As a teenager I watched an absolutely ridiculous amount of professional wrestling. I still do, but it's down to four or five hours a month which is a far cry from my heyday where that would be a slow week. Anyway, I bring it up because every time I've heard Perry Pearn's name come up I've always just thought of Paul Pringle and chuckled a bit. If he becomes the next coach of the Edmonton Oilers, I'd like to hope that guys like Tom Gilbert and Sam Gagner make this same connection.
So what do we know about good old double P? He's been an assistant coach for a very. long. time. He spent 1995-96 as an assistant with the Jets, then eight seasons with Ottawa until the lockout and four seasons after the lockout with the New York Rangers until he was fired along with Tom Renney earlier this year. The last time Perry Pearn was a head coach was the 2003 Young Stars game where his team won 8-3 on the strength of Brian Sutherby's first and only three-point night in the NHL. Sutherby also won the MVP. Northern Alberta was proud that night.
Anyway... if you don't include the Young Stars game, his last head coaching gig was in 1994-95 with the Medecine Hat Tigers. Pearn also has a long history in Edmonton since he was the coach of the NAIT Ooks from 1978 to 1993. The Ooks won six CCHA national championships during this time which, if nothing else, was impressive enough to get him a gig as head coach of the world junior championship squad in 1993 which he led to a gold medal.
I've got to be honest about two things here. (1) I don't think Pearn will end up high on Tambellini's list. He's not coaching in the playoffs, he hasn't worked with Pearn in the past and he's never been a head coach in the NHL (or AHL!). (2) I don't want the Oilers to hire Perry Pearn for a number of reasons. The fact that the Rangers signed Wade Redden to a ludicrous contract is a bit worrisome since I'm sure they would've at least asked Pearn his opinion and judging by the Rangers actions... it was the wrong one. Here's Pearn on Redden after he signed with the Rangers:
"When good players like Wade were struggling, it wasn't because they had all of a sudden become bad players. But what happens in those situations is the guys who take the brunt of the criticism were the best players. And it didn't help that Wade was heading into free agency. When things aren't going well, it's easy to pick targets."
I know you can't be throwing a guy under the bus immediately after signing him to a huge contract but that kind of player evaluation is at least a bit worrying. Some Ranger fans seem to think Pearn was in charge of the power play. If so, well, that's not good news. The Rangers managed to finish 29th overall. Then there's the concern that he hasn't been a head coach in 13 years. I just can't believe Pearn could be the best option available and hope that Matheson just threw his name out because he knows Pearn would be interested (even if the Oilers aren't). If Perry Pearn does end up as the next head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, I think we might all look a bit like this: