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Lightning coach Jon Cooper to lead Team Canada in ’22 Olympics

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Two-time defending Stanley Cup champion coach Jon Cooper will lead Canada’s men’s ice hockey team in the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Hockey Canada made the announcement Monday and said his appointment is conditional upon NHL players participating in Beijing. The NHL hasn’t committed to playing in China, although the 2021-22 league schedule has a break for the Olympics built in.

“It is an honor to be entrusted with leading Canada’s men’s Olympic team next year in Beijing, and to be able to carry on the rich tradition of hockey excellence that is associated with Hockey Canada,” said Cooper, a British Columbia native who coaches the back-to-back champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

He will be assisted by a trio of veteran coaches — Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer and New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz.

“The opportunity to work with an excellent management group and an elite-level coaching staff of Barry, Bruce and Peter is a great privilege,” said Cooper, who turns 54 this month.

In the NHL, Cooper has a 384-197-53 record in nine seasons — all with the Lightning. Tampa Bay won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2018-19 for finishing with the best regular-season record in the league that year at 62-16-4 (128 points.) In international play, he coached the Canadians to a second-place finish in the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

“We are very excited to introduce the members of Canada’s coaching staff for the 2022 Winter Olympics, as each individual brings a tremendous amount of experience that will benefit our team if NHL players are able to participate in Beijing,” said Tom Renney, CEO of Hockey Canada.

The NHL could elect not to send players to Beijing if the COVID-19 situation worsens or other global issues get in the way.

–Field Level Media

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