Sutter won't commit

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:17 AM ET

If there were any doubts, junior nats bench boss Brent Sutter laid them to rest after arriving at Calgary International Airport yesterday.

Sutter and members of Canada's world champion junior club were greeted by a throng of media and about 50 fans, who applauded as the coach and players emerged into the WestJet waiting area after flying in from Winnipeg.

After Tuesday's 6-1 drubbing of Russia in the final, many hockey pundits called the Canadians the best junior squad ever assembled and Sutter, also the GM-head coach of the Red Deer Rebels, heartily agreed.

"Absolutely. How could they not be?" said Sutter, who helped build the team and guided the juniors to their first world title since 1997.

"You go to a world junior championship and you dominate like they did, not just one or two games but every game -- everyone saw it and I'm not just blowing smoke. It's a fact."

Many credit Sutter for guiding the club to a perfect 6-0 record, scoring 41 goals and allowing just seven against throughout the tourney.

But Sutter, the brother of Calgary Flames GM-head coach Darryl Sutter, said all the praise belongs to his charges.

"It's all about the players. Your job is to provide leadership and provide a plan and the kids jumped right on board," he said.

Despite his success, Sutter's not sure if he'll be back to coach the juniors next year.

"I don't know. It's a lot of work and a big commitment," he said.

"Plus, it's a long time away from your team."

Sutter arrived in Calgary with Rebels Dion Phaneuf and Colin Fraser, as well as Kootenay Ice goaltender Jeff Glass, who backstopped the Canadians to the win.

Phaneuf, a highly-touted Calgary Flames prospect, said with all the red and white in the stands, it felt like he was skating on home ice.

"The fan support was unbelievable. The Canadians that came down to Grand Forks made us feel like we were playing in Canada and that started in Winnipeg. It was unbelievable right from day one in training camp," said Phaneuf, sporting a gold medal around his neck.

After the game, the Canadians hopped on a bus bound for Winnipeg, arrived at 3:30 a.m. then celebrated during the wee hours of the morning.

"We went out for a couple of pops after we got there and I still haven't had any sleep yet. But I got to see my parents for about 20 minutes after the game and it was special sharing the moment with them," said Glass, who hails from Cochrane.


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