So the Edmonton Oilers need a new coach. Again.
I should wax my skis as often as they change coaches.
This time, it’s Ken Holland’s turn at bat, to take a swing at signing a guy who completes his contract in Edmonton.
The good news is, we know exactly what he’s looking for. Two things, actually:
One, it is time for this organization to figure out how to kill a penalty. Of the 31 franchises that have played an NHL game in the last decade, Edmonton’s 79.2 per cent is better only than Arizona’s 78.9 per cent — and the Coyotes have had roughly half the time to figure it out.
A good penalty killer in Edmonton is like a small forward in the NBA. Six-six isn’t small, and sub-80 per cent isn’t good.
Beyond the PK, it’s time to dispel a few myths about the type of coach required in Edmonton.
For example, when Dave Tippett’s name comes up, and people predict that a “defensive-minded” coach will impinge on the offensive instincts of Edmonton’s best players, we would remind you that Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had career years under Ken Hitchcock last season.