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 a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Rocket
May 30 2013, 02:40PM
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I'm a fan of Maurice. I hope they get him.

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#2 Calgary Oilers
May 30 2013, 02:46PM
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I'd cheer for this if they can hire Maurice!

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#3 Matt Henderson
May 30 2013, 02:48PM
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Dead Harper Eyes. PASS.

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#4 The Towel Boy
May 30 2013, 02:54PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Dead Harper Eyes. PASS.

LOLOLOL

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#5 OilClog
May 30 2013, 03:01PM
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Can they hire both and replace what we currently have?

Bowness, would be a great add for his knowledge of how a winning team operates in the western conference.

Maurice, could impact Hall the most with his experience in coaching Stall, as the two have a pretty similar game.

hopefully both could do a better job helping Ralph in determining how to protect a lead.. as it stands.. yikes.

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#6 Quicksilver ballet
May 30 2013, 03:19PM
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Maybe the Oilers are setting up for a good cop bad cop type scenario to deal with the players. The odd couple in Tortorella and Krueger?

Another exercise in futility this is. If this current coaching staff is lacking in any capacity, they need to be removed. Bring in a guy like Dave Tippett, who won't leave anything unaccounted for. Let him bring his guys in and do things his way, Don't burden the new guy with all these current coaches who've helped set the bar at an all time low for this franchise.

.....and the Gong Show continues.

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#7 Ducey
May 30 2013, 03:26PM
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Hoopefully this means Bucky and Smith hit the bricks. If they could replace both with experienced guys, the coaching staff would be much improved.

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#8 ghostofberanek
May 30 2013, 03:33PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Maybe the Oilers are setting up for a good cop bad cop type scenario to deal with the players. The odd couple in Tortorella and Krueger?

Another exercise in futility this is. If this current coaching staff is lacking in any capacity, they need to be removed. Bring in a guy like Dave Tippett, who won't leave anything unaccounted for. Let him bring his guys in and do things his way, Don't burden the new guy with all these current coaches who've helped set the bar at an all time low for this franchise.

.....and the Gong Show continues.

Are you serious? We're just about to begin the semifinals in the playoffs and you're getting impatient with the bold move thing already? Let's get real here, things just don't work that way.

Also, just my opinion here, but I'm not sure Tippett is the right guy to coach this team. Seems to me, as a defense 1st (and 2nd) guy he might just coach the offense right out of our young stars. Imagine Lemaire coaching Yak, Hall etc..

As for the assistant coach thing, I say get rid of Bucky and Smith and get some real coaches in there . Maurice would compliment Krueger nicely I think.

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#9 MKE
May 30 2013, 03:33PM
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You can't make chicken salad out of chicken crap. This team was not good enough to make the playoffs last year no matter who the coach was.

Ralph is a good coach who understands what it takes to create a winning culture.

Give the guy a full training camp, a better team, and a stronger supporting coaching staff and he will win coach of the year next year.

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#10 MKE
May 30 2013, 03:39PM
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It's like all the people wishing we had Carey Price here last year. I agree that he is a better goalie then Dubnyk.

If Price had played for Edmonton and posted his .905% last year...

and Dubnyk had posted his .920% in Montreal last year....

how many of these same people would be calling for Price's head and would be wanting Dubnyk back?

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#11 MKE
May 30 2013, 03:39PM
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@ghostofberanek

I couldn't agree more

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#12 ScottieA
May 30 2013, 03:44PM
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Lining up the potential Krueger replacement should they show him the door after next season.

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#13 Pucker - B class
May 30 2013, 03:46PM
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An experienced Co- or Associate-Coach with Kruger seems like a step in the right direction.

Two things about Bowness. Vancouver Sun reports he is closely tied to Vignault and that he was also in charge of the Canuck defence - which was a 'gong-show at times'. http://vansunsportsblogs.com/2013/05/22/report-vigneault-bowness-and-brown-fired-by-the-canucks/

Maurice, I don't know but he looks to be someone that could help. The big thing will be getting someone in knowledgeable and that whey work well together and recognize each others strengths.

Could be a good thing though I believe egos tend to get in the way at the professional level. This isn't surprising since they would be a threat to each other if/when things don't go as expected.

It can be done but it takes a special person to pull it off. Maybe RK can.

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#14 DSF
May 30 2013, 03:46PM
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The Anton Belov signing is an excellent first step.

Potter likely a casualty.

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#16 MKE
May 30 2013, 03:57PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Probably better off then paying Fistric 2 million a year. They need to get better value out of their depth guys. Guys that out play their contract

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#17 DSF
May 30 2013, 03:58PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Relatively sure Belov plays on the left side.

So long, Mark Fistric.

Ahhh...any idea how physical Belov is?

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#18 Ducey
May 30 2013, 03:59PM
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DSF wrote:

The Anton Belov signing is an excellent first step.

Potter likely a casualty.

