Ken Hitchcock to lead Canada

Ken Hitchcock will lead Canada's entry at the hockey world championships later this month in Slovakia.

Hitchcock, a former Stanley Cup winner and member of two Canadian Olympic gold medal coaching staffs, will be joined by former Florida Panthers coach Peter DeBoer and Columbus Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel as assistants.

Hitchcock was an assistant on Mike Babcock's Olympic staff in Vancouver in 2010, where Team Canada won the gold medal. He has worked with seven national teams for Canada, including the 2008 world championship squad that won the silver medal in Quebec City.

Canada last won the gold medal in the worlds in 2007. It finished seventh last year in Germany, the country's worst showing since 1992.

Canada will open tournament play against Belarus on April 29 in Kosice, Slovakia.

Hitchcock, who won the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999, also coached the Philadelphia Flyers and the Blue Jackets.

DeBoer was fired by the Panthers on Sunday, after the team finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

Under Arneil, the Blue Jackets finished 13th overall in the Western Conference this season.

The tournament runs April 29 through May 15.

Information from ESPN.com's Scott Burnside and The Associated Press was used in this report.