Bob Hartley is being interviewed in Cologne during the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Latvians agree on five-year deal
Bob Hartley will stay as head coach of the Latvian national team. He agreed to terms with the Latvian Hockey Federation for five more years.
The Latvians plan with Hartley for the new Olympic cycle after having tightly missed out on qualifying on PyeongChang 2018 before. The former Stanley Cup winner joined the Latvians last spring and led the team at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Germany and France where it finished in 10th place.
Hartley is the second former NHL coach after Ted Nolan (2011-2014) to lead the Latvian men’s national team. He led the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup win in 2001 and later also coached the Atlanta Thrashers and the Calgary Flames. In 2015 he won the Jack Adams Award as NHL head coach of the year but was fired in May 2016.
The 56-year-old also won championships as a junior coach with the Hawkesbury Hawks (CJHL; 1990, 1991) and Laval Titan (QMJHL; 1993), and later in professional hockey with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears (1997) and in Switzerland with the ZSC Lions Zurich (2012).
Latvia was coached by Leonids Beresnevs in 2015/2016 who resigned just before the Final Olympic Qualification in September 2016 where Haralds Vasiljevs jumped in to coach the team that eventually missed the tournament win against Germany. The federation some months later found Hartley as new head coach for the team.
On Thursday at the Congress of the Latvian Hockey Federation, LHF President Aigars Kalvitis announced that the federation has agreed to terms with Hartley for a five-year deal with the contract to be signed soon as the LHF published today.
In the upcoming season the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Denmark will be Latvia’s big event. The maroon-and-white team will play in Group B in Herning with Canada, Finland, the United States, Germany, Norway, host Denmark and newcomer Korea.