For a sanitized documentary approved by the team, the latest edition of Oil Change offered up some rather revealing stuff.
Like how Oilers brass might really feel about some their departed veterans.
It was pretty obvious from the way they cleaned house over the summer — and barred Sheldon Souray from training camp — that they weren’t happy with some of the leadership, but they never discussed specifics.
All we ever got were vague quotes about “heading in a new direction,” or “changing the culture.”
But the TSN program shed a little more light on the subject. Head coach Tom Renney addressed the players twice in Wednesday’s instalment of the series and both times in the behind-the-scenes footage made reference to the polluted culture here last season.
“There has been a bit of an entitlement impression here, thinking this is owed to you, or that you’ve done your time, give me the prize, give me the cookie,” he told a dressing room of new recruits.
“It doesn’t work that way. Culture is everything. We want good people here. We want people who are respectful of the opportunity they’ve got, respectful of the teammates they’re going to play with, respectful of the coaches.
“That’s environment, that’s culture. That’s what’s got to change here. That’s essential.”
Later on in the show, at a meeting of all staff members heading into main camp, he addressed the subject again.
“I think by the nature of how this summer went for our general manager, we’ve done some pretty significant things. The people who are in this room are the people who should be, quite honestly.
“The days of a poisonous environment are gone. A good attitude was sort of an overnight guest, from what I could gather, last year, from now on it’s in for a long term stay.”
The speech came immediately after a shot of Souray packing his sticks and pulling out of the Rexall Parking lot, but when asked about the quotes on Thursday, Renney said they weren’t aimed at anyone specific.
“Just the attitude in general and the negativity around it,” he said. “We all have a responsibility for our contributions to a contaminating effect in a sports environment. I really work hard to try and eliminate that, that’s just my coaching style.
“It’s not always rosy, it’s not always pretty, it’s not always exactly what you want, but it should be a place where they want to come to work.”