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Kelly Buchberger Named Islanders Assistant Coach

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The latest ‘90s-era Oiler’s officially joins Doug Weight’s staff.

Minnesota Wild vs Edmonton Oilers
A Buchberger, a towel and Robert Nilsson.
Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

In the last of the long-whispered (or often all-but-announced) changes to New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight’s staff, Kelly Buchberger has officially joined as an assistant coach.

Yes, this makes a lot of assistants. And yes, it’s a lot of ex-Oilers. Not Cup-era Oilers, mind you — okay, Buchberger was there for two -- but a pretty scrappy and underfunded era of Oilers nonetheless.

Buchberger had most recently worked as a vice president of player development with the Oilers, but he previously served on the bench in an assistant role under Pat Quinn and Tom Renney, as well as in the AHL.

He joins Weight’s former Oilers teammate Luke Richardson, as well as fellow longtime NHLer Scott Gomez, as new outside hires this summer as Weight prepares for his first full season as head coach.

Yesterday, Richardson and Buchberger’s former Oilers teammate Fred Brathwaite was named goaltending coach, replacing Mike Dunham. Meanwhile Greg Cronin, the lone holdover from Jack Capuano’s staff, remains in an associate and “important” role, as reported by Arthur Staple in Newsday.

Combined, it’s certainly a lot of playing experience in the NHL, and a group Weight trusts. Weight had mentioned that while he loved his new role as he took over for Capuano on an interim basis during last season’s second half, he quickly realized how even more time- and energy-consuming it is.

Hopefully this stable of assistants helps share the load while carrying his upbeat but hard-driving attitude across to the players. As Brathwaite confirmed on Oilers Now, they are certainly a group of excited friends.

Elliotte Friedman, one of the reporters relaying a potential Weight-Buchberger linkup after the two watched Mathew Barzal together in the WHL playoffs, had also noted that Buchberger and new Islanders forward Jordan Eberle sometimes “butt heads.” Something to file away perhaps, but likely not a significant thing.

Other Coaching News

Elsewhere in the league of former players in bench roles on Tuesday, the Coyotes announced former Penguins assistant Rick Tocchet is their new head coach, while fellow former Penguin Mark Rechhi replaces him as an assistant behind the bench in Pittsburgh.