Edmonton Oilers made a surprising coaching change by replacing Jay Woodcroft with Kris Knoblauch. Among several speculations, one question which was asked was if star player Connor McDavid was consulted for the decision. While there is uncertainty about the extent of McDavid’s involvement in the decision, Oilers management made claims of varying levels of communication with the team’s leadership.
Connor McDavid, visibly surprised by the coaching shift, asserted that Woodcroft never lost the team’s support.
On Woodcroft, Connor McDavid said:
“He never lost the room. No way. I’m not sure”
The unexpected change raises questions about the team’s dynamics and the factors influencing pivotal decisions in Edmonton.
The Oilers’ captain acknowledged Knoblauch as a young coach, a quality that might resonate well with the team. However, McDavid’s comments did not provide clear insight into replacing Jay Woodcroft.
Speaking on Knoblauch, Connor McDavid said:
“It’s been a really long time. Obviously, I thought was great in junior, I don’t know much about what he’s been up to other than he’s been coaching, obviously in the NHL and in the American League as a head coach. He’s a young coach, which is great I think it resonates with a lot of guys in this room. You know, he’s someone I look forward to working with.”
The coaching change comes at a crucial time for the Oilers, as they aim to elevate their position in NHL standings.
Oilers and Connor McDavid’s poor performance might have led to subsequent change
Yesterday, the Edmonton Oilers made the decision to part ways with head coach Jay Woodcroft and assistant coach Dave Manson after a disappointing 3-9-1 start to the season. Woodcroft’s tenure as head coach concluded in February 2022, spanning a year and a half.
The newly appointed head coach is Kris Knoblauch, formerly with the Hartford Wolfpack, and he will be joined by assistant coach Paul Coffey. While Jay Woodcroft had success in the latter part of the 2021–22 season, guiding the team to the Western Conference Final, they faced a playoff sweep by the eventual Stanley Cup champions, the Colorado Avalanche.
In the subsequent full season, the Oilers achieved notable success with 109 points, marking the fourth-highest total in team history. However, they were eliminated in the second round by the Vegas Golden Knights, who ultimately clinched the Stanley Cup.
Despite high expectations for the 2023–24 season, the Oilers encountered early struggles, losing six of their first seven games, including an 8-1 defeat in Vancouver on opening night. The team currently finds itself on a challenging four-game losing streak.