Quinn misses the action

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:28 AM ET

PENTICTON, B.C. -- Pat Quinn is more melancholy than mad.

Removed as head coach of the Edmonton Oilers last summer in Steve Tambellini’s off-season blood-letting, Quinn says he misses the action dearly.

“I haven’t been nearly involved to this point,” said Quinn, who’s been placed in an advisory role, but still isn’t sure yet what that role will entail. “When you turn pro in ‘63... it’s been my life, I have no hobbies or anything else. What I looked forward to was going to work every day, whether it was playing , managing, coaching, it didn’t matter. It has been a great life in that regard, so when it’s not there and you’re not busy every day and you don’t see something where you feel some meaning in it, then there’s a void. I want to have that feeling.

“I had it last year. There were lots of days where it was pretty sour, because we weren’t winning, we had a lot of tough things happen to us during the season, but at the same time each morning you get up and go and feel that renewal.

“I don’t want to go off into the sunset yet.”

Quinn, who arrived in Penticton for the prospects tournament, looks at the colts in Edmonton’s stable and wishes he could still be in charge.

“Certainly, that’s the stuff I’ve done before,” he said. “I’ve worked with those kids before, a few of them, anyway. But it’s a new page, certainly for me, anyway.”

No hard feelings, though.

“That’s all dead now, decisions were made and you move on, I’ve offered to help where I could, we’ll find out where that’s going to be,” he said, adding he hopes it’s a meaningful position. “I don’t want to carry bags. I can forsee a day when this team is growing and I want to be around and watch it and help wherever I can.”

Tambellini sees Quinn lending his experience all over the franchise.

“I can see participation with our young coaches in Oklahoma City, I can see participation with our player development program, interaction with coaches, there’s a lot of different areas for Pat. I’m not going to box him in, we’re just going to let it happen.”

Quinn, who always told the hard critical truth, even when it ruffled feathers, looks at the new kids on the block and says while it’s not always going to be a smooth ride, there’s enough talent there to turn this into something special.

“You can only speculate how they’ll fit in together,” he said. “I had Taylor (Hall) when he was a 16-year-old on the under 18 team, He was an excellent athlete then and you could tell his skills were going to put him in a good spot. The rest of the development has been good; you don’t win the best player in the Memorial Cup two years in a row... without growing in a lot of ways.”

“Jordan (Eberle) was a delight, I had him twice, at the Under-18 team and the World Championship team in Ottawa. This young man has tremendous skills and insight. He’s making another step, but he’s one of those guys who’s always made it. His intelligence is going to make a big difference for him.

“They need to continue to be challenged as well as supported. Things might not always go how exactly how you hope. Last year was certainly a challenge for the young guys who were there. They’ll be able to help the new guys coming in to weather the storms when they’re there.”


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