Monday, February 16, 2009
Should the Oilers follow the Penguins lead?
That's the question that was posed to me by 2 different people today. One an Oilers fan, the other a fellow media person. Right now with the Oilers in the middle of a playoff drive and having won 2 straight my answer was no. However if the club misses the playoffs for a 3rd straight year, then I think a change is in order (as do most fans I have spoken to) and I think if the Oilers do fire MacTavish or he steps down, then the team should follow in the footsteps of the flightless birds and promote their AHL coach. Just like Washington and Atlanta have done previously.
When I brought my theory up to another member of the TEAM 1260 recently, they pointed out to me that Bruce Boudreau and John Anderson were with their organizations for years and that Rob Daum hasn't been with this organization long enough to be promoted. Anderson yes, had been the Chicago Wolves coach for years dating back to the IHL days before taking over the Atlanta post. However Boudreau was only the head man in Hershey for 2 and a half years before being promoted to the Caps bench boss midway through last season. I would also argue that Daum's time with the Golden Bears should count a little as well, after all he was just across town from the Oilers, was known to the team and attended many games and practices to observe.
Obviously what Daum does in Springfield the rest of the way will have to factor in, and so far he hasn't been able to lift the Falcons out of their funk. They were doubled in shots Sunday night losing 3-1 in Toronto and dropped their 11th straight. But let's not expect Daum to be like that dude who turned water into wine, or...
...Bruce Dickenson who puts his pants on one leg at a time and then makes solid gold records. Daum has consistently showed in the past he can coach an up tempo, exciting, offensive and successful style. In his 10 years at the U of A he had a better than .790 winning percentage. His first year in Houston of the AHL he won 50 games, and while he struggled coaching the Aeros in year 2, it's because the Minnesota Wild didn't replace Patrick O'Sullivan who was traded to LA or goaltender Josh Harding who was called up to the big club. Oilers fans remember the great run Edmonton went on last year, almost making the playoffs, but what you might not know is that Daum had a profound effect on the run. Daum played a big part in the team's breakout and helped out the power play. For that he was rewarded with a scouting position. Sure the team made a promise to Jeff Truitt in Springfield, but I think that was a mistake. When the job came available, Daum should have been the choice, and if the Oilers need a new coach in the off season, I think he should get his shot as head coach here, before another team lures him away to their bench.