Rob Daum: Oilers housecleaning continues

The Edmonton Oilers have decided Rob Daum isn’t the head coach they want behind the bench when they open up their AHL shop in Oklahoma City next season.

After three years in the organization as a coach, including a one-year stint as an assistant to Craig MacTavish with the Oilers and parts of two seasons as coach of the Springfield Falcons, Daum has been told he’s not in the plans.

While Daum, 52, enjoyed nothing but success in a decade with the Alberta Golden Bears before joining the Oilers, he couldn’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse in Springfield.

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That inability to get results — with what was essentially an injury riddled ECHL defensive corps last season and a team without a legit AHL starter in goal this season — in Springfield has cost him his job.

Or maybe Daum didn’t have enough pizzazz or marquee value to sell tickets in Oklahoma City — I don’t know the Oilers thinking behind the move because they have yet to comment or even announce they gave Daum the bad news last week.

Perhaps they’ll get around to it this week.


The Falcons were 25-39-0-16 under Daum this season after going 8-17-0-5 with the former two-time CIS coach of the year behind the bench in 2008-09, a campaign in which he took over from Jeff Truitt as a late-season replacement.

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In an off-season of change, one that has already seen the Oilers sack assistant GM Kevin Prendergast, long-time equipment manager Barrie Stafford, assistant Lyle Kulchisky and athletic therapist Ken Lowe, Daum becomes the latest to be shown the door.

While it’s difficult to put a positive spin on Daum’s record in Springfield, player development, generally speaking, carries as much weight as wins and losses do at the minor league level. There’s no question in my mind that Daum is a proven teacher of the game.

The truth is, Daum, who compiled one of the most successful records in CIS history with an overall slate of 345-79-32 (.792) on the way to three CIS championships and six conference titles, didn’t have much to work with in the mire that has been the Oilers farm system.

If the Oilers really want a fresh start in Oklahoma City, they had better address the lack of depth of talented prospects and time-tested minor league veterans that’s plagued this organization since they got back into the business of actually operating an AHL team. So far, they haven’t been very good at it.

Daum wasn’t the problem.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

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  • Firing Daum is nothing more than an attempt to deflect blame from upper management. Nobody could have won with the roster he had to work with, and writing something so obtuse as to claim that he should go because his record was bad is absurd.

    You remove people from their job because they did it poorly, not because you gave them nothing to work with. By firing him they are claiming that he was provided with a better roster than his record suggests. Are some of you actually buying this idea?

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Of course you are correct, but considering this is the same fan base that was frothing at the mouth to see MacT fired under similar circumstances makes watching all the bleeding hearts pretty hard to swallow.

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          Really? no comparisons? Poorly constructed rosters with injury problems producing below average results…..with the coaching getting the Ax.

          ~Good call, no similarities there~

          • I am the Liquor

            Good insight. Well not really. But Im trying to be nice. Daum had no goalie, no defense, and was short on forwards for his one full season as head coach.

            Mactavish on the other hand had eight full seasons as a head coach and none of the injury/call up problems were even close to what Daum had. Hell, you cant even say that he had a chance to develop any players under those circumstances.

            And really, if Mact were a victim of circumstances as you suggest, he surely would have been hired by now. His stints with the Spengler Cup and the World Championships would indicate that he is open for business. But nobody is calling. Why is that? Bad rosters? Please.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Ah, so you think he had quality rosters these last few years.

            Looks like you just shot all your credibility out the window, by displaying a complete and total failure in evaluating hockey talent.

          • I am the Liquor

            I neither need nor want your approval. You didnt answer my question. Surely the bright minds that occupy the gm chairs in the various franchises around the league would concur with your assessment and hire the savant? But no, that doesnt seem to be the case.

            Youve also glossed over the one year vs eight year disparity (surprised? not really) and the various spats he had in the open press with some of our top prospects and players. Is it a coincidence that Penner scored over thirty goals on the worst team in the league one year after the removal of his nemesis?

