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:     

  • This team needs not only a major management shake-up which is long overdue, but also a major player shake-up. I’d put Eberle on the block and see what is out there coupled with JSchultz unless Petry is refusing to sign. This mix of players doesn’t cut it.

  • Spydyr

    I almost got excited to see Chabot go until I saw who we hired. Can we just hire one staff member with some NHL experience? This is tanking at it’s finest.

  • 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.

    • Spydyr

      Firing Chabot is just a distraction. It makes management look like they are doing something.

      Man, you guys (management) are really a bunch of dumbasses. Remember last year when Duby got traded to Nashville and all the reports were coming out that he had many glaring bad habits in his game. Do you think that might have been a good time to start looking into the issue? You could have had the whole summer to come up with a solution. Instead you sit on your hands and now make a decision mid-season. What a bunch of fools.

      I can’t wait to see the rest of the bold moves this team has in store for us. Have you guys thought about changing form Berry Gatorade to Grape flavour yet? Maybe you guys should start using green pucks at practice……you know green is the colour of geniuses right.

      This organization is a joke.

      • Spydyr

        Definitely a distraction. Surprised that
        MacT didn’t call a presser to announce that all is well… Cabot fired and superstar Acton traded to Vancouver.
        “These changes should put us in good shape heading out the next roadtrip.”

        PS… I know MacT might not be the sharpest knive in the drawer, but he is smart enough not get within a mile of a mic right now.

  • oilerjed

    Getting rid of MacT is a waste of time until Lowe has been canned and he has been given a chance to right this team without interference. The decisions that are making us shake our heads are the same type that have occured frequently before MacT got here(again). Until Lowe is gone I’m not sure how much of this can be laid at his door yet. Who knows, other then the rookie mistakes from Eakins, all of his other crazy roster “decisions” may have actually been dictated by 6 rings. Fix the biggest hole to see if the small ones are actually leaking. Then plug them one at a time.

    I actually felt a little bad for the Oil as they made that walk of shame. Not that it wasnt totally deseved but that must have been difficult to do and not respond.

    • Gilmore Tuttle

      MacT was the one who started this mess before he was “resigned”. Why would he be the one to fix it other than he knew what he did?

      If the Oilers hadn’t lucked into the 2006 playoffs and then gone on a streak, the fans would be looking at almost 2 decades of no playoffs. Time has clouded fans memory of how unimpressive that 2006 season was until the end.

  • Nice work Nation. Pulling Strud’s article really was in poor form. He didn’t say anything other than “hey, player’s hear this kind of stuff and it stays with them” and yet the article was pulled for some reason.

  • 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.

  • There’s an article that caught my attention from earlier this year that was around the time of the Olympics. It was about a Finnish Goalie Coach, Upi Ylonen, and his methods of coaching and how effective it’s been for his goalie students over the years. I’m sure quite a few of you have read this article- as I most likely came across it through the social network of hockey discussion. Anyways, what I took away from the article most was Ylonen’s tactics of attacking the puck: being on your toes- rather than your heels, staying square to the puckholder and having the ability to out-wait the puckholder without regressing to the butterfly style which goalies tend to do. Us Oiler fans noticed our goalies dropping to that butterfly style way too early.

    Look out if you read this article. You’ll be crying for mentor Upi and his next Finnish protege!

  • Andy7190

    I’m not going to blame this all on Dallas but I still want him out of here
    I’d like to so Todd Nelson given the job as he seems to be able to coach winners and has coached most of these players already

    • Tikkanese

      After the “braintrusts” morning meeting. Lowe to MacT. Can you send Scotty out to the parking lot to see if there is any room under there? Heard with Freddy we are running out of room.Mact No problem bud, we can get a bigger bus. Just get Daryl to call city hall.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • Guy Lafleur

    All you fire Lowe people I just don’t get. How does firing Lowe make us a better hockey team tomorrow? Furthermore who do you suggest as a replacement? It’s easy to piss and moan. But never do I see anybody offering up a replacement. Funny how he doesn’t get credit for the success of the Oil kings when all the people put in place to make that franchise a success were hired by guess who. I’m not against a change. I just don’t see how it makes us better tomorrow.

    • Spydyr

      No one thinks firing Lowe will make the team better tomorrow.We are all looking at the past and hoping for a better future.Lowe’s record confirms his incompetence.Some of us want a fresh start from the top.With the best people available hired with no regard to past Oiler affiliations.

    • PEBOisONit

      We’re not worrying about tomorrow any more. We need to worry about next year, the year after that and the decade after that. Every decision this management team makes is clouded with arrogance and incompetence. They should NOT be allowed to make ANY more decisions!

  • pkam

    The Chabot firing sure seems like throwing a bone to the howling crowd trying to get some appeasement without really making any tough decisions about coaches and players.

    Chabot was a leftover from Tambo, which probably made it a lot easier for MacT. Now we have a rookie goalie coach so to speak, being promoted from the dub to the NHL. Seems like the equivalent of Draisitl.

  • Gilmore Tuttle

    Gregor, why would a long time goalie like Nikolai Khabibulin really need a goalie coach? Do you think Rekhabb would actually listen or care to fix things? He was just here for the pay cheque.

    And is Chabot really fired? The last big “firing” of multiple low level staff was a scam. They all got jobs elsewhere in the Rexall Sports organization.

  • 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.

  • Wax Man Riley

    I agree, the goaltender coach obviously sucked, why cant this oiler management team evaluate talent. They can seem to make the hard decisions when they should be made. maybe their intentions were to tank this season to get into the McDavid sweepstakes

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.