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Babcock to coach Team Canada in Sochi

Jul 22, 2013, 12:26 PM EDT

Mike Babcock Getty Images

To nobody’s surprise, Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock will be back coaching Team Canada in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Hockey Canada made it official today, adding that Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, Bruins coach Claude Julien, and new Stars coach Lindy Ruff will join Babcock as assistants.

Babcock, Hitchcock, and Ruff were part of the coaching staff in 2010 when Team Canada won gold in Vancouver. Julien is new to the group, replacing Jacques Lemaire.

“Canada’s coaching staff has a great deal of international and professional experience for the challenge that awaits us in Sochi,” said executive director Steve Yzerman in a release. “Mike did a great job setting the foundation for our gold medal win in Vancouver, and I know that with Ken, Claude and Lindy working with him, our team will be very well prepared.”

“I am extremely proud to represent my country and coach Team Canada,” said Babcock. “To have had the opportunity to share the Olympics with family, friends and all Canadians in Vancouver was something very special. To win gold in Canada was a dream come true.  In February, we will have a whole set of new challenges with a new group of players and staff.  I am very excited to be working with Claude, Lindy, Ken, the management group, support staff and players to defend our Olympic gold medal.”

Hockey Canada also confirmed there will be an orientation camp from Aug. 25-28 in Calgary.

  1. valoisvipers - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Well we might have a gold medal in coaching staff but who will play goalie for us?

    • shoobiedoobin - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Hopefully not Crawford or Fleury. Crawford is an average goalie who had his team win for him. You can’t do that against powerhouse national teams and Fleury is just plain overrated. Badly. Carey Price will likely start but my choice would be Cam Ward or Roberto Luongo. Too often we judge based on recent performance or reputation. I don’t care about that. Pound for pound, given the same team in front of them, those two are tops. Luongo takes heat, and I hate Vancouver but the guy is underrated.

      Other countries have really set the bar for goaltending. Lundqvist, Rinne, Bobrovsky, Hiller, Vokoun, Nabokov, Thomas, Howard, Miller, etc. Canada isn’t nearly the power it used to be.

      • clefty1 - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        Luongo underrated? You are joking I hope. Ward is the underrated one

      • shoobiedoobin - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        Luongo gets dooked on like he’s some average schmoe. The guy is a great goalie but no one likes to act like it. That’s underrated.

      • shanepenner8715 - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        Are you kidding me most of the nhl talent come from canada look at every cup winner so when i here U.S.A at hockey games just think how many canadian born players are on your team and last Olympics it was because of your goalie that you got so far and look where he is now. goalie dont win you everything team canada will have the best d-man that we have not seen in years

      • valoisvipers - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:59 PM

        I like your Cam Ward pick, he could bring home the gold.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

        I dunno, Lu collapses under pressure, literally and figuratively. The last 5 minutes of the Canada-Slovakia game just about made me lose my mind. Demitra had a wide open net at one point while Luongo was flopping around on his belly. It’s a miracle Slovakia didn’t tie it up there.

    • shoobiedoobin - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      ^We’re talking goaltending dude not the whole team.

    • joey4id - Jul 22, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      LOL! Good question…. I don’t see Crawford being the go to guy. Luongo? If he has a GREAT first half next season might be the guy. Price! Won Gold 2007, Silver in 05 and 04. Also needs to have a great first half next season.

      Like Babcock as the choice, but wondering why Quennville is absent.

  2. canucks30 - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Your boy – Roberto Luongo

  3. miketoasty - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    As a Pens fan, I love this guy. Real class act coach, that shows he has a real passion for the game. Team Canada is lucky to have this guy leading them into the Olympics.

  4. blackhawksdynasty - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    This guy is one hell of a coach….and a total class act. One of my favorite bench bosses. Coach Babcock: good luck in Sochi and in the Eastern Conference.

    an impressed and humbled Blackhawks fan.

  5. mrpinkca - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    I for one was caught completely off guard by this decision.

  6. pizzaman77 - Jul 22, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Great to see Lindy on that coaching staff

  7. cardsandbluesforever - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    doesn’t surprise me that Hitchcock is coaching along with Babcock, those 2 are good friends. ive seen them many times sit and chat before games discussing things like strategy, different players, coaching tips, nhl trends etc etc. all of that is kinda hilarious to me seeing how hated the redwings are here in stl- we even have “kick a redwings fan in the crotch day” down here, lol.

  8. shanepenner8715 - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    I know you are talking about the goalie i am just sick of this luongo talk because weather you like it or not there is a 99.9 persent that he will be there.

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