Dave Tippett was hired as head coach of the Edmonton Oilers in late May. Shortly after that, the Oilers announced that Trent Yawney and Manny Viveiros were relieved of their duties as assistant coaches.
That left Glen Gulutzan, who was retained by Tippett as an assistant and will run the powerplay for the Oilers in 2019-20. There is another name joining the group, as the Oilers will name former Tippett assistant Jim Playfair to the staff later today.
Here’s what I wrote about Playfair on June 3rd in the above linked piece.
The favorite? Former Tippett assistant Jim Playfair.
Playfair served as an assistant coach in Arizona starting in 2011, joining Tippett in time for the club’s run to the Western Conference Final in 2011-12. He stuck with Tippett through the end of the 2016-17 season, when both were sent packing by the club. Playfair helped run the PK and defense in Arizona, and would make sense in a similiar role in Edmonton.
Prior to going to Arizona, Playfair was a longtime coach in the Calgary system. He served as assistant coach (2002-03 – 2005-06), head coach (2006-07), associate head coach (2007-08 – 2008-09) and head coach of their AHL affiliate (Abbotsford Heat, 2009-10 – 2010-11).
Playfair’s hiring was first reported on Thursday night by Craig Morgan of The Athletic.
Per source, former Coyotes assistant coach Jim Playfair has agreed to a deal to join Dave Tippett’s staff as an assistant in Edmonton and coach the defense. Deal should be announced Thursday.— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) June 19, 2019
Playfair will run the Oilers’ defense in 2019-20, replacing Yawney. It’s also reasonable to expect that the club will hand him the keys to one of the worst penalty kill units in hockey.
Expectation is that one more assistant coach will join Tippett’s staff. Mark Lamb, current GM of the WHL’s Prince George Cougars, has been rumored to be of interest. It is not known at this time if he will join the staff.
We leave you with Playfair’s most famous moment from his time in the AHL.