TORONTO - Pat Quinn is taking the simple approach to his newest coaching position.
The longtime NHL head coach and GM is the head coach of Canada's under-18 team that will take part in the upcoming IIHF world championship in Kazan, Russia. The Canadians open the tournament Sunday against Germany.
"I have a lot of information I can pass on to them but I don't want to smother them,"Quinn said from the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday prior to the team's departure. "I want to have something that doesn't cause them to stop and think, 'What does the coach want now?'
"So we want to be able to have something we can execute easily without a lot of thinking that has some spontaneity to it. It's going to be hard to get to but we'll get there."
Quinn, 68, a Hamilton native who coached Canada to Olympic hockey gold in 2002, has no shortage of pro experience to draw upon. He spent time in the NHL with Toronto, Vancouver and Atlanta before getting into coaching as an assistant with Philadelphia in 1977-'78. Since then, he has served as a head coach in the NHL with the Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Canucks and Toronto before being fired by the Maple Leafs after missing the playoffs in 2005-'06.
Quinn said having been away from hockey for roughly two years has sufficiently recharged his batteries and driven home the point that he's not ready to give up coaching just yet.
"I've been busy enough but I have discovered that I don't want to golf every day, I don't want to read 10 newspapers before I venture out into the world," Quinn said. "Being active like this, I've really enjoyed the past few days.
"Eighteen days from now we're going to be playing for a gold medal. The next 18 days will be filled with a challenge every day, just like coaching is."
Quinn, who was only named to the post last month, said time will be his biggest challenge.
"Time is always your enemy in a situation like this," he said. "This is my ninth time doing something with Canada and you somehow have to shorten up that time frame, do things that will allow the boys to learn each other as quickly as possible.
"And there are little thing sometimes, like having them sit at different tables so the Western boys are mixing in with the Quebec boys and the Ontario boys, switching roommates around so they're forced to get to know each other."
Tyler Myers, a towering six-foot-seven, 204-pound defenceman with the WHL's Kelowna Rockets, watched Quinn's team win gold in Salt Lake City and says having Quinn behind the bench in Russia will be a huge boost for the Canadian team.
"It was fun to watch," Myers said. "Any chance you get to have somebody like that as your coach it's a good opportunity to learn from."
The team gathered here Sunday before departing for Minsk, Belarus for exhibition games against Belarus on April 10 and against Finland the following day.