Lots of speculation about Tom Renney’s future out on the Edmonton streets today, but I keep wondering why the buck stops there. We’ve discussed this before, and changing coaches is something the Oilers do annually but this seems a little bizarre. Trading the team’s best defenseman at the deadline and then firing the coach at the end of the season because the wins aren’t coming quickly enough? Holy hell folks that’s borderline diabolical.
The first time we meet someone truly fetching, or watch a hockey player with amazing skill, or observe an organization making a series of moves that are sublime in their clarity and single minded devotion to accomplishing a goal–well, it’s beautiful. Remember the feeling we all had when Kevin Lowe went all Neil Smith at the 2006 trade deadline?
That isn’t this Oilers team we currently endure.
I think it’s crazy to lay this completely at the feet of the coach. Tom Renney is making some unusual decisions, but I think we can all agree that one tends to lose clarity when they find out the “call is coming from inside the house.” A lot of this talk comes directly after a period where Renney was being universally knocked for not playing the kids enough. Now, anyone with half a brain can tell that the coach is probably using the veterans for zone starts, tough opponents and line matching, in an attempt to keep the kids from having nightmare shifts (we’ll call them “Peckham’s” for short) and exposing them for GA.
Tom Renney has his faults (gives strange reasoning for his moves, makes strange roster and line decisions, and despite claims otherwise has indeed thrown his players under the bus at times) and maybe he isn’t part of the solution. Maybe the organization has a plan and perhaps they’ll have an answer we’ll all love come summer time. However, I can’t believe the negative reaction to Tom Renney since the deadline. The Oiler coach probably went into the deadline happy Hemsky was signed and looking forward to having a healthy and motivated lineup for the final stretch.
Instead, Renney’s boss trades his best defenseman for a lesser light and now he gets to drive around town and hear people calling for his head because he can’t hold the blue together with chicken wire, Wrigley’s gum and varsol. There’s a word for this. If they’re going to fire Renney, then the Oilers should clean house. Start anew.