DEREK LAXDAL: PROMOTION DUE

Robin Brownlee
May 26 2014 09:11PM

DerekLaxdal

Derek Laxdal has earned a promotion. Here's hoping he doesn't have to leave Edmonton to get it.

That's the sentiment I put out on Twitter Sunday after the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Guelph Storm to claim the 2014 Memorial Cup, and I feel even stronger about it today. We'll find out soon enough if the Edmonton Oilers feel the same way.

Oilers bench boss Dallas Eakins has some decisions to make about his coaching staff -- calls which will likely happen in the next 10 days or two weeks -- and it makes sense to me Laxdal could, and should, figure into that process based on what he's accomplished in four seasons as head coach of the Oil Kings.

Laxdal, 48, has produced three consecutive 50-win seasons as coach of the Oil Kings. His teams have won two WHL titles and, now, a Memorial Cup. Not to be overlooked on his resume, Laxdal won the Kelly Cup in the ECHL as head coach of the Idaho Steelheads in 2007.

Based on what Laxdal has accomplished, not who he knows, how can he not merit consideration for a promotion to the Oilers coaching staff? Speaking of merit, one can make the same argument for Oklahoma City coach Todd Nelson, the man Laxdal beat out for the job with Oil Kings four years ago.

Will Eakins and GM Craig MacTavish make room for one of both of them?

HOW WILL IT PLAY OUT?

ThePowerIsYours

We've been over the notion put out by MacTavish that Eakins has final say about his coaching staff, so I won't go over old ground again, aside to point out the obvious -- Eakins has incumbents Keith Acton, as an associate coach, and Kelly Buchberger and Steve Smith, as assistants, in place now.

If the Oilers are as impressed with the job Laxdal has done as I am, they could simply add him to the existing staff as an assistant. On the face of it, that would be the easiest move, given the presumption that neither Smith nor Buchberger are going anywhere, to borrow from owner Daryl Katz.

To me, though, having four bench coaches beside Eakins seems less than ideal. Three seems right. So, they either pass on promoting Laxdal, which would leave him open to an offer from another NHL team despite the one year remaining on his contract, or somebody is moved out or aside.

If Eakins really does have the authority MacTavish says he does, my sense is we could see Buchberger moved, as unlikely as that seems. That would leave Eakins with Acton as his associate and Smith and Laxdal as assistants. Call it an educated guess. Or call me nuts, it's up to you.

If I had to sketch it out, I see it as Buchberger (and goaltender coach Fredric Chabot) out and Laxdal in on the Oiler staff. I see Steve Hamilton promoted from assistant to head coach with the Oil Kings, taking over from Laxdal.

As for Nelson, while he's certainly as deserving of a promotion as Laxdal, I wonder if the Oilers might keep him in the AHL with Oklahoma City as a back-up plan should Eakins falter next season. Frankly, I'd be fine seeing both Laxdal and Nelson join the Oilers, but that might be a bit bold.

Successful organizations don't just develop players, they develop coaches as well. If Laxdal and/or Nelson are promoted from within, it would be a move based on merit, not cronyism. Stay tuned.

WHILE I'M AT IT . . .

BobGreen

Can't imagine it'll be long before Bob Green, who built the Oil Kings as GM with assistant GM Randy Hansch before joining the Oilers as director of amateur free agent scouting last August, gets a promotion. Morey Gare is the head of Edmonton's pro scouting staff now.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

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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 Oilerboy111
May 26 2014, 09:17PM
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Laxdal should be the next coach for the Barons before going in the NHL.

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#2 Anton (still waiting for playoffs)
May 26 2014, 09:19PM
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Eakins needs to smart up at this point, he has to realize either he keeps both current assistants just to keep his boss happy but as soon as the record falls that he is a goner. Either that he replaced both assistants by promoting both Laxdal and Nelson which may not make his boss happy which will put him on shorter leash to get axed. It is no win situation for Eakins, however if he gambles on replacing both assistants and team start to win that doesn't matter how unhappy that will make his boss feel that he will at least earned the respect, if not that he will just be another coach that this organization tried and failed.

