Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper has been named head coach of Team Canada at the world hockey championship in Paris in May.
The coaching staff was selected by members of the management group, announced earlier this month: general manager Ron Hextall (Brandon, Man./Philadelphia, NHL); assistant general manager Sean Burke (Windsor, Ont./Montreal, NHL); director of player personnel Larry Carrière (Montreal/Montreal, NHL); and Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), vice-president of hockey operations and national teams with Hockey Canada.
The coaching staff includes Gerard Gallant, Dave Hakstol and Dave King.
Cooper has coached the Lightning since 2012 and was an assistant coach for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey.
Team Canada management, staff, and players will gather in Geneva, Switzerland, for a pre-tournament camp , which includes a tune-up game on May 2 against the Swiss.
The two-time defending champion Team Canada’s first game is May 5 against the Czech Republic.
Since 1931, Canada was won the world championship 20 times – not counting the years when Olympic Winter Games champions were also considered world champion. The country has also collected 11 silver medals and six bronze in that timespan.
“It’s an unbelievable honor to be afforded the opportunity to lead Canada at the World Championships,” Cooper told the Tampa Bay Times. “The bar has been set high in the last two tournaments, and we look to continue that success.”
Cooper’s good friend, Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill has been named U.S. coach. Let the rivalry continue.
Lightning forward Brayden Point has been added to the Team Canada roster and he has confirmed that he will be playing.
Point played on the past two World Junior teams and was Canada’;s captain last season.