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Ted Nolan

2007 Getty Images

Ted Nolan's long and winding coaching odyssey continues.

This time, the former NHL bench boss's next adventure will take him to Riga, Latvia, where he's signed on to coach the national team.

Latvia pursued several well-known coaches for the role, offering the job to both Mike Keenan and Clement Jodoin before turning their attention to Nolan, who won the Jack Adams as the NHL's top coach in 1997.

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"We were looking for a neutral, authoritative coach with lots of experience and good hockey knowledge," Latvian Hockey President Kirovs Lipmans said. "This is exactly what we found with Ted Nolan."

According to the IIHF, "Nolan will be the first North American coach of the Latvian national team since fellow Canadian Larry Marsh in 1939." He will also work as a consultant for the country's world junior team that will play at the 2012 event in Calgary and Edmonton.

Once considered one of the top coaches in the game, Nolan has only spent 327 games behind an NHL bench between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders, in part due to the poor reputation he left Buffalo with.

The past two years, he's worked as the director of hockey operations with the AHL's Rochester Americans.

Hockey-mad Latvia, meanwhile, has struggled of late internationally, and a 13th place finish at the most recent world championships led to the team's former coach, Olegs Znaroks, being fired.

The country is currently ranked 12th in the world, tying its lowest ranking ever. The highest Latvia has gotten was ninth in 2005, although it has finished as high as seventh at the worlds three times in the last 15 years.

Only four Latvians played a game in the NHL last season: Karlis Skrastins, Oskars Bartulis, Arturs Kulda and Raitis Ivanans.

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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