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.
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.
TIPPETT’S NHL HEAD COACHING HISTORY
|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