The Edmonton Coaching Gold Mine
We've seen it before.
Ed Olczyk coaches a team that is primed for a breakout, but he has been with them during their early struggles and by the time they are ready to win... they have a bit of a losing mentality with the current coach. Michel Therrien takes over and 'voila', he's a star coach who leads them to 47 wins. Just a great coach all of a sudden, right? No. I could have taken over that team and had that success.
Dale Tallon builds patiently through smart drafting and signing. He leaves a few faxes with an underling to take care of, and fails to follow up. After all, how could someone forget to fax contracts? He assumed it got done, and that turned out to be a mistake. He fell on the sword, which to me was honorable. Anyway, he gets fired. Stan Bowman takes over and 'voila' they win the Cup. Wow, what a great GM, right? No. I could have taken over that team and had that success.
The Oilers finish last year after year, stocking up on elite players. How many years in a row can a team add the best teenager in the world without moving into the playoffs? Probably five or six. Well, that's done now. Tom Renney is great with the kids, but a new coach will get them thinking 'win' every game. Let's call the new coach Mr. X. So Mr. X leads this team to 12th in the league in 2012-13, up from 29th. Wow! He should win the Jack Adams, right? Uh, no. I can coach the Oilers next year and move them up the standings.
Yes, I'm exaggerating, but I'm dead serious about the point of all this. Whoever coaches the Oilers next season will be hailed a hero, no matter how crappy he is. Was Therrien a good coach? No, Dan Bylsma had to come in and get them over the hump. But he was hailed a hero. Is Bowman a good GM? The jury is still out, but I'm not impressed with anything he has done...but he has a Cup ring.
Sometimes, it's all in the timing. Congratulations Mr. X on your 2013 Jack Adams nomination.