CALGARY, Alta. – The management and coaching staff of Canada’s National Men’s Team – led by general manager Sean Burke (Windsor, Ont./Montreal, NHL) and head coach Willie Desjardins (Climax, Sask.) – continue to cast a wide net in their evaluation of Canadian talent in the lead-up to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Following two week-long competitions in Russia last August, the management and coaching staff embark on the next phase of their evaluation of Olympic hopefuls in November as part of Canada’s National Men’s Team’s participation at the Karjala Cup Nov. 8-12 in Helsinki, Finland, and Biel, Switzerland. Hockey Canada has unveiled a 26-player roster for the event, which will see the red-and-white face off against Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland.
“We are bringing together a group of players who are on our radar for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games as part of our ongoing evaluation process, with the goal of fielding the best possible team next February,” said Burke. “These 26 players are part of the larger group that is still under consideration for the Olympic team; 10 of these players were not with us in August in Russia, while others who remain under consideration won’t join us next month due either to their being unavailable, or because we feel we already have a good sense of where they could fit with our team.
“As a management group and coaching staff, our priority is putting the best possible team together, and we will continue to evaluate every Canadian player that’s eligible to represent their country at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games to ensure we give ourselves the best possible chance for success in Korea.”
In late July, Hockey Canada unveiled its plan for Canada’s National Men’s Team for the 2017-18 season, including its full management and coaching staff, as well as an extended schedule that allows for multiple opportunities for team staff to bring together Olympic hopefuls as part of the evaluation process.
Joining Burke as part of the management group are Tom Renney (Cranbrook, B.C.), CEO of Hockey Canada; Scott Smith (Bathurst, N.B.), president and COO of Hockey Canada; Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national men’s teams; and Martin Brodeur (Montreal/St. Louis, NHL).
Player selections have been led by Burke with input from the management group as well as the coaching staff, which includes Desjardins and assistant coaches Dave King (Saskatoon, Sask.), Scott Walker (Cambridge, Ont./Vancouver, NHL), Craig Woodcroft (Toronto/Genève-Servette HC, NLA), and scout Morey Gare (Nelson, B.C.).