May 26, 2009

The Edmonton Oilers hired Pat Quinn as coach on Tuesday, hoping his gold medal success with Canada at the world junior championships this year can translate to the pros.

Quinn has been out of the NFL 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 New York 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 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."

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 38-9-35.

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 the Stanley Cup finals.

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