The wave of changes that has gone through the Edmonton Oilers
this off-season reached the coach's office Tuesday with word that Tom Renney, last season's associate coach, is taking over the head job from Pat Quinn
, who will become a senior advisor.
The Oilers were 27-47-8 this past season, earning 62 points, the fewest in the NHL. The Oilers hold the top selection in Friday's Entry Draft in Los Angeles.
"Tom Renney's track record not only speaks for itself, but it also speaks volumes about what type of person he is. He is a tireless worker who cares about this organization," General Manager Steve Tambellini said. "Tom is so well respected among his peers in the National Hockey League and throughout the international hockey circles thanks to his dedication and success at so many different levels."
Tambellini has made sweeping changes since the season ended, shuffling members of the scouting and training staff, with changes in the roster also expected before the puck drops on the 2010-11 regular season.
"Tom Renney's track record not only speaks for itself, but it also speaks volumes about what type of person he is. He is a tireless worker who cares about this organization. Tom is so well respected among his peers in the National Hockey League and throughout the international hockey circles thanks to his dedication and success at so many different levels." -- Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini on Tom Renney
"It goes without saying how valuable Pat Quinn
is to our organization and we will continue to rely heavily on Pat's experience as we move forward with rebuilding this franchise," Tambellini said. "Pat will make a strong contribution throughout our system – no question."
Quinn agreed that he felt he could make a contribution to help the Oilers regroup after the worst season in franchise history.
"The reorganization has gone deeper than I thought it would go. I've been offered an opportunity to stay, and I want to stay. I came to this organization because of the people and because this is a historic franchise and because I had a keen desire to be back in coaching. We'll move on from that.
"I'm very interested to learn how I can make a difference in this organization," he said; "It's all about making a contribution."
The Oilers were battered by injuries -- they lost top right wing Ales Hemsky
and starting goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin
for most of the season -- and were coming off three non-playoff seasons before Quinn arrived.
"When I joined the team I knew it wasn't a great team, but I had expectations that we would make it better," he said during a conference call. "We hit some adversity. We hit some things that we did not anticipate that challenged our organization depth-wise."
However, he wasn't willing to attribute all of the team's problems to injuries.
"I think we need to hold the players more accountable for their performances, and that only gets done through education and through learning -- and sometimes through adversity like we were having last year," he said.
In Renney, the Oilers are turning the coaching duties over to a man who emphasizes hard work and disciplined play. With the New York Rangers
, Renney led the team to 40 or more wins in three-straight seasons. The Rangers also made the playoffs in three-straight seasons under Renney and he was 164-117-0-46 in New York. Renney compiled a 39-53-9 record as coach of the Vancouver Canucks
between June 1996 and November 1997.
Renney also is highly regarded in player evaluation. While with the Rangers, he was the director of player personnel for two seasons before becoming coach. Renney also has won a Memorial Cup title with the Kamloops Blazers and led Team Canada to a silver medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Renney coached Canada to a gold medal at the 2004 World Championships and took home silver in 2005.
Quinn brings a wealth of experience to his new role. He has coached in more than 1,300 NHL games with the Oilers, Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks
, Philadelphia Flyers
and Los Angeles Kings
. He has twice won the Jack Adams
Award as the NHL's top coach, and he has extensive front-office experience, having been the general manager in both Toronto and Vancouver.
Quinn also coached Team Canada to the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey championship. Quinn returned to the Olympics with Team Canada in 2006 in Torino, Italy.