TORONTO – The sun may be scorching and the national holiday around the corner on July 1, but that hasn’t stopped Hockey Canada from continuing a busy period in its off-season. Last week it announced Toronto and Montreal as co-hosts for the 2015 and 2017 U20 World Championships, and today, at a large conference in Toronto, it made several more announcements.
First and foremost, Brent Sutter, who coached Canada to gold at the 2005 and 2006 U20s with perfect 6-0 records each year, will be back behind the bench for Canada at the 2014 U20 in Malmö, Sweden. His assistants will be Benoît Groulx and Ryan McGill. Sutter also coached the men’s national team at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Helsinki and played at three Canada Cup tournaments – in 1984, 1987, and 1991, all victories for Canada.
Additionally, Hockey Canada announced that Dale Hunter, head coach of the London Knights, will coach the Canadian U18 entry at the Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in August. While Canada has not fared well at the IIHF U18, usually held in April concurrently with the Memorial Cup, it has won gold 15 of the last 17 times at the Hlinka tournament when all of its best players are available.
Hunter’s assistants will be Dominique Ducharme and D.J. Smith, both head coaches in the CHL, Ducharme with Halifax and Smith with Oshawa.
As well, Hockey Canada has re-structured its Program of Excellence. A new management group will oversee all operations. The group consists of Joel Bouchard, Sean Burke, Bruce Hamilton, and Mark Hunter.
Bouchard id the general manager of Blainville-Boisbriand Armada; Burke is goalie coach with the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes; Hamilton is the GM of the Kelowna Rockets; and, Hunter, brother of Dale, is the GM of the London Knights. These four, along with Scott Salmond and Brad Pascall, will run the U17, U18, and U20 programs.
Finally, Ryan Jankowski is replacing Kevin Prendergast as the head scout for the Program of Excellence.