August 15, 1958 |
London, ON, CAN
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)|
|Played for||Boston Bruins
New York Rangers
St. Louis Blues
|NHL Draft||153rd overall, 1978
Craig MacTavish (born August 15, 1958) is a former ice hockey player. He is the former General Manager and former head coach of the Edmonton Oilers. He played center for 17 seasons in the National Hockey League with the Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues, winning the Stanley Cup four times (1987, 1988, 1990, 1994). MacTavish later coached the Oilers from 2000 to 2009 and also served as assistant coach with the Rangers and Oilers. He was also the last NHL player to play without a helmet.
MacTavish played two years of NCAA hockey with the University of Lowell Chiefs (now UMass Lowell) from 1977 to 1979. He was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft with their ninth pick, 153rd overall, and spent the next several years splitting time between the Bruins and various American Hockey League teams. He finally made the Bruins for good in 1982–83 and played two full seasons with them.
During his early days with the Bruins, the young MacTavish was involved in the infamous brawl between several Boston players and a group of New York Rangers fans in 1979.
Widely viewed at the time as a personal favour from Edmonton general manager Glen Sather to his best friend, then-Bruins general manager Harry Sinden, the Oilers took a chance on MacTavish and signed him for the 1985–86 season. Sather's intuition turned out to be good, as MacTavish spent eight full seasons with the Oilers, helping them to win three Stanley Cups in 1987, 1988, 1990 and serving as team captain from 1992 to 1994. MacTavish was traded to the New York Rangers in 1994, just in time to help several other former Oilers (including Kevin Lowe, Glenn Anderson, Adam Graves, Jeff Beukeboom, Esa Tikkanen and Mark Messier) win the Stanley Cup.
The next season MacTavish signed with the Philadelphia Flyers as a free agent, and was traded to the St. Louis Blues during the 1995–96 season. MacTavish retired following the 1996–97 season. He was the last helmetless player, having begun his career before helmets became mandatory (then-current players were allowed to remain bare-headed under a grandfather clause).
MacTavish turned to coaching immediately after retiring as a player, signing on as an assistant with the Rangers. After two seasons in New York, he returned to the Oilers as an assistant coach in the 1999–2000 season under former teammate Kevin Lowe. He was subsequently promoted to the top job when Lowe succeeded Sather as general manager.
In the 2005–06 season, MacTavish led the Oilers on their run to the Stanley Cup Finals. In the first round of the playoffs, MacTavish shocked the hockey world by utilizing a trapping defensive system to neutralize a potent Detroit Red Wings offense. This closed defensive system, while popular in the pre-2004 lockout NHL, had been deemed by many to be unworkable under the league's new anti-obstruction regulations. The Oilers were able to deny scoring chances by blocking shots with their bodies—something for which MacTavish was known for during his playing career. This proved effective; the eighth-seeded Oilers won the opening round 4–2, against the no. 1 seed, the Detroit Red Wings. Along the way the Oilers defeated the San Jose Sharks and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, by scores of 4–2 and 4–1 respectively. The Oilers could not complete their run, losing a thrilling seven-game final series to the Carolina Hurricanes, though they rallied from a 3–1 series deficit to even it. The Oilers had not reached the Stanley Cup finals since their championship season of 1990 during MacTavish's playing tenure in Edmonton.
On November 4, 2006, one day after the Oilers lost to the Dallas Stars due to an apparent blown call in the last five seconds of the third period by referee Mick McGeough, MacTavish was fined $10,000 for expressing his anger after the game, referring to the call as "retarded". After this incident, Oilers fans collected over $10,000 and gave it to MacTavish, who subsequently donated the money to charity.
On April 15, 2009, Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini announced that MacTavish had been relieved of his duties as head coach of the club. The Oilers had failed to reach the playoffs for the third year in a row. He finished his tenure with the Oilers at 36th on the all-time NHL list with 301 wins, and second on the Oilers' all-time wins list behind only Sather.
During 2011-12 season, MacTavish coached the Chicago Wolves, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks. After the season, MacTavish left the Canucks organization and returned to the Oilers. On December 15, 2014, he was named interim coach of the Oilers following the firing of Dallas Eakins.
On December 15, 2014 MacTavish fired head coach Dallas Eakins from his duties as head coach of the oilers. MacTavish named himself Interim coach with the intention of transitioning minor league coach Todd Nelson in to the role of interim head coach in the near future.
