The turmoil surrounding the Edmonton Oilers resulted in several jerseys being thrown on the ice after a 6-0 defeat at the hands of the Florida Panthers. As silly as it sounds, jersey tosses have often come just ahead of a coach’s dismissal, as Ron Wilson and Travis Green can attest. The situation with Dave Tippett in Edmonton is an evolving one, as Ryan Rishaug of TSN explains that though a change isn’t imminent, it is a “day-to-day process” at the moment and suggests that a poor result against the Calgary Flames tomorrow night would likely leave no choice for general manager Ken Holland.
With Tippett’s future unclear, some have suggested that Mike Babock, a long-time colleague of Holland’s with the Detroit Red Wings, could be a potential answer in Edmonton. Darren Dreger of TSN tweets that Babcock has no intention of coaching in the NHL this season and will be staying with the University of Saskatchewan through March. Babcock is technically still under contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, meaning hiring him would come along with buying out at least a portion of the remaining money owed. The eight-year contract he signed in 2015 paid him $6.25MM each season through 2022-23.
Another name, Paul Maurice, has also been thrown into the mix after he resigned as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets earlier this season. Similarly, Dreger reports that Maurice will not be coaching in the NHL for the rest of this season. Maurice is certainly a candidate for the Oilers or another NHL team moving forward, but is taking some time away from the game to refocus.
In terms of candidates for Edmonton then should they move on from Tippett, Rishaug explains that assistant coach Glen Gulutzan would be the most likely on an interim basis. Bakersfield Condors head coach Jay Woodcroft, who previously served as a video assistant under Babcock and Holland in Detroit, would be a candidate for the full-time job but Rishaug doesn’t expect the team would want to commit a multi-year contract to him midseason when the candidate list is so short.
Of course, any change in regard to the Oilers’ head coaching position is speculative at this point and obviously dependent on how the team plays moving forward.