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#3 WhattaMike
May 26 2014, 09:28PM
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Congrats to Derek Laxdal and the Oil Kings for winning the memorial Cup. Now....I am strongly cheering for laxdal and Nelson to get promoted big time.

They both deserve this with the Oilers as did Bob Green beforehand. Both Laxdal and Nelson know how to teach, develop and win with the players they have and use.

I can see Steve Hamilton now running the Oil Kings and that Laxdal should be up with OKC while Nelson moves in with Eakins.

They already know alot of the kids in the system between them. Nelson had a few youngster this year and will work well with them at Edmonton while Laxdal knows Gernat, Musil, Moroz, Ewanyk, etc, as also wgo Nurse, Chase, Houck are....

Time is now to replace/remove Smith, Bucky and/or Acton...or therefore...(God forbid) show to the league/fans that the Oilers never reward the right employees

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#4 RossCreekNation
May 26 2014, 09:40PM
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A logical progression (imo) would see Nelson join Eakins' staff, Laxdall taking the OKC job, and Hamilton taking over the Oil Kings.

As far as Kelly Buchberger goes, I'm sure a job on the pro scouting staff would be there for him. Or maybe he takes Rick Carriere's gig as Director of Player Development if (when) Carriere takes the OKC GM job.

Re: Green - Stauffer also mentioned the "expect a promotion" line today followed by something about Morey Gare as well. Am I to read into this that maybe Green will take over Gare's job?

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#5 David S
May 26 2014, 09:41PM
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OK wait. Serious question here. I thought we were on the "get an experienced NHL coach to up the bench strength" bandwagon. Things are bad enough with Eakins having almost no NHL chops. Now we want to add another rookie to the mix? And this is good how?

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#6 15w40
May 26 2014, 09:50PM
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Don't see Nelson coming on as Eakins' assistant - especially as he was the guy they passed on to hire the new super coach. I would expect Nelson would like to manage his own bench in the show but I could be completely wrong.

Laxdal on the other hand would probably make sense - it would also make sense for him to take over in OKC if the position is vacant but to me that means that Nelson is gone from the organization.

Lord knows they could use some coaching help. They also need some major new blood in the pro-scouting dept. Based on recent history it has been one of the weakest spots in the organization.

Adding Laxdal and another experienced asst coach makes all kinds of sense. I can't for the life of me find a scenario where Bucky is all that great of an asset - find him another job in the organization if he must remain employed as part of Katz Inc. Put him to work with Ryan Smyth in prospect player development.

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#7 ubermiguel
May 26 2014, 09:52PM
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"Frankly, I'd be fine seeing both Laxdal and Nelson join the Oilers, but that might be a bit bold."

C'mon "Bold Moves" MacTavish, make it happen!

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#8 BlazingSaitls
May 26 2014, 09:54PM
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All those affiliated with the Oilers; whether they be teams, management, coaches, players; are excelling.Everyone except for the actual Oilers themselves. It wouldn't surprise me if the Oilers even had the best stick boys and Zamboni drivers in the minors.

Whoever can translate the success from these teams to the Oilers (if its even possible) should get an automatic place in the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builder category.

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#10 Oil Can
May 26 2014, 10:00PM
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David S wrote:

OK wait. Serious question here. I thought we were on the "get an experienced NHL coach to up the bench strength" bandwagon. Things are bad enough with Eakins having almost no NHL chops. Now we want to add another rookie to the mix? And this is good how?

Yes you are exactly right. Laxdall would be a nice addition as an assistant, as well as Oates. You have to have someone behind the bench with NHL experience.

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#11 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 26 2014, 10:15PM
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I think Derek can do better. He doesn't need the Oilers anymore, he's established his own track record. Derek has done enough "time" here in Edmonton. Atleast someone inside this organization proved once and for all to see, he knows a little something about winning. If there was ever any concern.

Only a losing organization puts loyalty ahead of results.