On June 11, 2012, Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini announced that Craig McTavish was added to the club's hockey operations management team as senior vice-president of hockey operations.
On April 15, 2013, general manager Steve Tambellini was relieved of his position, and the Oilers named MacTavish as the new general manager. Former Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson replaced MacTavish as the vice-president of hockey operations. After two seasons, MacTavish was relieved of his position as general manager, and the Oilers named Peter Chiarelli the new general manager and president of hockey operations.
On April 24, 2015, Oilers Entertainment Group CEO, Bob Nicholson announced that Peter Chiarelli had been hired as the new general manager and president of hockey operations. Nicholson did not provide details on what MacTavish's new position would be within the Oilers organization. 
MacTavish missed the 1984–85 season after being convicted of vehicular homicide, having struck and killed a young woman while he was driving under the influence of alcohol. MacTavish pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol the night of January 25, 1984, in Peabody, Massachusetts. Kim Radley, 26, of West Newfield, Maine, died four days later of injuries sustained in the crash. MacTavish spent a year in jail as punishment for this offence. While incarcerated, he watched most of the games that were televised. After MacTavish was released from prison, the Bruins offered to let him out of his contract. MacTavish accepted.
Awards and achievements
- 1986–87 – Stanley Cup (Edmonton)
- 1987–88 – Stanley Cup (Edmonton)
- 1989–90 – Stanley Cup (Edmonton)
- 1993–94 – Stanley Cup (New York)
- 1995–96 – played in NHL All-Star Game
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|EDM||2000–01||82||39||28||12||3||93||2nd in Northwest||2||4||.333||Lost in 1st round (Dallas)|
|EDM||2001–02||82||38||28||12||4||92||3rd in Northwest||–||–||–||Missed playoffs|
|EDM||2002–03||82||36||26||11||9||92||4th in Northwest||2||4||.333||Lost in 1st round (Dallas)|
|EDM||2003–04||82||36||29||12||5||89||4th in Northwest||–||–||–||Missed playoffs|
|EDM||2005–06||82||41||28||–||13||95||3rd in Northwest||15||9||.625||Lost in Stanley Cup final (Carolina)|
|EDM||2006–07||82||32||43||–||7||71||5th in Northwest||–||–||–||Missed playoffs|
|EDM||2007–08||82||41||35||–||6||88||4th in Northwest||–||–||–||Missed playoffs|
|EDM||2008–09||82||38||35||–||9||85||4th in Northwest||–||–||–||Missed playoffs|
|1984–85||Did not play (incarcerated)|
|1993–94||New York Rangers||NHL||12||4||2||6||11||23||1||4||5||22|
|1995–96||St. Louis Blues||NHL||13||0||1||1||8||13||0||2||2||6|
|1996–97||St. Louis Blues||NHL||50||2||5||7||33||1||0||0||0||2|
- Craig MacTavish—A Student of the Game
- Last Helmetless Player in the NHL Video – NHL VideoCenter
- Edmonton Oilers Legends: Craig MacTavish
- Cole, Stephen (2004). The Best of Hockey Night in Canada. Toronto: McArthur & Company. p. 128. ISBN 978-1-55278-408-2.
- MacTavish relieved of duties as Oliers head coach
- "Oilers fire head coach Eakins". TSN.ca. December 15, 2014.
- Staples, David (September 15, 2009). "Witty MacTavish finds "safe haven" at TSN". Edmonton Journal.
- Staples, David (September 30, 2007). "Behind the man behind the bench". Edmonton Journal.
- Oilers Add MacTavish to Hockey Operations Management Team
- STRUGGLING OILERS FIRE GENERAL MANAGER TAMBELLINI
- "SPORTS PEOPLE; MacTavish Is Free". New York Times. May 14, 1985. Retrieved September 14, 2009.
- Anderson, Dave. "Sports of The Times; MacT's Muscular Art: The Crucial Face-Off", The New York Times, May 22, 1995. Accessed March 17, 2011. "Despite their age difference, MacTavish and the 22-year-old Lindros are roommates on Flyer road trips, and the Flyer captain often hangs out at the MacTavish home in nearby Voorhees, N.J."
- Career statistics and player information from NHL.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
- Oilers Heritage – Craig MacTavish