KEN HOLLAND NAMED ASSISTANT GM; MARC HABSCHEID NAMED HEAD COACH
CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada President Bob Nicholson announced on Monday that Steve Tambellini was appointed as Team Canada’s General Manager for the 2005 IIHF Men’s World Hockey Championship in Austria, April 30-. Canada will be vying for its third straight gold medal at the Men’s World Hockey Championship, winning gold in 2004 in the Czech Republic and 2003 in Finland.
Tambellini and Nicholson also announced that Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland will serve as Team Canada’s Assistant General Manager, and that Canada’s National Men’s Team Head Coach, Marc Habscheid, will lead Team Canada as Head Coach at the 2005 Men’s World Hockey Championship.
“We are extremely pleased to name Steve, Ken and Marc to lead Canada at this year’s World Championship”, said Hockey Canada President, Bob Nicholson. “These individuals have a passion and commitment to Hockey in Canada and to winning as we set our sights on putting together a gold medal performance in the Austria.”
Tambellini's appointment as GM marks the eighth time that he has represented Canada in either an executive position or as a player. Tambellini has been an integral part of Canada’s management team at major international hockey events since 2001. Tambellini, a native of Trail, BC, served as Team Canada’s National Men’s team General Manager for the 2002-2003 season, including the 2003 Men’s Worlds, winning Canada’s first gold medal at the event since 1997. He served as Director, Player Personnel at the 2001 Men’s Worlds, and served along side Wayne Gretzky and Kevin Lowe for Canada’s 2002 Men’s Olympic team that won gold in Salt Lake City. Tambellini was the Director, Player Personnel with Canada’s championship team at the World Cup of Hockey 2004.
Tambellini, Vice-president and Assistant General Manager of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, played 10 seasons in the NHL after he was drafted 15th overall in the 1978 Entry Draft by the NY Islanders. As a player, he was a member of the 1978 World Junior Championship with Wayne Gretzky, and also played in the 1981 World Hockey Championship and in the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, AB. He was inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame in the summer of 2004.
“Anytime you are named to represent your country in an international competition, it is an honour and a privilege, “said Tambellini. “I look forward to working closely with Ken and Marc as we will begin forming our roster over the next few weeks.”
Holland, a native of Vernon, BC, has won three Stanley Cup Championships during his 23 years with the Red Wings organization (2002, 1998, 1997). He has been the Red Wings GM for the past eight seasons. Prior to that time, he handled several different front-office duties for the club over a 15-year period. Holland’s first position with the Wings was a western Canada scout followed by five years as the Red Wings amateur scouting director and three years as assistant general manager. The 2005 Men’s World Hockey Championship will mark Holland’s first international experience.
Habscheid lead Canada to a 10-5-1 record in his first season as Head Coach of Canada’s National Men’s team, who were the only country this season to not use NHL players. Habscheid’s international coaching experience includes winning a silver medal as the Head Coach of Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2003 World Junior Championship in Halifax, Nova Scotia and winning a silver medal as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2002 World Juniors in the Czech Republic. He was an assistant coach with Canada’s National Under-18 Team in August, 1999, winning a gold medal.
Habscheid, a native of Swift Current, SK, was Head Coach of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets for four and a half seasons. During his time with Kelowna, Habscheid led the team to a Memorial Cup berth for two straight seasons, winning the championship in 2004. He won the CHL and WHL Coach of the Year Honours in 2002-03. He served as Head Coach with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers from 19, and was Head Coach of the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs in 1996-1997.
Habscheid, a NCCP Advanced I coach, became the first former player in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence to come back to the program as a member of the coaching staff. As a player, Habscheid’s international experience includes winning a gold medal with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 1982 World Junior Hockey Championship, where he was Canada’s second top scorer (12), and top goal scorer (6) and was a member of Canada’s National Men’s hockey team at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta. Marc also participated in the 1992 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Praha/Bratislava, Czechoslovakia.
Habscheid played 11 seasons in the National Hockey League with Edmonton, Minnesota, Detroit and Calgary, amassing 161 points in 345 career games.
Canada has won the last two Men’s World Hockey Championships (2003- Finland and 2004 – Czech Republic). Canada has won three World Championships in a row on two occasions: 1937, 19, and 1950, 19.
Details regarding a pre-World Championship training camp in Calgary, AB will be announced soon. Hockey Canada is working on locations for potential exhibition games in Canada prior to departing for Europe, with details to be announced within the next two weeks. Canada will play two pre-competition games in Europe: April 25 in Riga, Latvia vs. Latvia and April 28 in Prague vs. Czech Republic.