Why fire Chabot now?


The Edmonton Oilers fired goaltending coach Freddy Chabot earlier today and replaced him with Dustin Schwartz. This isn’t a surprise, but why did Craig MacTavish wait this long?

I wrote last spring that Chabot should have been let go so the Oilers could hire another coach. Under his direction multiple goalies have struggled.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Ilya Bryzgalov played well during his short stint in Edmonton, but Nikolai Khabibulin, Devan Dubnyk, Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth have been unable to play consistently.

I will never blame all of that on Chabot. The players play and they control their performance, but clearly whatever guidance or instructions Chabot was or wasn’t giving, didn’t work.

What I don’t understand is why general manager needed to see another 21 games of average goaltending to realize Chabot wasn’t the answer? Had they let him going in April they would have had four months to interview and talk to numerous candidates, but firing him now means they had fewer options to look at.


He played four seasons in the WHL for Medicine Hat and Red Deer, before playing five seasons for the U of A Golden Bears from 2001-2005.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

He was been a goalie coach in the AJHL, and he has been a goalie consultant for the Edmonton Oil Kings for the past four seasons.

He has been working with the OR Sports goaltending group under Lyle Mast.

Their website says…

“OR Sports founder Lyle Mast, has
studied and researched athletic performance to find the true mechanism
and training platform for optimum reactions and performance. The result
is an unprecedented program based on Head TrajectoryTM, that instantly impacts the goaltenders ability to perform optimally.”

Schwartz has worked with Ben Scrivens in the past and some other pro goalies, but this will be his first NHL job. Once again, the Oilers are adding more NHL inexperience. Schwartz might become an elite goaltending coach, but right now he is an unknown at the NHL level.

I’m not surprised Chabot had to go, but the timing of his firing confuses me. I don’t see why they needed to wait until the team was tied for 29th place, again, to make a move.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

This move should have been made last spring/summer.

Recently by Jason Gregor:     

    • Eberle4MVP

      Way too far. You should be ashamed. Hockey is a game. Cancer is serious, and to someone who is dealing with their mother-in-law suffering from stage 4 terminal cancer, I take exception.

      You should be so fortunate to never have to deal with cancer. But don’t ever compare it to a sport.

      You should be ashamed!

        • Eberle4MVP

          You survived. And well on you for that. Making fun of the terminally ill is not funny. I’m sure you would feel differently if you were given an expiration date instead of a chance to fight.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    That’s your pound of flesh, for the season. No matter how bad it gets this is the only mid season sacrifice that will be permitted. That should certainly shut up all of those whiney beotches.

    A dozen ushers have also been put on notice. Shape up or ship out, says Kevin Lowe.

    • TeddyTurnbuckle

      Last time there were sweeping changes under the direction of Kevin Lowe at the ‘Place, only Joey Moss survived the bloodletting. Trainer and equipment manager were bagged. I guess they are safe this time because only a couple or four man games have been lost due to injury this season..this is more due to the soft play of the oilers on ice than the trainer’s work for rehab.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I like how some are now saying Chabot was kept around to take the fall in case the goaltending sucked. Lol Waaaaaaaay too much credit for this management team. These guys are not sharp enough to even think about that. Just like the theory of a designed rebuild timed for the new arena… Lol again. These Buffoons would never be able to time success let alone find success. Time to realize the people in place are incompetent. Chabot was incompetent too so dont feel too sorry for him.

  • Guy Lafleur

    We have changed the players, the coaches, the GM, and we even took the pictures down from the dressing room wall.

    We have changed everything except for the one thing that matters.

    Replace Kevin Lowe.

  • 2004Z06

    So Belanger reinforces what we all know but too many are unwilling to accept. The CORE is the problem. Good thing everyone wants to give these guys letters! Justin Schultz, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle are toxic. If you need to keep Hall, send the message that no one is above the team and trade Schultz and Eberle.

    • DoubleDIon

      Unfortunately, Belanger — despite having the almost ideal resume when the Oilers signed him as a UFA — laid such a giant, juicy, turd with his on ice performance during his time here, that his individual credibility is hugely compromised.

      Doesn’t mean his observations are inaccurate, but Belanger does have an axe to grind here.

  • TeddyTurnbuckle

    Weak firing by the Oilers. Its obvious they needed a scapegoat and Chabot was the easy target. The only one left who hasn’t been fired before Kevin Lowe is Joey Moss.

  • DoubleDIon

    There is only one way we as oiler fans can make a change.

    We have seen this for they tell us 9 years but is it more,

    Stop going to games, stop buying merchandise, stop reading this blog.

    If you continue you are buying into the ABYSS OF THE EDMONTON OILERS the worst franchise in north America….yet still sending money to the US teams…….or are they now that the dollar has drop to 89 cents

  • R U Kidding Me!

    After MacT’s move today I can’t see any reason why all of the management team shouldn’t be fired. If Chabot wasn’t good enough they should have known and fired him in the summer and then they should have searched high and low to find the best goalie coach that Katz’ money could buy. It seems very unlikely that Schwartz was the best guy available considering the resources the oilers should have. Again MacT has gone with an inexperienced option when this team doesn’t need guys learning on the job.

    Fire Lowe, MacT, the assistant GMs, and Eakins.

  • Congo Powerarm

    The Oilers are so bad that they cannot even get the firing right. What good is firing the goalie coach when every part of the organization has failed to meet expectations for nearly a decade. I guess if losing and collecting #1 overall draft picks is our target, they would have achieved their expectations. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if the Oilers “lose” on the McDavid/Eichel sweepstakes since we’re so good at it.

  • Andy7190

    They fired Chabot to offer a blood sacrifice. He is only a very small part of the problem.

    The system the team plays leaves the goaltending exposed.

    But they don’t want to fire Eakins and his staff yet, for reasons unknown.

    Probably because MacTavish needs another body to throw under the bus later.

  • AlleyDalley

    “The Edmonton Oilers fired goaltending coach Freddy Chabot earlier today and replaced him with Dustin Schwartz. This isn’t a surprise, but why did Craig MacTavish wait this long?”

    The answer to that is fairly simple. This organization has consistently accepted failure. Staff is given chance after chance after chance, while those in charge just sit and hope for it to turn around.

    They only make a move when they HAVE to do something and when they do get to that point, they fire the lowest common denominator.

    If they weren’t ok with failure, their staff would be completely different.

  • Wax Man Riley

    There’s nothing bad in that article. I’m sure it was taken down for editing or because 2 articles were just released so they will wait for comments on those.

  • The Zod Prod

    I, too, read the article and it sums up exactly what I was thinking. These hockey players do not get to the NHL by not caring about their performances. Do they tune out a coach? Absolutely! Is that what is happening here? Only the players can answer that. But, by eye, they sure seem to not be listening, nor working, nearly hard enough.