Hockey Canada unveils 2017-18 Canada’s National Men’s Team plan

Canada


CALGARY, Alta. –
Hockey Canada has unveiled its plan for the
2017-18 Canada’s National Men’s Team, which includes an expanded
schedule
that will see the red-and-white take to the ice in at least seven
international tournaments.

As part of the highly anticipated release of the season’s plans, Hockey
Canada also announced the National Men’s Team management group and
coaching staff. Joining Tom Renney (Cranbrook, B.C.),
Hockey Canada’s CEO, Scott Smith (Bathurst, N.B.),
president and COO of Hockey Canada, and the organization’s vice-president
of hockey operations and national men’s teams, Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), on the management group are
the team’s general manager Sean Burke (Windsor, Ont./Montreal, NHL), as well as
management group member Martin Brodeur (Montreal/St. Louis, NHL).

Behind the bench, Hockey Canada has selected Willie Desjardins (Climax, Sask.) as head coach of
Canada’s National Men’s Team. He will be joined by associate coach Dave King (Saskatoon, Sask.), and assistant coaches Scott Walker (Cambridge, Ont./Vancouver, NHL), and Craig Woodcroft (Toronto/Genève-Servette HC, NLA).

“This is an exciting time for Hockey Canada and for our National Men’s Team
program, and it will be an exciting season for Canadian hockey fans,” said
Renney in regards to this year’s schedule. “The goal is always to field the
best possible team in all upcoming competitions, including this February
when we hit the world’s biggest sporting stage in Pyeonchang. The faces on
our Team Canada rosters may be different than in previous years, but the
expectations will be the same; with the addition of Sean, Martin, Willie,
Dave, Scott, and Craig, we have assembled some of the best hockey minds out
there to help us meet those expectations of on-ice success.”

Burke,
a professional scout with the Montreal Canadiens, has international
experience in management with Canada’s National Men’s Team that includes a
silver medal as assistant general manager at the 2017 IIHF World
Championship, as general manager of the 2016 Spengler Cup
championship-winning team, and two IIHF World Championship gold medals, as
director of player development in 2016, and as part of the management group
in 2015. He was also general manager of the 2016 Deutschland Cup team. Burke is
Canada’s all-time leader in games played (35), minutes played
(1,991), and wins (21) by a goaltender at the IIHF World Championship – an event at which
he won two gold and two silver medals in five appearances as a player. A
two-time Olympian (1988, 1992), Burke won silver at the 1992 Olympic Winter
Games in Albertville, France, and is an IIHF World Junior Championship
silver-medallist from 1986 in Hamilton, Ont.

Brodeur
transitioned from his NHL playing career into management during the 2014-15
season where he played seven games with the St. Louis Blues and was special
assistant to the general manager. He was named assistant general manager of
the Blues in advance of the 2015-16 season. A three-time Stanley Cup
champion, his NHL playing career also saw him awarded the Vezina Trophy
four times as the league’s best goaltender, and Brodeur is also a Calder
Trophy winner and took home the Jennings Trophy five times. Brodeur
represented Canada in international competition eight times, winning the
World Cup of Hockey in 2004, two Olympic gold medals (2002, 2010), and two
silver medals in IIHF World Championship competition (1996, 2005).

Salmond
has been with Hockey Canada since 2001, serving in his current position of
vice-president of hockey operations and national teams since June 2014. In
this position, Salmond oversees all operations of Canada’s national men’s
teams for the Olympic Winter Games, IIHF World Championship, IIHF World
Junior Championship, and IIHF U18 World Championship, as well as the sledge
hockey program at the Paralympic Winter Games and IPC World Para Hockey
Championship.

Desjardins
returns to Team Canada following coaching roles with the Dallas Stars, Texas Stars of the AHL, where he led the team to its first Calder Cup in
2014, and Vancouver Canucks. A two-time WHL champion with the Medicine
Hat Tigers in 2004 and 2007, Desjardins was assistant coach of the 2009 IIHF World
Junior Championship gold-medallists, and led the team to World Juniors silver in 2010 as head coach. Desjardins was
also an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Team in 1998-99,
including at the 1999 IIHF World Championship.

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 as a builder in 2001. Most recently, King won
silver at the 2017 IIHF World Championship as an assistant coach, was head
coach of Team Canada at the 2016 Deutschland Cup, and associate coach with
the 2016 Spengler Cup champions.

Walker
played for Canada’s National Men’s Team during the 1992-93 season, and at
three IIHF World Championships, winning silver in 2005. He was an assistant
coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the IIHF World Junior
Championship in 2012 (bronze) and 2015 (gold), and won gold as an assistant
coach with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2012
Memorial of Ivan Hlinka. Walker was also head coach of Team Canada White at
the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, capturing gold, and won gold as
assistant coach of Canada’s National Sledge Team at the 2017 International
Para Hockey Tournament. He was named a player development consultant with
the Vancouver Canucks in 2015, and spent parts of five seasons (2010-2015)
as head coach of the OHL’s Guelph Storm.

Woodcroft
played 63 games with Canada’s National Men’s Team from 1988 to 1994,
winning a bronze medal at the 1990 Goodwill Games. He is entering his first
season as head coach of Genève-Servette HC of the NLA after leading the
Dinamo Minsk of the KHL as head coach during the 2016-17 season. Woodcroft
was an assistant coach for Belarus at the IIHF World Championship in 2015,
2016, and 2017. He spent parts of two seasons (2014-16) as an assistant
coach with Adler Mannheim (DEL), winning the league championship in 2015,
before taking over as head coach late in the 2015-16 season. His NHL
experience includes two seasons as a skill development coach with St.
Louis, and two years as director of rookie development camp with Nashville.

Canada’s National Men’s Team will also be supported by the following team
staff:

  • Video coach Tyler Dietrich (West Vancouver,
    B.C./Hockey Canada);
  • Mat Sells
    (Calgary/Hockey Canada) supporting advance pre-scout and analytics;
  • Dr. Jim Thorne
    (Calgary/Hockey Canada);
  • Therapists Morris Boyer (North Battleford,
    Sask./Hockey Canada) and Jeff Thorburn (Dalhousie,
    N.B./Hockey Canada);
  • Massage therapist Andy Hüppi (Jona, SUI/Hockey
    Canada);
  • Equipment managers Bryan Boyes (Oshawa, Ont./Oshawa,
    OHL) and Robin McDonald (Didsbury, Alta./Hockey
    Canada);
  • Bayne Pettinger
    (Victoria, B.C./Hockey Canada), manager of hockey operations and men’s
    national teams;
  • Kaite Doyle
    (Sudbury, Ont./Hockey Canada) as coordinator of hockey administration;
    and
  • Mark Halliday
    (Montreal/Hockey Canada) for media relations.

Canada’s National Men’s Team kicks off the 2017-18 season with events in
Russia in August – the Sochi Hockey Open Aug. 6-9, and the Tournament of
Nikolai Puchkov in St. Petersburg, Aug. 14-17.

“These first two events allow us to continue a player evaluation process
that began last season with our Deutschland Cup and Spengler Cup teams,”
said Salmond, noting the players on the two Russian event rosters were not
an exhaustive list. “We will continue to look at the best available players
to us – these two tournaments being the next opportunity to see some of the
talent we can select from.”

Coverage and results of the full 2017-18 Canada’s National Men’s Team
schedule will be available at HockeyCanada.ca.

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Team
Program, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow
through social media on FacebookTwitter, and Twitter.com/HC_Men.





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