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Olympics-Julien steps in to lead Canadian men’s ice hockey team in Beijing

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(Reuters) Claude Julien was named head coach of Canada’s ice hockey team for the Beijing Winter Games on Friday, as Hockey Canada struggles to rebuild a squad after the National Hockey League withdrew from the Olympics due to COVID-19 issues.

The 61-year-old, former NHL Coach of the Year and Stanley Cup winner, takes over from Tampa Bay Lightnings Jon Cooper, who was picked to lead the Canadian squad until the NHL decided not to send players in December due to major disruptions. in the schedule caused by an increase in COVID-19 cases.

With more than 100 games postponed, the NHL will use the Olympic window to close the gap.

We are pleased to announce our experienced management group and coaching staff who will lead the Canada Olympic men’s team at the 2022 Olympics, said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada in a statement.

With less than a month left until the men’s tournament kicks off at the Olympics, we are excited to continue working with the entire workforce as it prepares to represent Canada and build a roster that Canadians can support as looks set to take home an Olympic gold medal.

Shane Doan, who was a member of Team Canada at the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin and six world championship teams, has taken over as general manager.

Doan faces the immediate challenge of bringing together a team from European and minor leagues after the withdrawal of the NHL.

The United States, which also expected to have a roster full of NHL all-stars, announced their team in Beijing on Thursday, which was largely filled with college players.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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