TOM RENNEY: I'VE GOT QUESTIONS

Robin Brownlee
March 07 2012 01:49PM

Edmonton Oilers coach Tom Renney has a long resume that still includes a notation as holder of the all-time best winning percentage in the CHL, a .714 clip he compiled with the Kamloops Blazers on the way to two WHL titles and a Memorial Cup. Renney is smart. He's driven. He's honest.

All that said, and his credentials duly noted, I'm wondering about Renney's feel for the game and the personnel he's in charge of in his dressing room right now as the Oilers approach the final 16 games of a season that will see them finish as a lottery team for the third straight year.

Does Renney, 57, have a firm grasp of what it's going to take to move along the rebuild he and team management have been selling fans since he showed up in town as an assistant coach as part of the ill-conceived experiment that saw GM Steve Tambellini bring in Pat Quinn? Does Renney's philosophy fit the situation he's in?

Here and now, does Renney have a handle on how to develop his young players – Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, to name just three -- in that dressing room, players who'll be the cornerstones of building the Oilers into contenders again?

Does what Renney perceive as best for the organization mesh with what's best for those players and vice-versa? Is Renney's approach, especially where it pertains to the use of personnel, in sync with Tambellini and Kevin Lowe, president of hockey operations? Are they on the same page?

I have questions . . .

THE WAY I SEE IT

-- The latest question I have about the deployment of personnel regards the use of Linus Omark against San Jose Tuesday, and I'm certainly not alone in that. What, pray tell, is the point of inserting Omark into the line-up if you're not going to use him in a situation where he can succeed?

I cannot, even stretching the limits of reason, conclude that sticking Omark with Eric Belanger and Lennart Petrell constitutes a reasonable chance to succeed. Even if Omark isn't in the plans, if he's been written off, why would the Oilers not give the kid a sniff in the top six and showcase him for the balance of the season? What's the downside?

-- With officials pocketing their whistles and power plays at a premium, why isn't Nugent-Hopkins hopping over the boards as the first option each and every single time the Oilers go on the man advantage? Bob Stauffer on 630 CHED was having a go at this on Oilers Now today, and it's a question a lot of people are asking.

I get it that Renney has been mindful, and should be, of sheltering Nugent-Hopkins, Hall and Eberle from unfavorable match-ups, and I've commented on it before, but I don't see that applying to power play situations now. Turn the kids loose, and find time for Omark in the PP mix, down the stretch.

-- I still haven't been able to get a handle on why Magnus Paajarvi was left to wither on the vine earlier this season. Jason Gregor and I have batted this around countless times on his show at TEAM 1260, as have many others, including perplexed readers here.

While the speedy winger didn't accomplish nearly enough offensively to force the issue before a long overdue assignment to Oklahoma City to knock off the rust, I remain puzzled. Likewise, why did Theo Peckham sit so long until getting back in Tuesday?

-- Does Renney hold veterans like Ryan Smyth and Shawn Horcoff as accountable for mistakes and bad decisions as he does young players like Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle? It seems to me, if anything, the veterans should be more accountable. It looks to me, if ice time is the currency we go by, they have been far less accountable.

What's Renney's end-game? What's the plan?

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 SiD
March 07 2012, 01:54PM
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It appears to me that Renny does not like Swedes. I'm not the only person I know who has thought it.

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#2 Talbot17
March 07 2012, 01:54PM
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Renney's calls are mind boggling at times

Vet's on any other team are held accountable, yet on the Oilers they are not. Belanger has been brutal all year yet for most of the season he was given PP time constantly. Lets put Petrell for a game as a top 6 but barely give Eager much time up in the top 6 or Omark yesterday anything more than a victim of the Belanger triangle?

This team frustrates me. Then again, they are full speed to Grigorenko

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#3 freeze
March 07 2012, 02:04PM
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This team is maddening on so many levels. Is Katz just f'ing with us?!

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#4 BroncoBilly
March 07 2012, 02:09PM
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One of the things that is making fans nervous is exactly what you have cited here. He seems to have a severe bias towards the vets. They continue to get icetime and are not benched for brain cramps that have affected the game outcomes. The Oil have a tendency to be impatient in the extreme, often rushing young early 1st rounders into the NHL only to jerk them around causing them to stumble and flounder. Gagner is a good example of this. If there is a plan it looks pretty shaky. Many have observed that there appears to be a growing disconnect between the Oil>Renney>fans. It doesn't look good going forward.

Might Renney's handling of the team be a by-product of having one foot on a banana peel and the other foot on something slippery?

Renney's shortcomings as a coach are not based on his character but maybe it's simply a lack of knowing how to deal with burgeoning talent in a self-proclaimed re-build.

