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Stop laughing: Tom Renney wants a new contract

Mar 8, 2012, 7:30 PM EDT

Tom Renney AP

Let me try to soften the edge on the widespread criticisms of the Edmonton Oilers front office by saying that the group has made some rather … curious decisions.

For a team that’s seemingly been buried in the cellar since Chris Pronger‘s ugly divorce, you’d think that the franchise would be at the “about fed up” point. Instead, the general feeling is that potential will eventually produce results, which isn’t the wildest notion considering the dazzling skills of Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall.

The stranger course has been the team’s odd penchant for keeping seemingly nonessential pieces in the fold. It was tough not to furrow one’s brow upon word that so-so blueliner Andy Sutton was handed a contract extension. Ales Hemsky‘s skills are undeniable, but his conga line of injuries is that much more glaring. Generally speaking, it seems like the franchise is content to “keep the band together” even if their efforts have landed them in the league’s bargain bin.

That context is just about the only thing that explains why current head coach Tom Renney might not be out of his mind when asking for a contract extension.

Even so, it’s pretty stunning to read this account of the situation from the Edmonton Journal, which implies that Renney has some kind of negotiating power in the situation.

I don’t see Renney taking anything less than two years if the Oilers want him back.  If Ales Hemsky is going to get a two-year contract to stay as part of this reconstruction, Renney probably wants at least the same, and why not?  Same with his coaching staff–Ralph Krueger, Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger–whose contracts are also up, unless Krueger, who is widely admired and could get a very good head-coaching job back in Europe in a heartbeat, decides he wants to return there.

I’m sorry, but what exactly has Renney done to knock down the door for a new deal?

The Oilers went 25-45-12 for him last season and they’re currently 26-34-6, with a not-kidding goal of winning 30 games in 2011-12. It’s obviously not fair to lay that all on Renney – GM Steve Tambellini has made some baffling choices, to say the least – but the young team might need an honest-to-goodness difference-maker behind the bench.

Sure, the Oil have been embracing mediocrity with some of their medium-term plans, but even with that in mind it’s hard to fathom Renney making any demands.

  1. firstandonlywarning - Mar 8, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    So James, you figure that the core of the team, Hall, Eberle and RNH are not making progress and they should dump the only coach they have known for the sake of seeing the unknown?

    Seriously, every lil flaw you pointed out is on the GM, not Renney,

    The only thing to laugh about is your dismissal of Renney as a head coach, followed by you pointing out how it’s more of Tambellini’s fault by the time you are done.

    Not a word about his coaching style, how his young players have responded to him, just a fail headline followed by yammerings that has infinitely more to do with the GM.

    Yes completely out of his mind looking for job security James

    This place is akin to the Bleacher report, any willing yahoo willing to blog on hockey, yup sounds good.

    Lemme guess, a ban because you guys can’t take criticism

    • lolnowhy - Mar 8, 2012 at 8:02 PM

      you seem upset

      everything about your team blows dude, get over it

    • loinstache - Mar 8, 2012 at 8:10 PM

      Get over it, he’s awful and he’s making the team awful

    • danphipps01 - Mar 8, 2012 at 9:13 PM

      Wow. And I thought habsfan and that jackass Penguins spam guy had insecurity issues.

      • firstandonlywarning - Mar 9, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        Red wings fan you idiots

        Vaild points are valid this is another hack job brought to you by this blog

  2. t16rich - Mar 8, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    I don’t think he deserves anything. But I do think it would be wise to let him have another year with a growing roster.

  3. sportsland33 - Mar 8, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    firstandonlywarning may not get his point across in an intelligent way, but it is still a good point. The post doesn’t address in any way whether Renney is an effective head coach or not, just that the team is bad, which obviously has a lot to do with the roster limitations.

    A roster saddled with very young, inexperienced players and aging, underacheiving veterans has to come into a season with pretty low expectations, the playoffs always were considered a stretch for the Oil this year. A change just for the sake of it doesn’t make sense. So a head coach asking for a new contract isnt a laugh-worthy headline imo.

  4. blomfeld - Mar 8, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    Liquidate Renney Now !

    The bottom line is that Tom Renney has failed “miserably” as the Oilers head coach. Window dress it all you like, but the fact remains that apart from down, they’re going absolutely nowhere under his tutelage. Therefore I say that Mister O’Brien is to be applauded for this “honest and sobering” article !

  5. mianfr - Mar 9, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    I’m a Ranger fan, so I’ve seen how he works, and I kind of agree with you here.

    Honestly he isn’t a bad head coach, he’s just a really, really terrible coach for this team. He doesn’t exactly cultivate stars but rather tries to rely on a strong defensive system backed up by an elite goalie and hope to force a lot of close games and ideally shootouts.

    It’s not a bad strategy in the regular season, but obviously it sets you up to get hurt in the postseason once it’s continuous overtime.

    He’s the wrong head coach for the Oilers at the moment, although he’s not useless throughout the league. He’d be a good coach for the Sabres, for instance.

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