Craig MacTavish is a familiar name to Blues fans. He finished his 17 year NHL career here with the Blues in the 1995-1996 and 1996-1997 seasons, and while it was more of a farewell tour than a return to his previous output, MacTavish was still memorable.
He was the last player in the NHL to not wear a helmet.
Much like Ryan O’Reilly and his lack of visor, MacTavish had been grandfathered into not wearing one pre rule-change.
After his retirement, he returned to the Edmonton Oilers - the team with which he saw his most playing success - as a head coach. He served in that position from 2000-2009, heading to the Stanley Cup Final in 2009. While in Edmonton, he let his temper get the best of him on a few occasions, most notably when Harvey the Hound got a little close to comfort:
After missing the playoffs for three seasons, MacTavish was relieved of his coaching duties. He followed up his tenure in Edmonton by coaching the Chicago Wolves before returning to the Oilers as senior VP of hockey ops and then later GM in 2013. MacTavish also coached Lokomotiv Yaroslavl before being fired eight games in to the season, and was most recently coaching Swiss team Lausanne HC.
MacTavish’s hiring by the Blues comes as current assistant coach Jim Montgomery is in the works as being hired for the position of coach for the Boston Bruins. Blues general manager Doug Armstrong had this to say today in announcing MacTavish’s hiring by the team:
“Craig has spent 30 years in our League, serving as a player, coach and general manager. He played in over 1,000 games, has coached in almost 700 and is a four-time Stanley Cup Champion. We are excited to add his experience to our staff.”