Monday, 23 March 2015

McCrimmon to Guide Canada U18 Team

Kelly McCrimmon
  Brandon Wheat Kings' GM and Head Coach Kelly McCrimmon will  be guiding Canada's Under-18 team at this summer's Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

  McCrimmon was appointed head coach of the squad on Monday, his first involvement as a coach in Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence.

  McCrimmon said on Monday that there are several reasons why he jumped at the opportunity to be involved.

  "I think the chance to gain experience.  Events like that make you better whether you're a player or a coach," said McCrimmon on Monday, "The chance to work with other good coaches.  It's a great age group of player, the 1998's certainly across the West and I did go to the champ last summer and watched some of the top guys from the Ontario and Quebec Leagues as well.  I think it'll be a good group to work with and an experience that's really enjoyable for myself."

  Sheldon Keefe of the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Darren Rumble of the QMJHL's Moncton Wildcats will be the assistant coaches on the U18 team, while the squad is likely to include three members of the Wheat Kings in Nolan Patrick, Kale Clague and Tanner Kaspick.

  "The 1998 age group in Western Canada I know pretty well.  That was the year I did a lot of scouting so I have a lot of familiarity with that group and the best are in our league now," said McCrimmon, "You don't have to look very far to see some of the great young 16-year olds that are in our league.  It'll be a chance to work with some high-end players and a real good experience to spend some time with elite athletes."

  The Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament of normally held in mid-August.

  Meanwhile, Hockey Canada also appointed Victoria Royals' head coach Dave Lowry as head coach of Canada's National Junior Team for the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship on Monday.

  Lowry was an assistant coach on Canada's gold medal winning team this past year.

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