Hockey Canada is leaning on a National Hockey League coaching veteran to guide Canada’s National Men’s Team at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, May 21-June 6 in Riga, Latvia.
Gerard Gallant (Summerside, P.E.I.) has been named head coach for Team Canada as it looks to capture Canada’s first gold medal at worlds since 2016. Mike Kelly (Shamrock, P.E.I.) and André Tourigny (Nicolet, Que.) will join Gallant as assistant coaches.
The coaching staff was selected by Canada’s management group, which was announced earlier this month and includes general manager Roberto Luongo (Montreal, Que./Florida, NHL), assistant GM Shane Doan (Halkirk, Alta.) and Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), senior vice-president of national teams with Hockey Canada.
“We are fortunate to lean on the professional and executive experience that all three gentlemen will bring as Canada gets set for the IIHF World Championship in Latvia,” said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “Gerard and Mike have worked together both at the NHL and junior level and have an understanding of what it takes to compete and win. André complements them with his extensive coaching résumé and recent experience at the World Juniors. We believe we have selected a group that will build on each other’s strengths and provide exceptional leadership, with input from Roberto and the Olympic management group, as our team prepares to compete for a gold medal.”
Gallant was an assistant coach with Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship in 2007 and 2017, winning gold and silver, and also served as an assistant coach with Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. He has coached for nearly two decades in the NHL, including stints as head coach with Columbus (2004-06), Florida (2014-17) and Vegas (2017-20), and won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in 2017-18. Gallant spent three seasons as head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs (2009-12) of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), winning back-to-back QMJHL championships (2011, 2012) and the Memorial Cup in 2011, in addition to consecutive nods as QMJHL and Canadian Hockey League (CHL) coach of the year in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
Kelly coached Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team to a gold medal at the 2003 IIHF World U18 Championship and was an assistant coach at the IIHF World Junior Championship on three occasions (2000, 2001, 2002). He served as an assistant coach to Gallant in both Vegas (2017-20) and Florida (2014-17). Kelly also spent four seasons with the Saint John Sea Dogs, including two as head coach and general manager (2012-14) and two as associate coach alongside Gallant (2010-12). Prior to the QMJHL, he spent three seasons as an assistant with the Vancouver Canucks (2006-08) and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Manitoba Moose (2005-06). His junior hockey résumé also includes time as head coach with Windsor (OHL), North Bay (OHL) and Brandon (WHL).
Tourigny has extensive success in international competition, most recently earning a silver medal as head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship. He previously won gold as an assistant at World Juniors in 2010, 2011 and 2020, in addition to gold as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and as an assistant at the tournament in 2008. A two-time OHL coach of the year (2018-19, 2019-20), Tourigny has spent the last four seasons as head coach and vice-president of hockey operations with the Ottawa 67’s. He has also served as head coach of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (2002-13) and Halifax Mooseheads (2016-17), and was an assistant in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche (2013-15) and Ottawa Senators (2015-16).
Canada opens the 2021 IIHF World Championship on Friday, May 21 at Arena Riga against host Latvia with preliminary-round games through Tuesday, June 1. Canada will also face Italy, Finland, Germany, Kazakhstan, Norway and the United States in the preliminary round before the tournament wraps up with the bronze and gold medal games on Sunday, June 6.
Since 1931, Canada has won the world championship 20 times – not counting the years when Olympic Winter Games gold medalists were also considered world champions. Canada has also collected 13 silver medals and seven bronze.