Craig MacTavish’s career as a KHL coach is already over. The former Oilers player/coach/general manager/front office mainstay was fired by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl after just eight regular-season games.
Lokomotiv fired head coach Craig MacTavish 🇨🇦.
Loko is 11th in the West with 3-5 record. pic.twitter.com/JTgg1IN8Ml
— KHL (@khl_eng) September 24, 2019
It was announced that MacTavish was leaving the Oilers in his vice-president of hockey operations role back in May to get back into the coaching game. But following a 4-1 loss to Jokerit Helsinki that pushed Lokomotiv to 3-5 on the season, the MacT experiment came to an end.
Former Oilers Ty Rattie and Anton Lander are currently leading the team with five points through eight games. Oilers third-round draft pick from 2019, Ilya Konovalov, has an .867 save percentage through four appearances.
I don’t follow the KHL closely, but, based on what Russian fans are saying on Twitter, it isn’t all too surprising to see a larger budget team with high expectations like Lokomotiv quickly pull the trigger on firing their coach if the team is underperforming. An eight-game stint would be pretty much unheard of in the NHL, but the KHL is a different animal.
This had been MacT’s first coaching gig since he was the head coach of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves for one season back in 2011-12. He was fired by the Oilers in 2009 as head coach, took a year off, coached the Wolves, and then returned to the Oilers in 2012 in a front office role before eventually being named general manager.
I can’t imagine he’ll be coming back to join the Oilers again this time.