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May 21, 2012 | 1:44pm ET
Oilers looking for new coach
By Jimmy Kerr, Edmonton Correspondent
TheFourthPeriod.com

EDMONTON, AB -- After putting off the decision for several weeks as they evaluated their situation, the Edmonton Oilers announced this past Thursday that they were parting ways with their head coach.

The move follows a couple of disappointing seasons in which the team posted a 57-85-22 record, finishing last and second last, respectively, in the NHL.

Oilers GM Steve Tambellini said on Thursday that Tom Renney was a good coach who had done a good job for the organization, but hinted that he didn't think he was the guy that could take them to the next level.

"We just want to prepare us going into a phase here where we think we need to get to a different level of compete, a different level of competing for playoff spots," said Tambellini. "We've had some young people now that have been here for a couple of years, we've had some veterans that have underachieved for whatever reason, and expectations will increase, as they should."

Tambellini went as far as to say that the current roster needs to be a lot better in a number of areas, mentioning guys like Ales Hemsky, Devan Dubnyk and Nikolai Khabibulin by name.

"I guess that's the bottom line," he said, "we need to get better as an organization, better as a management staff, better as a coaching staff [and] better as players."

The Oilers say they hope to have a new coach hired by the draft on June 22, but that's not set in stone. Tambellini says he knows there will be a lot of speculation, but that they will be taking their time and going through the process to make sure they get it right.

He says he's heard the talk about Brent Sutter possibly joining the team, and had some complimentary words for another potential candidate in current Oilers assistant coach Ralph Krueger.

"He's had some head coaching experience, obviously with the Swiss national team, he's a capable man and he should deserve some attention to that," said Tambellini. "He's a quality guy."

It's setting up to be a busy summer for the Oil -- in addition to looking for a new coach, they've also got to decide what to do with the first overall pick at the draft and then it's free agent season.

As for Renney's future in hockey, Tambellini figures this isn't the last we've seen of him.

"Tom is a person that obviously is a legitimate head coach in the [NHL], and I'm sure he'll work again as a head coach soon."

Jimmy Kerr is the Edmonton Correspondent for TheFourthPeriod.com and covers the Oilers.


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