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Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Gulutzan expects big changes for the Oilers style of play this season

Never forget that time the Oilers hired their arch rivals’ head coach as an assistant coach. In an uncommon move, I’m very excited to see Gulutzan behind the Oilers bench and implement some of his new ideas. 

In fact, the former Calgary Flames coach spoke with Bob Stauffer on 630 CHED yesterday on some of this thoughts on how the Oilers will look to play this upcoming season. Obviously Glen didn’t get down to the whiteboard drawings, but he gave some good insight on what he imagines the new Oilers play to look like.

There are going to be some visible changes a little bit in style of play. Obviously, Trent is taking over the penalty kill and I think there will be some changes there. But in the 5-on-5 play is probably where we’re going to go with things that are going to speed up the rate at which we play.

Glen said that there will be some “concrete changes” being made for the season, and the biggest change was actually brought to the table by Todd himself. I admire Todd as a coach and how he’s approached the new coaches so far. In a mini press conference Todd had at the Mark Spector Classic golf tournament a couple weeks ago, Todd explained the following:

I haven’t shared my thoughts on a lot of players to the new coaching staff. I want them to formulate opinions. They’re all experienced, they’re all tremendous individuals and they’ll create their own sets of relationships with the players.

You can read more about that press conference here. This tells me that Todd is checking his ego at the door, and isn’t worried about any of these new guys replacing him in the long-run. Todd’s here to make the team better, and acknowledges that Glen Gulutzan, Trent Yawney, and Manny Viveiros have a lot of skills & experience to bring to the table in order to help him help the team.

Anyways, back to Glen

Mandatory Credit: BRUCE FEDYCK-USA TODAY SPORTS

Glen Gulutzan seems very excited to join the Oilers bench and I think we’re all feeling the same way. Glen spoke about how speed in the NHL plays a giant factor in winning and losing. The Oilers definitely need to improve in this area.

Without going too deep into it, probably one of the bigger changes that I’ve seen in the National Hockey League, we’re going to change a little bit here. We think it’s really going to speed up our pace of play.

As someone who finds in-depth NHL coaching strategy fascinating, I’m really curious to see how the new coaching staff plans on turning the Edmonton Oilers roster into a faster team. I think we have a lot of potential to be a fast team up and down the ice, but we haven’t done a good job utilizing some speed of our players. (Besides Connor, obviously). I’m completely on board with the Oilers playoff hype train right now, and I’m very excited to watch the teams strategy transform. Regarding other areas of improvement for the Oilers, Gulutzan had this to say:

Maybe our transition, forecheck and the way we defend. It’s not anything too different than maybe two or three teams have employed throughout our League but we think it’s going to suit our guys really well.

This is an important line because Gulutzan is pushing the importance of finding a strategy that properly suits the current roster that we have. The new guys aren’t going to force a strategy into the dressing room that won’t fit with the players who are going to be executing it. The new coaches will take their time to learn the team in-and-out, and enforce their strategy from there.

Friendly reminder that there’s only 57 days until the Oilers home opener!

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  • Leichs

    Totally off topic here, but I see Carolina is doing a fan vote for their goal song for this year. I really wish the Oilers would do something like this for us as our goal songs over the past few years have been absolutely terrible. Last years song was seriously so bad.. Would love if we used the Eskimos td song for our goal song, always gets me fired uppp

  • TKB2677

    I didn’t mind the goal song but I would like to see the Oilers play a song that the fans could sing along too to get them into it. The song listed below as an example. They could play the chorus once as per the singer, then it repeats itself multiple times so you could quiet out the music and have the fans yell “Hell Yeah” . Something to get the fans involved.

    Or

    I personally would love it if they had a song for each Oiler and play it when they score. You could have the player pick his own song.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Vancouver is doing that… but that’s Vancouver, they need goal songs, or whatever else is needed…
      We just need to start scoring lots & more than the other teams that come in… The frantic cheering & elation will be friggin music to our ears… No goal songs needed…

  • Aadvarkian Abakeneezer

    Interesting comments for a guy who lost his job in Calgary because of his inflexible player usage and systems that didn’t suit the roster.

