CALGARY, ALBERTA -- Claude Julien, Head Coach and General Manager of the Hull Olympiques of the QMJHL, has been named Head Coach of the Team Canada's 2000 Junior Team, the Canadian Hockey Association, announced, along with the Canadian Hockey League, on Monday.
Julien led the Olympiques to the QMJHL final this season, and in 1996-1997, the resident of Navan ON guided the team to the QMJHL and to the Memorial Cup Championship. He served as an assistant coach with the 1999 National Junior Team that won a silver medal at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Julien was also head coach of Canada's National Under-18 Team that won an international tournament in the Czech Republic in August 1997.
Julien will be joined by assistants Geoff Ward, head coach of the Guelph Storm of the OHL last year and Todd McLellan, head coach and general manager of the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL.
At the same time, the CHA announced that Stan Butler has been appointed head coach of the 1999 National Under 18 Team that will compete in a tournament in the Czech Republic this summer. Butler is currently the Head Coach and Director of Operations of the OHL's Brampton Battalion and was an assistant coach with the 1999 National Junior Team.. Butler's assistant coaches will be Kevin Dickie, head coach of the University of Acadia Axemen of the CIAU, and Don Nachbaur, head coach of the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL.
The appointments were announced following a thorough screening process carried out by the National Junior Team Policy Committee, which is made up of Dave Branch, president of the Canadian Hockey League and the OHL, Gilles Courteau, president of the QMJHJL and WHL Commissioner Dev Dley. The CHA was represented by Bob MacKinnon, past chairman of the Board of Directors, Bob Nicholson, President and Tom Renney, Vice-president, Hockey.
Julien, 39, an NCCP Advanced 1 (Level 3) certified coach, has just completed his third season as Head Coach and General Manager of the Hull Olympiques. Claude came to coaching after a successful career as a player. He spent three years in the St. Louis Blues organization, and another eight seasons with the Quebec Nordiques. He also played one year with Les Fran?ais Volants de Paris. In 1993-1994, he coached the Ottawa Senators of the Central Junior A Hockey League. The following season, he joined Hull as an assistant coach.
Ward, 36, an NCCP Advanced 2 (Level 4) certified coach, was an assistant coach under Julien with the 1998 National Under 18 Team and was the head coach of the Guelph Storm this past season. He also served as an assistant coach with Team Ontario at the 1994 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge in Amos, Quebec. McLellan, 31, an NCCP Advanced 1 certified coach, had his first experience with the CHA's Program of Excellence in 1998-1999 as an assistant coach under Ward with the 1998 National Under-18 Team. In 1996-1997, the former New York Islander was named the WHL's Executive of the Year.
Butler, 43, an NCCP Advanced 1 (Level 3) certified coach, has been the Head Coach and General Manager in Brampton for two years, but the team has just completed its first season in the OHL. Prior to his Brampton appointment, Butler coached the Prince George Cougars of the WHL and the Oshawa Generals of the OHL. In 1988, he was named the CAHA Minor Hockey Coach of the Year while with the Wexford Midget Team in Ontario.
Dickie, 35, an NCCP Advanced 2 (Level 4) certified coach, has just completed his second season with Acadia University. He led the Axemen to the National Championship Final in 1997-1998 and was the Kelly Division nominee for Coach of the Year that same year. In 1996-1997, Dickie served as an assistant coach with Saskatchewan's Under 17 Team. Nachbaur, 40, an NCCP Intermediate certified coach, has been Seattle's Head Coach for the past four seasons, was the 1995 West Division and WHL Coach of the Year. The Under 18 Team will be the former Hartford Whaler's first experience with the CHA's Program of Excellence.
Julien will welcome some 40 players to the National Junior Team's summer evaluation camp at the Beatrice Ice Gardens in Toronto, ON from August 3-10, 1999. Julien, Ward and McLellan will conduct six days of practices and intra-squad games to evaluate the candidates for the team that will compete for Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Sweden from Dec. 26 1999 - Jan. 5 2000.
In December, Julien will oversee the National Junior Team selection camp, to which 32 players will be invited, 22 of whom will earn spots on the final tournament roster.
Canada has won the World Junior Championship a record 10 times in the history of the tournament, including seven of the last ten gold medals. Team Canada won an unprecedented five straight World Junior titles from 1993-97 and won the silver medal last year in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
As for the Under-18 Team, 22 players will be invited to a pre-competition camp at the Beatrice Ice Gardens in Toronto, ON from Aug. 9-13. Coaches Butler, Dickie and Nachbaur will put the team through five days of twice-daily workouts before departing for the Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Canada will play three exhibition games in Slovakia before competing in a tournament that will feature Canada, the Czech Republic, Russia and Slovakia from August 19-23, 1999.
The 3M National Certification Program is designed to prepare coaches from communities to national teams to develop athletic potential. The six coaches selected are examples of individuals who have dedicated time in their coaching development to Coach Certification, leveraging their knowledge to work with Canada's National Teams at an international level.
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