(ISN) – CALGARY, Alta. – Jim Nill, general manager of Canada’s National Men’s Team, announced Tuesday that Todd McLellan (Melville, Sask./San Jose, NHL) will be Canada’s head coach at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, scheduled for May 1-17, 2015 in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Peter DeBoer (Dunnville, Ont.), Bill Peters (Three Hills, Alta./Carolina, NHL) and Jay Woodcroft (Toronto, Ont./San Jose, NHL) will join McLellan behind the bench as assistant coaches.
“This is a coaching staff with extensive experience in the NHL and knowledge of the international game, as well,” said Nill. “As a management group we are excited to work with this staff, and look forward to building a roster and representing Canada in the Czech Republic next month.”
Nill is working with 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.
Todd McLellan, 47, just finished his seventh season as head coach of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. He has led the Sharks to three division championships and the President’s Trophy in 2008-09, and is the winningest coach in franchise history. Previously, McLellan spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, winning the Stanley Cup in 2008, and won the Calder Cup as head coach of the AHL’s Houston Aeros in 2003. He also spent six seasons as head coach and general manager of the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos from 1994-2000; McLellan was named WHL executive of the year in 1996-97, and WHL coach of the year in 1999-2000. He has one previous experience with Team Canada, winning a bronze medal as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2000 IIHF World Junior Championship. McLellan was drafted by the New York Islanders in the fifth round of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, and played five NHL games with the Islanders during the 1987-88 season.
Peter DeBoer, 46, most recently spent parts of four seasons as head coach of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, leading the team to an Eastern Conference championship and an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in 2012. He was also head coach of the NHL’s Florida Panthers for three seasons from 2008-11. DeBoer spent 14 seasons as a head coach in the Ontario Hockey League with the Detroit Whalers, Plymouth Whalers and Kitchener Rangers from 1994-2008, winning OHL championships with Kitchener in 2003 and 2008, and the Memorial Cup in 2003. He was named OHL coach of the year in 1998-99 and 1999-2000. DeBoer was previously an assistant coach with Canada at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in 2010, 2011 and 2014, and was assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 1998 and 2005, as well as the 2007 Canada-Russia Super Series, winning World Juniors gold in 2005. DeBoer played two seasons of professional hockey with the IHL’s Milwaukee Admirals from 1989-91.
Bill Peters, 50, just finished his first season as head coach of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes after three seasons as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. Peters also spent three seasons as head coach of the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs from 2008-11. He was head coach of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs from 2005-08, winning the WHL championship and Memorial Cup in 2008, and served as head coach of the men’s hockey team at the University of Lethbridge from 2002-05. Peters was head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2008 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, winning a gold medal.
Jay Woodcroft, 38, has spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, winning the President’s Trophy in 2008-09 as part of Todd McLellan’s staff, and previously worked under Mike Babcock with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings from 2005-08, winning two President’s Trophies (2005-06, 2007-08) and the Stanley Cup in 2008. Woodcroft had a six-year professional playing career from 1999-2005.
Canada’s roster will be comprised of players not involved in the NHL playoffs. Canada can also add players eliminated during the Stanley Cup playoffs, and can register up to 25 players, including three goaltenders, on its official roster.
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.