Rumours pushed aside
Brent Sutter will focus on junior nationals and Rebels, not Flames
By TODD SAELHOF, CALGARY SUN
The name Sutter is synonymous with total commitment and dedication to
hockey. That said, Brent Sutter's decision to accept the head coach's
post with the Canadian junior team means he won't be joining brother
Darryl Sutter and the Calgary Flames next season.
At least, not until after the 2005 World Junior Hockey Championship
in the U.S.
"I made a decision to the program on Friday," said Sutter, who
rumours suggest could take the coaching reins of the Flames should
big brother Darryl opt to concentrate solely on the NHL club's GM
duties next season. "It's the direction that I'm going."
Although hockey talk is regular fare between the brothers from
Viking, Brent refused to divulge during yesterday's Hockey Canada
announcement at the Saddledome whether he's talked to Darryl about
the possibility of joining the Flames in the future.
The younger Sutter is currently the owner, governor, president, GM
and head coach of the WHL's Red Deer Rebels.
"I'm perfectly happy doing what I'm doing in Red Deer," Sutter
said. "But I have this opportunity and I've decided it's the best
situation for me at this time."
Yet involvement as a coach with the world junior team is often seen
as a stepping stone for would-be NHL bench bosses. Coaches who've
made the jump in the past include Don Hay, Dave King, Guy Charron,
Tom Renney, Tom Webster, Claude Julien, Mike Babcock and Terry
Simpson. Hay, King and Charron each coached the Flames.
"To say I'm doing this for my resume? No," said Sutter when asked
about an NHL coaching career. "I played all those years in the NHL
and I came back and made a commitment to the Red Deer Rebels -- and
we've done well. But to say whether (coaching in the NHL) is down the
road or not, I can't answer that today."
Sutter will lead juniors at worlds
Canada names bench bosses
By CAMERON MAXWELL, CALGARY SUN
If Brent Sutter can lead an unheralded Red Deer Rebels club to the
WHL Western Conference final, imagine what he'll do with Canada's
finest junior players. Sutter was unveiled as the new head coach of
the 2005 junior national team by Hockey Canada yesterday at a
Saddledome press conference.
And Melody Davidson will coach the Canadian women's team for the 2006
Olympics and 2004-05 season, while Dave Cameron becomes the bench
boss for the men's under-18 summer team.
Sutter, GM-head coach of the Rebels, took his team -- which many WHL
pundits had pegged to miss the playoffs -- further than anybody
expected last season.
"This is something I wanted to do and my focus here is to give our
kids the best opportunity to try and accomplish the goal we want to
accomplish," said the 41-year-old from Viking, who led the Rebels to
a Memorial Cup title in 2001 and won two Stanley Cups, with the New
York Islanders, over his 18-year NHL career.
Calgarian Dean Chynoweth and Jim Hulton, head coach of the OHL's
Kingston Frontenacs will be Sutter's assistants.
When it comes to player selections, Sutter gets the final say as to
who cracks the roster and, given most of the players on last year's
silver medal team were 18 years old, the 2005 edition will be more
"One person has to make the decision at the end of the day and that
is the head coach. Yet you have to use all the resources that you can
and hear your assistant coaches out and listen to people outside your
coaching staff," said Sutter, who will be in Calgary in mid-August
for the Team Canada junior development camp.
He expects a lot out of his players and that won't change with the
junior team as the goal is to win gold for the first time since 1997.
"I know what the expectations are and I expect players to perform up
to their potential and do what they need to do all the time," said
Sutter, who won two Canada Cups ('87 and '91) and took bronze in the
1986 world championship.
Hockey Canada's head scout, Blair Mackasey, will name the camp
invitees later this month.
The world junior championship goes Dec. 25, 2004 through Jan. 4, 2005
in Grand Forks, N.D. and Thief River Falls, Minn.
As for Davidson, who hails from Oyen, Alta., she has the tough task
of helping the Canadian women defend their 2002 Olympic Gold medal.
But the head coach of Cornell University's women's team, who was
national team head coach in 1999-2000 and led the team to the 2000
world championship, is up for the challenge.
Meanwhile, Cameron, bench boss of the OHL's St. Michael's Major will
lead Canada's under-18 team for the Junior World Cup in Piestany,
Slovakia and Breclav, Czech Republic from Aug. 10-20. His assistants
are Shawn Camp, the Guelph Storm's head coach and Gatineau Olympiques
head coach Benoit Groulx.