Thursday, May 17, 2012

As To Tom Renney

Tom Renney was let go today and it was really a perfect Oilers' day in every way. It was just a few days ago that there were comments on Twitter from Bob MacKenzie wondering about Renney's fate and gently chiding the Oilers for letting a 'good guy' (hockey is full of good guys, great guys too!) twist in the wind. The writing had been on the wall for Renney for months. When Dan Tencer began criticizing him you knew the jig was up, guys like Tencer and Stauffer don't twitch without Lowe's say-so, so we knew Renney was done. But unlike every other organization that fired their coaches when the season ended, your Edmonton Oilers made no such rash move. Instead they let Tom Renney twist in the wind for weeks. Now he was under contract and he's paid a lot of money but imagine what that was like for the guy and his family. And here's a guy who lost his dad earlier this year as well so its not like he's had a good run lately. Does he have a job? Should he be making plans? No idea because the Oilers could not or would not make a decision.

Classless. But so we have come to expect.

Don't get me wrong. I think Tom Renney is an average coach which means he is far better than all but probably forty to fifty men in the world at his profession but he's not Dan Bylsma or Ken Hitchcock or Darryl Sutter, three guys near the top of the class. Babcock is up there too I would think. But he's not Michel Thierrien either. He's interchangeable with about two dozen other guys. MacT is probably a better coach I think but Renney is in that range. Give him a very talented team and he wins. Give him an average squad and he probably makes them slightly better. Give him crap and, well, you still have crap.

I didn't like everything he did in his time in Edmonton but like MacT and Quinn he was dealt a bum hand from the beginning. No coach was getting these guys anywhere near the playoffs. He's the third coach fired on Tambellini's watch, the second one of those hired by Tambellini and we all know that Tambo is next. The stench of failure radiates from the man. He should have been gone after his first year, the year he spent to the cap and finished in thirtieth place. Such a massive and embarassing failure should have seen him cut loose but somehow he remains. He is so awful a manager though that he will be gone soon. This team's holes are so massive that it would take tremendous acumen to resolve them this summer and we all know our man doesn't have the chops. So he is likely with is for one more year.

 Sad thing is, remember what I said about it being a perfect Oilers' day. Well this morning Canada lost to Slovakia. Canada's roster was put together by Kevin Lowe, the guy who got the Oilers into this mess six summers ago. Amongst the members of his losing roster were Luke Schenn, a guy who is rumoured to be in Edmonton's sights, and Ryan Murray, a kid Dman who many expect the Oilers to draft instead of the clearcut number one, Yakupov. This despite Murray not even being ranked the number one defenceman by some observers. And the team was coached by a guy many figure to be the leading candidate to replace Renney, Brent Sutter, a terrific junior coach who has been a total failure in the pros.

So Tambo can (and probably will) do some more damage before he gets the axe and best of all his replacememt will likely be Kevin Lowe!! The guy who drove the team into the ditch in the first place.

Note too Kevin Prendergast's involvement in Hockey Canada (have they won anything since he was hired?) as well as Mark Messier's contributions recently (a guy a lot of Oiler fans figure should either manage or coach the Oilers for some reason - 6 rings I guess). For many years there was talk of a Montreal Canadiens' tree. Look around the league and you would see (and still do) management and coaches who had played or coached or learned their trade in the Habs' front office. A lot of successful teams (and in some case not) were run by guys like Fletcher and Gainey and Lemaire and Robinson. The list goes on and on.

The Oilers are like the opposite of that and maybe this should be their master plan. Howson has already destroyed Columbus. Maybe Messier can take over the Rangers and and Prendergast can move to Chicago. Let Tambo move back to Vancouver and Buchberger coach the Avs. Let them go forth and multiply and take their special brand of incompetence to the rest of the league, like the Black Plague, destroying franchises as they alight from their private jets, just as flea ridden rats destroyed cities as they swarmed ashore from ships manned by infected doomed sailors.

Maybe that's the plan. Except nobody else is dumb enough to hire these dummies. Oh well, nice thought.


Bar Qu said...

Don't hold back Pat, tell us how you feel ;-)

They really are a bunch of bums in that org. Classless is too weak a word.

Anonymous said...

finally something to read. It really is a circus and the way they handled Renney is just classless. In any other organization you would immediately think there's more to the story but this is Edmonton and the team is run by Mayor West of Quahog and this would be status quo. At what point does Mr. Katz start to catch heat for employing this group of bumbling idiots?

Raine Snow said...

I'm getting the feeling you may not be a fan of Brent Sutter. However, you mentioned Darryl Sutter as being one of the top coaches in the league.

Darryl's brother, Brent, is said to be fairly similar as a coach. Colin Fraser, who played under Brent in Red Deer and now plays for Darryl, recently compared the two coaches as being very similar

"There’s really not much difference. They’re both crazy - intense guys. They run very similar practices." said Fraser

Fraser than continued on about Darryl, "I think Darryl is the kind of guy who gets the best out of all of his players almost every night. He’s obviously a tough coach but he’s fair and he rewards you when you work hard.”

