Things are not going as expected for the Edmonton Oilers. They entered the new NHL season as Stanley Cup favorites but have looked unrecognizable, and before this weekend, they were tied to last in the league.
Head coach Jay Woodcroft has been under a lot of pressure, with many taking for granted that he would get fired. But the Oilers won on Sunday with Woodcroft on the bench. But it didn’t save him.
Later on Sunday, the Oilers announced that Woodcroft was fired, and that Kris Knoblauch replaces him.
Knoblauch was an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Flyers from 2017 to 2019, but he hasn’t been the head coach of an NHL team before. He did, however, coach Connor McDavid in junior when both were with the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Many suggested that Connor McDavid played a big part in the decision to fire Woodcroft and bring in one of his former coaches.
On Sunday, the Oilers CEO of hockey operations, Jeff Jackson, who also happens to be Connor McDavid’s former agent, got questions about whether McDavid played a part in the decision at all.
“We didn’t consult with the players on this decision. They are here to play hockey. They don’t like being involved in these types of decision. Connor and the other leaders had nothing to do with this decision,” said Jeff Jackson.
But the Oilers’ leadership didn’t seem to have discussed what they would say to the media. Just moments earlier, general manager Ken Holland claimed that he had, in fact, talked to some of the veteran players. This had fans talking: Who was lying of the two, and what really went down when Woodcroft was let go?
”If I’m an Oilers fan, I have zero faith in the guys running the show,” one hockey fan said on social media.
”And this is why the Oilers are the Oilers,” another said.
”This is why you have a 5 minute prep talk before you go out and address the world. Jesus Christ Edmonton…” a third added.