VANCOUVER, BC - CHA President Bob Nicholson and CHA Vice-president, hockey operations Johnny Misley announced Thursday that Vancouver Canucks Vice-president, Player Personnel, Steve Tambellini, will be General Manager for Team Canada at the 2003 IIHF Men's World Hockey Championship, taking place in Finland from April 26 to , as well as GM for all of Canada's Men's National team for events in played in Europe during the 2002-2003 season.
As General Manager, Tambellini, a native of Trail, BC, will oversee the scouting, evaluation and selection of eligible players for Team Canada at the Deutschland Cup (held in Hannover, Germany November 8-10, 2002), Sweden Games (Stockholm, February 3-11), Spengler Cup (Davos, Switzerland December 26-31, 2002), Swiss Cup (Feb. 4-10) and the 2003 IIHF Men's World Hockey Championship.
Canada's world championship team will be made up of Canadian born NHL players whose teams are eliminated or did not qualify for the 2003 NHL playoffs, as well as Canadian born players that are playing hockey in Europe during the 02-03 season. Canada's other teams are made up of Canadians playing hockey in Europe and players that are on loan from their NHL club or farm teams.
Tambellini will name a World Championship head coach and coaching and support staff prior to April, 2003. Gary Green and Mike Pelino will coach Canada's other European events, with assistants to be named shortly.
Tambellini's appointment as GM will marks the sixth time that he has represented Canada in either an executive position or as a player. Tambellini was Director, Player Personnel for Canada's 2002 Men's Olympic gold medal team in Salt Lake City and served the same position under Wayne Gretzky and Lanny McDonald with Canada's 2001 Men's World Championship team in Germany. As a player, he was a member of the 1978 World Junior Championship with Wayne Gretzky, and also played in the 1981 World Hockey Championship and in the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, AB.
Tambellini played 10 seasons in the NHL after he was drafted 15th overall in the 1978 Entry Draft by the NY Islanders. He won a Stanley Cup with the Islanders in 1980.
"I am very honored to be appointed as General Manager and involved once again with Team Canada on the
international stage, " said Tambellini. "It is a privilege representing your country, and I look forward to
taking my experiences from the 2002 Olympics and the Canucks organization and put together some outstanding
Canadian teams, as we set our sights on a gold medal in Finland in the World Championship."
Tambellini, 44, is in his 11th year with the Vancouver Canucks organization and was named Vice President of Player Personnel in August 1998, overseeing Canucks pro scouting and player development. Tambellini spent the 1997-98 season as Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations and played a vital role in the management of the Canucks hockey club during the 1997-98 season. Tambellini has also served in the capacity of Vice President of Business Operations for the Canucks.
"We are extremely pleased and excited to name Steve as our General Manager for the 2003 Men's Worlds and our National Men's team, " said Bob Nicholson, CHA President. "Steve will bring his experience as a player and as an executive, including his outstanding work with Canada's Men's Olympic team in February, as we look in putting together a Canadian team that will compete for gold."
Canada will open the 2003 IIHF Men's World Hockey Championship in Turku, Finland on April 26 versus Belarus. Canada will play in Group C with Belarus, Latvia and Sweden. Canada won the World Hockey Championship twice in the 1990's (1994, 1997) and has reached the semi-finals two of the past four years. Canada finished sixth at the 2002 Men's Worlds in Sweden.