The Chicago Wolves (finally!!) announce the hiring of new coach — Craig MacTavish, former NHL player and coach. MacTavish played 19 NHL season with the Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues, retiring at the end of the 1996-1997 season. He won three Stanley cups with Edmonton and one with the Rangers. In 1996 he began his coaching career as an assistant coach for the Rangers for two seasons. In 1999-2000 he became assistant coach for the Oilers and was promoted in 2000 to head coach when Kevin Lowe was promoted to General Manager. MacTavish remained with the Edmonton Oilers until 2009.

The Wolves new affiliation with the Vancouver Canucks should prove exciting next season. Hopefully by the time of the first puck drop any disgruntled Chicago and Vancouver fans will have calmed down enough to actually enjoy the Wolves hockey season. Not being a huge Chicago Blackhawks fan myself (yes, I am a Canucklehead), I am not experiencing the pain and anguish over this new merger. Actually, it seems that more Chicago fans are upset — Chicago Wolves fans are also for the most part Blackhawks fans and — yes, you get the picture. While I was saddened by the loss of the Manitoba Moose as an AHL team, with the merger of the current Wolves roster, the Canucks’ ex-Manitoba Moose players, and their new coach Craig MacTavish, the Chicago Wolves 2011-2012 season should be great fun to watch!

Jim Matheson’s interview with MacTavish in the Edmonton Journal, August 1, 2011: MacT stoked about coaching again.

Vancouver Canucks Official Announcement.