Oilers Sign Ex-NHL Defenseman As Assistant Coach

The Edmonton Oilers brought in ex-NHL defenseman Mark Stuart as an assistant coach. It's not clear exactly what role he will be taking on as an assistant, but given he played many years in the NHL as a shutdown defensive defenseman, it is fair to assume it will be helping out the back-end.

The Oilers' coaching staff was switched up mid-way through last season with Jay Woodcroft and Dave Manson replacing Dave Tippett and Jim Playfair. Glen Gulutzan remained.
Stuart played 673 games in the NHL for two franchises over 12 seasons. He's physical, he would hit, and he blocked shots. His last season in the NHL came in 2016-17 for the Winnipeg Jets and he has been an assistant coach for the University of Vermont and Colorado College the past two seasons. He has quickly turned that opportunity into an NHL gig.

Stuart's style of game when he was in the NHL can help out impressionable young defensemen like Evan Bouchard, Philip Broberg, and especially Markus Niemelainen if they get to spend some time together. The offense of the Oilers wasn't an issue last season, but at times, defending, playing tough, and limiting shots against was. The Oilers are taking a chance on a newer coach, but it is a good hire.

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