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Coyotes Confident Potvin Can Help Players Improve Skills

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE – The Coyotes have added Steve Potvin to the coaching staff to help develop the plethora of up-and-coming prospects within the organization.

Potvin, who played 16 years of pro hockey, is the team’s new Skills Coach.

“We’ve got a lot of young, skilled players coming up so we see Steve working together with (Assistant Coach) Newel Brown to break down our skilled players and add even more skill,” General Manager John Chayka said. “Steve’s got good skills himself so he demonstrates them well, and he’s got very unique and innovative ideas to help our players learn. We like his drills and the way he works with players.”

Steve Potvin. Photo by Getty Images.

Potvin, 41, is no stranger to Arizona. He capped his playing career in 2009-10 with the Arizona Sundogs of the Central Hockey League and since then he’s been coaching players involved with the Jr. Coyotes organization.

This summer he watched the Coyotes annual Prospect Development Camp and was impressed by what he witnessed from the likes of Dylan Strome, Christian Dvorak, Brendan Perlini, Clayton Keller, Jakob Chychrun and others.

“It seems the NHL has become a young man’s game so it’s really exciting to be an Arizona Coyote and a fun time to be a fan,” Potvin said. “There’s lots of very talented players coming around the corner here.”

Chayka said the plan is for Potvin to work with Coyotes players after practices if coaches notice room for improvement regarding shooting, stickhandling, etc. He also will work with injured players who don’t travel with the team, and he expects to run skills practices for the Tucson Roadrunners – Arizona’s new American Hockey League affiliate – when the Coyotes are playing games on the road.

“We want to optimize our players, perhaps take a guy who scored 12, 13, 14 goals and get him up to 16, 17, 18,” Chayka said.

Potvin is looking forward to working with pro players.

“Of course there are some teaching moments, but at the NHL and AHL levels the players have been through it so repetition is really the key when trying to master a skill,” Potvin said. “That’s basically what we’ll try to do, whatever the skill progression or skill they require. We’ll just put them through the reps.”

Potvin, a forward, played 478 AHL games plus 11 seasons in Europe. Before turning pro, he played four seasons of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League (see stats below).

Potvin is second cousins to brothers Denis and Jean Potvin, both of whom played in the NHL as defensemen. Denis Potvin, of course, is a Hockey Hall of Famer who played 1,060 NHL games and captained the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cup titles (1980-83). Jean Potvin played 613 NHL games and twice won the Stanley Cup, alongside his brother Denis, with the Islanders in 1979-80 and 1980-81.

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