Showing posts with label Todd Nelson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Todd Nelson. Show all posts

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dallas Eakins and Todd Nelson to trade positions?

Ok, before i am crucified for starting a ridiculous rumour and everybody starts freaking out, let me explain. Is it even possible that the Oilers organization could actually flip these two coaches? I have searched the Internet and tried to find if this rumour has been swirling anywhere. I did not come up with this idea on my own. In fact, last night after speaking with someone who is a little more in the know, I started to examine the thought of this as a potential possibility. This is someone that has been involved in hockey for sometime (including the coaching fraternity). There is a lot of reasons why this makes no sense at all and lots of reasons why this could be a really good idea. I am not stating this as a legitimate rumour but wanting to at least examine this closer.

Let's examine the pros and cons and the information that has occurred over the last couple years before just tossing this possibility aside.

Jonathan Willis has a interesting read on OKC Barons bench Boss Todd Nelson

While I agree with Jonathan that adding Nelson to the current staff could be a good thing, Todd Nelson himself in a article written by Ryan Dittrick would prefer Head Coaching in the AHL to being a assistant in the NHL as he has already been a assistant coach with the Atlanta Thrashers.

To further add to Ryan's interview with Todd Nelson. Robert TychKowski also quoted Todd nelson but only after he was not selected for the Oilers Head Job. In this interview he speaks about opportunity and it does not sound like a coach who wants to take a couple years as a assistant coach in the NHL for only a maybe position.

Where does that leave us since MacT has gone on record as saying Dallas Eakins is not going away? Terry Jones reports on this.

Mike Baldwin, a reporter in OKC when interviewing Todd Nelson himself, quoted much of the same as our local guys except does mention the possibility in a couple years as working as a assistant coach.

Enough on the articles written. What are some common threads we are hearing or seeing on this team and around the city of Edmonton and in behind closed doors that leaks still seem to come out from?

What do we know? Dallas Eakins has seen this team's Powerplay drop significantly with a even better team this season then the previous. The team has dropped significantly in the standings looking to have taken a step backwards once again. We also know Barons head coach Nelson has continually had to deal with his best players being called up to Edmonton and at crucial times in the season. With the Oilers it seems just when their is a push for the AHL playoffs each year, they end up with a string of injuries or Nelson contends with those injuries on his AHL team. Bottom line? Nelson has an established track record with 50% of the Oilers NHL team and is known to be well respected and liked among them all.

You always hear rumours that can not really be substantiated. The young players party too much! The players have tuned out Dallas Eakins and do not respect him to get the best out of their game. The argument you hear to that is the NHL player is a professional and needs to be self motivated and shouldn't need a coach to pull the best out of him.

My take? I am sure Dallas is a wonderful person and even a really good coach. I just don't think that he is the right coach. From the moment he walked into this job, we heard how he was going to change this team. Their fitness level was too be intensified and their compete level was to be through the roof. In fact he really did IMO come off as arrogant and rude and his comments insinuated to me he was saying the last couple coach's did not demand that or couldn't teach that. Also he didn't really seem to know the players well enough of who has brought what to this organization with their gifts and talents. Even his systems play were truly flawed that he insisted would work and gave the reasons why.

Has Dallas learned on the fly? Absolutely and while I do think it's time we just quit firing coaches, I really did disagree we should have fired Ralph at all. Renney before him was a firing that happened to save Tambo's job for the following season. Tamby made Renney his scapegoat!

My take now? It's a tough decision to make and a tough pill for MacT to swallow if he were to replace his head coach but IMO if we are to bring in a young up and coming coach from the AHL, it should be from within the organization not from another one. At least we know what we have from within and it does look good.

Could Nelson accept a Assistant job? It's possible, anything is possible. If Todd does come in as assistant, you know at least a couple assistants are on their way out. What is most likely? I think Chabot and Bucky are on their way out.

