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
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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