Report: Oilers interview Paul Maurice for coaching job

It appears the Edmonton Oilers’ search for a quality assistant to join Ralph Krueger’s staff is well under way. TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted a report that the team had interviewed former Carolina Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice and was also potentially interested in former Phoenix Coyotes head coach Rick Bowness.

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It’s clear the team is looking for a number two man with serious credentials to support Krueger.

Paul Maurice is 16th all-time in total games coached at the NHL level, with 1,084 contests under his belt; he’s also tied for 21st in career wins with 460. Last year he was the head coach of Magnitogorsk Metallurg in the KHL. He wouldn’t necessarily be a strong choice for a head coaching job in the NHL, but as an associate coach he would certainly offer Krueger a wealth of experience to lean on.

Rick Bowness doesn’t have the same profile as Maurice, but would doubtless fill the same role (there’s likely some comfort level for Craig MacTavish here, too, given that he spent a year in the Canucks organization with Bowness). Bowness was an associate coach under Alain Vigneault in Vancouver and before that worked in Phoenix under both Bob Francis and Wayne Gretzky. He’s also spent 463 games as a head coach in the NHL, working for the Jets, Islanders, Bruins, Senators and Coyotes. 

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Either guy is a great candidate, and given Edmonton’s struggles in various areas last season a veteran coach would be a welcome addition to Krueger’s staff. While the primary problem was doubtless the roster, the team regressed at even-strength in Krueger’s first year and coaching may well have been part of the problem.

UPDATE. It probably should have been apparent the Oilers were considering Paul Maurice on Monday, when Bob Stauffer interviewed Carolina analyst Tripp Tracy on Oilers Now and specifically asked him how strong Maurice was as a technical coach; here’s what Tracy had to say:

[Paul Maurice is] one of the smartest peoples I’ve ever met, so technically extremely sound. When I’ve done games over the years between the benches he manages the bench as well as anybody. His biggest area of growth from when he broke into the league at such a young age, Bob, is that he has become more of a players’ coach. Players absolutely love him. I truly believe that Paul Maurice, for a guy who has coached over 1,000 games, is a really underrated coach in the National Hockey League.

Bowness likely has pretty solid credentials in that department, too; Vancouver has been one of the most inventive and tactically sound teams in the league over the last few years and Bowness has been Alain Vigneault’s right hand man through all of that.


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Recently around the Nation Network

At NHL Numbers, Cam Charron considers a New Way of Looking at Shot Blocking:  

[A] new statistic has popped up: "Percentage of shots blocked" and it’s a little dicey as well. Generally speaking, it’s just not good to block a lot of shots or to be in situations where you have to block a lot of shots. "Percentage of shots blocked" has been kicking around but I’ve seen no evidence that it’s a repeatable statistic that correlates with winning.

 Click the link above to read the whole piece, or feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

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  • OilClog

    Can they hire both and replace what we currently have?

    Bowness, would be a great add for his knowledge of how a winning team operates in the western conference.

    Maurice, could impact Hall the most with his experience in coaching Stall, as the two have a pretty similar game.

    hopefully both could do a better job helping Ralph in determining how to protect a lead.. as it stands.. yikes.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Maybe the Oilers are setting up for a good cop bad cop type scenario to deal with the players. The odd couple in Tortorella and Krueger?

    Another exercise in futility this is. If this current coaching staff is lacking in any capacity, they need to be removed. Bring in a guy like Dave Tippett, who won’t leave anything unaccounted for. Let him bring his guys in and do things his way, Don’t burden the new guy with all these current coaches who’ve helped set the bar at an all time low for this franchise.

    …..and the Gong Show continues.

    • ghostofberanek

      Are you serious? We’re just about to begin the semifinals in the playoffs and you’re getting impatient with the bold move thing already? Let’s get real here, things just don’t work that way.

      Also, just my opinion here, but I’m not sure Tippett is the right guy to coach this team. Seems to me, as a defense 1st (and 2nd) guy he might just coach the offense right out of our young stars. Imagine Lemaire coaching Yak, Hall etc..

      As for the assistant coach thing, I say get rid of Bucky and Smith and get some real coaches in there . Maurice would compliment Krueger nicely I think.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        You can’t really let go half the coaching staff. They either function successfully as a group, or not.

        I’m not denying there’s no room in this organization for Krueger, but he’s positive to a fault, the players appear to be entering into a resort atmosphere when the walk in those dressing room doors. His players are all nestled in their comfort zone, and he keeps coddling them.

        Adding another body to an already unsuccessful group, isn’t going to change the entrenched losing culture here. They need to hold the group accountable, like they did to Tambellini. Unless this was all just a charade by management to begin with….

