Craig MacTavish has officially been named the Oilers’ Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations. After spending eight seasons coaching the Oilers, he was dismissed in 2009 and spent last season coaching the Vancouver Canucks’ farm team, the Chicago Wolves. Their record was 42-27-7, leading them to third in the Eastern Conference.
“Being on the outside looking in for the last number of years, it sure looks optimistic and positive going forward,” MacTavish said on his return. “The franchise is in a lot better shape than when I left three years ago,” he added.
“There’s a lot more optimism, and rightfully so.”
“Maybe [the Oilers are] as exciting a franchise as there is in the game going forward. We’ve got to make sure we do the right things to continue with the positive vain that the franchise has had over the last little while.
“It’s a real exciting time and it looks like it’s going to be fun.”
Not only did he coach the Oilers for 656 games, but he also played in Edmonton for 701 of his own career games. He was captain from 1992-1994.
Back in the day,
“Vancouver was a pretty heated rival of ours for all those years.”
I guess some things never chance.
It had been said that maybe MacTavish was being brought in to fulfill the role of Head Coach once again, now that Renney’s out and Steve Tambellini is looking for someone to lead the Oilers bench next season.
“I enjoyed my year this year in coaching [Chicago],” MacTavish said on whether or not it would have been a good idea. “But the coaching part of it is very difficult to go back to a team that you’ve coached for as long as I’d coached the Oilers. To go back into this situation in spite of the fact that a lot of the personnel has changed over, would have been extremely difficult.”
He’s not looking to be the boss of anything, though.
“I’m going to be another voice,” he said. “In this business, it’s all about making good decisions and relying on experiences that I’ve had over the course of the past 30 years or so at this level. I’m going to add another voice and another opinion to the conversation, and we’ll spit out and make the right decisions going forward. As much as I know this organization very well, I think the best strategy for me going forward is to observe and add my opinion where I think it could be of value — but more as an observant for the first little while and just try to get my feet wet at this new job.”
Seen, not heard? Sort of?
I can talk all I want about the rebuild here (AND I WILL, BELIEVE ME), so I’m just going to go ahead and say that adding MacTavish back into the mix – even if not in the same way as before – is another part of Tambellini’s master plan.
I just hope it all works out really, really soon.