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April 8, 2012 | 10:20am ET
Is it over for coach Renney?
TheFourthPeriod.com

Though Oilers coach Tom Renney has made is to the end of an NHL season in the final year of his contract for the first time in his career, there is no guarantee he will return behind the team's bench next season.

According to the Edmonton Journal, Renney and his coaching staff, which includes Ralph Krueger, Kelly Buchberger, Steve Smith and Fred Chabot, don't have deals in place for next year, and the coach himself mentioned that he has had no indication whether they will return or if Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks was their last act as a group with the Oilers.

While the Oilers have finished in 14th place in the Western Conference and missed out on the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season, Renney is able to see some positive in his stint with the club.

"If I'm going to make an honest assessment, certainly the young players have grown ... I think the player development has been really good," he said. "If you look at various parts of our team, there's improvement for sure, but if you take our start and our finish and sandwich that with the three months in the middle, which is significant, we weren't good enough.

"There's lots of reasons why. I won't go there (to break them down). I'll let your judgment determine that. Bottom line: We're an improved team."

In the meantime, Renney, a former Canadian Olympic and national team coach, is open to the idea of coaching Canada's entry at the imminent World championships and has also encouraged his players, health permitting, to accept opportunities to play for their respected home countries.

As for Oilers GM Steve Tambellini, there still hasn't been an announcement on a contract extension, either, despite speculation suggesting that he was getting a new deal several months ago.

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