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#5 skinny65
March 07 2012, 02:20PM
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I agree with you brownlee and the other one that is making me mental is the use of Schultz. We traded our top d-man for someone Renney is using on the 3rd pairing. It's ludicrous. I've actually liked the way Schultz has played since he's come over but I can't figure out what Renney is doing with him. It makes the trade look much much worse than it needs to be. Does anyone in the media ask Renney these questions?

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#6 book¡e
March 07 2012, 02:26PM
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I often try to rationalize Renney by seeking out alternate motives to his decisions other than winning. Some of the possibilities are

a. He is coaching to lose so as to get a better pick at the direction of the GM.

b. He is coaching to create some kind of 'attitude' about playing.

c. He is solely about development of players.

With that said, I haven't been able to figure out the Linus and Magnus issues.

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#7 Dan the Man
March 07 2012, 02:29PM
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Excellent article as usual, I've been wondering what is going on in Renney's head lately myself.

Why did Cornet get a shot in the top 6 when he was recalled but somehow Omark doesn't?

Why does Barker keep getting chances when he proves over and over again that he's not an NHL defenseman?

Why is Sutton the odd man out after some strong appearances yet Potter stays in the line up despite his struggles?

Why does Petrell get a look in the top 6 when Eager has shown more offence and more speed?

Why is one of the top PP guys in the league this year on the 2nd unit instead of the first?

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#8 Dan the Man
March 07 2012, 02:33PM
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book¡e wrote:

I often try to rationalize Renney by seeking out alternate motives to his decisions other than winning. Some of the possibilities are

a. He is coaching to lose so as to get a better pick at the direction of the GM.

b. He is coaching to create some kind of 'attitude' about playing.

c. He is solely about development of players.

With that said, I haven't been able to figure out the Linus and Magnus issues.

My guess is that both Magnus and Linus have refused to shave their sideburns.

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#9 Oilers Coffey
March 07 2012, 02:33PM
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Great read, I have been shaking my head too far to often watching Renney "MANAGE" the games these days.

Renney mentions, "At some time we have to arrive"

The kids have been playing there hearts out, they still have that will to win, yet to be tainted by the likes of some of the vets; but when Renney throws the vets on the ice time and time again, its boggling. The vets make a lousy and lazy line change, they are out the next shift. Then on Oil Change we hear Renney making a point of Halls line being out too long, and his first instinct is to bench them??? what gives??? Its a new era of players, but it seems Renney is stuck in the past of how to handle these elite players.

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#10 bigguy13
March 07 2012, 02:34PM
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I agree totally...Actually its nice to see some of the media calling out Renny post game. After listening to Spector ask the question about not playing Omark in the top six and hearing Renny get fired up, its good to see. I don't get it.

A question that has been probably asked at him is why not play the kids together more? Why protect them if thats what he is doing? We are not making the playoffs so what is he protecting them from?

One last thing, why was Renny fired from the Rangers?

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#11 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 07 2012, 02:40PM
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Tambellini mentioned the Oilers were a far better team than the 29th place team they were in the standings a couple weeks ago. Figured this statement was effectively throwing Tom Renney under the bus. Renney's questionable decisions can all be attributed to the "losing is our best option" agenda the Oilers have. Tom has been a fine team player through all the BS we've witnessed over the last 3 yrs.

Why doesn't Tom Renney get the same 2 yr severance package/extension that Katz appears to be giving Tambellini i wonder...

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#12 Truth
March 07 2012, 02:43PM
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A lot can be read into what happens to Renney this off-season.

If he gets re-signed: 1) This is a tank job

2) Katz is a not very bright (I highly doubt this one as I've heard he does kind of well for himself)

If he doesn't get re-signed:

1) Renney is not a good NHL coach. He is very near the end of his contract. If I was an NHL coach and wanting to continue to be, I believe the best motivation for an extension/job somewhere else would be to win games.

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#13 Eulers
March 07 2012, 02:45PM
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I agree that Renney has made some head-scratchers. However, I cut him a lot of slack because he doesn't have the horses, and I think this is another season of learning more so than winning.

My impression is that Renney was getting Omark's feet wet last night. Omark had played 4 of 5 nights including last night. I can tell you by seeing him on the 3rd night in Chicago that he appeared fatigued or at least not dominant. Plus, the size difference against the Sharks was not a recipe for Omark's success. I think this is what Renney was getting at when he said "walk before we run".

So, I expect Omark to take Hemsky's place in the top 6 for most of the remainder of the season. Tough to send Hemsky to the bottom 6, but his play has been inconsistent all year and we already know where he fits on the team.

Good point though regarding the lack of accountability for the vets on the team.

