International Ice Hockey Federation

Hartley to coach Latvia

Hartley to coach Latvia

Long-time NHL coach will lead national team

Published 20.12.2016 11:13 GMT+1 | Author Martin Merk
Hartley to coach Latvia
Bob Hartley hoists the trophy after leading the ZSC Lions Zurich to the Swiss championship in 2012. Photo: Christoph Perren / hockeyfans.ch
The Latvian Hockey Federation signed Canadian coach Bob Hartley to lead the national team for the 2016/2017 season with an option for another year.

Hartley will be the second former NHL coach after Ted Nolan (2011-2014) to lead the Latvian men’s national team. Hartley led the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup win in 2001 and later also coached the Atlanta Thrashers and until last season the Calgary Flames. In 2015 he won the Jack Adams Award as NHL head coach of the year but was fired in May 2016.

The 56-year-old also won championships as a junior coach with the Hawkesbury Hawks (CJHL; 1990, 1991) and Laval Titan (QMJHL; 1993) and later in professional hockey with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears (1997) and most recently in 2012 the Swiss championship with the ZSC Lions Zurich during a one-year stint in Europe where he had Latvian forward Ronalds Kenins among his players.

Hartley’s first assignment will be to watch the U20 national team in Toronto next week at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship to scout potential candidates for the men’s national team. He will travel to Latvia for the first time in February to watch KHL team Dinamo Riga in its last regular-season games.

“I’m excited for the newest challenge in my career as a coach. It will be my first experience working with a national team and I’m grateful to the Latvian Hockey Federation for giving me the opportunity and confidence,” Bob Hartley said.

“I’m looking forward to the moment when the Latvian national team will start its preparation, which will be the foundation of a successful start at the World Championship.”

Latvia was coached by Leonids Beresnevs last season who resigned just before the Final Olympic Qualification in September where Haralds Vasiljevs jumped in to coach the team that eventually missed the tournament win against Germany.

At the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship the Latvians will play in the group in Cologne and battle for a quarter-final spot against Russia, the United States, Sweden, Slovakia, host Germany, Denmark and Italy.

 

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