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Woodcroft staying as HC

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Woodcroft to remain coach of Oilers next season

Contract extended through 2024-25, was 26-9-3 after replacing Tippett on Feb. 10

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Jay Woodcroft will remain coach of the Edmonton Oilers.


The 45-year-old had his contract extended through the 2024-25 season. He was 26-9-3 after being promoted from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League to replace Dave Tippett on Feb. 10.


Edmonton went 7-13-3 from Dec. 3 to Feb. 9 to fall six points out of a Stanley Cup Playoff spot.


The Oilers finished second in the Pacific Division (49-27-6) and advanced to the Western Conference Final, where they were swept by the Colorado Avalanche. It was Woodcroft's first job in the NHL as a coach.


"I think he did a fabulous job," Edmonton general manager Ken Holland said June 8. "The team responded to him and I told him he and I would meet early next week, Monday or Tuesday and have a discussion.


Yes, I am interested in him coming back. I want to hear what he's thinking. But I think he did a great job and was a big part of what we accomplished."


Though the Oilers return captain Connor McDavid after the Hart Trophy finalist for most valuable player scored an NHL career-high 123 points (44 goals, 79 assists) and forward Leon Draisaitl is coming off a 55-goal season, forward Evander Kane can become an unrestricted free agent July 13.


Edmonton's goaltending situation is also unsettled with Mikko Koskinen deciding to play in Switzerland next season and Mike Smith unsure about his future.


The 40-year-old has one season remaining on a two-year contract ($2.2 million average annual value).


Woodcroft guided Bakersfield for four seasons, was an Oilers assistant for three (2015-18) and an assistant for the San Jose Sharks for seven (2008-15). He was also on the Detroit Red Wings coaching staff for three seasons with Holland as GM from 2005-08 and won the Stanley Cup in 2008.


The Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, Red Wings and Winnipeg Jets are each conducting a search for a coach.


Lane Lambert replaced Barry Trotz for the New York Islanders on May 16, Bruce Cassidy took over for Peter DeBoer at the Vegas Golden Knights on June 14 and John Tortorella was hired by the Philadelphia Flyers to replace Mike Yeo on June 17. Rick Bowness stepped down as Stars coach May 20.



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