There are many things that make NHL hockey a great sport to watch and follow. Talented players, such as Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, impressive plays and a good rivalry. The one in Alberta between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames has been alive for decades, and every time both teams meet up on the ice, fans are offered quite the spectacle.
One question remains: Would it even be possible for this Alberta rivalry to go up a notch in intensity? Well, it seems like it just might next season with rumors of a coaching change in Edmonton that could rub Flames and Oilers fans in the wrong way.
This new report comes from Elliott Friedman of Sportsnet, who commented during a discussion with Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now on former Calgary Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan possibly becoming an assistant coach behind the Oilers' bench.
“I am wondering, by the way Bob, if Gulutzan ends up on Edmonton’s bench as an assistant coach. You know, him and McLellan, they’re both Saskatchewan guys, they were both in Humboldt together right after this season.”
Friedman was not the first insider to hint at the possibility as the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson also mentioned that option on Twitter in the last few days.
While Friedman is definitely saying this under the “speculation” category and did not claim that this was going to happen, it could be quite an interesting move for the Oilers, who despite giving their vote of confidence to McLellan at the end of the season, could be looking to help the head coach and prevent another disastrous season from taking place next year.
To get a man like Gulutzan on his side would probably help McLellan tremendously. Gulutzan has experience as an NHL head coach - he has been entrusted with being head coach of two NHL teams, Dallas and Calgary throughout his career. According to the information provided by HockeyDB, he has been a coach at the pro level for 15 years and was also entrusted with the role of assistant coach, when he was a member of the Vancouver Canucks for three years.
The man is qualified to be McLellan’s assistant coach. The question now is: will the Oilers overlook the rivalry and trust Gulutzan to help them out and become once again a true Cup contender?