CALGARY, AB – Steve Tambellini, General Manager of Canada’s 2003 Men’s World Championship team, has named the coaching staff that will lead Canada at this year’s event held in Finland, April 26 – .
Tambellini, along with Team Canada Assistant GM Don Maloney (NY Rangers) and Director, Player Personel Jim Nill (Detroit Red Wings) named Andy Murray as Head Coach of Team Canada. Barry Trotz, Mike Pelino and Rob Cookson were named as Murray’s assistant coaches for the 2003 IIHF Men’s World Hockey Championship.
“The coaching staff that we have assembled has all been at a World Championship before, and all bring together a tremendous wealth of coaching knowledge and experience,” said Steve Tambellini. “Led by our head coach Andy Murray, we look forward to continuing Canada’s outstanding tradition of international excellence by getting Canada back on the podium this year at the Worlds in Finland.”
Murray, a native of Souris, MB, has held the position of Head Coach of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings since 1999, and has numerous years of international experience and nearly 30 years of coaching experience – including 10 seasons in the NHL.
Murray was an associate coach of Canada’s 1998 Men’s Olympic hockey team in Nagano, Japan, and was head coach of Canada’s National Men’s team from 1996-98, leading Team Canada as head coach at the Men’s World Championships in 19, winning a gold medal in 1997 – when the event was last held in Finland and was the last time Canada has captured a gold medal at this event. In 1996, Murray was an assistant coach with Team Canada winning two silver medals (World Cup of Hockey and the Men’s World Hockey Championship).
Murray’s NHL coaching experience prior to the Kings includes seven seasons as an NHL assistant or associate coach with the Winnipeg Jets (1993-95), Minnesota North Stars (1990-92) and Philadelphia Flyers (1988-90). As an assistant coach in Minnesota, Murray reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1991.
“I am very excited about leading Canada into this year’s World Championship,” said Andy Murray. “Any time you have an opportunity to represent your country on the international stage is both a privilege and an honour. As a coaching staff, we are looking forward to the naming of players to our roster and beginning to prepare for this year's Worlds.”
Pelino, is in his fourth year as Coach and Manager of Canada's National Men's Program. As Head Coach, Pelino led Canada to a 2002 Spengler Cup title and was head coach of Canada’s team at the 2003 Swiss Cup. Pelino's coaching background with Team Canada includes nine gold medals (2002 Spengler Cup, 2002 4 Nations Cup (women’s), 2002 Winter Olympics, 2000 Deutschland Cup, 2000 Nagano Cup, 2000 Father David Bauer Cup, 1997 WJHC, 1996 WU18 Pacific Cup and 1991 Canada Cup). Pelino, a native of Welland, ON, was the assistant coach for Canada’s 2002 Men’s Olympic Hockey team in Salt Lake City, and at the 20 Men’s World Championship. During the 2002-2003 season, Pelino held the role of Associate Coach of Canada’s National Women’s team.
Trotz has been the head coach of the NHL’s Nashville Predators since the team’s very beginnings in 1998 and was an associate coach of Canada’s 2002 Men’s World Championship team in Sweden. Prior to joining the Predators, the native of Winnipeg, MB, spent five seasons as the head coach of the Washington Capitals’ farm team (Portland, 1993-97 and Baltimore, 1992). In 1994-95, he led the Portland Pirates to the Calder Cup Championship and was named AHL Coach of the Year. Prior to his coaching career, Trotz played junior hockey for the Western Hockey League's Regina Pats from 1979-83. During that time, he recorded 39 goals, 121 assists for 160 points, along with 490 penalty minutes in 204 games.
Cookson is in his third season as an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames. A native of Lacombe, AB, Cookson spent three seasons as the assistant coach, video with the Philadelphia Flyers prior to joining the Flames. Cookson brings a wealth of international experience to Team Canada – he was a member of Canada’s Men’s Worlds coaching staff in 2002, 19, and has won four gold medals in international hockey (1995, 1996, 1997 World Juniors and 1997 Men’s Worlds). Cookson was an assistant coach with Canada’s 1998 Men’s Olympic team in Nagano, Japan, and was video technician for Team Canada at the 1994 Olympic Games.
Tambellini, along with Team Canada’s management and coaching staff will continue to evaluate Canadian NHL players and monitor the NHL playoff situation. Roster announcements will commence next week. As General Manager, Tambellini, a native of Trail, BC, will oversee the scouting, evaluation and selection of eligible players for Team Canada at the World Championship, and has done the same for Canada’s teams during the 2002-2003 season at the Deutschland Cup (held in Hannover, Germany November 8-10, 2002 - Champions), Sweden Games (Stockholm, February 3-11- 3rd place), Spengler Cup (Davos, Switzerland December 26-31, 2002 - Champions), Swiss Cup (Feb. 4-10 – 3rd place).
Canada opens the 2003 IIHF World Hockey Championship on April 26th against Latvia. The official broadcaster of the CHA, TSN/RDS, will have live TV coverage, beginning with Canada’s third game of the championship (April 29th vs. Sweden).