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Kelly Buchberger named coach of Oilers' AHL affiliate in Springfield, Mass. @NHLdotcom

EDMONTON (CP) - Former NHL forward Kelly Buchberger landed his first head coaching position when the Edmonton Oilers tabbed him to take over their AHL affiliate in Springfield, Mass., on Friday.

"This is a great opportunity for Kelly," said Oilers GM Kevin Lowe. "Kelly has worked with many of the young players in our organization and has been invaluable in their development as professionals."

Buchberger was the Oilers' development coach last season. In Springfield, he replaces Geoff Ward, who resigned as head coach of the Falcons to become an assistant coach with the Boston Bruins on Aug. 1. Buchberger was Ward's assistant with the AHL's Edmonton Road Runners in 2004-2005.

Buchberger, a native of Langenburg, Sask., played 18 NHL seasons including 13 with Edmonton. He earned Stanley Cup rings in 1987 and 1990 and starting from 1995-96 was captain for four years. He scored 105 goals and had 204 assists and 2,297 penalty minutes in 1,182 regular-season games with the Oilers, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Pittsburgh.

Bob Mancini returns to the Oilers as development coach based out of his home in Saginaw, Mich. Mancini was most recently GM of the OHL's Saginaw Spirit.

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