Ted Nolan is taking control of Latvia's struggling national hockey team.
The former NHL coach of the year was hired Wednesday following a search that centred around five candidates, according to the Latvian hockey federation.
Nolan will coach a team that is coming off a 13th-place finish at the IIHF World Hockey Championship in May. That cost predecessor Olegs Znaroks and two assistants their jobs and led to a "difficult" summer for the entire federation, according to president Kirovs Lipmans.
"We were looking for a neutral, authoritative coach with lots of experience and good hockey knowledge," said Lipmans. "This is exactly what we found with Ted Nolan."
Nolan previously served as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders, compiling a 147-140-21 record with 19 ties. He won the Jack Adams Award in 1997.
The 53-year-old Nolan most recently served as vice-president of hockey operations for the AHL's Rochester Americans but recently expressed a desire to get back behind the bench.
"I definitely miss coaching," Nolan told the Moncton Times & Transcript in June. "I really miss teaching the game, watching the players improve and develop their skills, and taking a group of individuals in training camp and seeing them jell together as a team over the course of the season."
A handful of former NHL coaches have taken jobs with European national teams in recent years. Curt Fraser and Glen Hanlon both had stints with Belarus and Hanlon also coached Slovakia before getting fired earlier this year.