Steve Tambellini returned from the under-18 tournament and has started to focus on every aspect of the organization. He has met with many different people inside the organization including the assistant coaches and Rob Daum.
From what I understand, Daum gave Tambellini an overview of Springfield, but the conversation didn’t get down to specifics of coaching.
Daum does have one year left on his contract with the team, and has stated before that his true passion is coaching. The big question will be where does he want his coaching career to go?
If his ultimate goal is to be an NHL coach, then he should take the head coaching job in Springfield if the Oilers offer it to him.
Out of the 30 NHL teams, only two head coaches went from assistant to head coach within their respective teams. John Stevens was an assistant in Philly, but he was only an assistant for eight games before replacing the fired Ken Hitchcock. Stevens spent six years as the head man for the Philadelphia Phantoms in the AHL, before being promoted to Hitchcock’s staff and ultimately replacing him.
Tony Granato has had a strange rise and fall in Colorado. He was an assistant for a year, and then he got promoted to head coach for two seasons before the lockout. After the lockout he was back as an assistant in Colorado before getting promoted again this past year. It’s fair to say that this situation might never play out again for another coach.
Coaches who were assistants in the NHL and then hired by another team, include Lindy Ruff, Todd McLellan, Joel Quenneville, Dave Tippett, Rick Tocchet, Craig MacTavish and Ron Wilson. All of them were former NHL players, so the chance of Daum following their path isn’t likely.
Ken Hitchcock was an NHL assistant, and then became head coach in the IHL before getting promoted to Dallas. Terry Murray did the same as Hitchcock. Andy Murray was an NHL assistant, then left the league and coached in Europe and for the Canadian National team before returning seven years later.
The rest were either rookies who got promoted from junior or the AHL.
If Daum ultimately wants to be the head coach of the Oilers, history shows he’d be better off being head coach in Springfield rather than an assistant in Edmonton. Daum doesn’t have any connections to Pat Quinn or Marc Crawford, and while he knows Tom Renney, he doesn’t have a long-standing relationship with him. I don’t see Tambellini telling his new coach who one of his assistants would be, so look for Daum to be the main man in Springfield.
Over-rating AHL success
With the recent success of Dan Bylsma and Cory Clouston, many feel the best route to go is getting a young coach with AHL success. But Clouston missed the playoffs his first year in the AHL, before getting promoted halfway through this second season. Bylsma was having a good first year in the AHL before replacing Michel Therrien.
Neither had a stellar proven career in the AHL, but Clouston had a great track record in the WHL before going to the AHL. What both guys inherited in the NHL was top-end talent, especially up front. Clearly they both got the attention of their players, and got them to buy into the system.
Scott Arniel seems to be the flavour of the week amongst many to replace MacTavish. He was named coach of the year in the AHL this year, and in three years with the Moose he has compiled an impressive 141-71-38 record.
The Moose have had a dominant winning record in the regular season for five years now. Arniel is a good coach, but one of the biggest keys to his success has been drafting and signing veteran players. He’s also had success signing AHL players and some decent young prospects.
Springfield was short in both departments.
The Moose went out and signed Jason Krog, the AHL MVP in 2008, and he led them in scoring this year.
The Falcons signed Jake Taylor, a good leader and stay-at-home D-man, but not someone who will make you a playoff contender. Why didn’t the Oilers stock Springfield with better veterans? Because they didn’t have any NHL contracts to offer them.
That won’t be the case this summer. Currently the Oilers have 30 players signed for next season, and 20 of them played in Edmonton last year. MacIntyre, Chorney and Peckham have two-way deals, and you’d expect Brodziak, Smid, Grebeshkov and a goalie to get signed, so that puts them at 34.
Josef Hrabal, Tim Sestito, Geoff Paukovich, Ryan O’Marra, Viatcheslav Trukhno, Jordan Bendfeld, Bryan Pitton, Cody Wild, Bryan Lerg and Jordan Eberle are the other ten and all of them are on two-way deals. Eberle will either be in Edmonton, or most likely back in Regina, where his contract wouldn’t count amongst the 50.
Out of the other nine, none of them are prospects that are close to playing in Edmonton, and none are dominant AHLers. Chorney will be in the AHL next season, and depending on what trades happen this summer I think Peckham might start down there as well.
Chris Van De Velde and Alex Plante look to be the only new young players in Springfield next season, so Steve Tambellini will need to get some proven veterans. He should be able to entice some proven veterans by dangling a two-way NHL contract in front of them.
Expect the Oilers to sign proven AHL players this summer. Their experience will give the Oilers depth in case of injury, but more importantly, they will lead the young players in Springfield.
The good and the bad for draft picks
Here’s a great story about the Raven’s first round draft pick this past Saturday.
Oher’s story has already been written as a book, The Blind Side, and they are currently making a movie about him. Here’s the book’s synopsis.
There are always great success stories in sports, but there are many cases of players who had all the talent, but made some bad decisions and never made it. Read this story, and if one of your kids is lucky enough to get drafted by a team, make sure as a parent you give the right advice and do you homework on which agent to use.