CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada’s President Bob Nicholson announced on Wednesday that Jim Nill, a native of Hanna, AB, will lead Team Canada at the 2004 IIHF Men’s World Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic, April 24 to May 9, 2004 as the team’s General Manager. Don Maloney, of Lindsay, ON, was named Team Canada’s Assistant General Manager.
Nill, the Assistant GM of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, and Maloney, Vice-president of Player Personnel and Assistant GM of the NHL’s New York Rangers, were both involved with last year’s gold medal winning Men’s World Championship team in Finland, where Canada beat Sweden 3-2 in overtime. Nill held the position of Team Canada’s Director of Player Personnel, while Maloney was the team’s Assistant General Manager, both working under General Manager Steve Tambellini.
Nill and Maloney will work together to oversee the scouting, evaluation and selection of eligible players for Team Canada at the 2004 Men’s World Championship. They will also be working very close with Team Canada’s World Cup of Hockey 2004 Management staff, consisting of Executive Director Wayne Gretzky, Assistant Executive Director Kevin Lowe and Director, Player Personnel Steve Tambellini in the scouting and naming of players to Canada’s World Championship team.
“We are extremely pleased to bring on board two quality individuals that both have a passion and commitment to Hockey in Canada and to winning,” said Bob Nicholson, President, Hockey Canada. “They are outstanding additions to Team Canada as we set our sights on putting together a gold medal performance in the Czech Republic this spring. Jim and Don will work closely with our World Cup of Hockey management team over the next six months in the evaluation and naming of players to our team for the 2004 World Championship.”
"The World Championship in Prague will be a very important step as we put together our team for the World Cup of Hockey in 2004," said Wayne Gretzky. "With the assistance of Jim and Don, we can extensively evaluate and scout players for both the World Championship and the World Cup of Hockey."
Nill is in his sixth season as assistant general manager of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and his 10th season as a member of the Red Wings’ management team. Nill’s duties with the Wings include directing Detroit’s amateur scouting and selections at the annual NHL Entry Draft. He also served as the general manager of the Adirondack Red Wings and oversees the development of Red Wings’ prospects that are assigned to the American Hockey League, as well as those in the Canadian junior and European leagues.
Nill, 45, joined the Red Wings front office in the summer of 1994 following three seasons with the Ottawa Senators. He began his stint with Ottawa as an amateur scout and was promoted to pro scout after only two years. Nill played nine years in the NHL with Boston, Vancouver, St. Louis, Winnipeg and Detroit and was St. Louis’ fourth pick (89th overall, fifth round) in the 1978 Entry Draft. His NHL career statistics totaled 58 goals, 87 assists and 854 PIM in 524 regular-season games.
“Any time that you have an opportunity to represent your country internationally, it is a thrill and an honour, “ said Nill. “Having been involved with last year’s team, Don and I will bring our experience and knowledge from that, and are looking forward to putting together another strong Canadian team as we go for gold in the Czech Republic in the spring.”
Maloney is in his seventh season in the Rangers front office, assisting on player transactions and entry level player contract negotiations. Maloney’s duties with the Rangers also include overseeing all of the club’s professional and amateur scouting operations.
Maloney, 45, played 13 seasons in the National Hockey League after being the Rangers 2nd round choice, 26th overall, in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft. He spent 10 _ seasons with the Rangers (1978-79 to 1988-89) before joining the Hartford Whalers and eventually the New York Islanders. Maloney played in a total of 765 NHL regular season games, accumulating 214 goals and 350 assists for 564 points. Following his retirement in January, 1991, Maloney joined the Islanders as Assistant General Manager, being promoted to General Manager and Vice President of Hockey Operations two years later and serving in that capacity from August 17, 1992 until December 2, 1995.
“I am thrilled to again be involved with Canada’s World Championship team, “ said Don Maloney. “The experience I had with the team last year was something that I will never forget, and I am looking forward to working with Jim in putting together an outstanding team in the Czech Republic.”
Canada will be based in Prague, Czech Republic and will play in Group D with Austria, France and Switzerland. Canada’s first game will be on April 25, 2004 versus Austria.
Canada’s World Championship team will be made up of Canadian NHL players whose teams are eliminated or did not qualify for the 2004 NHL playoffs, and some Canadian players that are playing hockey in Europe during the 03-04 season.
Canada won the 2003 IIHF World Hockey Championship, won gold twice in the 1990's (1994, 1997). For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National teams, visit the official web site of Team Canada at www.hockeycanada.ca.