Photo credit:Matt Mead
Kris Knoblauch, Connor McDavid’s coach from the OHL, will replace Jay Woodcroft behind the Oilers’ bench
By Cam Lewis3 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers announced on Sunday that head coach Jay Woodcroft and assistant coach Dave Manson have been relieved of their duties. Coming in as replacements will be Kris Knoblauch and Paul Coffey.
Knoblauch was Connor McDavid’s coach when he played for the Erie Otters in the Ontario Hockey League. The 45-year-old Saskatchewan native played five seasons for the University of Alberta Golden Bears and got his start in coaching in 2006-07 with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League. He won the WHL Championship with the Kootenay Ice in 2010-11 and the OHL Championship with the Otters in 2016-17.
There was talk about the Oilers hiring Knoblauch as their coach when Ken Holland took over as general manager ahead of the 2019-20 season. Instead, the Oilers went with veteran coach Dave Tippett, while Knoblauch took over as the head coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack, the American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Rangers.
This will be Knoblauch’s first time behind an NHL bench, as is the case with Coffey, who’s taking over for Manson as the team’s defence coach. Coffey scored 1,531 points over 1,409 games in the league and won the Norris Trophy three times and the Stanley Cup four times. He worked as a skills coach with the Oilers in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and has been a senior advisor with the club for the past couple of years.
It appears that the rest of Edmonton’s coaching staff will remain intact beyond swapping Woodcroft and Manson for Knoblauch and Coffey. Assistant coaches Glen Gulutzan and Mark Stuart, goaltending coach Dustin Schwartz, and video coach Noah Segall are all still listed in their roles on the team’s official website.
The Oilers are heading home following a 4-1 win over the Seattle Kraken that put them at 3-9-1 on the season. They boast among the best underlying numbers in the league but are well below average in terms of shooting percentage (7.9) and save percentage (.864). Let’s hope Knoblauch and Coffey can turn that around.
Recent articles from Cam Lewis
- Stuart Skinner, Calvin Pickard combine for rock-solid weekend after Oilers GM expresses faith in team’s goaltending
- G59 Game Notes: Oilers look to keep winning streak going against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins
- G58 Game Notes: The middling Seattle Kraken have decisions to make ahead of the Trade Deadline