Assistant Coach Tim Bothwell is a relative newcomer to women’s hockey, having taken over coaching the Oval X-Treme women’s hockey program in 2003. But he’s no newcomer to the game of hockey.
A former assistant coach with the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers (2001-03), Bothwell took over the reigns of the Men’s Team at the University of Calgary, where he served as Head Coach from 19, and was named CIAU Coach of the Year in 1997. He also coached with Phoenix (IHL) and Medicine Hat (WHL).
Bothwell, a native of Vancouver, BC, also had an extensive professional playing career. He played a total of 502 games over 13 NHL seasons, including stints with the New York Rangers, the St. Louis Blues and the Hartford Whalers.
With his NHL background, Bothwell was asked by www.hockeycanada.ca to introduce fans to the members of Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team. And to achieve this, he was asked to compare each player to an NHL player.
# 33 Kim St-Pierre – “Someone like Martin Brodeur or even Jose Theodore would be apt comparisons. Kim’s has sound fundamentals but tends to rely on instinct, anticipation and her athletic ability a bit more than many goalies. Much like Brodeur, one of her strengths is her understanding of the game, she really anticipates well. She is also very adept at directing rebounds away from the scoring area and is very capable of making the spectacular save when necessary.”
# 32 Charline Labonté – “When I look at ‘Charlie’, I see a very sound technical goaltender…definitely a butterfly goalie, she has very quick legs and an excellent glove hand. Charlie uses her sound technique and positioning to full advantage, but like Kim, is capable of making that amazing athletic save as well. Her butterfly style brings Roberto Luongo or Calgary’s Mikka Kiprusoff to mind…both are very solid technically but also very athletic and often spectacular.”
# 1 Sami Jo Small – “Curtis Joseph is probably the best comparison that I can come up with. Like Sami Jo, he may not have the most conventional technique, but gets the job done, makes the saves. Even Kelly Hrudey, who I played against, also popped to my mind when I was thinking of Sami Jo.”
# 9 Gillian Ferrari – “ ‘Gilly’ is a player who makes the most of her ability. There is a good physical element to Gil’s game, she makes life very difficult for opposing forwards… she’s very dependable defensively, plays a very heady game and has good poise with the puck…intelligent puck management is one of her strengths. Gil makes me think of the Flames Rhett Warrener, who I have been able to watch a lot these past years.”
# 4 Becky Kellar – “Adam Foote, Rich Matvichuk are two defencemen that I think of in looking at Becky. Like Foote, Becky contributes offensively but it’s the work in her own zone and against the oppositions best forwards that is her calling card. She is so sound defensively that you don’t enjoy playing against her…she contains and angles well and just doesn’t give you much. Although the women’s game is less physical, Becky is really tough to play against. Very dependable.”
# 3 - Carla McLeod – The immediate one that I think of for Carla is Brian Rafalski, of New Jersey for obvious reasons. Both are small defenseman, but smart, skilled and very intelligent with the puck. Carla sees the ice really well, as well as anyone, she’s very creative…doesn’t dazzle with her stick handling but consistently makes a good first pass on the breakout and in transition.”
#13 Caroline Ouellette – “A bit of a tough one, especially with ‘Caro’ playing both defense and forward for us this year, she does so many different things well. In that sense, a guy like Sergei Fedorov would be appropriate, not many NHL guys have the ability to play defense. Both are excellent offensive players, who skate well and can be dominant. Heatley and Rick Nash also came to mind as forwards – big, rangy, top end offensive ability, great shots and tough to contain…but I haven’t seen either of them take a turn on the blueline yet, except on the power play (which Caro also does for us!)”
# 11 Cheryl Pounder – “Darius Kasparaitus was the first name that came to me for Cheryl. A bit undersized, but very strong and really competes, tough to beat one on one, blocks shots...will do anything to gain the advantage. Scott Hannan would be another good comparison. You just don’t want to play against her. For the old timers in the crowd, maybe you should picture Bobby Baun.”
# 5 Colleen Sostorics – “I see ‘Stubbs’ as a Andrew Ference-type player. A solid all-around player who many would feel is too small for the position. A good mix…a tough, gritty competitor, strong on her skates – …good defensively, very solid in 1on1 situations…good puck skills, can add some offense, willing to join the rush.
#34 Delaney Collins- “ D.C. is a small defenceman who joins the rush well and doesn’t let her size diminish her effectiveness…good skater, good puck mover. Detroit’s Jason Woolley, Colorado’s John-Michael Liles, or maybe Bryan Berard in Columbus, Marc-André Bergeron in Edmonton or Derek Morris in Phoenix.”
