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Tippett hired by Oilers as coach

Won 553 games in 14 seasons with Coyotes, Stars; was senior adviser for Seattle expansion franchise

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Dave Tippett was named coach of the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

Tippett's hiring comes three weeks after the Oilers hired Ken Holland as general manager and president of hockey operations.

"This was a unique opportunity," said Tippett, who received a three-year contract. "It's a first-class organization with passionate fans. There was a lot of things that came together. When Ken reached out, I looked at it hard and it was a great opportunity. That's why I'm here." 

Tippett coached the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes from 2009-10 through 2016-17. He won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in his first season with the Coyotes and guided them to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his first three seasons. The Coyotes advanced to the Western Conference Final in 2012 before losing to the Los Angeles Kings, but they failed to qualify for the playoffs in Tippett's final five seasons.

"I don't think it'll really hit me until you get behind the bench that first time," Tippett said of returning to coaching after a two-year break. "I'm looking forward to planning training camp, all those things that I've done for so long. I'm excited for the opportunity, excited to work with Ken. Ken is one of the top guys out there, I know because I did a lot of research on those guys (Detroit Red Wings) this year and am excited to work with him."

 

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Holland said he put together a list of "16 or 17 people" as potential coaches before reaching out to Tippett.

"I wanted to hear what was important to him as a coach," Holland said. "What does he like in his team? How do you hold players accountable? How do you build team chemistry? We talked about the players on the roster; what does he think about the players on the roster? What does he think and what does he see with the team in comparison to what I see and what do we want to build?"

Tippett, who turns 58 on Aug. 25, is 553-413-120 with 28 ties in 14 seasons as coach of the Coyotes and Dallas Stars, who qualified for the playoffs five times in Tippett's six seasons with them. The Stars got as far as the Western Conference Final in 2008.

Tippett was working as a senior adviser for the expansion Seattle franchise, which will begin play in the NHL in the 2021-22 season. His tasks since being hired June 18, 2018, included overseeing all aspects of the organization's development, including construction of a training facility. But while he's optimistic that the NHL's 32nd franchise will be a success when it begins play in the 2021-22 season, Tippett said the desire to coach returned.

"I can't say enough good things about Seattle," Tippett said. "That's going to be a phenomenal franchise ... it's going to be a home run. I was blessed to be there and help out with some of the early infrastructure. But ultimately, the coaching bug got me, and this opportunity was a great opportunity."

Video: Tippett is named the 16th head coach for the Oilers

Tippett played 11 seasons as a forward in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers, finishing with 262 points (93 goals, 169 assists) in 721 games. He was a player-assistant coach with Houston of the International Hockey League in 1994-95 and was named coach midway through the 1995-96 season. Tippett guided Houston to the Turner Cup in 1999, then spent three seasons as an assistant with the Kings before being hired as coach by the Stars.

The Oilers fired coach Todd McLellan on Nov. 20 after a 9-10-1 start. Ken Hitchcock coached them for the final 62 games.

General manager and president of hockey operations Peter Chiarelli was fired Jan. 23. 

Edmonton finished 35-38-9, 11 points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference, despite having two of the top four scorers in the NHL, forwards Connor McDavid (116 points; 41 goals, 75 assists) and Leon Draisaitl (105 points; 50 goals, 55 assists).

"We haven't made the playoffs here in a while, so we understand we have to make the team deeper and better," Holland said "We have to figure out how we do that."

The Anaheim Ducks are the remaining NHL team without a coach. D.J. Smith was hired by the Ottawa Senators on May 23.

NHL.com correspondent Derek Van Diest contributed to this story

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