CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada announced on Wednesday that Marc Habscheid has agreed to a three year contract as Head Coach of Canada’s National Men’s hockey team. Habscheid will assume the duties of Head Coach of Canada’s National Men’s team at all international hockey events that the team participates in over the next three seasons, including the Men's World Hockey Championship. His duties also include the preparation and input on player personnel decisions of the team for all of the events, including the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, as well as working with Hockey Canada’s coaching and development programs.
Hockey Canada also announced that as part of Habscheid’s appointment as Men’s National team Head Coach for the next three seasons, Habscheid will have a role with the coaching staff for Canada’s Men’s Hockey team at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. His exact role is subject to NHL/NHLPA participation at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
“We are extremely excited to name Marc as Head Coach of Canada’s National Men’s team for the next three seasons, “ said Bob Nicholson, President, Hockey Canada. “Marc has had tremendous success at the junior level, winning the Memorial Cup last month, as well he did a great job with our Under 18 and National Junior team program, and we feel that he brings the right mix of experience and ability to lead our National team on the international stage.”
Habscheid, a native of Swift Current, SK, stepped down as the Head Coach of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets on Monday, after four and a half years with the team. During his time with Kelowna, Habscheid led the team to a Memorial Cup berth the past two seasons, winning the championship in 2004. He won the CHL and WHL Coach of the Year Honours in 2002-03, and was Head Coach with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers from 19, and was Head Coach of the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs in 1996-1997.
“I am honoured to be named as Team Canada’s Head Coach for the next three seasons," said Marc Habscheid. “My past experience as a player, and with coaching Canada’s National Junior and Under-18 programs, along with winning the Memorial Cup this past year in Kelowna has provided me with the experience and knowledge that will assist me with this great opportunity with Hockey Canada.”
Habscheid’s international coaching experience includes winning a silver medal as the Head Coach of Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2003 World Junior Championship in Halifax, Nova Scotia and winning a silver medal as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2002 World Junior Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic. He was an assistant coach with Canada’s National Under-18 Team in August, 1999, winning a gold medal.
Habscheid, a NCCP Advanced I coach, became the first former player in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence (played on the World Junior team in 1982) to come back to the program as a member of the coaching staff. As a player, Habscheid’s international experience includes winning a gold medal with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 1982 World Junior Hockey Championship, where he was Canada’s second top scorer (12), and top goal scorer (6) and was a member of Canada’s National Men’s hockey team at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta. Marc also participated in the 1992 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Praha/Bratislava, Czechoslovakia.
Habscheid played 11 seasons in the National Hockey League with Edmonton, Minnesota, Detroit and Calgary, amassing 161 points in 345 career games.
The 2004-2005 National Men’s team schedule includes the Deutchland Cup (Nov. 12-14), Slovak Cup (Dec. 16-18), Spengler Cup (Dec. 26-31), Hungarian Cup (Feb. 7-13, 2005) and the IIHF Men’s World Hockey Championship in Austria (April 30-). Habscheid will be Team Canada’s Head Coach at all of these international events.