Daum Right

This is Larry Robinson wearing the uniform of the legendary Nova Scotia Voyageurs. The AHL team is the Gold Standard for farm clubs, so strong through much of their existence it is not a stretch to suggest they could have played in the National Hockey League and won a lot of games.

Robinson played only one full season (and half another) in the AHL. That team won the AHL championship and boasted a plethora of future stars: Robinson was joined by future NHLers Bob Murdoch and Dale Hoganson on the blue, goalies Wayne Thomas & Michel Plasse, and a forward group that included Chuck Lefley, Yvon Lambert, Murray Wilson, Chuck Arnason and others. They were loaded.

The coach for the 71-72 Voyageurs? Al MacNeil. The same Al MacNeil who led the Montreal Canadiens to a Stanley as coach the previous season (“lead” might be a stretch but he was the coach) and was replaced after a very public feud with Henri Richard during the long and difficult run to the championship that spring.

We know that the position of coach is huge in hockey. It doesn’t have the star appeal of being an NFL coach or MLB manager but it’s a pretty important job.

Minor league coaches have a big job: turn the kids who aren’t good enough to make the huge leap between amateur and the NHL into something useful in a three or four year period. The AHL doesn’t get to see the Ales Hemsky’s, the Sam Gagner’s, the Andrew Cogliano’s.

In a normal AHL season you’d see two or three guys emerge as real NHL options, a couple fall away and a few get hurt. This season has seen bitter disappointment for most of the roster, with only Theo Peckham, Ryan Potulny, Gilbert Brule and Liam Reddox looking like they’re going to cover the bet. I’d also suggest that Devan Dunbyk is having a season that we can look at as being a success (more on this at a later time).

The Oilers fired Jeff Truitt today and brought in Rob Daum as his replacement. On the face of it, this looks like a good move. The Falcons were playing poorly and there is some evidence that the wrong players were sitting and the wrong players were playing.

The Edmonton Oilers have been diddling around with their minor league teams for years now, from Hamilton to Edmonton to Hamilton (shared) to all over the place to Springfield. How much impact these movements have had on the careers of Marc Pouliot, JF Jacques, Jeff Deslauriers, Rob Schremp and others is anyone’s guess.

What is certain today? The Edmonton Oilers are not the Gold Standard in terms of how to ice a successful AHL team and it has an impact on the organization’s ability to call up qualified people to the big club when the need arises. I read somewhere in recent days that the Oilers are “grooming” Rob Schremp in the same way the Detroit Red Wings ready their troops.

I don’t think that’s it.

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22 Responses to "Daum Right"

  1. DeBakey says:

    I read somewhere in recent days that the Oilers are “grooming” Rob Schremp in the same way the Detroit Red Wings

    The Onion writes stories about the Oilers?
    Hoodda thunk?

    Good move I think
    I don’t know how good a coach Truitt is,
    but he certainly seemed to be the wrong guy in the wrong place
    at this point in time.

    And, being a Golden Bear hockey fan, Daum’s got to be good

  2. DeBakey says:

    With all the news – good and bad,
    It certainly was an exciting day to be an Oiler fan.

    If you look up poopy in the dictionary,
    you’ll see a picture of my productivity.

  3. geowal says:

    Given the unhappy rumblings of the Springfield owners, I wonder if this isn’t in part an effort to appease them. It would seem prudent to do whatever is necessary to prevent yet another move of the AHL affiliate.

  4. doritogrande says:

    And the Falcons are not the gold standard because Edmonton’s meddling with their affairs. If you look at the teams that have had success in recent years in the AHL; Chicago(ATL) and Manitoba(VAN) are the beginning of the conversation. These teams have a spoken partnership with their affiliates that they’re playing to win more than they’re playing to develop prospects.

    Seeing as I’m bombarded with Moose hockey on a seasonal basis, I’ve come to know certain things about winning AHL teams.

    1)Goaltending depth is a must.

    Running one guy out there night after night after night plain doesn’t work, especially in a league where a team can (and will) play three games in three nights. Manitoba has had solid goaltending as far back as I can remember. The list includes Fred Brathwaite, Rich Shulmistra, Johan Hedberg, Ken Wregget, Manny Legace, Wade Flaherty, Alex Auld, Dan MacIntyre and now Cory Schneider. Through all those goalies, the most GP in a single season I can find is 58, by Brathwaite. To put Dubnyk’s season in comparison, he’s already played in 43 of Springfield’s 50 games. That puts him on pace for a 70.5 games played over an 82 game season.

