Canada's coaching staff for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship will have a big hand in the next step in the selection process for the team that will go to Malmo, Sweden for this year's tournament.
Brent Sutter, who will coach the team as it looks to return to the medal stand after finishing fourth at the 2013 WJC, will serve as coach for the two games the Western Hockey League stars will play against Russia in the 2013 Subway Super Series.
Sutter, who coaches the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL, will lead the team in games Nov. 27 in Red Deer, Alberta, and Nov. 28 in Lethbridge, Alberta. Serving as Sutter's assistant coach in those games will be Kootenay Ice coach Ryan McGill, who also will be on Sutter's staff for the WJC.
Sutter's other WJC assistant, Gatineau Olympiques coach Benoit Groulx, will coach the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team in its two games against Russia, Nov. 18 in Gatineau, Quebec, and Nov. 20 in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Groulx's assistant coach will be Halifax Mooseheads coach Dominick Ducharme.
Oshawa Generals coach D.J. Smith will coach the Ontario Hockey League team that will face Russia on Nov. 21 in Oshawa, Ontario, and London Knights coach Dale Hunter will be in charge for the OHL game against Russia on Nov. 25 in Sudbury, Ontario.
The 2014 World Juniors will be held from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2014. Sutter guided Canada to back-to-back gold medals in the event in 2005 and 2006.