The Edmonton Oilers are headed in a new direction under general manager and president of hockey operations Ken Holland. Now we know that at least one other tenured front office executive won’t be sticking around, as Craig MacTavish has left the team for the KHL. MacTavish was named head coach of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl today, signing a two-year deal with the team.
MacTavish, 60, has been with the Oilers in one role or another for the last two decades, serving as head coach, general manager and senior vice president of hockey operations at different times. The KHL will be an entirely unfamiliar experience, especially given that his last coaching role came back in 2012. MacTavish will be following in the footsteps of several other former NHL coaches like Mike Keenan and Bob Hartley who have found success overseas, and joining a team with some familiar names including former Edmonton forward Anton Lander.
For the Oilers and specifically their AHL affiliate the Bakersfield Condors, this means more changes in the front office as Holland takes over. Edmonton has been criticized in the past for being an “old boys club” made up of former Oilers players, but if MacTavish’s exit is any indication things are going to change on that front.