CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Friday that Don Hay, head coach of the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, will be head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, scheduled for to in Calgary and Edmonton, Alta.
Hay will be joined on the coaching staff by assistant coaches George Burnett (head coach and general manager, Belleville Bulls, OHL), Ryan Huska (head coach, Kelowna Rockets, WHL) and Pascal Vincent (head coach and general manager, Montreal Juniors, QMJHL).
Don Hay, 57, will step behind the bench of Canada’s National Junior Team for the first time since leading Canada to a gold medal and its first-ever perfect record at the 1995 IIHF World Junior Championship. One of just five WHL coaches with 500 regular season victories, Hay has won three WHL championships (1994, 1995 with Kamloops, 2006 with Vancouver) and three Memorial Cups (19 with Kamloops, 2007 with Vancouver) and is a two-time WHL Coach of the Year (1998-99, 2008-09). The Kamloops, B.C., native was a 2008 inductee into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame.
“It is an honour to once again serve as head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team,” said Hay. “I am excited to work with the tremendous staff we have assembled and reclaim gold for Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.”
George Burnett, 49, will be an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team for a second consecutive year, having helped Canada claim silver in 2010. He has also served as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team in 20, winning a gold medal both years, and was an assistant coach for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Belarus, where Canada finished seventh. Burnett has spent 14 seasons as a head coach in the Ontario Hockey League, seven 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.
Ryan Huska, 35, will return as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team for the second year in a row, having served under Dave Cameron in 2010. Head coach of the Rockets since 2007, Huska is a veteran of seven Memorial Cups as both a player and a coach – he won championships as a player with the Kamloops Blazers in 1992, 19 and as an assistant coach with Kelowna in 2004, and also appeared in the tournament as Kelowna’s assistant coach in 20 and as the team’s head coach in 2009.
Pascal Vincent, 39, will serve as an assistant coach with Team Canada for the second time, having been behind the bench of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team in 2003, when Canada finished fourth at the Junior World Cup in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Vincent has been head coach and general manager of the Juniors for the past three seasons, and spent nine seasons with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles as head coach and GM, earning the QMJHL Coach of the Year award in 2007-08.
Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams and Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s senior director of hockey operations and national teams and hockey operations will work closely with the coaching staff in planning and executing all team logistics.
Further details regarding Canada’s National Junior Team summer development camp, scheduled for August 3-7 in Edmonton, including a full practice schedule and roster, will be announced at a later date.