Oilers part ways with Trent Yawney and Manny Viveiros, Jay Woodcroft to stay in Bakersfield

According to our own Jason Gregor, the Edmonton Oilers have parted ways with assistant coaches Trent Yawney and Manny Viveiros.

The Oilers’ summer shuffled continued this morning as news came out that the team would be parting ways with two of their three assistant coaches. We all knew that Dave Tippett would bring in his own staff when he was hired, but we didn’t know how that would affect the three remaining assistants that were left over from the McLellan days. As we’ve heard many times over the past few weeks, Trent Yawney is expected to join Todd McLellan in Los Angeles so I expect that move to be announced soon, but I honestly thought that Manny Viveiros had a chance of sticking around. Either way, both guys won’t be coming back for the 2019-20 season and that will continue the overall reshaping of the organization that started when Holland was brought in earlier this month.

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What we don’t know yet is what will happen with Glen Gulutzan. After asking around and texting Gregor to try and get a scoop, it seems like Gulutzan might be the one that sticks around. At this point, no one is 100% sure what will happen with the former Flames bench boss, but it does appear that he will be the lone remaining coach from this past season. Given his experience and established relationships with the players, it makes sense to bring at least one guy back to try and bridge the knowledge gap. I think of a guy like Nuge that will be going on his 6000th coach and what that must be like, so having any kind of familiarity and stability can only help speed up Tippett’s program. Will Gulutzan be that guy? I guess we’ll find out.

For now, the Oilers’ summer of change continues as two more people that were involved in last year’s lost season will be swapped out for new pieces. From where I blog, today’s news isn’t exactly surprising but it does bring us another step closer to finding out who the next assistant coaches will be, so we’ll have to wait and see how things play out in the coming weeks. If I were a betting man, I’d guess that we’ll see a Jim Playfair and Mark Lamb announcement in the coming days, but what the hell do I know.

***UPDATE*** Glen Gulutzan has been informed he will stick around as an assistant coach, specifically to run the power play


As a positive note, Gregor also revealed that Jay Woodcroft would be remaining with the Bakersfield Condors. When Todd McLellan signed in LA, there was plenty of talk about whether or not Woodcroft would rejoin in on the bench, and I’m happy to see that this is not the case. To me, he had an excellent head coaching debut with the Condors and it almost would have been a shame to step away from that just to resume his old post. For the Bakersfield Condors, having Woodcroft back will provide continuity for a young team that desperately needs consistency. All in all, this is good news for the organization.

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Source: Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 5/31/2019 – 11:39 am MST

  • SnowMan8

    Too bad Gulutzan was my last choice of assistants to stay. What exactly the deal with Yawney did he want to leave? or was he fired? Wish he would have been the one to stay.

      • KootenayDan

        Personally I am a hockey fan first an Oiler fan second and I lived in Calgary for 35 years so I also am a bit of a closet Flames fan and wish them no ill. In fact some of the best hockey I have ever witnessed was between the Flames and Oilers and wish them both success so we can see that brand of hockey again. So Mr. Oscar your constant trolling is as pathetic as the Oiler trolls on FN in person you are probably a good person and your presence here would be welcomed if you could provide an objective view from the other side. Try to be a better fan or don’t it totally reflects on you.

      • Leichs

        Do you ever shut your mouth you little twerp? I dont think ive ever hated a commentor on anything in my life as much as i hate you. Ive been reading your crap on sportsney for years and now i gotta read here? Im actually going to track you down kid.

      • KPUZ

        How many cups do the Flames have? One. How many cups do the Oiler’s have Oscar? Five.

        I would rather have our storied history in Edmonton, even with the black eye over the last decade, rather than the Flames pathetic history.

      • Just Sayin!

        For someone to spend as much effort as this Oscar dude on here raising hackles speaks to the bored life he must have. Fun entertainment for him I guess. Wouldnt be my choice but if thats what turns ones crank trust he enjoys himself..

      • OilerForLife

        The only thing the Flames did by making the playoffs, is secure big fat contracts for Chucky and Rich-ich. Every other small contributor of the Flames taking credit for it and demanding more money from the TreBucks. So…brag if you want but …LOL.

      • Oscar

        Hapless Scott, lolo …

        Which do you prefer … ? Choose wisely because folk are watching …

        A) Missing the playoffs 92 % of the time over the last 13 seasons … ?
        B) Losing out in the first round 93% of the time over whatever number of seasons you chose … ?

        Which … wisely … which … ?

      • OilerForLife

        Winning in the playoffs is way more important and the Oilers have 5 Stanley cups to show for it. Flames not so much because it doesn’t matter which decade the Flames can’t win in the playoffs. Wasted tickets if you can’t win.

      • OilerForLife

        P.S. Oscar – a Flames fan tossed a Jersey in the playoffs – goes to show the level of frustration in Calgary of finding out once again, making the playoffs was a waste of time. Light the Jersey on Fire.

    • -Yawney was a McLellan disciple, he was going wherever he ended up at the end of the season.
      -Gulutzan’s powerplay was 9th in the league. Whether it had something to do with McDrai is up in the air but one thing is certain, whatever he did works
      Gulutzan is well-known around the league, Manny V was a rookie who isn’t known well, and Yawney followed Todd to LA, you can put the puzzle together can’t you?

    • SnowMan8

      Of course Tippett will be allowed to bring I who he wants. You really have to question why Gulutzan is one of those guys after last year’s powerplay. Yawney had significant injuries on defense. And has a good reputation working with young defensemen add the fact nurse had an outstanding year under him. I’m saying in he didn’t leave by his own decision then I believe Tippett made his first mistake

          • Glencontrolurstik

            You beat me to it Randaman, 2017-18 PP was 14ish%, dead last in NHL…
            Gully was brought in to fix the following season, the Oilers catapulted to 9th in the NHL at 21ish % PP. Gully is a keeper, & the players like him alot. Nuge and Draisaitl had career years…

      • OriginalPouzar

        Last year’s PP finished 9th overall in the NHL and that was with a second unit devoid of talent.

