Team Canada
Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images

Team Canada Will Have One Heck Of A Coaching Staff When They Compete For Hockey’s Gold Medal

Team Canada released their coaching staff for the 2022 Winter Olympics today. While some of the finest coaches in the NHL are featured on their bench, some intriguing storylines and possible tension remain as well. Fresh off his second straight Stanley Cup triumph, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper is set to lead the team in February. The assistants alongside him are New York Islanders bench boss Barry Trotz, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, and Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer. There is plenty to unpack here, so let’s dive right in.

Cooper and Trotz

Almost everyone anticipates the coaches will get along fine, myself included. However, the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs had some incredible matchups. Let’s start with Cooper and Trotz. They faced off in the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year in 2021. Once again, the Lightning edged out the Islanders in a classic 7-game series. There were goals, great saves, overtime drama, fighting, you name it. There were moments where Trotz was quite upset at officiating and even the Lightning themselves. Many called this series the de facto Stanley Cup Final as the Islanders once again gave Tampa Bay the most trouble out of any opponents they faced.

Cassidy and Trotz

On the topic of poor officiating, let’s look at Bruce Cassidy. Before the Islanders squared off against the Lightning, they dispatched the Bruins in 6 games. After a critical Game 5 in Boston, Cassidy once again sounded off on the refs. However, he included a jab at Trotz’s Islanders as well. By referring to the Isles as the “New York Saints” for their lack of penalties, he sent the hockey world (and football world kinda) into a frenzy. Trotz and the crazy Islanders fans had the last laugh, however. They sent the Bruins packing in a thrilling sixth game on Long Island, as the “Saints” fans were going bananas. Along with giving the Islanders some nationwide appreciation, it once again set up a Trotz vs. Cooper coaching matchup.

Canada easily has the best coaching staff in the 2022 Olympics. Peter DeBoer also deserves mention. His Golden Knights impressively took down the President’s Trophy-winning Colorado Avalanche in the playoffs as well. What goes around, however, comes around. The Montreal Canadiens gave Vegas an upset of their own as they went on to face Tampa Bay in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. In the process, we were deprived of yet another layer of intrigue. There could have been a Cooper vs. DeBoer match-up with the Stanley Cup on the line. No matter for the guys up north. If NHL players will make the trip, Team Canada will surely be the favorites to win another gold medal in Beijing next February.

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