Jim Nill named general manager of Canada’s National Men’s Team

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(ISN) – CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced Wednesday that Jim Nill (Hanna, Alta./Dallas, NHL) has been named general manager of Canada’s National Men’s Team for the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, scheduled for May 1-17, 2015 in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Nill will lead a management group comprised of George McPhee (Guelph, Ont.), Sean Burke (Windsor, Ont./Phoenix, NHL), Pat Verbeek (Sarnia, Ont./Tampa Bay, NHL), Claude Loiselle (Ottawa, Ont.) and Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams.

“This is a group with tremendous experience, both at the NHL level and internationally, in management and as players,” said Tom Renney, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship is one of the biggest events on the international calendar, and I know this group is excited to come together, build a roster and make Canadians proud next month in Prague and Ostrava.”

Canada’s coaching staff for the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be announced at a later date.

Jim Nill, 56, is in his second season as general manager of the NHL’s Dallas Stars. He will be part of Team Canada for the third time, having served as general manager at the 2004 IIHF World Championship and as director of player personnel at the 2003 worlds, winning a gold medal in both years. He also played for Canada’s National Men’s Team during the 1979-80 season, including the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. Prior to joining the Stars, Nill spent 19 seasons with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings as director of amateur scouting and assistant general manager, helping the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008. He also spent three seasons as a scout with the Ottawa Senators following an 11-year playing career that included 524 NHL games with St. Louis, Vancouver, Boston, Winnipeg and Detroit.

George McPhee, 56, most recently spent 17 seasons as general manager of the NHL’s Washington Capitals, leading the team to the Presidents’ Trophy during the 2009-10 season, seven division championships and the team’s first berth in the Stanley Cup Final in 1998. He was also vice-president and director of hockey operations with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks from 1992 to 1997. As a player, McPhee won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in NCAA hockey in 1982, and played 115 NHL games with the New York Rangers and New Jersey during an eight-year professional career.

Sean Burke, 48, currently serves as the assistant to the general manager and goaltending coach with the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. He has spent the last two seasons as a member of the Program of Excellence management group, helping Canada’s National Junior Team win a gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. As a player, Burke represented Canada at the IIHF World Championship on four occasions, winning two gold medals (1997, 2003) and two silver (1989, 1991), and at two Olympic Winter Games, in 1988 in Calgary, Alta., and in 1992, where he won silver. He also played for Canada at the 1986 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a silver medal. Burke played 820 games over 18 NHL seasons with New Jersey, Hartford, Carolina, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Florida, Phoenix, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles.

Pat Verbeek, 50, has been assistant general manager of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning since 2011, having also spent one season as director of professional scouting with Tampa Bay and four seasons as a professional scout with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. As a player, Verbeek represented Canada four times, at the 1983 IIHF World Junior Championship, 1989 and 1994 IIHF World Championships and 1996 World Cup of Hockey; he won bronze at the World Juniors, and gold (1994) and silver (1989) at the world championship. Verbeek played 1,424 games during a 20-year NHL career with New Jersey, Hartford, the New York Rangers, Dallas and Detroit, winning the Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999.

Claude Loiselle, 51, was most recently the vice-president and assistant general manager of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, and has also served as associate director of hockey operations for the NHL and assistant general manager of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. He played 616 games over 13 NHL seasons with Detroit, New Jersey, Quebec, Toronto and the New York Islanders.

Scott Salmond, 44, has been with Hockey Canada since 2001, serving in his current position of vice-president of hockey operations and national teams since June 2014. In this position, Salmond oversees all operations of Canada’s national men’s teams for the Olympic Winter Games, IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, IIHF World Junior Championship and IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, as well as the sledge hockey program at the Paralympic Winter Games and IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship.

Canada opens the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship against Latvia on May 1. It will also face Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland in preliminary round play.

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