EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers hired NHL veteran Dave Tippett as their next head coach Tuesday, the first big move for new general manager Ken Holland.
Tippett, who had been working as a senior adviser to Seattle’s new NHL team since June 2018, becomes the Oilers’ ninth coach in the past 11 years. He is tasked with helping a team that has missed the playoffs 12 of the past 13 seasons and reached the postseason just once the four-year career of star Connor McDavid.
Holland, the longtime former Detroit Red Wings GM, announced earlier this month that interim coach Ken Hitchcock would not be back.
Tippett coached the Arizona Coyotes for eight seasons, opening his tenure with consecutive first-round appearances followed by a trip to the Western Conference final. He was named NHL coach of the year after his first season, but the Coyotes missed the playoffs his final five seasons and he left after the 2016-17 season.
Tippett became an NHL head coach in 2002 with Dallas, guiding the Stars for six seasons. He missed the playoffs in his final year in Dallas in 2008-09, one year after taking the Stars to the conference final to complete a run of five straight years in the postseason.
The 57-year-old Tippett played 721 games in the NHL, notching 93 goals and 169 assists with the Hartford Whalers, Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Tod Leiweke, CEO of NHL Seattle, wished Tippett after his work in establishing the NHL’s 32nd franchise, which will begin play in the 2021-22 season.
“As one of our first hires, Dave Tippett has been instrumental in forming the blueprint for our hockey operations in Seattle,” Leiweke said. “Coaching is his passion, and this is a great opportunity for Dave to return to the bench. Dave will always be a great friend to our organization.”
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports