GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Rick Tocchet might not have to do much coaching on Tuesday night in Las Vegas. The Coyotes team plane will be full of each player's personal coaching consultant. It's the team's annual dads trip.

"When I was a kid, our parents would walk in the locker room and say, 'You guys smell so bad.' And we'd all get insulted," joked Jeff Chychrun, father of Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. "Same thing now!"

Brad Stepan was the only dad wearing a golf shirt inside Gila River Arena. He had escaped the frigid weather in Minnesota and spent the previous night talking hockey with his son.

"I got in late last night. We had a beer and talked hockey," said Stepan, who like his son Derek, was drafted by the New York Rangers. "We talked trade deadline, who's going where. It's so fun to have this connection with my son."

Many of the players played for their dads.

"I used to think I was teaching him all the time. Now I find I'm learning from him," said Jeff, who played for the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning. "I'm usually asking, 'Wow, what's it like?' On a number of levels. It's come full circle. He's the teacher and I'm the student."

Jeff was Jakob's hockey coach and also encouraged his son to play many sports.

"To have him here is pretty special," said Jakob. "There's little things he says that I go back to every day."

It's a blip on the radar of the NHL season but a chance to make a memory of a lifetime.

"The boys usually work a little harder when we're in the building," said Brad. "They don't want to disappoint their dad."

The dads will accompany the team to Las Vegas and also take in the game on Thursday in Glendale versus the St. Louis Blues.

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

Sports Reporter/Anchor

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