Oil Kings hire coach

Derek Laxdal, who guided the Idaho Steelheads to the ECHL championship in 2007 and was the league’s coach of the year this season, is the new head coach of the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Derek Laxdal

Derek Laxdal

Derek Laxdal, who guided the Idaho Steelheads to the ECHL championship in 2007 and was the league’s coach of the year this season, is the new head coach of the Edmonton Oil Kings. Laxdal, who coached the Steelheads for five years, replaces Steve Pleau who was fired after three seasons as the Oil Kings bench boss. The native of Stonewall, Man., played a handful of games for the defunct Red Deer Rustlers of the AJHL in 1982, then was summoned to the Portland Winterhawks that same season and won a Memorial Cup championship with the WHL team as a 16-year-old. Now, 44, Laxdal was selected over Steve Hamilton, the former head coach of the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, University of Alberta Golden Bears coach Eric Thurston, and former Atlanta Flames assistant coach Todd Nelson.