If Brent is anything like Darryl, I want him. I think the intensity but that ability to be fair is exactly what this team needs. Not a ho hum Tom Renney coach, we need a guy with more passion and who holds players accountable.

Is this the kind of coach the Oilers need?

Bar Qu said...

As a resident of Calgary, I can tell you Brent Sutter did not get a similar group to over perform the last two years like Darryl did when he was behind the bench. Brent is a mediocre coach and a downgrade from Renney. Full stop.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.... I just wish somebody was able to pass this on to Katz. Tambo is a fumbling boob and will no doubt screw up the hire and then do something really stupid with the #1 pick. HEAVEN HELP US!!

Anonymous said...

Talk is Brent replacing Tom - the day he lost to Slovakia - coincidence?

Why are the Rangers game so lousy quality - it's like having Markic sitting on a roof beam videotaping the whole game from one vantage point! High quality...

Black Dog said...

lol Bar Qu, and yes agreed on Sutter as coach

Raine - Darryl Sutter has had a history of success as a coach - in Chicago, Calgary and now in LA. His brother - not so much.

I really don't care what kind of coach they have as long as they win. Player's coach. Hardass. Doesn't matter. And it may not matter anyway if they don't have the horses.

Black Dog said...

Who is that? Frank? Is that you?

Raine Snow said...

Brent did fine in his one season in New Jersey, was a great Junior coach in both the worlds and WHL. He hasn't as long of a track record as Darryl when it comes to the NHL. He coached a poor Flames team.

What I do like with his time in Calgary was the fact Brent awarded his best players with ice time. He recognized who his best players. He knew what players would give him the most as it was simply a question of "what have you done for me lately" rather than awarding players for what they have done in the past.

A coach that recognize Baertschi was playing far better than others, Brent awarded him solid playing time and every opportunity to succeed. He even acknowledge Baertschi at his year end presser saying it's the young guys like Sven who will have important roles with the club.

This is a farcry in comparison to Tom Renney. Renney did not recognize his best players and did not play them adequately. Instead Renney played the players that use to be good rather than players that are good now. It was impossible for Dubnyk to gain the trust of Renney, it was impossible for the young stars to take away ice time from Smyth, Belanger, Horcoff and the likes. That is poor asset management. Brent Sutter won't make these mistakes.

Going onto his third NHL team there is still plenty of time for Brent to prove his worth in the NHL. Looking at Calgary isn't a very good example of what a coach can do, he was handcuffed by a stubborn Jay Feaster.

FastOil said...

"like the Black Plague, destroying franchises as they alight from their private jets, just as flea ridden rats destroyed cities as they swarmed ashore from ships manned by infected doomed sailors."

This is a thing of beauty. Enjoy the weekend.

macaotim said...

Finally an article that approaches my level of frustration. Too bad you sugarcoated it all. Canning Renny is akin to firing a shoe salesman for selling crappy shoes. Isn't the manufacturer to blame. In the oiler's case, Tambo manufactured this mess and others continue to take the fall. Embarrassing.

Max Powers said...

Hahaha! Finally somebody put into words my exact thoughts about twiddle-dee and twiddle-dum. You need to express more hatred for Lowe mind you, but Tambellini is spot on! My favorite part of this article?

"He is so awful amanager though he will be gone soon"

Although there is so much truth about failure, embarrassment, stench and the like that it's hard to choose.

No diggity, Pat. No diggity.

Woodguy said...

I just hope they finish 25th or worse again so Tambellini will finally be fired.

Really tired of his act.

Jordan said...

I think the really important question that needs to be asked is this:

Which coaches out there could right the ship, and of those men, are any of them actually going to consider coming here?

I've been hearing that MacT won't come back to Edmonton (his choice). He's a guy who can make chicken salad out of chicken shit, who's probably out of the picture. Hitch is gainfully employed. Unless you're considering some of the elite coaches in the AHL, I don't see there being any men out there who can fix this mess if Toonces spends the summer evaluating his options. Especially if Vish figures out that using not having a coach as an excuse could be just as effective an excuse next fall for failure.

Black Dog said...

Raine - well I think this is an 'agree to disagree' moment. Having said that I do hope that you are right. I have nothing against Sutter personally and I certainly hope if he comes to the Oilers that he will be a success.

Jordan - well ... there are only a handful of elite coaches imo and I think they are all employed right now. Are there guys better than Sutter? I think so. And I think that any guy out of work is going to be happy to come to Edmonton, a job is better than no job and while the team has sucked for a while its on the upswing so its a good opportunity.

And Tambo is in trouble so while on one hand the incoming coach may have to think about the fact that the guy who hires him may be gone soon on the other hand he has to know that he's going to get probably at least two years on the job.

Plus Lowe is pulling the strings here I think if rumours are to be believed. Apparently Tambo wanted to keep Renney. If that's the case then Lowe is hiring the new guy anyway so the coach will have him in his corner.

In any case I think the Oilers will get a quality veteran guy.