Oilers part ways with Paul Coffey

With the official announcement of Dave Tippett being hired as the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers now in the past, we’ll soon be finding out the future of other current members of the team’s coaching staff. According to Mark Spector, the team will be parting ways with skills and development coach Paul Coffey.

In January of 2018 with the team in flux and on the verge of missing the playoffs, the Oilers hired the former franchise legend and current Hall of Famer to come in and do some skills work with the team. Part of his gig, apparently, was to help Edmonton’s woefully bad special teams.

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It made some sense, on the surface, because Coffey was a very skilled player. Still, it was a hiring that rubbed the fanbase the wrong way because it had the Old Boys Club reek to it. Nobody paid much attention to Coffey in his role until our pal Dusty Nielson dropped this bomb about his salary and what it suggested about the Oilers’ priorities…

So… that’s that. The Paul Coffey 2.0 era in Edmonton is now over. Given the chunk of change Darryl Katz was paying him, I’m not overly surprised. They can probably use that saved money to hire some kind of Family Liason or maybe an entire analytics staff, which is something Tippett would probably like. 

We’ll find out in the next few weeks what’ll happen with the rest of the coaching staff.

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      • Randaman

        So far, I am very pleased. I don’t expect Lowe or Nicholson to be going anywhere. Holland can’t fire either of them so people need to realize that. Howsen? Not my call. I would prefer that he was sent packing but I don’t make those decisions. It just gets very tiring listening to a bunch of whiners on here with that OBC crap! I like what I have seen so far, YES!

        • hagar

          Its annoying for you randaman because you haven’t known they are the problem all along.
          If you knew, and watched year after year without change, you would be at frustrations end as well.

          • Mr. J

            Touché Hagar. It sets a bad precedent when a person has failed at his many jobs titles over the years yet is continually promoted within the company. Meanwhile embarrassing the organization with his reckless comments during a press conference that will never be forgotten by real Oiler fans…….. and yes that includes tier 2 fans as well. I am fairly satisfied with what I’ve seen but I will be elated if Lowe resigns and/or is fired. GOG

    • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

      Real cha-REAL CHANGE!!!!!!


      There is no change going on here. They just replaced Chiarelli with Chiarelli 2.0. They just replaced Todd Hitchcock WITH ANOTHER TODD HITCHCOCK! These are not forward thinking moves. These are moves designed to make it look like progress, but we’re ultimately going nowhere. IF we make the playoffs, it is because Connor is going to play like a god, and our goalie (it IS NOT Mikko the sieve) is going to stand on his head.

      • The Dave

        I’m hardly optimistic about the Oilers ever, but you’re out of touch with reality here. Todd and Ken were both, at worst, an average or below average NHL coaches. I think Ken may have been a step backwards, but McLellan was definitely in the middle of the pack. And hey, even John Cooper and Barry Trotz can get swept in the playoffs. So yes, Dave Tippet is another “Todd Hitchcock”. I’m not sure if he is a great coach but I think anyone who argues he is below the NHL average will have a hell of a time making the case for it, and that’s fine enough. If they hired Rocky Thompson you’d be arguing the went with Dallas Eakins 2.0, and quite frankly I’ll take my chances with Tippet. No disrespect to Rocky or Todd Nelson or any of those other sorts of candidates, but I’m not going to cry about ending up with Tippet instead of them. Maybe we could’ve done better, but we *definitely* could have done worse (and have several times in very recent memory).

        Re: Chia Pete 2.0 – Chia Pete 2.0 is firing Oilers old boys faster than they were hired under Chia Pete 1.0, so no, they different. I dunno if Ken Holland will be a great GM, but really, when Connor McDavid is on your team you don’t need a great GM, you just need one who won’t trade Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson one for one.

      • Beer_League_Ringer

        Go home Alex, you’re drunk (i.e., an imbecile).

        Real change is slow. It’s happening (so far so good). Your denial that the last few weeks are positive is typical of someone who always preaches the negative, so when something bad happens they can come out from under their rock and say “I told you so”.

        Oilers make the playoffs this year. My $100 vs. yours with the $200 going to charity.

        How bout it Mr. “nothing will change”?

    • Derian Hatcher

      Hey Alex…since you are way smarter than everyone on here, why don’t you get in the car, go pick up Serious Gord, make the long trek to California (you’ll have lots to talk about on the trip, with how brilliant you both are), and pick up Dallas Eakins in San Diego. Then the three of you can toodle over to Seattle and get hired there. Within a few years, there is no doubt the 3 of you will build a dynasty of Cup winners!

      In the meantime, the peons and know-nothings left here at ON will try our best to get along without you and Genius Gord (it may be very tough, but we’ll try our best).

  • The Dave

    I dunno, without Paul Coffey I’m not sure how we’ll get by.

    But all sarcasm aside, the fact that they fired a person who helped the Players of today and retained a guy who did nothing but was a notable player from yesteryear tells you where this organization was. We just tidied up a mess that never should have existed.

    The Oilers are like a grown man who got his first job at age 40 after finally getting out of jail. We’re proud of him, but also, the standard has ended up being pretty low. He got out on parole a few years ago, got a little lucky and was wildly successful, but immediately relapsed and went back to the slammer for two years. Congrats on getting things a bit more back on track, try to tidy up a few more of your issues, and please don’t make the same mistakes again. You’ll end up in the same place if you do. Your son, Connor, needs you to at least be average from now on.

  • Odanada

    Paul was a great player and I wish him good luck, but I can’t help but see his leaving as “for the best”.
    It does make you shake your head about whoever is running this show.

