July 14th, 2024

Hockey Canada names Jon Cooper as Olympic, 4 Nations Face-Off coach

By The Canadian Press on June 25, 2024.

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper watches during NHL hockey practice, Friday, June 17, 2022, in Denver. Cooper will lead Canada at the 2025 4 Nations Face-Off and the 2026 Winter Olympics, Hockey Canada announced Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-John Locher

CALGARY – Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper will lead Canada at the 2025 4 Nations Face-Off and the 2026 Winter Olympics, Hockey Canada announced Monday.

It will be Cooper’s first time as Canada’s head coach since leading the national men’s team to a silver medal at the 2017 world hockey championship.

Cooper, from Prince George, B.C., has led the Lightning to four Stanley Cup finals, including back-to-back titles in 2020 and ’21.

He recently completed his 12th season with Tampa Bay and is the longest-tenured active head coach in the NHL.

“Jon is a world-class person, coach and leader, and his impressive resume and success in the NHL make him the perfect person to lead Team Canada over the next two years,” Canada general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement.

“Our management group knows that Jon will represent our country with pride while bringing his winning pedigree to the international stage, and we look forward to working with him as we build teams with the best NHL players in Canada at two marquee events.”

Cooper also served as an assistant coach with Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. He would have coached Canada at the 2022 Beijing Games had NHL players been cleared to participate.

The 4 Nations Face-Off, featuring teams from Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States made up of NHL players, makes its debut next year and will be held Feb. 12-20 in Montreal and Boston.

The 2026 Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, will see NHL players participate for the first time since the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.

Hockey Canada said the first six players for Canada’s 4 Nations Face-Off team are expected to be named this week, and Olympic team announcements will be made at a later date.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 25, 2024.

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