Colliton to replace Julien as Canadian Olympic team head coach

Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton, centre top, yells to his team during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Chicago. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AP)

Hockey Canada announced on Sunday that Jeremy Colliton will replace Claude Julien as head coach of the Canadian Olympic men's hockey team for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

Julien sustained fractured ribs in a team-building activity during his team's training camp in Switzerland. The former Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins coach was advised not to travel to Beijing by Team Canada medical staff.

“Claude was beyond excited and honoured to be a member of Team Canada at the Olympics, and we are all disappointed that he will no longer be able to lead our team in Beijing,” said general manager Shane Doan in a statement.

Colliton joined the Olympic team as an assistant to Julien's staff on Jan. 14. The 37-year-old was fired by the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 6, exactly three years after becoming the then-youngest active head coach in the NHL.

“While it is difficult to fill in for a coach that has a pedigree like Claude Julien, I am honoured to be considered as the person to lead Canada’s men’s Olympic team as head coach,” Colliton said in a statement. “We have a very close-knit, experienced coaching staff that has gained a lot of knowledge from Claude in our short time together, and I know our staff will continue to support each other as we look to achieve our goal of winning an Olympic gold medal.”

Tyler Dietrich and former Vancouver Canuck Nolan Baumgartner will join as assistant coaches. Hockey Canada added that assistant general manager and senior vice-president of hockey operations Tom Renney will provide day-to-day assistance to Colliton's coaching staff.

Canada will begin the Olympic men's hockey tournament on Feb. 10 against Germany.

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