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Babcock to lead Canada's men's hockey team

June 25, 2009 at 1:41 PM   |   Comments

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MONTREAL, June 25 (UPI) -- Detroit Red Wings Coach Mike Babcock was selected to coach the Canadian men's hockey team in the 2010 Olympics in British Columbia.

Team Canada Executive Director Steve Yzerman, who played for Babcock in the final season of his Hall of Fame career, made the appointment official Thursday. Former Minnesota Wild Coach Jacques Lemaire and Buffalo Coach Lindy Ruff will assist Babcock.

"With Canada's great passion for hockey, we are lucky to be able to count on a long list of quality Canadian coaches, which gave the management group many great options," Yzerman said. "As a group, we are very pleased with the coaching staff that we have announced today, a group with extensive international and professional experience and success."

Canada won the men's hockey gold medal in the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City but didn't make it out of the quarterfinals in 2006 in Turin, Italy.

Babcock, 46, took the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup finals each of the last two seasons, winning the cup in 2008. He has an NHL coaching record of 282-139-71. He coached Canada to the 2004 world championship and 1997 world junior title.

The 2010 Winter Olympics are scheduled for Feb. 12-28 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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