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Paul Coffey to join Oilers coaching staff… or something

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Oilers could be getting close to bringing one of the good old boys back into the mix. McKenzie tweeted that Paul Coffey could be joining the Oilers organization “sooner rather than later.” In what role? It’s complicated.

I have to admit, this news is strange to me but at the same time it’s not. I knew that the Oilers were open to potentially adding someone to the coaching staff but I can’t say that I would have ever expected the name that would surface to be Paul Coffey. When Peter Chiarelli did his state of the union press tour of 2018 back on January 8th, he spoke to Ryan Rishaug about potentially adding someone to the coaching staff. He said:

“That’s a possibility. You want to surround yourself with the best people possible, so we’ve talked about that. I’ve talked to Todd about that. It’s something we’re looking at. Again, I’m not trying to throw you hints, Ryan, we’re looking at everything here.”

Did you wink and tap your nose when you said this? Anyway…

“We’re looking at personnel, we’re looking at the coaches, we’re looking at possibly adding help.”

Alright, raise your hand if you would have expected the coaching help that Chiarelli was talking about to come in the form of Oilers legend Paul Coffey? I wouldn’t have but, like I said, hiring an inexperienced legend from the glory days is the most Oilers move ever so I don’t know why anyone would be truly surprised. Is Chiarelli still in charge here, or is there something else going on? This doesn’t really seem like a Chiarelli choice, does it? But I guess what say he has in another story.

After digging around, there isn’t much coaching experience for Coffey aside from some minor league work and some consulting for the Coyotes from years ago, so I can’t help but scratch my head on this one. I mean, did the Oilers limit the search for help to guys that are in their group chat? I’m picturing a group chat called “Them Glory Boyz” where all the old boys are talking about life when Kevin pops into the mix with a, “Hey, Coff, you want a job or what?”

There’s no doubt in my mind that Paul Coffey is one of the greatest defencemen of all time, but that doesn’t necessarily make him an NHL coach. I guess I’m confused by ‘the process’ on this one. But since this is still just a rumour, albeit from a very reliable source, we’ll just have to wait and see what kind of role Coffey will actually be doing. Presumably something with the defence? Who knows. McKenzie cleared that up with another tweet (spoiler: he didn’t):

Alright, now I’m even more confused. Let me get this straight… Paul Coffey could MAYBE be joining the coaching staff in some kind of way but he can do it kinda when he wants or when the team wants? Or maybe he’ll be working in some super sneaky department that no one even knows about where the Oilers are trying to turn alien life into a puck moving defencemen!? Seriously, though, what is going on here? Personally, I believe McKenzie’s information so it will be interesting to see what the Oilers end up saying about this. I mean, it’s not like they’re exactly forthcoming with their info, but I assume part of the plan is to collect the entire 1984 roster.

As far as things the Oilers do that don’t really make sense this is another one to add to the list. I know that in business companies will generally hire the people they’re comfortable with, but the Oilers’ repeated drafting from the old boys club is on another level entirely. While I don’t think hiring Paul Coffey is going to hurt the team at all, I don’t see how his involvement in some who-knows-what-it-is-role will really help either. But maybe I’m wrong, maybe Paul Coffey will be the 80’s Oiler to finally bring this team back to glory. Or maybe we’ll have to wait for Jari Kurri to join the staff next year.

What do you guys think?

***UPDATE****

Paul Coffey was shown during a break in tonight’s game and it was confirmed that he was hired by the Edmonton Oilers. There will be a press conference tomorrow for the official announcement.


Source: Bob McKenzie, TSN/NBC, 1/20/2018, 12:22pm MST