Guy Carbonneau will coach Canada's under-18 hockey team at the world championship in Belarus next month, Hockey Canada announced Tuesday.
Carbonneau is the fourth former NHL coach in five years to guide the male under-18 team, following the likes of Pat Quinn, Greg Gilbert and Trent Yawney. The Sept-Îles, Que., native has worked as an analyst for Hockey Night in Canada this season and contributed to CBCSports.ca.
"I don't see it as a job, I see it as a challenge and a new experience," Carbonneau told The Canadian Press on Tuesday. "I was kind of surprised when [QMJHL commissioner] Gilles Courteau talked to me about a month and a half ago about my interest. … It was a pretty easy decision for me.
"My coaching career has been short, but a lot of fun. I think coaching young kids in a world championship like that is going to be a good experience."
Carbonneau posted a 124-83-23 record as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens between 2006 and 2009. He was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in 2007-08, but was fired with just over one month to go in the following regular season after the Canadiens struggled.
He enjoyed a 19-year NHL playing career that included three Stanley Cup championships and three wins of the Frank J. Selke Trophy as top defensive forward in the league.
Carbonneau, who turns 50 next week, was an assistant coach for the under-18 squad in 2001.
The tournament takes place April 13-23, with games in Minsk and Bobruisk.
"I understand what I am getting myself into," Carbonneau said. "I had the same expectations when I was a player and obviously I had the same expectations when I was a coach here in Montreal. I don't coach to lose, I don't play to lose.
"I think I'm just glad to be part of the process. I'm seeing this as an experience."
The Canadian entry last year under coach Mike Johnston lost to Finland in a shootout in the bronze-medal game.
Carbonneau will be assisted by junior head coaches George Burnett and Rob Sumner.
Burnett, now with the Belleville Bulls, has been an Ontario Hockey League coach for over 12 years. He also had a short stint as coach of the Edmonton Oilers in the mid-1990s.
Sumner has coached the Seattle Thunderbirds in the Western Hockey League since 2003-04.