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Speaking from experience

Gold medallists as players, Roberto Luongo and Shane Doan are guiding a young Team Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Championship

Lee Boyadjian
May 21, 2021

Roberto Luongo and Shane Doan are very familiar with the pressure of wearing the Maple Leaf on the ice internationally, and they’ll be drawing on that experience as they lead Team Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Championship.

“To be a part of [Team Canada] in any way, even as management now, is something that I’ll always do. And I think I can help some of the younger guys understand what that truly means,” Doan, the assistant general manager, says.

The Halkirk, Alta., native played 49 games across six appearances at worlds, captaining Team Canada three times and winning a pair of gold medals – in 2003 and 2007.

He was joined for that first golden moment by Luongo, a Montreal product who tended goal 15 times in his four appearances and added a second gold in 2004. Seventeen years later, Luongo is back in the Team Canada fold as general manager.

“(I’m a) little nervous. I haven’t been in management that long, it’s only been a year and a half, almost two years,” says Luongo, who is also part of the management group for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. “Very excited and honoured and really thankful that they gave me this opportunity.”

There will still be some new experiences for the leadership group in Latvia, with the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting many parts of the world. The tournament will be played in a bubble without fans, and teams will be under strict safety protocols.

“As management we’re going to understand that there are things that you don’t see normally coming, don’t see normally happening at different times and we’re going to make sure we’re flexible and capable of making it work,” Doan says.

Besides being adaptable to the unique situation of life in a bubble, Luongo says knowing what it is like to wear red and white will be a huge support to his team, with 21 of 25 players in their first world championship.

“Even though I didn’t win every single time I wore it … just being together with a bunch of guys for a two- or three-week span … trying to create memories is what it’s all about and knowing that the whole nation is behind you, watching you, makes it so much more special,” he says.

Doan adds that teams typically bring their best game to play Canada, especially the host country. Even without fans, he doesn’t expect this year to be different.

“You get over there and you realize this is their big moment and the passion and intensity they bring to play Team Canada is incredible and … so on the management side you start to be able to express those issues that go with it.”

“I think I always try to put myself in the player’s shoes and I remember when I was going to [worlds], I was bit younger, it was exciting,” Luongo says. “Even though it was a disappointing end to the NHL season, for me it was a way to put that behind me and live an experience and represent my country.”

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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