Bruce Boudreau to serve as head coach; Larry Mitchell, Jim Playfair, Jeff Tomlinson named assistants

Hockey Canada has announced the coaching and support staff that will lead Canada’s National Men’s Team at the 2023 Spengler Cup, set for Dec. 26-31 in Davos, Switzerland.

Bruce Boudreau (Toronto, ON/Niagara, OHL) will make his international coaching debut, serving as head coach alongside assistants Larry Mitchell (Burlington, ON/EHC Kloten, NL), Jim Playfair (Fort St. James, BC/Prince George, WHL) and Jeff Tomlinson (Winnipeg, MB/EHC Kloten, NL).

The coaching staff was selected by co-general managers Brad Pascall (Coquitlam, BC/Calgary, NHL) and Joe Thornton (St. Thomas, ON), and assistant general manager Hnat Domenichelli (Edmonton, AB/HC Lugano, NL), with support from Scott Salmond (Creston, BC), senior vice-president of high performance and hockey operations.

“We are excited to name Bruce, Larry, Jim and Jeff as the coaches who will lead Canada’s National Men’s Team as it looks to reclaim the Spengler Cup. All four bring many years of experience coaching in the NHL, AHL and Europe, and we know this diversity will be beneficial to our team,” Pascall said. “We know all four coaches and our support staff are grateful for the opportunity to represent Canada at such a prestigious tournament, and this group is determined to assemble a team that gives us the best chance to bring home a championship.”

Boudreau is in his first season as a senior advisor with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Previously, he spent 15 seasons as an NHL head coach with the Washington Capitals (2007-11), Anaheim Ducks (2011-16), Minnesota Wild (2016-20) and Vancouver Canucks (2021-23), winning the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year with the Capitals in 2007-08. Boudreau was also a head coach in the American Hockey League (AHL) for nine seasons, winning the Calder Cup with the Hershey Bears in 2006, and was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame as a player and coach in 2009. He was named an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Team for the 2021 Channel One Cup and Spengler Cup, but was unable to attend.

Mitchell was promoted to interim head coach of EHC Kloten of the National League (NL) in Switzerland on Nov. 19 after serving parts of two seasons as the team’s sports manager. He previously served as the sports manager of ERC Ingolstadt of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) in Germany for five seasons (2017-22), and spent 10 seasons as a head coach in the DEL with the Straubing Tigers (2015-17) and Augsburger Panther (2008-14). Mitchell will make his international coaching debut at the Spengler Cup.

Playfair is set to make his international coaching debut, and is currently in his first season as an associate coach with the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League (WHL) following 19 seasons in various coaching positions in the NHL and AHL. He served six seasons as a head coach and assistant coach with the Calgary Flames (2002-09), and was an associate coach with the Arizona Coyotes for six seasons (2011-17) and the Edmonton Oilers for three seasons (2019-22). Playfair was also the head coach of the AHL’s Saint John Flames for parts of three seasons (2000-03) and the Abbotsford Heat for two seasons (2009-11), winning the Calder Cup with Saint John in 2001.

Tomlinson is in his first season as a senior advisor with the NL’s EHC Kloten, where he also served as head coach for two seasons (2021-23). His 16-year professional coaching career includes stops with the NL’s SC Rapperswil-Jonas Lakers (2015-21), and with the Eisbären Berlin (2007-10, 2013-15), Düsseldorfer EG Metro Stars (2010-12) and Nürnberg Ice Tigers (2012-13) of the DEL. Internationally, Tomlinson served as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Team at the 2014 Deutschland Cup, was the video coach for Germany at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and served as an assistant with Germany at the 2015 IIHF World Championship. He was also an associate and assistant coach with Germany at the 2007 and 2008 World Junior A Hockey Challenge, respectively.

The support staff that will work with Canada’s National Men’s Team at the 2023 Spengler Cup includes:

  • Video coach Andrew Boucher (Timmins, ON)
  • Physiotherapist Doug Stacey (London, ON)
  • Massage therapist Andy Hüppi (Schmerikon, SUI)
  • Team physician Dr. Jim Thorne (Calgary, AB/Calgary, NHL)
  • Equipment manager A.J. Murley (St. John’s, NL)
  • Manager of hockey operations Kurt Keats (Winnipeg, MB)
  • Coordinator of hockey operations Hannah Curlock (Calgary, AB)

Canada is grouped with host HC Davos and Frölunda HC for the preliminary round and will open the 2023 Spengler Cup against Frölunda HC on Dec. 26 at 2:15 p.m. ET/11:15 a.m. PT. Preliminary-round action wraps up on Dec. 28, with the championship game set for Dec. 31 at 6:10 a.m. ET/3:10 a.m. PT. TSN, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partner, will broadcast all 11 tournament games; please check local listings for details.