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.
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.
“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.