Jay Woodcroft was fired as coach of the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. 

The Oilers (3-9-1) are coming off a 4-1 win at the Seattle Kraken on Saturday but are seventh in the Pacific Division, ahead of only the San Jose Sharks (2-11-1). They are 2-7-1 in their past 10 games and 0-4-1 at Rogers Place, their lone home win coming when they hosted the 2023 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium on Oct. 29 (a 5-2 victory against the Calgary Flames).

The 47-year-old was 79-41-13 in 133 regular-season games over three seasons with the Oilers, and 14-14 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He replaced Dave Tippett as coach Feb. 10, 2022, after guiding Edmonton's American Hockey League affiliate in Bakersfield for four seasons.

"Woke up this morning, we got in late last night, and I called ‘Woody’ and (assistant coach) Dave Manson and informed them we were making a coaching change," Oilers general manager Ken Holland said. "I have a relationship with ‘Woody’ that goes back to 2005 when he was a video coach with the Detroit Red Wings. I want to thank them for their contributions to our team over the last two years helping us go to the Final Four and the Final Eight. They work hard, they’re good hockey people. This is a difficult decision and obviously we’re in a business where you got to win games."

Kris Knoblauch was named Woodcroft's replacement. The 45-year-old, who will lead an NHL team for the first time, coached the New York Rangers' AHL affiliate in Hartford for the past four seasons. Previously, he coached Oilers captain Connor McDavid for three seasons (2012-15) with Erie of the Ontario Hockey League, where the forward had 285 points (97 goals, 188 assists) in 166 games, including 44 goals and 120 points in his final season before Edmonton chose him No. 1 in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Knoblauch's first game as Edmonton's coach will come at home against the New York Islanders on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; TVAS, SN, MSGSN).

"As for this opportunity it’s an unbelievable opportunity," Knoblauch said. "It’s been a crazy last 24 hours for myself. I was on the bench yesterday in Hartford and got on a plane to get here and to be able to coach the Edmonton Oilers with such a strong hockey culture, history and passionate fans, to be here as a head coach, is a little bit of a dream for me."

Manson was replaced by Paul Coffey, a 2004 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, four-time Stanley Cup champion (three with Edmonton) and three-time Norris Trophy winner whose 48 goals for the Oilers in 1985-86 are an NHL single-season record by a defenseman.

Under Woodcroft, the Oilers qualified for the playoffs in each of the past two seasons but were eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup champion each time. They were swept by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2022 Western Conference Final and lost in six games to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Second Round last season.

This season, Edmonton ranks 29th in the NHL in goals allowed per game (3.92), ahead of only the Minnesota Wild (3.93) and San Jose (4.43). 

"Kept hoping we were going to win a game, and after we lost the game against San Jose (3-2) on Thursday night, [Oilers CEO Jeff Jackson] and I started to talk really seriously, ‘Should we consider making a coaching change,’ and obviously made a decision to make that decision," Holland said.

Hartford assistant Steve Smith, a three-time Cup-winning defenseman with the Oilers (1987, '88, '90), will take over for Knoblauch on an interim basis.

NHL.com staff writer Derek Van Diest contributed to this report

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