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.


Kevin Forbes said...

Shouldn't you at least wait until he gets a win to his tally at his current post in the AHL before deeming him heir apparent for the NHL squad?
I mean, I'm all for looking ahead, seeing what's next coming down the pipe (to turn a phrase). That's pretty much our job isn't it. But this proclamation is dripping with the feeling that you're putting the cart before the horse.

Dean Millard said...


If Dan Bylsma can coach the 1st and 3rd leading scorers in the league with his small coaching resume, then Rob Daum can coach the Oilers with his proven background....if the Oilers make a change, which I think is the only thing I am getting ahead of myself with.

Kevin Forbes said...

Hey Dean,

Right now, Bylsma's door still has the word "interim" on it. Until things change, the situation behind the bench in Pittsburgh is more about available options and who's immediately on hand than anything else.

You're referring to the offseason when you talk about MacTavish maybe being replaced by Daum. Comparing that to Byslma and the Penguins, granted Bylsma has been given a 25 game audition for the role (assuming Pittsburgh doesn't find a higher-profile replacement before season's end), there's still an equal chance that Byslma won't fill that capacity at the beginning of the 2009-10 season. The point is that in hockey sense, the 2009 offseason is a ways away and there will likely be a clearer picture of who's looking for jobs, who has openings and much more time for proper interviews at that time.