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#12 David S
May 26 2014, 10:16PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

While I think it would be ideal to land a coach with extensive NHL experience, the challenge is finding one who is willing to come on as an assistant.

It would be wonderful if the Oilers could land an assistant with the experience of a Larry Robinson or Craig Ramsay or take your pick of names. Guys who not only have NHL experience but experience as head coaches at this level.

If you can get them, get them. If you can't, it makes sense for the Oilers -- keeping in mind they have a head coach, at least for now -- to look at the next highest level, and that's coaches who've run their own benches in the minors, as both Laxdal and Nelson have.

On top of that, there's the matter of rewarding results and promoting based on merit. What's the message to Nelson and Laxdal if they aren't even considered for positions as assistants with an organization they're already a part of?

Thanks Robin. I get what you're saying. Just what we've seen from Eakins last year doesn't give me alot of confidence. Although as you say it might be almost impossible to get the type of NHL coach in here who would accept an assistant position. Tough situation I suppose.

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#13 Soccer Steve
May 27 2014, 12:08AM
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History shows three things.

1) The Oil have a knack for ruining/running off players. Why wouldn't this translate to coaches?

2) In the place of calling out and laying blame on the players (who can't be fired) the coach is sent packing.

3) Edmonton has a tough time attracting free agent talent.

These aren't stupid men. Laxdal and Nelson are essentially lucrative free agents who have seen what happens to non-ex-Oiler coaches around here.

I bet we lose them both due to a combination of Buchberger-esque ineptitude and their own careers' self-preservation. And if they do stay on: gooooood luck guys. Playoff hockey? HA!

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#14 BLAKPOO
May 27 2014, 01:06AM
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A few things..

Part of the reason we're so under-developed as an NHL club is because we weren't creating the proper atmosphere for our prospects to flourish in. Nelson has changed that in OKC. As much as I respect the guy, and feel he deserves recognition for that, my selfish side wants him to stay right where he is.

Knowing that Nurse, Moroz, Simpson, Yakimov, Khaira, Chase, Gernat, Brossoit and even our potential 3rd overall pick will be able to develop under Nelson at the AHL level helps me sleep at night.

Having to change the equation in OKC at this point would only be done out of necessity. If other teams start asking after Todd Nelson, then the Oilers should definitely spin him an offer. Otherwise, business is business - he's needed in OKC.

Laxdal, on the other hand, is coaching a team full of other team's top prospects. There's no value to the Oilers having Laxdal develop Reinhart for the Islanders or Lazar for the Senators.

Whether it's on Nelson's or Eakins' staff isn't important right now. Getting him into the fold and mentoring Oilers prospects is.

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#15 MacTastic
May 27 2014, 02:10AM
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"Call it an educated guess."

Robin, are you saying Derek Laxdal "will merit serious consideration" as the Oilers' next assistant coach?

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#16 BlazingSaitls
May 27 2014, 02:26AM
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BLAKPOO wrote:

A few things..

Part of the reason we're so under-developed as an NHL club is because we weren't creating the proper atmosphere for our prospects to flourish in. Nelson has changed that in OKC. As much as I respect the guy, and feel he deserves recognition for that, my selfish side wants him to stay right where he is.

Knowing that Nurse, Moroz, Simpson, Yakimov, Khaira, Chase, Gernat, Brossoit and even our potential 3rd overall pick will be able to develop under Nelson at the AHL level helps me sleep at night.

Having to change the equation in OKC at this point would only be done out of necessity. If other teams start asking after Todd Nelson, then the Oilers should definitely spin him an offer. Otherwise, business is business - he's needed in OKC.

Laxdal, on the other hand, is coaching a team full of other team's top prospects. There's no value to the Oilers having Laxdal develop Reinhart for the Islanders or Lazar for the Senators.

Whether it's on Nelson's or Eakins' staff isn't important right now. Getting him into the fold and mentoring Oilers prospects is.

I never put much thought into it and after reading your post its seems a no-brainer.

Your post is a genuinely unbiased, informative post that I couldn't agree with more.

