EDMONTON, AB - With a multi-year contract now in place, Head Coach Jay Woodcroft and his family are ready to make Edmonton home.
"We're very excited because my wife is born and raised in Edmonton," Woodcroft said. "Her parents still live in Edmonton, she has sisters, and our kids have cousins here. Everybody is very excited about that."
Following the Oilers elimination in the Western Conference Final, President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Ken Holland got to work on making sure that the coach who helped lead Edmonton's mid-season revival wouldn't escape the club's grasp. Armed with a three-year contract, the 45-year-old Woodcroft is locked in behind the bench for the Blue & Orange for the foreseeable future.
"It's a great day for the Oilers. Jay did an incredible job once he took over and leading our team into the playoffs," Holland said. "I'm thrilled we were able to find a solution to bring Jay in. I look forward to working with him over the next three years to continue to build on what we accomplished this last year."
Video: RAW | Ken Holland, Jay Woodcroft 06.22.22
Holland was the first call to Woodcroft once a deal was made with his agent. After the congratulations were all said and done, the Oilers coach was able to share in the moment with his wife and kids before letting the rest of his family in on the news.
"It was a special moment for us. The first phone call I made was to my brother and best friend Todd Woodcroft who has been supportive along the way," he said. "I'm fortunate I have two great brothers in Todd and Craig, we have a tight family and they're excited about it."
Coaching runs deep in the Woodcroft family. His brother Todd has been a member of the Minnesota Wild, Washington Capitals, Los Angeles Kings, Calgary Flames, and Winnipeg Jets in various capacities over the last 20 or so years. Jay's oldest brother Craig is currently the head coach of Dinamo Minsk in the Kontinental Hockey League.
However, the youngest of the group is the first to lead a locker room in an NHL capacity. It's an accomplishment the Toronto native is taking all in stride.
"I'm going to say what I would say after a win. I'm going to enjoy this for about the next 10 minutes or so and move on to preparations for next season," Woodcroft said tongue in cheek. "But no, in all seriousness it's a big day for my family. I use the word privileged. I feel privileged to get this opportunity and I want to make good on it because it's a huge responsibility. Certainly, everybody in my family is super excited and I'm proud that I'm the head coach for such a historic organization like the Edmonton Oilers."
With contract negotiations in his rear-view mirror, Woodcroft is going to take some time with his family before turning his focus to both settling down in Edmonton and his first full season as a National Hockey League head coach.
"We have to try and find a place to live, schooling, activities and all that good stuff," Woodcroft said. "We're going to spend some time on the water and my kids are going to go to camp. Rest assured, come August, the Woodcrofts are very excited about putting down some roots here in Edmonton."