    2)Management needs to be able to identify talent that fell through the draft, and bring it in.

    Moose scouts are among the best in the business for finding what they need from the CHL. Recent examples include Alex Burrows, Rick Rypien, Jason Jaffray and Max Fortunus. The first three have all seen time with the Canucks this year, Fortunus is now property of Dallas on a two-way NHL contract. Note that these players were all signed by Manitoba, not the parent club. To the Oilers credit, they have one such success story in Tim Sestito but I didn’t see a difference maker signed by the Falcons from the junior ranks this past summer.

    3) The need for veteran leadership both at forward and on defense.

    Manitoba’s offensive philosophy is simple. The best offensive players play on the top line regardless of who owns their rights. Jason Krog is one such player. Manitoba is footing the bill for his salary while he’s in Manitoba and he’s producing like the AHL star he is. Currently lining up with Michel Ouellet and Jason Jaffray, it’s one of the most consistent lines in the AHL. Now Manitoba’s fortunate to have the likes of Krog and Ouellet here but the important thing to remember is if they’re producing better than the prospects, they’re playing more minutes. Springfield on the other hand is giving the top minutes to kids who aren’t yet ready for the assignments. I personally feel they’ve used Carl Corazzini horribly this season. Here is your offensive leader, and he’s getting saddled with second-line duty so that Schremp can get ice-time.

    Defensively, Manitoba has always seemed to have that stabilizing rock on defense, that #1 guy who can do it all. It’s been the likes of Brian Chapman, Nolan Baumgartner (twice now) and Sven Butenshon from recent memory. The Falcons don’t have this kind of player, and no Mathieu Roy is not this player though he’s seemingly being paid to be. Springfield is lacking the type of defender that can take the tough minutes so Taylor Chorney doesn’t have to play them coming straight out of college.

    I could go on, but this is getting too long as it is. I’ll briefly state a couple other key observations a good team has, but won’t go into detail.

    4) Good working relationship with parent club
    5) Balance of skill and grit
    6) Strong, loyal fanbase
    7) Players willing to buy in to a team system

    Sorry for the lengthy post, but there’s just been so much wrong in Springfield this year I feel it needs to be said. They’ve taken a big step forward today by addressing the coaching philosophy.

  5. oilerdago says:

    There's no doubt change was needed in Springfield. The president publically called for it last month and that got some more vets, but no change in results.

    I think Rob Daum will do great in Springfield and only wish he'd started the season. Perhaps guys like Dubynk, Schremp, Chorney, Wild and Hrabel would have been much better off. Hindsight is 20/20 that's for sure.

    But the Oilers really need a deeper philosophical change in how they are going to run their AHL team.

    DG: you do a great job of outlining how successful AHL franchises are run. But don't confuse that with success in the NHL (what have VAN & ATL won lately, right?).

  6. Bruce says:

    Sorry for the lengthy post

    Apology not accepted, DG, that’s an outstanding post. Some of your points are universal of course — a balance of skill and grit is essential on pretty much any successful club — and OD’s rejoinder about success at the minor league level not the be-all and end-all is well taken. Ultimately we want good Oilers to come out of Springfield more than we want the Calder Cup.

    Hopefully today’s development is a step in the right direction on both fronts.

  7. doritogrande says:

    DG: you do a great job of outlining how successful AHL franchises are run. But don't confuse that with success in the NHL (what have VAN & ATL won lately, right?).

    Just as it takes time to build a good AHL base, it takes even longer to develop a strong NHL club. The Vancouver prospect systems was completley devoid of talent when the partnership first became established. And those years would have been pretty bad on the Moose if we didn’t have a steady flow of talent discovered by our scouts.

    We’re just now in the process of developing some of the better Vancouver prospects. Alex Edler is looking more and more like a top-pair caliber defender, Kevin Bieksa is going to be a top-4 guy in the Jason Smith mold for years to come, and we never will know how good Luc Bourdon may have been, God rest his soul. Up front, Mason Raymond and Ryan Kesler have top-6 jobs with Jannik Hansen not far off that pace. Between the pipes, Cory Schnieder is probably the best goalie in North America not currently playing for an NHL team. It’s only a matter of time before Vancouver goes deep into the playoffs, and rest assured former Moose players will be front and center.

