One of the most popular players in Edmonton Oilers history returns to Edmonton as Kelly Buchberger was named an assistant coach with the Edmonton Road Runners on Wednesday.
Buchberger is one of two assistants named to Geoff Ward’s coaching staff for the upcoming 2004-05 season, as Joe Paterson will return for his second full season with the Oilers’ American Hockey League affiliate.
“We are very pleased with the makeup of our coaching staff,” says Road Runners General Manager Scott Howson. “Joe’s return is an important step for us in our first season in Edmonton as he knows the personnel. Kelly brings a wealth of experience to the organization and his leadership will be an invaluable asset to the young players on the Road Runners.”
Buchberger joins the coaching ranks after completing 17 seasons in the National Hockey League. He played 12 seasons (1987-99) with the Oilers prior to stints with Atlanta, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Pittsburgh over the past five seasons. He played his final NHL season with the Penguins in 2003-04, picking up four points and 109 penalty minutes in 71 games.
A member of the AHL’s Nova Scotia Oilers from 1986-88, Buchberger was named the Oilers’ ninth captain in 1995-96 and served in that capacity for four seasons. Playing 1,182 regular season NHL games, including 795 with Edmonton, Buchberger scored 309 career points with 105 goals and 204 assists and registered 2,297 penalty minutes. The hard-nosed winger was Edmonton’s ninth-round draft pick in 1985 and was a member of the Oilers 1987 and 1990 Stanley Cup championship teams.
Paterson, a 44-year-old native of Toronto, brings a wealth of hockey experience to the Road Runners. He has developed players in the American Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League as a head coach and assistant coach. As well, he played in both the NHL and AHL over a 12-season professional career. Paterson skated in 291 career NHL games with four teams between 1980-81 and 1988-89, and added 106 goals and 151 assists for 257 points in 392 AHL contests with Adirondack, Hershey, New Haven and Binghamton between 1980-81 and 1991-92.
Paterson joined the Oilers’ organization as an assistant coach in Hamilton during the Bulldogs’ conference championship season of 2002-03, then served under Ward in Toronto in 2003-04. Paterson was the head coach of the Louisville Panthers for two seasons (1999-2001), leading the club to a 42-30-7-1 record in his first year behind the bench.
Paterson was an assistant coach with the Beast of New Haven from 1997-99, and helped develop Stanley Cup champion players such as Kris Draper, Chris Osgood and Darren McCarty when he was the assistant coach of the Adirondack Red Wings from 1992-95.
At the junior level, Paterson had great success in the Ontario Hockey League with Sault Ste. Marie. In two seasons (1995-96 to 1996-97) with the Greyhounds he had a 77-40-15 (.640) record, winning the OHL’s West Division in 1996-97.