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The Oilers recruited Coach Knoblauch while he was teaching minor hockey


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Sam Jones
May 29, 2024  (11:04)
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The Oilers recruited Coach Knoblauch while he was teaching minor hockey
Photo credit: Espn.com

Kris Knoblauch's journey to the helm of the Edmonton Oilers is a tale of unexpected turns and profound impacts, both on and off the ice.

Before his current high-profile role, Knoblauch was notably coaching not just the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack but also his son's Minor Bantam Hockey Team in Hartford—a dual role that enriched his life and those of young aspiring hockey players.
Greg Wyshynski of ESPN explores the depths of Knoblauch's career transition, illustrating a man who balanced professional commitments with passionate community involvement. His engagement with his son's team wasn't just a parental duty but a heartfelt contribution to youth sports. As Ken Mangini, a coach from the Bantam team, describes:

"I mean, it's absolutely unbelievable. There's really no words. It was so cool. We didn't really know what to expect from him, but he showed up quite a few times. We started around August, so he probably came once a week. He'd game plan and put practice plans together with us. He was just another coach out there."

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Despite his responsibilities with the Wolf Pack, Knoblauch's involvement with the Bantam team was significant. However, he chose not to coach from the bench, believing his presence might distract the young players. His decision to stay mostly in the background did not diminish his impact; rather, it allowed him a balance that few in his position could maintain.
In a dramatic shift last November, Knoblauch's coaching trajectory took him from the ice rinks of youth hockey to leading NHL stars like Connor McDavid as the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers. The transition was swift and surprising, as recounted by Mangini:

"He was just with us, literally just with us, a few days ago, on the ice shooting pucks around. We got to learn from not only from the head coach of the Wolf Pack, but now the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, who's going to be working with Connor McDavid. It's just crazy."

provides further insights
into Wyshynski's detailed coverage of Knoblauch's storied career.
Knoblauch's educational background in Education from the University of Alberta is often cited as a foundational element in his coaching success. This, combined with his hands-on experience in various levels of hockey, has equipped him with the unique skills necessary to navigate and succeed in the high-stakes environment of the NHL.
Under his leadership, the Oilers have seen a significant turnaround, as General Manager Ken Holland emphasizes:

"He came in and saved the season. The team rallied around him and we got to .500 at Christmas time. We dug out of a big hole and Kris was a big, big reason for it."

In Edmonton, a city deeply invested in its hockey, Knoblauch's calm and methodical approach has brought stability and focus. His tactical acumen, evident in several bold decisions, has not only helped salvage the Oilers' season but has also set them on a promising path in the playoffs, aiming for the ultimate prize—the Stanley Cup.
Kris Knoblauch's story is one of dedication, versatility, and profound impact—shaping the lives of young players while steering a professional team through turbulent times. It's a narrative that highlights the power of sports to influence and inspire across generations.
POLL
MAY 29   |   123 ANSWERS
The Oilers recruited Coach Knoblauch while he was teaching minor hockey

Would you put your money on Kris Knoblauch to win the Stanley Cup with the Oilers?

Yes, they'll win it all this year8871.5 %
Knoblauch will win, but not this year2217.9 %
No, he doesn't have it in him86.5 %
See Results54.1 %
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