  • Abagofpucks

    Thing is if the flames goalie dosent get hurt last year and in turn exposes their defense they would have most likely made the post season. Plus gully didnt have enough secondary scoring in his lineup, Not his fault, And thats why he got run outta town. He should be fine with us as an assistant coach im sure.

    • Kneedroptalbot

      Their best player, had hip surgery, groin surgery, and wrist reconstruction work.
      Probably would have made the playoffs if they didn’t rush Mike Smith back too.

  • Kr55

    Hope it means less wingers standing still just inside the blue line waiting for pucks ringing around the boards. And less guys camping out at the offensive blue line looking for the lame stretch pass tip into the zone.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Hey, that sounds like what Gretz used to do?
      But there was a 2 line pass whistle in those days, and no body else did it before him, so it worked.

  • Oilers have a long history of playing an up-tempo game, except for last season. A return to fast hockey is probably welcome by most fans, but do the Oilers have fast players? What did Chiarelli build?
    I would suit the style of play to the players.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Yeah, hey, is it just me? Or in our recent playoff year, wasn’t the rest of the league praising the Oilers about their “fast style of play”? Then, last season we were touted as one of the slowest in the league. What happened that can’t be fixed.
      And don’t say Lucic…

      • Randaman

        The slowness of the team last year was directly connected to our useless break out plays and not having D that excel at moving the puck quickly. Hopefully they have been working on this.

  • Burnward

    As a Flames fan…I am beyond excited he is taking his “talents” to Edmonton.

    Enjoy lackluster special teams, insane player deployment and stubborn “look at how smart I am. NO LOOK! I’M SUUPER SMART” coaching.

    Great hire.

      • Daryl Katz

        Ya Bill Peters is NOT an improvement over Gulutzen, though if it makes Flames fans feel better well that’s the main thing, hey? His lackluster coaching is exactly what the Flames need isn’t it? LOL

    • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

      Meh, I’ll take home over Hurricanes 2.0 you got going on down there. I’m sure Noah, Derek, Bill, and Elias will help the Flames with their playoff experience lol

    • Burnward

      I’m just giving you a heads up.
      – Brouwer on PP1 for half a season
      – Hamilton on PP2 for half a season
      – Johnny stapled to the left wall on the PP
      – Didn’t adjust D pairings ONCE, even though it was evident early on Brodie/Hamonic were struggling
      – Unwilling to give Bennett, the first ranked skater from his draft, any opportunities to play with skilled players or PP time
      – The stick throwing theatre
      – Didn’t address the team during or after games by reports
      – Lost the team with 20 games to go

      He may be good for you guys, but he was our Eakins.

  • OriginalPouzar

    Well, he isn’t really saying anything all that innovative or surprising. The fanbase as a whole knows that the Oilers “played too slow” last year – this isn’t skating slow per se but not moving the puck quick enough – too much D to D and rests – both safe plays but both kill the transition game.

    With that said, I don’t think the team was coached to play that way last year, that is, they weren’t coached to make the safe but slow play as the first option but only if there was no primary option up the ice. To me, it was more of a personnel issue than a systems issue – the players weren’t able to make that quick and efficient transition pass (although the forwards were generally too high – that could have been coaching).

    Getting their two best puck movers (by pass) back should help big time. Sure, Klef was in the lineup but he was a shadow of himself. Sekera back healthier will be a massive plus as well.

  • Abagofpucks

    Hey burnward im glad your so happy about us having your ex coach as an assistant here. His coaching did get your team to the playoffs and it should have been twice, Now you have peters he’s never coached a team to the playoffs, He was in carolina floundering for 4 years straight im sure their happy you have him now lol.

  • The Swarm

    Gulutzan’s demeanor does remind of Eakins. The “it’s all about me” attitude even before he’s accomplished anything. Plus the hair is equally impressive. This should scare everyone.

  • hagar

    At this point coaching needs as much of random “push” as the players do. Couldnt be worse than watching the same thing over and over that failed like last years coaches.
    Maybe he will be the one that sees things like we do, and questions why nobody in power does.
    Doesnt seem like anyone else has the power to change things, so i doubt he will, but cant be worse i dont think?