Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers officially announce Dave Tippett as new head coach

In the least surprising news of the summer, the Edmonton Oilers have finally made the announcement that Dave Tippett will be the 16th bench boss in their NHL history.

Hasn’t it felt like the Oilers have been looking for a new head coach forever? It seems like a Willennium ago that Todd McLellan was replaced by Ken Hitchcock behind the bench after the Oilers got pumped by the Vegas Golden Knights on a Sunday night at Rogers Place. When Hitchcock came aboard, we all figured it was only a temporary solution and that he would be on his merry way once the season was over, leaving the door open for the next man tasked with righting the ship in Edmonton. Could Dave Tippett be that guy that leads the Oilers to glory? Could he finally be The Answer? For the eighth time since Pat Quinn (9th if you count MacT) was here in 2010, we’ve got a new sheriff in town.

After spending three years as an assistant coach in L.A., Dave Tippett got his first chance to run a bench with the Dallas Stars for the 2002-03 season. In the six years he coached there, Dallas made the playoffs in all but one season, including a trip to the Conference Finals in 2007-08. But after five straight years in the dance, the Stars missed out in 2008-09 which caused the organization to make a change, ending the Tippett in Texas era. That same summer, the Coyotes picked him up to be their new head coach, a position he held with the organization for the next eight years. As was the case in Dallas, Tippett found some immediate success in the desert. The Coyotes made the playoffs in each of his first three seasons with the club and even made an unexpected run to the Conference finals in 2011-12, but from there, the wheels fell off as the budget franchise spent the next five years on the outside looking in. Even so, missing the playoffs only five times straight times seems doesn’t seem so bad up here.

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In Edmonton, Tippett is going to have the calibre of forwards that he never came close to having in the desert. As Dusty wrote last week, the Coyotes’ leading scoring was a defenceman in four of the eight years that he was there and that’s a pretty wild stat to wrap your head around. With Phoenix/Arizona, Tippett had to get the most out of his McDavid-less teams that were not spending anywhere close to the cap and it forced him to really lock things down defensively, which is the style of play that most Oilers remember him for. So while I certainly expect him to coach a style that focuses on defence, I don’t know that he’ll have to go as full-trap with the Oilers as he did with the Coyotes. Then again, we’ll obviously have to wait and see what actually happens. All I know for sure is that this is arguably the most important coaching hire the Oilers have made in a long time and one that they had to get right, so there will be a lot of pressure on Tippett to move this thing forward.


Season Team GP W L T OTL Pct Result
2002-03 Dallas Stars 82 46 17 15 4 0.677 Lost in round 2
2003-04 Dallas Stars 82 41 26 13 2 0.591 Lost in round 1
2005-06 Dallas Stars 82 53 23 0 6 0.683 Lost in round 1
2006-07 Dallas Stars 82 50 25 0 7 0.652 Lost in round 1
2007-08 Dallas Stars 82 45 30 0 7 0.591 Lost in round 3
2008-09 Dallas Stars 82 36 35 0 11 0.506 Out of Playoffs
2009-10 Phoenix Coyotes 82 50 25 0 7 0.652 Lost in round 1
2010-11 Phoenix Coyotes 82 43 26 0 13 0.604 Lost in round 1
2011-12 Phoenix Coyotes 82 42 27 0 13 0.591 Lost in round 3
2012-13 Phoenix Coyotes 48 21 18 0 9 0.531 Out of Playoffs
2013-14 Phoenix Coyotes 82 37 30 0 15 0.543 Out of Playoffs
2014-15 Arizona Coyotes 82 24 50 0 8 0.341 Out of Playoffs
2015-16 Arizona Coyotes 82 35 39 0 8 0.476 Out of Playoffs
2016-17 Arizona Coyotes 82 30 42 0 10 0.427 Out of Playoffs

Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Team Site, 5/28/2019 – 11:01 am MST

      • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

        Oh I’m sorry. It’s just after 13 friggin years of sucking and misery, this team continues to play horizontal managerial hockey. Meaning that they’re not going anywhere. I don’t know what’s going to happen this season, but from his record in Arizona (who isn’t that different from Edmonton when he was coaching) he did zilch with them, aside from pulling a conference finals appearance out of his hat (like how we pulled a 2nd round appearance out of ours). If he shows me that we can good and competitive, then I’ll admit I’m wrong. But right now, these are lateral moves AT BEST!

        • TKB2677

          You are exhibit A of a section of Oilers fan who are negative for the sake of being negative. If you as a “fan” want to take a wait and see approach with the moves, that’s completely understandable and I don’t think anyone would blame you. But to call the team a joke after making moves when you have no clue if they are good or bad to me is just play silly. I echo what others said. If your automatic response to every single move is negative, I suggest you find another team because it’s clear nothing they do will please you. So save yourself the stress.

