Ken Klee, a former NHL player, has been named head coach of USA Hockey’s national women’s team that will play in the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
Team USA is the two-time defending champion.
That tournament is scheduled for Kamloops, March 28 through April 4.
Klee is no stranger to the women’s team, as this will the sixth consecutive event for
him as its head coach, including the second straight world championship. He has a 14-2-1-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record and the team has won four of the five events in which he has been the head coach.
The most recent of those events was the 2015 Four Nations Cup in Sundsvall, Sweden, where the U.S. went 3-1-0-0 to win the tournament.
Also in 2015, the U.S., with Klee as head coach, won the world championship in Malmo, Sweden. He also guided the women’s team to first place at the 2015 U-22 Series, beating Canada in two of three games.
Klee, a native of Indianapolis, played for seven NHL teams, finishing with 55 goals and 140 assists in 934 career regular-season games. He also had international experience as a player, playing in one IIHF World Junior Championship (1991), two IIHF Men's World Championships (1992, 1997) and one World Cup of Hockey (2004).
Klee’s assistant coaches will be Brett Strot of Tampa, Fla., and Chris Tamer of Dearborn, Mich. Strot has been on the staff for three other events, including the 2015 world championship. Tamer, a former defenceman, also was on the coaching staff at the 2015 world tournament.
Team USA is expected to reveal its roster for the world championship on Feb. 24.
Teams from Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Japan, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland also will compete for the championship, the 17th time the event will have been played.
The U.S. and Canada have met in the championship game of all previous tournaments. Canada won the first eight times; Team USA has won six of the last eight.
Canada and the U.S., along with Finland and Russia, will play in Group A in Kamloops. Team USA and Canada will meet on the tournament’s opening night, March 28.