The Edmonton Oilers Coach That Got Away

May 21, 2023  (8:13)

Jay Woodcroft has done an impressive job coaching the Edmonton Oilers, leading them to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs two years in a row.

However, there is another coach who slipped through the Oilers' fingers and is currently achieving great success in the AHL, despite not having a top-tier roster.
He's successfully blended several high-end AHL veteran players like Michael Sgarbossa, Sam Anas, and Dylan McIlrath with young prospects like Connor McMichael, Hendrix Lapierre, and Vincent Iorio – players important to the Capitals' future. Hershey also seems to have a heck of a lot of fun while consistently producing a good brand of hockey.

Todd Nelson hopes he gets consideration for Capitals' open head coaching job: ‘It's everybody's dream to make the NHL'
Todd Nelson began his coaching career with the Muskegon Fury of the UHL before becoming an assistant coach for the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.
I see Todd Nelson's Hershey Bears are in the AHL Conference finals after going 44-19-9 in the regular season.

Nelson has of course won the Calder Cup as a head coach and gone to the Stanley Cup Final as an assistant coach with Dallas since his one abortive NHL look

He then moved on to become an assistant coach for the Chicago Wolves during their Calder Cup win in 2006-2008. Before joining the Oilers' system, he briefly served as an assistant coach for the Atlanta Thrashers.
Nelson continued to coach in the AHL until he was hired as the head coach for the Oilers' AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons, in 2010.
He briefly served as an interim coach after Dallas Eakins was fired in 2015, but was replaced by Todd McClellan shortly after.
Since then, Nelson has won another Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins and served as an assistant coach for the Dallas Stars until he resigned in 2022 to return to the AHL and coach the Hershey Bears.
The Hershey Bears are currently in the running for a Calder Cup, which is no surprise given Nelson's track record of success.
It's unclear why the Oilers let a skilled coach like Todd Nelson slip away, but he is hopeful to be considered for the head coaching job for the Washington Capitals. Perhaps this is a case where the NHL coach recycling committees have failed at they put their faith in other retreads, such as Peter Laviolette.
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The Edmonton Oilers Coach That Got Away

Should Todd Nelson have gotten a shot at coaching the Edmonton Oilers in 2015?

Yes2156.8 %
No1643.2 %
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