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#14 book¡e
March 07 2012, 02:46PM
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@Truth

My understanding is that in his other businesses, Katz is not shy about firing people who don't meet his expectations.

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#15 #94 sized hole where my heart used to be...
March 07 2012, 02:52PM
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Renney is a very good teacher of the ins and outs of the game and in that way he's a great coach for this team, for these players at this point in there careers HOWEVER Renney is one of the worst Game Tactitions I have seen in a long long time, look at his success in jr's as opposed to the mediocraty that he's diplaying now, in the dub(and the CHL in general) it could be argued that a head coaches job is more of teacher/babysitter than strategy, Renney's greatest coaching success came in that environment, basically what i see Renney';s role being in the grand scheme of things is that he's that coach that the young up and coming team has that teaches them the game very well and develops them but when the team is ready to contend the Oil will falter, they'll fire renney than hire a coach who isnt so much a teacher and more of an in-game tactition, as a comparable I'd say look at the Penguins when they fired Therrien and hired Bylsma. Interesting enough we might have our future bylsma on our own minor team in todd Nelson

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#16 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 07 2012, 02:55PM
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@Eulers

if Renney swaps Omark for Hemsky and not Smyth he'll be making a great blunder akin to starting a land war in China.

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#17 They're $hittie
March 07 2012, 02:57PM
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The reason RNH is not on the first pp unit is because the percentage has gone up and it is now number one in the league since he has been off of it.

While he is not the problem on PP why would you screw with it when it is not broken. Lets try to maintain it and come out with a positive this season.

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#18 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 07 2012, 03:00PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Excellent article as usual, I've been wondering what is going on in Renney's head lately myself.

Why did Cornet get a shot in the top 6 when he was recalled but somehow Omark doesn't?

Why does Barker keep getting chances when he proves over and over again that he's not an NHL defenseman?

Why is Sutton the odd man out after some strong appearances yet Potter stays in the line up despite his struggles?

Why does Petrell get a look in the top 6 when Eager has shown more offence and more speed?

Why is one of the top PP guys in the league this year on the 2nd unit instead of the first?

Great list. Add skinny's point about Schultz; Belanger on the PP; playing Hordi over just about anyone. etc.

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#19 spOILer
March 07 2012, 03:01PM
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Re: The Kid's Development

Hard to argue with Eberle's production, Nuge's Calder candidacy, Hall's Corsi against the toughs, the steps forward taken by Petry, Smid, Dubnyk.

Re: Omark on the 4th

When did this become an issue? Was it when Graves and Murphy spent time on the 4th? Horcoff? Hemsky? Gagner? And on top of it all the kid has admitted he's close but not quite 100% recovered from his earlier injury. Maybe Couturier and Schenn should be forced into the top 6. Seguin last year. Detroit evidently has been doing it wrong over the years too.

Re: Nuge's PP time

I haven't checked the shift charts, but these do have an effect on who goes over the boards on the PP again especially for a kid recovering from injury and at the backend of his first NHL season. And it's not like the Nuge has seen zero PP time.

Re: the Vets

I'm guessing Renney is fully aware that he has the vets climbing up Hamburger Hill under heavy gunfire every game and thus cuts them a little slack. Also most of these guys are committed on contracts beyond this year so they will get opportunities (like Belanger on the PP) to find some offensive spark, which is a trade-off against the kids like Nuge getting that opportunity. Tough tightrope.

Just some thoughts to consider.

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#20 They're $hittie
March 07 2012, 03:02PM
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bigguy13 wrote:

I agree totally...Actually its nice to see some of the media calling out Renny post game. After listening to Spector ask the question about not playing Omark in the top six and hearing Renny get fired up, its good to see. I don't get it.

A question that has been probably asked at him is why not play the kids together more? Why protect them if thats what he is doing? We are not making the playoffs so what is he protecting them from?

One last thing, why was Renny fired from the Rangers?

because they get lit up for scoring chances against, and do not produce when on the road. they have years to play together. does it not make sense to balance them on the road so one or two can see the easier d pairing.

Eberle and Nuge get scoring chances but did you know that the two of them are in the bottom 5 scoring chances differential. With how much they create how bad are they defensively.

You all get mad that we are losing, it would probably be worse if they were played together all year.

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#21 Sean17
March 07 2012, 03:02PM
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I still think back to Eberle on HNIC After Hours when he was asked the game plan as to what type of style the Oilers are trying to play and he couldn't answer the question. Again, if one the of smartest players on the team (he was a WHL scholastic player of year) doesn't get it, what chance do some of the dummies have!

