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Messier to coach Canada at two tourneys

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
From Hockey Canada Press Release

Hockey Canada has named Rangers legend Mark Messier, currently the Rangers' Special Assistant to the President, as head coach of Canada’s national men’s teams at the 2010 Deutschland Cup and 2010 Spengler Cup.

The Deutschland Cup will be held in Munich, Germany, from Nov. 12-14, while the Spengler Cup tournament will take place in Davos, Switzerland from Dec. 26-31.

Rick Chernomaz will be Messier's assistant coach at the Deutschland Cup and Doug Shedden will be an assistant coach at the Spengler Cup.

A roster for the Deutschland Cup, including additional staff, will be announced in the next two weeks, while the final roster for the Spengler Cup will be announced in December. Team Canada’s rosters for both events will be mostly made up of Canadian players playing professionally in Europe.

Mark Messier, who served as Team Canada's GM at the 2010 World Championships, will now get a taste of coaching as he stands behind the bench for both the upcoming Deutschland Cup and Spengler Cup.
Messier has extensive experience representing Canada at the international level as a player, including the 1984, 1987 and 1991 Canada Cups, the 1989 IIHF World Championship and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. The Hockey Hall of Famer totalled nine goals and 23 assists for 32 points in 38 games playing for Canada.

This will be Messier’s second appearance with Team Canada off the ice, as he served as Canada’s general manager at the 2010 IIHF World Championship.

“I am excited for this opportunity to coach Canada on the world stage,” said Messier. “I have always taken pride in representing Canada at an international level as a player, and look forward to the challenges in front of us at the Deutschland Cup and Spengler Cup.”

Messier, 49, is a six-time Stanley Cup champion, a two-time Hart Trophy winner as NHL MVP and played in 15 NHL All-Star Games in his 25-year career, during which he racked up 1,887 points in 1,756 games. Messier is in his second season as Special Assistant to Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather.

“Hockey Canada is thrilled that Mark Messier has agreed to step behind the bench,” said Brad Pascall, vice-president of hockey operations/national teams for Hockey Canada. “With his tremendous hockey background and his leadership skills, we feel that Mark will be a great coach as we strive to continue Canada’s winning tradition.”

Canada has participated in the Deutschland Cup since 1992 but now sends a team only every two years. In its 14 appearances, Canada has four gold medals, three silver and three bronze. Canada won the tournament in its last appearance in 2008.

At the Spengler Cup, Canada will be joined at the event by the host team HC Davos (Swiss National League), SKA St. Petersburg (KHL), Spartak Moscow (KHL), Sparta Prague (Czech Elite League) and Servette Geneva (Swiss National League). The Spengler Cup, held annually since 1923, is the oldest professional international hockey tournament in the world.
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