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.

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.

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.

    • I am the Liquor

      How so? There is zero parallel to draw there. None. I bet Daum gets a job first. This move has no foundation or just cause. The real architect of this disaster remains unscathed.

      • Zero parallel?

        1. Good coach gets fired because team does poorly.

        2. Poor showing of both teams has more to do with roster make-up than coaching.

        Seems like fairly obvious parallels to me.

        You’re absolutely right and add further to my point when you say the “architect of this disaster remains unscathed.”…which I assume is a statement pointed towards John in Accounting.

  • 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*

  • This is Daum paying the price for the crap job Prendergast did for years. I dont like it, and I dont like the months it took for Tambellini to let the guy know. Tambellini has shown me nothing to suggest he acts with any degree of class.

    • Ender

      Class aside, I’m not sure it’s a very smart hockey move. There are only so many qualified hockey people that can do the job Daum did. Cutting a qualified guy loose makes no sense unless you’ve already got someone better lined up.

      I’m going to give Tambi the benefit of the doubt here (crosses fingers) and say he hasn’t lost his mind and that he’s already quietly lined up a very good replacement before giving Daum the news.

      [come on, Tambi; don’t be the completely-lost ass everyone says you are . . .]

      • VMR

        I think your off when you say there are only so many qualified hockey people, there are tons of guys just looking for a chance. Daum had some good points but it’s hard to say they’ll have trouble finding at least as good a replacement.

        Now if Kelly Buchberger ends up behind the bench then it’s time to form a lynch mob with pitch forks, tar and feather, burning torches and the whole deal because his continued career as a coach despite his failures shows signs of some form of insanity in the Oilers upper management.

        • I like Bucky as a coach, and maybe he is going back to AHL as part of Daum deal . Interesting choice on Daum following a similiar path of varsity personnel . Drake and Moores never really panned out either as i recall , despite stellar records at varsity levels .

      • I also hope Tambi has lined up a quality replacement, but Class will go a long way in attracting potential employees down the road. It’ll be hard to poach scouts and coaches when the word is out that they will be treated poorly. There are always going to be people that will jump at the chance to have the open jobs, but those guys wont be at the top of the wish list.

          • Daum and various scouts and other people in the coaching staff have been waiting in limbo for several weeks now, not sure of their status going forward. The hiring window for these guys is relatively short, if Tambellini knew he wasnt going with these guys he could have let them know so they could get involved in the competitions for other jobs. There’s no sense in keeping them on the hook this long if they know they arent in the plans down the road.

            I dont like the rumblings that there are a whole bunch of guys who have no idea how they will be making a living in a month because Tambellini has refused to act quickly. I have no doubts that the more Tambellini strings guys along, the more word will spread across the hockey community about how business is done here.

          • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

            Guess what if they don’t like it speak up and tell Tambo that they won’t be back. Odds are if your contract is up in a couple weeks or a month and your employer hasn’t contacted you about an extension that you probably aren’t in the long-term plans.

          • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

            It’s all about results and when your organization has sucked as long as the Oilers have who is going to question the new GM for looking and fixing the team anyway that he sees it making sense?

  • Milli

    Ya, how do you sack a coach when most of his roster was in edmonton? I am really enjoying the “lack of class” Tambo seems to be bringing to the organization!

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      I have a feeling if the changes Tambo made makes this team better that maybe you see Lowe stepping down and taking on a role with Hockey Canada. Until then there is nothing saying that Tambo is doing any better.

  • JohnQPublic

    No, Daum wasn’t the problem, but it’s pretty obvious that the Oilers are breaking with the recent past.

    And given their four year non-playoff performance, it’s hard to argue with even if injuries have riddled the team for several years.

    This is a culture shift and the only way to produce that effectively is to blow up the current one.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    I don’t think Daum was the problem at the sametime did he get more out of anyone? I’m not exactly shocked that he was let go, kinda curious who is brought in to replace him.

    Stauffer did say by the 16th or so we should find out the coaching situation, he doesn’t seem that far out.

  • What?

    I feel bad for Rob. Looks like he got caught up in a situation where senior management had to prove to the public they were “doing things”.

    ~By firing Daum, they’re showing that everybody is accountable for winning at the Oilers organization.~

  • Dan the Man

    Scotty Bowman couldn’t have won with the team in Springfield last year.

    Poor choice by the organization and it sounds like it’s being handled poorly as well.

  • misfit

    He didn’t have much to work with last year between his own injuries and losing players as Oilers injury replacements, but he’s been with the Oilers in a few different roles and it’s hard to find (at least with the access I have) evidence of how he’s made a positive impact on the Oilers during his time here.

