Friday, May 24, 2013

Prendergast/Tugnutt Done with Hockey Canada

Rumored over the last couple of days, it's now confirmed that Hockey Canada has cut ties with head scout Kevin Prendergast and goalie coach Ron Tugnutt

Prendergast was hired in September of 2010 and oversaw the U18 and U20 teams and worked with the U17 program as well.

How did they do? We'll check the record after the jump.

Canada wins gold at 2013 World U18
There were 8 tournaments played under Prendergast's tenure with Hockey Canada during which time Canada brought home 6 medals; 3 golds, 1 silver and 2 bronze. 

Canada struck gold at both the 2011 and 2012 Ivan Hlinka U18 tournaments where they have traditionally dominated the international teams who have participated. 

Historically Canada has not fared well at the World U18s because the majority of its talent pool is still active in the CHL playoffs. However, two of Canada's five all-time podium finishes came on Prendergast's watch; a 2012 bronze in Germany and 2013 gold in Russia, one of just three gold medals ever won by Canada at the event. 

However, there is no question that failure at the U20 level is what most will point to. In the last four yeas, four countries have dominated the World Junior tournament - The United States, Russia, Sweden and Canada. All three of those nations have three medal finishes in that time and all three countries have missed the podium completely as well. But only Canada has not managed to win gold. 

Photo: IIHF Images
Goaltending has been a major concern for Hockey Canada in the last decade and although the 2013 draft class is a very promising one, it's been a while since Canada was considered a top goalie producer. Earlier this week on The Pipeline Show, CHL President David Branch discussed an upcoming summit which will focus on the need to develop goalies in Canada. 

Ron Tugnutt has also been on The Pipeline Show in recent years suggesting that the CHL allows too many European and American goaltenders into Major Junior hockey which prevents Canadian netminders from developing to a higher level. 

There is no word yet on who may replace either Prendergast or Tugnutt. 

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