Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish discusses strategy during the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Edmonton Oilers have announced that Craig MacTavish has agreed to a new four-year contract with the team.
MacTavish returns to the Oilers after guiding them to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1990.
General Manager Kevin Lowe says MacTavish brings superb leadership to the Oilers. "From his role as a team captain while a player, to his tenure as coach of the Oilers, Craig has been a superb leader. He has the unique ability of being demanding of the players, but he also has a great understanding of what makes todays NHL player successful."
Under MacTavishs direction, the Oilers finished the 2005-06 season in eighth place in the NHLs Western Conference standings with a 41-28-13 record and advanced to the post-season for the 20th time and the first time since 2002-03. In the post-season the Oilers came within a game of their sixth Stanley Cup championship as they went 15-9, reaching the Stanley Cup Final before losing in the seventh game to the Carolina Hurricanes.
MacTavish led Edmonton past the NHLs top team in the opening round of the playoffs as the Oilers defeated the President Trophy winning Detroit Red Wings 4-2 in the conference quarterfinals. The Oilers then defeated the San Jose Sharks and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim on their way to winning the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl as Western Conference champions.
Since being named the eighth coach of the Oilers on June 22, 2000, MacTavish has compiled a career record of 190-160-60 (.537) in 410 games over five seasons behind the Oilers bench. The former Oilers captain has a 19-17 (.528) record in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and became the third coach to guide the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Final.
MacTavish reached the 40-win mark for the first time in his career during the 2005-06 season, as he led the Oilers to 41 victories, marking the 8th time in franchise history that the team has won 40-or-more games in a single season and the first time since 1987-88.
Entering his seventh season as Oilers head coach in 2006-07, MacTavish ranks second on Edmontons all-time coaching list in games (410), wins (190), ties/ot losses (60) and winning percentage (.537). He is third in playoff games coached (36), playoff wins (19) and winning percentage (.528).
He reached several milestones during the past season, earning his 150th career victory in a season opening 4-3 win versus Colorado on October 5, 2005 and he coached his 400th career NHL game in a 4-3 shootout win against the Avalanche on March 26, 2006.