However, what if Todd nelson were to take the Head Coaching job of the Edmonton Oilers should it be offered by MacT? What would happen with Dallas Eakins and the remaining part of his contract? The scoop I was told is Dallas gets sent to OKC to take on the Barons. I can hear some people right now saying 'no way!' Dallas didn't come to Edmonton to return back to the AHL. Maybe not but he also didn't perform and to me doesn't sound like a guy who is very accountable for his many mistakes as a rookie head coach. What happens to a player who under performs? He loses his job outright or gets demoted. They are paying Dallas so sending him to hone his skills within their AHL team isn't the end of the world. Eakins benches players when they under perform maybe it's time to do the same?

Not for a minute do I claim to know what WILL happen but this rumour could have some validity to it but only time will tell. In the meantime and in between time, that's it…for another edition of 'Oilers Jambalaya"

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Closer look into the Edmonton Oilers 'Recruitment'

In light of recent activity both good and bad in many people’s opinions, I have decided to now put my ‘Oilers fan’ hat aside and put on my Oiler Blogger’ hat on. I know, my last blog basically ripped MacT and the Oilers (as have some of my tweets on twitter @revingev) but today it is time to take a different perspective of the Oilers organization.

After years of ‘retooling’ and ‘rebuilding’ or whatever you choose to call it, the fans in Edmonton and Oiler fans around the NHL have grown impatient over the progress the team has made in recent years. Many people felt and still feel that nothing is really going to be much different this year from any other. Will we see progress again this year slightly over last? Maybe, but not much other then the continued maturity of the skill players the Oilers already have.

In all fairness, if MacT had to do it again, would he have proclaimed to make bold moves , say he was an impatient man and/or tell people if he did not return from the draft without some roster players it would be a disappointment? I think he still FEELS that way but being a new GM, he was hoping he could be a mover and shaker and do some things differently. There are a number of reasons other teams seem to make moves and not the Oilers in my view. Are they factual? I have no idea other then just speculating or as some say, just guessing based on what we have seen or heard. IMO these are the possible reasons the Oilers seem to miss out on great trades and or free agents.


I know, I have continually said that players don’t usually care about the weather cause most the season they are away or have their off season in a warmer climate. Problem is, the more you talk to players these days, location is extremely important. They are looking for a place where they can not be in the limelight and or can get away from all the stress of pressure they feel from the media and or public. Sure some players love the limelight and like that attention but not all. Some players dream of playing and living in warmer weather conditions. Can’t say I can blame them. Some players want the extras that come from playing in a state of the art building with training equipment etc...

My suggestion:
Why not trade for and draft or reach out to UFA’s who like the spotlight? Sure they may be a little cocky or have some attitude, but is that so bad? I know we want character players but do we always need polished boys who say or do the right thing? If they don’t help you win, why does it matter? Just a thought! On the other note, I believe the team is going in the right direction with our new downtown arena complex. Nothing like a good time in a positive environment with state of the art facilities. Great for the players and the fans. 


Every player who says winning the Stanley Cup is not important should have their head examined cause that’s why they are paid to play. We don’t pay them to look pretty, provide a nice game here or there and collect there cheque. Every fan, dreams of their team winning or at least competing to win the Stanley Cup. In the end, we should not be upset at a player who does not want to come to a losing team. Sorry Oiler fans but we all know, at this time we are close to being a winning team but not yet. Sure we can convince some we are almost there but in the end, players want to come and play for a winner. Hopefully soon the Oilers will arrive there.

My suggestion:
Allow time for the young core to develop and surround them with the best staff available. Pick a system and stick to it. Also stick to the plan of how you want to build your team. (ie: Big and mean VS Puck possession etc…) Fans will be willing to wait if they see continued success each year. With that, to be a winner you need to take chances in your trades. No complaints really in amateur scouts but there is in the pro scouts. Their success has been terrible and when you keep doing the same, your results stay the same. Let’s find some scouts who know how to find good players once in awhile. (ie: Glencross, Ryan Jones) through small trades and or waivers. We need to have more hits then misses.


Winning teams have players who go out and pursue the UFA’s when they are available. Before a player becomes available they are already talking about possible teams to join in the future. It’s not wrong for a player to recruit early, there just friends, however a team recruiting before UFA time is illegal. Philly players help make attraction better, Boston does the same as does Pittsburgh. Even Calgary in the past worked hard on personal recruitment among the players. It may not be liked by some people but it is happening and if you don't jump on board you will get left behind.

