CALGARY, Alta. – General manager David Nonis announced Monday that Ken Hitchcock (Edmonton, Alta.) will be Canada’s head coach for the 2011 IIHF World Championship, which will take place April 29-May 15 in Bratislava and Kosice, Slovakia. Nonis also announced that Scott Arniel (Kingston, Ont./Columbus, NHL) and Peter DeBoer (Waterloo, Ont.) will serve as associate coaches.
"As a management group, we are extremely pleased with the coaching staff that we have assembled,” said Nonis. “Ken, Scott and Peter bring a variety of experience at both the international and professional levels. We know that they will have our team prepared for all the challenges ahead in our quest for a gold medal."
Ken Hitchcock, 60, has coached Canada on the international stage on seven occasions, including as a head coach at the 2008 IIHF World Championship, where Canada won silver, and as associate coach at the 2002, 20 Olympic Winter Games, winning two gold medals. Hitchcock also served as an associate/assistant coach on Canada’s championship-winning team at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and won gold medals at the 2002 IIHF World Championship and 1988 IIHF World Junior Championship. The native of Edmonton, Alta., is a special advisory with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets and served as head coach in the NHL for 14 seasons, with Columbus, Philadelphia and Dallas, amassing 543 wins over that time. Hitchcock won a Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999, and was nominated for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach three times (1997, 1998, 1999).
Scott Arniel, 48, has just completed his first season as head coach of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. The native of Kingston, Ont., previously served as head coach of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose (2006-10), leading the team to four playoff appearances and to the Calder Cup Final in 2009. Arniel also served as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres from 2002-06. As a player, Arniel played parts of 11 seasons in the NHL from 1981-92, with Buffalo, Winnipeg and Boston. He also played for Canada’s National Junior Team at the 19 IIHF World Junior Championships, capturing a gold medal in 1982.
Peter DeBoer, 42, was the head coach of the NHL’s Florida Panthers for the past three seasons. This will mark DeBoer’s sixth time behind the bench for Team Canada, serving most recently as an associate coach for Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Championship. DeBoer also served as an assistant coach for Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2007 Canada/Russia Super Series, at the 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal and at the 1998 IIHF World Junior Championship. The native of Waterloo, Ont., also served as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 1996 Pacific Cup, capturing a gold medal.
Nonis and the management team comprised of Bob Murray (Kingston, Ont./Anaheim, NHL), Rob Blake (Simcoe, Ont.) and Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations/national teams, have been meeting regularly over the past month to put together the staff and to identify and evaluate potential players for the upcoming IIHF World Championship. A first list of players will be announced shortly. Additional players could also be added after the first round of the NHL playoffs.
Nonis and Pascall also confirmed today the team’s support staff, which will be overseen by Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s senior director of hockey operations/national teams.
The team will assemble in Europe on April 22 and play two pre-competition games, on April 24 vs. France in Paris and on April 27 vs. the Czech Republic in Prague. Canada will be based in Kosice, Slovakia for the preliminary round.