Oilers hire Quinn, add Renney to staff

Updated: May 26, 2009, 6:43 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers are bringing Pat Quinn back to the NHL. He's bringing a gold medal along with him.

The Oilers hired Quinn as coach on Tuesday, hoping his success with Canada at the world junior championships earlier this year can translate to the pros. Quinn has been out of the league since being fired as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs following the 2005-06 season.

"If I think of leadership, I think of Pat," Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini said during a news conference. "If I think of the way you want to be treated as a player, I think of someone like Pat Quinn. If I think of someone who sets an example morally for an organization of how to go forward, I think of a man like Pat Quinn."

The Oilers also picked former Rangers coach Tom Renney as associate coach and retained longtime Oiler Kelly Buchberger on staff.

The Oilers will be the fifth NHL team coached by the 66-year-old Quinn, who succeeds the fired Craig MacTavish. The two-time NHL coach of the year has 657 career wins in 1,318 games behind the bench with Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Toronto.

"I'm very happy for this opportunity," Quinn said. "Hockey has been my life and I can't think of a better place to continue to work in what I consider to be the greatest job that a man can have."

Tambellini said the team needed a fresh start behind the bench when he fired MacTavish on April 15.

Tambellini is familiar with both Quinn and Renney from their days together in Vancouver with the Canucks. Quinn is a former GM and coach of the club while Renney got his first head coaching job there in 1996. He replaced Quinn, who had stepped out of the GM's office to fill in for the fired Rick Ley at the end of the previous season. Before joining the Oilers last summer, Tambellini spent several years in Vancouver's front office.

The Oilers had expected to challenge for the top of the Northwest Division this season but instead slid to 11th in the Western Conference with a record of 38-35-9 for a total of 85 points.

It was the fifth time in the last seven seasons that Edmonton failed to reach the postseason. In 2006, the Oilers lost to Carolina in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.

"The tradition is very, very important to this organization," Quinn said, "but I'm looking to the future obviously."

Quinn led the Leafs to conference finals apperances in 1999 and 2002 and also coached Canada to Olympic gold in 2002 at Salt Lake City.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com NHL writer Pierre LeBrun was used in this report.