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.
BY THE NUMBERS
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.