Former NHL defenseman Jim Paek on Wednesday was named coach of the South Korea men's national team in its quest to play in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.
Paek, 47, was born in Seoul, South Korea, and became the first Korean player to make the NHL and win the Stanley Cup.
"The idea of coaching the national team in the Olympics is one of my dreams. I've always wanted to help develop Korean hockey," Paek said via the International Ice Hockey Federation website. "I've returned to Korea many times to run hockey schools and coached Korean teams travelling to Canada. What a great opportunity I have now."
South Korea will be attempting to earn its first Olympic hockey berth in the 2018 tournament.
"I know Korea hockey is aiming for the 2018 Winter Games," Paek said. "It's a great challenge, but if we are organized and have a plan and teach the process good things will come. We cannot lose focus on the process."
Paek spent the past nine seasons as an assistant coach for the Grand Rapids Griffins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.
"The Detroit Red Wings congratulate Jim Paek on his appointment to the Korea Ice Hockey Association and Korean National Team," Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin said. "We are thrilled and excited for him on his well-deserved opportunity. With the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in Pyeongchang, this is a tremendous opportunity for Jim to oversee the development of hockey players, coaches and administrators across all levels of hockey in his native South Korea."
Paek was a ninth-round pick (No. 170) of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1985 NHL Draft. He made his debut with the team during the 1990-91 season and played in 27 Stanley Cup Playoff games as the Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992.
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