Skip to main content

Lightning coach Jon Cooper stays calm behind the bench by chewing gum

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

TAMPA, Fla. - What's the secret to Jon Cooper's calm demeanour behind the Tampa Bay Lightning bench? Apparently chewing gum.

Cooper started the tradition of chewing gum when he got into coaching and it has become a habit or superstition ever since.

"One piece goes in at the beginning and it stays in the rest of the game," he said. "It doesn't come out."

Cooper, a Prince George, B.C., native, is in his first full NHL season. He won championships in the AHL and USHL previously. Before that, he was a lawyer.

Gum-chewing isn't something he studies, but it's part of his routine.

"I don't watch myself on the bench so I don't know how hard I chew it," he said. "Apparently I do chew it pretty hard."

Given how close the Lightning and Montreal Canadiens have played each other this season and then into overtime in Game 1—with the Habs winning the playoff opener 5-4—that can become more of a chore than anyone would expect.

"By the time you get deep into overtimes, it's a tough one to chew," Cooper said.

TOP HEADLINES

Olen Zellweger
Play

Reacting to Team Canada's 2023 World Junior Camp Roster

Team Canada’s preparing for the world juniors after naming 29 players to the camp roster. Tony Ferrari lists some surprises, snubs and other players to watch.

Logan Cooley
Play

Reacting to Team USA's 2023 World Junior Camp Roster

Tony Ferrari lists the snubs, the surprises, the first-year NHL draft eligible players and an X-factor as Team USA released its world junior camp roster on Monday.

Jacob Trouba
Play

Fischler Report: Figuring Out the Flawed New York Rangers

Stan Fischler's report defines a team that's crumbling and a team that's invincible, evaluates players under pressure, praises the Kraken and more.