Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett on Wednesday was named head coach for the Canadian National Team that will compete at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship next month in Minsk, Belarus.
The announcement was made by Hockey Canada in collaboration with general manager Rob Blake. New Jersey Devils Head Coach Peter DeBoer and Winnipeg Jets Head coach Paul Maurice will serve as associate coaches.
The IIHF World Championship will take place May 9-25.
"It’s not ideal because the only reason you get the job is because your team misses the playoffs and our team missed the playoffs," Tippett said. "But on the other side of it, it’s a great opportunity. Any time you can coach for your country on the world stage it’s exciting and I’m looking forward to working with the coaches and the players, and our goal is to go over there and win the gold medal."
Tippett, 52, has twice served as an associate coach for Canada at the World Championship, winning a silver medal in 2009. He has been the coach of the Coyotes the past five seasons, leading them to three appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and two 40-win seasons. He won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL coach of the year in 2009-10 after leading Phoenix to a 50-win season.
Tippett said Team Canada will stage a camp in Zurich, Switzerland, the week before the World Championship begins. It is there, he said, the team will quickly organize.
"Ultimately, for a short tournament like this, the main focus is getting the team together and on the same page as quickly as you can and to make sure that you improve as the tournament gets going," Tippett said. "If you look at the formula Team Canada used in the Olympics, it's a very similar situation so we’re fortunate to have a good blueprint in place."
|Photo by Norm Hall. |
Tippett said his role in selecting the players for the team is a small one; Blake and his staff, including Coyotes Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving, will handle that aspect. Canada expects to name the first group of players to the roster in the coming week.
Canada, of course, won the gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in February, but the team's roster for the World Championship will be quite different.
"A lot of those players are not available either because they’re still playing in the playoffs or because they played in the Olympics and they’re not really interested in going back a second time in the same year," Tippett said. "So, we'll have younger players for this tournament. But even though we’ll have a younger team, a lot of those same strategies from the Olympics will be in place and it will be about using those young players the right way to find ways to win games."
Prior to the Coyotes, Tippett coached the Dallas Stars to two Pacific Division titles and five playoff appearances. His NHL playing career spanned 721 games over 11 seasons with the Hartford Whalers, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.
He twice represented Canada at the Winter Olympics, winning a silver medal in 1992, and serving as captain in 1984. Tippett also played for Canada in 1983-84 and 1991-92.