    • ghostofberanek

      Now you’re saying “the gong show continues”? How so, exactly? Is it a dumb move to look for successful veteran coaches to round out the staff? Your negativity (in every single article) is bordering on DSF territory. This from a guy who thinks Stephen Weiss is the answer to all our problems (along with whale hunting for Shea Weber).

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Wow, you’re just drinking WAY too much koolaid the junior. 30th, 30th, 29th and 24th is beyond questioning, and I sincerely apologize for my brash behavior. Is it too much to expect one of the best players in the league be acquired for the third highest ticket prices in the league? Please don’t feed me some BS suggestion that the Oilers kids are amongst the leagues best! Not a lot of bang for the buck happening here in ole E town the last 7 yrs.

        Things must always be just ducky dandy doo for you in your world. What are you, in the liquid cannabis gel cap business, or sumfin? People like you make me sick, to think what’s happened here these last 5 yrs is acceptable. Only confirms you’ve suffered a brain injury of some sort.

        • ghostofberanek

          Nah, no koolaid here. I just know there are real things in life to cry about rather than where the Oilers finish in any given season. I enjoy my sport as a fan, and I enjoy talking about how my team can be improved. All I hear from you is a whole lot of bawling about everything the Oilers do, and it gets tiresome. Maybe if you suffered a brain injury you might get some perspective there pal.

          If the Oilers trade Yak, Eberle and a first for Weber, you’ll probably start crying that we can’t score enough goals anymore.

          • MKE

            What? Oilers fans complain about things?


            There was also a time people in this city in the early 80’s wanted all those smucks traded away

            5 cups later…

            *i hope you can tell i agree with you and i have a large amount of sarcasim
            in this post. i know that doesn’t always come through in text*

          • Quicksilver ballet

            You’re not even making sense there Beranek. Don’t be putting words in my mouth. Yak and Eberle (facepalm)

            Can we just agree to disagree? Since you’re looking to beat this to death. I’ll surrender, you’ve bested me this day in the art of internet warfare. You’re obviously here looking for confrontation.

          • ghostofberanek

            Now back to hockey, who do you think it would take to get Weber out of Nashville? You think Yak and Eberle is an overpay for the best dman in the NHL?

  • MKE

    You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken crap. This team was not good enough to make the playoffs last year no matter who the coach was.

    Ralph is a good coach who understands what it takes to create a winning culture.

    Give the guy a full training camp, a better team, and a stronger supporting coaching staff and he will win coach of the year next year.

    • OilLeak

      “…Ralph is a good coach who understands what it takes to create a winning culture…”

      Cite the case.

      As for hiring a co-coach: as long as its kruegers idea, it might not be a bad one.

      Otherwise it could be a disaster.

      I don’t see Maurice playing second fiddle for Long and it’s hard not to see him as the new coach in waiting to replace Krueger if things go awry during the season (much as MacT was hired to fill tambellinis place once he was introduced to Beria in the dark of night (google him)) .

      As for (finally) letting the second-string coaches who were oilers from other eras, that too should be done with the coach being the lead in making that decision.

    • MKE

      “…Ralph is a good coach who understands what it takes to create a winning culture…”

      Cite the case.

      As for hiring a co-coach: as long as its kruegers idea, it might not be a bad one.

      Otherwise it could be a disaster.

      I don’t see Maurice playing second fiddle for Long and it’s hard not to see him as the new coach in waiting to replace Krueger if things go awry during the season (much as MacT was hired to fill tambellinis place once he was introduced to Beria in the dark of night (google him)) .

      As for (finally) letting the second-string coaches who were oilers from other eras, that too should be done with the coach being the lead in making that decision.

      • MKE

        The Swiss national program?

        You know…he only took them from a group of
        losers and turned the program around.

        I also said that I was all for putting a better supporting cast around Ralph.

        • MKE

          Funny, I didn’t see them on the Olympic podium – ever.

          So he’s had some success at the semi-pro non-season team level.

          And none at the NHL level.

          So now after the fact the oil wants to hire him a trainer whk has a better CV than he has? Cite the case anywhere else in the NHL where that has succeeded.

          • MKE

            Gord even you have to be able to see that they went from being brutal to being vastly improved to where they could compete every night.

            I call that progress. Creating a winning culture. Which is what the Oilers need to do.

            You don’t create that over night. Ralph knows how to create that. He knows how to make people better. Make the culture better.

            The model of bringing in the “experienced” coach to help out the rookie has been done for a long time.

            I’m not sure why you are bringing up this point about CV. There is no reason it can’t work here.