          • I think IF at some point in time, there is not a guy down the hall who “Knows a thing or two about winning” a large segment of the fan base will be appeased. Hatchet so far for a job that needed an axe. Howson and Lowe dismissals should be next, even if just for PR purposes. If Lowe is not involved in hockey ops, why do we still see and hear from him about the Oilers? Remove him from the equation and all speculation goes away. I he is not involved , no reason for him to be present period.

          • Hemmercules

            Seriously TINO, If are are waiting for an axe to come down on Lowe just walk away now and never come back. You will be better off. Lowe is an Oiler until he dies and he has next to nothing to do with the NHL product. Do you seriously think Chia or Holland have taken his advice on anything? I highly doubt it. Just because he’s there and talks about the team sometimes doesn’t mean he makes decisions regarding the roster. He should have been fired long ago but it’s not going to happen. Go find another hill to die on.

            Chia, Sutter, MacT, Coffey, Hitch, likely half the assist coaches and more firings to come. Heads are rolling and its never enough for some people. Sounds like Howson may have dodged the bullet which seems strange but I dont think anyone really knows exactly what moves he was involved in or what he does behind the scenes. Maybe he’s better than we know?

        • Odanada

          Alex, you are entitled to your views and you’ve stated them.
          I have my doubts too, but there’s nothing to be done but to get behind this and hope for the best. All I want is for the Oil to compete with pride, play good hockey and hopefully win a Cup.
          You’ve either got to give it your best effort or leave the marriage, you know?

        • Lowe enuf

          Well if it helps at all, there is this team in the east… they have solid reputation for stability at coach and GM with very little turnover, and you should see the stud goalie they just acquired! Rumour has it they are always looking for fans who should be committed errrr I mean committed fans. Anyway they are called the Flyers……

  • FanBoy

    3 year deal probably has something to do with Jay Woodcroft needing 2 great seasons in the AHL to get promoted by Year 3. Also salary is low so easier to transition to what Hitchcock does now in a couple of years.

  • Rickk

    This feels the same as when the Oilers hired Quinn, Renney, McLellan, and Hitchcock. Experienced coach with problem in last job poised to top up his retirement fund and lower his career winning percentage.

  • TruthHurts98

    If Tippett can bring a true work ethic to this franchise and help them improve defensively, everything will improve. I hope this is the start of a winning culture. I like the hire and glad we have a POHO and GM that actually interviewed multiple candidates and did his homework. Time will tell but I think next season will be better at least!

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      Whoo your in whining mode still, lost out on Nygard, whining still about Tippet and your brilliant “word on the street is Tippet” musings…all you need to complete your ensemble is the requisite red nose and big floppy shoes then you will have your clown look complete

  • Derzie

    Oiler fanbase has been beaten to a pulp. So many lies and so much false hope have been preached that when some real promise is happening, it is hard to detect. There is real change happening right now. The kind that corrects the course away from dark for the first time under Katz. When the ship is in turmoil, you need seasoned & salty captains to right the course. You don’t get the modern tactician as a coach until the ship is in calmer waters. This is what the Oilers need. Change will not be overnight but change is happening. As a Flames fan, this is gravely concerning to me. (ps Coffey was just given the boot, if you don’t think the ship is tightening up)

  • RyanCoke

    I like how you say this is the most important coaching decision the Oilers will make in awhile. That is true for every hire that follows failure. If this one fails then next coach will be the most important. If we succeed then next coach won’t be the most important.

      • Slick77

        So you’re picking the last 13 years from 40 years of existence.
        The Flames have made it out of the first round only 6 times in their whole existence. LOL
        Infact 4 of them were before they won the Stanley Cup. LOL
        If the goal is to win the Stanley Cup the Flames would be nobodies choice. LOL

      • BrandieBear

        Oscar please do your research. In the last number of years please tell me which team between the oilers and flames has won more play off series. I believe that the oilers have won more playoff games and series. When you consider how woeful the oilers have been what does that say about the flames. If you are going to call out the oilers be prepared to know that it will makes the flames look substantially worse

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Well I dont think its a bad move , if Tippet can get guys to play to the best of their abilities and play hard till the game end like he manged to do with the Yotes it could make for some interesting hockey next season. One things for sure we ought to see a helluva better defensive system come in to play.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      We need the defensive players first for a great improvement in a defensive system I’m afraid…
      Trent Yawney is thought to be one of the best defensive coaches in the league & that didn’t help much.

  • The Rookie

    Yes he has more star talent now, but he is still going to have to focus on the defensive side of things out of necessity. That will probably anger some people but you can’t blame him, he’s got to show these guys to get the puck out before they can worry about speeding down to the other end.

