|Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on May 19, 2012 at 6:35 PM|
After the dismissal of Tom Renney Thursday, the focus now turns to who will be his replacement. Here is a look at the top candidates to coach the Edmonton Oilers as reported by Edmonton Journal.
Brent Sutter: He has a leg up on the others because Lowe and Sutter were teammates on the 1984 Canada Cup team, Lowe saw his work first-hand at the worlds in Helsinki where he coached three Oilers — Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Devan Dubnyk — and Nugent-Hopkins played for the Sutter-owned Red Deer Rebels. Sutter had been coaching down the road in Calgary, against the Oilers and beating them more often than not.
Marc Crawford: He was certainly in the mix the last time around after MacTavish left and, after working for Hockey Night in Canada as a commentator, had a fairly good book on the Oilers roster. He’s won a Stanley Cup in Colorado, he’s coached against the Oilers when he was in Vancouver, Los Angeles and Dallas. He’s coached 1,151 games and the Oilers know him from the previous coach search.
Todd Nelson: The 43-year-old applied for the junior Oil Kings job, but lost out to Derek Laxdal and got the OK City job instead. He has the Barons in the AHL semifinal. He was John Anderson’s assistant coach with the Thrashers in Atlanta, so he has NHL coaching experience. I’d say there’s a better chance he joins the Oilers staff as an assistant.
Jon Cooper: After two United States Hockey League junior titles in Green Bay, the 44-year-old took over Norfolk in 2010 and the Admirals won 28 straight games at the end of this season to get him AHL coach-of-the-year honours. He has a law degree, but closed his practice to devote himself to coaching. He’s from Prince George, so knows the Oilers’ history.
Ralph Krueger: He was head coach of the Swiss national team from 1998 through the 2010 Olympics and still has a house in Davos. He coached half a dozen games when Renney’s dad died and when Renney suffered a concussion when hit by a puck at a morning skate. He could get a job back in Europe in a heartbeat, but he likes the NHL, and the Oilers would be crazy not to think about him.
The HockeyFanLand Insight
If I was picking the Edmonton Oilers coach I would want someone with a lot of NHL experience. Familiar with how to develop superstar offense and skill. I would get away from promoting within the organization and go with a fresh face. Marc Crawford, is my top candidate to coach the Edmonton Oilers. Crawford or Sutter give the Edmonton Oilers the best chance to win now. Crawford has 549 wins to his name. He has also appeared in the postseason eight times.