EDITOR'S NOTE: Longtime Coyotes Video Coach Steve Peters is taking part in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey as Video Coach for Team North America. Peters will chronicle his experience at the world-class tournament with reports here at ArizonaCoyotes.com. Here's his first report:
MONTREAL -- As the plane touched down in Montreal and I got farther and farther away from triple-digit temps in Arizona, one thing became certain: hockey season is right around the corner.
Training camps for the World Cup of Hockey open today and I'm thrilled to be here for Team North America's. Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett also is on the coaching staff under Head Coach Todd McLellan. It’s an honor to be part of the World Cup, and exciting to be a part of the newly created Team North America, which features the top American and Canadian players age 23 and under.
It was hard to leave Arizona right at the time the coaching staff usually is preparing for the start of NHL training camps, but I received tremendous support and encouragement to take part in this prestigious event from Coyotes G.M. John Chayka.
This is my first opportunity to work in an international tournament. Coach Tippett, on the other hand, has been involved in many, both as a coach and as a player, from the Olympics to World Championships, all representing Canada. I asked him on our flight to Montreal how being part of Team North America would be different than playing/coaching for Canada and he said, “It feels more like an All Star Game.” He’s right. Over the next few weeks the world’s best players will descend on Toronto to compete for the World Cup of Hockey, including four Coyotes. Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson will play for Team Sweden, forward Martin Hanzal and defenseman Zbynek Michalek will play for Team Czech Republic, and forward Tobias Rieder will play for Team Europe.
My day-to-day responsibilities here will be very similar to the work I do for the Coyotes. I will assist the coaches and players in all areas of video, from meetings to scouting opponents and assisting with the Coach's Video Challenge.
|Team North America jersey |
When I was first asked if I wanted to throw my hat into the ring for consideration for working at the World Cup, I was nervous and excited. I knew Team North America would be comprised of some of the most talented young players in the NHL and I was honored to be considered. Now that the tournament is finally here, I’m even more excited. Having met some of the players, including Scottsdale’s own Auston Matthews, and having seen the team's jerseys, I can’t wait to get started.
Each team has about two weeks to prepare. The World Cup's preliminary round is set for Sept. 17-22. Each of the eight teams will play three games, and the top two finishers in each four-team group will move on to the single-elimination semifinals Sept. 24 and 25. The best-of-three tournament final will be played Sept. 27, Sept. 29 and, if necessary, Oct. 1.
Coyotes fans in Arizona can follow the action on ESPN, which will provide live coverage of all tournament games. It should be a terrific tournament to watch and a great way to get people excited to drop the puck on the NHL season in October!