CALGARY, AB -- Réal Paiement, head coach of the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, has been named head coach of Canada's National Junior Team which will compete at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Helsinki, Finland, Canadian Hockey announced Friday.
Canadian Hockey also announced that Claude Julien, who coached the Hull Olympiques to the Memorial Cup championship in May, has been named head coach of the Under-18 team, which will represent Canada at a three-nation tournament involving Slovakia and the Czech Republic in the Czech Republic in August.
Peter DeBoer, head coach and general manager of the Detroit Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, and Rick Carriere, head coach of the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League, will serve as Paiement's assistant coaches with the National Junior Team.
Stan Butler, head coach of the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League, and Geoff Ward, head coach of the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL, will work as Julien's assistants.
The six coaches were chosen from a short list of 11 candidates from across Canada by the five-member selection committee that included: David Branch, president of the Canadian Hockey League and the OHL; WHL President Dev Dley; QMJHL President Gilles Courteau; Canadian Hockey president Murray Costello; and former association chairman Dr. Bill MacGillivary. Bob Nicholson, Canadian Hockey vice-president, hockey operations, serves as a resource person on the selection committee.
"Canadian Hockey is fortunate and proud to be able to choose from among such outstanding candidates for these important positions,' said Nicholson. 'Team-building is an essential element in our international success and its implementation is due to the expertise of coaches like Paiement and Julien and the four men appointed as their assistants. The selection is never easy and it was particularly difficult this year, given the outstanding quality of all the applicants."
Paiement, 37, was an assistant coach under Mike Babcock with the National Junior Team that won a fifth straight gold medal for Canada in Geneva, Switzerland in January, and knows well the pressure that rests on the head coach of that team.
"Working under head coach Mike Babcock to help Canada win a record fifth straight gold medal at the World Junior Hockey Championship last January was an extraordinary experience for me as a professional coach," said Paiement. "Being named head coach is a remarkable opportunity and a great honor for me."
The National Junior Team will hold a summer evaluation camp with more than 40 players at the Ice Gardens in North York, ON, from August 8-14. Paiement and his staff, along with Canadian Hockey's chief scout, Barry Trapp, will invite 32 players to the final selection camp, December 12-18 at a site to be determined, at which the final roster of 22 players will be chosen.
For the last two seasons, Paiement has coached the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL. He piloted the team to a berth in the Memorial Cup tournament this year, following a regular season won-lost-tied record of 37-30-3. His overall regular-season won-lost-tied mark with Chicoutimi was 72-59-9. Paiement has university experience, as head coach of the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres Patriotes.
Julien, 37, led Hull to the Canadian Major Junior championship in his first season as head coach with the Olympiques. He had worked for the Olympiques for the two previous seasons as an assistant coach under Bob Mongrain.
The national under-18 team will assemble at the Ice Gardens in North York from August 6-10 to prepare for the tournament in the Czech Republic from August 11-17.
All six coaches will attend a High Performance Coaching Seminar in Calgary from June 17-20, along with the coaches of the Under-17 teams from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as part of their preparation for international competition. The guest speakers at the seminar include Andy Murray, head coach of Canada's National Team and the gold medal-winning World Hockey Championship team, Mike Johnson, an associate coach under Murray and general manager of the National Team, Don McKee, head coach at the University of Waterloo and an assistant coach with Canada's gold medal-winning Spengler Cup team, Trapp and sport psychologist Wayne Halliwell.
The players who will be invited to both the National Junior summer evaluation camp and the Under-18 pre-tournament camp will be announced within the next two weeks.