EDMONTON, AB - The first move made by Oilers General Manager and President of Hockey Operations Ken Holland following his own hiring might've been his biggest.
To the Oilers executive, the employing of a veteran coach in Dave Tippett has been instrumental to the early success of the Pacific Division-leading Edmonton Oilers.
"Certainly he's been everything I could've hoped for and more," Holland, in an interview with 630CHED Oilers Now Host Bob Stauffer, said on Monday. "He had 1,200 games of experience before he came here, and he knows exactly what he wants to accomplish."
Holland brought Tippett into the fold three weeks after his own hiring to have the 58-year-old be the face in the locker room behind his push to bring about more change to the organization than just roster spots.
The Oilers now boast a 16-7-3 record through 26 games of their '19-20 NHL season, employing Tippett's 'five up, five back' approach and the role-based construction of his lineup that's been a staple of every team that's fallen under his command.
"We're thrilled with where we're at one-third point," Holland said. "I don't think I can go far here without talking about the impact that Dave's had on our team and our organization."
Since the onset of Training Camp, Tippett has led the charge in bringing a culture of accountability to the locker room with plenty of buy-in from his lineup.
"He's in that locker room on an everyday basis, and right from Day 1 of Camp he wanted our team to play a certain way," Holland said. "All the players have bought in. I think everybody feels like they're contributing and have a role."
"I think there's really good harmony and good team chemistry in that locker room."