The Edmonton Oilers have filled out their coaching staff for the 2018-19 regular season with four Western Hockey League alumni at the helm.
Announced as the team’s new assistant coaches Friday were Glen Gulutzan, Trent Yawney and Manny Viveiros, joining head coach Todd McLellan on the bench in Alberta’s capital.
Gulutzan, a product of The Pas, Man., played with the Moose Jaw Warriors, Brandon Wheat Kings, and Saskatoon Blades between the late 1980s to early 1990s. In 196 career WHL regular season games, Gulutzan recorded 174 points (51G-123A). After two seasons with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, Gulutzan went on to a seven-year career in professional hockey before shifting behind the bench. He worked his way up to the National Hockey League level by the 2011-12 season, serving as head coach of the Dallas Stars for two seasons and spending three seasons on the bench of the Vancouver Canucks before taking on the head coaching gig with the Calgary Flames for two seasons starting in 2016-17.
Trent Yawney brings both a strong playing and coaching resume to the Oilers bench. The product of Hudson Bay, Sask. played 209 WHL regular season games with the Saskatoon Blades between 1981 and 1985, recording 164 points (36G-128A). Yawney would go on to be selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the third round, 45th overall, of the 1984 NHL Draft, playing 593 games at the NHL level. He’d record 129 points (27G-102A) along the way with stops in Chicago, Calgary, and St. Louis.
Yawney’s coaching career began almost immediately after hanging up the skates, coaching the American Hockey League’s Norfolk Admirals for five seasons before earning a promotion to the NHL level, coaching the Blackhawks for a pair of seasons before serving as an assistant with the Sharks for three years as well. He’s most recently served as an assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks for the past four seasons.
Making his debut in the NHL coaching ranks will be Manny Viveiros, who guided the Swift Current Broncos for the past two seasons. The St. Albert, Alta. product donned a Prince Albert Raiders jersey for four seasons from 1982 to 1986, recording 321 points (60G-261A) in 251 career WHL regular season games. He also served as a key member in the team’s run to winning the 1985 Mastercard Memorial Cup.
“I made some lifelong friends here and I’m always going to be a Bronco for now and forever,” said Viveiros at Friday’s press conference. “I’m certainly looking forward to the new challenges but my heart will always be here in Swift Current.”
Viveiros was selected by his hometown Oilers in the sixth round, 106th overall, in the 1984 NHL Draft, going on to a lengthy career in professional hockey, spent mostly in Europe. He returned to the WHL in 2016, taking on the role of head coach with the Broncos. After leading his team to the second round of the WHL Playoffs in the 2016-17 campaign, he guided his team to a WHL Championship in the 2017-18 season. Before capturing the championship, Viveiros was named the recipient of the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Coach of the Year.
The trio will join McLellan, a product of Melville, Sask., who played 178 games for the Saskatoon Blades recording 164 points (66G-98A). He had also been selected by the New York Islanders in the fifth round, 104th overall, of the 1986 NHL Draft. Shortly after the conclusion of his playing career, McLellan found himself in the head coaching role of the Swift Current Broncos, finishing with a record of 250-176-49 over six seasons and 475 games with the WHL club between 1994 and 2000. In the 1999-00 season, McLellan captured the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Coach of the Year. After seven seasons as the head coach of the San Jose Sharks, McLellan was named the head coach of the Oilers ahead of the 2015-16 season.