Elliotte Friedman speculates about Paul Coffey becoming Oilers coach

Elliotte Friedman dropped some bombs on his 31 Thoughts Podcast this past week by bringing up the potential for recent hire and former Oilers legend, Paul Coffey, to join the Oilers coaching staff.

Friedman is obviously a very legitimate and respected reporter in the league so this coming from him makes me all tingly inside. Twitter man @akaRCN has a good recap of the conversation below.

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As we all know, Paul Coffey was hired earlier in the year after the Oilers season took a final turn for the worst. He was brought on as a skills coach to assist in practices and with special teams. Bringing on another player from the Old Boys Club was a move straight out of the Oilers playbook, and we haven’t seen any dramatic progress from the move in the short time since he was hired.

There’s been a lot of speculation on what types of moves are going to happen this summer with the Oilers. Is Chia going to be fired? Is McLellan going to be fired? Is Klefbom going to be traded? Anything can happen. Personally I would rather see Chia replaced than McLellan, but Friedman obviously thinks something different will happen.

What's next for the Edmonton Oilers?

In my mind it’s a horrific move to put him in a head coach position. He has absolutely no experience and it doesn’t make any sense at all. I suppose it wouldn’t be a terrible decision to try him as an assistant, as long as Todd remains at the top! Friedman has specified that he doesn’t know specifically where on the coaching roster he could sit, so that is still up in the air.

Do you think it’s a good idea to bring Coffey onto the bench? Let me know in the comments.

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  • Drinking my Oilers problems away...

    “Who’s making the call? Is it Katz, is it Nicholson, is it Chiarelli, is it Wayne Gretzky, is it somebody else?”

    That’s the scariest thing I’ve heard about this team in awhile. How screwed are we if this turns out to be true. I’m assuming there’s more to that quote cause I don’t take Friedman as the spit balling type, he’s usually in the know. As for Coffey being in a coaching capacity, that idea should go straight to the toilet where it came from if they are even remotely considering that idea…

    • Goawaytrudeau

      Paul Coffey isn’t only one of the best PLAYERS of all time, he has 2 of the greatest gifts a coach needs to be successful: (1) he has one of the great hockey minds of all time and if he can pass that off to anyone in the locker room it would do nothing but make the team as a whole and as an individual player better, and (2) he has the gift of being direct, telling it like it is and a no nonsense behaviour to everything in his life. This is exactly what very young millionaires need, he will make them learn that nobody cares if you’re making $10M or $1K, you have to win every puck battle to win as a team!…..good luck finding anyone who is better with those gifts….

      • NoBuBlackOPS

        Just because he’s a great hockey mind doesn’t mean he’s going to be a great coach. Gretzky is a great hockey mind look how well that turned out for him in ARI/PHX. I agree with your second point he’s does seem like a nonsense tell it like it is kinda guy. I don’t think he should be named head coach maybe an assistant coach or possibly an associate coach till he gets experience than name him the head coach.

  • Johnnymaced

    No it doesn’t make any sense. All the blame for this team’s success lies with Chiarelli. Its his team. He drained the talent on this team, he hogtied the future, he did NOTHING WITH MCDAVIDS LAST YEAR ELC and he has turned an oilers Ferrari into an f150 the same year that the NHL finally paved all the roads and filled all the potholes. He’s gotta go. Although, honestly, I fear the damage he’s done can’t be fixed while McDavid is in his prime. Inexcusable performance. I could have done better. So could you.

  • BrandieBear

    I think that moving him into a mentor or assistant role is fine. Anything beyond that is a huge gamble. Given that he has no experience coaching I would like to hope they don’t explore that route. That being said no one actually knows who’s in charge And if that’s the case then no one is going to be able to fix any of the teams problems. It’s a three ring circus with the oilers leadership right now

  • Harry2

    How could it get any worse? Dead last in PK and PP. Friedman is doing his job and stoking the fire. Anyone with some common sense here knows MacLellan will not be replaced by Coffey.

  • camdog

    Oilers management is responsible for trading 7 of the top 30 point getters in league. Those guys generally don’t even get traded. In Oilerland anything is possible.

  • What-a-Mike

    I know that Oilers Brass has been awful this year but… IMO…Paul Coffey will not be the next head coach of the Oilers. McLellan will get the nod to start the season unless he balks at having assistants changed. I would like to think that if McLellan goes then the Oilers will quickly hire a guy like say Dave Tippett. Paul Coffey I think will be added as a direct involved asst coach though….and/or immediately replace Fleming in the AHL who has been awful with non real development of the youngsters/prospects. The Oilers have the team and Ice District as being too important to stunt or waver the early McDavid years. I believe that Chiarelli is now on the chopping block as GM and his next actions (along with the Pro and Amateur Scouts) will be chaperoned…. meaning he will have to fully detail and explain what he wishes to try next…before he does anything. If Coffey is to become head coach now without experience and the upcoming summer then goes the same way or worse than this past summer with non=good trades/player pick-ups (I.e: losing deals or giving away assets) then I for one will have to seriously rethink of my loyalty/allegiance to this team since 1979-80.

