NHL News: Edmonton Oilers Fire Head Coach Jay Woodcroft

The Edmonton Oilers are making a coaching change as they have fired head coach Jay Woodcroft after the team’s 4-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken Saturday night.

On Saturday Headlines on Hockey Night in Canada, Friedman mentioned the Oilers were in “shock.”

“I think they’re in shock. I think they’re just in shock about how bad everything that’s been going, Friedman stated. “Everybody’s focusing on the goaltending. But it’s deeper than that. They’re not defending, they’re not scoring everything they thought they do well, they aren’t doing well. Even the power play is nowhere near as good as it’s been. They did what all of you would expect.

NHL Rumors: How short is Jay Woodcroft’s leash in Edmonton?

They spent a lot of this week calling around the league trying to see what was available out there. But the one thing they made very clear is they weren’t going to make a desperate dumb deal. And the problem with that is that you know, other teams say look, we’re happy to just wait things out right now. It’s still early so I don’t think Edmonton found a trade partner. Well, they didn’t find a trade partner on anything they thought could be reasonable.

So they have to figure it out themselves for now. The one thing I really do believe, though, Ron, is that things don’t get better and I don’t think Edmonton has given up on this season at all. But if things don’t get better, something is going to have to change they know that can’t keep going like this.” 

However, the Oilers have been off to a terrible start. The Oilers are 3-9-1 to begin the season. And the team has looked awful especially in their three losses to the Vancouver Canucks this year.

Not to mention, the Oilers hit rock bottom when they lost to one of the worst teams in the league the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. Many expected Jay Woodcroft to be fired. However, the belief from some was that the plan all along was going to see how the road trip played out.

Well, the Oilers finished the road trip with a win. Their best all-around game this season. However, someone has to take the fall for the start of the season. Can’t fire the players, so the coach has to go.

Since becoming the Oilers bench boss, Woodcroft has the fifth most wins in the NHL. He has a record of  79-41-13 a winning percentage of 64.3 percent, and now he is out of a job.

Last season, as bench boss, the Oilers went to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs before losing to the Vegas Golden Knights.

As documented on NHLRumors.com throughout the week, Woodcroft was on a short leash. His seat was burning up. A Stanley Cup contending team the Oilers were at the bottom of the standing in the Pacific and the NHL standings.

NHL Rumors: Is Jay Woodcroft on the hot seat in Edmonton? How can they turn this around?

And while Woodcroft deserves blame, the Oilers had issues that went deeper than just goaltending. They could not score or defend well. When Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are not producing at the rate we expect them to, that does not bold well for any coach.

Woodcroft was in the second year of his three-year contract that paid him $6 million a season.

And now Connor McDavid will have his sixth coach since entering the league as Kris Knoblauch will be named the new coach of the Edmonton Oilers.