The Edmonton Oilers may be about to acquire a new coach, and you have to wonder about the motivations behind this potential move may truly be.
The Oilers are coming off what can be accurately described as a rather terrible season, especially when you consider the fact that the expectations were a deep run into the playoffs before the start of the 2017-2018 National Hockey League regular season. As a result you just knew that there would be some shake ups on the Oilers roster but this far things have been surprisingly quiet on that front.
It's true that the Oilers did make one change to their coaching staff when it was announced by general manager Peter Chiarelli that assistant coach Jay Woodcroft would be relived of his duties, but it was hardly the kind of drastic change that some members of the fan base were hoping for, or in some cases demanding. In fact to say Woodcroft was fired would be a disingenuous statement as he was not only retained by the Oilers organization but was also made head coach of the Oilers' American Hockey League affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors.
Now well into the month of may the Oilers have still not bad any major changes and somehow general manager Peter Chiarelli has retained his job and it seems like fans that were hoping for a drastic change are going to be left sorely disappointed. There has however been one rumored change that could have some degree of impact on the next season and that change would be the acquisition of a new coach.
Quickly after the Calgary Flames made the decision to fire their head coach, Glen Gulutzan, rumors began to circulate regarding the possibility about Gulutzan taking over as an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers organization, and with the termination of Woodcroft from that position it would seem like there is in fact an opening. Those however were just rumors but now another NHL insider is reporting that there has in fact been an offer made by the Edmonton Oilers.
Glen Gulutzan was mulling over assistant coaching offers from Buffalo and Edmonton last weekend. There were teams who wanted him to run their AHL clubs, but I’m not sure that’s his choice. Think there are also a couple of teams with interest in WHL Swift Current’s Manny Viveiros, also as an assistant. The Broncos lead Everett 3-1 in the league championship. And, after watching several AHL Hershey graduates perform so well for Washington in its victory over Pittsburgh, you have to think Troy Mann ends up on his feet, too. Mann led the Bears bench the last four seasons, but his contract was not renewed.
The offer officially being on the table raises a great deal of questions, although admittedly one sticks out above all the others. Would bringing Glen Gulutzan in be a safety valve for Peter Chiarelli? Would he consider firing Todd McLellan and giving Gulutzan the reigns if the Oilers got off to a bad start in the 2018-2019 NHL regular season?
If I was Todd McLellan I would be very concerned, the way Chiarelli has managed the team thus far he's going to need a scapegoat sooner or later.