The Edinburgh Capitals have placed their future in the hands of Dmitri Khristich for the 2017-18 season.
The Ukrainian native is a two time NHL All-Star and veteran of 811 games having played for the Washington Capitals, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The 47 year old scored 259 goals and put up 597 points during his time in North America’s top league and has also represented Russia and Ukraine.
Having finished his playing career in Russia’s Super League with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in 2004, Khristich had a spell out of the professional game before returning to the international scene.
After three World Championships and one Olympic Qualification campaign as an assistant coach with Ukraine, there was another small exodus from hockey until 2015-16.
Spells with Traktor Chelyabinsk and Amur Khabarovsk as Video Coach were followed by one season as ‘Youth Hockey Supervisor’ for Ukrainian outfit HK Kremenchuk.
Though a huge coup for Edinburgh to recruit someone of his status in hockey, the hiring of Khristich is somewhat of a calculated gamble with this his first Head Coach appointment in the professional game.
He’ll be Edinburgh’s first bench coach since Brad Grattan in 2010.
In twelve seasons in the Elite League, the Capitals are yet to record a winning season – finishing rock bottom in three of their last four campaigns.
Of the signing General Manager of the Edinburgh Capitals Scott Neil said, “When the opportunity arose to sign someone with Dmitri Khristich’s pedigree, it was an easy decision to make. He will bring not only a wealth of experience playing at the top level of the game (the NHL) where he was one of the best players in the world during his era, but also coaching experience at International level and in one of the top leagues in the world, the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League). Dmitri and I spoke at length about our views on how to drive the club forward, and I’m looking forward to working with him over the coming months. It’s an exciting time for the Capitals.”