The Edmonton Oilers are in need of a change, we all know that. We all also know that this change must also happen at the AHL level in order for everything to work out.
Remember, the AHL houses the future stars of the team, and they must be good in order for the NHL team to win. Rob Daum is a great teacher of the game, but sadly for him he couldn't turn that into wins at the AHL level. Today it was made public that Rob Daum will not be re-signed by the Oilers to coach for them in Oklahoma City and they will look for another AHL coach.
Now, I am in full support of all the firings that have happened—and could possibly still happen—but not this one.
If you were to look at stats, then, yeah, it looks like the right move. After being one of, if not the best coach in the CIS for years, Daum worked with the Oilers under Craig MacTavish for a year, then late in the 08-09 season he took over for the Springfield Falcons at the AHL level.
Daum's record wasn't great, but think of it like this: his starting goalie, Devan Dubnyk got called up to Edmonton for the season. His top goal-scorer, Ryan Potulny, got the call too, and defenders Theo Peckham and Taylor Chorney were either in Edmonton or on the IR.
Alex Plante also got called up at one point, and late in the year when these players returned, the Falcons starting winning again. Daum was treated unfairly with a bad roster and never was really given a chance to win at the AHL level.
Kevin Lowe never seemed really high on Rob though, and he kept getting short term deals so in a way this move isn't all that shocking. This also opens up the door for the Oilers to hire a young coach, who could be the coach of the future.
The big issue isn't that Daum was fired, in fact I'm ok with it, even though I don't think it was the right move. The big problem is that its June 15th.
Some of you might be saying: "What is he talking about, yeah its June 15th, who cares?"
Daum will have a hard time finding another job for next season. Most teams at all level have hired their head coaches for next season and are ready to move onto the draft. Daum now enters a near dead market and probably won't find anything this season.
I think this move should have been done earlier in order to allow Rob to go find another job for the upcoming season. I do wish Rob luck and I hope he does in fact find a job for next season.
With the head coaching job now open in Oklahoma City, who are the top candidates? Could it be Taylor Hall's junior coach Bob Boughner, as The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson suggests? Or will it be another junior hockey coach looking to make the move to a higher level.Could Dale Hunter move on up to the AHL level this upcoming season?
At this point it's anyone'e guess, but if I'm the Oilers, I'm calling Boughner and seeing if he is interested in coaching the Barons this upcoming season. He seems to me like a very good coach with lots potential who could one day make a great NHL coach. Its something to keep your eye on.
Before I go, there is a rumor floating around on Oilersnation.com that the Oilers are close to replacing Kevin Prendergast. The Oilers are "close" according to the article to signing a new Assistant General Manager, and that Scott Bonner, the current GM of the WHL's Vancouver Giants, is the top candidate.
Scott would be the perfect pick in my mind to take over KP's job, and I think he would do a great job running the Barons next season. I will have more on this rumor in my next blog post.