PRAGUE-- Jim Nill, General Manager of Team Canada for the 2004 Men’s World Hockey Championship, named Mike BabcockTeam Canada’s head coach on Saturday after announcing earlier in the day that Joel Quenneville was unable to continue as head coach. Renney will move to associate coach, while Mike Pelino will be brought in to take on the role of assistant coach of Team Canada.
Nill also announced that Quenneville was released from hospital on Saturday under doctor’s care, and will return home once medical clearance is received. He was taken to a Prague hospital on Friday for tests and evaluation, where he spent the night.
Babcock, head coach of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, and Tom Renney, head coach of the New York Rangers, were both assistant coaches under Quenneville for the 2004 World Championship.
Mike Babcockjust completed his second season as head coach of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. In his first season as an NHL head coach, Babcock led the Ducks to their first ever Stanley Cup Finals appearance.
Babcock was Head Coach of Canada’s World Junior Team in 1997, leading the team to a gold medal. Prior to joining the Mighty Ducks, Babcock had a successful six-year run as the head coach of the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League (WHL). He was twice named WHL Coach of the Year (1996 & 2000) after taking the franchise to the league finals both seasons.
Mike Pelino was the Coach and Manager of Canada’s National Men’s Team from 1999-2003, and has been anassistant coach three times at the Men’s World Championships, winning a gold medal in 2003 and served as an assistant coach at the 20 events.
Pelino was an assistant coach with the NHL’s Florida Panthers at the start of the 2003-2004 season, but was relieved of his duties along with Mike Keenan.
Pelino’s international coaching experience at HockeyCanadaincludes a total of ten gold medals.
Pelino’s gold medal successes include: an assistant coach withCanada’s 2002 Men’s Olympic gold medal team in Salt Lake City,UT, and Head Coach of TeamCanadaat the 2002 Spengler Cup Championship in Davos,Switzerland.