Tell me this, why arent you working for the Oilers? hehe

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#17 Sketchy
May 27 2014, 06:40AM
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He never played for the oilers in the late 80's, so he doesn't have much of a chance to make it on now

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#18 RexHolez
May 27 2014, 06:44AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

While I think it would be ideal to land a coach with extensive NHL experience, the challenge is finding one who is willing to come on as an assistant.

It would be wonderful if the Oilers could land an assistant with the experience of a Larry Robinson or Craig Ramsay or take your pick of names. Guys who not only have NHL experience but experience as head coaches at this level.

If you can get them, get them. If you can't, it makes sense for the Oilers -- keeping in mind they have a head coach, at least for now -- to look at the next highest level, and that's coaches who've run their own benches in the minors, as both Laxdal and Nelson have.

On top of that, there's the matter of rewarding results and promoting based on merit. What's the message to Nelson and Laxdal if they aren't even considered for positions as assistants with an organization they're already a part of?

I think it makes it harder to find an experienced guy when they look at what happened to Renney and wonder why they'd want to do that

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#19 Manfly
May 27 2014, 07:15AM
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you have to understand Robin, that Eakins was hung to dry by MacT when he said something along the lines of thinking the Oilers had the right assistants in place, even though the call is apparently up the Eakins. (talk about being royally set up to be fired by MacT if Dallas does change the old boy assistants and fails!) Smith and Bucky are about as stale as you can get, well past their expiry dates, but both have still been given a vote of confidence by MacT, so as fresh an idea it is to have most of us want Nelson and Laxdal as the assistants next year, i just can't see it happening as long as the "Old Boys Club" rules the roost here!

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#20 oprah sucks
May 27 2014, 07:15AM
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although i completley agree nelson and laxy deserve promotions, i just cant see rookie nhl coach, rookie nhl gm, and rookie assistants being a winning combination for oilers. if nelson or laxy get promoted i say laxy gets head coach in okc and nelson moves to assistant with eakins and bring on a couple of nhl vet coaches to assist eakins and nelson. bye bye bucky, smith and action!!

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#21 j
May 27 2014, 08:15AM
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I agree that MacT has made it hard on Eakins by endorsing the current assistants. It was a strange comment by MacT as it really hamstrings the bench boss. Too bad as I was hoping that MacT would let Eakins run his own show and put an end to the constant complaints (from the fans) of executive interference. At this point in the game, we need a couple of experienced hands on the rudder. Eakins needs a true sounding board. Someone to help him refine his message and challenge him as needed. I don't see a younger version of himself being that person.

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#22 Wintoon
May 27 2014, 08:43AM
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While both Laxdal and Nelson have had good seasons with the Oil Kings and Barons respectively, I am surprised that so many are suggesting that they should now be promoted.

While they are both good at what they do, the key to on going success is to leave people such as these in their current positions long enough for the organization to reap the benefit of their expertise. To immediately promote an individual once they attain a level of competence is wrong. The organization needs them to remain where they are so they can train, develop and influence more young playerss moving forward.

The Oilers are often criticized for their poor development record. Promoting these coaches at this time will simply reinforce the development shortcoming which so many complain about.

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#24 pkam
May 27 2014, 09:04AM
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"it would be a move based on merit, not cronyism"

I keep hearing about cronyism in the Oilers organisation, can someone kindly tell me what is the relation between Katz or Lowe, and Bob Green Derek Laxdal, Todd Nelson, Fredric Chabot, even Eakins?

I keep hearing how Smith and Buchberger keep their job. I am not sure about Buchberger, but with the young defense players we have, do you really think replacing Smith will make a difference to our defense?

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#25 TigerUnderGlass
May 27 2014, 09:05AM
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I don't understand the prevailing belief that an experienced NHL coach is preferable to a new one. There is no evidence for it, just soundbites in support. "Been there before". "Calming influence". "Knows what it takes". etc. etc.

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#27 TigerUnderGlass
May 27 2014, 09:09AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"The organization needs them to remain where they are so they can train, develop and influence more young playerss moving forward."

