(Reuters) - Mike Babcock, who guided Canada to men’s ice hockey gold at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, was named coach of Team Canada for next year’s World Cup on Thursday.
Babcock brings an impeccable resume to the job.
He is the only coach in hockey’s Triple Gold Club, having won a Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings and a world championship title along with two Olympic gold medals. He also coached Canada to gold at the 1997 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Named as assistant coaches were the Chicago Blackhawks’ Joel Quenneville, Boston Bruins’ Claude Julien, Carolina Hurricanes’ Bill Peters and Washington Capitals’ Barry Trotz.
“Mike is the only coach to have won a Stanley Cup, a world championship and an Olympic gold medal thus Mike’s resume speaks for itself,” Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong told a press conference.
“He has proven he can take a group of players and mould them quickly and effectively into a two-week tournament and come out on top.”
Considered the top coach in hockey, Babcock was lured out of Detroit earlier this year signing an eight-year contract worth a reported $50 million to take over as coach of the under-achieving the Toronto Maple Leafs.
”I feel very, very blessed to have the opportunity to represent Canada again,“ said Babcock. ”Whether it was ‘97 at the world juniors, or ‘04 for the world championships or ‘10 and ‘14 for the Olympics, it has always been a thrill.
”I always think, as a kid from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to get this kind opportunity to represent your country you do it with immense pride.
“It comes with obligation as well if you want to say you’re the best and hockey’s your game you have to do something about it at these events.”
The World Cup of Hockey will feature eight teams and take place at Air Canada Center in Toronto from Sept. 17 through Oct. 1.
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Larry Fine