HOLTY’S BLOG: A BUSY WELCOME FOR WOODCROFT
There are normally slow weeks around the blog during the offseason. This week was certainly not one of them.
You may prefer slow weeks and that’s fine, but as I’ll remind you, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.
Now for the blog…
– The reason it has been a busier than usual offseason week is new head coach Jay Woodcroft was officially introduced to Condorstown, the media, and the 101-degree temperature. Below is my sit down with Jay from the press conference.
– Over and over, the theme I took away from Woodcroft’s interviews, meetings with Condors fans, and just informally with staff is his stress on the word “connected.” Like he said, you can’t guarantee success and you can’t promise anything, but if you show up every day willing to work and do the right things, good things will happen. He will ensure the players are connected in the way the play, in the way they conduct themselves with each other, and as he said, connected to the community.
– You can tell he’s committed to his craft just in the brief time I’ve gotten to know him. And, as he said, he wouldn’t have taken the position had it not been for 1) the support for the organization in place down here and 2) the players coming into the system, particularly up front, have a ton of promise.
– Also wanted to take a note in the blog to thank Oilers Chief Executive Officer Bob Nicholson for coming down and helping with the introduction this week. Bob being here certainly shows the commitment of the Oilers to the team, the organization, and the city. Plus, he has some great stories, so it’s nice to sit and chat with him.
– A few fans asked about player signings and of course, at the NHL level that picks up pace following the NHL Draft and the opening of free agency on July 1. I can tell you (#HoltyTease) that we will have some announcements on players prior to then, and you can always click here to make sure you’re updated on the player tracker. It’s under the “team” portion on the website as well.
– Speaking of players, article in this week’s Edmonton Sun from Jim Matheson on Ryan Mantha’s recovery from a scary eye injury this past season. As noted in the article, others have come back from similar injuries and certainly rooting for Ryan to do the same. Chatted with him briefly earlier this week and he’s enjoying time hunting and grilling this offseason.
Edmonton Oilers prospect Ryan Mantha feels he will see his way back to hockey rink https://t.co/FBzmvrOfwh pic.twitter.com/Rf3z1i75cf
— Edmonton Sun (@Edmontonsun) May 30, 2018
– More on players, goalie Nick Ellis announced on Instagram that he is moving on from playing to pursue a coaching career. He took a position as a Teacher / Assistant Coach of Boys’ Varsity Hockey and Lacrosse at Canterbury School in Connecticut. Best of luck to Nick.
– On the coaching front, Jay announced to Condors365 Members that J-F Houle would return as an assistant coach for the upcoming season and that decisions on hiring other staff would be decided in the coming weeks. Great to have J-F back. Him, his wife Mia, and three kids have meant a lot to this organization for the past now four seasons (!!, I’m getting old) and he’s an asset.
– Some news around the AHL coaching front as well too as former Oilers Head Coach Todd Nelson accepted a position as an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars. He had tremendous success in Grand Rapids, including a Calder Cup championship last season.
The Stars have named Todd Nelson as Assistant Coach. Nelson joins the Stars after spending the last three seasons as head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL). https://t.co/nT3gIwLwHb
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) May 31, 2018
– In the Pacific Division, Tucson is looking for a new bench boss as Mike Van Ryn moved on to St. Louis to be an assistant coach with the Blues. That means at minimum so far, Bakersfield, Tucson, Colorado (as an AHL franchise), and the team up the 99 (Ryan Huska was just announced as an assistant coach in Calgary) would have new coaches for next season out of the seven-team Pacific Division.
Mike Van Ryn, who played for the Blues from 2000-03, is returning as an assistant coach. https://t.co/Z7v65jZm7X #stlblues
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) May 30, 2018
– LOCK OF THE WEEK? I will pen my next blog with the Capitals in position to win the Stanley Cup that night. Long-winded way of saying, it’ll be a 3-1 series next Thursday.*
*I think the series still ends in Washington in 6 however*
Until next time Condorstown…
Ryan Holt aka Holty is the Voice of the Condors and enters his eighth season in 2018-19. He got the NY Strip at Woolgrowers the other night. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty for more nonsense or shoot him an e-mail with questions, comments, or blog ideas to RHolt@BakersfieldCondors.com