“Special day”. Photos of Canadian coaches on May 9, which are now hard to imagine

Rodion Vlasov

Rodion Vlasov

Photos of Canadian coaches on May 9

Bill Peters and his assistants proudly joined the Russian tradition.

For the first time, an action with the distribution of St. George ribbons in Russia was held in 2005, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Victory. However, the event did not become a one-time event, it became popular among the people, and black and orange ribbons gradually became part of the official protocol, appearing on the lapels of jackets of state leaders and TV presenters.

Since the world championships are traditionally held in the first days of May, the head coaches of the Russian team began to wear the ribbon. It is difficult to determine when this happened for the first time – but, for example, Vyacheslav Bykov and Igor Zakharkin wore them at their home World Cup in 2007 – then on May 9 Russia beat the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals (4: 0). Two years later, in Bern, the final was played on the 10th – and the coaches also wore ribbons. So the ribbon (of course, it would be more accurate to call it the ribbon of the Soviet Order of Glory) firmly settled among the coaches of the national team.

This tradition also exists in Western countries. November 11 in the Anglo-Saxon countries is the Day of Remembrance – on this day the First World War actually ended. The symbol of this day is a red poppy. They are worn by the coaches of the clubs of the English Premier League, as well as, more recently, by all Premier League players on their uniforms. Of course, NHL coaches also share in this tradition – they are mostly Canadians, and their country is part of the British Commonwealth.

Red poppies on Southampton and Aston Villa shirts

Red poppies on Southampton and Aston Villa shirts

Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images

However, the Canadian team, which came to the World Cup in Russia in May 2016, decided to join the Russian tradition. More precisely, these were the coaches of the team led by Bill Peters. At that time, Peters had not yet been kicked out of the NHL due to a racist scandal, was considered a student of Mike Babcock and one of the most interesting coaches in the league, whose Carolina was one of the best teams in the league in terms of advanced statistics.

Hockey in captivity of American tolerance.  There are too many whiners in the NHL
Hockey in captivity of American tolerance. There are too many whiners in the NHL

However, not only Peters put on the ribbons – they showed off on the jacket of Mike Yeoh, who was fired during that season from Minnesota, as well as Dave Cameron from Ottawa, who went down in history as the man who lost the 2011 Buffalo Finals. Who came up with the idea for this is unknown. Maple captain Corey Perry was brief in an interview: “This is a special day. We watched TV in the morning and saw that everyone was celebrating this day.”

Bill Peters

Bill Peters

Photo: RIA Novosti

It is interesting that Canada played Belarus that day – its coaching staff also wore ribbons on their jackets, only red-green, in the color of the flag. The Belarusians, despite the support of the audience, flew in 0:8 – at that tournament they were close to being relegated to the first division.

Canada eventually won the championship, and then, unexpectedly for many, Vladimir Putin himself decided to greet the champions. At the first big press conference at Avtomobilist, Peters recalled: “It was a great honor for us to shake hands with Putin, he presented us with medals. I was happy to be around. We spent a good time in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the whole tournament was organized according to the highest standards. The memories of that tournament are the best.”

True, familiarity with Russian customs, as you know, did not help Peters – he became one of the worst KHL coaches in terms of price-quality ratio, spent two most controversial seasons in Yekaterinburg and was fired.


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