Sutter concedes Canada is failing at grassroots level

Canada's head coach Brent Sutter directs his team against Germany during the second period of their...

Canada's head coach Brent Sutter directs his team against Germany during the second period of their IIHF World Junior Championship ice hockey game in Malmo, Sweden, December 26, 2013. (REUTERS)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:54 PM ET

Brent Sutter has coached Canada in three world junior championships.

And from his spot behind the bench, Sutter has taken notes. Plenty, to be sure.

Is Canada getting it done at the grassroots level across the nation, in minor hockey?

In a word — or in Sutter’s case, several — no.

“There’s too much focus on winning and losing at such a young age,” said Sutter, who also has a keen eye from his perch as owner, general manager and coach of the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League.

“And not enough about the skill part of it. That’s truly where it starts. At 16- and 17-years-old when they hit the Canadian Hockey League, there should already be a standard of skill already in place.

 


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