CALGARY, Alta. – Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong, in collaboration with Canada’s IIHF World Championship management group and Hockey Canada, announced on Sunday that Lindy Ruff (Warburg, Alta./Buffalo Sabres) will serve as head coach for Canada at the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Switzerland. Armstrong also announced that Dave Tippett (Moosomin, Sask./Dallas Stars) and Barry Trotz (Winnipeg, Man./Nashville Predators) will join Ruff as associate coaches.
Lindy Ruff, 48, is the longest-tenured current coach in the NHL, having just completed his 12th season as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. The native of Warburg, Alta. leads all current NHL coaches with 438 wins, and is the all-time winningest coach in Sabres history, helping Buffalo capture its first Presidents’ Trophy in 2006-07. Ruff played 691 games in the NHL, serving as Buffalo’s captain from 1987-89. This will mark Ruff’s first opportunity as a coach for Canada in international hockey.
Dave Tippett, 47, has been the head coach of the NHL’s Dallas Stars for the past six seasons, leading the team to five playoff appearances, two 50-win seasons, two Pacific Division titles (2003, 2006) and the Western Conference Final in 2008. As a player, the native of Moosomin, Sask. represented Canada at two Olympic Winter Games (1984, 1992), winning a silver medal at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France. He also played with Canada’s National Team in 1983--92, appearing in 74 international games and recording 35 points.
Barry Trotz, 46, has been the head coach of the NHL’s Nashville Predators since the franchise’s debut in the NHL in 1998. Trotz has served an assistant coach for Canada at two IIHF World Championships (2002, 2003), capturing a gold medal in 2003. The native of Winnipeg, Man. is the second longest-tenured coach in the NHL, behind only Ruff.
“As a management group, we are very pleased with the coaching staff that we have been able to assemble,” said Armstrong. “This coaching staff brings great professional and international experience that will serve us well as we strive to win a gold medal in Switzerland.”
Armstrong, along with Hockey Canada executive vice-president of hockey operations Johnny Misley and assistant general managers Pierre Gauthier (Montreal, Que./Montreal Canadiens) and Joe Nieuwendyk (Whitby, Ont./Toronto Maple Leafs), will now work with the coaching staff on finalizing preparations for the 2009 IIHF World Championship. An initial group of players will be named to Canada’s roster shortly.
Canada’s IIHF World Championship management group is also working closely with Canada’s 2010 Olympic management group, led by executive director Steve Yzerman, in assembling this team and using this as an additional opportunity to prepare for the 2009-10 season, which will include the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
The players and staff named to Canada’s roster will start assembling in Switzerland on April 20. Canada faces Belarus in its first game at the 2009 IIHF World Championship, on Friday, April 24 at 10:00 a.m. (ET)/ 4:00 p.m. (Local Time).
TSN/RDS will broadcast all of Canada’s games at the IIHF World Championship live across Canada. Check your local listings for game times in your area.