Oilers' Craig MacTavish named head coach for KHL's Lokomotiv

NHL Editor
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Craig MacTavish is heading to the KHL
Craig MacTavish is heading to the KHL

Craig MacTavish, who wore many hats with the Edmonton Oilers as a player, coach, senior vice-president of hockey operations and general manager, is apparently ready for a change.

The KHL announced that MacTavish has signed a two-year contract to coach the Lokomotiv in Yaroslavl, Russia.

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MacTavish laced up for the Oilers from 1985-1994 before he hung up his skates three seasons later. He served as head coach of the Oilers from 2000-2009, most notably leading Edmonton to a Stanley Cup final berth in the 2005-06 season. After then missing the postseason for three consecutive years, he was fired/stepped down in 2009.

His career with the Oilers was rekindled after he was hired as senior vice-president of hockey operations in 2012, promoted to general manager the next season, and then demoted back to his senior VP role in 2015.

With Ken Holland recently taking over as President and General Manager of the Oilers, shakeups were expected to happen in the front office.

MacTavish’s first statement regarding the Lokomotiv shows that he’s excited for a change of scenery.

“I look forward to the start of my cooperation with Lokomotiv and personally Mr. Yakovlev. In the past few years, I have often been to Russia, watched KHL matches and was interested in coaching here. I hope the upcoming season will be exciting and successful for our team.”

Lokomotiv finished third in the KHL West in the regular season, and lost in the second round of the playoffs to SKA (Saint Petersburg). MacTavish will be reunited with former Oilers’ forward Anton Lander, who was recently traded to the Lokomotiv from the Kazan Ak Bars.

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