Rangers’ AHL coach Kris Knoblauch named Oilers’ head coach

Oilers McDavid Hyman NHL Kris Knoblauch
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, left, and left wing Zach Hyman (18) stand together before a preseason NHL hockey game against the Seattle Kraken, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

The New York Rangers just lost the head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, as Kris Knoblauch was named the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, according to multiple reports. 

The move comes moments after Edmonton parted ways with former head coach Jay Woodcraft after a 3-9-1 start to the 2023-24 season. The Oilers defeated the Seattle Kraken 4-1 on Saturday night. 

Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft, back, stands on the bench behind Connor McDavid, from left to right, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks, in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

Knoblauch, 45, has spent the last five seasons as Hartford’s head coach, going 112-87-31 in 230 games. During his stay, he was called in relief to coach six games for the NHL club when ex-Rangers head coach David Quinn was sidelined due to COVID during the 202-21 season.

He jumped to the Rangers’ organization after a two-season stint as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers. 

He earned the NHL job after a successful four-plus year stint as the head of the Ontario Hockey League’s Erie Otters from 2012-2017, where he coached Connor McDavid into the generational talent he currently is.

The two now reunite in Edmonton with McDavid, who has led the NHL in points in each of the last three seasons, including a 64-goal, 89-assist (153 points) campaign last year in which he won the Hart Trophy for the second time since 2020-21. 

Knoblauch’s first game as Oilers head coach will come on Monday night against the Islanders.

For more on Kris Knoblauch and the Rangers, visit AMNY.com