© Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now
Grove Sutton will take the reigns on the Blues bench beginning tonight in Port Hawkesbury.
SPRINGHILL - Grove Sutton is the new head coach of the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League's Cumberland County Blues after Rob McLure stepped down as coach.
"Rob and I talked a little bit before we made the announcement to the team at practice on Wednesday night," said Sutton. "It was Rob's decision to step down. He's an engineer and he has offices all over the place and he's in the air more than he's on the ground and has a really heavy workload."
McLure will still be involved with the team.
"He's going to play an advisory role with us," said Sutton. "He's from New Brunswick and has a lot of connections up there, so he's going to give us a hand wherever he can."
McLure's son, Michael, is going to keep playing for the Blues.
"He's going to try to get to as many games as he can and hopefully be my eyes-in-the-sky and see some things up in the stands that you don't see on the bench because you're involved in the game," said Sutton. "He's still a very valuable part of our organization."
Sutton said the team is receptive to the change.
"Rob's very well respected with our boys and I'm sure they're disappointed he's not going to be there, but on the other side of the coin he's still going to be there and help."
Sutton says the Blues need to focus more on coming together as a team.
"That can be a hard thing when you have players at Mount Allison, players in Truro and players in Brookfield," said Sutton. "We only have two or three players that are actually billeting in Springhill, so it's tough when you have kids scattered around and going in different directions after the game or after practice."
The team plays two road games this weekend and Sutton sees that as a positive.
"Fortunately, four of our next five games are on the road, so this might be just what the doctor ordered to get these guys coming together as a team," he said. "We do have some skilled players and talent on the ice, we just have to get them on the same page."
The Blue travel to Port Hawkesbury tonight where they will take on the Strait Pirates, and then on Sunday they face off against the Pictou County Scotians in Trenton.