COLUMBUS, OHIO – Hockey Canada General Manager David Nonis announced April that Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Scott Arniel will serve as an associate coach for the team at the 2011 IIHF World Championship, which will take place April 29-May 15 in Bratislava and Kosice, Slovakia. Arniel joins Peter DeBoer on the Team Canada coaching staff, which will be led by former Blue Jackets head coach and current special advisor Ken Hitchcock, who was named as the squad's head coach.
"As a management group, we are extremely pleased with the coaching staff that we have assembled," said Nonis. "Ken, Scott and Peter bring a variety of experience at both the international and professional levels. We know that they will have our team prepared for all the challenges ahead in our quest for a gold medal."
Arniel, 48, has just completed his first season as head coach of the Blue Jackets. The native of Kingston, Ontario previously served as head coach of the AHL's Manitoba Moose (2006-10), leading the team to four playoff appearances and to the Calder Cup Final in 2009. Arniel also served as an assistant coach with the NHL's Buffalo Sabres from 2002-06. As a player, Arniel played parts of 11 seasons in the NHL from 1981-92, with Buffalo, Winnipeg and Boston. He also played for Canada's National Junior Team at the 1981 and 1982 IIHF World Junior Championships, capturing a gold medal in 1982.
Hitchcock, 60, has coached Canada on the international stage on seven occasions, including as a head coach at the 2008 IIHF World Championship, where Canada won silver, and as associate coach at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games, winning two gold medals. He is a special advisor with the Blue Jackets and served as head coach in the NHL for 14 seasons, with Columbus, Philadelphia and Dallas, amassing 543 wins over that time and leading the Stars to the 1999 Stanley Cup championship.
DeBoer, 43, served as the head coach of the Florida Panthers for the past three seasons. This will mark DeBoer's sixth time behind the bench for Team Canada, serving most recently as an associate coach for Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Championship. He was also an assistant coach for Canada's National Junior Teams at the 2007 Canada/Russia Super Series, the 1998 and 2005 World Junior Championships, winning a gold medal in 1998.
Team Canada will assemble in Europe on April 22 and play two pre-competition games, on April 24 vs. France in Paris and on April 27 vs. the Czech Republic in Prague. Canada will be based in Kosice, Slovakia for the preliminary round.