Ex-Oilers head coach MacTavish to lead Canada’s entry at Spengler Cup

CALGARY – Craig MacTavish has been named head coach of Canada’s entry for this year’s Spengler Cup tournament.

MacTavish, who was let go as head coach of the Edmonton Oilers in April, served as an assistant coach with Canada at the 2005 and 2008 IIHF world hockey championships, winning silver both years. He was also an assistant coach for Canada at the 2004 Loto Cup, where Canada won bronze.

Sean Simpson and Doug Shedden will serve as assistants for the Canadian team, Hockey Canada said Thursday.

“I’m excited to once again work with Hockey Canada and I look forward to teaming up with Doug and Sean on the road to gold,” MacTavish said in a statement. “I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every experience with Hockey Canada. I’m sure this will be no different.”

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MacTavish spent nine seasons with the Oilers, leading them to the Stanley Cup final in 2006. He was fired after Edmonton went 38-35-9, missing the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

Simpson coached the Canadian team to gold at the 2007 Spengler Cup and won silver in 2008. He’s the head coach of Zurich ZSC Lions in Switzerland’s top league.

Shedden was head coach of Finland’s bronze-medal winning team at the 2008 IIHF world championship in Halifax and Quebec.

The tournament will be held in Davos, Switzerland from Dec. 26-31. Canada will be joined at the event by the host team HC Davos (Swiss National League), Dynamo Minsk (KHL), Energie Karlovy Vary (Czech Elite League) and Adler Mannheim (German DEL League).