Editor's Note: OilfanInYYC said it was time for Tom Renney to go. In this FanPost, he explores possible replacements.
At the end of this year both Tom Renney's and Steve Tambellini's contracts expire. As a fan that has watched this team free fall into oblivion I would prefer that the Oilers' organization let both of them walk but as most NHL observers know this is rarely the case. The more historical approach is to keep the GM and replace the coach; giving the GM a small window of opportunity to "fix" the team.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I haven't been a Tom Renney fan for quite a while. In the "first" year of the rebuild I gave him a chance because I truly thought there was a master plan. At the start of the second year I had hope but that quickly faded after a great start to the season took a drastic turn for the worse.
With Tom Renney's job on the ropes the following two questions need to be asked. "Who can turn this train wreck around?" and "Does the answer already exist within the Oilers' organization?".
After the jump we'll take a look at possible future coaches.
Who can turn this train wreck around?
AHL (125-78-37) : 0.616 W%
NHL (549-421-181) : 0.566 W%
Crawford is a proven NHL coach. He had a couple bad years in Dallas but in his defense Dallas' shooting percentage is ridiculous. Last year they lead the league in lowest shots per game and still almost made the playoffs. The Oilers need a real change and Crawford is definitely a change from Renney. His high pitched rantings may turn viewers away from the Oil Change series but if the team is winning games who cares. He's proven he can win games and championships.
AHL (35-24-5) : 0.593 W%
NHL (301-252-103) : 0.544 W%
What's old is new again. MacT another coach that has proven that he can win games but like Renney does like to try and force chemistry. He has a .500+ record in both the AHL & NHL and is very well known to the organization.
NHL (619-539-179) : 0.535 W%
A conversation about a potential head coach can't be complete until you talk about a recently fired coach that has a historical winning record. Ron Wilson is definitely the anti-Renney he coaches a system that matches lines, runs set plays and loves to let off steam in anyway possible. With Washington he made it to the SCF and that was in the pre-Ovechkin days, although they did have a pretty decent team that year. The only question mark with a coach like Wilson is how the kids would respond to his abrasive style of coaching.
Does the answer already exist within the Oilers' organization?
UHL (149-58-25) : 0.720 W%
AHL (79-46-6-14) : 0.632 W%
Thanks to the Oilers' injury woes Todd Nelson kept losing pieces to his team throughout the season yet was able to get the OKC Barons into the 1st round of the AHL playoffs. In the second year of coaching he has been able to get OKC into a top ranking in the AHL with scoring from everywhere not just a couple players. He hasn't lost players like 2010 - 2011 but still had to deal with injury and loss. The progression plan within the organization has been reiterated many times, develop keys to compete in the NHL. Todd Nelson has done exactly that and deserves a chance at the big league. This may be viewed as a risky move but other teams have had success doing this. Both Pittsburgh & Washington did this while going through their respective rebuilds. On top of that not only would Todd Nelson already has great rapport with players coming up from OKC he would be able to put pressure on some of the veterans to perform to keep their jobs.
In the end it isn't going to matter who replaces Renney but a change is needed. I am also not saying that a replacement will guarantee success but based off of the standings his replacement can't really do worse than 30th, 30th & 29th. Finally, note that this is just a suggested list there are others that I missed or others that may come up in the course of the off season but this should be a decent starting point. If you have others in mind, suggest away!!!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this FanPost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of the staff.