Canada, USA name coaches
Canada, USA name coaches
Jon Cooper to lead Canada, Jeff Blashill USA
Hockey Canada named Jon Cooper (Tampa Bay, NHL) head coach of its National Men’s Team in his first stint with Hockey Canada. Cooper will be joined behind the bench by assistant coaches Gerard Gallant, Dave Hakstol (Philadelphia, NHL), and Dave King.
The coaching staff was selected by members of the management group, announced earlier this month: general manager Ron Hextall (Philadelphia, NHL); assistant general manager Sean Burke (Montreal, NHL); director of player personnel Larry Carriere (Montreal, NHL); and Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams with Hockey Canada.
“Canada has tremendous depth in both its player and coaching pool, and we are fortunate to welcome a blend of experience and new faces to our program for this year’s IIHF World Championship,” said Tom Renney, president and CEO, Hockey Canada. “This is always an exciting event that brings Canadian hockey fans together to cheer on the red-and-white, and our players have four talented coaches and leaders in this group to work with and learn from.”
Cooper joined the Tampa Bay Lightning midway through the 2012-13 season as head coach – a position he holds to this day – following two-and-a-half seasons in the AHL with the Norfolk Admirals and Syracuse Crunch. He was an assistant coach for Team North America at last fall’s World Cup of Hockey and guided the Lightning to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2015. Cooper has also held head coaching positions for teams in the CSHL, MWEHL, NAHL, and USHL.
Gallant was an assistant coach with Team Canada at the 2007 IIHF World Championship, and was assistant coach alongside Cooper with Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Gallant has coached the better part of 13 seasons in the NHL with Columbus, the New York Islanders, Montreal, and most recently Florida, and spent three seasons – 2009-12 – as head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs, winning back-to-back QMJHL championships (2011, 2012) and the Memorial Cup in 2011. His Summerside Western Capitals won the 1997 Royal Bank Cup with Gallant as head coach.
Hakstol just completed his second season as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers following 15 seasons in coaching roles with the University of North Dakota (NCAA). Hakstol also spent three-and-a-half seasons as head coach of the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL. During his playing career, Hakstol wore the ‘C’ for UND, and played for the Indianapolis Ice and Minnesota Moose in the IHL. He was named the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) Most Outstanding Defenceman in the 1988-89 season.
King’s international coaching career got its start in 1982 with two medals – a gold at the 1982 IIHF World Junior Championship, and bronze at the 1982 IIHF World Championship. He followed that up with a bronze medal at the 1983 IIHF World Junior Championship before becoming Team Canada’s full-time head coach in 1983-84 – a role he held until 1992-93 when he accepted an NHL head coaching role with the Calgary Flames. King won a silver medal with Canada at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games, and was also behind the Team Canada bench at the 1999 IIHF World Championship. King has held a variety of roles in the NHL, SHL, and KHL since 1992, and was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame Builder category in 2000-2001. Most recently, King was head coach of Team Canada at the 2016 Deutschland Cup, and associate coach with the 2016 Spengler Cup champions.
Team Canada management, staff, and players will gather in Geneva, Switzerland, for a pre-tournament camp, which includes a tune-up game on May 2 against the Swiss.
The defending champion opens the World Championship against the Czech Republic on Friday, May 5, with preliminary-round games scheduled through Tuesday, May 16. The bronze- and gold-medal games will take place on Sunday, May 21.
TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners, will carry 64 and 32 games respectively; schedules and network information can be found at TSN.ca and RDS.ca.
Jeff Blashill, who recently completed his second season as head coach of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings, has been named head coach of the 2017 U.S. Men's National Team that will compete in the upcoming World Championship.
"We're extremely pleased to have Jeff lead our men's national team at the world championship," said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey and part of the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group. "He's been successful at every step of his career and we know our team will be well prepared when the puck drops."
Blashill will be making his debut as head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team. He has previously been involved with U.S. teams in international competition as goatlending coach for the 2009 U.S. National Junior Team at the IIHF World Junior Championship and as assistant coach for both the U.S. Junior Select Team at the 2009 World Junior A Challenge and the U.S. National Under-18 Select Team at the 2006 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
Before joining Detroit, Blashill for three seasons (2012-15) was the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings' AHL affiliate. He led the club to three of the most successful years in franchise history, highlighted by a 2012-13 campaign that ended with the first Calder Cup championship in the 17-year history of the franchise.
Blashill, who was born in Detroit but grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., won the Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL's most outstanding coach in 2013-14 and was named head coach for the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic. He is the only coach in Griffins history to qualify for the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, leading the team to 92 points or better each year.
Blashill joined the Red Wings' organization after one season as the head coach at Western Michigan University in 2010-11, where he doubled the Broncos win total from the previous season and led the school to its first appearance in the CCHA championship game since 1986.
He began his coaching career as an assistant coach for his alma mater, Ferris State University. After four seasons (1998-02) with the Bulldogs, he spent six campaigns in the same role with Miami University where he helped the RedHawks reach the NCAA tournament four times.
Blashill, a goaltender in his playing days, made his head coaching debut with the United States Hockey League's Indiana Ice, compiling a 72-43-5 mark as head coach and general manager from 2008-10. He guided the Ice to a franchise-record 39 wins in 2008-09 and Clark Cup title as playoff champions of the USHL.
The staff and players of the 2017 U.S. Men's National Team are selected by the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group, led by Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. Other members include Stan Bowman (Chicago Blackhawks), Dean Lombardi (USA Hockey), David Poile (Nashville Predators), Ray Shero (New Jersey Devils), Dale Tallon (Florida Panthers) and Don Waddell (Carolina Hurricanes). In addition, Chris Drury (New York Rangers) and Bill Guerin (Pittsburgh Penguins) are serving as part of the management group for the 2017 U.S. Men's National Team.
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