The Oilers have hired Hartford head coach Kris Knoblauch to be their new head coach.
Knoblauch coached Edmonton’s Connor McDavid as a junior player.
Hartford assistant coach Steve Smith will be the Wolf Pack’s interim head coach and the organization will search for a full-time replacement.
The Wolf Pack play at 3PM today.
Adam Rotter: Good for Knoblauch who was never seen as a serious candidate to replace Gerard Gallant and good for the Rangers to allow Knoblauch to take the job. It puts them in a bind as they need to find a new coach for the Wolf Pack, but Knoblauch probably has a better shot at eventually becoming head coach of the Rangers by leaving and being a head coach somewhere else first.
Knoblauch had some success filling in for both David Quinn and Gerard Gallant when they were out with Covid. He had success last year in guiding the Wolf Pack deep into the playoffs and he generally had success in Hartford until the Rangers would deal with injuries and take all of their best players.
There is the connection to McDavid that jumps out and coaching McDavid in junior also means that Knoblauch has some relation to Oilers President and McDavid’s former agent Jeff Jackson. But the Oilers fired a first-time head coach in Jay Woodcroft and hired a first-time head coach in Knoblauch to try and right the ship after a terrible start to the season.