If that last bit becomes a requirement from on high then Tom Renney is the next coach of the Edmonton Oilers and it's not as though I'm the first one to bring up the connection. Now Renney has had a couple of NHL jobs in the past so we'll go into the same comparison that we've used for Quinn and Crawford before him, namely, compare him to those coaches he immediately preceded or followed (hat tip for the methodology to the Contrarian Goaltender). Now Renney has been hired and fired twice each which gives us only four different situations to look at. This is a smaller sample than for either of the two previous coaches so it may be a bit less valuable. Still, let take a look:
The non-Renney coaches are Mike Keenan (63 games), Glen Sather (62 games), John Tortorella (21 games) and Pat Quinn (6 games). The difference between Renney and the others is pretty marginal so by this measure he looks like an average coach. It's worth noting that only three seasons of Renney's coaching career are eliminated using this method. They also happen to be his three best seasons, all with the Rangers. His points percentage in those three seasons was .591, a substantial leap up, so it's not as though he's been a consistently mediocre coach. I don't think this points to Renney being a great coach but neither do I think it points to him being particularly poor.
In terms of experience Renney and Tambellini have working together, Renney spent one and a half seasons as coach of the Canucks where they had no success. The two also would have worked together with Team Canada in 2004 and 2005 where Renney was an assistant coach. The two enjoyed a much greater degree of success winning gold in 2004 and silver in 2005.
Renney is generally considered a player's coach, a nice guy. Everyone and their dog used the phrase "no more Mr. Nice Guy" when he was replaced with John Tortorella though that might be more of a commentary on Tortorella than Renney. I'm not sure it's too relevant either way as it pertains to his status as a potential coach in Edmonton but if he gives the boys a lot of rope he may end up being disappointed if guys like Penner and Nilsson are as unresponsive as MacTavish made them out to be. Stylistically, Renney has (at least) one very interesting quality. Given the emphasis placed on Corsi numbers in a lot of the discussions I thought it would be good to look at this little piece from Renney in the 2006 playoffs (hat tip Blueshirt Bulletin):
"They have to shoot more, they overpass the puck. The concepts of attack are there, they're good. [The] bottom line is, when you're in the [playoffs] you've got to shoot the puck, go there, and try to do something with it beyond that. [There is] something certain players think they have to do in order to score, and that's to create an empty net. The only bad shot is the one you don't take. I'd like to see us shoot more."
The emphasis is mine but I do think this quote is pretty telling. Renney encourages his players to shoot, shoot, shoot. The high Corsi numbers the Rangers have posted in the past have, at times, led people to believe that they're getting a raw deal from the percentages. It would seem that at least some of their outshooting has been a strategic choice and that lower percentages might be expected. If Renney becomes the next head coach of the Edmonton Oilers the Corsi debate will get some interesting new evidence under the close and watchful eye of the Oilogosphere. Unfortunately (for research purposes), I don't think we'll get that chance. I really think that the biggest reason Renney's name is getting thrown out there are the Jagr rumours. He doesn't have a great track record in the NHL and the worst part of it came with the man in charge looking on. I wouldn't cry bloody murder if Renney were hired, but I wouldn't be excited either. Unless he brings Jagr.