Canada unlikely to alter world junior selection process

Canada's head coach Brent Sutter directs his team in the last minutes of play against Russia in the...

Canada's head coach Brent Sutter directs his team in the last minutes of play against Russia in the third period of their IIHF World Junior Championship bronze medal ice hockey game in Malmo, Sweden, January 5, 2014. (REUTERS)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:33 PM ET

MALMO, SWEDEN - Hockey Canada will continue to explore changes to its world junior program.

But it’s unlikely that selection camp numbers next December will balloon to 36-40 players again.

Just 25 were invited for the camp last month, and the feeling is that Hockey Canada will stick to a number in that vicinity.

Certainly, coach Brent Sutter will recommend that just 25 invitations go out again in 11 months.

“When you really think about it, why do you need to have 35, 40 players come to camp when you know that 12 or 15 of them aren’t going to be there anyway, before they’re even invited?” Sutter said. “Why are you putting kids through that misery? We were able to start building our team from Day 1.”

Does Sutter see a day when a 22-player roster is named and then a camp is held, with no cuts? Goalies Zach Fucale and Jake Paterson knew this year when they were named that they would not be cut. Sutter had to trim one defenceman and two forwards.

“I think you’ve got to be careful of that because of (possible) injuries,” Sutter said. “Our goaltending was actually pretty good. We needed to get them in the mix right away and get them focusing on supporting each other and pushing each other and getting our goaltending guys working with them.”

Over the weekend, Hockey Night in Canada's Don Cherry slammed Hockey Canada for its selection process, saying Canada's political correctness discourages it from taking the strongest team possible.


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