You understand that in his current position Laxdal is helping develop players drafted by other NHL teams, right?

Do you really believe moving Laxdal to the Oiler staff after four seasons, three 50-win campaigns, two WHL titles and a Memorial Cup with the Oil Kings is an "immediate" promotion?

As for Nelson, like I said in the item, my sense is he will remain in OKC for now.

Agree with this entirely.

If Laxdal has proven himself ready for more responsibility the Oilers need to try and benefit rather than leave him where every other team may benefit as well.

It has to be about making the Oilers better.

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#28 Seanjohn667
May 27 2014, 09:09AM
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Yes, the pressure mounts for this organization to operate like successful organizations do. An organization that is steeped in cronyism and nepotism has an opportunity to squash these deserved allegations. They've always said they like to hire from within. Well, prove it. If they stick with the status quo and lose Laxdal and/or Nelson, can it look worse? The next month is going to reveal a lot about the Oilers organization.

Are they a serious, professional organization, or are they an adolescent boys' tree-fort gang?

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#29 Racki
May 27 2014, 09:10AM
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I kind of figured that Eakins was in London watching the games because he wanted to look into Laxdal as an assistant. I hope that is the case. I think he would be a good add. Obviously he is doing something right there. The team is good, but it's also very resilient, which is a sign of good leadership somewhere.

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#30 TigerUnderGlass
May 27 2014, 09:10AM
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pkam wrote:

"it would be a move based on merit, not cronyism"

I keep hearing about cronyism in the Oilers organisation, can someone kindly tell me what is the relation between Katz or Lowe, and Bob Green Derek Laxdal, Todd Nelson, Fredric Chabot, even Eakins?

I keep hearing how Smith and Buchberger keep their job. I am not sure about Buchberger, but with the young defense players we have, do you really think replacing Smith will make a difference to our defense?

Re: Smith

It might if they can get Huddy back.

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#31 j
May 27 2014, 09:14AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

I don't understand the prevailing belief that an experienced NHL coach is preferable to a new one. There is no evidence for it, just soundbites in support. "Been there before". "Calming influence". "Knows what it takes". etc. etc.

Being a coach of a professional hockey team is like any other high ranking job - experience is a tremendous asset. The same is true of the actual players. One of the reasons the Oilers are struggling is that they don't have much proven veteran talent with any history of success. Are there exceptions? Sure. But most would likely agree that having some balance in your coaching staff is as important as having balance throughout your line up. And how is it that we don't have balance anywhere in our organization? It really is in terrible shape at the moment.

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#32 Seanjohn667
May 27 2014, 09:19AM
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Wintoon wrote:

While both Laxdal and Nelson have had good seasons with the Oil Kings and Barons respectively, I am surprised that so many are suggesting that they should now be promoted.

While they are both good at what they do, the key to on going success is to leave people such as these in their current positions long enough for the organization to reap the benefit of their expertise. To immediately promote an individual once they attain a level of competence is wrong. The organization needs them to remain where they are so they can train, develop and influence more young playerss moving forward.

The Oilers are often criticized for their poor development record. Promoting these coaches at this time will simply reinforce the development shortcoming which so many complain about.

But, then u risk losing quality people, while keeping others that are questionable. Laxdal had 17-19 yr olds playing better positional hockey than the Oilers, FCOL, Nelson's players come up from the minors and again, they are more positionally sound then the Oiler players.

Job offers are going to be coming for both these quality coaches. And we lose them because Buchy's wife is friends with Lowe's wife?

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#33 City of Champignons
May 27 2014, 09:23AM
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Woah, hit the brakes there RB. This is typical Oiler fan short-sighted, knee-jerk reaction to seeing success. He's a WHL coach who's had some success. That doesn't warrant immediate consideration for an NHL job, let alone a spot on the Oilers staff. Let's just slow down a bit and take a deep breath.

Laxdal and Nelson are both doing great work at developing young hockey players. Let them keep doing what they're good at. I'm all for giving Eakins some help, but he needs veteran help - a voice of wisdom and reason, not more inexperience.

