EDMONTON - Former Edmonton Oilers tough guy Kelly Buchberger is returning to the copper and blue as an assistant coach.
The NHL team said Wednesday that Buchberger, 41, will join Craig MacTavish's coaching staff for the upcoming season. Buchberger spent last season as head coach of the Springfield Falcons, the Oilers' American Hockey League affiliate.
Buchberger played 13 of his 18 NHL seasons with the Oilers. He began his coaching career in 2004-05, serving as an assistant coach with the AHL's Edmonton Road Runners. He also served as the Oilers' development coach in 2006-07.
In his lone season behind the bench with Springfield, Buchberger guided the Falcons to a fifth-place finish in the AHL's Atlantic Division with a 35-35-10 mark. It was the first time since 1998-99 that the Falcons had reached the .500 mark and the 35-win effort marked the most victories in a season for Springfield since 2001-02.
Buchberger, a native of Langenburg, Sask., played 1,182 career regular-season games with Edmonton, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Pittsburgh. He recorded 309 points (105-204) and 2,297 penalty minutes and added 25 points (10-15) with 129 penalty minutes in 97 career playoff games.
Buchberger was Edmonton's captain for four seasons. He won Stanley Cups with the Oilers in 1987 and '90.