After a couple days of bubbling under, the Oilers have made some significant moves in the coaching ranks. Today, the Oilers have made it official. They’re bringing in three new assistant coaches for the 2018-19 after Jay Woodcroft has been reassigned to Bakersfield, while Ian Herbers will return to U of A.
- Glen Gulutzan spent the last two seasons as the head coach in Calgary. The Flames failed to make the playoffs in 2017-18, though they made a first round appearance in 2016-17.
- Trent Yawney has spent each of the last four seasons in Anaheim as an assistant coach.
- Manny Viveiros coached Swift Current to a WHL Championship this year (his second as coach of Swift Current).
WHAT TO MAKE OF IT ALL
Right now game plan is for Yawney to handle D and PK, Viveiros and Gulutzan the PP which was worst in league. Yawney, Gulutzan and McLellan on bench, Viveiros in pressbox, coming down to bench for 3rd period— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) May 25, 2018
Let’s be quite honest with ourselves, last year’s special teams were gonzo for most of the year. Will the new guard be able to boost some numbers?
Gulutzan-ran Flames teams have sort of a mixed bag on power play success (22nd, 10th, 29th over the course of Gulutzan’s head coaching tenure). Manny Viveiros has had much success at the WHL with his power play, so it will be interesting to see what a breath of fresh air to the organization feels like. Trent Yawney will have plenty of work cut out for him on the penalty kill. Anaheim finished no worse than seventh on the PK over the last three years, which is encouraging.
It’s good to see the Oilers step a little bit out of their comfort zone by not hiring another block of the Old Boys Club to put an old face on a current problem. I’d be pretty excited just to see the PK get better.
The Oilers have shaken things up among the coaches, which is fine. Now comes the fun part for Peter Chiarelli, which is getting the roster ready for opening night. All the coaches in the world are great, but it’s probably best to have a backup plan if Ty Rattie is your first line RW on opening night.