Upon hearing the news about Pat Quinn and Tom Renney, I must say I was a little taken aback. I like both guys and think both have a lot to offer as coaches. However, I was expecting a younger guy without much or any NHL experience, say, someone like Scott Arniel. That being said, I think the Oilers have recognized the weaknesses displayed by their teams and have started a top down approach to rectifying those problems.
Like Richard alluded to, Quinn is a players coach type who knows how to push the buttons of his charges. Renney is the x’s and o’s guy, and I think the combination should be formidable. While the front office-coaching ensemble on display here did not have much success in Vancouver, I think that the extra motivation supplied by a market in desperate need of a winner plus the young players on the roster should produce some results.
Looking at the young core of the roster, I see some guys whose games should improve with a motivator and teacher combination behind the bench. If nothing else, the power play should see a spark now that there will (or should be) one guy dedicated to making it hum. If the coaches recognize that the strengths of the roster are youthful exuberance and speed, then they should be able to coach to the team, rather than the approach that MacTavish employed, which was to make the team conform to his plan.
I am curious to see if Renney’s inclusion in the braintrust will lead to Jaromir Jagr finding his way to Edmonton, and who the coaches will target in the draft/free-agent period. If nothing else, the hiring will provide a spark to this somewhat moribund franchise and its fans. The one glaring negative I see right now is that Charlie Huddy might not be returning. I liked his knack for teaching defensemen and for finding other teams’ cast-offs and turning them into NHL defenders.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Kyle Kosior.