Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nothing but class from the Oilers former bench boss

Tom Renney decided to take time from his off season to jump on plane and come to Edmonton and allow the media to ask their questions of the recently dismissed bench boss of the Edmonton Oilers. In typical Renney fashion, the coach was nothing but classy to the bitter end. He graciously came back into town to state the obvious. He was disappointed in not being renewed last week but had nothing but positive things to say about the city, players and organization. While not happy with his current predicament of being on the coaching unemployment line, one would have never guessed by the veteran coach's demeanor. Disappointed yes but unwilling to through his former employers under the bus. Though he would have no reason for doing so.   

Back in early March I wrote the piece, "Oilers would be wise to keep Tom Renney around", which gave my point of view on the job Renney has done as Edmonton's head coach. He definitely had his share of challenges but in this writer's opinion, he had earned a one year contract extension. That being said, the club decided to go another route and now the organization will have to look at bringing in their fourth coach since 2008-2009.

As was mentioned in my previous piece, the one card Renney had up his sleeve was being a stabilizing presence behind the bench. With this team seemingly always being in some sort of transition, one would have thought his presence would have carried more weight, then it apparently did. Would it really have been such a bad idea to have re-upped Renney for another year?

Some will say that this team needed a bit of jolt and that is hard to argue with. Though changing the voice,yet again, from behind the bench, my not have been the change to least at this point. My biggest concern, is what the plan is moving forward. Is it a slam dunk that they bring in a better coach then Renney? I am not sold on that. Especially when you consider who is currently available. Whomever they do decide to bring in will surely be a different coach, that we can be sure of.

While Tom Renney knew full well what his role would be in the overall big picture as the Edmonton Oilers head coach, his dismissal is somewhat disappointing. One would have thought, he would have been allowed three to four years before the organization went ahead with the change but they felt the time was now. It is hard to argue that they were wrong, when you consider this club finished last and second last in the league standings under Renney's watch.

For the Oilers sake, let us hope that Steve Tambellini and his management team get it right this time around. It is not only crucial for Tambellini's future but also for the franchise as a whole. When a organization continually changes their head coach, every indication is that they do not truly know what and who they are on the ice. The Edmonton Oilers could be on the verge of becoming just that team, if they do not bring in the right man for these players and this situation. 

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