CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Thursday that Steve Spott, head coach and general manager of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, will be the head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team for the 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, scheduled for August 8-13 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Spott will be joined by assistant coaches Mario Duhamel (head coach, Drummondville Voltigeurs, QMJHL) and Don Nachbaur (head coach, Spokane Chiefs, WHL) for the tournament, which Canada has won in each of the last three years, and six of the last eight.
Steve Spott, 43, will make his fourth appearance on a Team Canada coaching staff and second with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team. He was an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a silver medal, with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, where Canada finished fourth, and with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka in 2008, winning a gold medal. Spott was Ontario’s head coach at the 2000 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, winning a silver medal, and at the 1999 Canada Winter Games, finishing fourth. Head coach and general manager of the Kitchener Rangers since 2008, Spott has been with the organization since 2001, starting as an assistant coach. With the Rangers, Spott won the Memorial Cup in 2003 as an assistant coach and finished as the runner-up in 2008.
“It is always a tremendous privilege and honour to represent Canada on the international stage,” said Spott. “Being with Team Canada in the past has always been a tremendous experience and I am anxious to get started with the coaching staff to get our plan in place."
Mario Duhamel, 36, will make his first appearance with Team Canada at the 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka. He has been head coach of the Drummondville Voltigeurs for the past two seasons and was a finalist for the QMJHL’s Coach of the Year this season. Prior to joining the Voltigeurs, Duhamel was an assistant coach with the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies from 2005-09, and served as an assistant coach with Quebec at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Port Alberni B.C., finishing fifth.
Don Nachbaur, 52, will be an assistant coach for the second time with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team after winning gold at the 1999 Four Nations Cup. Nachbaur is the reigning WHL Coach of the Year after returning to the league with the Spokane Chiefs after a season as head coach of the AHL’s Binghamton Senators. Prior to Binghamton, Nachbaur was the head coach of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans for six seasons, winning the Coach of the Year award in 2007-08 after guiding the Americans to a franchise-best 108 points. He was also assistant coach of the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms from 2000-02 after six seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds, where he won his first WHL Coach of the Year award in his first season with the club, 1994-95.
Hockey Canada will announce details for Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp in the near future, including the players that will be invited to camp.