October 22, 2012, Calgary, AB – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Western Hockey League today announced the coaching staff for Team WHL that will compete in the 2012 SUBWAY® Super Series November 14 in Vancouver, BC, and November 15 in Victoria, BC.
Spokane Chiefs’ Head Coach Don Nachbaur will be behind the bench as Head Coach for both Team WHL games along with Edmonton Oil Kings Head Coach Derek Laxdal, who will serve as Assistant Coach. Longtime Vancouver Giants Head Coach Don Hay will also serve as an Assistant Coach for the game in Vancouver, while the Victoria Royals’ Dave Lowry will join the coaching staff as an Assistant for the game in Victoria.
The SUBWAY® Super Series features regional teams of CHL All-Stars competing against the Russian National Junior Team in a six-game event serving as an integral part of the identification process for Team Canada prior to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. The OHL hosts the middle leg of the six-game series with the first two games hosted by the QMJHL, and the final two games played in the WHL. Last season the CHL prevailed with their eighth series win in nine years of this event earning a 10-8 victory in points which included three regulation wins, two losses, and one defeat by shootout. Team Canada later captured bronze at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Calgary and Edmonton, AB.
Don Nachbaur is in his third season as the head coach of the Spokane Chiefs and his 15th season as a head coach in the WHL. Last season he became only the sixth coach in WHL history to hit the 500-win milestone. The native of Kitimat, B.C., began his WHL career as a player for the Billings Bighorns from 1977-79, and was drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the third round of the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. Having played 233 games in the NHL with the Whalers, Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers, and four years overseas, Nachbaur began his WHL coaching career with the Seattle Thunderbirds in 1994-95, guiding the T-Birds to the 1997 WHL final. Nachbaur also spent six seasons at the helm of the Tri-City Americans, leading the Ams to back-to-back U.S. Division titles in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Nachbaur is also a three-time recipient of the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Coach of the Year, earning the award with the Thunderbirds in 1994-95, with the Americans in 2007-08, and with the Chiefs in 2010-11. He is also the only coach in WHL history to have won WHL Coach of the Year honors with three different teams.
Derek Laxdal is now in his third season as the Head Coach of the Edmonton Oil Kings. Laxdal came to the Oil Kings after serving five seasons as the Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL. While there he compiled an impressive 217-108-35 record and captured a Kelly Cup Championship in 2007. A native of Stonewall, MB, Laxdal played for the Brandon Wheat Kings and Portland Winterhawks in the mid-1980s, capturing a Memorial Cup with the Winterhawks in 1983. Laxdal was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1984 and played 67 career NHL games with the Leafs and the New York Islanders. Last season he guided the Oil Kings to franchise records for wins (50) and points (107) en route to the team’s first WHL Championship in the modern era.
Don Hay is in his ninth season as Head Coach of the Vancouver Giants and 15th season as a head coach in the WHL. A two time winner of the Dunc McCallum Trophy as the WHL coach of the year in 1999 and 2009, Hay also has reached the 500-win milestone as a Head Coach in the WHL. His coaching experience stretches into all levels of hockey including the NHL, AHL, World Junior Championship and the MasterCard Memorial Cup. Dave Lowry is in his first year as Head Coach of the Victoria Royals and 5th season coaching in the WHL. After four seasons with the Calgary Hitmen serving as an Assistant, Associate, then Head Coach, Lowry was hired by the Calgary Flames and spent three seasons in the NHL as an Assistant Coach before joining the Royals this year.
The Team WHL support staff was also named for the final two games of the Subway Super Series; in Vancouver the Giants’ Nick Murray will serve as Athletic Trainer while Chad Scharff is the Equipment Manager and in Victoria Khore Elliott has been named Athletic Therapist for Team WHL, while Matt Auerbach is the Equipment Manager.
The 2012 SUBWAY® Super Series is supported by CHL associate sponsors, Bank of Montreal, Old Dutch, and Post.
All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet with the two QMJHL games shown on TVA Sports.
The Team WHL roster will be announced on Thursday October 25, 2012.
The schedule for the 2012 SUBWAY® Super Series is as follows:
Game 1 – Monday November 5 at Blainville-Boisbriand, QC
Game 2 – Wednesday November 7 at Val-d’Or, QC
Game 3 – Thursday November 8 at Guelph, ON
Game 4 – Monday November 12 at Sarnia, ON
Game 5 – Wednesday November 14 at Vancouver, BC
Game 6 – Thursday November 15 at Victoria, BC