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.

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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.

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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.

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This move should have been made last spring/summer.

Recently by Jason Gregor:     

    • R U Kidding Me!


      Gregor says”This move should have been made last spring/summer.” The move that should have been made was to turf MacT, Lowe and Howson.

      At this point, with 9 years of fail on their resumes and zero progress (they are in 30th place FFS! – at the quarter pole of another lost season) there is no reasonable argument that these three losers should be employed in any capacity by an NHL team. Oh, excuse me, except the Oilers of course, who value cronyism and mediocrity above the success of the team and respect for their fanbase – who at the end of the day are footing the bill for this treehouse gongshow.

      Nothing changes until the three losers are gone.

    • Craig1981

      Yup, upper management is thinking this might settle down fans that “changes are being made” and they will back off the Fire Lowe mode…….

      …..I would like to the stadium to chant fire Lowe from puck drop next game……they can’t kick out everyone….and if they did it would look even better

  • Oiler63

    Its all in frustration but humour me.

    Its obvious Lowe and Mactavish and Katz for that matter don’t read ON.
    At least i dont think so. Not sure what it would cost to run a front page add in the Edmonton Sun, but lets see how many people would kick in the pay for this add, front page, demanding Katz to remove these two from power. They would have to see this, as it would the add nation wide.

    I would kick in 50.00. I spent more than that on remotes i have fired at the floor.

    Prop if you would , Trash if you wouldn’t and lets add it up. All in Fun, unless we have someone out there who could assist making it happen.

    I for one , want my tier 2 , diehard Oilers Fan voice heard somehow.

    • Gilmore Tuttle

      The Sun depends too much on hockey reporting to risk losing access to the team for their reporters and too much on Rexall advertising to risk losing that revenue. They would never agree to printing it citing some libel issues or some such tripe. There aren’t enough Dodge dealers in the city to make up the difference.

    • YEGFan

      Better yet, choose a charity, raise the money for that charity and centre the campaign around raising awareness to get hockey executives fired. If you get a following on websites like oilersnation and coppernblue and actually raise a decent amount of money, you can probably get a few articles in the papers, interviews on radio shows, and segments on local news. Raise enough money and you can probably get onto the more general sports websites and some national news networks.

      At least then the only winner from your efforts won’t be Sun Media…

      • Jason Gregor

        Good point. I would be up to it but would need some weight on my side
        if you know what i mean.

        For charity is an awesome idea. Thanks YEG.

        Need a few of us to do this and be all in.

        I want my team competitive again and my city not to be the laughing stock
        of pro-sports pretty much.

    • Tikkanese

      Scotty Bowman couldn’t coach this team anywhere near the playoffs either. I don’t like some of Eakins decisions either but he really doesn’t have much to work with. Especially on D and down the middle.

  • Guy Lafleur

    Jason, why does Edmonton media tip-toe around laying obvious blame where it squarely lies: Katz, LOWE, MacT, Eakins. Hasn’t it gotten to the point where it is obvious where the problems stem from. Do you media guys need to be careful with your words, so you don’t get banned or something?

    Brownlee stated it straight in a tweet last Saturday saying Eakins was the wrong guy and if MscT couldn’t admit that, then he is the wrong guy too.

    • 2004Z06

      Why is the media responsible for calling out the debacle that is the Oilers management group?

      Isn’t it the fans responsibility? The paying customer? Stop going to games, request a refund on tix, chant “fire Lowe” for a few minutes, write a letter to the Oilers, take out an ad in the local paper, start a social media page to organize a boycott of a game or a period.

      Take some initiative as a fan base and stop expecting media to fight the battle. It worked in Toronto and Vancouver!

      • 2004Z06

        I agree, the fans need to take a stand and do what they can to show their dissatisfaction (I don’t go to games, and I have actually written a letter as well). However, things have gotten so bad for so very long, I wanted to know why media can’t call Oil mgmt. for what they are? Which of course is that they’re a hot pile of incompetent steaming sh*t.

        Just asking why they simply don’t state the obvious, because it is just so painfully obvious.

        Well, maybe after the Oilers go 0-10 in their next games that will trigger the next firing.

        • 2004Z06

          Fair enough and I certainly wasn’t calling you out personally. I have not renewed my ticket packs, watched a game or purchased any merchandise in over 18 months.

          I told the organization point blank when they called asking about why I was no longer renewing.

          As long as there are asses in the seats, beer flowing and jerseys being purchased, there will be no significant changes. This team is Katz hobby. Not a legit business venture for him, just a springboard to his downtown realty dominance. That’s where the real money is!

  • R U Kidding Me!

    The only thing I can conclude from this never-ending buffoonery is the Oilers are trying for the best odds at McDavid.

    No management team could possibly be this inept, could they?

  • Prongers Promises

    I hate this move. Sure Chabot deserved to be fired, but doing it now just insults Scrivens and Fasth and destroys what little confidence they have left.

    This is blatant scapegoating.

    Firing Kevin Lowe needs to be the next move the Oilers make. I don’t want Lowe or MacT making the trades that need to be made.

    Let the new President of hockey ops clean house in the press box and in the locker room.

  • 24% body fat

    “Hey how would you like to be the new goalie coach for the oilers?”

    “Uh, I dont know, Hey listen, Ill get back to you. I have a guy on the other line about some white walls”

  • Spydyr

    It’s pretty obvious, mangement is feeling the pressure to do something. why go and get a centre now? Same reason, they are forced to make a change now and don’t want to address the real problem… management sucks.

  • Spydyr

    Hey Kevin, Hey Craig, Yes you know I’m talking to you….. Please for the sake of 500,000+ living souls of Edmonton, hand in your resignations! Now!!!! Not a moment longer Please! You know your boss is gutless to fire you, but you yourself are self-conscious person, you don’t want to overstay your welcome in Edmonton, take your cue and exit left, yes, that’s the right choice, go do it!!!

  • Gerald R. Ford

    They always wait too long to respond to every situation, and, when they finally do, it ends up looking like a cowardly moment of panic. Why? Because they’re the Oilers.

  • Motown Fisher

    I feel much more relaxed now that the Goalie coach is gone… Next we go after the trainers and team medical staff…

    Wait we did that…

    uh… Scoreboard operator and Zamboni Driver better be on the chopping block next or there will be **** to pay!

  • Lowe But Now High Expectations

    The Oilers PR is very similar to the way political parties operate. When a political party in power runs into trouble via bad decisions or scandal, you throw some junior minister or civil servant under the bus for what happened. Then you come out with some shiny new policy that attempts to deflect the public’s attention away.

    This is what the Oilers are doing. Firing Chabot is an attempt to deflect the fans attention from the real problems this team has. I guess you could say Chabot is now one of the “Boys Under The Bus”.