Jon Cooper selected to lead Hockey Canada’s Men’s Team in the 2025 4 Nations Face-Off & 2026 Olympic Winter Games

Photo: NHL

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper has been selected by Hockey Canada to lead the Canadian team at both the 2025 4 Nations Face-Off and the 2026 Winter Olympics. Cooper, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Tampa Bay Lightning hailing from Prince George, B.C., will be in charge of both events. He will oversee the Four Nations Face-Off scheduled for February and will also take on the role of head coach for Canada at the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. This marks Cooper’s return as Canada’s head coach, following his previous leadership of the national men’s team to a silver medal at the 2017 World Hockey Championship.

In 2008, Jon Cooper began his tenure as the head coach of the Green Bay Gamblers in the United States Hockey League (USHL). Over the course of the 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons, he guided the team to an impressive combined record of 84 wins, 27 losses, and 9 ties. Cooper’s leadership proved instrumental in the team’s triumph in 2010, as they clinched the Clark Cup, the USHL’s coveted championship title. His outstanding coaching skills garnered him recognition as the USHL Coach of the Year. Notably, Cooper holds the distinction of being the sole coach to have secured championships across all three tiers of junior hockey in the United States. Furthermore, he contributed his expertise as an assistant coach for Team North America during the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Had NHL players been eligible to compete, Cooper was poised to lead Team Canada at the 2022 Beijing Games.

In 2010, Jon Cooper was hired by the Tampa Bay Lightning to coach their AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals. The following season, 2011–12, was exceptional for the Admirals as they clinched the Calder Cup, becoming AHL champions. A notable achievement during that season was the team’s impressive 28-game winning streak in the regular season, breaking a new record in North American professional sports. Cooper’s coaching abilities were recognized when he received the 2012 Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award, honoring him as the AHL’s top head coach. After the Lightning changed their AHL affiliation, Cooper took over as the head coach of the Syracuse Crunch. During his tenure with the Crunch, Cooper guided the team to a remarkable 39–18–3–5 record in 65 games, the best in the AHL at that time. Finally, on March 25, 2013, the Tampa Bay Lightning officially announced Cooper as their head coach.

On January 9, 2024, Cooper achieved his 500th NHL win by leading his team to an overtime victory against the L.A. Kings. Cooper recently finished his twelfth season in Tampa Bay, where he holds the record for most regular-season games coached (879), wins (480), playoff games coached (139), and playoff wins (84). As the longest-tenured active coach in the NHL, he has played a crucial role in the success of the Lightning, helping them secure two Stanley Cup victories in 2020 and 2021, as well as reaching the Cup Finals in 2015 and 2022.

The initial lineups for the 4 Nations Face-Off, scheduled to take place from February 12 to 20 in Montreal and Boston, are anticipated to be revealed later this week.

The 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, will mark the return of NHL players to the Games after their last appearance in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.

Karen Zehner

Credentialed Beat Writer covering the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators. Diving into the world of slap shots, penalty kills, and the game we love. [@RunwithK] on socials.

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