Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hartsburg hangs up his national team whistle

Things are going to look a little different next year behind the bench of Canada’s national junior squad. When Team Canada takes to the ice in Ottawa next Christmas, the familiar face and voice of Craig Hartsburg won’t be there.

Nor will assistant coaches Clement Jodoin and Curtis Hunt be in their normal locations either, as Team Canada prepares for a whole new cast of on ice supervisors.

The three bench strategists for Canada’s Junior program declined to have their names left in consideration for the next Canadian quest for gold. Feeling that the time had come for some new faces and new ideas behind the Canadian bench, Hartsburg and his assistants felt the time was right to step aside.

Hartsburg leaves the program with a fairly impressive record of three straight gold medals, starting his stint as Brent Sutter’s assistant at the 2006 championship in Vancouver and wrapping up this past Christmas season in the Czech Republic, his second gold medal as the head man.

He’ll return to devoting his full attention to the Sault Ste, Marie Greyhounds, his OHL team, which every year for the last three he has left behind in order to retain Canadian supremacy in world hockey.

Hockey Canada is already busy whittling down its list of potential candidates, with Peter DeBoer the head coach of the Kitchener Rangers mentioned most often as the leading possibility for the Junior squad.

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