Best course of action is to let Nelson continue to develop Oilers prospects because he's good at it. And let Laxdal continue to develop young men and potential pro players, also because he's good at it. Leave the pro coaching to pro coaches for now.

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#34 loweblows
May 27 2014, 09:23AM
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maybe the new arena will feature an extended oiler bench for all the coaches? Seriously fire Eakins.

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#35 pkam
May 27 2014, 09:27AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"If Eakins really does have the authority MacTavish says he does, my sense is we could see Buchberger moved, as unlikely as that seems. That would leave Eakins with Acton as his associate and Smith and Laxdal as assistants. Call it an educated guess. Or call me nuts, it's up to you."

Nothing in the item suggests Smith will or should be replaced. As for the relationships within the organization, if you haven't been following along, I'm not going to spell them out for you at this juncture.

Did the Oil Kings found in 2006? Is any of the Oil Kings management or coaching staff hired based on cronyism?

Didn't we select the Barons as our farm in 2010? Is any of the Barons management or coaching staff hired based on cronyism?

MacT hired Eakins last offseason, was it based on cronyism or merit? How about Keith Acton?

Didn't Steve Tambellini hire Renney as HC and Ralph Krueger as associate? Is this a move based on cronyism?

Didn't the Avs hired Sakic and Roy? Do you consider than cronyism? How about the Canucks just hiring of Linden?

Since 2006, I see more hiring based on merit than cronyism, yet we are still fed with the negative feeling from almost 10 years ago.

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#36 pkam
May 27 2014, 09:31AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Re: Smith

It might if they can get Huddy back.

Isn't Huddy an ex-Oilers too? Isn't Huddy Lowe's defense partner? So if it doesn't work out, will it be another case of cronyism?

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#37 Smokey
May 27 2014, 09:36AM
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I think suggestion Laxdall and Nelson for the assistant positions hinge on the fact they earned their opportunity. Most of us don't get the opportunity in life due to cronism. I think we are bitter about the old boys club, because ineptitude is accepted and at some point this team wandering in the desert will be good. Hextall nailed it when talking about the Flyers, they have been good for almost 30 plus years consistantly due to good scouting and management, when other teams just draft high.

Nelson and Laxdall deserve promotions, but the Oilers also need an experienced NHL assistant more then these promotions from within. However the soap opera continues.

Also how much does it suck to see Barry Trotz get scooped up like Alain Vigneult last year. Sigh...but we damn well have consistancy damnit.

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#38 TigerUnderGlass
May 27 2014, 09:41AM
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j wrote:

Being a coach of a professional hockey team is like any other high ranking job - experience is a tremendous asset. The same is true of the actual players. One of the reasons the Oilers are struggling is that they don't have much proven veteran talent with any history of success. Are there exceptions? Sure. But most would likely agree that having some balance in your coaching staff is as important as having balance throughout your line up. And how is it that we don't have balance anywhere in our organization? It really is in terrible shape at the moment.

Is it an asset? Everyone says this but there is no indication that hiring an experienced coach will better benefit your team than hiring a new one with a great resume.

In the NBA new coaches actually tend to outperform retread coaches to a surprising degree. Why is that? Maybe it's different in hockey, but I don't see why that would be the case.

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#39 Smokey
May 27 2014, 09:43AM
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pkam wrote:

Isn't Huddy an ex-Oilers too? Isn't Huddy Lowe's defense partner? So if it doesn't work out, will it be another case of cronyism?

Huddy was the only buddy who was legit and wasn't a fuddyduddy. Huddy left because he was well respected outside Edmonton and got obviously better offers. Kevin Lowe, Bucky, and MacT, Howsen may never hold positions outside Edmonton in the NHL again. Theres no reason to think they would be valued anywhere else.In my opinion Huddy would suffice as an experienced, and respected NHL level coaching talent we should pursue.

