Craig Simpson (left) spent four seasons as Oilers assistant coach
Craig Simpson is moving from behind the bench to the broadcast booth for the 2007-08 National Hockey League season.View a photo gallery of today's press conference.
The Edmonton Oilers assistant coach has resigned his position with the team’s coaching staff to accept a broadcast position with CBC’s “Hockey Night In Canada”. Simpson was a member of Craig MacTavish’s staff for four seasons from 2003-04 to 2006-07 and helped guide the Oilers to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.
Oilers General Manager, Kevin Lowe says “Craig has been an integral part of our coaching staff for the past four seasons. His knowledge of the game and skill set were extremely valuable to Craig MacTavish and the team. As a player and a coach, Craig’s number one priority was to the success of the Oilers on and off the ice. He has contributed greatly to the success of our organization and we wish him well in his new endeavour.”
Simpson returns to the role as a hockey analyst, having spent eight seasons behind the mike from 1995-96 to 2002-03. After his retirement from a 10-year NHL career, Simpson began a career in the sports media, working with TSN’s “The Hockey Show” and “Be A Player” in 1996. He then moved to Los Angeles and spent two years working with Fox SportsNet, before returning to Edmonton and joining Rogers Sportsnet.
In five seasons with Rogers Sportsnet, Simpson worked as an analyst in the broadcast booth with Jim Hughson on NHL national broadcasts and in the studio with the network’s Stanley Cup Playoff coverage. The 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons saw him lend his expertise to coverage of the Oilers, as he was the analyst on Oilers Hockey broadcasts.
Simpson spent six of his 10 NHL seasons with the Oilers and was a member of Edmonton’s Stanley Cup championship teams in 1988 and 1990. Obtained by the Oilers in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 24, 1987, Simpson played a total of 419 regular season games with Edmonton.
Over five-and-a-half seasons with the Oilers, Simpson scored 185-180-365 with 475 penalty minutes. He ranks 11th on Edmonton’s all-time career scoring list and is among the team’s career leaders in several categories. He is seventh in goals, sixth in powerplay goals (75), ninth in game-winning goals (21) and 12th in assists. He holds the distinction of being the last Oiler to score 50 goals in a season, reaching the milestone in 1987-88 when he scored 56 times.
Simpson was forced to retire from the NHL due to a back injury following the 1994-95 season. He scored 247-250-497 with 659 penalty minutes in 634 NHL career games with Pittsburgh, Edmonton and Buffalo and added 36-32-68 with 56 penalty minutes in 67 playoff games. He scored 20-or-more goals in seven of his 10 seasons, surpassing the 30-goal mark on three occasions.