NHL

Mike Babcock expected to be named Canada's World Cup of Hockey coach

Hockey Canada is expected to name its coaching staff for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey on Thursday in Toronto. Mike Babcock of the Maple Leafs is expected to be named head coach after leading Canada to gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.

Toronto bench boss guided 2 Olympic title teams

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock guided Canada to Olympic gold medals in 2010 and 2014 while he was with the Detroit Red Wings. (Jeff Harper/Canadian Press)

Hockey Canada is expected to name its coaching staff for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey on Thursday in Toronto.

Mike Babcock of the Maple Leafs is expected to be named head coach after leading Canada to gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.

According to reports, Babcock will have Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks and Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins on his staff.

Quenneville has won the Stanley Cup three times in the past six seasons, while Julien coached under Babcock at the Sochi Olympics and won it in 2011.

Babcock, a Cup winner in 2008 with the Detroit Red Wings, was the obvious choice to return, as long as he was interested in doing so.

Steve Yzerman, who served as GM for the past two Olympics, stepped aside for this event and said he wouldn't pursue the job for 2018 either.

Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues is Canada's World Cup GM, working with assistants Ken Holland of the Red Wings, Bob Murray of the Anaheim Ducks, Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens, Rob Blake of the Los Angeles Kings and Scott Salmond of Hockey Canada.

Babcock got a lot of credit for his ability to slot star players into various roles in Sochi.

"Anyone who's had success on the international format that's what they're able to do because you're getting all the stars and you're putting them in spots they're not used to playing," said Peter Chiarelli, an assistant GM for Canada at those Games and co-GM for the 23-and-under Team North America at the World Cup. "In my experience in Sochi, that's one of the things that Mike Babbcock and his staff did very well and it's something that you have to do to succeed at this level."

The World Cup of Hockey will take place Sept. 7-Oct. 1 in Toronto and include Canada, the United States, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Team Europe Team North America.

Each team must name a 16-man roster by March 1 and a full roster by June 1.

Canada's group is expected to bear a strong resemblance to the group that won gold in Sochi.

"That team was phenomenal," defenceman Drew Doughty said in September. "You just sat in the dressing room and kind of looked around and was like, 'Holy ... our team, we're sick, we've got a great team.' There are so many new people coming up these days that are unbelievable players who will definitely have a chance to be on that team."

That group includes Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, NHL leading scorer Jamie Benn and countless others.

Asked about Crosby over the weekend when the Pittsburgh Penguins were in town, Babcock said: "Sid's a great guy and an elite competitor. I like coaching him every time I get a chance."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now