            Is it a coincidence that Rob Schremp had a higher ppg in the nhl than Horcoff one year after the removal of his nemesis?

            I mean this was a guy that got all of seven games in three years here, while the likes of Liam Reddox floundered around on the first line of the big club.

            And of course, who can forget the comment he made on national tv when he suggested on tsn this fall that Shawn Horcoff should be considered for Team Canada.

            Failure in evaluating hockey talent indeed.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            “I neither need nor want your approval. You didnt answer my question. Surely the bright minds that occupy the gm chairs in the various franchises around the league would concur with your assessment and hire the savant? But no, that doesnt seem to be the case.”

            He was fired a year ago, lots of coaches sit on the sideline for a year + You don’t have a leg to stand on with that point. If he’s still unemployed in 3-5 years then you can start with that non-sense.

            “Youve also glossed over the one year vs eight year disparity (surprised? not really) and the various spats he had in the open press with some of our top prospects and players. Is it a coincidence that Penner scored over thirty goals on the worst team in the league one year after the removal of his nemesis?”

            He had a well constructed roster for one year, they went to the finals that year. The rest of the time he had an average or worse roster, he produced average or worse results.

            “Is it a coincidence that Penner scored over thirty goals on the worst team in the league one year after the removal of his nemesis?”

            If Mact leaving caused Penners goals to go up, then it must have also caused Cogs/Gilberts production to evaporate. ;0

            “I mean this was a guy that got all of seven games in three years here, while the likes of Liam Reddox floundered around on the first line of the big club.”

            Did you know Justin Abdelkader spent time on the Wings first line in the SCF?

            It’s laughable that guys like yourself are still clinging to the opinion that MacT was “the problem” after the team sunk 23 points.

          • I am the Liquor

            What is laughable is your inability to defend such a ridiculous comparison. One has nothing to do with the other. All you have done is said that Mactavish had a poor roster just like Daum. Do you even have any idea what Daum had to put up with last year?

            Im going to take a wild stab and say no. That much is fairly obvious. You could start by asking yourself who replaced the injured players on the big club, then you could research and ponder the injuries that Springfield actually had to deal with.

            Then you may be starting to get the picture. Add to that your jumbled post/response and your need to insult those that have a differing point of view and well, maybe there is a reason that this place may not be growing as it could be.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Yes I have an idea what Daum had to go through. I agree that Daum had less to work with then MacTavish…. However he also put up far worse results.

            It’s mind boggling that you can’t see the similarities. What’s their to defend? Both had poor rosters, both put up poor results, both got fired.

            The Falcons also had a worse winning % last year after Daum was hired then before.

          • I think the MacTavish comparison holds a bit of water because clearly MacTavish wasn’t the problem either, but there are 2 key differences by which it made sense to fire MacTavish but not Daum.

            1. MacTavish gave up near the end and it was pretty clear nobody was listening anymore.

            2. The team seemed to honestly believe they had the roster to perform better. They were obviously wrong, but I believe they were sincere in their belief. (which is what concerns me more than just about anything with the Oilers)

            There is no possible way that they could justify that Daum had been dressing a competitive team. Especially given the minutes given to call-ups at the NHL level.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Ya I agree that it was time for a change from both sides (for the reasons you listed). My beef was never with that side of the debate, it was always the (very vocal) side that insisted he was the problem.

          • So that had nothing to do with the AHL goaltending, defence, and a lack of Hemsky? MacT didnt coach this team last year, but if he did I’m sure it would have been much worse.

            He had a bad attitude, ridiculed the players publicly, and missed the playoffs more than he made them over an 8 year period. The veterans on the team gave up on him and he couldnt motivate anyone outside of Reddox. Sorry. He was terrible in his final years here, and the fact that a completely different team failed under different circumstances doesnt change that.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            No, it had alot to do with all those things you mentioned. The question is though, were the things you listed severe enough to to reduce the teams success by 27%?