What? The Oilers have signed him? Got a link?

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#19 MKE
May 30 2013, 04:02PM
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@Ducey

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/05/30/edmonton-oilers-sign-defenceman-anton-belov/

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#20 madjam
May 30 2013, 04:02PM
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Why not another coach to help us win ? Maurice brings a lot of experience to compliment rest of coaching staff , etc.. A. Bylov should help some . Maybe the grass is getting greener ?

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#21 TwoSkidoos
May 30 2013, 04:04PM
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DSF wrote:

Ahhh...any idea how physical Belov is?

Reports say he's not physical and leaves some things to be desired in terms of his defensive play.

However, he can skate, pass and shoot.

And he's Russian - I think that's important to help Yak along...

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#22 ghostofberanek
May 30 2013, 04:08PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Now you're saying "the gong show continues"? How so, exactly? Is it a dumb move to look for successful veteran coaches to round out the staff? Your negativity (in every single article) is bordering on DSF territory. This from a guy who thinks Stephen Weiss is the answer to all our problems (along with whale hunting for Shea Weber).

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#23 DSF
May 30 2013, 04:10PM
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McKenzie also tweeting that the Canucks and Islanders are discussing a Luongo for DiPietro swap.

Vancouver would buyout DiPietro in return for some young talent.

Strombone ‏@strombone1 43m

@TSNBobMcKenzie only if I could bring my partner in crime! pic.twitter.com/zGil9xqF44

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#24 Quicksilver ballet
May 30 2013, 04:18PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

Are you serious? We're just about to begin the semifinals in the playoffs and you're getting impatient with the bold move thing already? Let's get real here, things just don't work that way.

Also, just my opinion here, but I'm not sure Tippett is the right guy to coach this team. Seems to me, as a defense 1st (and 2nd) guy he might just coach the offense right out of our young stars. Imagine Lemaire coaching Yak, Hall etc..

As for the assistant coach thing, I say get rid of Bucky and Smith and get some real coaches in there . Maurice would compliment Krueger nicely I think.

You can't really let go half the coaching staff. They either function successfully as a group, or not.

I'm not denying there's no room in this organization for Krueger, but he's positive to a fault, the players appear to be entering into a resort atmosphere when the walk in those dressing room doors. His players are all nestled in their comfort zone, and he keeps coddling them.

Adding another body to an already unsuccessful group, isn't going to change the entrenched losing culture here. They need to hold the group accountable, like they did to Tambellini. Unless this was all just a charade by management to begin with....

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#25 Quicksilver ballet
May 30 2013, 04:28PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

Now you're saying "the gong show continues"? How so, exactly? Is it a dumb move to look for successful veteran coaches to round out the staff? Your negativity (in every single article) is bordering on DSF territory. This from a guy who thinks Stephen Weiss is the answer to all our problems (along with whale hunting for Shea Weber).

Wow, you're just drinking WAY too much koolaid the junior. 30th, 30th, 29th and 24th is beyond questioning, and I sincerely apologize for my brash behavior. Is it too much to expect one of the best players in the league be acquired for the third highest ticket prices in the league? Please don't feed me some BS suggestion that the Oilers kids are amongst the leagues best! Not a lot of bang for the buck happening here in ole E town the last 7 yrs.

Things must always be just ducky dandy doo for you in your world. What are you, in the liquid cannabis gel cap business, or sumfin? People like you make me sick, to think what's happened here these last 5 yrs is acceptable. Only confirms you've suffered a brain injury of some sort.

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#26 MKE
May 30 2013, 04:32PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

No. Some of us actually just look at the glass half full.

They sucked for years, got high end talent...

That might actually end of being a blessing! *gasps*

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#27 Quicksilver ballet
May 30 2013, 04:42PM
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@MKE

This coaching thing just leads me to believe MacTavish is still second in command. Lowe must keep all his buddies employed.

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#28 MKE
May 30 2013, 04:46PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

I get that. But just because people see things differently doesn't mean they have brain damage.

Seriously.

Get a grip

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#29 ghostofberanek
May 30 2013, 04:47PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Wow, you're just drinking WAY too much koolaid the junior. 30th, 30th, 29th and 24th is beyond questioning, and I sincerely apologize for my brash behavior. Is it too much to expect one of the best players in the league be acquired for the third highest ticket prices in the league? Please don't feed me some BS suggestion that the Oilers kids are amongst the leagues best! Not a lot of bang for the buck happening here in ole E town the last 7 yrs.

Things must always be just ducky dandy doo for you in your world. What are you, in the liquid cannabis gel cap business, or sumfin? People like you make me sick, to think what's happened here these last 5 yrs is acceptable. Only confirms you've suffered a brain injury of some sort.

Nah, no koolaid here. I just know there are real things in life to cry about rather than where the Oilers finish in any given season. I enjoy my sport as a fan, and I enjoy talking about how my team can be improved. All I hear from you is a whole lot of bawling about everything the Oilers do, and it gets tiresome. Maybe if you suffered a brain injury you might get some perspective there pal.

