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Claude Julien named Canada Olympic men’s hockey head coach

Channel One Cup: Canada vs Sweden

MOSCOW, RUSSIA DECEMBER 17, 2021: Canadas head coach Claude Julien attends his national teams 2021 Channel One Cup ice hockey match against Sweden at CSKA Arena as part of the 2021/22 Euro Hockey Tour. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)

Valery Sharifulin/TASS

Former NHL coach Claude Julien will coach Canada’s Olympic men’s hockey team at the Beijing Winter Games.

Julien, 61, was expected to be named the head coach after the NHL’s Olympic withdrawal on Dec. 22 meant that Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper would be stepping down.

Julien was Canada’s head coach at a pre-Olympic tournament in Europe earlier in December.

Julien was the Montreal Canadiens head coach -- his second stint at the helm of the club -- from 2017 to last February. He also coached the Boston Bruins for 10 seasons, winning the 2011 Stanley Cup, and was an assistant on Canada’s last Olympic gold-medal team in 2014.

Canada, which took bronze in PyeongChang after being upset by Germany in the semifinals, has yet to name its Olympic men’s hockey roster.

Canada is grouped with the U.S., Germany and host China at the Olympics.

The top team from each of the three groups, plus the best second-place team overall, advance directly into the quarterfinals. The rest advance to a play-in game for quarterfinal berths.

Canada’s last Olympic title without NHL players was in 1952. It has never won Olympic gold at a Games in Asia.

Former Vancouver Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins was Canada’s head coach in 2018.

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