Sutter returning as jr. coach

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League got their man.

Sources confirmed to The Free Press last night that Brent Sutter will be back to coach Canada at the 2006 world junior championship when it is played in British Columbia. Sutter coached Canada to its first gold medal in eight years this year in Grand Forks, N.D.

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds coach-GM Craig Hartsburg and Lewiston Maineiacs coach-GM Clement Jodoin will be the assistant coaches.

Sutter was in London yesterday for an "interview" with the national junior team policy committee, which includes Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson and CHL president and OHL commissioner David Branch. The interview was only a formality after Sutter told Hockey Canada last week he would take the job for a second straight year.

Nicholson had said in the April 30 Free Press that the job was Sutter's if he chose to return.

Canada may not have one returning player from the 2005 championship team if the NHL is back in business, but Sutter had said he wouldn't turn his back on the team for that reason. "Challenges are always great," he said.

Hartsburg and Jodoin also had applied for the head coaching role, along with Shawn Camp of the Sarnia Sting, Cory Clouston of the Kootenay Ice, Jeff Truitt of the Kelowna Rockets, Benoit Groulx of the Gatineau Olympiques and Curtis Hunt of the Regina Pats.

Clouston was named CHL coach of the year on Tuesday.

Hockey Canada will select its three-man coaching staff for the world under-18 team from the interviews being conducted in London this week. Camp coached this year's under-18 team, which lost the gold-medal game to the U.S. in Plzen, Czech Republic, in late April.


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