ZURICH – The Swiss Ice Hockey Association hired Andy Murray as new assistant coach of the national team that will participate in the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Cologne, Mannheim and Gelsenkirchen, Germany, May 7-23.
Sean Simpson, who was initially signed as the new national team head coach starting from the 2010-2011 season, will take over the team already this spring after Ralph Krueger and the Swiss association decided to terminate their contract already after the Olympics.
Simpson will take over the national team after the end of the season with the ZSC Lions Zurich, the club he led to the Champions Hockey League and Victoria Cup triumphs.
Murray will coach the team in the exhibition games in April and he will be part of the coaching staff at the 2010 Worlds where Switzerland plays Canada, Latvia and Italy in Group B in Mannheim.
The 58-year-old led Canada to three World Championship titles (1997, 2003, 2007) and was coaching the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings (1999-2006) and St. Louis Blues (2006-2009).
Earlier in his career he was also head coach in Switzerland for Lugano, Zug and Zurich.
“With Andy Murray we could sign a proven expert. I’m really happy that he’s joining us,” Simpson said.
Murray and Simpson have shared a long friendship since Simpson played under Murray in Zurich in the ‘80s. Both were also in the coaching staff of Hockey Canada for the annual Spengler Cup.
“He’s one of the best coaches in the world and he has helped me many times,” Simpson told IIHF.com in an interview prior to the 2009 Victoria Cup about his first experience with Murray. “It was an important year for me. When I was injured, he gave me his car keys to watch other games as a scout. That was the first time I thought about becoming a coach.”
Now they will be unified again. And on May 12th they will coach Switzerland against their native country when Simpsons aims at another miracle after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks in the Victoria Cup last October.
MARTIN MERK – IIHF.com