Well the news we have been expecting for the past couple weeks was finally made official today as the Oilers announce Glen Gulutzan, Trent Yawney, and Manny Viveiros as assistant coaches with Todd McLellan.
A couple quick notes from the press conference.
- McLellan has said that the special teams will be worked on collectively. However he expects Gulutzan and Viveiros to take lead on the PP with Yawney focusing on the PK.
- Having said that McLellan was quick to praise Yawney for his work with Anaheims PK and listed that as a crucial strength.
- McLellan also congratulated Gulutzan for the work he did with his teams in the neutral zone and his ability to get his teams to play to their strengths.
- McLellan still plans on running a three coach bench but did mention that Manny Viveiros will watch from above but join the team on the bench for the 3rd period. It's an interesting idea that I do not recall being executed by other teams.
Overall I feel this is probably the best move the organization could make. McLellan needed to have new guys with him as he appeared stuck in trying to do things the same way over and over again. McLellan and Gulutzan are good friends which certainly plays a role in working relationships. Hopefully if things aren't working Glen and Todd can use this relationship to find better ways to do things.
Yawney and McLellan also worked together in San Jose so there is a familiarity there. The Ducks were an aggressive team on the PK and hopefully the Oilers can adopt some of those habits quickly.
The most interesting name out of all of these is Manny Viveiros. This will be his first NHL coaching position and he has quite the mentors to help him learn to coach at this level. The Swift Current Broncos were the best team in Junior hockey last season in my opinion and he has knowledge of Oilers prospect Stuart Skinner to bring in to the fold.
The obvious question for many fans will be "Which one of these guys is McLellan's future replacement?" I question how long a leash McLellan will have to start the season and if things falter early I think Gulutzan will be the coach before spring.
Long term let me be the first to say I think Manny Viverios will be the Oilers head coach in the next 4-6 years.
Oh and Paul Coffey is a skills coach or something.
Thanks for reading