            I’d say yes, however I don’t think those circumstances would have caused a drop of more then 27% (roughly) .

            = the coaching change had zero effect

            Which means if MacT is a poor coach, then so is Quinn.

            IMO of course

          • Perhaps MacT isn’t coaching for other reasons. Maybe he just wanted to kick back and get paid to do nothing for a year. Why not. Perhaps he needed to take some time to sort some things out.

            Point is, I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions from his lack of NHL employment.

  • The Duke of Hafford

    One thing that is certain…there is no pleasing an Oilers fan. When things are going bad we scream for change and when change happens we scream some more.

    I thought that change is what we wanted….we should just be happy that we are finally seeing some.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Change without naming who the change is for is not exactly timely , or change until we see what that change really is . Change just for change shake is frequently not good .

      Nothing more than a gut feeling about what change might be . Possible scenario that might appeal to me . Bucky goes back to AHL to re-evaluate how good he might be as head coach till after the season to see if Quinn and Renney can turn the club around . Even bringing Bucky back up during season if the two incumbents are still faltering below expectations and Bucky is excelling on the farm. Oilers then offer Pisani and/ or J.Smith a job outside their hockey careers as assistant coaches on the NHL club , AHL club , etc..

      • I am the Liquor

        Seriously? Kelly Buchberger is going to go down to the farm to re-evaluate how good he is and then he is going to replace are two current coaches in Oiler land because he is excelling there? What the hell are you smoking? It must be some pretty good tree because that is the dumbest post I think i have ever seen on here in quite some time.

        • Jodes

          Really ? What has upper management done in recent two years that leads you to believe they are doing much right on their decisions , or for the accuracy of others on this site ? With Tams and company you soon learn to expect the unexspected and the irrational . It’s not like they have never been seen to do something dumb .

          Some get highs on drugs and alcohol – i get my adrenaline high from Oiler pride . Is that such a bad thing ?

          • If he ever became coach of this team (or any other team in the NHL) will be the last day I even watch a hockey game.

            What they did to Daum – an excellent development x and o coach who knows the game and is great with kids is mindboggling and questions may allegance to this organization.

  • The Duke of Hafford

    It’s amazing how many people are getting their hair in a knot over the Oilers revamping this organization. These kinds of firings happen everywhere including the NHL. This latest one could be as simple as the team has decided to go in a different direction. Many of you have claimed over the last year or so that Kevin Lowe was still really running this team and maybe there was some merit to it or maybe Tambellini wanted to give the guys that were put in place under Lowe a year or so to show that they were the guys that Tambellini wanted.

    This team is a 30th place team and now Tambellini is beginning to make this team his own….I don’t understand the venom…you guys all wanted change…change is well underway and has probably just begun…so strap in, sit back and see what happens.

    Everytime the Oilers make some sort of move many react like they just lost a family member. The Stanley Cup Champion Black Hawks just went ahead and fired guys right out of the blue (ie: Denis Savard and Dale Tallon) as well when it looked like they were on the cusp of a rebuild…were they being classless?

    Firings in the NHL happen all the time in every city and always will. I’m sure that if all the moves being made don’t work that Tambellini will find himself on the end of the same fate…

    Why not give the guy a chance now to make his mark and see if it works?

  • The Duke of Hafford

    Lowe mentioned last month that the new Oilers assistant GM will be the one who makes the decision on who to hire for the head coaching position in OKC and that Daum would be considered for the position. He also gives Daum praise and calls him a good teacher and did a good job in Springfield, all things considered.

    Should be interesting to see who Tambi hires for that position and who they choose to run things in Oklahoma.

  • But what does this have to do with what Taylor Hall is doing? Nothing. Jesus Brownlee, don’t you know the Oilers have the first overall pick this year? Didn’t you know a sneeze from Taylor Hall can bring snow to deserts, rain to Africa, and peel the very fabric from the nation’s women all at once? DID YOU KNOW THAT, BROWNLEE!?!?!?

