The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics begin in less than six months; the year-long delay of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics completely throws off the internal calendar of a one-year break between the Summer and Winter Games. Nonetheless, as the Winter Olympic rosters are rounded out, Hockey Canada announced that Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper would return to the bench, this time to lead their Olympic team as head coach. Cooper previously coached Canada to a silver medal in the 2017 world championships.
To complete Cooper’s coaching staff for Canada, the assistants named are Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer, and New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz. “The opportunity to work with an excellent management group and an elite-level coaching staff of Barry, Bruce, and Peter is a great privilege. I have many fond memories of the Olympics, from watching games as a young kid to thrilling gold medal victories, and I look forward to helping create lasting memories for Canadians across the country while our team competes for a gold medal,” Cooper said in his press release following the announcement.
While the NHL has its scheduled two-week pause still intact to accommodate the Olympics, the NHL and NHLPA have yet to confirm if they were going to play in the Games, following suit with their decision to sit out the 2018 Games in PyeongChang.
“It is an honor to be entrusted with leading Canada’s men’s Olympic team next year in Beijing and to be able to carry on the rich tradition of hockey excellence that is associated with Hockey Canada,” Cooper said of being named the team’s coach.
The Winter Olympics open on February 4, 2022, in Beijing, with the following Countries qualified to compete in ice hockey.
- Group A
- Canada (1)
- United States (6)
- Germany (7)
- China (12)
- Group B
- ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) (2)
- Czech Republic (5)
- Switzerland (8)
- Qualifier 3 (11)
- Group C
- Finland (3)
- Sweden (4)
- Qualifier 1 (9)
- Qualified 2 (10)
A final qualification tournament will determine the three remaining positions between August 26-29, 2021.