Oilers GM on coaching change: “Expectations will increase”

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After inspiring columns about procrastination, Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini decided to fire head coach Tom Renney. Tambellini discussed his decision to part ways with Renney and what he qualities he’s looking for in their next bench boss.

First, on ousting Renney and changing the culture in Edmonton:

“Tom’s done some great things for our hockey club … But we felt it was the right decision to make a change. We’re entering a new phase for our hockey club,” Tambellini said. “We need to get to a different level of compete where we’re competing for playoff spots. Expectations will increase.”

Ah, the “compete level” line. I’m starting to think that “compete level” is the NHL executives’ answer to a CEO talking about “thinking outside the box.”*

The most important question for the Oilers is: what’s next? Tambellini said that he hopes to get a new coach in place before the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, where the Oilers will have the first pick for the third consecutive year (barring a trade).

“There are a few people we have interest in; I would hope to have something in place prior to the draft,” Tambellini said. “The people who are here right now need to be a lot better on a consistent basis.”

Does that include Tambellini?

Anyway, feel free to share your thoughts on who would be the right fit for the Oilers.

(Personally, I think Michel Therrien might be an underrated pick. He took an unshaped mass of potential in Pittsburgh and brought them to the Stanley Cup finals, showing them “how to play defense” along the way. That’s the biggest deficit in Edmonton right now, so perhaps he would serve as a good “bridge” from cellar dweller to contender status. That’s just my take, though.)

Here’s video of the presser:

* – Do people still say that?