A coaching position has an expiration date, but unlike yogurt, unfortunately you don’t know the exact date! In Edmonton, Jay Woodcroft learned that his is scheduled for November 12, 2023.
All dismissals concern me personally, because I went through it in my career. So I know very well that the life of a coach is not always easy. Every layoff creates collateral damage for your family and loved ones. I feel for Woodcroft, who was offered his first chance in the NHL. The young coach did great things last season though. But it changes so quickly! We’re never safe from a perfect storm like the one that hit Edmonton this year.
We see this as a recurring problem with the Oilers. That’s already five different coaches for Connor McDavid, who is in his ninth season in the NHL. Before Woodcroft was replaced by Kris Knoblauch last week, Todd McLellan, Ken Hitchcock and Dave Tippett had alternated on Edmonton’s bench since McDavid’s arrival.
By comparison, Sidney Crosby has only been coached by four people in his 18-year career: myself, Dan Bylsma, Mike Johnston and Mike Sullivan since 2015.
Lack of leadership?
Once matured, a good leader always supports his coach by taking the lead of the group. When we compare the two cases, we realize that McDavid does not have the same leadership status as Crosby. From an outside perspective, this is a troubling situation for the Oilers.
For the organization to be successful, an exceptional player like McDavid must play a key role, as Crosby has long done in Pittsburgh, but that requires great maturity. Apparently McDavid can’t get enough…
While expectations are high in Edmonton, I hope for the Oilers and their fans that Knoblauch can stabilize the team and get it going in the right direction. He and McDavid have known each other for a long time, which could certainly help the club’s cause. It is essential that the coach and his captain build a strong bond of trust. Above all, it should not become a country club.
Leave Slafkovski alone!
Let’s move on to the Canadiens and Juraj Slafkovski, who is stirring up passions in Montreal, to say the least.
Every day, reading all the texts and comments that belittle Slafkovski, my first reaction is always: “Poor little guy”.
Can we calm down please? He is still very young, he is only 19 years old, so let’s give him a chance to have fun and improve in a healthy environment. In short, put yourself in his shoes before criticizing him publicly.
When I see repeated reviews about him, it makes me sick. I feel sorry for him. It must be hard on his ego.
Before you write things that could hurt a young person and make assumptions, you need to make sure you are aware of the situation. But you have to be steeped in pot, as I have been for years, to know what’s really going on around CH. Otherwise, it’s like playing platform manager and it’s not constructive at all.