The 2012 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships are returning to Alberta for the first time since 1995, so it seems only fitting that the man who led Canada to gold that year, will be back at the helm again as Canada goes for gold in Calgary/Edmonton in 2012. Vancouver Giants bench boss Don Hay has been named head coach of Team Canada for the 2012 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.
Hay’s resume speaks for itself; a 3-time Memorial Cup Champion (1994-95 Kamloops, 2007 Vancouver), a 3-time Ed Chynoweth Cup Champion (1994-95 Kamloops, 2006 Vancouver), a 2-time winner of the WHL Coach of the Year (1999 & 2009), and a member of the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame. He currently sits 3rd on the WHL’s all-time regular season wins list with 521 victories and is tied for 1st for WHL playoff wins with 101.
“I am truly honoured and humbled to be named head coach of Canada’s National Team,” said Hay. “It is a unbelievable opportunity to lead this team at the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships.”
Hay is no stranger to the World Junior Championships. He led Canada to a gold medal in 1995 in Red Deer, Alberta. Considered one of the best teams ever to represent this country, the group featured the likes of Ryan Smyth, Darcy Tucker, Wade Redden, Bryan McCabe, and Eric Daze. Canada went 7-0 in the tournament, outscoring the opposition 49-22. Hay understands all to well what it takes to have success in a tournament format like the World Juniors. “I feel that my experience coaching the Canadian team in 1995, coupled with my multiple appearances at Memorial Cup Tournaments will be a huge asset to me in 2012.”
Hay knows full well the pressure and expectation that comes with representing Canada at the World Junior Championships, especially after back to back silver medal finishes in 2010 and 2011. “I am looking forward to working with the great staff we have assembled. Our objective is simple, to reclaim gold for Canada at the World Juniors.”
Hay will be entering his 8th season as head coach of the Vancouver Giants. He has led the club to 5 B.C. Division Championships, a WHL Championship, and a Memorial Cup Championship. “I would like to thank Ron Toigo, Scott Bonner, and the entire Vancouver Giants organization for allowing me to accept this role with Team Canada and leave the Giants to coach at the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships.
For the Hockey Canada release, click here.