Rob Daum Should Be Pi$$ed

The Oilers are set to name a new head coach for the Oklahoma City Barons. From the sounds of it Todd Nelson is the man who'll take the reigns.

Nelson has some experience in both the AHL and the NHL (as an assitant coach with the Thrashers) and from all accounts while he seems qualified for the role, isn't likely the first choice of Oilers GM Steve Tambellini. I have no good authority on this mind you, but it seems as though a bigger fish was on the radar and wasn't landed.

Who that bigger fish is or was we may never know, but according to the Edmonton Journal, Todd Nelson, who most recently was known in Edmonton for not getting hired for the coaching job with the Edmonton Oil Kings, will now be named as the first head coach of the Oklahoma City Barons tomorrow. I guess when you can't land your first or second choice, go with a backup plan for another team?

The end result is that Todd Nelson is about to inherit a much more quality team than any of his predecessors. The squads coached by Rob Daum, Jeff Truitt or Kelly Buchberger were just not very good. The way Steve Tambellini has been adding talent to this roster almost daily, Nelson may have fallen into a terrific situation.

Contrary to how it may sound, I have nothing against Todd Nelson. In all honesty, I know so little about him it would be unfair to pass judgement. What I do know is that it seems odd to me that if hiring for OKC wasn't a priority (it took quite some time to finally land a coach) or it was a priority and obtaining a viable head coach who was willing to relocate to OKC was going to be tough, why not give Daum one more season with the fresh new faces the Oilers have added to their minor league affiliate? It was bound to be that the team would see more success.

The only answer is that the Oilers saw Rob Daum as a problem and that no matter what team was iced and what coach was brought in to coach them, the Oilers wanted out. Adding the likes of defenceman Shawn Belle, Ben Ondrus who is a big AHL winger, Jake Taylor a solid minor league blueliner, and an abundance of minor league skill in Brad Moran and Alexandre Giroux, meant Daum and anyone else, including Nelson, would actually have the talent to give the Oilers AHL team a fighting chance.

Instead, it leaves Daum in a tricky place. He was let go too late to likely find a job to replace the one he though he'd be keeping and he's sitting at home watching his former club stack itself for a season in which the head coach, who likely wasn't the first choice, will have a long long leash.

Great for the Oilers, their farm team and Oklahoma fans. Probably not a great summer to say the least for former coach Rob Daum.


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