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Top Stories of 2023 – No. 1: “Whether it’s a trade or a coaching change, the Edmonton Oilers are going to have to do something”

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Cam Lewis
5 months ago
Finishing off our top Edmonton Oilers stories of the year 2023 countdown, we have the aftermath of the team’s 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks back in November.
The Sharks had started the year with 11 losses in a row and their win over Edmonton was just their second of the season. That loss put the Oilers at 2-9-1 and Elliotte Friedman noted on The 32 Thoughts Podcast that the poor start was going to force the team’s hand.
“That’s a team that’s waiting for something to happen. Jack Campbell going on waivers happened, but now, they’re waiting for something else. You can see it and they’re going to force the hands of the organization to do something.
Earlier this week, I wrote in my notes that they recognize Jay Woodcroft’s record, he’s got the best winning percentage coming into this season in Oilers history. He’s only coached one full season and they don’t want to make the change, but if this keeps going, you’re going to be forced into position to do something.
I think the Oilers are in that position now. Something is going to happen, whether it’s a trade or a coaching change, the Edmonton Oilers are going to have to do something.
One thing I’ll say is, there are people in the league who believe the Oilers were on the precipice of a big move on Wednesday. I don’t know what happened, I don’t know where it is, but I had people saying to me, watch the Oilers in goal, they’re up to something. And they weren’t talking about Campbell.”
That loss to San Jose wound up being the last one in Jay Woodcroft’s tenure as head coach of the Oilers. The team won a game against the Seattle Kraken a couple of nights later and then returned home and it was announced the following morning that Woodcroft and Dave Manson had been fired.
It either had to be a coaching change or a big trade for a goaltender, and blockbusters don’t happen in November, so the Woodcroft took the fall. Since then, Stuart Skinner has found his groove but Jack Campbell is struggling in the AHL. A trade to shore up the team’s goaltending still seems inevitable, but when that happens and who’s involved is anybody’s guess.

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