Hockey Canada announced today the men who will coach our country at the upcoming World Junior Championship and the U18 team for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament.
When the puck drops in Edmonton and Calgary for the WJC Vancouver Giants head man Don Hay will once again be back behind the Canadian bench. Hay's club was perfect in 1995, the first time a Canadian team accomplished the feat, and kept Canada's gold medal run alive. Hays club won the 3rd of a 5 year period of domination at the event. Hay has won more then 500 WHL games and has won 3 League titles and just as many Memorial Cup Championships.
Joining him on the bench will be 2 assistants who tasted bitter disappointment last year in Kelowna's Ryan Huska and Belleville's George Burnett, as well as Pascal Vincent from the Montreal Juniors who previously helped coach Canada as the U18 World Championship in 2003.
Meanwhile Kitchener Rangers Head Coach/G.M. Steve Spott has been tabbed to lead Canada this summer at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Spott will be trying to guide Canada to a 4th straight championship. This event is more of a true representation of the best players in that age group, as compared to the U18 World Championship where a lot of Canada's best players are still suiting up in the CHL playoffs.
Helping Spott will be Spokane Chief Head Coach Don Nachbaur, one of the best and most respected coaches in the WHL, and a guy who could/should land on an NHL bench sometime soon. This will be the second stint with Hockey Canada for Nachbaur who is a 3 time WHL coach of year, including this season.
The third member of the staff will be making his Canadian debut as Mario Duhamel will bring his Drummondville Voltigeurs experience to the tournament. He was a QMJHL coach of the year finalist and has also coached in Rouyn-Noranda.