Mike Babcock will coach Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where the Canadians will look to defend the gold medal they won four years earlier in Vancouver, Canada. Babcock was the coach of that gold medal-winning team and he is bringing back the same staff from it as Ken Hitchcock, Claude Julien and Lindy Ruff all take another turn behind the bench.
Four years ago, Babcock's Team Canada stumbled in the preliminary round, losing to the United States. That loss sent the Canadians to the qualification playoffs and started a four-game win streak, the last of which was in the gold medal game against the Americans, where they got their revenge to capture the gold medal on home soil.
The Olympics begin on Feb. 6, but the hockey tournament does not start until Feb. 12. The format is identical to the one in 2010, with 12 teams in the tournament and three groups of four in the preliminary round before four rounds of elimination games.
Canada has been placed in Group B for the preliminary round, where they will join Finland, Norway and Austria.
Hockey Canada also announced that its Olympic orientation camp will run from Aug. 25-28 in Calgary. This announcement, along with the confirmation that Babcock and his staff will return for another Olympics, comes just days after the NHL agreed to let its players compete in this upcoming Games. It will be the fifth consecutive Olympics to feature NHL players.