DAY ELEVEN, MOSCOW - Jan. 5, 2001
Post Game Report vs. Sweden (Bronze medal)
Well, that's it. I'm no longer "Stan Butler, Head Coach of Team Canada", I'm back to being "Head Coach, Brampton Battalion". What an experience this has all been for me. Isn't that what life's all about?
Experiencing as many different things as you can? I'm happy with the way our guys finished up the tournament today. We got off to a bad start where we just didn't seem to have much spark. But we battled back. I reminded the guys after the first period that they had a choice. They could go home with something, or go home with nothing.
I'm happy to say that they played hard for the former. That goal by Raffi was such a great way to finish off the tournament. I think that winning in overtime like that kind of gave the guys a gold medal type of experience, even though it was a bronze medal they had just won. The emotional explosion on our bench and on the ice when that shot went in is something I'll never forget.
There are a couple of other memories that will stay with me that I'd like to share with you. First of all, Jamie Lundmark. After the game he wouldn't take off his sweater, or any other part of his Team Canada uniform, for the longest time. It's like he just didn't want this whole experience to come to a close. I know how he felt. And, secondly, I'll always remember our captain, Steve McCarthy, putting his sweater on for the last time before the game. He took the sweater and laid it across his lap so he could see the flag and the "C" stitched on there. He just looked at it for a moment or two before slowly pulling it on over his equipment. I don't mind telling you that it almost brought a tear to my eye watching that little scene.
So, for now, I'm finished my tenure with Canadian Hockey. I'm proud of what I've done: two gold medals with the National Under 18 team, a silver as an assistant with the National Junior team and a bronze medal here in Moscow as the head coach. I've loved every moment of it because I love hockey and I'm proud to be a Canadian. Now, it's back to reality. If all goes well, I'll be behind the bench for Brampton on Sunday afternoon when we play Owen Sound.
This is it for my daily diary. Thanks for the hundreds of e-mails you've sent along to me and the players - we read almost every one of them. Remember that when you run into me, the other coaches and the players around the hockey world in the next few weeks - a smile and a thumbs up would be greatly appreciated.
You should all be extremely proud of this group of 22 players. I know I am.
For more information:
André Brin Director, Communications | Directeur, communications