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Oilers fire head coach Jay Woodcroft after 3-9-1 start to season

Edmonton has moved on from Woodcroft after starting the season 3-9-1. We break down the news and what it means for the team.

Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks Head coach Jay Woodcroft of the Edmonton Oilers looks on from the bench during the third period of their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on November 6, 2023 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The Edmonton Oilers have fired head coach Jay Woodcroft following the team’s embarrassing 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night. That loss dropped the Oilers to 3-9-1 on the season, tied for the worst record in the NHL with San Jose. Even though the team moved to 3-9-1 with a win Saturday, the decision appeared to be inevitable.

The Oilers are adding Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey as an assistant coach while Kris Knoblauch has been named the interim head coach. Dave Manson was also let go along with Woodcroft, per reports.

The Oilers began the season as Stanley Cup contenders with +900 odds to win a championship in 2023-24. That was among the top odds in the NHL, odds that are now down to +2500 during this stretch early in the season.

During the 2021-22 season, the Oilers fired head coach Dave Tippett and replaced him with Woodcroft, who had been the head coach of the franchise’s AHL affiliate. Woodcroft led the Oilers to the Western Conference Final, going 26-9-3 during the regular season after replacing Tippett. Woodcroft and the Oilers were 50-23-9 last season but lost to the eventual Cup champion Golden Knights in the second round. After this slow start, Woodcroft is out as head coach.