CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada has announced the three Canadian Hockey League (CHL) general managers that will make up the Program of Excellence management group for the 2023-24 season.
Dave Brown (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont./Erie, OHL) and Cam Russell (Cole Harbour, N.S./Halifax, QMJHL) will make their debuts as members of the POE management group, with Brown guiding the men’s under-17 program through the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and Russell leading the under-18 program through the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Peter Anholt (Naicam, Sask./Lethbridge, WHL) will return to the program to advise the under-20 program and Canada’s National Junior Team through the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Anholt will take over for James Boyd (Midland, Ont./Ottawa, OHL), whose two-year tenure with the under-20 program included back-to-back gold medals at the 2022 and 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships.
“We are excited to welcome Dave and Cam to the POE to lead our under-17 and under-18 programs, and to welcome back Peter as the under-20 lead after an outstanding job guiding our under-18 program,” said Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), senior vice-president of hockey operations. “All three individuals bring a wealth of CHL experience to our program, and we look forward to having them work alongside our athletes and staff while leading our men’s national teams next season.
“We also wish to thank James Boyd for two years of commitment and dedication to Canada’s National Junior Team. James was instrumental in helping Canada win two-straight gold medals at the World Juniors, and we are grateful for his effort and leadership over the past two years.”
Brown is in his eighth season (2015-23) as general manager of the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) after serving four seasons (2011-15) as director of hockey operations with the team. He helped lead Erie to an OHL championship in 2017, and contributed to a CHL record of four-consecutive 50-win seasons (2011-15). Prior to joining the Otters, Brown spent seven seasons with the Mississauga/Niagara IceDogs, serving as assistant general manager (2003-05) and general manager (2005-10).
Russell has spent 22 seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He has served as general manager for the past 15 years (2008-23), helping the Mooseheads win the Memorial Cup in 2013. Russell started his coaching career as an assistant with Halifax for three seasons (2000-03) before serving as a player development consultant for two years (2004-06). He also served as head coach for parts of five seasons (2006-11), adding the GM title to his coaching duties in 2008. As a player, he played 396 NHL games over 10 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks (1989-99) and Colorado Avalanche (1998-99), and won two Presidents Cup championships with the QMJHL’s Hull Olympiques.
Anholt has led the under-18 program for the past two seasons, helping Canada’s National Summer Under-18 Team win a gold medal at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. He is currently in his eighth full season (2015-23) as general manager of the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League (WHL) after being promoted from assistant general manager in 2014. Anholt also spent time as head coach of the Hurricanes for part of the 2014-15 season, and has won the WHL Executive of the Year award twice (2015-16, 2019-20). Anholt brings a wealth of WHL experience as a head coach, assistant coach and scout, including stints with the Prince Albert Raiders (1986-89, 2002-07), Seattle Thunderbirds (1989-92, 2012-14), Red Deer Rebels (1992-95, 1998-2000, 2007-08, 2011-12) and Kelowna Rockets (1996-98).
The management group will work alongside Salmond and Alan Millar (Tottenham, Ont.), director of player personnel, as well as the organization’s hockey operations staff. Day-to-day operations for the POE management group include assisting in coach and player selections, supporting the coaching staffs and providing input during camps and tournaments throughout the season.
The Program of Excellence will be overseen by Pat McLaughlin (Saint John, N.B.), Hockey Canada’s chief operating officer; Salmond; Millar; Dan MacKenzie (Guelph, Ont.), CHL president; David Branch (Bathurst, N.B.), OHL commissioner; Mario Cecchini (Saint-Lambert, Que.), incoming QMJHL commissioner; and Ron Robison (Indian Head, Sask.), WHL commissioner.
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