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BLOG: Chiarelli comments on assistant coaching changes

President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli commented on the Oilers hiring of assistant coaches Glen Gulutzan, Trent Yawney and Manny Viveiros

by Jamie Umbach /

EDMONTON, AB - President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli addressed the media Friday following the announcement that Glen Gulutzan, Trent Yawney and Manny Viveiros have been named Oilers assistant coaches.

"We did get a lot of names, but we targeted these three individuals for their specific talents, experiences and compatible personalities," Chiarelli said via conference call about the Oilers' recent additions to the coaching staff. "(Todd McLellan) and I talked a lot about the group and not so much about the individuals. Collaboratively, we looked at this and went at it methodically and we're happy to get these three guys. They come from different backgrounds, different experiences and with different skillsets, and together they will challenge each other.

"I look forward to watching them work and being a part of this group from a management level."

A change to the coaching staff came as the first move after the evaluation of areas in need of improvement across the Oilers' organization.

"There's a number of areas that we looked at, and I'm not saying we're finished either," Chiarelli continued. "This is the one step we're looking at now and we looked at it the same way much like you can with making changes to the roster. We looked at some areas we felt were deficient and this was an area we felt we could improve, so that's one of the reasons we started with this."

"We're looking at a lot of different things. We're looking at some tweaks to the bottom half and possible tweaks to the defence core in general. I like this roster for the most part, there's a strong critical mass there, but I think we're going to look more towards not making any major moves."

As for up front, Chiarelli commented on how a lack of veteran presence at forward could be addressed in the build-up to the start of the 2018-19 season in October.

"We've looked at some veterans at various forward positions throughout our meetings. We lost some leadership last year, and that impacted us and it's a legitimate point. It's hard to airlift a veteran in and expect him to have that same type of leadership, but we're looking at those types of players in the free agent market and the trade market."

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