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EXTENDED: Oilers Remove Interim Tag, Extend Head Coach Jay Woodcroft

A good coach makes all the difference. This one rightfully gets rewarded with a three year extension.

Edmonton Oilers Headshots Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

A big piece of offseason business has been taken care of.

The interim tag has been removed from Jay Woodcroft’s title. The Oilers have extended Jay Woodcroft through the 2024-25 season, and it’s music to everyone’s ears. It immediately relieves me about where the direction of this offseason is going. While I somewhat expect there to be concessions with regards to player personnel prior to the 2022-23 season getting underway, it’s clear that the removal of Dave Tippett and the installation of Jay Woodcroft (and Dave Manson) helped the Oilers turn the season around immediately.

We’ll await hearing the extension of Dave Manson, though I would hope that note gets passed along shortly. Woodcroft spent three full years as head coach of Edmonton’s AHL affiliate in Bakersfield, he split last season in Bakersfield prior to getting the interim head coach tag in Edmonton. Woodcroft also spent three years as Oilers assistant coach from 2015-2018, he spent seven years in San Jose as an assistant coach prior to his time in Edmonton.

Woodcroft (and Manson) helped lead the Oilers to 26 wins in 38 regular season games after taking over for Dave Tippett in early February 2022. The Oilers easily reached the playoffs, defeating both the Los Angeles Kings and the Calgary Flames en route to the third round of the playoffs. Woodcroft often employed an 11/7 deployment which relied heavily on three lines with two extra forwards rotating in and out of the lineup, while seven defencemen dressed.

Woodcroft’s player personnel choices became a little chaotic as the playoffs arrived; so I’m not entirely sure if he was receiving orders from above about deployment. I’m optimistic that he’ll get some more input to the roster makeup now that he’s got the permanent gig.

Equipped with a three year deal, it will be exciting to see a full season of Woodcroft at work.