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Oilers’ Stanley Cup Run: A Result of Crucial Staff Changes

The Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup run have been helped by the likes of Paul Coffey and Sports Psychologist George Mumford.

The Edmonton Oilers have made some pivotal staff changes throughout the season. Two have had huge impacts and been instrumental in helping the Oilers make it to the Stanley Cup Final: hiring Assistant Coach, Paul Coffey, has completely transformed the Oilers’ defense into the powerhouse it’s become, and the emotional maturity seen by this Oilers team during these playoffs can be attributed to working with George Mumford.

After an abysmal start to the season that saw the Oilers fall to 31st place in the league with a horrifying 2-9-1 record — the least amount of points a team collected through the first 12 games that would eventually play in the Stanley Cup Final — the Oilers were faced with the tough decision of changing coaches halfway through the season. As fate would have it, the Oilers would hire legend Paul Coffey. The defensive phenomenon that is Coffey had a historic run with the Edmonton Oilers in the 80s, winning three Stanley Cups. 

Coffey wasn’t keen to take the job but said in interviews after he was hired he would do anything to help the Oilers, a team he loved dearly.

Players like Evan Bouchard significantly benefited from Coffey’s presence. For perspective, the 2022-23 season saw Bouchard record a CF% of 56.95%. This season Bouchard is averaging a CF% of 60.03%. Simply put, Bouchard is on the ice for considerably more shots for the Oilers than against them. He limits the opportunities for the opposition to shoot the puck while smothering them with his offensive talent. In almost every aspect Bouchard has elevated his game under Coffey, and confidence radiates off him.

Oilers Hired Sports Psychologist George Mumford

Another upgrade seen on the back end is Stuart Skinner’s remarkable bounce back. Many attributed Skinner’s shutdown performance in Game 6 against the Dallas Stars to the hiring of sports psychologist George Mumford. The resume of Mumford is quite impressive. He has led sports legends Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan to NBA Championships and was known as ‘Phil Jackson’s ‘secret weapon’ for winning eight NBA championships.’ Now Mumford can add Skinner and the Oilers to his glowing resume.

Paul Coffey George Mumford Oilers

Skinner admitted to some mental blocks during Round 2 against the Vancouver Canucks. Emotional pressure had gotten the best of him to the point he was pulled and forced to watch Games 4 and 5 of that series from the bench. Under the guidance of Mumford, Skinner is dialed in. He went from a healthy scratch to arguably the biggest reason the Oilers are in the Stanley Cup Final.

You could see the heartfelt interaction between Mumford and Skinner after the series ended.

Without a doubt, the Oilers have hired the right people to elevate their team. Every coaching and staff change has led to the Oilers becoming Stanley Cup finalists for the first time in 18 years. The Oilers exude a level of maturity and confidence never seen before, a maturity they hope can bring their Stanley Cup dreams across the finish line. 

Next: Coming to Oilers Best Decision of Zach Hyman’s Life

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