Some of you may have read my article yesterday, which made the case for a coaching change in Springfield. Today, the Oilers have announced that Jeff Truitt has been relieved of his duties and that he will be replaced by professional scout Rob Daum for the remainder of the season.
Truitt came to the organization after more than fifteen years of coaching experience in the WHL and AJHL; he served for one season as the assistant to Kelly Buchberger in Springfield. In May, I applauded the decision to give Truitt the job based on his experience as a junior coach – he seemed like an excellent candidate to develop young prospects. Steve Tambellini said the following about Truitt today:
The Oilers organization would like to thank Jeff for his commitment and effort. Jeff’s an outstanding individual who worked hard every day to improve his hockey club.
I’ve never read anything negative about Truitt as an individual; indeed, there have been a lot of positive things said about his time in the WHL and elsewhere. It’s unfortunate that things worked out this way, but given the Falcons’ struggles, it was the right choice to make.
Rob Daum has an extensive track record as a coach in the WHL, AHL and CIS. He spent three years as an assistant coach and three more as a head coach in the WHL. As a head coach, his WHL teams went a combined 95-79-12. Daum spent the next ten years as the head coach at the University of Alberta, with a phenomenal lifetime record of 345-79-32, before jumping to the AHL as the head coach of the Houston Aeros (Minnesota’s AHL affiliate). After an excellent 50-24-6 run in 2005-06, the Aeros struggled in 2006-07, going 27-43-10, for a combined record of 77-67-16.
Daum served as an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers last season, but his contract was not renewed this year, allowing Kelly Buchberger to join the team as an assistant. Daum had spent this season as a professional scout with the Oilers.