Report: Oilers interview Paul Maurice for coaching job

Jonathan Willis
May 30 2013 02:34PM

It appears the Edmonton Oilers' search for a quality assistant to join Ralph Krueger's staff is well under way. TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted a report that the team had interviewed former Carolina Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice and was also potentially interested in former Phoenix Coyotes head coach Rick Bowness.

It's clear the team is looking for a number two man with serious credentials to support Krueger.

Paul Maurice is 16th all-time in total games coached at the NHL level, with 1,084 contests under his belt; he's also tied for 21st in career wins with 460. Last year he was the head coach of Magnitogorsk Metallurg in the KHL. He wouldn't necessarily be a strong choice for a head coaching job in the NHL, but as an associate coach he would certainly offer Krueger a wealth of experience to lean on.

Rick Bowness doesn't have the same profile as Maurice, but would doubtless fill the same role (there's likely some comfort level for Craig MacTavish here, too, given that he spent a year in the Canucks organization with Bowness). Bowness was an associate coach under Alain Vigneault in Vancouver and before that worked in Phoenix under both Bob Francis and Wayne Gretzky. He's also spent 463 games as a head coach in the NHL, working for the Jets, Islanders, Bruins, Senators and Coyotes. 

Either guy is a great candidate, and given Edmonton's struggles in various areas last season a veteran coach would be a welcome addition to Krueger's staff. While the primary problem was doubtless the roster, the team regressed at even-strength in Krueger's first year and coaching may well have been part of the problem.

UPDATE. It probably should have been apparent the Oilers were considering Paul Maurice on Monday, when Bob Stauffer interviewed Carolina analyst Tripp Tracy on Oilers Now and specifically asked him how strong Maurice was as a technical coach; here's what Tracy had to say:

[Paul Maurice is] one of the smartest peoples I’ve ever met, so technically extremely sound. When I’ve done games over the years between the benches he manages the bench as well as anybody. His biggest area of growth from when he broke into the league at such a young age, Bob, is that he has become more of a players’ coach. Players absolutely love him. I truly believe that Paul Maurice, for a guy who has coached over 1,000 games, is a really underrated coach in the National Hockey League.

Bowness likely has pretty solid credentials in that department, too; Vancouver has been one of the most inventive and tactically sound teams in the league over the last few years and Bowness has been Alain Vigneault's right hand man through all of that.

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Recently around the Nation Network

At NHL Numbers, Cam Charron considers a New Way of Looking at Shot Blocking:  

[A] new statistic has popped up: "Percentage of shots blocked" and it's a little dicey as well. Generally speaking, it's just not good to block a lot of shots or to be in situations where you have to block a lot of shots. "Percentage of shots blocked" has been kicking around but I've seen no evidence that it's a repeatable statistic that correlates with winning.

 Click the link above to read the whole piece, or feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 Walter Sobchak
May 30 2013, 05:52PM
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Have you ever heard of to many roosters in the hen house.

To many chiefs in the fire house.

They brought Mac-T in and everyone on this site certainly could see the writing on the wall for Tambellini.

Bringing in another head coach is bush league, if I was Krueger I would want to hand pick my assistant.

On another note;

Seems like a good signing by Mac-T, at least it's a start.

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#52 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
May 30 2013, 05:54PM
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OK. MacT said 6 to 8 bodies. Let's set the bar at SEVEN. Let the counting begin!!

1) Anton Belov

2) ?

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#53 Quicksilver ballet
May 30 2013, 06:11PM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

Are we sure he's help for the Oilers, or the Thunder?

26 and only one strong season to date, 26 pts (30 pm's)in 46 games this past season

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#54 Rocket
May 30 2013, 06:24PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Hey at least MacT started doing something so we can critique his moves.

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#56 Quicksilver ballet
May 30 2013, 06:31PM
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@Jonathan Willis

46 out of a 52 gm season is alright....another 4-7 guy perhaps, or better?

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#57 DSF
May 30 2013, 06:52PM
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OilLeak wrote:

As crazy as that sounds, that sounds like a good deal for both sides, depending on the talent that comes with Dipietro.

Yeah, I think it would work really well although Vancouver will have to carry a $1.5M cap hit for about a decade.

Shouldn't be a problem in 2 or 3 years.

If Vancouver ends up with someone like Cizikas, they'll be in better shape since they're looking for another centre.

The Islanders could certainly use an upgrade in goal.

Nabokov had a .842 save percentage in the playoffs while Luongo was .915.

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#59 westcoastoil
May 30 2013, 07:00PM
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Smid-Petry XXX-J.Schultz Klefbom/Belov- Potter/XXX

as the top 8

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#60 Rocket
May 30 2013, 07:02PM
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@DSF

Yeah this could really work out well for Vancouver. Now I wonder what happens to Nabokov if Luongo does go to the island?