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#40 Yaz
May 27 2014, 10:08AM
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Sort of a dilemma, on one hand I would really like to see these guys promoted but on the other there is a train wreck coming in Oct/Nov and I would not want them to be caught up in it. No experienced coach will come here and work for Eakins as he has proven himself a jerk with last years management of the team and the digression of the players. It may be best long term to stay status quo with Eakins, Bucky and Smith then when the inevitable happens reward Nelson and Laxdal( have a private conversation with them in the interim). You can't fix 15-20 years of bad management very quickly especially if you always go back to the same well.

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#41 pkam
May 27 2014, 10:47AM
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Smokey wrote:

Huddy was the only buddy who was legit and wasn't a fuddyduddy. Huddy left because he was well respected outside Edmonton and got obviously better offers. Kevin Lowe, Bucky, and MacT, Howsen may never hold positions outside Edmonton in the NHL again. Theres no reason to think they would be valued anywhere else.In my opinion Huddy would suffice as an experienced, and respected NHL level coaching talent we should pursue.

I haven't been coached by either Smith or Huddy so I don't know if Huddy is really better than Smith.

But I know before he was relieved of duty by the Oilers, he had only been assistant coach for the Oilers and Rangers. Would those hiring base on cronyism?

What will the fans say if Huddy was not fired in 2009 and stayed with the Oilers till now? Will it be another case of cronyism, just like Smith?

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#42 michael
May 27 2014, 11:10AM
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Rexall Sports as a whole has had a great year. POHO KLOWE should get some credit.Trash freely as you wish. But overall Rexall Sports has done well.(The Edmonton Capital don't count)

Nelson and his Barons performed a minor miracle getting into the playoffs. One and done but not a failure imo.

Troy Mann and his Condors are fighting the Aces tooth and nail in the final of their series.3-2 Aces. IMO best move the Oilers have made organizationally in many years. Having ownership of their AA affiliate has opened doors to signing players they would not have had an opportunity to before this move.

Oil Kings and Laxdal have brought home a Memorial Cup for the first time since 1966.You cannot argue with the job that the whole Oil Kings organization has done since its inception.

The Edmonton Oilers. Well Davinci didn't paint the Mona Lisa in one day.The rebuilding process is like taking Castor Oil.Its awful but its good for you long term. Hopefully we've seen the worst of it.

Its Katz's money. He's got one championship in the bag for this city. Hopefully there will be more to come.

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#43 David S
May 27 2014, 11:31AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

I don't understand the prevailing belief that an experienced NHL coach is preferable to a new one. There is no evidence for it, just soundbites in support. "Been there before". "Calming influence". "Knows what it takes". etc. etc.

Yeah. When all anybody has to do is Google "best NHL coaching practices" and be up to speed in a matter of hours, why would experience count for anything these days?

Try thinking that way when you go in for your next medical appointment.

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#44 TigerUnderGlass
May 27 2014, 11:47AM
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David S wrote:

Yeah. When all anybody has to do is Google "best NHL coaching practices" and be up to speed in a matter of hours, why would experience count for anything these days?

Try thinking that way when you go in for your next medical appointment.

How about a relevant response. At what point did I suggest that anybody could coach an NHL team? In fact, my follow up comment specifically referenced the words "great resume" as a requirement.

Doctors don't operate in leagues, but if they did the doctors most of us see regularly would be firmly entrenched 3 leagues down in the minors despite decades of experience.

There is evidence that new coaches in other sports outperform retread hires. Can you provide a valid reason why the NHL would be an exception?

As a side note - you gotten a lot more aggressive in your commenting the last few months. Good work.

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#45 VK63
May 27 2014, 11:58AM
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Ive had the pleasure of hanging with the Oil Kings brass a fair bit through the years and although I do agree Laxdal is a great coach. Steve Hamilton is simply unreal at pushing the buttons that gets these kids attention.

Given how junior like the big club is due to age, experience, maturity and playing style I wonder about Steves ability to transfer his methods to a pro club.

plus he's Rod Phillips son in law and we all know how the Oilers roll with patronage appointments.

Might HE be the guy?