    *smoke bomb*

  • Doesnt this situation reek of everything Sheldon Souray spoke of at the end of the season? How are management supposed to get players and other managers when the word gets out that they still treat their staff like garbage?

  • Crackenbury

    Hearing Daum’s take on the situation will be interesting.

    Everyone condemned the firing/transferring of the training staff before hearing from the people involved. I haven’t heard any negative comments coming from Sparky or Stafford, in fact they seemed to be excited about the future.

    If Daum’s contract not being renewed came as a complete surprise to him I’ll agree it was pretty crappy to let him hang that long. Let’s hear what he has to say.

    The summer of Tambellini continues. Fans are lemmings. If the Oilers have success he`ll be a genius and all moves will be deemed as having been necessary and any talk of being classless will be long forgotten.

  • BBOil

    I wonder if the reason for holding off was to see how the GM position went in OKC. Is there a possibility that they are talking to and are coveting a potential GM/Coach for OKC?

    I could understand why Daum was left in limbo, maybe the new GM would be happy with Daum, maybe not. If you want to hire the best GM they are probably going to want a say in who they work with… Just a theory anyway.

    A fresh start on the Farm is a good thing but it’s too bad good people are being shown the door.

  • Jackie Treehorn

    Tambo the Jerk? Tambo the mis-understood? Who is Tambellini and what is he all about?

    I think he comes across as a hard ass with no sense of humour during interviews. I guess you don’t need to be a charismatic guy to GM the team. Maybe Tambo is a guy Edmonton fans will grow to like, and maybe in time we will see that there’s a method to his madness. Who knows at this point.

  • Zamboni Driver

    You gotta think this version of the ‘braintrust’ is really counting on the blind-faithers out there – a smattering of present company being included in that list.

    Fire a whack of spare parts (also known as the poor working stiffs) to demonstrate ‘action’.

    Action following up on the forward thinking of hiring a senior citizen as a coach, and a ba-jillion dollar goalie with a bad back and boozy-foot in his Lambourghini (or was it Ferrari? One of those fine, family-values type vehicles that nearly 40-somethings drive).

    Oh yeah, and finishing dead-f-ing last.

    I must be running short on the Koolaid, because I just ain’t seeing it.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    In my opinion there is no way to dress this up. It is a low class stunt, maybe even worse than firing the stick & tape and the band aid guy. If this is an indication of the regard Tambellini/Lowe/Katz have for the people working for them, how do you think they regard the lowly fans. There is 0 chance this decision wasn’t made in April, only a complete prick would wait until now to do it. BS like this will ultimately effect attracting quality people to this organization, and by extension will effect this organizations level to succeed.

  • Jodes

    Hmm.. Corvo made $2.6 million this past season, and is now a UFA.

    I can’t see him asking for that more more after the last season he’s had.

    Maybe throw out a 2 year, $3.5 million contract and see if he takes it.

    Or is 1.75 million an overpayment for him?

  • I can’t believe that any of you are whining about the timing of this. Tambellini was hiring a new GM, Daum understood that the new GM gets to pick the coach. The new GM has been hired (but not announced) and said he did not want Daum.

    Its pretty simple and many of you are just ranting and raving about a non-issue

  • Mitch

    Robin if they are bringing in the Vancouver Giants GM does that mean Don Hay could be coming to the oilers farm team. On the Oilers if I was Tambo I would be trying to bring in Hitch for some sort of role, as well Bob Bougner if they draft Hall, Bougner has proven himself in the OHL and has proven to work well with kids.

  • Bandwagon jumper

    I think the housecleaning of Daum and the support staff all point to one thing. Tambo is trying to make it apprear like he is making changes to this team. What we will see is that with the exception of adding a Tyler or Taylor next week, this team will look pretty much the same as it does now. Expect to see Souray and Pisani and Moreau and O’Sullivan in an Oiler jersey next year.