Former Oiler Buchberger named coach of Falcons

Aug 3, 2007 - 11:54 PM SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- The NHL's Edmonton Oilers and Springfield Falcons have found a replacement for Geoff Ward.

In conjunction with Edmonton, Springfield on Friday announced former Oiler Kelly Buchberger will serve as the new coach of the Falcons following the departure of Ward, who resigned Wednesday in order to accept an assistant coaching position with the NHL's Boston Bruins.

It will be the first career head-coaching assignment for Buchberger, who was an assistant under Ward with the American Hockey League's Edmonton Road Runners in 2004-05 and the Oilers' development coach last season.

"This is a great opportunity for Kelly," said Edmonton general manager Kevin Lowe, a former teammate of Buchberger. "Kelly has worked with many of the young players in our organization and has been invaluable in their development as professionals."

In 18 seasons as a player in the NHL, including 13 with the Oilers, Buchberger recorded 105 goals, 204 assists and 2,297 penalty minutes in 1,182 games. The 40-year-old, who also played for the Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins, served as Edmonton's captain for four seasons beginning in 1995-96 and helped the team to Stanley Cup championships in 1987 and 1990.

"Kelly brings a wealth of experience to the table from his playing days in the NHL," Lowe said.

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