Mike Babcock. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock is expected to be named coach of Team Canada for the 2016 World Cup at a press conference Thursday, according to a report. Babcock’s assistants will reportedly be Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien.
Mike Babcock’s already stellar trophy case might be even more impressive by next October.
The Toronto Maple Leafs bench boss will be announced Thursday as the coach of Team Canada for the 2016 World Cup, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. Babcock, 52, is currently the only coach to enter the Triple Gold Club, having won a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold and World Championship gold. But behind a group of top-tier Canadian stars at the World Cup, Babcock may be able to add another championship to his list of accolades.
Babcock won’t be the only member named to the coaching staff, however, as Dreger reported that Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien will join the coaching staff as assistants.
Babcock’s international success is well-documented. He was chosen to lead both the 2010 and 2014 Canadian Olympic teams, as well as coaching the 2004 gold medal-winning Canadian team at the World Championship. Babcock also has one Stanley Cup, coming in 2008 with Detroit, and three final appearances to his name.
As for Quenneville, the 57-year-old is one of the winningest coaches in the history of the league. Over a 19-year career behind the bench, Quenneville has won 761 games, third-most in NHL history behind only the late Al Arbour and legendary Scotty Bowman. Quenneville is also one of only 10 coaches in league history to win three Stanley Cups, as he led the Blackhawks to championships in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
Quenneville has never coached Canada on the international stage, but was the coach of the 2004 World Championship team before being hospitalized before the tournament. Babcock took over coaching duties and won a gold medal.
Julien, 55, will reportedly round out the staff. Over the past nine seasons in Boston, Julien has racked up 357 wins and led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup in 2011. The Julien-led Bruins returned to the final in 2013, but were defeated by Quenneville’s Blackhawks.
Both Quenneville and Julien have won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year.
Canada will play its first game at the 2016 World Cup Sept. 17 in round robin action. Babcock won’t have to leave his home, as the entire tournament is slated to be played at Toronto’s Air Canada Center.