Pressure to win is nothing new for Hockey Canada. But that pressure will only be heightened this year.
The Canada national junior team summer development camp gets underway Sunday just outside Montreal in Brossard, Quebec. It's there that 41 players will take their first few steps to earn a chance to play in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, which begins Dec. 26 in Montreal and Toronto.
It's one thing to represent Canada in the WJC, it's quite another to do it at home. Playing the tournament in Canada's two biggest cities adds another level of pressure to this year's event.
Canada coach Benoit Groulx of the Gatineau Olympiques in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League knows this. But four months before the start of the tournament, he's not worried about the pressure.
In fact, he's embracing it.
"A lot of people are talking about pressure, and I think pressure is good," Groulx said. "It means we have a chance to win, it means we have a good team. There are teams who come to this tournament who say they have no pressure, but that means they don't think they will win. So for us, it's a positive. We are very aware of how big this will be, and that will be on the agenda for our week with the players. We're going to talk to them about it, but the players are also very aware of all that."