This is Todd Richards. He’s an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks and is among a large group of men who have been associated with the Edmonton Oilers coaching situation.

It’s not known if any individual has been contacted (although Marc Crawford is clearly interested) formally, but the process has clearly begun in the media.

Both dailies and the blogs are full of names and discussions about these coaches, but what do they bring that makes them special? What in their resume makes them obvious candidates?

My own preference is for a coach with NHL experience who can be in place well before the draft. This person would have had success as a head coach at some level of pro and perhaps have a reputation of being a “button down” type–which is to say more pitching than hitting.

Brent Sutter seems to be the most popular choice, with Pat Quinn, Crawford, Tom Renney and many others in the mix.

I’d like to discuss what these men specifically bring to the table in regard to the Oilers. So, we’re going to look at these men one by one and answer the questions we’re able to based on the information in front of us.

We begin tomorrow with Don Lever in a box.

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23 Responses to "Names"

  1. Icecastles says:

    I’m more in favour of a career coach than an ex-player. I find the former are often more likely to see the game as needing to be played the way they themselves played it and as a result, tend to be less creative and adaptable in their thinking – a (debatable, I know) flaw in our last coach that was difficult for him to overcome.

    Nevertheless, there is a lot to be said for gaining some wisdom from San Jose’s approach – they’ve obviously been doing something right. What are his specific tasks in San Jose? PP? PK?

    I know he coached the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins… we have a few guys who have come up from that team, don’t we? I wonder if he has coached any current Oilers.

  2. Jonathan Willis says:

    //I know he coached the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins… we have a few guys who have come up from that team, don’t we? I wonder if he has coached any current Oilers.//

    Lots. Pouliot, Brodziak, Gilbert, Jacques, Deslauriers, Stortini…

    I’m looking forward to your series, LT.

  3. geowal says:

    I also am looking forward to the coming posts.
    These days I find myself watching the Jays (they’re really ripping things up) more than hockey.

    Though I’m sure that’s not an issue for all the former expos supporters around this place.

  4. Hoos says:

    I can’t really help this, sorry:

    “It’s Lever in a box …
    Lever in a box, baby …
    Lever in a box.”

    Step 1 …

  5. Gord says:

    Lever should have got the job in 2000

  6. dawgbone says:

    I’m not sold too much on the NHL experience bit… yeah it would help, but I’d rather a guy come in who has a proven track record of developing kids against pro level competition.

    This team needs a guy who knows how to do that, and make them better.

  7. Darren Stone says:

    Crawford? What, are we Winnipeg now? It hasn’t been a week and I already miss the Old Boys Club.

  8. Black Gold says:

    Success developing players?

    Randy Cunneyworth?

  9. Quinn says:

    My own bias is a strictly non-fact based one; I have been watching the extremely good performance of the highly successful AHL/Minor coach turned NHL coach and I then strongly desire Arniel for the Oil. Julien, Boudreau, Bylsma all come to mind as an example of this (we will see how the Isle’s coach does next season with an actual NHL team).

    It is just my suspicion that these guys have come up the coaching ranks at just the right time to be open to new ideas and new approaches to coaching which older NHL-tried-and-true coaches don’t take advantage of. Once again, no numbers, just a hunch.

  10. bookie says:

    So, as an oiler fan, are we cheering for an early NJ exit so that we can ask if Sutter can come out and play…but wouldn’t an early exit be a sign of bad coaching so wouldn’t we want our prosective future coach to go to the cup finals…but then wouldn’t it make it too late for us to wait to talk to him….


  11. Scott says:

    You could cheer for a Brodeur injury, bookie, that solves your problem… it’s a legitimate excuse for an early Devils exit.

  12. Icecastles says:

    Darren Stone said…
    Crawford? What, are we Winnipeg now?
    Hey! We don’t want Crawford muddying our (overflowing) waters! We’ve already got a decent coach out here… we just need an NHL team to give him. :(

  13. Icecastles says:

    When is that damn bug going to be fixed with no line break after italics? I see blogger won’t accept a [p] tag or a [br] tag to fix it either.

  14. Quinn says:

    Hey Ice,

    Stay dry man! Hoping all the best for the great people of Winterpeg.

  15. Black Gold says:

    If you wanted to have a break after the italics, couldn’t you just put the punctuation outside the italics?

    I’m no html expert, though. :)

  16. HBomb says:

    Does that actually work?

    It does.

    A gold star for Black Gold.

  17. quain says:

    I see blogger won’t accept a [p] tag or a [br] tag to fix it either.

    < br> tags actually work to fix the issue, as well.

  18. hunter1909 says:

    Traditionally, the greatest coaches tend to be the ones who get promoted, either from assistant head coach(Vince Lombardi), or else from a lower level of the sport(Alex Ferguson).

    Pat Quinn would be great for comedy, of course, since I’d love to have a coach who can intimidate the players and everything, but, the truly great ones do have a tendency to be those who get promotions from lower level jobs in the same sport.

  19. Icecastles says:

    Thanks Quain and BlackGold – I could have sworn I’d tried the [br] tag last week and to no avail, but at least there’s a workaround now. All that’s left is to bring back the [blink] tag! ;)

    Quinn – thanks. I’m heading out to help sandbag some of the remaining low areas tomorrow.

  20. Garnet says:

    By the way, LT, Damien Cox has picked up your notion that Burke is doing somethng close to tampering with Tavares:

  21. bookie says:

    When is that damn bug going to be fixed with no line break after italics? .

    Temporary fix is to hit enter, put a period in (.) and then hit enter once or twice. It simply puts an extra period at the end of the quote but allows a break. If you wanted to be really tricky you could do the same with the proper punctuation. see below.

    When is that damn bug going to be fixed with no line break after italics?

    All I did there was put the questionmark outside of the tags and then his enter.

  22. bookie says:

    So, to make it simple, just put your last punctuation mark outside of the tags.

  23. godot10 says:

    Aren’t the people wanting Brent Sutter exhibiting the same sort of dysfunction as Kevin Lowe wanting Marian Hossa?

    Yep. If Brent Sutter were available, it would be nice, but it is reallly better to think as if Brent Sutter won’t be available, or you risk thinking like Kevin Lowe and wanting to “make a splash” or to “expect the unexpected”, which have to be the two dumbest philosophies of managemtnt that I have ever heard. i.e. We’re going to be successful because of a miracle, not because of diligent hard work and preparation.

    Pat Quinn is too oild for the Oilers travel schedule. It also means Quinn isn’t a long term soluiton. The Oilers shouldn’t be thinking short term.

    Coaches from junior hockey come with too high a risk of failure. They have been coaching kids. Being able to coach a kid does not mean that one can coach a man. So no Dale Hunter for me.

    No long term NHL assistants either. See Dave Lewis. Good head coaches don’t sit around for five years taking orders from somebody else. There are exceptions which prove the rule. But expecting the exception is again like hoping for a miracle.

    No NHL players who haven’t paid their dues as a head coach in the AHL. Guy Carbonneau could have used some AHL experience.

    NHL retreads…Crawford, Renney, Hartley, etc. The only one I really like is Tippett, and he hasn’t been fired by Dallas yet. It would be hard to get excited by Crawford. Just say no to Renney, Hartley

    I think you want the guys who have paid their dues as a head in the AHL. One or two years as an NHL assistant on the resume would be fine.

    Scott Arniel and Kevin Dineen have the resumes I like.

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