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Are the Edmonton Oilers preparing to hire Paul Coffey?

The Edmonton Oilers might be preparing to hire former player Paul Coffey.

While a role isn’t known, as reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman, Coffey has been around the Oilers as of late. He joined the club on their road trip through the United States last week, and Friedman also reported Coffey was in Calgary for the Battle of Alberta on Saturday night.

Paul Coffey remained around the Oilers for Monday’s Battle of Alberta. Loves and knows his hockey. Again, we’re told nothing formal, but I’m curious to see where this goes. – Elliotte Friedman, 32 Thoughts

Beyond his 21-year, 1409 game Hall of Fame career, Coffey hasn’t done much in hockey since. He retired after the 2000-01 season and worked as a special teams consultant under Arizona Coyotes minority owner Wayne Gretzky.

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He worked as a u15/u16 head coach for the Toronto Marlboros AAA teams, and joined the OJHL’s Pickering Panthers as their general manager and head coach in 2014-15.

Coffey did work for the Oilers as a skills coach between 2017-18 and 2019-20, and took a role with Team Canada as their assistant coach for the 2019-20 Spengler Cup.

Any move to bring Coffey back to the Oilers organization would be peculiar, to say the least. He hasn’t been involved in hockey for years, and is about as “old boys club” as the old boys club can get.

I mean really, what is Edmonton thinking here? Could they be looking at him for a senior hockey ops role? Maybe have him scouting games? Could they be just consulting him on some of the ongoings of the team right now?

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No matter what, I’m concerned that this is an avenue the Oilers are exploring in the first place. It feels like the same old retread of going back to the well of Oilers from decades past.

Edmonton needs to be innovative to advance this team forward.


Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]