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  1. NHL

NHL: Draisaitl open to new voice for Oilers

Forward Leon Draisaitl says the Edmonton Oilers are open to the new voice of Jay Woodcroft after he replaced Dave Tippett as head coach.

The Oilers, 33/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, promoted 45-year-old Woodcroft from Edmonton's farm-team in the American Hockey League, Bakersfield on Thursday following the firing of 60-year-old Tippett.

Tippett sent packing

The Oilers began the season well under Tippett (16-5-0) but then went 7-13-3 falling to fifth in the Pacific Division.

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Tippett was 95-62-14 in three seasons with the Oilers and 1-7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after he was hired in May 2019.

Edmonton went into the All-Star break on the back of five straight wins, but came back to lose to the Vegas Golden Knights and Chicago Blackhawks, being outscored 8-1 which signalled the end for Tippett.

New voice a plus for Draisaitl

Woodcroft has been the coach for Bakersfield for four seasons after being the assistant coach in Edmonton (2015-18) for the San Jose Sharks (2008-15). He was also on the coaching staff for the Detroit Red Wings for three seasons from 2005-08 and won the Stanley Cup in 2008.

Draisaitl grabbed the NHL lead for points with an assist in a 3-1 win for the Oilers in Woodcroft's first game on Friday.

He said to the media about Woodcroft: "Sometimes a new voice, a different view of certain things can give you a big spark. We've got open ears and we're ready to go."

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