EDMONTON, AB - Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett joined Bob Stauffer and Oilers Now on 630 CHED Monday afternoon, offering his perspective on the club's decision to make a pair of changes to its coaching staff last week.
While the timing was important for Oilers GM and President of Hockey Operations Ken Holland and Tippett, the move was made with the opportunities of Trent Yawney and Manny Viveiros at the forefront of their decision.
"Ken and I had a couple of good talks and wanted to move as quickly as we could just to make sure any changes we're going to make, you want to make sure the people being let go would have ample opportunity," the new Oilers bench boss said of Trent Yawney and Manny Viveiros being relieved of their duties on Friday.
"I just felt that I'd like to bring a couple of guys in that I'm familiar with. We're going to do some more talking, Ken and I, this afternoon about different scenarios we're looking at."
Included in the changes was the retention of Glen Gulutzan, whom Tippett had become familiar with during his seven-year tenure as the head coach of the Dallas Stars from 2002-09.
"He was just coming into the organization at the end of my tenure there, and he's a smart hockey guy," Tippett said. "I did a lot of talking to people around the organization and outside, and got a real good feel for Gully. He was the main driver behind the power play last year, and that was one of the real positive spots for Edmonton. There's always room for upside, but he was the driver behind that."
Continuity from Gulutzan in his ability to coach the power play and having a "pulse" on the locker room is a benefit for returning players come August and Oilers Training Camp.
"I talked to a couple of players that were very much in his corner with the work he did with the power play, so I just felt I was comfortable knowing him before and the work that he's done," Tippett continued. "The little bit of continuity of having some insight on some players coming back, it was really beneficial keeping Gully."
Both Holland and Tippett were keen to make the coaching moves early to provide players and remaining staff more runway for getting accustomed with one another before a critical beginning to the 2019-20 NHL season in October.
"I think the start of this season is going to be imperative for our team, and I don't want to have a feeling out process," Tippett added. "I want to make sure we're up and going right from the start. Getting new people in here as quick as we can will be beneficial to our group."