Bold move by Edmonton Oilers executive Craig MacTavish, new coach of KHL Lokomotiv

This in from KHL Lokmotiv, a tweet announcing it has hired Craig MacTavish as coach on a two-year deal.

My take

  1. For the last two years, MacTavish has been in charge of Edmonton’s AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. In that time, the team shot to the top of the AHL’s Western division standings and brought in Jay Woodcroft as coach. It’s hard to know how much of the credit for this goes to MacTavish, or to former Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli and amateur talent scouts Keith Gretzky and Bob Green. Let’s just say they all deserve credit, though the influx of new talent has been marked, and that’s due to Gretzky and Green.
  2. MacTavish is a hockey lifer, beloved in Edmonton as a creative and hard-working third-line centre and as the coach who took his 2005-06 to within one game of winning the Stanley Cup, but reviled in Edmonton as the hockey executive who took the team to nowhere but more losing in misery in his stint as GM from 2013-15.
  3. MacTavish is famous in that time as GM for his promise to make bold moves, and this certainly qualifies as that. He hasn’t coached since December 2014 when he fired Dallas Eakins and moved in as interim coach with Todd Nelson, MacTavish losing all five games at the helm.