|Adam Robert Oates (right)
Born: 8.27.62 Weston, Ontario
Ronald Scott Stevens (left)
Born: 4.1.64 Kitchener, Ontario
When Peter DeBoer was fired just after Christmas, 2014, it opened the door for a unique situation.
I had equated the scenario to when John MacLean was fired in 2010: in both situations, Lou Lamoriello
wanted to turn to someone with whom he could trust in getting the team to play the right way. The
difference was that in 2014, Jacques Lemaire wasn't an option. (Let him have his retirement.) So he got
two someones; Oates handled the offense, while Stevens handled the defense. Both had served as an
assistant under DeBoer at one time or another.
When it came to game time, though, Lamoriello was also on the bench with those two. You could say
then that they were nothing more than glorified assistant coaches.
Things only got slightly better. Of the 175 goals that were scored on the season, 106 of them did get
scored while Oates was working with the offense, and only twice were they shut out, a common
occurrence in the prior couple seasons. And many people will note the improved play of Adam Larsson
after Stevens came in. However, some had noted that there was a trade off; Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill
were all but invisible. Well, inconsistency is bound to happen with young players, particularly young
Lamoriello did say that there would indeed be one coach for next season, and it wouldn't necessarily be
one of these two for the job. Ultimately, he left that task to Ray Shero.
As Shero chose John Hynes, Stevens became a studio analyst for the NHL Network for a season before
joining Bruce Boudreau's staff with the Minnesota Wild for 16-17, while Oates became an independent
skills coach. (Meaning he doesn't work for an NHL team. Just working with various NHL players.)
|Regular Season Statistics with the Franchise