Wednesday, June 27, 2012


He is smiling because it only took him 3 months to find a new coach for the Oilers.

I have not been sharply critical of Steve Tambellini. While moves are need and required, assets and trading partners are required to make moves work. Luring free agents also depends on some key pieces being in place and the team itself on the obvious upswing. While Tambellini has had a free pass the last few seasons that free ride should have ended with the firing of Tom Renney.

The Oilers have been in search of a new head coach for almost 2 months. In those 7 weeks it appears through media reports that the Oilers have talked to a maximum of only 4 other people about the coaching vacancy. In 7 weeks the Oilers have done nothing but look like a punch line. While Tambellini want to appear smug and holier than thou in addressing coaching issues, the substance of it all is that the Oilers are not ready as a management team to lead the team forward. The Oilers are more about hiring old friends like Craig MacTavish than finding a new head coach to begin the free agency and trade season. Players want to know the coach so they know the style and know their role.

With the official hiring of Ralph Krueger today, the Oilers make a final call on their coaching decision almost at the last possible moment. Why? Can this organization not operate with a little class and finesse? Can the smug attitude and equally smug indirect empty comments come to an end? Is this an organization that wants to be like Detroit? Start acting like classy professionals like Ken Holland.

How did draft weekend go? I would say it was much like the last several years. Mediocre. Yakupov was the easy choice. Moroz was a good pick, perhaps a little soon, but with Samuelsson moving up in the draft Moroz had to as well. The Oilers failed to find a dance partner at the draft.

As we head into free agency there won't be much to look forward to. The head coach now in place last minute but with the approval of the players will the Oilers draw any free agents to help the club in 2012/13. The free agent crop is thin in the kind of players the Oilers need. The trade targets may be equally as thin. Time to get to work.

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A forum poster since 2000. A proud founder and member of the Oilers Army. He contributes to his blog Oilers Republic and to the Oilogosphere. You can follow him on twitter ( Also, an Oilers blogger at Sportsnet Fan Fuel.

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