  • The future never comes

    500K and was he ever on the ice with the Oilers or Bakersfield players? Wow Katz just shat money away to have a couple idols on his pay roll, in which the fans end up paying for in the end via raised prices.

  • Ty Guy

    Aside from the day he was brought on, this is the first i have heard Paul Coffeys name. did he ever don a pair of skates or host a special teams meeting? was his job just a title and a cheque?

    • Kool-Aid Man

      I was under the impression that when he was first hired, it was as a consultant. I see it as an OBC scheme they thought would pacify the fans (that’s how stupid OBC braintrust really is), only for it to severely backfire on them. I’m supposing somewhere in between he was promoted to assistant coach? How does an assistant coach perform his job when he lives in toronto? He was very rarely seen on the ice with the other coaches (once when he was initially hired).

      So I’m willing to bet a title and cheque however, if he did actually perform whatever responsibilities were his, he didn’t do a very good job of it. Goodbye to another OBC alumni, just like the rest of them: he didn’t make a difference or made it worse.

      Thank-you and goodbye, don’t let the door hit you on the way out Mr. Coffey.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      The guy played for 10 (!) teams… With the talent he undeniably possessed, I figure the 10-team tour was based on his personality. The Oilers won 2 more cups without his services, but What do I know?

  • Oilerproud

    He did what he was brought here to do. He was a band aid solution for ou PP and did a great job. Brought the PP from 31st to top ten in one season. Quality coach who did his job.

  • HockeyYoda

    I guess the move is good for optics, but I’m sceptical on how much Coffey had to do with the mistakes Chia made. For real change.. get rid of those involved on all the poor roster/drafting/signings and those who have a track record of complete failure. I’m looking at you Scott Howson.

  • Kool-Aid Man

    Coffey is a small sacrifice on the behalf of the OBC. MacT doesn’t go out that way, so Coffey becomes the “sacrificial lamb”. In any regard the heads that should really roll, are the people whom advised Charelli on the Reinhard trade.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    Of all the molehills turned to mountains over the years by the crazies in the Oilers fandom, Paul Coffey’s hiring as a skills coach is almost Everest-like.

    It was all so silly. The Oilers are struggling on the powerplay, mid-season, so they bring in a guy who did some good work in that department. Did he have much coaching experience? No, probably not. But I bet Major League teams didn’t care about Ted Williams’ coaching resume when he became a roving hitting instructor.

    It was all so strange. Old Boys Club Derangement Syndrome at its best. And who the hell cares if Katz paid him 500 grand? It’s not your money and if the powerplay had turned around, it would have looked like a stroke of genius.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad MacT’s gone. I’m glad Whatever-Sutter-Brother is gone.

    And, if it makes everyone else happy, I’m glad Coffey’s gone, too, if only because I hope it ends a long, weird dark phase of the relationship between this fandom and some of the high-profile alumni from the glory days. It brought out the worst in us. It brought out the weird in us. Oh lord, I hope it’s over.

    So long, Coffey. Sorry you had to be put through that.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      Coffey was a great player, but I didnt get the reason they brought him in as a skills coach, it just didnt make sense to me. Coffey was great back in the day, but the game has changed tremedously from what it was back then. I could see maybe having him conbsult on the defence and how they could be better at their positioning, leaving the zone and when they are defending it, but I never really could vision how he was going to help th team as a whole the fit just seemed off and we never really heard about what exactly he did with the team…like nothing. Honestly having him go back to what he as doing before isnt a bad thing I dont believe his role added anything of substance to the team on or off the ice

      • Spaceman Spiff

        Honestly, it was a decent gamble at the time. Coffey was brought on board to help with the power-play – specifically, working with the defencemen on working the points, breakouts, etc. I doubt if he’d have said much about positioning or defending – that wasn’t really his forte back in the day (my dad still calls him “Cough-up” to this day).

        At best, if things had worked out (and they didn’t), the Oilers power-play would have looked and produced better.

        At worst, it was benign. Don’t let anyone tell you it was anything worse than that.

  • Oilman

    Actual transcript of Holland firing Coffey:

    What did you want to see me about, Mr. Holland?

    Coffey, I’ve.. been reviewing your work.. Quite frankly, it stinks.

    Well, I ah.. been havin’ trouble at home and uh.. I mean, ah, you know, I’ll work harder, nights, weekends, whatever it takes..

    No, no, I don’t think that’s going to, do it, uh. These reports you handed in. It’s almost as if you have no business training at all..

    Well, I’m uh, just–tryin’ to get ahead..

    Well, I’m sorry. There’s just no way that we could keep you on.

    I don’t even really work here!

    That’s what makes this so difficult.

  • Heschultzhescores

    I’m not sure if there are enough OBC members left to qualify as a club. It would be nice to see Lowe leave on his own, and leave of with just the Great One. It’s ok to carry the greatest play of all-time just because he is the greatest player of all-time.

      • blobbo

        Every business has budgets. Just because the owner is wealthy, it doesn’t mean management has unlimited access to his bank account. So far, Holland has proven himself to be responsible with money. He hired Tippett at average league salary and now he has saved another $500k with Coffey gone. I see it as a positive sign. He’s looking for bang for the buck and that will carry over to player signings and trades.

        I’m not a fan of Holland and Tippett yet because, so far, they haven’t proven anything. What impresses me so far, though, is that these appear to be men who will not make incredibly stupid moves. That in itself is a giant step in the right direction.