Saturday, May 30, 2009

Oilers Hay-Day?

"We want to bring someone in that will complement our total group here."

That was part of Pat Quinn's response during the press conference last week to Bob Stauffer's question about another possible addition to the new coaching staff of the Edmonton Oilers. The new head coach was asked if Perry Pearn or Drummondville coach Guy Boucher would be the type of person he'd be interested in.

"There were thoughts all the way along, with Kelly [Buchberger] his role last year was really as the eye in the sky and [will] we continue it that way or try and bring him in to get more involved and that's what we want to do. So now we have to think about how that other coach will fit in." added Quinn.

Quinn also made it clear that it was not set in stone that another person would definitely be joining the staff saying he didn't want the staff to get "too fat".

"I've been in situations where there are too many voices, too many ideas and it didn't come together well as a group," Quinn explained, "It will also depend on how I decide the allocation of duties with Tom [Renney] being the more senior guy [in relation] to Bucky."

So who will be responsible for the forwards, the defensive pairing, the special teams, etc., all still has to be figured out and if after doing so there is still the room and the need for another coach, then they will proceed.

But who would be in the running?

"My relationship with some of the young guys from the U18 team and then the U20 team was terrific, we have some good young coaches in Canada coming along so there might be some good choices in that regard as well." said Quinn.

I've already voiced my opinion and suggested that Medicine Hat Tigers head coach Willie Desjardins would make sense. He ran the blueliners at the WJC for Quinn so they already have a short but successful history in that regard.

Stauffer mentioned Guy Boucher who was the other coach for Canada at the WJC. Boucher would make sense if he were to be running the offence or maybe just the special teams because his power play with the Voltigeurs was ridiculously good. The Pipeline Show has heard of another coaching opportunity for Boucher though that might be a better fit for him - but I can't say just yet where that is (not with the Oilers organization though).

Perry Pearn is definitely a solid choice and is available. He's respected and the local angle is good too.

However, yesterday I was speaking with someone who comes from junior hockey circles (a non-Oiler affiliated person) who suggested he's heard another interesting name is rumored to be in the picture - The current head coach of the Vancouver Giants, Don Hay.

Hay's junior hockey coaching career is about as distinguished as they come. He led the Kamloops Blazers to back-to-back WHL titles in 1994 and 1995 capping those wins off by grabbing the Memorial Cup as well. He won another Memorial Cup with the Vancouver Giants in 2007 and another WHL title in 2006.

Hay has experience with Canada's U20 squad as well winning gold in 1995. He won the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as the WHL's top coach in 98-99 with Tri-City and collected it again this past season for his work in Vancouver.

Interspersed with his WHL success story are a few chapters of pro coaching. Hay was the head coach in Phoenix for a season, in Calgary for another and there were two other years spent as an assistant with the Flames and in Anaheim as well. His last pro coaching job was with the Utah Grizzlies of the AHL.

With Pat Quinn being part owner of the Vancouver Giants, there is an obvious connection there. Hay also has a history with Tom Renney from their days together in Kamloops. Renney and Hay also host an annual golf tournament together (along with Ken Hitchcock) in the Kamloops area.

Now I have been under the impression that Don Hay was pretty happy in Vancouver as one of the highest paid coaches in the CHL. Perhaps he has an interest in getting back into the pro game, I don't know.

If in fact Hay is interested, he's at least worth consideration isn't he?

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