Jon Cooper to coach Team Canada at World Championships
Lightning coach Jon Cooper missed the playoffs for the first time in his coaching career.
But Cooper will still be coaching some very meaningful games this summer.
Cooper was named head coach of Team Canada for the World Championships next month in Paris, France and Cologne, Germany. He will lead a staff that includes Gerard Gallant Dave Hakstol and Dave King. Cooper, a Prince George, B.C. native, said he found out after Sunday's 4-2 win over Buffalo in the season finale. Canada has won gold in the past two world championships, and opens play May 5.
"It's an unbelievable honor to be afforded the opportunity to lead Canada at the World Championships," Cooper told the Times via text. "The bar has been set high in the last two tournaments, and we look to continue that success.
Cooper will be in his first stint with Team Canada. He served as an assistant for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey in September. It's unclear if any of his Lightning players will be on Team Canada. Wing Jonathan Drouin was invited but declined. Center Brayden Point said he wasn't going, either. The only two Lightning players confirmed to be competing are Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy, both for Russia.