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#46 Taylor Gang
May 27 2014, 12:00PM
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michael wrote:

Rexall Sports as a whole has had a great year. POHO KLOWE should get some credit.Trash freely as you wish. But overall Rexall Sports has done well.(The Edmonton Capital don't count)

Nelson and his Barons performed a minor miracle getting into the playoffs. One and done but not a failure imo.

Troy Mann and his Condors are fighting the Aces tooth and nail in the final of their series.3-2 Aces. IMO best move the Oilers have made organizationally in many years. Having ownership of their AA affiliate has opened doors to signing players they would not have had an opportunity to before this move.

Oil Kings and Laxdal have brought home a Memorial Cup for the first time since 1966.You cannot argue with the job that the whole Oil Kings organization has done since its inception.

The Edmonton Oilers. Well Davinci didn't paint the Mona Lisa in one day.The rebuilding process is like taking Castor Oil.Its awful but its good for you long term. Hopefully we've seen the worst of it.

Its Katz's money. He's got one championship in the bag for this city. Hopefully there will be more to come.

Lowe is that you?

Sorry I had to

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#47 WhattaMike
May 27 2014, 12:27PM
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IMO, When men (and/or women for that matter) work very hard, are very productive, and very successful for any company/corporation...they get bonuses/raises and promotions...as rewards. Or another company comnes along and puts them in that higher position/job and pays better.

Now...Laxdal has worked his butt off to win 50 games/season three yrs in a row. Only the second team ever to do so. he got the Oil Kings in the WHL championships 3 yrs in a row. Again that is rare. He teaches/develops, he coaches smartly, he motivates, and he wins.

After four yrs of this and being very successful...that deserves and qualifies for a promotion. having him go up one level to the AHL serves the Oilers exclusively for this team's prospects. He has taught/knows...already... many of the kids coming to the Barons such as Brossoit, Ewanyk, Moroz, Gernat, Musil,, etc. He knows who Nurse, Chase, Marco Roy, etc, are as they come into the Oilers system as well. This is an easy choice for the Oilers to do. Promote him.

Nelson has also been very hardworking, successful, and productive as a teacher and developer of the kids/players. He has produced playoff bound teams for the Oilers and has done it with so many Oiler call-ups/recalls and changes etc. He knows the main team players very closely as also the the youngsters...as he has worked with almost all of them...even during the lockout two yrs ago. As like Laxdal...he deserves to continue this with being promoted as an assistant more so now than Smith, Bucky and/or Acton who have not accomplished anything.

He would enhance Eakins coaching staff, not subtract from it. At some point, there are damn good times and reasons to keep a successful organization/company together rather than lose excellent staff/workers and hire outsiders or... friends from the past... who can or could make it worse.

After 8 yrs it is time to move forth and do the right thing.

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#48 ubermiguel
May 27 2014, 12:29PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Lowe is that you?

Sorry I had to

One things that's been done right since Katz bought the team is setting up the non-NHL teams. They all seem to be sucessful organizations (although OKC's attendance is awful). Those were dark days when we didn't even have our own pro-minor league affiliate.

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#49 Old Timer
May 27 2014, 12:43PM
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Why not consider Laxdal and/or Nelson for assistant coach positions?

Every single coach that has ever coached in the NHL was a rookie NHL coach at the start of their career. Some have had much less experience in the minors or juniors than those two.

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#50 SuntanOil
May 27 2014, 12:54PM
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VK63 wrote:

Ive had the pleasure of hanging with the Oil Kings brass a fair bit through the years and although I do agree Laxdal is a great coach. Steve Hamilton is simply unreal at pushing the buttons that gets these kids attention.

Given how junior like the big club is due to age, experience, maturity and playing style I wonder about Steves ability to transfer his methods to a pro club.

plus he's Rod Phillips son in law and we all know how the Oilers roll with patronage appointments.

Might HE be the guy?

Not to mention that he is the son of one of the few guys who has his jersey hanging in the rafters at Rexall.

It would be very Oilers-like in that it would be incredibly premature, still I think Laxdal spends the season looking for his NEXT organization if that happens.

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