My suggestion:
Recently we saw this with Justin Schultz,  however this seldom is seen. In today's post-modern way of thinking, players who are younger are more interested in being ‘wanted’ or ‘needed’ then in the name on the Jersey in the front. Continue to make this a priority of the players selling the organization rather then the GM’s and such. Sure they want to see the President and the GM but more importantly they want to see ‘friends’ asking them. Key point here is to think of what is most important to ‘people’ NOT to ‘players’. Sometimes we forget that these guys don’t need our city, our city needs them! Should we bend some? Absolutely, it’s a business, do everything we can, and with this young core we have, make them the recruiters.


I know this may sound like such a small thing but it is important to have a locker room where teams learn to rely on one another and work things out among themselves and even self-motivate each other. We have heard of several rumours over the years of locker room problems. Some is always bound to happen, the question is rooting out the ones who are not team players.

My suggestion:
 It is a new day and age , most the old ways of developing team chemistry is gone. Adapt or be left behind. If a team is run like a hierarchy it can reflect in what kind of team you have on the ice. Giving more responsibility to your team is important to that chemistry of a winning culture. Every team needs to be encouraged to give their input. When a player feels valued it will change their whole attitude and way of thinking.


I know this will be unpopular to Oiler fans but we can not continue to think as a organization that we can win every trade. Someone has to lose and unless your good at it , you will likely lose a few. Sometimes they can work both ways but most times there is a loser in the deal. You cannot get better by trades without trading better players who have value or at least ‘believed’ value.

My suggestion:
When your considering trading someone, don’t tell the world you need to move them. Don’t sit them in the press box. Highlight them in their strengths on the ice and make reasons in the room and with the player as to why your making the changes. (ie: Ryan Whitney value is decreased with the way he was played and even critiqued in the MSM) Find a way to speak positive of players but yet working on improving their challenges at times. I believe Todd Nelson was always good at this. Sure he spoke highly of players (after all, they are humans not robots) but he also talked about area’s to work on. Too often in Edmonton players are ripped apart and that information gets dissected by other teams scouts. A little strategy in how we handle critiquing could go a long ways. In addition how we handle disgruntled players will go a long ways in seeing them traded for at least something rather then rusting in our organization. Have we also forgotten that the way we treat a player can spread like 'wildfire' in the NHL among the NHLPA? Just a thought!

Having said all that, I am not employed by a professional hockey team and never have been, so what do I know? What I do know is how people want to be treated regardless of how much money they make. Team building and training is what I do and that my friends, I believe goes a long way in developing success within any organization.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tom Renney Will Not Be Back!

The Edmonton Oilers announced that Tom Renney will not be back as the head coach for the 2012-13 season.

While its not surprising, they should have told him earlier as it has been over a month since the Oilers season ended.

Like I've said before, I'd fully expect OKC Barons head coach Todd Nelson to be on the short list when they have it ready. I'd strongly consider hiring him. He's done well so far with the club in his two years. He might even coach this team to a Calder Cup championship.

I'm interested to see how this plays out over the summer.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

OKC Barons Coach Todd Nelson To Replace Oilers' Tom Renney?

It was announced tonight that Oklahoma City Barons head coach Todd Nelson will coach the western conference AHL all-star team at the upcoming all-star game. Congrats to him. He's having a fantastic season thus far.

The 2012 AHL All-Star Classic is to be held on Jan. 29-30 in Atlantic City, N.J.

As of right now the Barons are 1st overall in the AHL standings with a record of 22-8-1-3 (48 points). That's pretty damn good.

Then there's the parent club Do we dare talk about the Oilers record right now? Good grief what a bad season.

Here's my idea. For all that Nelson has done for OKC, you'd have to think he's one of the first on the list to replace a sinking Tom Renney. The Renney era is coming to a close and why not roll with Nelson at the helm?

His first season he helped the Barons make the playoffs. This year, he's helping this team be champions.

I say if and when Tom Renney is fired. I'd take a long serious look at hiring Todd Nelson. He's earned a look.

