CALGARY, AB – Steve Yzerman, Canada’s general manager for the 2008 IIHF World Championship, announced on Monday that Pat Burns, Mike Johnston and Craig MacTavish have joined Canada’s coaching staff as associate coaches for the 2008 IIHF World Championship, May 2nd to 18th in Halifax, NS and Quebec City, QC. Yzerman previously named Ken Hitchcock as head coach on Tuesday, April 1st.
The three associate coaches named today will join Yzerman, Hitchcock, assistant general managers Doug Armstrong and Luc Robitaille and Johnny Misley, Hockey Canada’s executive vice-president of hockey operations, in assisting with Canada’s player evaluation and selection for the 2008 IIHF World Championship, which will be held in Canada for the first time.
“The three coaches named today bring tremendous experience, at both the NHL and international levels,” Yzerman said. “I am confident that we have assembled an outstanding coaching staff that will ensure our players are prepared as we move forward, building a solid team.”
Burns, a native of St. Henri, QC, will make just his second appearance with Canada, his first at an IIHF World Championship. He was an associate coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 1987 IIHF World Junior Championship. Burns was a three-time winner of the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach during a 14-year career with four teams (Montreal, Toronto, Boston, New Jersey), the only coach to win the award three times. He also won a Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2003.
Johnston will return to the IIHF World Championship for the second consecutive year after winning a gold medal as an associate coach last year. As associate coach with the Los Angeles Kings, Johnston led Canada to a fourth-place finish as head coach and general manager at the 1999 IIHF World Championship, and was an associate coach at the IIHF World Championship from 1994-98, winning a gold medal in 1997. Johnston is also a two-time gold medal winner with the National Junior Team, winning as an associate coach in 19.
MacTavish, who just completed his seventh season as the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, will be behind the Canadian bench for a third time as an associate coach, having won a silver medal at the 2005 IIHF World Championship and a bronze medal at the 2004 Loto Cup. He won four Stanley Cups (1987, 1988, 1990, 1994) during a 14-year playing career.
Canada opens the 2008 IIHF World Championship on Friday, May 2nd against Slovenia at the Halifax Metro Centre. All of Canada’s games will be broadcast live by TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada. Games will also be broadcast on The FAN radio network. Check your local listings for more information.