NHL: Connor McDavid sees Oilers change, and Kraken name Alexandra Mandrycky AGM
The Edmonton Oilers were swept by the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Final, but captain Connor McDavid sees things changing.
After getting a taste of postseason action in his second season (2016-17), McDavid and the Oilers missed out the following two seasons. They then suffered a stunning loss in the Qualifying Round to the lowest seeded team in Return to Play action, the Chicago Blackhawks.
Pandemic or not, it was embarrassing. They followed that up with a first round sweep in 2021 at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets. It eventually cost coach Dave Tippet his job last year, with Jay Woodcroft turning things around for an impressive run.
Connor McDavid sees change
McDavid, 25, is arguably the best player in the NHL today. In 2021-22, he set career highs for goals (44), assists (79), and points (123). He then put on a postseason clinic by averaging just over 2 points per game with 33 points in 16 contests.
However, what McDavid is seeing has him believing that the Oilers are building for longterm success.
“I think it’s turning more into a culture,” McDavid said. “Every season, a team seems to catch fire and that’s their year and it kind of fizzles out. I think we’re building a culture here in Edmonton and it translates from year to year. It’s the same core guys every year that are setting the tempo and pace and kind of leading the way. I think that’s kind of the difference [from 2017].”NHL.com
There’s no doubt that Woodcroft appears to be the right coach to lead this group. However, the addition of Zach Hyman last season was a key move in changing that culture. Hyman’s leadership and gritty style of hockey helped to balance the team.
The team then added a power forward in Evander Kane, and he clicked immediately with McDavid. Now the team is hoping goaltender Jack Campbell can get them over the hump and into the Stanley Cup Final.
“There is lots of expectations this year, both outside and in the locker room,” McDavid admitted. “Last year was a step forward, but we’re going to come in here and start all over again and build on what we accomplished last year.”
–The Daily Goal Horn
Kraken promote Alexandra Mandrycyk to AGM
The Seattle Kraken promoted Alexandra Mandrycky to the role of assistant general manager on Wednesday.
Mandrycky, 31, becomes the sixth woman hired for the position by an NHL team since the start of the calendar year.
She joins Kate Madigan (New Jersey Devils), Meghan Hunter (Chicago Blackhawks), Hayley Wickenheiser (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Emilie Castonguay and Cammi Granato (Vancouver Canucks) in that role. Angela George served as an assistant to the general manager for the then-Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1996.
In Seattle, Mandrycky will join fellow assistants Ricky Olczyk and Jason Botterill working alongside general manager Ron Francis.
“I am extremely honored to step into this role with the Kraken,” Mandrycky said. “I’d like to thank my team, who have been an essential part of the day-to-day success of our department and organization. I appreciate the trust Ron and (Kraken CEO) Tod Leiweke have shown in not only me, but our whole department, and I’m excited to continue to grow with this team.”
Mandrycky will oversee the amateur scouting group as well as continuing at her post as director of hockey strategy and research.
“Alex has earned this promotion through her hard work and dedication to making the Kraken a better organization,” Francis said. “Her knowledge and effort are assets that will continue to serve her well in this role.”
–Field Level Media