EDMONTON - The coach of the struggling Edmonton Oilers appears to have the confidence of team owner Daryl Katz.
Katz sent a text message to an Edmonton radio station endorsing head coach Craig MacTavish on Thursday. The message read "MacT is not going anywhere." MacTavish has coached the Oilers for nine seasons, but Edmonton appears to be heading out of the playoff picture for a third straight campaign.
Oilers president Kevin Lowe issued a statement after Edmonton's 2-1 loss to San Jose, saying the comment was an effort by Katz to keep the focus on the team's attempts to make the playoffs and not on off-ice issues.
"Daryl is extremely passionate and emotional about the game. I think that is why the fans are going to love this guy," Lowe said. "He was extremely disappointed and somewhat frustrated that we are in the middle of a playoff race and all the discussion and the focus was on the future of our head coach. He found that rather odd. He just wanted to suppress that once and for all."
MacTavish was unwilling to wade into any debate on his future.
"I'm not even going to comment on it," he said. "I have had enough discussion on my future. We can talk about it at the end of the year."