CALGARY – Joel Quenneville was named Team Canada’s head coach for the 2004 IIHF Men’s World Championship that will take place April 24-May 9, 2004 in Prague, Czech Republic, Team Canada’s General Manager Jim Nill announced on Monday.
The announcement was made by GM Jim Nill and Team Canada’s Management staff for the 2004 Men’s World Championship: Don Maloney, Assistant General Manager and Lanny McDonald, Director, Player Personnel.
“We are very pleased in naming Joel as our head coach for the 2004 World Championship,“ said Nill. “Joel brings a wealth of experience and credibility, and over the next month he can focus on preparation for putting together a strong game plan along with an outstanding team that will contend for a gold medal in Prague.”
Quenneville, who spent almost seven full seasons as Head Coach of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues (1997-2004), won the NHL’s Jack Adams Award for ‘Coach of the Year’ in 1999-2000 and was a member of the 1996 Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche where he served as an Assistant coach with the Avs for three seasons.
Under Quenneville’s direction, the Blues won 40 or more games five times during his tenure as head coach. Quenneville’s NHL head coaching record is 307-207-72 (.585), ranking him 1st in Blues history for games coached (586) and winning percentage. He registered his 300th career NHL win on Jan. 1, 2004 vs. the New York Rangers, which made him the eighth fastest coach in NHL history to record 300 wins.
“I am extremely excited and honoured to be named the head coach of Team Canada for the Men’s World Championship, “ said Quenneville. “To represent your country on the international stage is something very special. I look forward to working closely with Jim, Don and Lanny as we put together an outstanding team and look to repeat as world champions.”
As a player, Quenneville played 13 NHL seasons on defense with Toronto, Colorado, New Jersey, Hartford and Washington, and finished with 803 career games played, 54 goals, 136 assists and 705 penalty minutes.
Nill is expected to name assistant coaches for Team Canada within the next three weeks, as well as support staff.
Nill, Maloney, McDonald and Quenneville will work together to oversee the scouting, evaluation and selection of eligible players for Team Canada at the 2004 Men’s World Championship. They will also be working very close with Team Canada’s World Cup of Hockey 2004 Management staff, consisting of Executive Director Wayne Gretzky, Assistant Executive Director Kevin Lowe and Director, Player Personnel Steve Tambellini in the scouting and naming of players to Canada’s World Championship team.
Canada will be based in Prague, Czech Republic and will play in Group D with Austria, France and Switzerland. Canada’s first game will be on April 25, 2004 versus Austria.
Canada’s World Championship team will be made up of Canadian NHL players whose teams are eliminated or did not qualify for the 2004 NHL playoffs, and some Canadian players that are playing hockey in Europe during the 03-04 season.
Canada won the 2003 IIHF World Hockey Championship, and won gold twice in the 1990’s (1994, 1997).
For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National teams, visit the official web site of Team Canada at www.hockeycanada.ca.
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