A Few Good Men…

Among the changes that have occurred this summer, perhaps none will be more significant to the Oilers success this upcoming season than the new faces behind the bench.  Unlike our player roster, with respect to hiring coaches we haven’t been hindered by cap space or contract numbers in terms of putting a few good men behind the bench. Given that we’re icing a very similar roster of skaters, we’re pretty close to taking a mulligan on this past season.  As a starting point, the new hiring of several coaches will give the Oilers both a fresh start this season and as well give us a pretty good idea of how good our roster actually is relative to the rest of the NHL.

Pat Quinn

Pat Quinn

Pat Quinn

The Good:  He coached Team Canada to a Gold medal at the 2002 Olympic games in Salt Lake City and to a 2004 World cup win.  19 years of coaching experience at the NHL level with only two seasons of missing the playoffs.  Quinn is a two-time winner of the Jack Adams award for NHL coach of the year.

The Bad:  Pat Quinn hasn’t been behind the bench of an NHL team since 2006; he hasn’t coached a Western Conference team since 1996.  Pat Quinn will have to shake off some ‘rink’ rust to be an effective coach this year for the Oilers.  We can hope that he doesn’t try to roll 4 lines as our current roster is in need of more legit NHLers for this tactic to be successful.

The ‘Ugly’:  Pat Quinn brings a wealth of coaching experience both at the International and NHL levels.  Daryl Katz should have absolutely no difficulties ensuring that Quinn never runs out of Wrigley’s gum or Breathe Right strips.

Tom Renney

Tom Renney

Tom Renney

The Good:  Tom Renney has seven years of coaching experience at the NHL level.  His team, the New York Rangers, had made the playoffs during the last consecutive four seasons.  Mr. Renney like Mr. Quinn also has experience with coaching Team Canada at the international level.

The Bad:  Tom Renney was fired part way through last season by the New York Rangers.  Some people note that he actually resembles Craig MacTavish–both in terms of not only appearance, but also coaching style.

The ‘Ugly’:  Our penalty kill was absolutely brutal last season.  Under the stewardship of Mr Renney, the New York Rangers have had a very respectable penalty kill—1st, 6th, 12th, and 10th over the past four years.  Given Quinn’s age, it seems that Tom Renney is being groomed as the next head coach.

Wayne Fleming

Wayne Fleming

Wayne Fleming

The Good:  As per Steve Tambellini:

“Wayne brings an array of experience from both the NHL and International level,” says Tambellini. “We feel his knowledge of the game will be a complement to our coaching staff.”

The Bad:  He’s been involved in the past with the Calgary Flames organization.

The ‘Ugly’:  With the apparent connection between Guy Wayne Fleming (I always mix up his name with Guy Fleming from the Pipeline Show!) and Jaromir Jagr, does this foreshadow more courting of the aging Czech supersta r?

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