-Written by Smokin' Ray Burnt-

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Can the Barons make it to the postseason?

With the Barons' roster not being complete, it hasn't stopped new head coach Todd Nelson having confidence in the new Organization. In the most recent "The Pipeline" article Barons' intern Chris Wescott had a Q &A with Coach Nelson. And reading through the article you get the feeling that Nelson is ready to hit the ground running. But what can Nelson do right now with only 2 players that will be playing in Oklahoma City next season? Nelson was brought in too late in the game to have any input on who is going to play here. But it hasn't stopped him from not having the utmost confidence in the Oilers' choice for players for OKC. Also in the article he stats that:
"My expectations are to have a very competitive team and vie for the Calder Cup. And it's one thing that every team in the American League has for expectations. But, with the people we've signed as free agents and also the young talent through the draft process, I think that it's a pretty believable thing."
His statement to Wescott speaks volumes on how hard Nelson wants to get a winning tradition back to Oklahoma City. Can the Barons' repeat what the Stars did last season, by making it to the Calder Cup Finals? It's a lofty goal to get to the finals in year one, but just making it to the post season should be the Barons' goal for this first season. And only time will tell on how successful Nelson will be with the Barons' in the first season.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oilers Steal Barons Thunder? (News From Today)

Today the Oklahoma City Barons held a press conference to announce the new Head Coach, Todd Nelson and his assistant coach, Gerry Fleming.

Once again the Barons put on a great event. They were quick and to the point and followed that up with a Q & A session with the media.

By all accounts, the Barons should be very happy with having a guy like Nelson on board. From the reports and information I have gathered, he seems like a smart and passionate man for hockey. Todd Nelson will be an awesome coach in OKC. The Barons are lucky to have him.

Gerry Fleming was also hired/retained as Nelson's assistant coach. Fleming has been with the Oilers (Falcons) for the past couple years and is no stranger to the Oilers system. The Oilers must like him as he was the only minor league guy to not be fired. Good for Gerry. Just like with Todd, the Barons and their fans are lucky to have a guy like Gerry.

Now what's this Oilers steal Barons thunder thing?

The Barons had planned this PC for a couple of days and had the fans interest peaked, mine included. Just as the conference was starting to get rolling, the Oilers decide that they needed to rise above what the Barons are doing and they announced their assistant coaches at the exact time Bob Funk Jr was getting up to speak.

Go to 2:32pm in the TweetCast box. Proof is there.

How sad is that? Your own baby club is about to announce their "big surprise" when, what the hell? Let's announce our own news. way to market your brand. I really hope the Oilers don't screw this up with the Barons, I like them and I want them to succeed.


The TweetCast went well today thanks to Eric and Scott as they provided some great pictures and tweets. It was also nice for me as I was able to sit down and chat with a few of the loyal readers about the Barons and Oilers at the Cover It Live box. It's always nice to talk to the readers. Thanks to those who stopped by, we value your opinions.


Back to the Edmonton Oilers. Like I said above, they announced their assistant coaches today. No surprises, Kelly Buchberger is welcomed back to the fold. Bucky was on the ice last week for the Oilers Rookie Development camp and we all knew he would be doing something with the Oil this year.

The other man they bring back is Steve Smith. Yes, that Steve Smith. While he has no real experience as a coach, he gets a job with the Oilers and not the Barons. Puzzling. Don't newbies start at the bottom? Not in the old boys club. Both of these hirings have Kevin Lowe stink all over them.This couldn't have been Renney's or Tamby's choice. Could they?

I can not believe that Steve Smith is an Oiler once again.

-Written By Smokin' Ray-

It's Official! Todd Nelson is Head Coach of OKC Barons

Well thanks to the boys (@OilFieldHockey and @AHLBarons) that went down to the OKC Barons Press Conference. Great job as always Scott and Eric!

Todd Nelson has been named the Head Coach of the Oklahoma City Barons. Wooooo! A coach is in place.

Gerry Fleming has also been named as Assistant Coach. Fleming has been with the Oilers for a few years now and will continue his coaching/teaching with the Oilers kids.

Stay tuned for a recap of today's events.

-Written by Smokin' Ray-

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