Hartley said he's excited about the newest challenge in his career as a coach. This will be, he said, his first experience working with a world elite national team.
He will be arriving in Riga in mid-February 2017 to train with the national team for the world championships in Germany.
Hartley, 56, is an experienced coach, having worked with Colorado Avalanche, Atlanta Thrashers and Calgary Flames, with nearly 1,000 NHL games coached in total. In 2001 Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup under his leadership.
Latvia's previous long-term coach was Leonīds Beresņevs, who left the post prior to the Olympic qualifiers in September after a disappointing performance of the national team in the 2016 World Championships in Moscow.
Hockey is considered a 'big deal' in Latvia with games such as the clinched win against Belarus in the 2005 Olympic qualifiers occupying notable space in the memories of sports fans.