If you’re expecting the Edmonton Oilers to make a coaching change this season, you will be disappointed.
According to Edmonton general manager Peter Chiarelli, the team plans to keep head coach Todd McLellan despite the team’s struggles.
“I have no intentions of firing Todd (McLellan). I want to work with the coach, and I think he’s a very good coach,” Chiarelli said, according to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector.
“As far as Todd goes, and (his staff), I am not considering firing them. At this point we’re going to solve it together.”
“Everyone is under evaluation, including myself,” Chiarelli said.
“We’ve had our challenges from a coaching perspective, and we’ve had our challenges from a player personnel perspective. We went into the season with certain expectations, and we’re not even close to them.
“I see the situation we’re in. I see levels of improvement, but I also see the losses piling up,” Chiarelli said. “There’s a plan in place, and a plan to bring up through the ranks, at the proper time, younger players.”
Oilers Recall Caleb Jones
Edmonton Oilers have recalled exciting prospect Caleb Jones, one of a pair of moves the team made, who will now make his return to the lineup.
In a corresponding move, the Oilers placed Brandon Manning on the injured reserve list with a hand injury.
Jones, 22, has excelled with AHL’s Bakersfield Condors, and comes with a ton of promise to the NHL level.
Oilers Fire Todd McLellan, Ken Hitchcock Takes Over
Currently, the Oilers are 9-10-1 and in sixth place in the Pacific Division and own the sixth-lowest point percentage in the league at .475, leading to the team’s decision to part ways with McLellan who had been at the helm since the 2015-2016 season.
Hitchcock, 66, has the third-most wins in NHL history with 823, trailing Joel Quenneville (890) who was fired by the Chicago Blackhawks earlier this season, and Scott Bowman (1,244), and has spent 22 seasons as a head coach in the NHL, with stints with teams such as the Dallas Stars (2 stints), Philadelphia Flyuers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and St. Louis Blues.
Oilers’ Zack Kassian Wants to Remain with Team
Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian had reportedly requested a trade from the team recently, in an effort to get more playing time, but is now clarifying what had happened and is stating that he prefers to stay with the team moving forward.
According to TSN’s Ryan Rishaug, Kassian sayss that he didn’t directly ask for a trade, explaining that his agent spoke with the Oilers front office about potential interest from other teams, and Kassian has since told teammates that he wants to remain in Edmonton.
The Oilers have scratched Kassian several times this season and his playing time has dipped significantly, but he was back in the lineup on Sunday when he scored his first goal of the season in less than 10 minutes of playing time.
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