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#22 Oiler AL
March 07 2012, 03:05PM
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Thank you Mr Brownlee... great topic. An area where the JOURNAL, scribes wont touch with a ten foot pole.I go back to late Dec/.012 when you could see this team was in a mess[forget injuries ..all teams have them ].Here we are almost at seasons end, and what has changed with the play of the team [everyone is back from IR], ??? Defensive zone coverage is awaful, everyone is running around.Compete level inconsistent,. Neutral zone coverage is terrible. Other than Hall, no one goes hard to the net with vengence. Forechecking efforts are lame and late.Not much in the way of hard hitting and hard on the puck checking. Thats my report card on Renney and staff. If you think I am off my rocker.. then think maybe, just maybe, thats why they are 29th in the league., with personnel that are much better than other teams , who are ahead of the Oilers by a mile.

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#23 They're $hittie
March 07 2012, 03:11PM
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I understand that omark skill set is for a scoring line and you want to showcase him. But he is not a top six player in the NHL. Further to that What have he and magnus done in their careers to be guaranteed top six spots. The six players in front of them have earned it.

would all of you like the guy below you at work who has not accomplished anything yet but is smart to get paid more than you or more opportunities to move up despite you consistently performing better than he or she. Dont think so.

omark has an attitude and if you just give him everything he wants than he will never learn to play to the best of his ability. he has earned the promotion from the AHL, but until he outperforms the wingers ahead of him why punish them.

and yes maybe he should play ahead of smyth.

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#24 Shredder
March 07 2012, 03:17PM
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#94 sized hole where my heart used to be... wrote:

Renney is a very good teacher of the ins and outs of the game and in that way he's a great coach for this team, for these players at this point in there careers HOWEVER Renney is one of the worst Game Tactitions I have seen in a long long time, look at his success in jr's as opposed to the mediocraty that he's diplaying now, in the dub(and the CHL in general) it could be argued that a head coaches job is more of teacher/babysitter than strategy, Renney's greatest coaching success came in that environment, basically what i see Renney';s role being in the grand scheme of things is that he's that coach that the young up and coming team has that teaches them the game very well and develops them but when the team is ready to contend the Oil will falter, they'll fire renney than hire a coach who isnt so much a teacher and more of an in-game tactition, as a comparable I'd say look at the Penguins when they fired Therrien and hired Bylsma. Interesting enough we might have our future bylsma on our own minor team in todd Nelson

I couldn't agree more...Renney is a great teacher, and I believe he does have the horses now...but these are better horses than he started the season with (ie; Hall/Ebs/RNH have learned the game more, have found confidence, and have added a few new tricks to their toolbox, thanks to experience and Renney's teaching-not coaching). I think Renney's strategy of using the vets, even though they shouldn't be rewarded with more ice-time, is because that's the strategy he's got...those old dogs won't learn new tricks, and they know a lot already, especially how to back check, so why not throw them out there. I will agree I'm not impressed with his tactics, but he's used a few as an experiment to find out what system works with these players - my take: good defense, and turn the puck over as much as possible, and attack on the rush. With the speed we have the rush is by far the deadliest...the problem with this: so far the vets are doing the turnovers, but they're not so good on the rush...the kids are starting to learn how to make turnovers, but really their strength is on the rush...how do you structure that...how about putting RNH on a line with 2 vets...sound familiar? Kind of reminds me of HHE line last year...

Also, how is it you guys are all whining about the Oilers the day after a win...a good spoiler win as well. Splitting back to back games? I'm good with that! We win the next game (vs. Canadiens of all teams), then we're tied with Montreal for 2nd last, and with the game in hand we autmatically jump a spot...it's been a while since we did that, so let's remain optimistic. It wasn't that long ago that we were too far away to think about that. Hopefully we can carry the momentum of winning now into next season. Plus, if we're in 3rd overall draft status (or 4th or 5th if my wish comes true) we can draft a stud dman instead of a russian forward (as I believe in BPA, and there are certainly BPA's that are dmen), let him go back to junior (and win gold in WJC with CANADA) as we pursue the "ready-now" dman in the offseason to add depth to our blue line...the Canucks don't have a stud dman, neither do a lot of teams that are contending...we can make up for it with DEPTH, just like everyone...and I don't mean depth of prospects who could make the jump.

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#25 Shredder
March 07 2012, 03:20PM
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...oh, and I think Renney thinks Omark isn't able to learn as much as the other kids, let's see where he fits in. Cornet and Petrell had to earn their chops on the 3rd/4th line before they got a bump, why not Omark? I like the potential he has, but I think a trade could make some sense with this kid.

