CALGARY, Alta. – As reigning Olympic and World champions, the first 16 players selected to Canada’s World Cup of Hockey roster come highly decorated – both in international competition, and within the NHL itself.
Hockey Canada president and CEO Tom Renney (Cranbrook, B.C.) and Doug Armstrong (Sarnia, Ont./St. Louis, NHL), general manager of Canada’s National Men’s Team at the World Cup of Hockey, confirmed the selection on Wednesday. Included in Canada’s first round of selections are:
· All three goaltenders (Crawford, Holtby, Price);
· A return of the four top defencemen from Sochi (Doughty, Keith, Vlasic, Weber); and
· Nine forwards (Benn, Bergeron, Carter, Crosby, Getzlaf, Seguin, Stamkos, Tavares, Toews).
“This has been a very extensive process which involved multiple face-to-face meetings and conference calls,” said Armstrong. “Some very difficult decisions had to be made to narrow down our selection to only 16 players, which is a testament to the depth of player talent in Canada. Our management group wanted to balance respecting the contributors to past Team Canada successes, as well as respecting the players that have emerged as top players in the NHL. We will use the NHL playoffs and the upcoming World Championship to make the final roster decisions in early June.”
There’s no lack of success among the first 16 players selected; in addition to 12 players who won gold at the Olympic Winter Games, and 11 who won gold at the IIHF World Junior Championship, the team boasts seven NHL team captains and eight Stanley Cup champions, five of whom are multi-time champions.
Four names that were not part of the past two Olympic teams include goaltenders Corey Crawford (Montreal, Que./Chicago, NHL) and Braden Holtby (Lloydminster, Sask./Washington, NHL), and forwards Tyler Seguin (Brampton, Ont./Dallas, NHL) and Steven Stamkos (Markham, Ont./Tampa Bay, NHL), who both have competed in past world championships.
Hockey Canada adds to coaching, support staff
In June 2015, Hockey Canada announced the Team Canada management group for the World Cup of Hockey comprised of Armstrong (Sarnia, Ont./St. Louis, NHL) as general manager, with assistance from Marc Bergevin (Montreal/Montreal, NHL), Rob Blake (Simcoe, Ont./Los Angeles, NHL), Ken Holland (Vernon, B.C./Detroit, NHL), Bob Murray (Kingston, Ont./Anaheim, NHL), and Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams. Renney, as president and CEO of Hockey Canada, and Scott Smith (Bathurst, N.B.), the organization’s chief operating officer, round out Team Canada’s World Cup of Hockey management group.
“We have received great support from the management group, as well as from Morey Gare and Craig Berube, throughout this process,” said Renney. “We thank them for bringing the same level of professionalism and attention to this as they do to their daily roles, especially during the busy NHL season.”
The coaching staff, announced in November 2015 and comprised of head coach Mike Babcock (Saskatoon, Sask./Toronto, NHL) and assistant coaches Claude Julien (Orleans, Ont./Boston, NHL), Barry Trotz (Dauphin, Man./Washington, NHL), Joel Quenneville (Windsor, Ont./Chicago, NHL), and Bill Peters (Three Hills, Alta./Carolina, NHL) has been bolstered with the addition of Hockey Canada’s Misha Donskov (London, Ont.) as assistant coach, and Andrew Brewer (Fredericton, N.B./Toronto, NHL) as video coach.
Hockey Canada has also named its support staff for the World Cup of Hockey, including:
- Team Doctor Dr. Ian Auld (Victoria, B.C./Calgary, NHL);
- Physiotherapist Kent Kobelka (Revelstoke, B.C./Calgary, NHL);
- Athletic therapist Gerry Townend (Carleton Place, Ont./Ottawa, NHL); and
- Massage therapist Andy Hüppi (Jona, SUI/Hockey Canada);
- Equipment managers Darren Granger (Brandon, Man./Los Angeles, NHL) and Brian Papineau (St. Catharines, Ont./Toronto, NHL); and
- Manager, hockey operations Bayne Pettinger (Victoria, B.C./Hockey Canada).
The World Cup of Hockey returns in September 2016 in Toronto, where eight teams, comprised of the world’s best hockey players, will compete for a best-on-best international hockey championship. The World Cup of Hockey is a joint effort of the NHLPA and the NHL, in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). It is expected that more than 150 of the best players in the NHL will participate in this tournament.