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Spott is at the right place in his coaching career to be heading to Ufa.
coach has late father on mind
"Maybe it's like your first NHL game as a player or as a coach, those are the kinds of things you get one chance at," Spott said. "That's the only thing of all this . regret is not the right word . there are reflective moments, those private moments. I wish he could have been a part of this."
"Just great values," Graves said. "Mr. Spott had that intelligence and guidance. He's someone I still respect."
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"It has been five years since he passed," Spott said. "It's bittersweet in a sense because this is something I know he would have been really proud of his son to do."
serious, making light or putting a smile on someone's face."
"I would not be standing here he is the guy if it was not for Pete," Spott said before the Canadian juniors departed for Europe. "We don't always get to thank people enough, and I can never thank him enough for the chance he took on me. I owe him everything professionally."
Spott took over in Kitchener, both as head coach and general manager, when DeBoer left to coach the Florida Panthers in 2008.
Though their hockey paths went in different directions Spott became an accomplished junior hockey coach and Graves a two time Stanley Cup champion as a player, once each with the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers they've remained best friends and were the best men at each other's weddings.
"One of his greatest abilities is to relate to people," Graves said. Adidas Los Angeles Black And White Junior "He balances being serious and being fun, and he can communicate with people, whether it's young kids or his players or anyone else.
"They've put me in every situation to experience every aspect of coaching," Spott said. "And I can't tell you how important the summer was (during the Canada/Russia Challenge), allowing us to see what it was going to be like in Russia, the officiating, the food, the travel. As a coaching staff we are prepared as we can be."
Spott won't have any trouble concentrating on the formidable goal of winning gold, something Canada has not done at the world junior since 2009.
"Anybody who has had a conversation with him knows how hard it is to shut him up," DeBoer said with a laugh.
Those qualities were one reason why Spott and DeBoer meshed, first with the Plymouth Whalers and then the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League.
Spott referred to Graves as his brother. When Spott was asked about DeBoer, he said he would not be where he is now without him.
And those communication skills? Clear as a bell, DeBoer said.
His dad, who had heart issues when he passed away in June 2007 at the age of 74, won't be far from his mind.
DeBoer and Graves will be observing with keen interest the daily progress of Canada at the world junior.
Spott had been a high school teacher in Scarborough and had coaching in his background. He was scouting for DeBoer, and took a bit of a leap of faith when DeBoer wanted to hire him for his coaching staff.
Spott and Graves grew up together in North York and became inseparable when they were kids, becoming pals after they played for the same Wexford minor hockey team.
"He is not afraid to ask questions," Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast said. "He asks for advice on what to do, what not to do. Everybody respects that.
Much of the qualities in Spott came from his dad, Graves recalled.
"He was always a guy people respected, and he always had leadership qualities. He could just read situations, whether it was Adidas Original Red
"We had met when we were teens, and for him to say I got him to where he is, it's mutual," DeBoer said. "We shared a passion for the game. For me, he has got to where he is the right way. He has paid his dues. I'm thrilled for him."
They played soccer together in the summer. They worked at the Seneca College hockey camp Spott one day would become the coach of Seneca's men's hockey team first as gofers and eventually as instructors. After the kids had gone home, they would stay on the ice together into the long hours of the night.
the tournament, whether it's a friend, a parent or a coach. For Spott, there's his dad and two people who are part of his inner circle New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer and former NHL forward Adam Graves.
Every one of Canada's 23 players will think of an influential person as they play in Adidas Primeknit 2.0 Green
"It's like it is for the players. (The world junior) is the plum place to be. For the coach, it's where you want to be, too."
But that ability to get the best out of his players, and his coaching staff, has helped Spott rise the ladder with Hockey Canada. His resume with the country's governing hockey body is deep, as among other accomplishments, he has won gold as head coach at the under 18 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial and was part of the silver medal staff at the 2010 world junior in Saskatoon.
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