Roberto Luongo and Shane Doan are very familiar with the pressure of
wearing the Maple Leaf on the ice internationally, and they’ll be drawing
on that experience as they lead Team Canada at the 2021 IIHF World
“To be a part of [Team Canada] in any way, even as management now, is
something that I’ll always do. And I think I can help some of the younger
guys understand what that truly means,” Doan, the assistant general
The Halkirk, Alta., native played 49 games across six appearances at
worlds, captaining Team Canada three times and winning a pair of gold
medals – in 2003 and 2007.
He was joined for that first golden moment by Luongo, a Montreal product
who tended goal 15 times in his four appearances and added a second gold in
2004. Seventeen years later, Luongo is back in the Team Canada fold as general
“(I’m a) little nervous. I haven’t been in management that long, it’s only
been a year and a half, almost two years,” says Luongo, who is also part of
the management group for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. “Very excited and
honoured and really thankful that they gave me this opportunity.”
There will still be some new experiences for the leadership group in
Latvia, with the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting many parts of the world.
The tournament will be played in a bubble without fans, and teams will be
under strict safety protocols.
“As management we’re going to understand that there are things that you
don’t see normally coming, don’t see normally happening at different times
and we’re going to make sure we’re flexible and capable of making it work,”
Besides being adaptable to the unique situation of life in a bubble, Luongo
says knowing what it is like to wear red and white will be a huge support
to his team, with 21 of 25 players in their first world championship.
“Even though I didn’t win every single time I wore it … just being together
with a bunch of guys for a two- or three-week span … trying to create
memories is what it’s all about and knowing that the whole nation is behind
you, watching you, makes it so much more special,” he says.
Doan adds that teams typically bring their best game to play Canada,
especially the host country. Even without fans, he doesn’t expect this year
to be different.
“You get over there and you realize this is their big moment and the
passion and intensity they bring to play Team Canada is incredible and … so
on the management side you start to be able to express those issues that go
“I think I always try to put myself in the player’s shoes and I remember
when I was going to [worlds], I was bit younger, it was exciting,” Luongo
says. “Even though it was a disappointing end to the NHL season, for me it
was a way to put that behind me and live an experience and represent my