There is another new coaching change in the NHL and this time, it comes to the St. Louis Blues. Craig Berube is of course staying the leading man, but he will get help as head coach. The Blues announced on Friday that they hired Craig MacTavish as assistant coach.
MacTavish played for 17 years in the league, winning four Stanley Cup cups; three of them on the mighty dynasty of the Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s and one with the New York Rangers in 1994.
The former NHL player (yes the last one in the NHL to play without wearing a helmet) was a candidate to get the coaching job in Philadelphia before the Flyers picked John Tortorella as their new head coach last month.
That’s because MacTavish has experience behind NHL benches, beginning his coaching career in 1997 as an assistant with the Rangers. After two seasons in that role, MacTavish moved on to Edmonton where he spent the next nine seasons with the Oilers. After one year as an assistant, MacTavish took over as head coach of the Oilers in 2000.
Over the next eight seasons, MacTavish led the Oilers to a 301-252-47-56 regular-season record and three playoff appearances, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2006. Following his tenure in Edmonton, he served one season (2011-12) as head coach of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves and led them to a first-place finish in the Midwest Division. In June 2012, he returned to Edmonton to serve as senior vice president of hockey operations before spending two seasons as the team’s general manager.
Now he starts a new chapter in St. Louis, back behind the bench!