Canada replaces injured Olympic men’s hockey head coach Claude Julien

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DAVOS, Switzerland — Jeremy Colliton has been elevated to head coach of Canada’s men’s hockey team for the Beijing Olympics after Claude Julien was sidelined by an injury.

Hockey Canada says Julien slipped on ice and fractured his ribs during training camp in Switzerland, and medical staff determined he won’t be able to fly to China for the Games.

Colliton, who was previously an assistant coach for the team, will take over head coaching duties.

The 37-year-old Colliton was the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks for parts of four seasons before he was fired in November.

The former center played professionally for six seasons for the New York Islanders and Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League before moving into coaching in the Alberta Junior Hockey League and the Swedish league HockeyAllsvenskan.

Colliton says in a statement he is honored to lead the team and that he’s gained a lot of knowledge from Julien in their short time together.

Julien, 61, replaced Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper as head coach after the NHL withdrew from Olympic participation in December.

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’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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