It appears Ken Holland has already made his first major decision as general manager of the Edmonton Oilers. Ken Hitchcock will reportedly not be returning as the head coach of the Oilers and the team will now begin a search for his replacement.
Not surprisingly, the Oilers will replace Ken Hitchcock as head coach. Decent possibility Hitchcock stays on as an advisor.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 7, 2019
This doesn’t really come as much of a surprise as the Oilers didn’t see much success last season with Hitchcock behind the bench. The Oilers got off to a hot start when Hitchcock replaced Todd McLellan in November but ultimately collapsed as time went along. The team apparently didn’t thrive under Hitchcock’s tough, old-school style and one would assume the organization will now look to find a more new-school coach to gel with their younger players.
As Darren Dreger reports, Hitchcock could stay with the organization as an advisor. I’m not sure what role it would be, whether in player development, upper management, or as some kind of roving advisor or instructor, but I figure Hitchcock’s vast array of experience and brilliant hockey mind would be of value in the organization, even if time has passed him by as a coach. Another thing to remember, Hitchcock is still under contract with the Oilers for another couple of years, so if they’re going to be paying him, I’m sure Darryl Katz would, at the very least, like to get some bang for his buck.