  • Quoteright

    I liked what he was selling.
    When asked about puck moving defence he talked about 5 man units and systems.
    He also likes what his options are and that he chose this challenge.
    Coach em up boss
    Turn these players into a team
    Two thumbs up for Holland so far as well.

  • Oilerz4life

    Was skeptical until reading what he had to say about modern systems in the NHL in the presser. He’s a player’s coach which is a breath of fresh air after Hitchcock. The onus is now on Holland and what he can do to clean up Chia’s mess.

  • Slick77

    One of the big criticisms about Larsson’s game lately has been turnovers on his pass out of the zone. Before the last couple of seasons that was actually one of his strengths. IMO it was the forwards lack of support that caused the influx in Larsson’s turnovers. In the last couple of years you can see the Oilers forwards were further up the ice leaving a lower percentage first pass for the Oilers defence which also caused poor angles and easier for the forcheckers to pick off.
    With Tippett’s defensive structure I think Larsson will flourish in that the defence will get more support from the forwards. Which will create more offence, less turnovers, and more puck possession.

  • TKB2677

    I am sure Tippet gained a few points with some fans when he said he’s been using analytics since 1995.

    One point I really liked. When asked about being a defensive coach he said he was brought in to be an offensive coach but he coaches to win. So I go back to some of the comments I have seen about his style and some fans not liking it. If your organization is a bare bones team made up of cheap 3rd and 4th liners and unproven kids, how do you coach an up tempo, attacking style when you don’t have the players to execute it? I looked at the Yotes roster his last season. His best forward was Vrbatta with 55 pts. His next best were Domi at 38 pts in 59 games in his second year, Rieder who had 34 pts, Dvorak had 33 pts and in his first year and Doan who had 27 pts in his last NHL season at almost 40. How do you coach an attacking style with forwards like that?

  • Heschultzhescores

    I’m trusting Holland knows what he’s doing. No matter what happens, we need to give the team a stable coaching staff for a few years. That, and an actual plan.

    • Quoteright

      Remember Chia had a plan but wouldn’t share it, other than to get bigger and tougher.
      Meanwhile NHL goes the other way.
      No one was working hard enough.
      We used to have scouts in Mexico.
      Holland has a plan and more importantly, respect for others and a hardworking approach.
      Sounds perfect for E-town.
      Whatever happened in the past needs to be evaluated and let go.
      Let’s get behind this train.
      Also, I was researching beer prices, and especially for a losing team, Rogers is charging waaayyyy too much.
      Stop the gouging
      Bring back the cheer
      Cheap concessions would buy back a lot of good will.
      It’s not a happy barn.
      Must be hard to play in.
      I won’t even take free tickets as I hate getting looked at for cheering, and the food is beyond reasonable.

  • TKB2677

    I am in the wait and see mode for the team. So far what Holland has said is encouraging. I find the moves he’s made to the organization encouraging. He’s been on the job for 3 weeks today and he’s already gotten rid of Mac T, Sutter, now Coffey. That’s a lot of change in a very short period of time. I think more are to come.

    I also like what Tippett said. He’s big into analytics and has been using them since 1995. They are a tool that should be used by all teams. The Oilers for some reason went away from that so that is encouraging that he’s into that. I also as I stated before like that he admitted he’s a coach that adapts his style to fit the team. Which to me makes perfect sense.

    I still want to see what happens but I am encouraged that the team seems to actually making some much needed change.

  • Kevwan

    I hope he works out -Hiring him is a solid choice.

    I don’t want to be too critical of free content but isn’t there another picture of Tippett somewhere? It seems like this photo has been on every third story for a month,

  • I like the accountability word getting thrown around. I am tired of hearing about the front office when we have all this team play good hockey. At the end of the day it is the players on the ice. If we see klowe at the draft table then I worry, if not he is a non factor. Haven’t seen him speak in a long time.

  • BrandieBear

    I know there is a lot of sceptics out there on the hiring. I’m one myself. I’m excited and I hope that Tippet can help the team. Two things about the hiring. If McLellan and Hitchcock can’t get this team to win then we need to focus on the roster. Neither was set up for success and Tippet will fail if he isn’t given a competitive roster to work with. Secondly, I agree with the TSN panel from tonight. I originally wanted a younger more unproven coach but in hind site I think hiring a veteran coach is smart. You know what to expect, you know what he brings and you are taking a way smaller gamble in a market that is red hot. It’s the safe choice but ultimately I don’t think the fan base would tolerate the hiring of an unproven coach if the oilers miss the playoffs. There would be an angry mob right away and the coach would be run out of town and have his career ruined most likely. It’s the safe hiring and the more I’ve thought about it the more I agree with it