CALGARY, AB -- Marc Crawford of Belleville, ON, has been named head coach of Canada's Men's
Olympic Hockey team for the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, Canadian Hockey announced Tuesday.
"Marc Crawford is one of the brightest young coaches in hockey and we're confident he and his
staff will do an outstanding job in preparing Canada to compete for a gold medal at this historic Olympic
hockey tournament," said Bob Clarke, general manager of Team Canada. "Canada hasn't won gold since the
Edmonton Mercurys won the Olympic hockey tournament in 1952, so the management team understands how important
this opportunity is for all of Canada."
For the first time in the history of the Winter Olympics the best athletes from all countries
will be able to play, as the National Hockey League shuts down its regular season to permit its hockey
players to compete for their respective national teams. The tournament runs from Feb. 13-22 in Nagano.
The coaching staff that Crawford will lead at the Olympics is the same group that led Canada
to the gold medal at the 1997 World Hockey Championship in Helsinki, Finland in May. Andy Murray, a native of
Souris, MA, and head coach of Canada's full-time national team will serve as associate coach to Crawford. The
assistants will be Wayne Cashman, of Kingston, ON, and Mike Johnston, of Dartmouth, NS, who is general
manager and associate coach of the full-time national team.
The coaching staff will be rounded out by Rob Cookson, of Lacombe, AB, Canadian Hockey's
manager, video services. Cookson has served as a video coach on Canada's three 1997 World Championship gold
medal-winning teams -- the National Junior, Women's and Men's teams.
"Being asked to represent your country as a head coach of the Olympic hockey team is an
extraordinary opportunity," said Crawford, a 36-year-old native of Belleville, ON, who served as an assistant
coach on Team Canada at the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in September 1996. "I'm excited about the challenge
of competing for gold in what willl be the most exciting, competitive hockey tournament ever held."
Crawford, then 35, coached the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup victory in 1996, becoming
the third youngest coach since 1924 to lead an NHL team to the championship. In 1995, Crawford won the Jack
Adams Trophy as the NHL Coach of the Year, becoming the youngest coach to win that award since it was
introduced in 1974.
Cashman played 18 seasons for the Boston Bruins, helping them win Stanley Cups in 19. He and Clarke, a native of Flin Flon, MA, were members of Team Canada during the 1972 Summit Series
against the Soviet Union. As a coach, Cashman has worked as an NHL assistant coach for the New York Rangers,
Tampa Bay Lightning and San Jose Sharks. He was named head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers in early
The Team Canada management team, put in place last February by Bob Nicholson, Canadian
Hockey's senior vice-president, hockey operations, includes assistant general managers Bob Gainey of
Peterborough, ON, and Pierre Gauthier, a native of Montreal. Both Gainey and Gauthier served in similar roles
for the 1997 World Championship team.
"We think the management team and coaching staff is a remarkable blend of the experience,
championship tradition, technical acumen and people-managing qualities that will have to come together for us
to compete successfully at the Olympics," said Nicholson. "There is also some good continuity with this
group, since Crawford worked with our program at the World Cup and the rest of the coaching staff worked
extremely well together in winning the gold medal at the World Hockey Championship."
In addition to the gold medal at the 1997 World Hockey Championship, both Murray and Johnston
helped Canada win a silver medal at the 1996 World Hockey Championship in Vienna. Pierre Gauthier was general
manager of that team. Johnston also was an assistant coach on the bronze medal-winning 1995 World Hockey
Championship team and served in a similar role on gold medal-winning Canadian teams at the World Junior
Hockey Championship in 19.
Murray's extensive international experience includes being a member of the coaching staffs of
five Canadian teams that won the Spengler Cup tournament. He worked with Crawford as an assistant coach on
Team Canada during the World Cup of Hockey. Murray, who coached for seven years in Switzerland, will play a
key planning role in preparing Team Canada for Olympic competition.
The team itself -- 20 skaters and three goalies -- will be announced by Dec.. As for
the tournament, eight teams will participate in a two-division, round-robin preliminary round, with the
winner of each division advancing to the Final Round. Canada and five other countries, including the United
States, have already qualified for the Final Round, also an eight-team, two-division round robin format. That
will be followed by a quarter-final crossover, semifinals and the gold-medal final game on Feb..
Canada opens the tournament on Feb 13 against a qualifier from the preliminary round.
The theme of Canadian continuity extends to the Team Canada support staff, which includes
Phil Legault as a media relations assistant. Legault was media relations coordinator with the silver
medal-winning Canadian team at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. He also served in that role
on the 1996 World Hockey Championship team, as well.