CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada announced on Monday the respective coaching staffs for a pair of upcoming National Men’s Team events, the 2008 Deutschland Cup and the 2008 Spengler Cup.
Rich Chernomaz (Port Alberni, BC) has been named head coach of Canada’s entry for the 2008 Deutschland Cup, scheduled for November 7-9, 2008 in Frankfurt and Mannheim, Germany, while Doug Mason (Sudbury, ON) and Dave Babych (Vancouver, BC) will serve as his assistants.
Chernomaz, the head coach of the Frankfurt Lions of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL), will make his first appearance behind a national team bench as a member of the coaching staff. He made one appearance as a player for Canada’s National Men’s Team, recording three points in eight games at the 1995 IIHF World Championship, winning a bronze medal.
Mason will make his international coaching debut at the 2008 Deutschland Cup, as will Babych, who made two appearances for Canada at the IIHF World Championship as a player (1981, 1989), scoring four points in 17 games. Babych played 19 seasons in the NHL, recording 723 points in 1,195 games with Winnipeg, Hartford, Vancouver, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Sean Simpson (Brampton, ON) will lead Canada at the 2008 Spengler Cup, to be held December 26-31, 2008 in Davos, Switzerland, the second consecutive year he will be behind the bench for the Canadians. Serge Pelletier (Montreal, QC) and Russ Courtnall (Victoria, BC) will be Simpson’s assistants at the Spengler Cup.
Simpson, head coach of the Zurich Lions of the Swiss Elite League, led Canada’s National Men’s Team to the Spengler Cup championship in 2007. It was his first time as the head coach at the event after serving for three straight years as an assistant coach, including championship game appearances in 20. Simpson, a seventh-round selection of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1980, has also had success as a coach in Europe, winning a Swiss league championship with EV Zug in 1998 and a German league title with Munich in 2000.
Both Pelletier, who is in his third season as head coach of Fribourg-Gottéron of the Swiss Elite League, and Courtnall, who represented Canada at the 1984 IIHF World Junior Championship, 1984 Winter Olympics, 1991 IIHF World Championship and 1991 Canada Cup, will be making their first appearances behind a Canadian bench. Courtnall recorded 744 points in 1,029 NHL games with Toronto, Montreal, Minnesota, Dallas, Vancouver, the New York Rangers and Los Angeles.
“We are thrilled to name these six coaches to lead our national team this year,” says Johnny Misley, Hockey Canada’s executive vice-president of hockey operations. “It shows the depth of the Canadian coaching pool in international hockey, and we are confident these coaches will make our country proud.”
Canada’s National Men’s Team has won the Spengler Cup 11 times (1984, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2007) and has taken home the Deutschland Cup on three occasions (2000, 2002, 2005).