Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts: The Podcast – The Ground Shifted Under Woodcroft on the Edmonton Oilers.
** NHLRumors.com transcription
“I don’t think the players overthrew Jay Woodcroft. I don’t buy that. I believe at the end of the day, Jeff, that there’s so much on the line with this Edmonton season. They have to contend, as I said, the contracts coming up with Draisaitl and McDavid. The idea of going backwards was not allowable. It was not an option.
Now, I think a couple of things. I think the Oilers were feeling they weren’t throwing the towel on the season. You know, if you take a look in the last five years, you had St. Louis going from last place early in January to winning the Stanley Cup in 2019. Last year you had Florida going into the Stanley Cup Final after being on fumes in January and February.
I think Edmondson looked at it and said if we’re gonna make the move, we’re gonna have to do it now because failure this year is not an option. And that’s why I think Jay Woodcroft is no longer the coach. Not because he’s a bad coach, not because he suddenly became stupid, but because the Edmonton Oilers looked at it and said failure this year is not an option.
You know, one of the things I reported on Saturday night is the Oilers are called around the league to try to find, is there something we can do, whether it’s up and down our lineup or in goal. Is there something we can do?
And they thought the only options that were available to them were really bad. Where I think they knew they were dealing from a position of weakness. That they might have to make some moves that were not potentially palatable, but they were not willing to do what was presented to them because they’re even worse than they thought.
And all these other teams were saying, look, if you’re not going to do this, we’re ready to wait and squeeze you or wait longer because we don’t have to rush. So all of a sudden you get in a position where you’re like okay, we can’t make a trade. So there’s something else here. We’ve got to try.”