Todd McLellan will remain the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, but his assistants will be completely different next year.
We already knew that Jay Woodcroft was promoted/demoted to the AHL. I say promoted/demoted because while he’s coaching at a lower level, he’s going to be in a head coaching role. Today, the team announced that Ian Herbers and Jim Johnson had been relieved of their duties and that McLellan will stay as head coach for 2018-19.
Johnson has a wealth of assistant coaching experience at the NHL level, serving as McLellan’s assistant in San Jose. Herbers coached the University of Alberta Golden Bears and saw incredible success at the CIS level. This opens room on the bench for Glen Gulutzan and Trent Yawney, two recently-fired coaches who have been rumoured to be joining McLellan’s staff.
There isn’t much surprise that the Oilers wanted to shake things up on the bench after last season. The team struggled mightily with special teams and they generally underachieved dramatically given the talent on their roster. I don’t know if the coaches are fully to blame, but it seemed inevitable that after a season like 2017-18, things were going to change.
McLellan commented on the changes as well:
"Decisions have been made & we've got to move on & improve as a hockey club. Everyone involved in the organization has to get better." Coach McLellan on today's #Oilers coaching changes
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) April 27, 2018