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MacTavish named Wolves’ head coach

The Chicago Wolves, in conjunction with the Vancouver Canucks, have named Craig MacTavish as the team’s new head coach.

MacTavish becomes the eighth coach in Wolves history and brings 11 years of National Hockey League coaching experience to Chicago’s bench, which includes leading the Edmonton Oilers to an appearance in the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Craig MacTavish to our organization,” said Wolves general manager Wendell Young. “This is an exciting time for the Wolves, between our new affiliation with Vancouver, a new group of players and now a new head coach in Craig MacTavish, and we are very much looking forward to seeing it all come together when the team hits the ice this season.”

The 52-year-old MacTavish has compiled a 301-252-47-56 record and .537 winning percentage in 656 games spanning eight seasons (2000-09) as an NHL head coach with the Oilers.

The London, Ont., native also served as an assistant coach with the Oilers (1999-2000) and New York Rangers (1997-99) before taking over heading coaching duties in Edmonton.

A veteran of 1,093 NHL contests as a player with the Boston Bruins (1979-1984), Edmonton Oilers (1985-94), New York Rangers (1994), Philadelphia Flyers (1994-96), and St. Louis Blues (1996-97), MacTavish registered 213 goals, 267 assists and 480 points in 17 seasons. He won the Stanley Cup on four occasions during his playing career: three times with the Oilers (1987, 1998, 1990) and once with the Rangers (1994).

After being drafted by Boston in 1978, MacTavish played parts of three seasons in the AHL with the Binghamton Dusters (1979-80), Springfield Indians (1980-81) and Erie Blades (1981-82).

MacTavish, who spent the last two seasons as an analyst for the NHL on TSN, replaces Don Lever, whose contract was not renewed following the 2010-11 campaign.