For many, Mike Babcock was the logical choice to be named as Canada’s coach at the return of the World Cup in 2016 mainly due to his previous successes in both Vancouver and Sochi. General Manager Doug Armstrong had an important choice to make but, while there were a number of suitable candidates, he went back to the man with the two Olympic gold medals.
- November 16, 2015 - For many, Mike Babcock was the logical choice to be named as Canada’s coach at the return of the World Cup in 2016 mainly due to his previous successes in both Vancouver and Sochi. General Manager Doug Armstrong had an important choice to make but, while there were a number of suitable candidates, he went back to the man with the two Olympic gold medals.
And rightly so. Babcock is a proven winner and he will stop at nothing to ensure that Canada win the World Cup of Hockey. In 1997, he led the junior team to the world championship before winning the 2004 world championship with the senior side. Then, he led the nation to back-to-back Olympic successes in 2010 and 2014 - a pretty impressive feat.
Currently, Babcock is in charge of the Toronto Maple Leafs but he’s also had plenty of success with other franchises in the National Hockey League. For example, he led the Detroit Red Wings to the Stanley Cup back in 2008. This remains their most recent Stanley Cup success.
As previously mentioned, there were plenty of options for GM Doug Armstrong, including Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks. He has three Stanley Cups in six years and was offered an assistant role on Babcock’s staff, however his success in recent times may well have landed him the top job.
Ice hockey is growing as a sport and the World Cup of Hockey will only help to increase the sport’s popularity even further. Whilst many people enjoy hockey, some are obsessed with the game and tailor their lives around the sport. Plenty of people enjoy the entertainment factor of hockey and play online hockey related casino games, such as Break Away at Royal Vegas while others prefer to keep up to date on all of the latest hockey news and follow the sport religiously.
Canadians will be looking forward to the World Cup of Hockey and will believe they have a strong chance of success at the tournament. With Babcock and Quenneville at the helm, they have two excellent coaches who will ensure that the team are well-organised and set up to win the competition.
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Alongside Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins, Barry Trotz of the Washington Capitals and Bill Peters of the Carolina Hurricanes, these men will select the squad and their experience of the big stage will be crucial throughout the competition. Canada will be one of the leading contenders for success at the event, which will get underway on September 17th and finish on October 1st.
Every team is required to name a 16-man roster by March 1st and then finalise the remainder of their squad by June. From there, it’s all about preparation and there’s no better coach at preparing a nation for a major tournament than Mike Babcock. With a bit of luck, Canada will be crowned world champions once again next year and Babcock will cement his place as one of the all-time great ice hockey coaches.