# 2 Meghan Agosta – “With Meg, the first things that come to mind are top end speed and tremendous puck skills, a real goal scorer’s touch, an intuitive offensive mind… Simon Gagné, of Philadelphia, came to mind. Meg is a quick learner and her defensive game has improved tremendously this year.”
# 10 Gillian Apps – “Trevor Linden, Eric Cole, Keith Primeau came to mind when I though of ‘Appsy’. A big, strong, physical presence out there who can skate, check and add some offense…she goes to the net extremely well and is a handful when she does so…a real “train” (I guess I should have said Lionel Conacher, but that goes back a ways)…really hard to play against because she’s so big and strong, and mobile.”
# 17 Jennifer Botterill – “Petr Nedved might be the closest comparison. A really gifted offensive player, great on the power play, sees the ice really well, excellent passer, good, quick, accurate shot. Brendan Morrison, Pierre Turgeon would be two other players that come to mind in looking for NHL comparisons.”
# 77 Cassie Campbell – “I had a tough time with Cassie as well, but a name that came to mind for me was Scott Mellanby. He does everything for his teams, the power play, the penalty kill … he’s responsible defensively, fits in anywhere at anytime … Here’s a guy who’s had a long and solid career, a guy who has been a captain on a number of teams. Both Cassie and Scott are the types of players who do a lot of little things well. You may not always notice them, but their teammates, coaches and opponents respect them and appreciate them.”
# 15 Danielle Goyette – “For ‘Goyettie’, I had Steve Yzerman. A quiet veteran leader, a real role model...an excellent offensive player who has learned to be one of the best defensive players…like Steve, as a veteran Danielle is a bit slower than she once was but she is a very good skater and her “smarts” allow her to be effective in checking situations…both are very good, creative puck handlers…very intelligent players with a tremendous understanding of the game. Danielle is a very reliable, intelligent defensive player, just like Steve and she has also learned to be an excellent penalty killer over the past year and a half.”
# 16 Jayna Hefford – “Another tough one in some ways. I was looking for a really good all-around player. First and foremost a gifted scorer, a real “finisher.” Very good speed and acceleration, excellent penalty-killer and a very smart defensive player as well. A lot like Jarri Kurri. Both are really responsible players who can make plays and score… an elite-level all-around player. Joe Nieuwendyk in his prime came to mind as well.”
# 27 Gina Kingsbury – “Gina brings a lot of speed on the forecheck…really good penalty killer, great in the face-off circle. I thought of Brendan Morrow, in Dallas or someone like John Madden, in New Jersey… she’s a good offensive player. Good hands and always a threat offensively because of her speed.”
# 7 Cherie Piper – “With ‘Pipes’, I was trying to think of a player who’s more of a playmaker than a scorer… a very gifted offensive talent, excellent passer, very good shot. gritty, competes hard and goes where he has to go to get the job done, very good puck protection skills …I thought of Daniel Alfredsson, with Ottawa. Pipes also plays with a bit of an edge at times kind of like Jeremy Roenick in his prime or Joe Thornton when he gets a “bee under his bonnet”.
#61 Vicky Sunohara – “With Vicky, I’d go with someone like Rod Brind’amour – really responsible defensively, very intelligent player – leadership, versatile, can play the point on the power play, kill penalties, good on the faceoffs. Steve Rucchin was might be another.”
# 26 Sarah Vaillancourt – “Somebody who came to mind right away was Maxim Afinegenov in Buffalo. Because of the speed and great hands, really dangerous one-on-one…good with the puck in tight spaces….Sarah is a real high energy player, effective on the forecheck, creating puck pressure and turnovers.”
# 8 Katie Weatherston – “Katie may not even know who this guy is, but right away I thought of ex-Minnesota North Star Dino Ciccarelli. Great with the puck in traffic, excellent hands, a mucking, grinding pit bull who can really score…a real pest on the forecheck, tough to play against. Darcy Tucker in Toronto or Pat Verbeek would be others.”
# 22 Hayley Wickenheiser – “The best comparison for me here is Peter Forsberg. Wick is a real physical presence, she plays with a competitive fire like few others. Earlier in her career she was known to take undisciplined retaliatory penalties…no longer, she has really elevated her effectiveness over the past few years by learning to channel that drive and making the opposition pay on the scoreboard. She has elite level shooting, passing and play making skill…can score, can play the point on the power play, kill penalties and is our best face-off person. What more can you say.”