The Western Hockey League, in conjunction with the Canadian Hockey League, Moose Jaw Warriors, Regina Pats, Swift Current Broncos and Hockey Canada, announced today the coaching staff for Team WHL, which will compete against Team Russia at the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series.
Moose Jaw Warriors head coach Tim Hunter will once again serve as the head coach for Team WHL after holding the position during the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series. Regina Pats head coach and general manager John Paddock as well as Swift Current Broncos head coach and director of player personnel Manny Viveiros will serve as assistant coaches.
Team WHL will host Team Russia November 6 in Moose Jaw and November 7 in Swift Current.
Working the bench for both games will be head athletic trainer Jamie LeBlanc of the Swift Current Broncos, athletic therapist Greg Mayer of the Regina Pats and equipment manager Tanner Arnold of the Moose Jaw Warriors.
The 57-year-old Hunter, now in his fourth season with the Moose Jaw Warriors, is also returning to Canada’s National Junior Team staff having served as an assistant and earning silver in 2016-17. Hunter led Team WHL in the CIBC Canada Russia Series a year ago, winning once and falling in overtime against Team Russia. Working with Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, Hunter also won bronze as head coach of the Under-18 team at the 2015 IIHF U18 World Championship.
The 63-year-old Paddock, now in his fourth season with the Regina Pats, was the 2016-17 recipient of the WHL’s Dunc McCallum Trophy as WHL Coach of the Year. He was also named 2016-17 WHL Executive of the Year and recipient of the Lloyd Saunders Memorial Trophy.
The 51-year-old Viveiros is now in his second season with the Swift Current Broncos after beginning his coaching career in Europe.
The six-game series features regional league teams of Canadian National Junior Team candidates competing against the Russian National Junior Team. For the fourth straight season, the event will open with two games in the WHL.
Since the event first began in 2003, CHL teams have played to an overall record of 58-19-1-6. The competitiveness of the rivalry has grown in recent years with four of the last seven series decided in the final game, and with Russia earning three series wins since 2010 compared to the CHL’s four series triumphs over the same period including last season by a 13-5 margin in points.
The 2017 CIBC Canada Russia series is supported by CHL associate sponsors Cooper Tires, autoTRADER.ca, and Sherwin-Williams. All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series Schedule:
Game 1 – Monday November 6 at Moose Jaw, SK
Game 2 – Tuesday November 7 at Swift Current, SK
Game 3 – Thursday November 9 at Owen Sound, ON
Game 4 – Monday November 13 at Sudbury, ON
Game 5 – Tuesday November 14 at Charlottetown, PE
Game 6 – Thursday November 16 at Moncton, NB