WHAT IS THE HOLD UP?

As Oiler fans patiently wait to see which direction their beloved hockey team is going in, I wonder why the delay in announcing plans for the management and coaches? All the arrows are pointing to Steve Tambellini staying on as GM. He represented the Oilers at the draft lottery, he flew to Sweden to chat with Oscar Klefbom, he stopped in and watched the Under-18 Championships and he was in OKC earlier this week watching the Barons dispatch of the Houston Aeros in four games, but still no official announcement of a contract extension.

How come?

Wouldn’t it be better to have an announcement sooner, rather than later. Is there any benefit in waiting? Is it fair to keep Tom Renney wondering about his future?

Many have stated the Oilers should wait and see if Alain Vigneault and other come available, and I understand that, but if Renney isn’t you guy then they should let him know, and if he is, then make it public.

During his end-of-the-season address, Tambellini essentially said he wanted Renney to get away for a few weeks and then present him his plan for the future. I’d like to think those two are meeting sometime soon to discuss Renney’s plan. And if those meetings take place this week, then the Oilers should have a presser next week to announce their plans.

I suspect they will have one presser announcing Tambellini’s extension, and at the same time he will announce whether Renney has been re-signed or if they are going in another direction.

The only issue is that President of Hockey Operations, Kevin Lowe, has already left to Europe for the World Championships.  Lowe, along with the first wave of players left today to get ready for the tournament from May 4th to 20th. Will the Oilers have a press conference announcing Tambellini’s extension without him? If not, will they wait until the tournament is over before making any announcements?

I don’t think it is fair to Renney to make him wait that long, unless they’ve agreed to an extension and won’t announce it until then. I doubt that is the case. I suspect the longer we go without an announcement regarding Renney the less likely it is he’ll return for his 3rd season as head coach.

I’ve stated it many times, whether it is Renney or a new coach they will have more success next season, strictly because the players are better.

I spoke with three coaches this week, two former NHL coaches and one AHL coach, and all three of them said the Oilers would be a very attractive spot for any coach. They have some great top-end talent in Hall, RNH, Eberle and the 1st pick this June, and all three of them talked highly of Devan Dubnyk. They felt he was ready to be a reliable starter.

The Oilers are in a good position, but they need to make a decision with Renney. I know they won’t announce the coach before Tambellini’s extension is official, but the optics look worse the longer they let Renney twist in the wind.

QUICK HITS

  • I wonder if all those who felt Dennis Wideman would be a great signing for the Oilers feel the same way after watching the Capitals. He brings offence, but he was a disaster at times in his own zone. The Oilers need to upgrade their D, but I wouldn’t be offering a big contract to Wideman.
     
  • I’ve heard many wondering if Matt Moulson will be in the running for team Canada in 2014. He’s got good hands, but on the big ice surface his footspeed will be a major concern. Spoke to two managers who said, "Big ice, but he can’t skate well enough. Won’t be a candidate."
     
  • The goalie position will be wide open. It’s so open that some have thrown Mike Smith’s name in the ring, despite one decent NHL season. Prior to this year he’d never won more than 14 games. He’s had an incredible season, but he’ll need to continue playing like this for the next 18 months if he wants to be a serious contender. Many goalies have had one or even two great years, but then disappeared.
     
  • Tyler Pitlick had two goals and four points in OKC’s first round series victory over Houston. He’s looked much more comfortable on the wing, than at centre, and he’s getting stronger. He’ll push for a spot in camp, but another half, or full, season in the AHL might be the best thing for him long term. No need to rush him onto the roster.
     
  • Tambellini recently stated he thinks there are 6 or 7 guys in the AHL who could play in the NHL. Paajarvi, Lander and Hartikainen are the closest. Colten Teubert will get a look, and I think Pitlick will play, but won’t be a regular until 2013/2014. Who are the other two? Alex Plante and Phillippe Cornet/Curtis Hamilton maybe? In three years who do you think will have the biggest impact in Edmonton?
     
  • It is disgusting and sad that some fans resorted to racist comments on twitter (warning not easy to read) after Joel Ward’s OT goal last night. I still think many of us are naive in thinking that racism doesn’t exist. It is still there, unfortunately, and hopefully these types of incidents will make more people realize we need keep educating people about the ignorance of racism. It is easy to say it was just Bruins fans, but the reality is that racism exists in many places, and hopefully people have the courage to continue to stand up against it.
  • Quicksilver ballet

    Not much we can do about the hate levelled towards Ward. It’s rampant in every one of our lives. Whites vs whites, whites vs chocolates,white versus terrorist cultures. We pick on each other equally as well as discriminating against others different than ourselves.

