Brent Sutter to go for 3rd gold as Canadian junior hockey coach
Dale Hunter to coach U-18 team
Brent Sutter is back as coach of Canada's national junior hockey team.
The Red Deer Rebels coach, general manager and owner will be joined by assistant coaches Benoit Groulx and Ryan McGill at the 2014 IIHF world junior championship in Malmo, Sweden, Hockey Canada announced Wednesday.
Sutter, a 51-year-old native of Viking, Alta., has coached Canada in international competition on four previous occasions, most recently at last year's IIHF world hockey championship. He guided Canada to world junior gold in 2005 and 2006.
The former head coach of the Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils also represented Canada as a player on four occasions, including the 1986 world championship and 1984, 1987 and 1991 Canada Cups.
Groulx is the head coach and general manager of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Gatineau Olympiques and McGill is the head coach of the Western Hockey League's Kootenay Ice.
The 2014 world junior tournament begins Dec. 26. Canada finished fourth at the 2013 tournament in Ufa, Russia.
Canada's national junior team will gather in Brossard, Que., for practices on Aug. 4 and 5, before playing exhibition games in Lake Placid, N.Y., against Finland (Aug. 7), Sweden (Aug. 8) and the United States (Aug. 10).
Also Wednesday, Dale Hunter was named head coach of Canada's national summer under-18 squad. The 52-year-old from Petrolia, Ont., will be joined by assistants Dominique Ducharme and D.J. Smith at the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia.
Hunter is the head coach, owner and president of the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights. Ducharme is head coach of the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads and Smith is head coach of the OHL's Oshawa Generals.
The U18 team will gather in Toronto for a selection camp in late July before travelling to Europe for the Aug. 5-10 tournament. Canada has won the annual summer tournament five years in a row and 15 of the last 17 years.
Hockey Canada also announced several changes to the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence on Wednesday.
A new management group will oversee hockey operations for the program. Group members include Blainville-Boisbriand Armada GM Joel Bouchard, Phoenix Coyotes goaltender coach Sean Burke, Kelowna Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton and London Knights GM Mark Hunter.
The group will work directly with Brad Pascall and Scott Salmond to oversee operations of the under-17, under-18 and under-20 programs. Pascall is Hockey Canada's vice-president of hockey operations and national teams while Salmond is the senior director of hockey operations and national teams.
In addition, Ryan Jankowski has replaced Kevin Prendergast as the head scout of the men's Program of Excellence. Jankowski, 38, has spent the last three seasons as an amateur scout with the Montreal Canadiens after working five seasons as the assistant GM with the New York Islanders.
The Calgary native previously worked for Hockey Canada from 1996 to 2003 in a variety of roles. He will be responsible for all player evaluation and recruitment for Canada's national junior team and national men's U18 team development and selection camps, as well as evaluations with the U17 program.
The Program of Excellence policy committee remains in place to oversee direction of the program.
The committee includes chief executive officer Bob Nicholson, chief operating officer Scott Smith, OHL commissioner and CHL president David Branch, QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau, WHL commissioner Ron Robison and Hockey Canada officers Joe Drago and Michael Brind'amour.