Kingsbury returns to Canadian women's hockey team, and continues with PWHL Toronto

CALGARY — Gina Kingsbury has returned to Hockey Canada to oversee the national women's team through the 2026 Olympic Games while also managing Toronto's club in the new Professional Women's Hockey League.

Hockey Canada announced Sunday that the two-time Olympic gold medallist in women's hockey from Rouyn-Noranda, Que., will hold dual jobs.

She'd departed the national governing body of hockey in September for the PWHL.

Troy Ryan of Spryfield, N.S., will coach both the national team and Toronto's PWHL club.

Hockey Canada announced in 2022 a four-year extension for Ryan through the 2026 Winter Games in Italy.

So the duo will continue to lead the Canadian women through world championships and the Rivalry Series against the United States. This year's seven-game Rivalry Series opens Wednesday in Tempe, Ariz., and Saturday in Los Angeles.

“I am excited to return to the national women’s team and continue to work toward our collective goal of winning gold medals at the world championship and Olympics,” Kingsbury said Sunday in a statement. “While my role will look a little different than before, I continue to have the same amount of pride in wearing the Maple Leaf and I remain committed to helping build a team that Canadians can be proud to support over the next three seasons.”

Kingsbury and Ryan steered Canada to back-to-back world titles in 2021 and 2022 and an Olympic gold medal in Beijing in 2022.

The Canadians lost their world title in the 2023 final to the United States in Brampton, Ont. The 2024 women's world championship April 3-14 will be played in Utica, N.Y.

The six-team PWHL, with Canadian clubs in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal, is set to begin regular-season play in January. Training camps will open Nov. 13.

“We are thrilled to have Gina and Troy continue to lead our national women’s team through the 2026 Olympics and provide consistency to our program,” said Hockey Canada senior vice-president of hockey operations Scott Salmond.

"While the landscape of women’s professional hockey has changed, Gina and Troy’s commitment to Hockey Canada while also holding important roles in the PWHL demonstrates the importance of our program and representing our country while growing the professional game.”

Also Sunday, Hockey Canada announced the 23 players who were named to the Canadian team for the first two games of the Rivalry Series.

Marie-Philip Poulin, Brianne Jenner and Jocelyne Larocque are some of the veterans on the roster, which includes three goaltenders, eight defenders and 12 forwards.

The list includes 17 players who won world silver last year and three players - Jessica DiGirolamo, Sophia Jaques and Corinne Schroeder - who will make their debut on the national women's team.

“Our roster combines veteran leadership with young talent, and we know this group is excited to officially begin a new season and represent Canada south of the border," Kingsbury said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2023.

The Canadian Press