NHL Notebook: Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft wants to build ‘something special’, Jets strip Wheeler of captaincy, Flames want a forward and more

Photo credit:Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 year ago
Jay Woodcroft wants to build something special in Edmonton.
Can you blame him? His roots in his city date back to 2017 when he was an assistant coach under Todd McLellan. Woodcroft helped get the Oilers into the playoffs for the first time in god-knows-how-long, and he’s had an impact on tons of players on this roster.
The list is long of those who have played under him in the AHL ranks and now, he’s the big man in charge behind the NHL Oilers’ bench.
“Where we’re at in the life stage of our team, we have a mature group, we have a hungry group,” Woodcroft told Sportsnet’s Mark Spector. “We have a group that tasted a little bit of what it takes to go on a long run in the playoffs, and we have great people. I think that’s our competitive advantage and the greatest asset that we have as an organization: our human capital.
“People who want to be part of something bigger than just themselves. Part of something special.”

Winnipeg Jets strip Blake Wheeler of the captaincy

The Winnipeg Jets made a big move this week stripping Blake Wheeler of their captaincy, a role he held since 2016.
It marks the first move by new head coach Rick Bowness as they continue to examine their team.
“It is the determination of the coaching staff that we will enter the 2022-23 season without a specific captain but rather a group of assistants still be determined,” Bowness said in a statement. “It is our goal to expand the leadership base within our hockey team.
“We have high expectations for our core players and we want to provide them with the opportunity to step into those greater leadership roles as a group.”
As noted by TSN’s Darren Dreger, Bowness wants there to be a bigger share of the leadership role from the team.
Teammate Mark Scheifele called the move a “shocker” to DailyFaceoff’s Matt Larkin.
“A shocker to me,” Scheifele said. “Blake told me before I left just to give the heads up. I didn’t get a lot of chance to actually talk to him and dive into how he’s feeling. First and foremost, I want to be there for him. He’s a guy I’ve learned a lot from and he’s still going to be a big leader on our team. The letters really don’t mean anything. He’s a mentor for a lot of our young guys and a lot of us. He works so hard and puts his heart on his sleeve.”

Flames looking to add a forward?

The Calgary Flames are reportedly looking to add another forward to their group.
Here’s what Flames GM Brad Treliving, told The Athletic’s Thomas Drance:
“We’re probably still looking up front, not only to figure out who is playing with who, but we’re still in the market for forward additions — which ties into your last question about some of the players here.”

Jakob Chychrun to be at Arizona Coyotes camp

There’s been a slew of rumors in the last year surrounding Jakob Chychrun and his availability in a trade. Now, according to GoPHNX’s Craig Morgan, he’s expected to be in training camp after rehabbing an injury.
“It is what it is,” Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong said. “Jakob is a great kid. We’ve had continued, healthy conversations throughout the summer, trying to make sure that he was on the right track to be healthy. He’s a professional. He’s a pro’s pro. He’s been good in that element, and we continue to have great conversations with him and encourage him to be at his best when training camp opens.”
Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.


  • When: On Thursday, January 12th, we’re jumping on a flight at the Edmonton International Airport and making our way to Vegas. On Sunday evening, we’ll fly back from Vegas to Edmonton. So the dates that you need to block off for this trip are January 12th to 15th.
  • Where we’re staying: After landing in LV, we’ll jump on the free shuttle and make our way to the Park MGM before settling in for a good night’s sleep. 😉
  • What you get: Your roundtrip flight, hotel, shuttle, viewing party (Friday night), game entry — we got seats this time (Saturday night), and exclusive entry into our pre-trip ‘get to know everyone’ event.
  • How Much: The total cost for the trip, flight, hotel, and entry to the game is $1499 per person (based on double occupancy)
  • Tickets: Ready to dive in? Click this link.

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