            You look to find problems. I look to see solutions.

            If im wrong I have no problem coming out and saying I was wrong. It’s only my opinion on the line. Not my ego

  • MKE

    It’s like all the people wishing we had Carey Price here last year. I agree that he is a better goalie then Dubnyk.

    If Price had played for Edmonton and posted his .905% last year…

    and Dubnyk had posted his .920% in Montreal last year….

    how many of these same people would be calling for Price’s head and would be wanting Dubnyk back?

  • MKE

    An experienced Co- or Associate-Coach with Kruger seems like a step in the right direction.

    Two things about Bowness. Vancouver Sun reports he is closely tied to Vignault and that he was also in charge of the Canuck defence – which was a ‘gong-show at times’.

    Maurice, I don’t know but he looks to be someone that could help. The big thing will be getting someone in knowledgeable and that whey work well together and recognize each others strengths.

    Could be a good thing though I believe egos tend to get in the way at the professional level. This isn’t surprising since they would be a threat to each other if/when things don’t go as expected.

    It can be done but it takes a special person to pull it off. Maybe RK can.

  • DSF

    Why not another coach to help us win ? Maurice brings a lot of experience to compliment rest of coaching staff , etc.. A. Bylov should help some . Maybe the grass is getting greener ?

  • DSF

    McKenzie also tweeting that the Canucks and Islanders are discussing a Luongo for DiPietro swap.

    Vancouver would buyout DiPietro in return for some young talent.

    Strombone ‏@strombone1 43m

    @TSNBobMcKenzie only if I could bring my partner in crime!

  • Have you ever heard of to many roosters in the hen house.

    To many chiefs in the fire house.

    They brought Mac-T in and everyone on this site certainly could see the writing on the wall for Tambellini.

    Bringing in another head coach is bush league, if I was Krueger I would want to hand pick my assistant.

    On another note;

    Seems like a good signing by Mac-T, at least it’s a start.

    • OilLeak

      That could work, as long as the #3 is a quality, experienced 2-way defender. Ideally, Klefbom would be playing in the AHL and a top 3 and 4 defender would come in to fill the middle pairing, pushing J.Schultz to the third pairing.

      • GVBlackhawk

        I agree. If JSchultz is a 3rd pairing guy next season and Klefbom is starting in OKC, then MacT has definitely done his job. With this Belov signing, it makes me think that Smid or NSchultz could be trade bait.

  • G Money

    Belov – key statistics:

    – 6′ 4″, 219lbs
    – >0.5ppg (26 in 46) in the second best league in the world, and was +19
    – team finished first in the division
    – assistant captain
    – good enough to play on the Russian WC team (meaning he’s considered elite at the Russian national level)
    – a bargain (entry level) contract

    Elite Prospects summary: “A large defenseman, Belov is still an excellent skater. He can control the offensive game with his passing skills and hard shot. Could improve his defensive game.”

    Hey, if he can make a pass, shoot the puck, and use both feet to skate, he’s automatically a huge upgrade on Whitney as 6D.

    Good start, MacT, keep it going.

  • magisterrex

    Geez, the Negative Trolls are the worst. I’d rather be sentenced to reading NewAgeSys’ doctoral thesis-long posts than having to read one more quicksilver whimper about how terrible management is.

    One small step forward with the signing. These things don’t all happen at once, and you have to strike when the opportunity is there. Belov was available, MacT made it happen. The lesson here is that MacT is not Mr. Dithers. Who knows what the next move will be, but I am confident that MacT will at least make the attempt when the opening appears, rather than analyze it to death.

    • DSF

      While it appears Belov is a very good, low risk pickup, it should be remembered that Tambellini acquired Sutton, Foster, Fistric, Potter and Fedun.

      If Belov is just another bottom pairing defensemen, it’s just more of the same.

      MacT will earn his stripes when he lands a top pairing defenseman.

  • DSF

    I feel better when we start adding some players that are household names in the NHL , not so much/many bottom of the barrel or diamonds (cross your fingers )in the rough type signings .

    • DSF

      Finding good players in non-traditonal ways is the sign of a good GM.

      For example, Holland signed Damien Brunner and he is a gem.

      Gillis found undrafted Chris Tanev who is already a top 4 defenseman.

      No guarantee that Belov is a blue chipper but on a one year entry level deal it’s a very low risk.

          • DSF

            While I agree with you on Klefbom earning ice time (I sure hope he ends up in OKC regardless for the full year), Paajarvi is improving nicely considering his terrible 2011-2012 campaign.