    He seems like a pretty decent guy from what I understand, so I hope he lands on his feet, but I don’t really have a problem with this move from an Oiler perspective. But a lot of that depends on how they end up replacing him.

  • Dan the Man

    Not sure why everyone thinks this is a bad move. Rob is a great guy, but that doesn’t mean he is a great coach.

    Sure he was great in the CIS, where the Bears have a massive recruiting advantage. They normally get most of the top 20 year WHL grads.

    As a head coach in the AHL he has missed the playoffs three out of four years. I know at that level the talent you have is a big factor in winning.

    But which players had he developed that are ready for the NHL. That is true evaluation of an AHL coach.

    This is just my thought process. Rob is a great guy, by all accounts, but this is a business based on winning and developing and his track record isn’t great. Doesn’t mean it is all his fault, but those are the facts.

  • misfit

    so after letting Daum twist in the wind for weeks and weeks while his contract expired they finally tell him that they don’t want him? Man, this org is getting embarrassing with the way they treat employees. Tambellini is turning into a real jack ass the way he has handled his personnel.

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      Is it possible that maybe they wanted someone from Chicago or Philadelphia or even someone who just finished in the AHL finals? Why jump the gun in firing Daum and then end up with no one?

      • VMR

        I fail to see how letting Daum go a few weeks or even a month ago would make the Oielr’s position worse to land a new Coach from where you are thinking. How could that affect them?

        • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

          What I’m saying is maybe they have their eye on only a few guys and if they can’t get those guys then they stay with Daum. Also Daum’s contract expires at the end of this month when should Daum have been let go?

          If it was right after the season people would b#tch that it’s a knee jerk reaction. If it would’ve been a few weeks ago people would b$tch that Tambo should be focusing on Hall/Seguin. If he waits til 2 weeks left in his contract it’s too late and not honorable.

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

            I see your points.

            But I’m not sure if you heard Daum on the radio the past few weeks and how uncomfortable it sounded whenever Bob or whoever else asked him what his status was and he would say that he hadn’t heard anything yet, that he was still thinking positive and that as far as he was concerned he was looking forward to getting back to work as soon as he got the word. It was tough to listen to on the radio and I’m sure it was tough to take the news for him.

            Either way we will move on as an organization but I believe that people should be let go more gracefully and with enough time to get a headstart on other options especially if the leaving was not due to anything negative.

  • I don’t know what they can expect from this guy when damn near all of his top performers are playing with the Oilers (Pouliot, Stone, Potulny, JFJ, Dubnyk, Chorney, Peckham…etc)

    You can’t win in the NHL with an AHL roster AND you can’t win in the AHL with a bloody ECHL/AA roster.

    I feel for Daum and I hope he is offered a job somewhere else in the near future because that guy is gold.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Daum wasn’t the problem but that doesn’t mean he is the right man for the job either.

    My guess is Tambellini will go with a younger coach from the Junior ranks.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Nepotism at its finest…how long till they name Ron Delorme as the next head coach of this AHL team? Tambo must be clearing out all the U of A alumni….is Bum Stauffer next?

    I thought Buchberger would be the next one to go…. the mess he left in Springfield three years ago must have eliminated him as a possible candidate for Oklahoma. Could be a ploy to bring in a greenhorn coach and force the locals/media to give him a year or two before they pounce on him, could take a few more years to even have a competitive team in Oklahoma .

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      I always find it interesting the slant people will put on situations like this because of their bias.

      So big bad Buchberger left Springfield in a mess (after finishing with a .500 record)

      While poor little Daum was mistreated dispite his 33-56-0-21 record.

      • By slant do you mean an opinion based on something other than the raw numbers?

        I know Rob Daum and I like and respect him. That said, I don’t muddy the lines between who I respect as a person with the job they do professionally. Daum is a damn fine coach. If he was middling or lousy, I’d say so and I could still look him in the eye because he’d know I was offering an honest opinion.

        I ragged on the hiring/promotion of Buchberger to MacT’s staff despite the fact I know him and like him as well — I just thought he got every break possible and was pushed to the front of the line because of his relationship with MacT. Daum got the opposite treatment because he isn’t one of the “boys.”

        Daum’s record was not good in Springfield and there’s no getting around that. The way I see it, though, that failure record-wise is directly tied to the Oilers mishandling of the farm system in terms of player procurement. The AHL roster was lousy in terms of top-end prospects, paper-thin in terms of depth and almost devoid of quality career minor-leaguers to help the kids along. Those shortcomings fell at the feet of KP, who has paid the price.

        Tying the can to Daum, in my opinion, is a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

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

          I wasn’t replying to your article, it was a reply to the statement that Buchburger left Springfield in a mess (and the implication that Daum did a far better job) dispite the differences between their records.