CALGARY, ALBERTA - Stan Butler, Head Coach and Director of Operations of the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League, has been named Head Coach of the Team Canada's 2002 National Junior Team, the Canadian Hockey Association and the Canadian Hockey League announced on Tuesday.
The 2002 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship will be held December 25, 2001 through January 4, 2002 in the Czech Republic.
Butler, of East York, ON, was the head coach of Canadas National Junior Team in 2001, leading the team to a bronze medal win in Russia. He also coached Canadas National Under 18 Team, guiding the team to a gold medal victory at the Four Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic in August, 1999. As an assistant coach, Butler captured a silver medal with Canada at the 1999 World Junior Hockey Championship in Winnipeg, MB.
Butler, 45, an NCCP Advanced 1 (Level 3) certified coach, has been the Head Coach and Director of Operations in Brampton for four years, leading the team into the OHL playoffs in only their second year of play in 1999-2000. 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.
Butler becomes the third coach since the inception of the CHAs Program of Excellence to coach the National Junior Team in consecutive years. (Dave King in 1982, 1983; Terry Simpson in 1985, 1986)
"I am very excited about the opportunity to return as head coach of Canadas National Junior Team," said Stan Butler. "I thoroughly enjoyed the experience last year and hope to build on what we learned to lead Canada at the World Juniors in the Czech Republic."
The CHA and the CHL also announced the appointment of Butlers assistant coaches with the 2002 National Junior Team: Marc Habscheid, head coach of the WHLs Kelowna Rockets and Mike Kelly, general manager and head coach of the North Bay Centennials of the OHL.
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 QMJHL and WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. The CHA was represented by Bob Nicholson, President, Wayne Fleming, Vice-president, Hockey and Don Brown, vice-chair at large on the CHA Board.
Habscheid, 37, an NCCP Advanced 1 certified coach, has previous experience with the Program of Excellence, having served as Assistant Coach with Canadas National Under 18 Team in 1998. Habscheid has been with Kelowna since December, 2000 after two seasons as the Kamloops Blazers Head Coach. Habscheid is the first ever former National Junior Team player to return to the Program as a coach, having played for Canada at the 1982 World Junior Hockey Championship.
Kelly, 41, an NCCP Advanced 1 certified coach, has been North Bay's Head Coach and General Manager for two seasons. Prior to joining the Centennials, he led the University of New Brunswick to the CIAU Championship in 1997-98. Kelly was an assistant coach under Butler at the 2001 World Junior Hockey Championship.
Butler will welcome over 40 players to the National Junior Team's summer development camp at the Father Bauer Arena in Calgary, AB from August 1-10, 2001. Butler, Habscheid and Kelly will conduct six days of practices and intra-squad games to evaluate, develop and prepare candidates for the team that will compete for Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic from Dec. 25 2001 - Jan. 4 2002.
In December, Butler 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 championship, including seven of the last twelve gold medals. Team Canada won an unprecedented five straight World Junior titles from 1993-97, bronze medals in 2001 in Russia and in 2000 in Sweden as well as a silver medal in 1999 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The 3M National Certification Program is designed to prepare coaches from communities to national teams to develop athletic potential. The three 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.
In the next week to ten days, the CHA and the CHL, along with the CHAs Director, Scouting Barry Trapp will name the list of over forty players invited to the National Junior Teams Development Camp.
Details for the National Junior Teams Development Camp will also be announced soon.
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