Andy Murray handed coaching reins for Canada at IIHF world championship

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St. Louis Blues coach Andy Murray was named the team's head coach on Tuesday and will have Mike Johnston and Gerard Gallant as his assistants. "I'm really excited and see it as a great challenge," said Murray. "It's a tough tournament to win, you've got so many quality players in all the countries, it's a real challenge."

Murray coached Canada to gold at the tournament in 1997 and 2003. He was also the head coach in 1998.

"We have put together a coaching staff with tremendous international experience, and I am looking forward to working with them," said GM Steve Yzerman, who also appointed Jacques Martin of the Florida Panthers as his assistant.

A few players have also made commitments.

Forwards Rick Nash, Mike Cammalleri and Shane Doan, defenceman Eric Brewer and goalie Dwayne Roloson will all be part of the Canadian team.

"I'm very happy with the group of players that we are naming today," said Yzerman. "These players bring a wealth of leadership and experience, and we feel that this is an outstanding core group of players to start with."

Doan and Brewer each won gold on the Murray-coached team in Finland. Brewer, who also currently plays for Murray in St. Louis, won a second gold at the event in 2004.

Nash was part of the 2005 world team and 2006 Olympic team while Cammalleri played on the Canadian team that finished fourth a year ago in Riga.

This year's tournament is being held in Moscow. Canada's first round-robin game is April 28th against Germany.

Yzerman will continue to fill out the roster as NHL teams are eliminated. He'll have Dallas Stars GM Doug Armstrong and Toronto Maple Leafs GM John Ferguson as consultants during that process.

"I'm confident we will put together a terrific team and make Canada proud," said Yzerman.

Getting the coaching staff in place was the first big step for the former Detroit Red Wings star. In addition to Murray, he's got some experience with assistants.

Johnston is an associate coach with the Los Angeles Kings. He was Canada's head coach and GM at the 1999 world championship in Norway. He was earlier an assistant coach from 1994-98, winning a gold medal as a part of Murray's staff in 1997.

Gallant will be a part of a world championship coaching


Nicholas Robertson (Steven Ellis/The Hockey News)

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