Deal for Daumer


Bumped from Craig MacTavish’s coaching staff to make room for Kelly Buchberger, Rob Daum won’t be behind the bench with the Edmonton Oilers this season, but he’s staying with the organization.

Daum, who spent 2007-08 as an assistant on MacTavish’s staff, and the Oilers agreed on a two-year contract Tuesday afternoon that will see him join the team’s pro scouting staff.

“Coaching is what I want to do so it’s tough to give that up, but I’m going to make the most of this,” Daum said.

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With Buchberger being promoted from Springfield of the AHL—even though the Oilers haven’t formally announced the move — and Jeff Truitt taking over as the Falcons head coach, Daum had a decision to make. And it wasn’t an easy one for a guy who has spent almost 30 years as a coach and won wherever he’s toted a whistle.

With no coaching positions open within the organization, a desire to stay behind the bench would have meant returning to the University of Alberta after a three-year leave of absence or looking elsewhere, like at AHL openings in Grand Rapids, Chicago or Peoria.

In the end, Daum, 50, decided staying in the NHL game rather than taking a step back might be better in the long run.

Aside from the benefits of staying in The Show, Oilers GM Kevin Lowe has given Daum the latitude to pursue coaching jobs this summer, just in case something opens up that’s appealing.

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“I told Kevin I’m going to stay with the organization in this capacity unless a coaching opportunity comes up,” Daum said. “I hope of an opportunity presents itself he (Lowe) can be of some assistance.”

Daum’s coaching resume speaks for itself. He spent two years as head coach of the Houston Aeros. In a decade with the Alberta Golden Bears, Daum compiled a 345-79-32 (.792) record, led Alberta to three CIS titles and was twice named CIS coach of the year. He also had stints as a coach and assistant GM with Prince Albert and Lethbridge of the WHL.

“I’m serious about coaching at the level I’m at now and this could, potentially, help open something up,” Daum said. “I’m going to approach this as an opportunity.”

—Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 5pm on Total Sports with Bob Stauffer on Team 1260.

  • Rick

    So if I understand this correctly when Bucky was given the Springfield gig it was with a wink and a nod that it was only for a year and then he was going to be brought up to the Oilers.

    When Truitt was hired as an assistant it was with a wink and a nod that in a year he would become the bench boss.

    What are the chances that barring a totally different opportunity outside of the organization the Oilers have a similar promise in place for Daum? Keep him as a scout with an eye on the future in a coaching capacity.

  • David S

    I bet Winks and nods only apply to guys that have ridden on the bus.

    Sucks for Daum because for all intents, it looks like a demotion. He must REALLY want to be with the club because I can't believe for a moment that there aren't any other assistant coach jobs available out there for a guy so highly qualified.

  • Big Deal

    And the Old boys club get bigger, great. The Oilers finally had a coaching staff with Moore and Daum together. These guys are professional coaches who know what they are doing and know how to teach young players the NHL game. Huddy is a waste, Simpson was a waste and now Bucky will fall in line. We have a young team that needs to be taught and all the young players are getting is,"well back in my day". That crap just doesn't cut it anymore. One giant step backwards for the Oilers and the young guns.

  • RobinB

    BigDeal: I'd have to disagree with you on your assessment of Huddy. As for Bucky, I've said it before but I'll say it again — I saw some good things out of him in an assistant's capacity in the AHL in 2004-05, so I think he's got a chance to be successful, as long as he's used properly.
    My issue is the Oilers have rushed him, basically at the expense of Daum, when there was no harm whatsoever in leaving him in the AHL one more year so he could hone his coaching skills.

  • Big Deal

    RobinB:Huddy may have shown something in 04-05 in the AHL. Fine, that 3 years ago and in the AHL. It's a different game now and a different league. In 06-07, the Oilers defense was awful and Huddy was it's leader. In 07-08, the team upgraded its skill level significantly. I am not sure the improvement in defense had anything to do with Huddy.
    I agree with you on Daum. Bucky should have stayed in the AHL till he proved himself. But it seems like the deal was for one year in the AHL and then up to the big club. Daum is a great coach and maybe the Oilers will benefit in his ability to assess talent and start drafting better… maybe

  • erixon

    Providing that Daum doesn't go elsewhere this year, say a year from now, if MacT is forced to pack it in as an Oiler coach (if lets say they miss the playoffs for the third straight year) I wonder if Lowe would go back to Daum and say, "Hey listen, we'd love to have you back as an assistant coach" or something of that nature and maybe realize he had more to do with the success of the team in the last half of the year than originally thought.

  • OldGreyMonkey

    David S: Don't be surprised that there was little interest in him to coach at this level now – when he got the Oiler post, there was little interest in him at the AHL level as well after he was dusted there initially.
    In fact, there was more reported interest in him to return to the university level (Lakehead approached him in '07, which he turned down), than there was in having him at the professional level.
    One can only dream of a day where we have internal Oiler management strong enough to not just track down the strongest candidates for positions, but have the stones to hire said people… without regard to either a local birth certificate, an Edmonton address, or an old Oiler pay stub from days gone by.

  • I imagine the call on bringing in any assistant coach in that scenario would be up to new head coach Kelly Buchberger.

    Why is Bucky ahead of Huddy in that scenario? Huddy has all the credentials required of an Oilers coach (Stanley Cup rings from the 1980's) plus he's been a coach in Edmonton longer than Bucky.