Calgary, AB - Rick Wilson, entering his 10th season as an assistant coach with the NHL's Dallas Stars, will join Canada's National Men's team as associate coach for the 2001 Sweden Games tournament, November 6-11 in Stockholm, Sweden, Wayne Fleming, Head Coach and Vice-president, hockey for the CHA announced Thursday.
The Sweden Games is a five-team tournament which includes the National teams from Canada, the Czech Republic, Russia, Finland and the host team from Sweden.
The Sweden Games, an annual event entering into it's 12th year, is considered one of the most important events on the European Hockey calendar behind the IIHF World Championship. The Sweden Games has proven to be a training ground for the Winter Olympic Games in 1998 in Nagano, Japan, the gold medal Olympic champion Czech Republic had 12 players on it's roster that had played at the Sweden Games previously.
Canada finished 3rd at the 2000 Sweden Games, with a 2-2 record, which included victories over the Czech Republic and Russia. Wilson worked as an assistant to Tom Webster in Los Angeles, which included a 15-game stint as co-coach with Cap Raeder. Prior to joining the Kings, Wilson was an assistant coach with the New York Islanders in 1988-89. That same year he was also an assistant on the Canadian National Junior Team.
Before joining the Islanders, Wilson spent eight years with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League, six as an assistant and the final two seasons as head coach and general manager (1986--88). A native of Prince Albert, Wilson helped the Raiders to the Memorial Cup Championship in 1984-85, and also led the club to third place finishes in the WHL in each of his two seasons as head coach.
Wilson, 51, began his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater, the University of North Dakota, where the Sioux won the 1980 NCAA Division I title and two Western Collegiate Hockey Association crowns during his two years. He played hockey and football at North Dakota and earned a degree in education.
Drafted by Montreal in the 1970 amateur draft, Wilson spent four seasons (1973-77) in the NHL as a defenseman for the Canadiens, St. Louis, and Detroit.
Fleming, who will be an associate coach with Canada's 2002 Men's Olympic Hockey team in Salt Lake City this February, will be joined at the Sweden games by associate coach Wilson and assistant coach Randy Edmonds of Bjorkoven in the Swedish League.
Canada's roster for the Sweden games is made up of Canadian born players that are currently playing hockey professionally in Europe and/or North America. A roster will be released later this month.