        The Oilers PP was not an issue last year.

        The PK mind you……

  • toprightcorner

    I wonder if Yawney was fired or if he said he would prefer to go to the Kings with McLellan? I would have kept Yawney over Gulutzan as the young dmen could have used a familiar face and YAwney has a great track record with younger players entering the NHL. If he wanted to leave, that is a different story.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    I’m glad Woodcroft is staying in BAK. Last season was amazing for the club and it’s only going to get better. More prospects coming, more fun to be had. And while I’m still pissed that they hired Tippet, his 3 year contract should be enough time for Jay to grow in BAK, and then landing the HC gig in Edmonton in 2022. As for the other two…Viveiros did nothing (because he wasn’t allowed to do anything), Yawney didnt improve the defence. Why Gulutzan is still employed after that horrendous PP last year is a mystery

    • SnowMan8

      Yawney didn’t improve the defense? How could you judge that on last season? Nurse had a huge year under him and two of his top4 defenders were injured most of the season. I would say Yawney was the only one worth considering keeping

    • Time to Ride

      I agree that keeping Woodcroft in Bakersfield is a good move. Also, indications are that assistant coach Dave Manson did a great job with the young defence so hopefully he stays too.

    • TKB2677

      Alex, when you post, do you actually know what you are talking about or do you just automatically go to negative posts no matter what?

      The Oilers PP was 21.2% good for 9th in the league. That is WITHOUT a decent puck moving dman who can get a shot through consistently. Imagine if the Oilers had a dman who was a good puck mover capable of getting a shot through consistently. Seriously dude, you are completely out to lunch here.

      • Glencontrolurstik

        Yeah, someone says something negative, or someone is mis-understood then everyone follows along like lemmings, feeding the frenzie…. This team is looking up. There have been some positives over the last couple of seasons, the improved PP is one of them. We, as a collective, shouldn’t let anyone take that away from us… This is the off-season, a time to look upward and forward for this team… It’s something I have gotten used to for the last 20 or so years (since the hey-day), and I’m never going to let anyone take that joy away from me… The summer months have been the only months that we get positive thoughts about the Oiler Future & this year is looking GREAT! Guys, try not to crush the positive feelings with UN-researched hear-say…
        It’s all we got.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      I don’t get why everyone says the Oil had a bad PP last year? The year before, yes…
      Last year the Oilers were 9th in the league PP… Dead Last the year before, Gully fixed that.

  • OilCan2

    This series of moves is right on time. It will give the new bench time to gel before the new camp. It should be interesting to see what coaches show up to run the summer development camp. Jay W?

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Yeah & probably Hitch? But only to throw ideas back and forth in player assessment. Kretzky will be there as well. But, Jay Woodcroft & Dave Manson and the obvious others.

  • A-co

    I thought they brought in Manny to run the power play then gulutzan was running it..it was terrible…he keeps his job to run the power play again and Manny takes off….good for Manny for escaping….good luck Manny where ever you land

  • Spaceman Spiff

    Mark Lamb, eh? Uh-oh. I believe he won a Cup in 1990. Played (quite capably) on a line with Jari Kurri and Esa Tikkanen. Scored a massive OT winner against the Jets in the first round.

    Wonder what the fandom is going to think about that?

    Let me give it a try. Something-something… Old Boys Club … something-something … Red Wine Summits … something-something … let’s stop living in the past … something-something.


    • OilerForLife

      I was there, front row right behind him – winning a Stanley Cup isn’t easy. A little hard to forget and for the newer fans, you’ll get it when to Oilers win the cup again. It’ll be impossible for you for forget- agreed?

  • Wish those 2 nothing but the best. I have high hopes for Manny V and I’d bet he finds success somewhere in this league. Jay Woodcroft staying was an absolute no-brainer, he wasn’t getting his name out in Todd’s bench meanwhile he’s making waves all over the hockey world with his work in Bakersfield.

  • TKB2677

    I have no issue with the Oilers parting way with a few assistants. The head coach should have the right to have who ever he wants working with him. I thought it would be a good idea to keep at least 1 guy just for some continuity with the players. Supposedly all the players had glowing reviews of the assistants. I think Tippet has the most familiarity with Gulutzan.

    I am very happy that Woodcroft is staying. I thought he did a great job in Bakersfield and with a few other high end prospects coming, I think he’s the man for the job.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Agreed, further to your point, the players love Gully. He got career years out of Ryan & Leon as well as fixing the PP. Maybe Playfair (fingers crossed) can fix the PK & someone shore up the D which will in itself help out the goaltending… baby-steps..

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Gully & Tippett never worked together in Dallas. They held the door open for each other when Tippett went to the desert. However, when it comes down to it, they all (any coach at the NHL level for a few years) pretty much know each other pretty well…

  • Serious Gord

    Not unexpected.

    But it does illustrate an issue with years of no change in the attitude of ownership/top management whilst there is years of failure and change at the frontline level.

    Any coach or veteran player (or high draft pick?) has to pause before agreeing to be a part of this org…

  • CMG30

    I do not have the access to the inner workings of the team that would allow me to make any kind of educated pronouncements about which assistant coach is working and which wasn’t. But from a personal standpoint, I’m going to take a little extra joy seeing the PP pump the Lames all season long!

  • Anton CP

    Jeebus…what is with all the hate of Gulutzan? He fixed the PP issue for the Oilers last season which was what brought him in for. He is the only assistant worth keeping around but why so much hate?