The Edmonton Oilers are hoping that patience and stability will reverse a course of inconsistency and turmoil that has caused them to miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 12 of the past 13 seasons.
Ken Holland was hired as general manager May 7 after 22 years in that position with the Detroit Red Wings, who won the Stanley Cup three times in that span. Holland was hired to replace Peter Chiarelli, who was fired Jan. 22.
In one of Holland's first moves, the Oilers hired Dave Tippett as coach May 28 to replace Ken Hitchcock, who took over after Todd McLellan was fired Nov. 20.
Tippett previously coached the Arizona Coyotes (2009-17) and Dallas Stars (2002-09) and worked most recently as a consultant for the expansion Seattle franchise, which will begin play in the 2021-22 NHL season.
"I believe we can compete for a playoff spot in 2019-20," Holland said. "It was a tough year last year with a lot of instability.
"Some of our good young players give us an incredible nucleus to work around, but they are 22 or 23 (years old) and their heads must be spinning with what's going on. So we've got to calm the waters and bring in stability, make a stable environment. I'm hoping that's what I can bring."
The Oilers began that process by signing three veteran free agents July 1.
Goalie Mike Smith will provide competition for No. 1 Mikko Koskinen. Forwards Markus Granlund and Tomas Jurco solidify the bottom six. Each is capable of scoring goals and has experience; Granlund has played 301 NHL games, Jurco has played 201.