After a year where almost every international hockey event was canceled, things are getting back to normal soon. The IIHF World Championships are scheduled for May 21 – June 6 in Riga, Latvia, where teams including many playoff-eliminated NHL players will represent their respective countries. Canada has announced its management team for the event today, with an interesting name at the top.
Roberto Luongo has been named general manager, with Shane Doan and Scott Salmond assisting him as part of the management group. Both Luongo and Salmond are part of the Olympic management group as well for Canada, meaning this is something of a test run for the bigger event. Tom Renney, CEO of Hockey Canada, released a statement explaining the decision:
Hockey Canada is excited to have Roberto lead our management group at the IIHF World Championship this year, and to continue to work with our entire Olympic management team as we continue to prepare for the 2022 Olympics. We are also fortunate to have Shane and Scott contribute as assistant general managers; both individuals bring a wealth of experience to Canada’s National Men’s Team. Roberto, Shane and Scott bring a strong combination of NHL and international experience, both on and off the ice, and they will complement each other as we work towards building a team that can compete for a gold medal.
Luongo certainly brings international experience. The former goaltender competed at two World Juniors, four World Championships, three Olympic Games and a World Cup over his long, exceptional career. He’ll now have to do his best work off the ice, selecting and convincing the best available players to compete in the spring tournament.