This afternoon, the Edmonton Oilers called a press conference at Rexall Place. The reason? After just one season behind the Oilers' bench, Pat Quinn has stepped down as head coach. The Oilers finished as the worst team in the NHL last season.
The move was foreshadowed last night by TSN insider Darren Dreger, who said on 630 Ched's Inside Sports with Dan Tencer that, "There will be change with the Oilers' coaching staff." Change there was, as the future Hockey Hall of Fame coach stepped down today, and he will take the roll of adviser with the club.
Quinn will be replaced with last year's associate head coach, Tom Renney. Renney was last a head coach with the New York Rangers, and was able to get the team back to the playoffs after many rough years in the Big Apple.
Reports after the season said that Quinn lost control of the locker room mid-season, and that Renney and Quinn had different approaches to each game and were not on the same page. Renney, however, is the right guy for this team. He is a players' coach and was able to establish himself as a respected person in the Oilers locker room.
Renney will have to get right to work though, as the Oilers make the first overall selection in the NHL draft on Friday, and GM Steve Tambellini said today that the the team will be looking at getting another first round pick.
The move to bring in Renney marks another change for the Oilers on the coaching front. Rob Daum and his entire AHL staff were removed this off-season, and now Pat Quinn is leaving the bench. The rumor is that more changes will be made, as Tom needs some assistant coaches now.
Most thought that after the Oilers hired both Quinn and Renney last season, Renney would take over in three years, but this one comes two years early. There was a lot of talk of the move happening after the season, but I'm not sure anyone really thought Quinn would step down after just one year.
Renney, in my mind, is the perfect guy for the Oilers job. He is a players' coach and a guy who runs a pretty good system. Renney is a respected guy around the league and already has one year of coaching with the Oil under his belt.
Renney was able to take a sad Rangers team to the playoffs every season and is a guy I feel can lead the Oil to the playoffs. Renney is the type of guy who wouldn't accept players not playing up to their potential. It should be interesting to see how he does this coming season.
We know the changes here are not done, maybe not even close to being so. The Oilers have moved out Quinn, Rob Daum, and all the AHL assistants. The Oilers will need at least one assistant coach, and probably more.
Not only that, they have to find an AHL coaching staff. There was never a doubt that this summer would be very interesting in Edmonton. Trust me, it just got even more interesting. Stay tuned—it's gonna be a wild ride.