    • Deported to Ottawa

      I was a season ticket holder from the WHA days through the third cup victory. Work took me away but I’ve never lost my love for the Oilers.

      If this team doesn’t improve drastically next year or they put a good old boy in charge I’m done. I won’t replace them with another team. I just won’t care anymore.

  • elliotsmom

    I would like to see Chia replaced. He has weakened the team in every position. He took fliers on unproven players and signed unreasonable contracts to Looch and Russell. There is no doubt in my mind that he has failed the team and the Oilers organization. I will never be convinced that Chia hired Coffey. That has the “Old Boys” fingerprints all over it. Chia only announced it. I think there we will see Coffey behind the bench, but only as a special team coach. If the Oilers can pick up Trotz from Washington, or Quenville from Chicago in the off season we will have a new coach, if not McLellan will still be head coach next season. I have a feeling that Gretzky will be Chias’ replacement.

    • Spydyr

      If i’m Katz I would go after the Lightning and Nashville scouts. Offer them twice their current salary. He has the money. The thing is he is more interested and hanging out with his ’80’s heroes and treating our beloved Oilers like a play toy.

      • fasteddy

        You say Nashville scouts….have you actually looked at their drafting? Take a look and tell me they’ve drafted more impactful players than anyone else; (hint; they haven’t).

      • BobbyCanuck

        Sorry our beloved Oilers are owned by a billionaire, this and all other billionaires buy sports teams so they can have a distraction and some amusement, which helps them forget the pain and suffering caused by them having to work so hard to become billionares

  • Svart kaffe

    If I lived in Edmonton there would be no way I’d buy season tickets next year if Gretzky and Coffey is behind the bench. I’m not saying they can’t coach or turn this ship around, but let’s prove it before throwing money at this franchise.

  • Spydyr

    It is the Oilers way during the Katz era. Assistant coach for the power play sure why not try it. Head coach with no experience. Absolutely not.

    Will Katz make him head coach….it just might happen.

  • Old school

    It always amuses me that everyone blames Woodcroft for the powe play woes but Todd gets a free ride ? How is the head coach who hired Woodcroft not accountable ? This is a results business.. if Woodcroft isn’t doing the job replace him that’s your job Todd . The fact is Todd hasn’t been able to fix or adapt to anything because he doesn’t know what to do . Likely Coffey could be hired as an assistant coach to inevitably replace Todd 30 games into the season as interim coach when the oilers fail to compete again next year .

  • Heschultzhescores

    No. Even the Oilers aren’t that dumb. Coffey was a great offensive talent, his defense was always suspect. We already are the worst team in our own zone. Coffey is not qualified as are most of the 80’s Oilers. NONE of them have proven they can win off the ice. It’s a very different game behind a bench. Gretz proved that.

  • hootoil

    The Oilers may achieve the best league record for the last 20 games. This may be enough to keep the whole staff. Maybe the first 60 games or so didn’t count? LOL

  • Deported to Ottawa

    Absolutely NO! The old boys club screwed the franchise for years.

    As for Chia, well, let’s just say coaches get the players they’re given. If anyone gets walking papers it should be Chia.

    As for Katz he should’ve learned by now to stay out of hockey operations. He builds great arenas but his hockey decisions are terrible.

  • puckle-head

    I would like both McClellan and Chiarelli gone… but it seems like keeping chiarelli and replacing McLellan with Coffey would be worse than doing nothing….

  • Afc Wimbledon

    In hockey as in soccer good players always make lousy coaches, its the untalented low tier grinders that make good coaches generally, I suspect as they have had to work harder listen more and struggle more to even get onto the 4th line of a lousy team they have better self awareness.
    Great players have no idea why they’re great, it’s as much god given talent as hard work, and so they lack the insight and generally have had a team built around their skills rather than having to adapt to the team.

  • toprightcorner

    I think Coffey was hired to at minimum be an assistant coach but be in the press box. If there was good improvement on the PP in the last half of the season, that is where he would likely be. With the PP still sucking the teet, I see him as a bench coach running the defense and the PP. He will focus on helping Klefbom, Nurse and Benning reach their offensive potential and when to skate the puck up, when to pass and when to join the rush and also the help decide if the Oilers can fill their offensive dman hole internally or not.

    No chance what so ever will he be hired to be head coach, he is only an assistant with his sons midget team and has zilch for head coaching experience. Could he become the head coach in 5 years??? Sure. Coffey was one of the best puck transfering dmen in history, whether it be a pass or skating, He could do it.