Jamaica Ice Hockey signs top NHL player as coachWednesday, June 16, 2021
Jamaica Olympic Ice Hockey Federation (JOIHF) recently announced that it has signed one of the top National Hockey League (NHL) players, Chris Stewart, as co-coach as it prepares to defend the LATAM trophy it won in Fort Lauderdale in 2019.
Stewart has also been appointed Jamaica's ambassador for the sport.
Stewart, whose father is Jamaican, has just retired after completing over 668 regular season games as well as 39 play-off games in the NHL. He also represented Team Canada in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.
He remains in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers as player development coach. He is also the majority owner of both the Minnesota Hockey Camps and the Minnesota Loons of the North American Tier three Hockey League.
“I am truly humbled and honoured to be joining JOIHF as coach and official ambassador. I am looking forward to bringing that same Gold standard excellence that Jamaica is known for around the world,” a news release from the federation quotes Stewart.
“JOIHF has some ambitious goals and a vision of a more inclusive game that I am proud to be a part of. I would like to thank the board and its president, Don Anderson, for believing in me to help lead this team to a successful defence of the LATAM cup in Fort Lauderdale in October 2021,” he added.
Anderson, executive president of JOIHF, said that as a JOIHF ambassador, Stewart will bring the same passion he has demonstrated in his work with the Hockey Diversity Alliance, which focuses on growing the game to new and diverse hockey players and fans around the world.
“Helping the ice hockey programme in Jamaica is especially important to Chris as his father was born in the parish of Portland and he still has family resident in the island,” Anderson said.
Stewart will be co-coaching the team, along with another retired NHL player, Jamie Huscroft, who has himself played over 370 NHL games for various teams over a 14-year professional span.
The tournament takes place in Coral Springs, Florida, October 15 to 17. JOIHF said it is now conducting assessments to finalise the squad of 18-20 players that will be under the control of both Stewart and Huscroft immediately after.
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