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Coach Cava Brings Years of Experience to U16 Team

As part of the lead-up to Try-outs (starting May 31, 2024), we are featuring our Head Coaches for the upcoming season.

The third interview is with U16AAA Head Coach Peter Cava.

Tell us about your hockey playing career.

I am a proud Kings alumni that was fortunate enough to win the Air Canada Cup Midget Hockey National Championship in my last season with the program.  Many of the players from that team were drafted to the OHL where I was selected in the 3rd round by the Soo Greyhounds.  Probably the most proud hockey moment for myself and my family was when I was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 5th round of the National Hockey League Draft.  After playing 4 years in the OHL, I played some minor pro, before finishing off my playing days with 4 years for the L.U. Thunderwolves.


Tell us about your coaching experience.

I have been coaching in Thunder Bay at the AA and AAA level for over 15 years.  This includes coaching the U13AAA Kings this past season.


Describe your coaching style.

My coaching style is demanding and compassionate at the same time.  I believe that players are at their best if they know they are allowed to make mistakes and won’t be punished for playing free and with confidence for the most part.  Although it’s not always easy, I try to ensure that every player on the team feels good about themselves and is enjoying coming to the rink.


What are the most important qualities for a hockey player, both on and off ice?

The most important on ice qualities for me are work ethic, compete level, hockey sense and a strong passion/love for the game.  The most important off ice qualities that we look for are players that are of good character.  This means being a good teammate and someone that is just a good person and is respectful not only at the rink but at school and in the community.


How do you approach player development?

The way we are going to approach player development this season is going to start with the makeup of our team.  We plan on selecting 9 forwards, 6 defence, and 2 goalies.  In doing this all skaters will have ample playing time in game situations to develop as a player.  Also, the program we are going to be running will see that our team is on the ice approximately 5 days a week with another 4 days a week of off ice training.  Our program is also going to include fitness testing and goal setting throughout the season to gauge how our players are developing from a fitness standpoint.


Why did you apply to be a Kings coach for this season?

The main reason that I wanted to coach again this season is because I really enjoy it.  The goal is to have a coaching staff that truly believes in the players and provides the players with a program that the players will benefit from when it comes to their development as a hockey player and a person on and off the ice.


What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming season?

What I’m looking forward to most about this upcoming season is working with the great staff we have assembled, working with these kids on and off the ice everyday and seeing them develop as hockey players and people.

To register for Try-Outs, click HERE.


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