least bring their game is all I ask.

Rob

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#18 sizedoesmatter
March 13 2012, 07:56PM
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Would be nice to see Renny get one more year with a healthy team and a few off season veteran additions.

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#19 Westcoastoil
March 13 2012, 08:11PM
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Mgmt and coaches repeatedly refer to and evaluate a players performance based on results. For this to hold any water with the players, mgmt and coaches should be evaluated on the same standard. For 3 seasons now the results are constant losing. Sure there are terrific young players on this team to build a winner around. But for the vets who have sat through seasons upon seasons of being asked to give it their all each and every game - play until injured, rehab and get injured again - knowing that mgmt has not given them a real chance at winning has to be beyond frustrating. This year's solution and help came in the form of Schultz for Gilbert. Wow thanks for all the help. That attitude is hard to prevent from spreading when once again there is no tangible improvement in the results.

If they miss the playoffs next year thanks to another weak summer by the top of the organization, why on earth would Hall & Ebs continue to want to stay. Few players want to be a part of a constantly losing organization. The window hasn't even opened yet and there's a pile of rocks forming. Fixing this team is on Katz. Leadership starts at the top.

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#20 dougtheslug
March 13 2012, 08:12PM
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The best move the Oil could make off season is to hand the "C" to Taylor Hall. I suspect the guard is changing anyway and I sense that TH is channelling the Moose right now - you can sense his desire to win and his disgust with losing from the cheap seats.

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#21 Saytalk
March 13 2012, 08:12PM
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And how much is Renney getting paid to coach this team into 29th place? How about teaching the players how to win a puck battle along the boards, or to keep their defensive assignment in their own end, or to finish their checks? The rebuild won't get anywhere unless the coaches coach the players on how to play.

I understand that some of the blame has to be placed on a management team that has built a front-6 of wimps, a back-6 of washed-up veterans and the least talented defensive corps in the league, but if nearly every player on the roster performs below their expected level, then there are clearly systemic issues that reflect on the coach.

Katz should fire Lowe and Tambo, and then let the new GM fire Renney.

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#23 Lawndemon
March 13 2012, 08:15PM
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The worst players on the ice were Horcoff and Smyth. Too bad both are untradeable due to:

A) bad contract B) irrational, inexplicable fan love

I wonder if the lack of contract offer to Smyth may be related to his attitude?

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#24 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 13 2012, 08:30PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Either Tom appologized to the players this morning at practice, or this is as defiant as you'll ever see a coach before he reaches the end here.

Is Renney just giving the media what they wanted to hear last night or can he already see that bus coming. We won't have to wait long to find out.

as a quick aside- i havent checked, how is your buddy turco making out in boston so far?

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#25 Halfwise
March 13 2012, 08:38PM
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David S (6:54pm) has it right imo.

The team is not good enough. That is not the fault of the players on the ice, it is the fault of management who picked the players.

More actual NHL players at every position, and the top talent will still perform while the bottom talent will stop leaking chances and goals against.

Don't blame the players for not being good enough, blame management for compiling a team that is not good enough.

Starts with Lowe, probably, and Tambellini and the pro scouts. Ends there, too.

Then the next question is, was this the plan? To tank for 3 years straight? If the answer is yes, then season ticket holders (I am one) have been cheated. We are paying for entertainment, not empty promises and false hope.

As a fan, do you want them to fix it? Or will you buy tix / watch the broadcasts regardless? There is a business man at the very top, and he understands revenue very well.

Frankly I think we have the team we deserve. We are suckers and will keep paying regardless of the foetid mist all over this franchise.

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#26 Quicksilver ballet
March 13 2012, 08:41PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

It doesn't take a jeanyus to figure out you're watch the Flamers game tonight eh.

I missed the highlights. Did he come in and mop up for Thomas again tonight?

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#28 admiralmark
March 13 2012, 08:49PM
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I think that Renney was calling out some of the Vets mainly. I think he's given them(vets) a lot of ice time drawing questions from fans and some media. And now at this point in the season especially lately.. It's the veterans that are letting him and the team down. So a vaguely calling them out in the media is good. It's a message to the kids as much as a message to the Vets. Kids: Keep doin what ur doin. Vets: Pull your heads outta your ass!

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#29 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 13 2012, 08:55PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Why's $$ such a touchy subject?