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#26 russ99
March 07 2012, 03:23PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

I understand that omark skill set is for a scoring line and you want to showcase him. But he is not a top six player in the NHL. Further to that What have he and magnus done in their careers to be guaranteed top six spots. The six players in front of them have earned it.

would all of you like the guy below you at work who has not accomplished anything yet but is smart to get paid more than you or more opportunities to move up despite you consistently performing better than he or she. Dont think so.

omark has an attitude and if you just give him everything he wants than he will never learn to play to the best of his ability. he has earned the promotion from the AHL, but until he outperforms the wingers ahead of him why punish them.

and yes maybe he should play ahead of smyth.

This post hits the nail on the head on what's wrong about the Oilers management of Omark.

Who cares about his skill, his overall quality of play and his potential, it's all about "attitude".

So yes, let's not find out if an actual asset on the roster can either be a piece that we can move forward with or be a good trade chip, let's sidetrack the kid so he goes back to Sweden or Russia because of "attitude".

Because such things a really important on a team that looks to finish second-last in the NHL this season.

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#27 bdiddy18
March 07 2012, 03:31PM
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I have more questions

If you are a confident Head Coach - who has the wherewithal to develop a "winning" system -would you accept an Associate Coach position in the first place? (ask Don Hay)

When you are elevated from that failed experiment would you then allow the management team to select your assistant coaches for you and not even bring in one single person who is part of your team? (ask Randy Carlyle)

Name me a bonafide successful proven Head Coach that doesn't have his own team of assistants he has meshed well with and developed a system together, any sport?

You want Bill Bilicheck you hire his crew, you want Phil Jackson, he comes with his crew, soccer coaches, baseball managers, and HOCKEY HEAD COACHES do the same! Tom Renney was a happy employee, that's it thats all..no gameplan.

It has been decades the Edmonton Oilers organization has hired sub par coaches, from the days of Ted Green - rewarded good Oiler soldiers to be the top dog, these are good character men, with sound x and o's planning that make good ASSISTANT coaches not head coaches.

The most common saying in NHL Drafts is you take the best player available.

It should be the same for head coaches, not the attitude - "he is a nice guy or an alumni, he'll do."

it doesn't count against the cap so spend the big dollars and get a GREAT coach, not a good one.

This offseason reset the chain of command please.

The President hires/renews the GM and backs off.. Kevin Lowe over to Steve Tambellini or new guy

The GM then hires the coach and backs off... waiting for that

the Coach then selects his team of assistants- hopefully it happens this offseason.

and would love to add the caveat Stanley Cup ring winning coach need apply only but that scares me cuz Marc Crawford would qualify but Don Hay wouldn't.

While I do like Don Hay and his track record in Junior Hockey and it would make sense giving the age group of the Oilers I'm going to pick a wildcard selection that I know would scare the socks of most of you: Mike Keenen

as a GM he was freaking horrible. As a Coach different story - he comes from the hardass eff you and play mentality like hitchcock, carlyle and bodreau. but he has got to have learned things away from the game and how to adapt to the new NHL.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=616921

crap on me starts right about ....now

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#28 They're $hittie
March 07 2012, 03:34PM
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russ99 wrote:

This post hits the nail on the head on what's wrong about the Oilers management of Omark.

Who cares about his skill, his overall quality of play and his potential, it's all about "attitude".

So yes, let's not find out if an actual asset on the roster can either be a piece that we can move forward with or be a good trade chip, let's sidetrack the kid so he goes back to Sweden or Russia because of "attitude".

Because such things a really important on a team that looks to finish second-last in the NHL this season.

what is your basis for thinking this player is good. He is 25, their is not much potential left. He was drafted late so many other teams didnt believe in him either. High skill? High talent yes. Skilled is when you have become a professional in your craft and highly skilled a master in your craft. If you consider his craft stickhandling than he is skilled If you consider it hockey he is not. I Hate how0 this phrase is used incorrectly. He has not become that yet. And his two talents stick handling and creativeness does not mean his is a good hockey player. What about skating, vision, shooting, checking, defensive awareness, acceleration. If he had all of this or even more of it he would produce in the NHL, but he isnt.

His quality of play may be flashy but is not good.

He does not have much more potential.

And his talents have not become skill yet.

NHL and media used highly skilled to refer to stickhandling ability. Smyth was a very good hockey player at one time (skilled) but does not have much attribute talent. yet you would never call Smyth highly skilled.

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#29 Eulers
March 07 2012, 03:39PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

if Renney swaps Omark for Hemsky and not Smyth he'll be making a great blunder akin to starting a land war in China.

RA, good catch! I was under the impression that Linus was RW and not LW.

