Rumor: McDavid orchestrated the firing of Jay Woodcroft.
Daniel Lea/CSM/Zuma  

Rumor: McDavid orchestrated the firing of Jay Woodcroft.

There is rampant speculation regarding the surprise decision to fire Jay Woodcroft on Sunday.

Jonathan Larivee

The Edmonton Oilers made the move to fire head coach Jay Woodcroft on Sunday, a move that came as a surprise if only due to the fact that the Oilers picked up a big win on Saturday night over a tough division rival in the Vancouver Canucks.

Since the announcement of Woodcroft's termination, there has been rampant speculation as to why the move was done at all, with many pointing the finger at the organization's star forward. It's been no secret that McDavid has exerted his influence over the Oilers in the past and with Woodcroft's replacement having links to the superstar forward that has only added more fuel to the fire.

McDavid's former agent Jeff Jackson was named CEO of Hockey Operations for the Edmonton Oilers just this past August and there's no reason to believe that Jackson himself wasn't involved in today's decision.

Add to that the fact that the man replacing Woodcroft will be relatively inexperienced head coach Kris Knoblauch. Knoblauch was the head coach of the Erie Otters when McDavid was playing in the Ontario Hockey League, and you have to wonder if that connection didn't influence his hire. Knoblauch has no experience as a head coach at the NHL level and has made the playoffs just once as a head coach in the American Hockey League in spite of coaching the Hartforward Wolfpack for the past 4 seasons.

Knoblauch does have experience as an assistant head coach in the NHL, spending two seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers between 2017 and 2019 but that is hardly the kind of resume that would make someone the frontrunner for a high profile head coaching job in the NHL.

This latest move leaves McDavid in a position where he now has his former agent running hockey operations for the team, and his former head coach now in charge behind the bench. There's no direct evidence fingering McDavid as the mastermind behind the firing of Jay Woodcroft as of yet, but where there is smoke there may be fire.