Kris Knoblauch Hired As Head Coach of Edmonton Oilers

Kris Knoblauch Hired As Head Coach of Edmonton Oilers
Mar 17, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Handling coaching duties for the New York Rangers against the Philadelphia Flyers are Hartford Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch (pictured here) and Wolf Pack associate head coach Gord Murphy and Rangers associate general manager Chris Drury at Madison Square Garden. Due to the NHL COVID-10 protocol, the Rangers coaching staff were not available for tonights game. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers have hired Kris Knoblauch are their new head coach, and the New York Rangers will now need to find someone new to lead the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Knoblauch joined the Rangers organization in 2019 and has been behind the bench of the Wolf Pack since the 2019-20 season. During his tenure in Hartford the team went 119-90-18-14 in 241 games, and with him now joining the Oilers, Steve Smith has been named Interim Head Coach of the Wolf Pack.

From the team’s release:

Smith, 60, is in his third season with the Wolf Pack. He was named an Assistant Coach with the club on August 24th, 2021, and spent the last two seasons in that role under Head Coach Kris Knoblauch. Smith spent two games as the Wolf Pack’s interim Head Coach during the 2021-22 season while Knoblauch was with the Rangers due to COVID-19 protocols. Prior to joining the Wolf Pack, Smith served as an Assistant Coach with the NHL’s Calgary Flames (1997-98), Edmonton Oilers (2010-14), Carolina Hurricanes (2014-18), and Buffalo Sabres (2018-21).

The move isn’t all that surprising as the Rangers passed over Knoblauch twice after David Quinn was fired. The Wolf Pack are off to a great start this season and have been building momentum under Knoblauch over the last few seasons, so finding a qualified candidate to become the new permanent bench boss is very important.