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#30 KZ
March 07 2012, 03:53PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

what is your basis for thinking this player is good. He is 25, their is not much potential left. He was drafted late so many other teams didnt believe in him either. High skill? High talent yes. Skilled is when you have become a professional in your craft and highly skilled a master in your craft. If you consider his craft stickhandling than he is skilled If you consider it hockey he is not. I Hate how0 this phrase is used incorrectly. He has not become that yet. And his two talents stick handling and creativeness does not mean his is a good hockey player. What about skating, vision, shooting, checking, defensive awareness, acceleration. If he had all of this or even more of it he would produce in the NHL, but he isnt.

His quality of play may be flashy but is not good.

He does not have much more potential.

And his talents have not become skill yet.

NHL and media used highly skilled to refer to stickhandling ability. Smyth was a very good hockey player at one time (skilled) but does not have much attribute talent. yet you would never call Smyth highly skilled.

He averaged more than .5 points per game last year in his rookie year. How much more production do you want? He hasn't been given a legitimate chance this year. He's played with Belanger almost every game. The Oilers aren't making the playoffs, so what's the harm in giving him a chance to see what he have?

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#31 Racki
March 07 2012, 04:01PM
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Renney addressed Omark's spot in the lineup in the post game show, stating he was easing him into the line up and didn't think it would be fair to throw him right into a tough top-six spot right off the hop.

I kind of have to figure that Omark's days as an Edmonton Oiler are few whether we like it or not, so they probably should do a quicker job of assessing him. Perhaps there's something about him that they don't like.. his attitude.. showmanship... ability to play with teammates. I don't know. I would like to see them give him a top six spot though A.S.A.P. since his contract is up at the end of the year and he might be a p.i.t.a. to sign since he "just want to play in NHL".

I'm not sure we can trust that he'll want to come back here again and continue the long training regimen we have planned for him with OKC. I'm also not sure I'd consider him ahead of too many top six guys in our line up at this pointeither, so it doesn't make me too confident that the two parties will have an easy time renewing his contract in the off-season.

Anyways, I see mistakes in what Renney does here and there, but all in all I think he and management have a game plan (which isn't just lose every game.. thank you, Oil fans). He's doing what is best for the long term players. For example, Renney shelters the sh-- out of the kids in road games, which is what he has to do to keep their confidence up and put THEM in positions to succeed.

Also, being that I don't have a media pass, I'm not privy to this information, but I thought Teddy was out of the lineup due to some sort of issue with his sinuses or concussion or something of that nature.

Lastly, he definitely doesn't hold his veterans accountable enough. I am not sure that many coaches really do. But definitely agreed on that.

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#32 jimmyc
March 07 2012, 04:04PM
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Robin, you make some valid points of how Renney handles some of the players, but as far as Omark and Pajarrvi go, those moves are made by Tambellini. Renney is playing the cards he's been dealt. Agree his handling of Barker over Peckhan is a head scratcher, but overall I like the way he's managed what he has. Time to give Belanger a break too, his offense is in the toilet but watch the guy on the dot and in his own end. Like Horcoff, there are some things a player brings to a team that aren't measured by points.

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#33 They're $hittie
March 07 2012, 04:11PM
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@KZ

this production for his rookie year at age 24 .5ppg is not impressive especially when you are minus 16. Gagner was way ahead of this at 18, rnh and hall ahead of this at 18, and eberle ahead of this at 20.

I could make the list about nhl rookies who have done this but the list would be too long.

He was not given the chance because he did not earn it than he got hurt. If you think he has earned top six ice more than sam, jordan, ryan, ales, taylor or the other ryan, than I suggest you close the you tube window and start watching the game. The fact that he is a rookie at 24 should speak enough about him.

If you fully read my comments I did say he should probably been given the chance ahead of smyth.

And what have they got to lose? Even more confidence. I am pretty sure the entire dressing room would feel better if they are winning going into next year. And if the coaching staff dont feel he is a good player than good for them. All the media can suck an egg if they think they know better than the professionals who are paid to do their job. If he was so good there would be a demand for him. Even with how good eberle and RNH are they bleed chances against. All we need is another forward in top six who contributes to the other teams goal scoring.

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#34 Gitagrip
March 07 2012, 04:30PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

this production for his rookie year at age 24 .5ppg is not impressive especially when you are minus 16. Gagner was way ahead of this at 18, rnh and hall ahead of this at 18, and eberle ahead of this at 20.

I could make the list about nhl rookies who have done this but the list would be too long.

He was not given the chance because he did not earn it than he got hurt. If you think he has earned top six ice more than sam, jordan, ryan, ales, taylor or the other ryan, than I suggest you close the you tube window and start watching the game. The fact that he is a rookie at 24 should speak enough about him.

If you fully read my comments I did say he should probably been given the chance ahead of smyth.

