Roller Hockey Canada (RHC) announced today that Kirk Jensen (Edmonton, AB) has been named as the General Manager of Team Canada for the 2017 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championships to take place June 24 - July 1, 2017 in Bratislava, Slovakia.
“I am very honoured to accept the role of General Manager for Team Canada as we defend our world championship title this June in Slovakia, " said Jensen. "From discussions with the Board of Directors and Head Coach Jason Stephens we share the same vision of excellence for our program that includes the players, sponsors and supporters. As defending World Champions, I feel a deep responsibility to do all I can with the experience and assets I bring from my years through the game of inline and managing internationally. I want this to be a program that our elite players want to come to and the grass roots want to aspire to. It’s an exciting time for our sport and look forward to sharing all the experiences of the team and championship right across our great country.”
"We are thrilled to have Kirk take the reins this year and continue to build on the past foundation of our program," commented Scott Hill, RHC President. "We are extremely confident in Kirk's experience, passion, organizational and leadership skills that will make this a smooth transition and the team will be well prepared for puck drop in Bratislava in a couple months."
Jensen comes to Team Canada with an impressive resume including:
- 5 years as Scout with the Camrose Kodiaks Jr A
- Director with Alberta Minor Roller Hockey Association
- Director Team Alberta Inline Program
- NCCP Coaching, Safety and Speakout Certifications
- Team Alberta Head Coach - State Wars AAA Champions
- 18 marathons completed worldwide including Boston (3x), Athens, New York, Berlin, Paris, Chicago, Tokyo, London
- 25 years international business development and management
Jensen has already begun working on preparations for the tryout camps and the eventual trip to Slovakia including meeting with the coaching staff, finalizing Team Selection Camp details, travel and accommodation details in Slovakia, equipment orders, daily schedules and all team logistics.
Roller Hockey Canada wishes to say a big THANK YOU to outgoing GM Nathan Fleck who is unable to attend this year's event due to scheduling conflicts. "I'm very excited that our program has been able to find a quality individual like Kirk Jensen," said Fleck. "Kirk brings a passion for the game of roller hockey and winning experience at all levels in our sport to the position of General Manager. I am confident that Kirk will excel in this role and continue the winning tradition of our Team Canada Program."
"Nathan has really been the glue for this program from the start in 2008 right up until today, " said Hill. "He brought stability, passion and a collaborative approach that allowed the coaching staff and players to operate in a successful environment. Under Nathan's direction, the program improved every year after starting in Division 1 the first year, moving up to the Top Division in year 2, claiming gold in 2012, a run of five consecutive years on the medal podium and a second World Championship in 2015. His record as GM speaks for itself. While he won't be as hands on this year as much as in past years, Nathan will be providing background support to Jensen and the team right up until departure to Slovakia."
Canada will enter the 2017 World Championships as the #1 seed after winning the gold medal in 2015. Their round robin opponents in Group A include Slovakia (4th), USA (5th) and Croatia (8th). Group B will see Finland (2nd), Sweden (3rd), Czech Republic (6th) and Germany (7th) compete for seeding going into the playoff rounds. After the round robin wraps up all 8 teams will move into the quarterfinals and crossover against the other Group.
Full tournament details including live updates, rosters, schedules, stats and video streaming will be available at www.iihf.com.
About Roller Hockey
Canada Roller Hockey Canada is the governing body for roller/inline hockey in Canada, recognized by Hockey Canada, USA Hockey and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). Roller Hockey Canada represents players, coaches, officials and volunteers across the country. Roller Hockey Canada is a not-for-profit organization that provides consistent rules and regulations and various other membership services from coast to coast; manages an officials and coaches program, and leads the operation of the men's national team that represents Canada at the IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship. Roller Hockey Canada’s mission is to “foster and promote the growth and development of roller hockey across Canada.