There’s a lot to chew on after today, and there’s a lot of Oiler fans that more than likely feel the same way.
And so it begins.
Hiring Pat Quinn as head coach is a step in the right direction for all the right reasons. The World Junior Hockey Tournament this year proved he can lead a team with young players and he has enough experience to get job done in making sure his veteran players are at the top of their game, no matter what the score is.
Quinn, who began his hockey career during the late 1960s as a junior in Edmonton, demands a sense of respect in the dressing room and he gets it with every team he has coached.
When he calls the shots, the players will listen — something that didn’t happen this season under Craig MacTavish all because players like Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky gave up on him.
There has never been a season where a captain has called so many player-only meetings until now, but with this shocking announcement, that’s now all in the past.
However, with a guy like Quinn, who is desperately wanting to win a Stanley Cup before he retires, he will change a player’s work ethic.
And while Quinn demands respect and enforces work ethic, he will get the help from another great hire — Tom Renney.
Renney is a technical coach, an Xs and Os bench boss who spends a lot of time with his key players to set them straight, just ask Sean Avery this season.
The New York Rangers never should have fired him in the first place, but he’s decided to take up an assistant position with the Oilers for at least a few seasons before Quinn retires. You would have to be a pretty humble guy to do something like that.
Overall, it’s obviously a one-two coaching punch for the Oil, but a big move was promoting Kelly Buchburger as an assistant. Bucky is respected around the league for working with young and talented players.
Charlie Huddy and Bill Moores are out as assistant coaches and that shouldn’t be surprise considering how awful the Oilers were on the powerplay and the penalty kill.
But GM Steve Tambellini has said the two could be offered position within the organization, possibly as scouts.
When it’s all said and done, Tambellini has assembled a massive coaching staff and he’s already proved that he alone calls the shots — not Kevin Lowe.
Now he has to focus on the draft and free-agency, but with the revamped coaching staff, don’t expect to see star players coming to Edmonton in July.
Tambellini told the Oil Patch that it will nearly be status quo on that front, and there will be more details about it in this blog tomorrow. Stay tuned!