CALGARY – Doug Armstrong, general manager of Canada’s men’s national team for the 2009 IIHF World Championship, along with Johnny Misley, Hockey Canada’s executive vice-president of hockey operations, announced on Monday that Pierre Gauthier and Joe Nieuwendyk have been named assistant general managers for the World Championship, scheduled for April 24 to May 10, 2009, in Berne and Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland.
Pierre Gauthier, a native of Montreal, is the assistant general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. He will be making his fourth appearance as a member of Canada’s management staff, having won a gold medal in 1997 and a silver medal in 1996 as Canada’s general manager at the IIHF World Championship. Gauthier was also one of Canada’s co-general managers for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.
Joe Nieuwendyk, a special assistant to the general manager with the Toronto Maple Leafs, will join Canada’s management staff for the first time. The Whitby, Ontario, native, who retired from the NHL in 2006 after 19 years and three Stanley Cups with three teams (1989-Calgary, 1999-Dallas, 2003-New Jersey), represented Canada as a player on four occasions, winning a silver medal at the 1986 IIHF World U20 Championship and a gold medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. He also played at the 1990 IIHF World Championship and the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.
Gauthier and Nieuwendyk will help Armstrong and Misley, as well as the Men’s Olympic Team management staff, comprised of executive director Steve Yzerman and associate directors Ken Holland and Kevin Lowe, in evaluating and monitoring prospective players throughout the 2008-09 NHL season. Canada will name its coaching staff for the World Championship late in the NHL season, and will announce the first group of players for the tournament in early April.
“I am very excited to have Pierre and Joe join our staff for the 2009 IIHF World Championship,” Armstrong said. “Both have extensive experience at both the international and professional levels, and I look forward to their input as we move towards winning another gold medal for Canada.”
“The IIHF World Championship is the biggest event on the international hockey calendar, and we are thrilled with the group that we are assembling to lead Canada in Switzerland come April,” Misley said. “Not only will this group select Canada’s team for the World Championship, it will also play a vital role in evaluating possible players for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.”
Gold medalists in 2007 in Moscow, Russia, and silver medalists in 2008 on home ice in Quebec City and Halifax, Team Canada opens the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland, against Belarus on April 24.