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#61 ghostofberanek
May 30 2013, 07:08PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

You're not even making sense there Beranek. Don't be putting words in my mouth. Yak and Eberle (facepalm)

Can we just agree to disagree? Since you're looking to beat this to death. I'll surrender, you've bested me this day in the art of internet warfare. You're obviously here looking for confrontation.

Now back to hockey, who do you think it would take to get Weber out of Nashville? You think Yak and Eberle is an overpay for the best dman in the NHL?

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#62 DSF
May 30 2013, 07:30PM
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Rocket wrote:

Yeah this could really work out well for Vancouver. Now I wonder what happens to Nabokov if Luongo does go to the island?

Nabokov would be UFA.

And, in my previous post, I mentioned Vancouver would have to carry a $1.5 million cap hit but, if they use a compliance buyout, there is no cap hit.

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#63 DSF
May 30 2013, 07:33PM
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magisterrex wrote:

Geez, the Negative Trolls are the worst. I'd rather be sentenced to reading NewAgeSys' doctoral thesis-long posts than having to read one more quicksilver whimper about how terrible management is.

One small step forward with the signing. These things don't all happen at once, and you have to strike when the opportunity is there. Belov was available, MacT made it happen. The lesson here is that MacT is not Mr. Dithers. Who knows what the next move will be, but I am confident that MacT will at least make the attempt when the opening appears, rather than analyze it to death.

While it appears Belov is a very good, low risk pickup, it should be remembered that Tambellini acquired Sutton, Foster, Fistric, Potter and Fedun.

If Belov is just another bottom pairing defensemen, it's just more of the same.

MacT will earn his stripes when he lands a top pairing defenseman.

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#64 madjam
May 30 2013, 08:31PM
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I feel better when we start adding some players that are household names in the NHL , not so much/many bottom of the barrel or diamonds (cross your fingers )in the rough type signings .

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#65 westcoastoil
May 30 2013, 08:42PM
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DSF wrote:

Nabokov would be UFA.

And, in my previous post, I mentioned Vancouver would have to carry a $1.5 million cap hit but, if they use a compliance buyout, there is no cap hit.

maybe our backup goes from Khabby to Nabby!

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#66 westcoastoil
May 30 2013, 08:44PM
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DSF wrote:

Finding good players in non-traditonal ways is the sign of a good GM.

For example, Holland signed Damien Brunner and he is a gem.

Gillis found undrafted Chris Tanev who is already a top 4 defenseman.

No guarantee that Belov is a blue chipper but on a one year entry level deal it's a very low risk.

Ideally this signing means that there will be competition for Klefbom for the 3rd pairing LHS

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#67 DSF
May 30 2013, 08:48PM
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westcoastoil wrote:

Ideally this signing means that there will be competition for Klefbom for the 3rd pairing LHS

Yep.

It's about time the Oilers made their prospects work for their roster spots.

Now, time to get a second line LW so Paajarvi has to earn his ice time.

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#68 madjam
May 30 2013, 08:49PM
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More like if Klefbom not ready , Belov will probably take his place ? Only 33 days to draft day .

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#69 DeepEndOil
May 30 2013, 09:01PM
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DSF wrote:

Yep.

It's about time the Oilers made their prospects work for their roster spots.

Now, time to get a second line LW so Paajarvi has to earn his ice time.

While I agree with you on Klefbom earning ice time (I sure hope he ends up in OKC regardless for the full year), Paajarvi is improving nicely considering his terrible 2011-2012 campaign.

Paajarvi jumped to the NHL too soon, which was obvious, but his play last year was a bit of a bounce back. I think this year he may surprise us and score 20 goals. He was on pace last year for 18. Keep in mind, swedes take longer to adjust.

I'd also like to point out that Paajarvi scores less in the AHL than the NHL. He seems to adjust his game appropriately in the NHL. His shot % isn't ridiculous at 12% compared to 4.65% in the minors, which is abysmal. Maybe the kid scores better in the NHL, plain and simple? I would start him on the third line ideally, but not in the AHL.

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#70 madjam
May 30 2013, 09:35PM
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Hockeybuzz reports Oilers after Barkov if available to Nashville at NBR.4 . Says we are probably offering our 7 pick this year and next years first round pick . Dose this sound plausible ?

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#71 Metal&Oil
May 30 2013, 09:54PM
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Back to the coaching: I really hope we don't lose Todd Nelson. Back to back conference finals and halfway to a Calder Cup appearance in the AHL. Sounds like someone should be offered a gig in the NHL soon. If the Oilers don't bring him up (as an assistant) then some other team is gonna come calling soon. Never heard a player speak ill of Nelson and his team actually got better when the lockout ended.

