CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Tueday that George Burnett, head coach and general manager of the OHL’s Belleville Bulls, has been named assistant coach of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo and Niagara, N.Y.
Burnett, 48, replaces Bob Boughner, who is stepping down as head coach of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires to become assistant coach of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets starting in the 2010-11 season. Burnett will also continue as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team for the 2010 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
On the National Junior Team staff, Burnett joins head coach Dave Cameron and fellow assistant coaches Ryan Huska and André Tourigny. Cameron is head coach of the OHL’s Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors, Huska is head coach of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets and Tourigny is head coach and general manager of the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. The 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship takes place from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in New York state.
On the National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team staff, Burnett will work alongside assistant coaches Ron Choules and Jim Hiller. Choules is head coach of the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan and Hiller is head coach of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans. The 2010 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament is set for Aug. 10-14. Canada will enter the international tournament as two-time defending champions.
“I am absolutely thrilled to take on this additional role with Hockey Canada and join the staff of Canada’s National Junior Team,” Burnett said. “We will all work extremely hard to ensure that 2011 is a golden year for the nation’s top Under-20 male hockey players.”
Burnett has spent 13 seasons as a head coach in the Ontario Hockey League, six with the Belleville Bulls. He has also been bench boss for Niagara Falls, Guelph and Oshawa, winning the OHL Coach of the Year award twice, during the 1990--92 seasons. The Port Perry, Ont. native also coached the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers for 35 games during the 1994-95 season and led Edmonton’s AHL farm team, the Cape Breton Oilers, to a Calder Cup championship in 1993.
On Canada’s National Teams, Burnett was most recently an assistant coach for the National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Belarus, where Canada finished seventh. He will make his second appearance as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team in 2011, having led Canada to gold at the 2001 Six Nations Cup in the Czech Republic.
Candidates for Canada’s 2011 National Junior Team head to St. John’s, Newfoundland for a development camp next month. The camp runs from Aug. 4-8 at the Mile One Centre and includes two Red-White games that will be open to the public. For ticket information, call (709) 576-7657 or 1-800-361-4595, or go to www.admission.com.