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Hangin' with Mr. Cooper

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
The dog days of summer have been anything but slow for new Vancouver Canucks video coach Ben Cooper.

In addition to organizing a new office and getting up to speed and upgrading the Canucks video equipment, Cooper, a 36-year-old Vancouver product hired in early August, has been meeting with the team’s coaching staff to figure out their needs for the upcoming season.

If you're like me and have little to no idea what the role of a video coach entails, allow Cooper himself to explain.

Clear as mud? Perfect.

Basically Cooper works as an extension of the Canucks coaching staff, he’ll be the analytical brains behind the operation, like he was for Team Canada's men's hockey team at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

Team Canada was golden in 2010 and Cooper is here to help head coach Willie Desjardins lead the Canucks to the big silver.

Cooper and Desjardins have worked together on two occasions, both for Team Canada at the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Championships. Canada, coached by Pat Quinn, won gold in 2009, while under Desjardins in 2010, the team lost a heartbreaker to the US in overtime.

Cooper and Desjardins hadn’t spoken for a few years before Desjardins reached out about joining the Canucks staff, which includes assistant coaches Glen Gulutzan and Doug Lidster.

It was a no-brainer decision for Cooper, who didn’t set out to be a video coach, but has become passionate about using his knowledge and findings to help teams win.

“I love being in the game, being an important part and being a necessary part,” said Cooper. “Coaches these days rely on video a lot and it’s a key cog in the process of getting the team prepared and analyzing the game post-game. So just being a valuable part of that I enjoy. Plus being around the best players and coaches in the world in the best league in the world is a thrill and is always an honour.”

Cooper’s resume is as vast as it is impressive, basically name a position in hockey and he’s held it. Prior to joining the Canucks, Cooper was head coach with the BWC Hockey Academy Prep Under 18 team and he coached the Okanagan Hockey Academy Varsity Team before that. His other major gigs have included working as assistant coach for the WHL Victoria Royals, assistant coach for the SAIT Trojans, video coach for the AHL Toronto Marlies and scouting for the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes.

He’s also worked for the Toronto Blue Jays, not to forget his aforementioned experience on the international stage, his passport doesn’t require a photo, when he drives a car off the lot, its price increases in value, he can speak Russian in French and sharks have a week dedicated to him.

This guy is a machine.

“I’ve just tried to get as much experience as I could in as many different avenues as possible,” said Cooper.

Mission accomplished.

Cooper is clearly a welcomed addition to the Canucks and from now on if someone asks what our video coach does, simple reply: everything.

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