If the Oilers trade Yak, Eberle and a first for Weber, you'll probably start crying that we can't score enough goals anymore.

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#30 sloppy joe
May 30 2013, 04:50PM
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DSF wrote:

McKenzie also tweeting that the Canucks and Islanders are discussing a Luongo for DiPietro swap.

Vancouver would buyout DiPietro in return for some young talent.

Strombone ‏@strombone1 43m

@TSNBobMcKenzie only if I could bring my partner in crime! pic.twitter.com/zGil9xqF44

As I recall, the isles traded Luongo to the panthers to make room for Dipetro. Classic Milbury! It would be amunsing to see a Luongo - DiPietro trade to see things come full circle in a bizarre sort of way.

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#31 MKE
May 30 2013, 05:04PM
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@ghostofberanek

What? Oilers fans complain about things?

NEVER......

There was also a time people in this city in the early 80's wanted all those smucks traded away too.

5 cups later...

*i hope you can tell i agree with you and i have a large amount of sarcasim in this post. i know that doesn't always come through in text*

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#32 Quicksilver ballet
May 30 2013, 05:09PM
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@ghostofberanek

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.

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#33 Serious Gord
May 30 2013, 05:09PM
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@MKE

"...Ralph is a good coach who understands what it takes to create a winning culture..."

Cite the case.

As for hiring a co-coach: as long as its kruegers idea, it might not be a bad one.

Otherwise it could be a disaster.

I don't see Maurice playing second fiddle for Long and it's hard not to see him as the new coach in waiting to replace Krueger if things go awry during the season (much as MacT was hired to fill tambellinis place once he was introduced to Beria in the dark of night (google him)) .

As for (finally) letting the second-string coaches who were oilers from other eras, that too should be done with the coach being the lead in making that decision.

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#34 Serious Gord
May 30 2013, 05:09PM
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@MKE

"...Ralph is a good coach who understands what it takes to create a winning culture..."

Cite the case.

As for hiring a co-coach: as long as its kruegers idea, it might not be a bad one.

Otherwise it could be a disaster.

I don't see Maurice playing second fiddle for Long and it's hard not to see him as the new coach in waiting to replace Krueger if things go awry during the season (much as MacT was hired to fill tambellinis place once he was introduced to Beria in the dark of night (google him)) .

As for (finally) letting the second-string coaches who were oilers from other eras, that too should be done with the coach being the lead in making that decision.

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#35 MKE
May 30 2013, 05:13PM
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@Serious Gord

The Swiss national program?

You know...he only took them from a group of losers and turned the program around.

I also said that I was all for putting a better supporting cast around Ralph.

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#36 Klima's Mullet
May 30 2013, 05:21PM
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DSF wrote:

McKenzie also tweeting that the Canucks and Islanders are discussing a Luongo for DiPietro swap.

Vancouver would buyout DiPietro in return for some young talent.

Strombone ‏@strombone1 43m

@TSNBobMcKenzie only if I could bring my partner in crime! pic.twitter.com/zGil9xqF44

That tweet was the the best one I've seen in a while...

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#37 SrCain
May 30 2013, 05:33PM
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DSF wrote:

The Anton Belov signing is an excellent first step.

Potter likely a casualty.

Pardon? *falls off chair*

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#38 OilLeak
May 30 2013, 05:34PM
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DSF wrote:

McKenzie also tweeting that the Canucks and Islanders are discussing a Luongo for DiPietro swap.

Vancouver would buyout DiPietro in return for some young talent.

Strombone ‏@strombone1 43m

@TSNBobMcKenzie only if I could bring my partner in crime! pic.twitter.com/zGil9xqF44

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

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#39 Serious Gord
May 30 2013, 05:35PM
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MKE wrote:

The Swiss national program?

You know...he only took them from a group of losers and turned the program around.

I also said that I was all for putting a better supporting cast around Ralph.

Funny, I didn't see them on the Olympic podium - ever.

So he's had some success at the semi-pro non-season team level.

And none at the NHL level.

So now after the fact the oil wants to hire him a trainer whk has a better CV than he has? Cite the case anywhere else in the NHL where that has succeeded.

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#40 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
May 30 2013, 05:50PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

Now you're saying "the gong show continues"? How so, exactly? Is it a dumb move to look for successful veteran coaches to round out the staff? Your negativity (in every single article) is bordering on DSF territory. This from a guy who thinks Stephen Weiss is the answer to all our problems (along with whale hunting for Shea Weber).

Look at his picture!

Its his job to be dark and brooding...

:>

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#41 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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#42 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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#43 Rocket
May 30 2013, 06:05PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

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.

I don't know. Renny went to Detroit to be an assistant coach. Seems to happen all the time.

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#44 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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#45 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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#47 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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#48 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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#50 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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