I mean I get that in a general sense our culture shies away from $ talk... but I don't see why this would be more wounding than saying a player was dogging it. What's the sports psychology behind this particular weak spot? any insights?

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#30 6 ring circus
March 13 2012, 09:10PM
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I think Cam Cole's articule this past weekend in the journal was pretty acurate.He basically compared the Oilers to the Leafs and said the two organizations were identical.Its hard to argue with that statement.

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#31 David S
March 13 2012, 09:13PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Staples has it mostly right if you ask me, although I'd weigh player performance more heavily despite bad calls in the front office.

Taylor Hall brings it almost every night and isn't going to change anytime soon because Steve Tambellini has made bad choices.

Players can succeed in spite of bad management, although I can't imagine why they should have to. I have, as I've written, doubts about Renney as a tactician and deployer of personnel and about Tambellini's ability to guide the rebuild, but let's not absolve the players of all responsibility. Everybody gets some on them after six years out of the playoffs.

Robin, please note that I am not David Staples. He posts using his whole name. I'm not in the league of either of you guys and would not pretend to be so.

Thx.

David

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#32 Halfwise
March 13 2012, 09:19PM
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The players who are not helping fall into three categories: 1) those who could help but don't feel like it 2) those who can't help but are doing their best 3) those who can't help and don't feel like it

Skid everyone in category 3. Keep those in category 2 who have some potential and can be placed where it can develop. Skid a couple in category 1 and see what effect it has on the remainder.

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#33 Dog Train
March 13 2012, 09:21PM
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Players are such babies these days. You can't coach them because the second that you question their effort or point out how much money they make, they turn on the coach. You can't fire a whole team so you fire the coach. I believe that Renney should take some blame in part for us "playing not to lose" as that's the way that he has coached most of the season. I agree that it could easily have a negative effect on some players. Still, if players get offended by the comments that Renney made then clearly their egos are too big for their own good. Fact are facts. Many of them are millionaires and they get to play a game for a living. As Renney said, suck it up and LOOK IN THE MIRROR!

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#34 Wanyes bastard child
March 13 2012, 09:28PM
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David S wrote:

Robin, please note that I am not David Staples. He posts using his whole name. I'm not in the league of either of you guys and would not pretend to be so.

Thx.

David

See, I'm not the only one :P

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#35 Thinker
March 13 2012, 09:38PM
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Ironic that after all the yelling we are playing columbus tomorrow. Hard to imagine the oil not putting the worst roster possible together to try and improve draft odds( two losses to columbus puts us within four points of them).

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#36 knight
March 13 2012, 09:47PM
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David S wrote:

On a recent interview (Stauffer?) Lowe said the team knew playoffs were out of the picture in October. Any idea we may have had that the team was going for it was grossly misplaced. There was no intent to compete this year. None at all (IMO the worst thing that could have happened was that win streak we had at the beginning of the year).

Which is at the root of the problem I think. This team has no organizational desire to compete. Sooner or later the players are going to clue in that the ask for them to win is a hollow sentiment. The young guys who still have some win left in them from their junior days haven't been affected yet, but anyone here for more than a few years is probably sick of hearing repeated demands for performance far beyond what they are collectively capable of. I mean, if you're Sam Gagner you look across and see half a dozen guys who shouldn't be walking on that fancy Oilers rug in the locker room. What sort of motivation is that for a young athlete?

The only recourse for the players (who still give a crap) is to try to play far beyond what's possible for them on a nightly basis. That's why they have moments of brilliance, but nothing more. They simply cannot play at 110% just to compete every night - it's impossible and exhausting. So we see what we see. Everybody is mentally beat to hell, which manifests as frustration and "mailing it in". And the older the athlete, the more it shows.

Quite frankly this makes me sick. We're squandering the careers of talented young athletes. All the good we're witnessing is being tainted by a management team who has come to believe losing is OK and the path to winning. That's B.S. in my book.

I wouldn't be half surprised to see "And BAM, Stanley Cup!" in big red letters on the white board in the Oilers main boardroom. Brutal.

Very well put, losing has been OK with this team way too long.

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#37 Wanyes bastard child
March 13 2012, 09:50PM
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Hey Robin, are you going to be writing the ON/FN GDB for the game on Friday?

Because that would be sweet if you are!

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#38 shiva
March 13 2012, 09:56PM
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After watching the game last night, it struck me just how much it was of the same old thing. For years I have seen these types of efforts, but this time, I am very concerned about the effect it will have on the kids.

