Hockey Canada has announced the management and coaching staff that will work with Canada’s National Men’s Team for a pair of December events – the 2021 Channel One Cup and 2021 Spengler Cup.
Shane Doan (Halkirk, Alta./Arizona, NHL) will lead the Canadian contingent as general manager, joined on the management staff by assistant general manager Blair Mackasey (Montreal, Que.). Behind the bench, Claude Julien (Orleans, Ont.) will take the reins as head coach, alongside assistants Bruce Boudreau (Toronto, Ont.) and Scott Walker (Cambridge, Ont./Guelph, OHL).
“This is a tremendous staff with years of experience at the highest levels of our game, and we are excited to work with them through December,” said Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), senior vice-president of hockey operations with Hockey Canada. “As part of our preparations for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, we wanted to ensure there were contingency plans in place in the event NHL players do not participate in Beijing. Taking part in the Channel One Cup and Spengler Cup ensures an opportunity to evaluate European-based players at a pair of prestigious tournaments against world-class competition.”
Doan most recently worked with Team Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, winning a gold medal as assistant general manager. He was part of the management staff at the 2019 Spengler Cup, winning the championship, and was a consultant at the 2019 IIHF World Championship, earning silver. As a player, he represented Canada six times at the IIHF World Championship, winning two gold medals (2003, 2007) and three silver (2005, 2008, 2009). Doan also won the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and wore the Maple Leaf at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. He joined the Arizona Coyotes as chief hockey development officer in January 2021.
MacKasey served as head scout of the Program of Excellence with Hockey Canada from 2002-06, helping build the teams that won gold at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2005 and 2006. He was also an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 1996 IIHF World Junior Championship and with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 1994 La Copa Mexico, winning gold at both. MacKasey was an amateur scout with the Phoenix Coyotes from 1996-02, was director of professional scouting and director of player personnel with the Minnesota Wild from 2006-18, and was a professional scout with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2018-21.
Julien was last behind the Team Canada bench at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, helping Canada win the championship. He won an Olympic gold medal as an assistant coach in 2014 and has twice been an assistant with Canada’s National Junior Team at the IIHF World Junior Championship, winning silver in 1999 and bronze in 2000. Julien most recently served as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens from 2017-21, and was in the same role from 2003-06. He spent 10 seasons (2007-17) as head coach of the Boston Bruins, winning a Stanley Cup championship in 2011 and the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in 2008-09.
Boudreau will make his international coaching debut. He has spent 15 seasons as an NHL head coach with the Washington Capitals (2007-11), Anaheim Ducks (2011-16) and Minnesota Wild (2016-20), winning the Jack Adams Award with the Capitals in 2007-08. Boudreau owns the second-best win percentage of any coach in NHL history with at least 900 games coached (567-302-115 – .576). He has also coached in the Colonial Hockey League, International Hockey League and American Hockey League, winning the Calder Cup with the AHL’s Hershey Bears in 2006, and was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame as a player and coach in 2009.
Walker owns an international coaching résumé that includes bronze at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, bronze and gold at the 2012 and 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships, gold at the 2012 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka, gold at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and gold at the 2017 International Para Hockey Tournament. He played for Canada’s National Men’s Team during the 1992-93 season and at three IIHF World Championships, winning silver in 2005. A former head coach and co-owner of the OHL’s Guelph Storm, Walker was named president of hockey operations with the Storm in September 2021.
Canada’s National Men’s Team will open the 2021 Channel One Cup against the host Russians on Dec. 15 in Moscow. It will also take on Sweden and Finland in the round-robin tournament. Canada last participated in the event in 2017 in the lead-up to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, and won the championship when it was known as the Izvestia Trophy in 1987.
The 2021 Spengler Cup begins Boxing Day in Davos, Switzerland with Canada facing off against HC Sparta Prague. The Canadians are the defending champions at the annual tournament, winning their record-setting 16th championship in 2019. TSN, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partner, will carry all 11 tournament games live; check local listings for details.