Leave it to the Edmonton Oilers to suck the life out of their own momentum.
Just hours after an inspired 4-1 win over the Seattle Kraken that ended a four-game losing streak and provided a glimmer of hope that the team might be finding its way, they fired head coach Jay Woodcroft and defensive coach Dave Manson.
Hartford Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch will assume head coaching duties and will be joined by assistant coach Paul Coffey. Knoblauch was Connor McDavid’s coach back in Junior; he joins an Oilers team that also has McDavid’s former agent Jeff Jackson as CEO of Hockey Operations.
Woodcroft improved to 79-41-13 as Oilers coach with the win — making him the most successful coach in the last 10 years — but with the Oilers just 3-9-1 on the season somebody upstairs dropped the hammer.
Knoblauch will be the fifth coach in the last eight years and 14 games, reaffirming the Oilers well-earned reputation as coach killers. He will follow Todd McLellan (2015-18), Ken Hitchcock (2018-19), Dave Tippett (2019-22) and Woodcroft (2022-23).
He will be the 11th coach in the last 15 years.
No Edmonton Oilers coach since Craig MacTavish in 2009 has survived more than three seasons.
EDMONTON OILERS COACHING HISTORY
(Daryl Katz buys Oilers in July, 2008)
Kris Knoblauch —
Jay Woodcroft — 2022 (133 games).
Dave Tippett — 2019 (161 games).
Ken Hitchcock — 2018 (62 games).
Todd McLellan — 2015 (266 games).
Todd Nelson — 2014 (51 games).
Craig MacTavish — Two week interim
Dallas Eakins — 2013 (113 games).
Ralph Krueger — 2012 (48 games).
Tom Renney — 2010 (164 games).
Pat Quinn — 2009 (82 games).
Craig MacTavish — 2000 (656 games)
More to come.
Edmonton Oilers win. Repeat: Oilers win. This is not a drill.
Things to think about while the Edmonton Oilers gasp for air
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