We have a privileged group at the top that seems to be happy to point the blame at everyone else, despite the fact that it is this group making all the choices. Losing Renney means this will be the 4th coach in 5 years. This could be yet another year in which this team is worse than the previous one.

When this group announced the blatantly obvious that this team would go into a severe rebuild, 3 years after everyone else felt should happen, we all cheered and said finally. But, this wasn't a full rebuild, this is only half a rebuild. To do a full rebuild means to change everything, and not just the players, trainers, the coach or who ever becomes the official scapegoat.

The only way this becomes a proper rebuild is to change the people in charge, the people who are responsible for this mess.

Lowe is still pulling the strings, and I cannot understand how anyone in their sane mind could allow this to continue. Tambi has proven deficient on several things, including communication skills from the looks of it, and it's hard to point out any decent trades that we were actually the better from (Not Smyth, he was handed to us on a silver platter)

This teams direction has been going the wrong way for years, and it's time to turn the direction around, and restore some actual pride in this team and it's organization. It's time to complete the rebuild, and get rid of the actual problem this team and it's fans has had to suffer through for years. It's time to get new blood to call the shots, it's time to get new bosses.

This team needs a culture change, and you can't do that without removing the people at the very top.

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#39 mlcselli
March 13 2012, 10:32PM
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Robin, I think with the record that Renny has, 51 wins in 151 games, that he has no bragging rights. This is shameful for an experienced coach, regardless of the roster he has to work with. Someone upstairs in the office should have called him out for his results. The fans have been vocal for a long time expressing displeasure with how he coaches and the lines he puts together. Renny went on a rant last night and he should have. The only problem I have with it is the timing. He should have gone ballistic months ago. Too little too late, I'm afraid. I'm sure I read here at the beginning of the season Renny saying, that the honeymoon was over and he was going to hold players accountable and have them earn their ice time. Obviously, this has not happened on most occasions. By not following through and making examples of some of the players where it was warranted, Renny put his own credibility in jeopardy with the team.

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#40 Puritania
March 13 2012, 10:40PM
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sizedoesmatter wrote:

Would be nice to see Renny get one more year with a healthy team and a few off season veteran additions.

False.

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#41 book¡e
March 13 2012, 10:55PM
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David S wrote:

Robin, please note that I am not David Staples. He posts using his whole name. I'm not in the league of either of you guys and would not pretend to be so.

Thx.

David

Not sure what you are trying to say with this statement, but I just wanted to say I enjoy all of your urban stories now that you have moved into covering that stuff, but I disagree with you about the Shiny Metal Balls. I love public art, but there are many better examples around for the same cost.

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#42 Oilcruzer
March 13 2012, 11:26PM
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The coach is not the problem.

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#43 Butters
March 13 2012, 11:49PM
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Lsst year Renney had a clear mandate; develop the players, regardless of where the team ended up placing.

This year, the mandate was likely an improvement in the standings. He was given Belanger, who has had a terrible season. He was given Potter, who looks like he forgot how to play hockey, Barker, a failed reclamation project. His best Dman is hobbled. And in order to win, he probably felt compelled to run Smyth and Horcoff into the ground.

The Oilers are a team who have always had good goaltending, Fuhr, Moog, Ranford, Joseph, Salo, Roloson(mostly). This is the longest period of time that I can recall where this franchise has not addressed this shortcoming.

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#44 Cervantes
March 14 2012, 01:40AM
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Renney is not the problem. He is doing what he can with what he's got. Everyone keeps complaining that the kids aren't getting an extra 2-4 minutes a night, but ignoring that he's giving them an opportunity to succeed. The kids would get murdered going against the other teams top line every game, they wouldn't have a chance to gain confidence doing the fancy dangles and sharp passes that they can currently get away with facing the mid-6. Yeah, it sure would be nice having RNH play a full 2 minute PP, but he's not Ovechkin, he doesn't have that stamina, and there's also another 11 forwards to worry about developing.

Renney is doing what he came here to do, which is develop the kids, give them a passable road into the NHL, and then start expanding their horizons. Start them off on 16 minutes against mid-range competition, let them get confident and comfortable, and then slow start adding PK time, last-minute time, etc etc. Sure, we'd all love that to happen right away, but Renney is smart and knows what's needed. Notice how Hall has been on the ice in the last minute for the last dozen games or so? That's called progressive advancement, and it is how you build winning players.

