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Dave Prior: 5 Fun Facts

Learn about Las Vegas' Director of Goaltending

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Vegas continued to build its hockey operations staff on Wednesday by announcing Dave Prior as the team's Director of Goaltending and NHL Goaltending Coach.

Although Prior may not be a household name, he has a close, personal connection to general manager George McPhee dating back to their days with the Washington Capitals and growing up in Guelph, Ontario.

Here are five fun facts to get to know Dave Prior.

1. Prior was the Washington Capitals' goaltending coach throughout George McPhee's tenure as general manager.

Before becoming a Capitals mainstay the year McPhee went to Washington, Prior was goalie coach for the Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets. Before becoming a Capital, Prior's star students were Arturs Irbe, Chris Osgood and Bob Essensa.

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2. Prior never played in the NHL.

However, he played for two different junior teams in the 1970s that had very colorful nicknames - the Guelph Holody Platers and the Preston Jesters.

The Jesters had an especially colorful logo, that some might say resembles Burgess Meredith's version of The Penguin in the 1960s version of Batman. 

 3. The student Prior is most connected to is Olaf Kolzig.

Kolzig won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goalie in 1999-00 while under Prior's tutelage. Kolzig is remembered as a top prospect who struggled to establish himself as a pro until his late 20s, which coincides when Prior took over as his mentor. Kolzig went on to set a Capitals all-time record with 301 victories in his 16 seasons with the team.

4. Kolzig, who was born in South Africa, was of German heritage and represented Germany in national tournaments.

The Kolzig/Prior connection was so tight that Prior (who is Canadian) was even chosen as Germany's national team's goalie coach throughout the late 1990s and during the 1998 Olympics, as to keep the duo connected. Kolzig is now a Player Development coach with the Capitals.

5. Prior (born in 1956) and George McPhee (born in 1958) have a relationship that dates all the way back to their childhoods in Guelph, Ontario.

 

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