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The Globe and Mail

Coaching staff a seasoned crew

With the hockey world descending on Montreal for this weekend's 2009 NHL entry draft, the first major event, after today's board of governors meetings, will be the announcement of Canada's 2010 men's Olympic coaching staff.

As reported on Tuesday, sources with knowledge of the situation confirm that Steve Yzerman, Hockey Canada's executive director, will appoint a four-man coaching staff consisting of Mike Babcock as head man, assisted by Ken Hitchcock, Lindy Ruff and Jacques Lemaire.

Babcock works for Yzerman on the Detroit Red Wings' staff; Hitchcock was an assistant on the two previous Olympic teams; Ruff was behind the bench for Canada's silver-medal winning team at the 2009 world championships; and Lemaire, while currently out of work, was the long-time Minnesota Wild head coach and is favoured to return to the NHL as the next coach of the New Jersey Devils.

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In selecting a coaching staff for a homegrown Olympics, Canada wanted to include a diverse group with a wide range of experience.

The dynamic of the staff will be interesting, given that Babcock has the least amount of NHL head coaching experience among the four chosen to guide Canada's fortunes in 2010.

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