The panic alarms are finally going off at full volume in Edmonton. They know this is their last chance to make something happen before it all burns to the ground. Todd McLellan, Ken Hitchcock, Dave Tippett, Jay Woodcroft. All of these guys showed up to coach a team with a generational superstar and another top 10 player in the world, and none of them were able to do shit with it. I'm not saying it's all had to do with coaching--there have been defensive struggles in Edmonton, goaltending struggles in Edmonton, and now it seems like the entire team has forgotten how to play hockey. But either way, the Edmonton Oilers are now on their 5th different coach in the Connor McDavid era.
And sometimes in order to move forward, you have to look back.
The Oilers already hired McDavid's agent, Jeff Jackson, to run the whole show up there in Edmonton as the Oilers' CEO of Hockey Operations. Now they're hiring McDavid's old junior coach to figure out a way to get these sacks of shit to get their act together.
Next thing you know, McDavid's dad is going to be the GM and his childhood best friend will be the equipment manager. His grandma will be the official cookie supplier for road trips.
This has the be the last chance, right? Clearly this organization is doing absolutely everything in their power (besides get good goalies) to keep McDavid happy. They're desperately doing whatever they can (besides get good goalies) to make sure he sticks around and doesn't demand a trade by Christmas.
Don't get me wrong, Kris Knoblauch has all the makings to be a great coach in the NHL. Guy had a great career behind the bench for the Erie Otters, spent a couple seasons as an assistant coach in Philly, and has been the head coach with Hartford in the AHL ever since. He's been working his way up to this moment, but now he's getting thrown right into the fire for his first crack as an NHL head coach. The Oilers are 3-9-1 to start the season. This team is a dumpster fire, and they're relying on a guy who has coached 1 NHL game before to turn it around. Maybe he's cut out for the job, but maybe not.
And if not, then what? They already hired McDavid's agent to run hockey operations. They just hired his former junior coach. If they still can't get things turned around, there's only one possible scenario where McDavid would stay in Edmonton.
The NHL hasn't had a player-coach since 1969 with Charlie Burns and the Minnesota North Stars. There were only a handful of guys who had been player-coaches in the NHL before that. So I'd say we're long overdue at this point. Just give McDavid the keys to the castle. Let him be a player-coach, give him final say in any trades or free agency acquisitions. Heck, let Connor McDavid decide how much food and drink will cost in the concession stands.
All I'm saying is that if Kris Knoblauch doesn't work out, then the Oilers may have run out of options. Either we have the first player-coach in the NHL since 1969, or Connor McDavid is on his way to Detroit.