TORONTO, Ont. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Friday that Brent Sutter (Viking, Alta.), head coach, general manager and owner of the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels, will be head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, scheduled for Dec. 26, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014 in Malmö, Sweden. Benoît Groulx, head coach and general manager of the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques, and Ryan McGill, head coach of the WHL’s Kootenay Ice, will serve as assistant coaches.
Brent Sutter, 51, has coached Canada in international competition on four previous occasions, most recently at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Sutter led Canada to gold medals at the 2005 and 2006 IIHF World Junior Championships, going undefeated in 12 games over the two tournaments, and to a 7-0-1 record in the 2007 Canada-Russia Super Series, which featured both countries’ national junior teams. Sutter won the CHL Coach of the Year award in 2000-01 after guiding Red Deer to a Memorial Cup title. He returned to the Rebels bench last season after three seasons at the helm of the NHL’s Calgary Flames and two as head coach of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. Sutter also represented Canada as a player on four occasions, at the 1986 IIHF World Championship and 1984, 1987 and 1991 Canada Cups.
Benoît Groulx, 45, is in his 10th season with the Olympiques organization after serving as head coach from 2002-08 before two years as head coach of the AHL’s Rochester Americans. Groulx returned to the Olympiques prior to the 2010-11 season as head coach and general manager. He has led Gatineau to three Memorial Cup appearances, in 2003, 2004 and 2008, finishing as runner-up in both 2003 and 2004. Groulx was named head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, but accepted a position with Rochester prior to the 2008-09 season. He was named QMJHL coach of the year in 2003-04.
Ryan McGill, 44, the reigning WHL coach of the year, is in his second stint as head coach of the Kootenay Ice, returning to the club for the 2012-13 season. McGill worked with the NHL’s Calgary Flames for six seasons, serving as an assistant coach with the Flames from 2009-11 after four years as head coach of their AHL affiliates in Omaha and Quad Cities. McGill was the head coach of the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack for three seasons from 2002-05 after guiding the Ice from 1998-2002. McGill led Kootenay to two Memorial Cup appearances, in 2000 and 2002, winning the championship in 2002.
This year, 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).
For more information on Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca, or follow along through social media at www.facebook.com/hockeycanada, www.twitter.com/hockeycanada and www.twitter.com/hc_men.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)