A few months ago, many would have identified the Edmonton Oilers as a team with coaching uncertainty heading into the offseason after they fired Dave Tippett mid-season. However, after their run to the Western Conference Final this year, Jay Woodcroft would appear to have earned the confidence of the team and fanbase to continue in his role. TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting today that Woodcroft and the Oilers continue to have ongoing discussions about a new contract this week, although there’s still more to be done.
With the Oilers yet to be linked publicly to any other coaching free agents, it’s becoming clear that the team prefers to retain Woodcroft as their head coach. It’s important to note that Woodcroft was fully named the head coach when he took over for Tippett; he was not given the interim title. Woodcroft led the Oilers on a 26-9-3 run to end the regular season in addition to their playoff run.
- One team that isn’t having such a smooth time with their coaching hiring process is the Dallas Stars. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun is reporting that potential candidates are hesitant to commit to the Stars given the fact that general manager Jim Nill only has one year left on his deal. It’s understandable that when a coach commits long-term, they’d like to have a solid idea of the team’s vision for the future. With Nill’s future uncertain, Dallas’ new coach won’t have that guarantee.
- The Stars will be playing in two neutral-site preseason games come September and October. On October 1, they’ll be facing off against the St. Louis Blues at Cable Dahmer Arena in Kansas City, home of the ECHL’s Kansas City Mavericks. Before that, though, they’ll be playing the Arizona Coyotes in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on September 27, as previously announced. It marks a return to normalcy for the NHL’s regular-season preparations.