The American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears named Mike Haviland the 24th coach in franchise history Tuesday.
Haviland, 45, was among the finalists for the Capitals’ coaching job last summer that ultimately went to Adam Oates. The New Jersey native has 14 years of coaching experience to his credit, including four seasons as an assistant coach of the Chicago Blackhawks from 2008-09 to 2011-12. In 2012-13, Haviland served as an associate coach for the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, which were affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks.
“Mike Haviland has coached his teams to compete and win, and we look forward to having him do the same in Hershey,” Bears General Manager Doug Yingst said in a news release. “Of the numerous candidates who applied for this position, we felt Mike was the best man to help our team push toward a 12th championship and we welcome him.”
Haviland previously served as a head coach at both the ECHL and AHL level. During his three years as coach of the Blackhawks AHL affiliate, first the Norfolk Admirals and then the Rockford IceHogs, Haviland coached current Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer for two seasons before they both joined Chicago the following year.
Haviland replaces Mark French, who was relieved from his duties at the end of the 2012-13 season after four years in Hershey, as Bears coach. French has since been named head coach of the Kontinental Hockey League’s Medvescak Zagreb in Croatia.