Feb. 8, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Edmonton Oilers head coach Tom Renney reacts in the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Taking The Fall - Farewell Tom Renney, Alas We Hardly Knew Ye

As you’ve no doubt heard through the twitterverse, blogosphere, or whatever fancy made-up-word merge you get your news from, the Oilers have officially parted ways with Tom Renney. The announcement comes as it has become increasingly obvious that the Oilers will fail to advance to the 3rd round of the Stanley Cup playoffs; or at least, that’s about the only reasoning I can think of to string the guy along for as Oilers management did. There’s no big name coach that was canned recently, so what gives? Well, let’s take a look at recent events in the coaching world:

  1. Brent Sutter, coaching the Canadian Men’s National Team built by Oilers Managment, loses to Slovakia in an elimination game, leaving Canada without a medal yet again.
  2. Mike Haviland is relieved of his assistant coach position with the Chicago Blackhawks.
  3. Cory Clouston is relieved of his head coach position with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings.


So, with Sutter (considered to be a front-runner) failing to reach the medal round, why make the announcement today? I’m at a loss to see what happened between the end of the season and now for that would have caused Tambellini’s to make up his mind if he hadn’t already made a decision. Unless he’s really excited about the chance to hire Haviland or Clouston, which scares me.

Now, I’m not overly shocked or disappointed that Renney is gone, by no means was he a great coach, though I did agree with the way he used Hemsky and Horcoff to shelter the young-guns from playing against competition they wouldn’t be able to handle. On the flip side he put both Eager and Hordichuk out in the same game once too often for my tastes, as well as giving too much time to the 4th line when down in the 3rd period. Is Tom Renney the coach to lead us back into the playoffs? I don’t think so, but with this current group of players, I don’t think Scotty Bowman himself could get us into 8th place either.

Which leads me to my main point, this is not the organizational move that the Oilers should have announced, it’s long past due that Steve Tambellini gets unceremoniously dumped to the curb (like he does to his coaches.) With Tambellini making the announcement today, I’d imagine it’s fairly safe to think that he’s getting his extension, as lame-duck GM’s don’t often get to make significant moves. In essence, Tom Renney takes the fall for Tambellini’s genius moves of trying to solidify a weak NHL defence corps by adding Andy Sutton(veteran, but slow and old), Corey Potter(a taller Marc-Andre Bergeron), and Cam Barker(!?!?!?!?!?!), and trading Tom Gilbert for a defenceman; one that is a solid defender, but isn’t as good as Tom Gilbert.

This off-season is shaping up to be an interesting one,  not only do we get to see what Tambellini does with his 3rd 1st overall pick in a row, and see how he intends to fix the defence this year, now we get to see him pick a new fall-guy coach, lets hope come this time next year, we’re not listening to Tambellini say “how we performed worse than we should have” while he quietly wonders why none of the coaches he picks ends up panning out.

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Tags: Brent Sutter Steve Tambellini Tom Renney

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