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’s 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 assistant coaches Dave King (Saskatoon, Sask.), 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.”
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.