CALGARY - Canadian Hockey announced today the support staff for the national under-18 and national junior teams for the upcoming season.
The national junior team policy committee, made up of members from Canadian Hockey, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Western Hockey League (WHL), selected a team doctor, athletic therapist and equipment manager for each squad.
The three members who will be traveling to Switzerland along with the national junior team for the 1997 World Junior Championship are Dr. Jim Thorne of Calgary, as the team physician, Dan Lebold of Kitchener, Ont. will serve as athletic therapist, and equipment manager Dave ŒRadar' Horning of Red Deer, Alta.
The national under-18 team staff will include Dr. Donald Plouffe of Aylmer, Que., athletic therapist Darcy Bishop of Swift Current, Sask., and equipment manager François Renaud of St-Hilaire, Que. Canada is hosting the 1996 Air Canada Pacific Cup in Nelson and Castlegar, B.C., from August 13-18. The competition features Canada, Finland, Japan and the United States.
"Every component of our national teams program plays an integral part of the team's success," said Bob Nicholson, Canadian Hockey's senior vice-president, hockey operations, "and because the support staff is our first link to the players, it's critical that we have people in place who understand every aspect of the game, including the needs of the players and coaches.
"We're confident we've put in place a strong group of people for both teams," added Nicholson.
Thorne serves as an assistant team physician with Canada's full-time men's team, and was on staff at the 1995 Deutschland Cup in Germany. Lebold, the team athletic therapist with the OHL's Kitchener Rangers, worked with Team Ontario at the 1994 World Hockey Challenge in Amos, Que., and Horning, of the WHL's Red Deer Rebels, was also at the World Hockey Challenge, but with Team Pacific. Both Lebold and Horning were on the 1995 national under-18 team staff.
Plouffe and Renaud were members of QMJHL teams during the 1995-96, the Hull Olympiques and St-Hyacinthe Laser, respectively. Bishop was plying his trade in the WHL with the swift Curent Broncos in Œ95-96, but will be joining the Calgary Hitmen next season.