Columbus Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock thinks the Edmonton Oilers have a very solid combination with the hiring of Pat Quinn and Tom Renney.
Talking to the Edmonton Journal, Hitchcock knows both coaches very well and feels the young Oilers team will greatly benefit from the duo.
“The thing that I learned most from working with Pat is he creates this culture with his staff and his players that you don’t want to let him down,” said Hitchcock.
“I believe that will come out in Edmonton.”
Hitchcock knows this first-hand from serving under Quinn as an assistant coach on the 2002 and 2006 Canadian Olympic teams and the Canadian 2004 World Cup of Hockey team.
“He treats you so well, his coaches and his players. He treats the players with so much respect. He gives you lots of rope, and in some cases he gives you enough to hang yourself if you don’t co-operate.”
Hitchcock then mentioned that Quinn “expects it back in spades” in regards to the players effort on the ice and the work of his staff.
Hitchcock had some memorable coaching battles against Quinn when he was behind the Philadelphia Flyers’ bench and Quinn was the Toronto Maple Leafs’ coach.
He views Quinn as “a big picture guy” who likes to delegate and has a history of defending his players to the hilt.
Hitchcock’s history with Renney goes back almost two decades.
Hitchcock had a say in the hiring of Renney as his successor to coach the Kamloops Blazers (WHL) when Hitchcock left for the pros.
He feels Renney will definitely complement Quinn, feeling that he will focus more on the tactical and teaching aspects to go with Quinn’s uptempo puck-movement strategies.
“Tom is one of the best strategy guys in the league,” Hitchcock said.
“I think they’ll be a great pair. He’ll enhance Pat’s program there.”