The worst kept secret in town was confirmed on Tuesday as POHO Ken Holland formally introduced Dave Tippett as the new head coach of the Oilers.
I was at the press conference and there are a number of things I want to quickly hit on from Tippett’s debut availability in Edmonton.
THE ANALYTICS OG
Jason Gregor asked Tippett about his belief in analytics and I think his answer probably excited the analytical crowd. He said that he first starting keeping track of some advanced numbers in 1995 when he was with the Houston Aeros as an assistant coach, which was his first coaching job.
I thought it was interesting how Tippett reacted to being described as a defensive coach. He kind of chuckled and then said he got his first head-coaching gig in Dallas because the GM at the time, Doug Armstrong, wanted to inject some offence into the club. Armstrong had liked the work that Tippett had done with the power play as an assistant in Los Angeles. The Kings had the best power play in the league in 2001-02 operating at a little bit above 20%. In his first year in Dallas Tippett had the Stars power play in the top five in the league.
I didn’t talk to many people who thought Tippett was going to sign for a number significantly less than what Ralph Krueger received from Buffalo.
My understanding is that Tipped signed for just under $3 million a year. Believe it's between $2.75 M and $3 million a year. Pretty good bargain for the Oilers given where coaches' salaries have gone for veteran guys the last few little while. https://t.co/WVXHFdxrfL
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 28, 2019
For Tippett to come around a million less than Krueger is pretty impressive work from Ken Holland. I would have thought a guy with 15 years of experience as a head coach would have been in the plus side of four million.
HITCH THE ADVISOR
I thought it was pretty telling that the first thing Ken Holland did was thank Ken Hitchcock for assisting him in the search for a new coach. I’m not sure what Hitch’s official title will eventually end up being but I do think he could be very valuable as a sounding board for pretty much anyone in the organization.
DAVE THE BUILDER
Tippett loves building things so much that during his early playing days in Hartford he would run a construction company during the off-season. I’m only putting this tidbit into the piece in hopes of someone photoshopping a Dave Tippett/Bob The Builder masterpiece.
THE DYNAMIC DUO
During the press conference, Tippett talked about Leon Draisaitl having the versatility to play with McDavid but also didn’t commit to playing them together all season. In the scrum, after the presser, he said the Oilers young core was the most alluring thing about joining the franchise. In addition to McDavid and Draisaitl, he also referenced Nugent-Hopkins and Nurse as key pieces of the core. He coached Nuge at the World Cup of Hockey.
“In the hockey world, this is still looked upon as a great place. Sometimes you get in certain places and you think oh we haven’t won the last few years, but this is still looked upon as a very, very good franchise and that’s the feedback I got, when Ken reached out I looked at it hard and it was a great opportunity.”
I thought this was an encouraging comment from Tippett about what other folks around the NHL were saying about the organization when he looked out for advice.
Tom Gazolla was covering the presser for TSN as Ryan Rishaug is currently eating his own weight in donuts in Boston. Gazolla’s socks were certainly a discussion point. He wasn’t just wearing low cut socks, it looked like he wasn’t wearing any socks at all. Apparently, they are called no-show socks and by all accounts, they feel terrific. I have had a couple of pairs of no-shows myself but I’m never sure if I’m wearing them correctly. Have you ever tried the no-shows?
This news broke shortly after the Tippett press conference from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:
Some other Oilers news, can confirm that former skills/development coach Paul Coffey has parted ways with the Oilers.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) May 28, 2019
The rumoured salary for Coffey’s skills development position was $500,000 per season. This move kills two birds with one stone. It saves Katz half a million bucks while at the same time eliminates a member from the perceived old boys club.
BRING BACK THE STACHE
You tell me who looks like a better coach.
I for one will not rest until Dave Tippett brings the moustache back. For his face, for his team, for this city!!