Of course, he's also got to take care of the guys signed to long-term contracts, which is why Belanger continues to get good chances and decent linemates. Why crush any spirit he has with 5 minutes a night on the 4th, when you have him for 2 more years? Give him a chance to succeed and let him know you've got his back, and next year when his percentages are back up he'll be a reliable player instead of a broken husk.

In closing, after 4 coaches in 5 years, the coach is not the problem. We cleaned house on the players, so they're not the problem. The utter lack of a balanced team is the problem, and that is 100% Tambi. Renney may have 51 wins in 150 games, but Tambo has a worse record than that. He needs to go. Renney voiced his frustration, and I feel there were some points in there designed to prod a select few players into action, and it was also probably coloured by a hard few days in his personal life, but he's here to put boots to asses. He's gotta be as tired of saying "we relish the role of spoiler" as we are of hearing it.

Tambo out. Renney, 3 year contract. Add a dman or two, replace Khabby with a solid .910 goalie to pair with Dubs. That's really all that's left to do. Not too hard.

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#45 Ed in Mada
March 14 2012, 04:10AM
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admiralmark wrote:

I think that Renney was calling out some of the Vets mainly. I think he's given them(vets) a lot of ice time drawing questions from fans and some media. And now at this point in the season especially lately.. It's the veterans that are letting him and the team down. So a vaguely calling them out in the media is good. It's a message to the kids as much as a message to the Vets. Kids: Keep doin what ur doin. Vets: Pull your heads outta your ass!

The veterans have been the problem this year. Other than MPS the kids have lived up to or exceeded expectations(RNH, Eberle, Hall, Petry, Gagner). Too many veterans are just brutal night in and night out, lead by the 5 milllion dollar man.

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#46 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 14 2012, 06:28AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

It doesn't take a jeanyus to figure out you're watch the Flamers game tonight eh.

I missed the highlights. Did he come in and mop up for Thomas again tonight?

no, i was busy manscaping.

he started, got yanked after 3 goals on 6 shots. had to go back in when thomas did just as well.

4.44GAA and .824save%.

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#47 Spaceman Spiff
March 14 2012, 09:12AM
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Renney's rant was welcome, well-aimed and a long time coming.

I think that, as fans, we often lose sight of this little fact: It always comes down to the players.

We too often call for the firing of coaches and GMs and scouts and, ahem, certain directors of certain hockey operations because we assume that a quick-fix of removing one or two bodies at the top will somehow have the trickle-down effect of improving the effort and production of the 21 or so guys at the bottom.

But it always comes down to the players.

How they respond. How much effort they put in. How they execute. How they play.

Coaches like Renney, bless their hearts, work to try to shield players from a lot of that stuff by falling on their swords entirely too much - by shifting blame to inadequate game-preparation or by heaping credit on the other team. But, at best, it's a shell game that coaches play to hide the obvious.

It always comes down to the players. I'm not sure if Renney's going to be a part of the organization much past, say, April 15th, but good on him for bringing it into the harsh lights once again.

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#48 Rick
March 14 2012, 10:09AM
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So the Oiler's players have been told by management for a few years now that a natural part of the rebuilding process will be losing alot of hockey games but that's ok because the payoff will be worth it.

The coach on the other hand seems to be a deadman walking because the same team, the one that has essentially been given the OK to lose from mangement, can't muster up the urgency/motivation within themselves to play the game the way a winning organization does.

Maybe it's not the coach but the so called super secret rebuilding plan that's the problem?

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#49 Oiler Al
March 14 2012, 10:18AM
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Tambelini and Renney are certainly not " Mr Excitment" type of guys.. They are laid back guys,and thats the way the teama comes out to play most nights. Not, mention the fact that on many many games they are down 1 -0 before the first shift is over. I blame the coach for not having his team ready... and if its not the right group of guys in the room, changes should have been made back at the end of Dec. Making a coaching change in Dec, would have least given you an idea if its the coach or the players. If I was Katz I'd clean house at the top..Lowe, Tambelini and Renney .. gone! Why.. because next year will be the same as this year... rebuilding still. Check out Ottawa and St Louis , Av's ..see how their rebuild is coming along. Dysfunctional operations ie; Montreal create a loosing atmosphere.

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#50 Oilcruzer
March 14 2012, 12:46PM
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Nothing to see here, turn the page.

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