The Edmonton Oilers stunned many last week when they made the move to fired head coach Jay Woodcroft in spite of his incredible success behind the bench for the Oilers organization. Woodcroft was quickly replaced by head coach Kris Knoblauch, a move that had many questioning the degree of influence that Oilers captain Connor McDavid has over the organization.
On Monday, veteran National Hockey League analyst Don Cherry shared his thoughts on the big move and expressed his surprise at the fact that Woodcroft was fired at all.
"Jay Woodcroft got fired after he won a game," said Cherry incredulously on his latest podcast. "That's what gets me, after they win a game."
Cherry seems to think that Woodcroft won't mind too much given that he will still draw a good salary from the Oilers for being terminated early into his contract.
"They get paid pretty good dough now," said Cherry.
Cherry didn't have much to say regarding Woodcroft's replacement Kris Knoblauch, but he did hilariously mispronounce his name in true Cherry fashion by referring to him as "Kris Knob-cock". He did however have high praise for Knoblauch's new assistant Paul Coffey whom Cherry believes will be an excellent coach based on Coffey's coaching history with younger kids.
"We both liked Coffey when he coached in Toronto," said Cherry referring to the Toronto Marlies minor midget team. "They changed lines good and all the shots from the point were low. You get a penalty against them and that's it, it was a goal. He was a good coach... he will be a good coach."
As for the perception of McDavid's influence over the team, Cherry believes that the added pressure is the last thing that the superstar forward wants right now.
"He's not," said Cherry of the rumors that McDavid is running the show. "That's the one thing he doesn't wanna do, is get the reputation that he's running the club... he's got enough going on."
Cherry does like some of the things he's seen already, including grouping the defensemen together in the locker room. Cherry believes that there is a more "old school" approach being taken and, somewhat unsurprisingly, that lines up with the long time NHL analyst's philosophy on the game.