Ken Hitchcock will be Canada's coach for the 2011 IIHF World Championship, General Manager David Nonis announced Monday.

The tournament will take place April 29-May 15 in Bratislava and Kosice, Slovakia. Columbus Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel and former Florida Panthers coach Peter DeBoer will serve as associate coaches.

 

"As a management group, we are extremely pleased with the coaching staff that we have assembled," said Nonis. "Ken, Scott and Peter bring a variety of experience at both the international and professional levels. We know that they will have our team prepared for all the challenges ahead in our quest for a gold medal."

 

Hitchcock, 59, has coached Canada on the international stage on seven occasions, including as coach at the 2008 IIHF World Championship, where Canada won silver, and as associate coach at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games, winning two gold medals. Hitchcock also served as an associate/assistant coach on Canada's championship-winning team at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and won gold medals at the 2002 IIHF World Championship and 1988 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The Edmonton native has spent 14 years as an NHL coach, with Dallas, Philadelphia and Columbus, amassing 543 wins. Hitchcock won a Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999, and was nominated for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach three times (1997, 1998, 1999). He currently serves as a special advisor with the Blue Jackets.

Arniel, 49, just completed his first season as coach of the Blue Jackets. The native of Kingston, Ont., played for Canada's national junior team at the 1981 and 1982 IIHF World Junior Championships, capturing a gold medal in 1982.

 

DeBoer, 43, was coach of the NHL's Florida Panthers for the past three seasons prior to his dismissal from that job Sunday. This will mark DeBoer's sixth time behind the bench for Team Canada, serving most recently as an associate coach for Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Championship.

 

Nonis, senior vice-president of hockey operations for the Toronto Maple Leafs, is part of a management team that also includes Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray; Rob Blake, a manager in the NHL's Hockey Operations department; and Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada's vice-president of hockey operations/national teams. That team has been meeting regularly over the past month to put together the staff and to identify and evaluate potential players for the upcoming IIHF World Championship. A first list of players will be announced shortly. Additional players could also be added after the first round of the NHL playoffs.