The Edmonton Oilers may have found their man.
The Oilers signed Jay Woodcroft to a three-year contract, removing the interim label from his title and cementing him as the organization’s figurehead after Woodcroft led the Oilers to the Western Conference Finals.
The news is not surprising, really.
The Oilers prospered under Woodcroft after he replaced Dave Tippett midway through the season, posting an incredible 26-9-3 in the final 37 games of the schedule to climb from the bottom of the Pacific Division to second place. place, and also earned home-ice advantage in the playoffs.
That advantage clearly paid off as Woodcroft led the Oilers to a surprise appearance in the Western Conference Finals, beating a hungry young Kings team in the first round and then crushing their provincial rivals the Calgary Flames in a bitter battle for Alberta.
The Oilers would eventually meet their end at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche, but Woodcroft’s influence on the roster was clear as his loose style allowed the Oilers’ talented players to truly use their gifts.
No coaching decision is likely to be made without the blessing of Connor McDavid, who suggests that if this deal is eventually signed as the report states, the NHL’s best player has approved it.
After a rocky end to the season, this should lift the morale of the Oilers fans a bit.