At his exit interview this week, Tom Renney’s speech (“A Fine Man”) had a lot vague statements. He didn’t use the word “intangibles” but came pretty damn close. What does that tell us about the new Oiler coach?
- Renney: “As part of my evolution with this team, I knew what I had planned for this year, things I thought would get us that playoff spot and show people we were on the come. That’s for the next guy to do.”
Here’s the problem with trying to find some kind of extra gear: the Oilers need actual NHL players, that’s the problem. Faced with a lack of depth on defense, and staring another lost season for Ryan Whitney in the face, the club decided to sign Cam Barker and trade for Andy Sutton. Not good enough by miles. This stuff about “evolution” is hooey, coach Renney no doubt tried all of the weapons at his command.
You can’t soar with eagles…..
- Renney: “I like him on the other end of the passes (as a left-winger), going hard to the net. You play him where he’s most effective, not the safest, but I wouldn’t rule anything out for this great young player. Yeah, I would try him at centre to give it a look, educate myself.”
This was part of a crazy period in the interview where Renney said he’d play Hall and the Nuge together more (Renney played Hall and the Nuge together a lot). I do think center might be the position for Taylor Hall under a new coach, especially if the club drafts Nail Yakupov.
Lots of skill in that top 6, and should the Oilers end up surprising us with a Dustin Penner type acquisition, then Smyth can move down the depth chart (although I think we should wait until someone proves they’re a better option. Giving it to Paajarvi is a bad plan).
Strange exit interview, I remain convinced Craig MacTavish was the best coach this team has had since Muckler, and worry a lot about the quality of the next man. This could go anywhere.