CALGARY – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Tuesday that Craig Hartsburg (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL), who led Canada to its third consecutive IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal in January, will return as head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship.
In addition, Curtis Hunt (Regina, WHL) and Clément Jodoin (Lewiston, QMJHL) will also return as assistant coaches for Team Canada, the first time in the 26-year history of the Program of Excellence that all three coaches will return for a second year. The coaching staff will also be working with the same management group as in 2006, comprised of Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s Senior Director, Men’s National Teams & Communications, Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s Director, Men’s National Teams and Jim Hammett, Hockey Canada’s Head Scout.
“I consider the World Junior Championship to be one of the greatest hockey events there is, so it is a great honour to be part of it once again,” said Hartsburg, who also won a gold medal as an assistant coach in 2006. “With that honour comes great responsibility, and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead, as well as the opportunity to work with Curtis and Clément once again.”
“All three of these coaches bring tremendous international experience to the National Junior Team, and we are thrilled that they have all agreed to be a part of the Program of Excellence for a second straight year,” said Bob Nicholson, President of Hockey Canada.
The 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship will be held from December 26th to January 5th in Pardubice and Liberec, Czech Republic. Canada will open its defense of the Championship on December 26th when it takes on the host Czech Republic in Pardubice.
While Hartsburg will lead Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship beginning this coming December, a separate coaching staff will be named for the eight-game Canada/Russia Super Series, which will be held in August/September, 2007 in Russia and Canada. More information on Canada’s ‘Super Series’ coaching staff will be released in the coming weeks.
The Canada/Russia Super Series, a one-time eight-game series featuring the best Under-20 players from Canada and Russia, will take place from August 27th to September 9th, with the first four games to be held in Russia, and the final four to be held in Canadian cities. Canadian locations and ticket information will be announced in June.
With the advent of the Canada/Russia Super Series, Hockey Canada also announced on Tuesday that it will not hold its annual National Junior Team summer development camp this year, which usually runs in early August. Hockey Canada will announce a roster in June that will participate in the Canada/Russia ‘Super Series’.