Edmonton Oilers fire coach Jay Woodcroft, name Kris Knoblauch as interim replacement

Jay Woodcroft is out as coach of the Edmonton Oilers after the supposed Stanley Cup contenders lost 10 of their first 13 games this season.

Woodcroft was fired Sunday at the end of the team's road trip, which wrapped up with a 4-1 win at Seattle on Saturday night. That victory was not enough to save Woodcroft's job in the aftermath of a four-game losing streak, including an embarrassing 3-2 loss at the NHL-worst San Jose Sharks earlier in the week.

Kris Knoblauch, Connor McDavid's junior hockey coach, was named Woodcroft's replacement, and Hall of Famer Paul Coffey joins his staff as an assistant. Knoblauch is the organization's 10th coach in 15 seasons and the fifth since McDavid joined the team in 2015.

After the loss in San Jose on Thursday night, Woodcroft said he wasn't worried about his job security.

“No one’s happy with where we’re at,” Woodcroft said. “We all own it. We can be better, and that’s where my focus is.”

The Oilers had lost focus under Woodcroft, himself a midseason replacement in February 2022 when Dave Tippett was fired. Despite having reigning MVP McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, they were losing because of a combination of league-worst goaltending, porous defending and a lack of accountability.


AP Sports Writer Josh Dubow contributed to this report.



Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press