    Most of the younger generation can’t even get along driving down the streets these days. Most cars/trucks appear as though they aren’t equiped with lane changing signals anymore, right here, commonplace on the streets of Edmonton. So selfish,each one of us feeling we’re so much more important than the person seated in the next vehicle.

  • nuge2drai

    I like Steve taking the time to see if Ruff, Alain, or any other coaches become available before making his decision, I think its responsible.

    I dislike Steve’s ability to improve the issues that plague this team for half a decade.

    Is it too much to ask for 2 defenceman and an upgrade at the backup goalie position?

    Steve has a way of making his job seem a lot harder than it is, and we fans have been falling for it for wat too long now. This is the year, if he doesnt upgrade this defence in the summer, he will be jobless shortly after.

    It cant be that hard, Burke aquired Franson, Gardiner, Aulie, Komisarek, Phaneuf, Liles all during his time with the leafs – again it cant be that hard.

  • nuge2drai

    Yes not so sure about keeping Renney wondering about his fate? This is however the brain trust we have to deal with. Regards to possible D option I do recall one of the nation writers, I’m thinking Robin making a pitch or consideration for Ian Cole out of St Louis not playing on the big team but a 1st round pick with some size a bit of sand paper to him. No need to over spend on free agents.

  • Oil Bog

    Is it possible that the announcing of plans for coaching and management have been delayed to add intrigue to the “Oil Change” series? That is, is it possible that Renney and Tambo already know they are returning and simply playing the situtaion up for the sake of TV. Seems crazy but how much influence does the series have as far as creating a story line which really does not effect the Oilers but leaves the audience wanting to know what happened behind the scenes?

  • Big Cap

    What about Joel Q??? Might his head be on the chopping block in Chicago after 2 years of first round exists??

    I personally would like his style over AV or even Sutter for that matter.

  • db7db7db7

    As much as it would be in Renney’s favor to know ASAP what’s going on, it is not necessarily in the Oilers best interest to do so. ST’s sole job is to put together a winning hockey team,it’s not making Renney happy. Renney made multiple mistakes to put himself in the position that he is currently in. ST does not owe him any grace by prematurely firing or resigning him. If taking a few extra weeks is what is needed to make a more sure hiring (or firing), then that is what ST is supposed to do. It is not an ideal situation for Renney, but then again he didn’t exactly leave ST with an ideal decision.

    Welcome to Business 101.

  • db7db7db7

    What is the nature of Renney’s health issues people keep referring to in the media? Could it be serious enough to affect his ability to coach next year?

  • Romanus

    I would to see oils nation use the next and last game boxes on the right for the world championships. This way we don’t need to see a 3-0 loss on the site for 6 months.

  • Romanus

    I would to see oilersnation use the next and last game boxes on the right for the world championships. This way we don’t need to see a 3-0 loss on the site for 6 months. 🙂

  • Reg Dunlop

    @db7X3

    What you said except insert Khabibulin everytime you write Renney.

    With regard to the twitter business, wow. Idiots say idiotic things when there is no chance they will be held accountable.

    Wideman? Looks like caveat emptor,but Schultz is unproven and to bank on him as a top 4 D next year is unwise. We need a proven Dman, Garrison has looked the part this postseason.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Could this be just as simple as Tambellini wants Renney but KLowe wants Sutter?? Maybe there is a little power struggle in the upper ranks of Oiler Management over who they want to run the ship and teach the kids going forward.

  • Reg Dunlop

    The way the organization seemingly drags out every situation to the very last minute tells me that this may be a directive right from Katz and how he does business.

    Look at when Katz bought the team. It seemed like every spot of positive news was on the final hour of negotiations.

    Then you look at the Hemsky contract re-signing and how that went to nearly the end before getting done.

    Then the Taylor Hall choice for first overall.

    Now Tambellini and Renney etc.

    It seems this is a way of doing business. I don’t really have a problem with it because it puts the power in the teams hands and that’s where it should be.

  • Zamboni Driver

    Seems like once upon a time on an Oilers’ fanblog a deep thinker was talking about ‘bananas’ potentially ‘fried chicken’ when it came to a team that had multiple players with the same skin pigmentation as Ward.

    It was supposed to be hilarious and people pointing out that it was (to say the least) disgraceful were told to “Get a sense of humour.”

    You’re right. It’s everywhere.

  • J-Dogg

    If internet discourse has taught us anything it’s that perceived anonymity always brings out the best in people.

    I wonder what percentage of those people would have the balls to say that stuff to his face.

    If they wouldn’t they’ve got no business littering cyberspace with it.

    Cowards.