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Oilers Expected Changes: Coach Rumors, AHL Signing, Goalie Search

The Edmonton Oilers can’t seem to find their way and changes are expected, including a coaching move, goaltending changes and more.

After a 6-0 loss to the Florida Panthers — one in which the Edmonton Oilers played a wonderful first period and left those 20 minutes tied 0-0 –, there is a lot of speculation that change is coming since the Oilers gave up four goals in quick succession in the third period. Rumors are the coach might be gone, that GM Ken Holland is trying to sign someone from the AHL and that he’s still actively out there looking for a new goaltender.

Related: Oilers Shifting Focus From Kane to Goaltending?

While everyone is speculating the Florida game might have been Dave Tippett’s last as coach, Ryan Rishaug of TSN reports, “My sense is, a coaching change is not imminent today. It’s going to be a day-by-day process for now.” He does acknowledge that a loss against the Calgary Flames on Saturday would probably force the Oilers’ hand and that Glen Gulutzan would take over on an interim basis, but there’s no doubt now that Tippett’s job is in jeopardy.

Jay Woodcroft is also being heavily considered as the next coach. He is currently running the Bakersfield’s team and if Woodcroft is brought in, Rishaug believes the Oilers will be making him the permanent coach, not an interim one. Woodcroft has done an admirable job in the AHL and he’s quickly gaining momentum as a candidate for a full-time NHL gig. If the Oilers want him, it could take a three-year deal.

Player Solutions from Within?

There is also speculation that the Oilers are looking to sign 32-year-old forward Brad Malone to an NHL contract. He’s the captain of the AHL Bakersfield team and he’s got some NHL experience. Rightfully, Oilers’ fans are unhappy that this might be considered Ken Holland’s first move to try and fix things, but it could also suggest Woodcroft is on his way and he wants to bring a familiar face with him. When asked about the player last month, Woodcroft said of the player: “Malone plays aggressive, is good on PK and understands gamesmanship. He is not a wallflower.”

Unfortunately for Malone, any signing will have to wait as he tested positive for COVID.

The Oilers placed Kyle Turris on waivers Friday. They also placed Tim Soderlund on unconditional waivers for purposes of contract termination, as per Elliotte Friedman.

Goaltending Solutions?

It looks like the Oilers will have to go back to Mikko Koskinen on Saturday because Stuart Skinner won’t be ready in time to play the Flames. Mike Smith was not on the ice for practice today so he’s likely out and the Oilers feel more comfortable with Koskinen than Ilya Konovalov.

Meanwhile, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Oilers are looking at multiple options in an attempt to find a goaltending solution. Holland has apparently reached out to the Columbus Blue Jackets about netminder Joonas Korpisalo and also to the Dallas Stars about goaltender Anton Khudobin and Braden Holtby. The concern with Khudobin is that he has an extra season on his current contract at $3.33 million.

There was some thought that Edmonton had an interest in Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen, but he is now out for the next eight weeks with a lower-body injury.

Next: Could Canucks and Halak Play Game of Chicken Over $1.25M Bonus?



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