The Edmonton Oilers are off to a terrible start in 2023-24. As a Stanley Cup favorite coming into the season, they have been one of the worst teams in the league so far this season.
The San Jose Sharks, in most people’s estimation, are the worst team in the league. They are on pace to be one of the worst teams in NHL history. However, they defeated the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night to the surprise of everyone.
That felt like rock bottom for the Oilers. Losing to that Sharks team at that time is not a good look at all. It really felt like they were going to make a change at head coach. However, Jay Woodcroft was allowed to coach for Edmonton against the Seattle Kraken on Saturday night.
Not only did the Oilers win this game, they looked dominant over a pretty good Kraken team playing in Seattle. Connor McDavid was flying and Zach Hyman had a natural hat trick which led the way for them in this road contest.
The Edmonton Oilers are now making a change as announced on Sunday.
It seemed as if Woodcroft extended his stay at least a little bit with this win but that will not be the case. It came out on Sunday that a change was being made one day after the big win in Seattle.
Jay Woodcroft has been fired by the Edmonton Oilers. He was followed out the door by assistant coach Dave Manson as well. They are being replaced right away as Kris Knoblauch will be the head coach and legendary defenseman Paul Coffey is going to be an assistant coach.
Knoblauch was the head coach for Connor McDavid when he was a junior player for the Erie Otters. Clearly, there is some familiarity there with the league’s best player and Edmonton’s new head coach.
This is a bold move by the Oilers but this is something they’ve had no issue doing during the McDavid era. Either they will continue losing or things will turn around but they needed to make some kind of a chance.
Now, it is on the players to respond to a move like this. You can’t fire all of the players but you can’t win without people doing their jobs and that includes them. Hopefully, things turn around for them soon.