Paul Coffey is going to take a job with the Edmonton Oilers, and he won’t just be there for show.
The Oilers have floundered this season, and entered Saturday’s play on pace for 76 points, a stark dip from the 103 they put up last year.
“It doesn’t sound like [Coffey will] have a definitive job description, but it sounds like he’ll come in and take a real good look internally and voice his opinion and we know he’s got a strong one,” said Nick Kypreos during Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada.
Bringing in a member of the team’s glory days is nothing new for the Oilers.
Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish both have current roles with the team in higher management, this after each had coached and been general manager of the club. Both won Stanley Cups as players with the Oilers.
Wayne Gretzky came on in October of 2016 as partner and vice-chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group. Gretzky’s role seems to be of an advisor and guiding voice for management (and players) based on this interview from last February, though it appears that Coffey will be much more active in the decision-making process.
The Oilers figured to have put their days as lottery hopefuls behind them with a playoff series win last season, their first post-season appearance since 2005-06.
GM Peter Chiarelli has faced significant criticism for his trades of offensive players Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, as well as his expensive acquisition of defenceman Griffin Reinhart, currently with Vegas’ AHL affiliate.
What decisions Coffey will make in his new role is not yet clear, though, Kypreos was sure that the three-time Norris Trophy winner will make his voice heard.
“Make no mistake about it, Paul Coffey is not going into Edmonton to push pucks during practice, or take pictures in between periods,” said Kypreos.
“He wants to be a big part of turning this thing around in Edmonton.”