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Matheson : “Typical MacTavish. Making the most of every situation, be it crisis or opportunity.”

Craig MacTavish may be best known outside of Edmonton for being the last NHL player who didn’t wear a helmet, or perhaps you do recognize the name as the coach that led the 2006 Edmonton Oilers to the Stanley Cup finals.  But no matter what you know, or think you know about MacT, Jim Matheson’s article in the Edmonton Journal will be sure to teach you a thing or two.

If you’re close to Craig MacTavish, you’ll have a nickname; it’s an honour he bestows out of affection and a dry, spontaneous sense of humour.

So when the former Edmonton Oilers player and coach was told he had a cancer that starts in the lymphocytes, white blood cells that form part of the body’s immune system, he used an acronym to nickname that, too.

Known as MacT to fans and Mac to his friends, he repeats the name non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, then slowly pronounces the first letter of each word.

“I am back in the NHL,” MacTavish, 53, says before breaking into that familiar belly laugh.

He isn’t back in the National Hockey League, but he’s only a skate blade away.

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Filed in: AHL, Chicago Wolves, Edmonton Oilers, Ex-Oilers, | Oil Patch | Permalink



MacTavish pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol in an accident the night of January 25, 1984, in Peabody, Massachusetts. Kim Radley, 26, of West Newfield, Maine, died four days later of injuries sustained in the crash. MacTavish spent a year in jail as punishment for this offence.

Posted by Karen on 05/06/12 at 09:57 PM ET

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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.

Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.

Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.

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