Tambellini: "Pat’s our Coach"

Jim Matheson’s Hockey World (I can’t find it online yet) has a quick update on Pat Quinn’s situation. Tambellini says “yes, I want Pat back” and the thrust of the story is that should Quinn want to return he’ll be the head coach.

I’ve wondered aloud (do people still do that, I think they keep it to themselves more these days) about Quinn’s future with the team earlier this spring. He was born during WWII and has been either playing at a high level or coaching there for over 50 years (Quinn manned the blue for the Hamilton Tiger Cubs of OHA Jr in 1958-59, age 16), and I think we all felt he wanted to coach one more time in an effort to win the Stanley. That isn’t going to happen. Still, it is a three year contract at good dollars and Pat Quinn doesn’t strike me as a guy who quits in the middle of a challenge.

I don’t think any of the young players took a step forward last season under his watch. Certainly injury had much to do with it and sometimes young players have to endure a few miles of rough road before they learn how to make good time once they reach the blacktop. It is also obvious that Quinn is not the long term solution (he’ll be almost 70 at the end of his contract), so the Oilers have to spend this time evaluating possible replacements (Renney, Buchberger, maybe Daum if he returns as AHL coach).

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