CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced at a press conference on Wednesday in Calgary, that Willie Desjardins will be head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Willie Desjardins, 52, head coach of the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers, will lead Team Canada in its quest for a sixth-consecutive gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship. The native of Climax, Sask. has been the head coach in Medicine Hat since the 2002-03 season, leading the team to two WHL Championships. Desjardins also was an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Team in 1998-99, serving in that capacity under head coach Mike Johnston, at the 1999 IIHF World Championship.
“This coaching staff brings a wealth of experience to the 2009-10 National Junior Team,” said Brad Pascall, senior director of Canada’s National Men’s Teams. “All four coaches have worked with our programs before and we’re excited to have them lead Canada into Saskatchewan, as we look for another golden performance.”
Desjardins will be joined behind Canada’s bench by associate coach Dave Cameron (head coach and GM of OHL’s Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors), and assistant coaches André Tourigny (head coach and GM of QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies) and Steve Spott (head coach and GM of OHL’s Kitchener Rangers).
Cameron was an assistant coach with Willie Desjardins under Pat Quinn when Canada won gold at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa, Ont.. Cameron will serve as an associate coach this year.
Tourigny and Spott were assistant coaches of Canada’s gold medal-winning National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2008 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka. Spott was also an assistant coach at the 2009 IIHF World Men’s Under-18 Championship in April.
Hockey Canada will announce plans for the National Junior Team’s summer development camp in Saskatoon at a later date.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)