More Sutter for Jr. nats

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- Brent Sutter will return to coach Canada's junior team for the 2006 world championship in Vancouver, sources confirmed.

Sutter was behind the bench last winter in Grand Forks, N.D., when Canada won the gold medal, breaking a string of seven championships without the top prize.

Sutter was coy yesterday when asked if he would be back.

"The meetings I have had (with Hockey Canada) have gone well," Sutter said.

Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson had said last month the job would be Sutter's if he wanted it.

Sutter will attempt to become the first man to be coach for consecutive gold medals with the national junior team. Only three others -- Stan Butler, Dave King and Terry Simpson -- have coached Canada's juniors in consecutive years.

Sutter's task to win another gold will present a challenge. Just two players -- forward Sidney Crosby and defenceman Cam Barker -- are eligible to return from last winter's club. But if the NHL has resumed, Crosby undoubtedly will be with the team that drafts him and Barker could be with Chicago Blackhawks, who drafted him third overall last year.

IT'S NOT ME

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Wayne Gretzky both watched Crosby play this week but Crosby did not buy the idea they were there just to watch him.

"I don't think they're coming to see me," Crosby said after the Oceanic's win on Wednesday night. "Junior hockey in Canada is huge. The Memorial Cup is a big deal, so to see those people, it's surprising in a way, but at the same time, everyone loves hockey."


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