Good job, Daumer. Thanks for coming. All indications are Rob Daum did a fine job as an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers this past season, but he won’t retain his job on Craig MacTavish’s staff in 2008–09. What I suggested here April 10, that Daum would lose his position so the team could bring in former Oiler captain Kelly Buchberger from Springfield of the AHL as an assistant, is unfolding. GM Kevin Lowe confirmed today Daum won’t be back in an interview he did with Rob Tychkowski of The Sun, although he stopped short of saying Buchberger will be the man to take his place. "Rob is not coming back as a coach with the big club," Lowe said. "He’s earned my respect in the organization, all of our respect. He’s a good hockey guy. I’m just pondering what we’re going to get him to do. He’s also thinking about his options, too. "There’s things in the organization we can get him to do, lots of stuff I’ve been wanting to expand on when the right guy came along." Wanting to keep Daum in the organization is fine and good, but Daum is a coach, and getting bounced from a coaching position for the inexperienced Buchberger isn’t much of a reward for a job well done. Fact is it has to feel like a swift kick in the groin. With Jeff Truitt, an assistant to Buchberger in Springfield this season, said to have the inside track as head coach when Bucky bolts, what coaching job can the Oilers offer Daum? That’s easy: probably one he’ll refuse. Meaning he might have to exercise his option to return to the University of Alberta as the coach of the Golden Bears. That also puts the pinch on Eric Thurston, who guided the Bears to a national title in Daum’s absence. Sounds like a bum deal.
I’m batting .500 on coaching and front office moves as Lowe made it clear in the same interview former assistant coach and current TV analyst Craig Simpson won’t be re-joining the team in a front office capacity next season. Lowe characterized a return by Simpson this way: "No, that’s craziness, total craziness." Given where the talk about interest in Simpson’s potential as a front office type came from, I can assure fans it wasn’t "total craziness." It simply isn’t going to happen next season. Let’s see just how nuts the idea of Simpson rejoining the Oilers is down the road.
The Oilers haven’t spoken with agent David Kaye, who represents unrestricted free agent Curtis Glencross, since April 22, and there are no talks scheduled. Having talked to Kaye today, there’s every possibility Glencross may test the market after July 1, if he and the Oilers can’t close what appears to be a significant financial gap. "We might have to wait until July 1 to have the market dictate what Curtis is worth," Kaye said. "I think the best fit for Curtis is Edmonton. Does he need to go anywhere else? No. Will we entertain something? Obviously, if they don’t step up to the plate, we have to." In Monday’s Edmonton Metro, I wrote that Glencross and Kaye want "close to $2 million a season." What I was told, to be specific, was that Kaye was looking for "Robert Nilsson money," which is a cap hit of $1.83 million per season ($5.5 million over three seasons). While Kaye won’t confirm or deny that, and insists he hasn’t yet negotiated off a hard number, Nilsson’s name did, indeed, come up. "I’ve given them comparables out there," Kaye said. "My exact words were, ‘Hey, you just signed Nilsson.’ That’s all I said. I have never given him a number." —Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 5pm on Total Sports with Bob Stauffer on Team 1260.