The search is over. General manager Ken Holland and the Edmonton Oilers announced Tuesday morning that they have hired Dave Tippett as their new head coach.
“I’m delighted to be here, I’m thankful for the opportunity,” Tippett said. “I’m well rested. I’ve been out for a couple of years, and it’s time to get going.”
The 57-year-old, who hails from Moosomin, Sask., began his NHL head coaching career with the Los Angeles Kings in 1999 before lengthy stays with the Dallas Stars and Phoenix and Arizona Coyotes.
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Holland said his search began the day he was named the new Oilers GM.
“The first thing that I did was reach out to Ken Hitchcock…and I asked Ken to assist me in going through the process in naming the next head coach of the Edmonton Oilers.”
There was a list of about 15 candidates, Holland said, though Tippett was always the leader in his mind, pointing to Tippett’s experience and accomplishments in Dallas and Arizona.
Watch below: The Edmonton Oilers introduced Dave Tippett as their new head coach on Tuesday. John Sexsmith has the details.
Tippett said he knows Oilers’ captain Connor McDavid from the hockey world cup. He’s watched video of McDavid and Leon Draisaitl playing together and likes what he sees but says he won’t be stuck on that idea heading into training camp.
“I come to a team here that obviously has good pieces, lots of upside. Everyone talks about McDavid and Draisaitl — there’s more pieces here than McDavid and Draisaitl. There’s good players here to build on. I think there’s lots of upside with this organization.”
Holland said he will work with Tippett to build the player personnel within their vision by drafting, developing and scouting.
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A veteran with over 1,100 NHL games behind the bench, Tippett won the Jack Adams Award as the league’s Coach of the Year in 2010, leading the Coyotes to a 50-25-7 record and into the playoffs.
He reached the conference final with them in 2012.
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Most recently he was a senior adviser for the NHL’s Seattle expansion franchise.
Tippett is regarded by some as a defensive-minded coach, but his former teammate, now an analyst for the NHL Network, Brian Lawton, doesn’t agree.
“Some people equate Dave defensively because he was a defensive specialist as a player,” Lawton said on Oilers Now.
“He’s a forward thinker, he’s a great communicator, and I would expect the Edmonton Oilers would reach new heights and be as exciting as you’ve ever seen them. He would want to utilize the weapons that they have.”
He has coached Team Canada at the World Hockey Championships in 2014 and has served as an assistant in previous tournaments as well. As a player, he captained Canada’s 1984 Olympic hockey team.
As a player, Tippet appeared in 721 NHL games between 1983 and 1994, splitting time between the Hartford Whalers, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. He registered 262 points and 317 penalty minutes.
An announcement on Tippett’s assistants is expected in the near future. He said he wants to speak to the existing assistant coaches before he makes any decisions.
Holland confirmed he wouldn’t be keeping Ken Hitchcock around as head coach for the 2019-20 season when the Oilers announced Holland as the new GM on May 7.