After rumors broke yesterday that it was coming, the Edmonton Oilers have officially rounded out their coaching staff with the hire of Brian Wiseman as an assistant. Wiseman has spent the last several years as an assistant at the University of Michigan, and will be getting his first NHL coaching experience on Dave Tippett’s staff. Tippett released a statement on his new assistant:
I am very excited to add Brian to our coaching staff. Brian is a forward-thinking coach with whom I have history as both a player and a coach. He works very well with young players and has a passion for skill development.
Tippett was the head coach of the Houston Aeros of the IHL when Wiseman scored 109 points in 1998-99, winning the league championship. The 48-year old former Wolverines coach will join associate coach Jim Playfair and assistant Glen Gulutzan on the staff as they try to turn around the Oilers. An undersized forward during his playing days, he only got a chance to suit up three times in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs but is a legend at Michigan and in the IHL.
Edmonton is desperately trying to re-establish themselves as a contender in the Western Conference and took an obvious step towards a new team identity with the trade of Milan Lucic recently. Wiseman may be another step towards a more skilled game given his history, though the release did not indicate exactly what his responsibilities will be other than “skill development.”