And what have they got to lose? Even more confidence. I am pretty sure the entire dressing room would feel better if they are winning going into next year. And if the coaching staff dont feel he is a good player than good for them. All the media can suck an egg if they think they know better than the professionals who are paid to do their job. If he was so good there would be a demand for him. Even with how good eberle and RNH are they bleed chances against. All we need is another forward in top six who contributes to the other teams goal scoring.

Just saying Omark is merely leverage. Dress him up, put some lipstick on him and attract some johns this summer.

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#35 Sloppy Jue
March 07 2012, 04:46PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

if Renney swaps Omark for Hemsky and not Smyth he'll be making a great blunder akin to starting a land war in China.

Well done on the PB reference. Vizzini's list of classic blunders is, well, classic.

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#36 They're $hittie
March 07 2012, 04:57PM
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@Gitagrip

i will agree to that. but maybe Renney wanted to see play at nhl level before he got put in top 6. He needs to moved as well as Peckham at the draft floor.

Sorry, but this is a heated topic for me because people watch his shoot outs in Europe and get hard ons. his NHL ones were not even that good. and I hate when he gets called highly skilled.

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#37 Gitagrip
March 07 2012, 05:02PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

i will agree to that. but maybe Renney wanted to see play at nhl level before he got put in top 6. He needs to moved as well as Peckham at the draft floor.

Sorry, but this is a heated topic for me because people watch his shoot outs in Europe and get hard ons. his NHL ones were not even that good. and I hate when he gets called highly skilled.

I fully concur with your analysis. Nothing worse than a bromance hard-on for this guy. Thanks for coming Linus. Good Luck.

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#38 jamesemmy
March 07 2012, 05:09PM
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Omark is the second coming....

... of Robbie Schremp

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#39 The Beaker
March 07 2012, 05:11PM
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RE: Renee being the "the teacher":

Hall, Eberle, and RNH are great and it's of my opinion they would have progressed much no matter who was in charge.

Petry has done very well.

Dubnyk has not progressed. Smid isn't a young kid anymore. MP has been blundered. Omark has been blundered. Lander hasn't been handled well in my opinion this year. Peckham hasn't been handled great.

I don't know what you'd consider Barker other than someone you shoot pucks at if the goalies need a maintanence day for a practice.

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RE: Omark "getting his feet wet":

Unless this 4th line stint was only planned on being two games then this is just stupid. There isn't much time left in the season so give him EVERY opportunity to make it. If he doesn't then you can really not lose sleep at night over losing him.

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RE: Omarks "attitude" (BacklunBlows)

How in the heck can you go from MSM can suck it because they don't know more than the professionals to ranting about Omark having an attitude? How do you know? Are you in the room? Have you sat through the meetings where hes been sent down the minors or back up to the show? Besides his one (ill conceived but probably justified) lash out last year when he was cut when has he shown "attitude"?

From everything I've heard hes been working his butt off this entire year to make the show and has been nothing but a professional. Then again, that's just what I've heard. I'm not in the room either.

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#40 Flanders
March 07 2012, 05:32PM
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what is your basis for thinking this player is good. He is 25, their is not much potential left. He was drafted late so many other teams didnt believe in him either. High skill? High talent yes. Skilled is when you have become a professional in your craft and highly skilled a master in your craft. If you consider his craft stickhandling than he is skilled If you consider it hockey he is not. I Hate how0 this phrase is used incorrectly. He has not become that yet. And his two talents stick handling and creativeness does not mean his is a good hockey player. What about skating, vision, shooting, checking, defensive awareness, acceleration. If he had all of this or even more of it he would produce in the NHL, but he isnt.

His quality of play may be flashy but is not good.

He does not have much more potential.

And his talents have not become skill yet.

NHL and media used highly skilled to refer to stickhandling ability. Smyth was a very good hockey player at one time (skilled) but does not have much attribute talent. yet you would never call Smyth highly skilled.

A late pick and a late bloomer....... You just described Zetterberg and Datsyuk. Not all players develop at the same rate. He deserves a chance. Renney is Mac T 2.0. He clearly does not like this kid. A coach should not be motivated by personal emotion

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#41 Oiler AL
March 07 2012, 05:33PM
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@They're $hittie

Hey, didn't you just describe Hemsky here?

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spOILer wrote:

Re: The Kid's Development

Hard to argue with Eberle's production, Nuge's Calder candidacy, Hall's Corsi against the toughs, the steps forward taken by Petry, Smid, Dubnyk.