            Paajarvi jumped to the NHL too soon, which was obvious, but his play last year was a bit of a bounce back. I think this year he may surprise us and score 20 goals. He was on pace last year for 18. Keep in mind, swedes take longer to adjust.

            I’d also like to point out that Paajarvi scores less in the AHL than the NHL. He seems to adjust his game appropriately in the NHL. His shot % isn’t ridiculous at 12% compared to 4.65% in the minors, which is abysmal. Maybe the kid scores better in the NHL, plain and simple? I would start him on the third line ideally, but not in the AHL.

          • RexLibris

            One potential fly in the DiPietro ointment – buying out an injured player is verboten. And, well, DiPietro…

            He might end up needing shoulder surgery from picking up his bags at the airport.

  • DSF

    Hockeybuzz reports Oilers after Barkov if available to Nashville at NBR.4 . Says we are probably offering our 7 pick this year and next years first round pick . Dose this sound plausible ?

    • Metal&Oil

      Cloutier is a regular guy like the rest of us. Has 0 insider info. Nothing on hockeybuzz are legit rumors, all made up. Just an alright place to talk hockey with other fans. Only believe it if the MSM guys report it.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      you have “hockeybuzz” “reports” and “plausible” all in the same post.

      you need to step away from the keyboard, take a deep breath, and think about what you are doing.

  • Metal&Oil

    Back to the coaching: I really hope we don’t lose Todd Nelson. Back to back conference finals and halfway to a Calder Cup appearance in the AHL. Sounds like someone should be offered a gig in the NHL soon. If the Oilers don’t bring him up (as an assistant) then some other team is gonna come calling soon. Never heard a player speak ill of Nelson and his team actually got better when the lockout ended.

    • GVBlackhawk

      Nelson has a great relationship with the Oilers which will continue going forward. He will put in more time in OKC and be okay with that for awhile.

      There are other ‘big name’ coaches available right now, and some current AHL coaches who have had success but remain in the minors (e.g. Dallas Eakins). I don’t believe that the Oilers are in jeopardy of losing him quite yet.

      Todd Nelson is projecting very well and has a great relationship with the core group. If RK falters in the next year, Nelson would be a prime candidate for head coach.

  • DSF

    Bye Bye Darkhorse,hope the free ride was fun.

    I am not sure what baseline the Oilers are using to choose these men they interview,what specific inputs they want to see and impacts they expect.So its impossible to say anything at all about either man.

    The Oilers need an Intuitive input,I would guess they define that as a fast reactionary mind,wrong wrong wrong.An Intuit is not reactionary and no man can think fast enough to match what an Intuit can do,an NHL coaching crew cannot even do that.

    Seems to me the Oilers are trying to address the ice level lack of Intuitive inputs as opposed to the entire organisational superstructure,this is a stop gap measure at best.I understand this second attempt,they have gotten the point and know where to adjust now just like they did before they went looking for Darkhorse,but the problem is that just like Darkhorse was the wrong input{epic sales job} ,addressing this need one facet at a time will lead to a lack of continuity,a terminal lacking so it is also the wrong move,it is a piece-meal move.

    Twice the Oilers have been directed to water,and they have come up with two different interpretations of intuitive inputs both refusing to aknowledge Intuition as a tangible influence,one totally stats based{Darkhorse},one hybrid 50% stats-50%intuition based{Maurice-Bowness},neither one 100% intuitively based{Moma2-NHS} .Darkhorse was strike one a clean miss,they bought the curveball,trying to address simply one facet of a much greater challenge is foul ball strike two.One try left,this one needs to address the challenge from an organisational superstructure perspective ,it needs to be an optimal solution that covers everythig from the top to the bottom absolutely.

    We cannot afford to wait to see if this new approach will work,we need an Intuit in the mix immediatly,a real one not a placebo.We got an inch closer to where we need to be with this latest news,not even an entire step forward,when you have a constellation of challenges you need to macro-manage,not micro-manage.The Oilers need to drop an intuition bomb on the organisation as a whole.Understandably it is impossible to find an Intuit through conventional channels,tough titty,they need to improvise to thrive,look harder in places you arent comfortable looking in,ha ha ha.The other side of the tracks.

    Credit where it is due,action is being initiated,but its not enough and this is no time for pats on the back for baby steps,as I see it we are already pushing the envelope in terms of preparation for the new season.At least find an Intuit to back yourselves up,it would be silly to make the same mistake twice.and not have a plan-C.

    The d-man was a well defined choice,he fits the physical template we need to follow nicely.Good job.

  • Eddie Shore

    I think most have seen Belov play , and to be honest he looks pretty good . Looks better than some we presently have on squad . Maybe he’ll be next Kasantonov ?