The Olympics are not the only international tournament growing closer on the horizon.
Hockey Canada has announced its management and coaching staff for the upcoming Channel One Cup and Spengler Cup. 2009 Jack Adams Award winner Claude Julien will assume the role of head coach, and Bruce Boudreau, who captured it in 2008, will serve as his assistant. The team will also round out the staff with former NHL Scott Walker as assistant coach.
In the front office, Shane Doan will fulfill the role of Canada's GM. This appointment continues Doan's foray into the management side of hockey after the conclusion of his illustrious, 1,500-game NHL, with the former Coyotes captain recently being named the team's chief hockey development office in January of 2021.
Former NHL defenseman Blair MacKasey will serve alongside Doan as Team Canada's director of player personnel. Mackasey is currently a professional scout with the Toronto Maple Leafs, with whom he played his lone career NHL game in 1976.
The Channel One Cup, set to begin Dec. 15 in Moscow, is part of the Euro Hockey Tour, an event played by the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden and Finland. Canada's three games won't count and will serve as a preparation for the Spengler Cup, the world's oldest invitational hockey tournament.
While this group has been chosen to lead Canada in the Spengler and Channel One Cups, their duties extend beyond those tournaments alone, with the staff also serving as the nation's de facto taxi squad should the NHL withdraw its participation from the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
In the event that the league ultimately decides not to send its players to China in February before the January 10th opt-out deadline, this group would occupy the same roles for Canada's Olympic Men's Hockey Team, as well. And with multiple teams being forced to postpone games due to COVID-19 outbreaks, the chances of that happening are not zero.