CALGARY – Hockey Canada announced on Tuesday that Steve Yzerman will be Canada’s general manager for the 2007 IIHF World Men’s Hockey Championship in Moscow, Russia, April 27-.
While this will be Yzerman’s first time in a management role with Team Canada, the recently retired NHLer has represented Canada on eight occasions in international competition during his playing career.
A native of Nepean, ON, Yzerman was an alternate captain of Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, UT, helping end Canada’s 50-year drought in Olympic hockey. He also won a gold medal at the 1984 Canada Cup to go along with silver medals at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, 1989 World Hockey Championship and 1985 World Hockey Championship and a bronze medal at the 1983 World Junior Hockey Championship. He also represented Canada at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan and the 1990 World Hockey Championship, where he was named the tournament’s Top Forward by the IIHF Directorate. Yzerman was named to Canada’s roster in May 2004 for the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, but was unable to participate due to injury.
Yzerman is in his first season as vice-president of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings following a 22-year playing career, all with the Red Wings. He spent the last 20 seasons as the Red Wings’ captain, one of the longest-serving captains in the history of professional sports, and finished his career as the sixth-highest scorer overall in NHL history (1,755 points, all with the Red Wings).
Yzerman won three Stanley Cup championships with the Red Wings (1997, 19), the Frank Selke Trophy as best defensive forward in 2000, the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1998 and the Lester B. Pearson Award as most outstanding player as selected by his peers in 1989. He was also named an NHL First Team All-Star in 2000 and participated in nine NHL All-Star games.
Yzerman will oversee Team Canada’s player evaluation and team selection prior to the start of the championship in late-April. He will also be responsible for the selection of Canada’s management and coaching staff, which will be named in the next couple of months.
“I am truly honoured and excited to be given the opportunity to represent Canada once again and to be working with Hockey Canada in preparing for the 2007 World Championship in Russia,” said Yzerman. “Over the coming weeks and months, I will be looking to name a management staff, a coaching staff and players that will give Canada the best chance at winning gold in May 2007.”
“Hockey Canada is very happy that Steve Yzerman has accepted this challenge,” said Bob Nicholson, president of Hockey Canada. “With his great hockey background, internationally and professionally, we feel that Steve will provide us with the leadership that we need as we strive to get Canada back on the top of the podium in Moscow.”
Canada opens the 2007 IIHF World Men’s Hockey Championship on Saturday, when they take on Germany in Moscow. All of Canada’s games will be broadcast live from Russia on TSN/RDS, the official broadcaster of Hockey Canada.