South Korea has turned to a former National Hockey League defenseman to lead its men’s national hockey team, hoping his playing experience and coaching acumen could help the country qualify for the next Winter Olympics on home ice.
The Korea Ice Hockey Association announced Wednesday it has signed Jim Paek, the first player of Korean descent to play in the NHL, as the new head coach and executive director of the men’s national team. He agreed to a four-year deal but financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Paek, 47, was born in Seoul but moved to Canada at age 1. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1985 and made his NHL debut during the 1990-1991 season.
Paek won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Penguins, playing alongside superstars such as Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis and Paul Coffey, in 1991 and 1992. (Yonhap)