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#72 madjam
May 30 2013, 09:57PM
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What makes this years draft special is we appear to be looking to deal it .

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#73 GVBlackhawk
May 30 2013, 10:18PM
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DSF wrote:

Yeah, I think it would work really well although Vancouver will have to carry a $1.5M cap hit for about a decade.

Shouldn't be a problem in 2 or 3 years.

If Vancouver ends up with someone like Cizikas, they'll be in better shape since they're looking for another centre.

The Islanders could certainly use an upgrade in goal.

Nabokov had a .842 save percentage in the playoffs while Luongo was .915.

What was Schneider's save percentage in this year's playoffs?

Ba-zing!

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#74 GVBlackhawk
May 30 2013, 10:57PM
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OilLeak wrote:

That could work, as long as the #3 is a quality, experienced 2-way defender. Ideally, Klefbom would be playing in the AHL and a top 3 and 4 defender would come in to fill the middle pairing, pushing J.Schultz to the third pairing.

I agree. If JSchultz is a 3rd pairing guy next season and Klefbom is starting in OKC, then MacT has definitely done his job. With this Belov signing, it makes me think that Smid or NSchultz could be trade bait.

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#75 NewAgeSys
May 30 2013, 11:36PM
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Bye Bye Darkhorse,hope the free ride was fun.

I am not sure what baseline the Oilers are using to choose these men they interview,what specific inputs they want to see and impacts they expect.So its impossible to say anything at all about either man.

The Oilers need an Intuitive input,I would guess they define that as a fast reactionary mind,wrong wrong wrong.An Intuit is not reactionary and no man can think fast enough to match what an Intuit can do,an NHL coaching crew cannot even do that.

Seems to me the Oilers are trying to address the ice level lack of Intuitive inputs as opposed to the entire organisational superstructure,this is a stop gap measure at best.I understand this second attempt,they have gotten the point and know where to adjust now just like they did before they went looking for Darkhorse,but the problem is that just like Darkhorse was the wrong input{epic sales job} ,addressing this need one facet at a time will lead to a lack of continuity,a terminal lacking so it is also the wrong move,it is a piece-meal move.

Twice the Oilers have been directed to water,and they have come up with two different interpretations of intuitive inputs both refusing to aknowledge Intuition as a tangible influence,one totally stats based{Darkhorse},one hybrid 50% stats-50%intuition based{Maurice-Bowness},neither one 100% intuitively based{Moma2-NHS} .Darkhorse was strike one a clean miss,they bought the curveball,trying to address simply one facet of a much greater challenge is foul ball strike two.One try left,this one needs to address the challenge from an organisational superstructure perspective ,it needs to be an optimal solution that covers everythig from the top to the bottom absolutely.

We cannot afford to wait to see if this new approach will work,we need an Intuit in the mix immediatly,a real one not a placebo.We got an inch closer to where we need to be with this latest news,not even an entire step forward,when you have a constellation of challenges you need to macro-manage,not micro-manage.The Oilers need to drop an intuition bomb on the organisation as a whole.Understandably it is impossible to find an Intuit through conventional channels,tough titty,they need to improvise to thrive,look harder in places you arent comfortable looking in,ha ha ha.The other side of the tracks.

Credit where it is due,action is being initiated,but its not enough and this is no time for pats on the back for baby steps,as I see it we are already pushing the envelope in terms of preparation for the new season.At least find an Intuit to back yourselves up,it would be silly to make the same mistake twice.and not have a plan-C.

The d-man was a well defined choice,he fits the physical template we need to follow nicely.Good job.

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#76 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
May 31 2013, 07:09AM
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madjam wrote:

Hockeybuzz reports Oilers after Barkov if available to Nashville at NBR.4 . Says we are probably offering our 7 pick this year and next years first round pick . Dose this sound plausible ?

you have "hockeybuzz" "reports" and "plausible" all in the same post.

you need to step away from the keyboard, take a deep breath, and think about what you are doing.

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#77 madjam
May 31 2013, 07:21AM
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I think most have seen Belov play , and to be honest he looks pretty good . Looks better than some we presently have on squad . Maybe he'll be next Kasantonov ?

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#78 Eddie Shore
May 31 2013, 08:01AM
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According to Dreger, the Oilers are considering Dallas Eakins as well.

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#79 Quicksilver ballet
May 31 2013, 08:04AM
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DSF wrote:

Nabokov would be UFA.

And, in my previous post, I mentioned Vancouver would have to carry a $1.5 million cap hit but, if they use a compliance buyout, there is no cap hit.

Maybe if the Oilers did the same for Alexi Yashin, they could throw in Hamonic, no?

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#80 DSF
May 31 2013, 10:07AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Maybe if the Oilers did the same for Alexi Yashin, they could throw in Hamonic, no?

That train has already sailed.

Yashin was bought out years ago.

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