Re: Omark on the 4th

When did this become an issue? Was it when Graves and Murphy spent time on the 4th? Horcoff? Hemsky? Gagner? And on top of it all the kid has admitted he's close but not quite 100% recovered from his earlier injury. Maybe Couturier and Schenn should be forced into the top 6. Seguin last year. Detroit evidently has been doing it wrong over the years too.

Re: Nuge's PP time

I haven't checked the shift charts, but these do have an effect on who goes over the boards on the PP again especially for a kid recovering from injury and at the backend of his first NHL season. And it's not like the Nuge has seen zero PP time.

Re: the Vets

I'm guessing Renney is fully aware that he has the vets climbing up Hamburger Hill under heavy gunfire every game and thus cuts them a little slack. Also most of these guys are committed on contracts beyond this year so they will get opportunities (like Belanger on the PP) to find some offensive spark, which is a trade-off against the kids like Nuge getting that opportunity. Tough tightrope.

Just some thoughts to consider.

Thanks for this post. Kinda sums up what I was thinking.

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#43 Spydyr
March 07 2012, 05:36PM
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Renney said it all when stated he is trying to ease Omark into the lineup.Then putting him in the Belanger Triangle with a hint of Petrell.

It would be much easier playing with Eberle and RNH then with those two black holes of offence players.

Omark is done here and it is another example of poor asset management.

If Omark had made that pass Gagner did for the sharks first goal he would have been sent to The IHL.

Gagner makes that play three times a game but is never sanctioned or criticized for it.

Then again his dad is buddies with the GM.

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#44 They're $hittie
March 07 2012, 05:42PM
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@Oiler AL

kinda, but hemsky other than this year has produced pretty well in the NHL, omark has not yet.

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#45 ubermiguel
March 07 2012, 05:45PM
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Wasn't that Omark's 4th game in 5 nights? Probably why he didn't see top 6 minutes.

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#46 @pistolpetestar
March 07 2012, 05:50PM
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I'm really bored with the "Omark has a bad attitude" line. The kid (I say kid even though I'm the same age as the guy) busted his ass after he had his ankle broken by a slew foot and gets into great shape to play. He actually looks like he's having fun out there when he has the puck or sees something developing. He is exciting to watch like Hemsky USED TO be.

@ The Beaker

I wrote this then read your comment but you nailed it.

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#47 15w40
March 07 2012, 06:04PM
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I would suggest Boston and the Flyers are both deeper teams. As far as other rookies starting on the 4th line - point taken with the big difference being what was already stated. They are 18 to 20, Omark is 25 and likely already getting to the point where most of the "development" is done. Does a club see Omark as a viable option outside of the top 6?? I would say not likely. If the intent is for him to function in a top 6 capacity then put him there and see if it's a fit. Putting an 18 or 19 year old player on the 4th line to get his feet wet or become accustomed to the pro game is a logical step. IMHO Omark is beyond this and knows his way around the pro game and what kind of player he is. Maybe not at the NHL level but in the KHL/AHL/SEL. Let him use his skills and if they make him a usable asset then good. If not - move on.......

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#48 neojanus
March 07 2012, 06:10PM
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Yeah, Tom Renney hasn't been all that stunning this year. No coach goes without some fault, but he's really stymied some players this season. He's up against it though too with not having the world's strongest core of players on the back end.

Renney can't make Dubnyk stop giving up a horrendous goal or two a game. He plays both goalies as evenly as one can given the record and both have moments of brilliance later fouled by plays reminiscent of aardvark vomit.

What the holy hell do you do with Belanger? The guy plays well and brings a solid stalwart edge to his game, but he accidentally ran over the goal-scoring leprechaun with a 3-wheel bond car, damning all line mates to a future of on-ice-impotence. You dare not bench him, because then the face off edge would be about 25%

After some of the turnovers I've witnessed this year, Renney is probably close to copying the Jigsaw Killer approach to performance.

Not that I'm defending him. He botched Paajarvi this year and the Omark thing has been a little confusing to say the least. Plus, what the bleeping bleep is the actual goal this year? To win as many games possible? Well, that is no longer really important and was a big f'ing fail. To continue the "teaching"? Well... uhm... not bloody likely given how many players that need to learn the game don't play in educational roles. If the goal was to improve the power play... 10/10! Too bad the game is played 5 on 5 as much as possible.

The Three Caballeros are awesome this year... but you could have put Peter Dinklage behind the bench and Eberle/Hall/RNH were going to show up to play.

I'd say that there is no way Renney comes back next year.

Then again, I was certain Hemsky would never settle for a two year contract.

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#49 Blokthecave
March 07 2012, 06:11PM
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Blok says hi

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#50 The Beaker
March 07 2012, 06:22PM
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Blokthecave wrote:

Blok says hi

Hi Blok :)

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