  8. mjsh says:

    I have know of Rob Daum since he was the coach of the Nipawin Hawks in the SJHL. I think he will bring some semblance of credibility to the Falcons and could very well be the next coach of the Oilers. While I like Mac T. I do think his time is over. In my humple opinion the Oilers have some talent but the effort has rarely been there. Yes, it is a long season and yes, all the time on the road was a factor, but there have been far too many games where the players did not show up. I said it early in the year that something was wrong in the room and I still believe it. No effort=no coach

  9. Ducey says:

    Didn’t Daum coach an AHL team before – and it turned out badly?

  10. Dennis says:

    DG: Allow me to second the motion of an outstanding post. I never went to a whole lot of A Games while the Leaves were here – I didn’t miss a game when the Oilers kids were in town but that was the only time I prioritized it – but I read enough about them and listened to my buddies talk about them enough that I could draw the parallels with your Moose players to the stalwarts that helped the St. john’s club when it was really successful in the early to mid ’90′s.

    Daum seems like a really bright guy and at least he has that going for him along with a couple of years of A experience. Some of the things we’ve read this year about the guys that were drawing pine and tickets to Stockton made no sense when cross-referenced with the numbers.

  11. doritogrande says:

    Thanks for all the kind words guys. Means a lot coming from posters I hold in high regard.


    Daum was coach of Minnesota’s farm team for two seasons. He had a great first season, then lost the likes of Josh Harding and Pat O’Sullivan to the NHL while also losing two of his top scorers.

    Credit to Guy Flaming for the above information courtesy this fantastic thread: http://thepipelineshow.blogspot.com/2009/02/its-about-daum-time.html

  12. PDO says:

    I played on Daum’s kids team this winter. Junior hockey.

    Team was a mess… but he came in, ran a couple practices, and just seemed like a downright good guy. His knowledge was phenomenal.

    Seems like a good decision from my vantage point.

  13. Coach pb9617 says:

    It’s a shame that the Hamburglar is gone – perhaps Daum could have rescued that situation.

    Now he needs to prep Peckham, unleash Wild, rescue Chorney, rest Dubnyk, and figure out the Truk.

  14. doritogrande says:

    Now he needs to prep Peckham, unleash Wild, rescue Chorney, rest Dubnyk, and figure out the Truk.

    And teach Schremp how to play defense, win puck battles, skate faster, and just overall give a damn.

    Oh crap…I no longer like his chances.

  15. Coach pb9617 says:


    Schremp is being traded.

  16. Bank Shot says:

    This guy always seemed like a good hire. Time to see if the Oilers did something right for once.

  17. bookie says:

    I think the simple answer is that AHL teams take time (AKA money) to manage well and if you are not willing to lose money, you end up in a crap situation.

    Solution=Bazilionaire owner.

    ASAP–>> Roadrunners will be up and running somewhere with the best training room, etc that $$ can buy. If they lose $2-3 million a year, it just means that LT's Asprin is going to cost more next time he wanders down to the Rexall store…

  18. PDO says:

    From Tambs:

    10 back tomorrow night.

    34 back for the weekend.

  19. Bill Needle says:

    “I read somewhere in recent days that the Oilers are “grooming” Rob Schremp in the same way the Detroit Red Wings”
    The only thing Rob Schremp’s being groomed for is a second-line job on the Atlanta Thrashers. Or Tampa Bay.
    Will someone please trade him from the Oilers? Don’t wait for the trade deadline. How about now? Do everyone, including Schremp and all us readers on the Gore some good.
    I’m so sick and tired of hearing about this guy. He’s someone who I thought might be good one day, and he’s still could be because he looked good for a moment earlier this season. But he isn’t gonna be any good for Edmonton — those days are l-o-o-o-ong gone.
    How long has he been pumped up on the Net? It goes back to when the Oilers were in the finals, and that wasn’t just yesterday anymore. Like Schremp’s career with the Oilers, those days are l-o-o-o-ng gone.
    Trade him away so Oilers fans can start chewing up and spitting out some other “prospect.” Pick one, any one, I don’t care. Just another name.
    And don’t compare him to Schremp either.

  20. Coach pb9617 says:

    Fingers crossed, Bill. Fingers crossed.

  21. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers are the gold standard on how to fuck everything up, while pretending that they’re actually doing a helluva job.

  22. Master Lok says:

    I wonder if Daum’s last 30 games will be the measuring stick for Rob Schremp – i.e. can he play well for Daum? If yes, then Schremp may stick around.

    Note #2 – Daum’s contract runs out at the end of this season I believe. From Dan Tencer’s show, Daum’s contract as scout will still stay in place during his tenure as Springfield head coach. At the end of the season, the two sides will then re-examine Daum’s contract status. I hope Daum stays.

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