Steve Spott (born May 18, 1968 in Toronto, Ontario) is an assistant coach for the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has previously worked as an assistant coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the head coach of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL team), the Kitchener Rangers. Spott became a junior hockey coach in 1994, eventually moving to the OHL in 1997. He became a head coach in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers when Peter DeBoer left the Rangers for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League in 2008. On July 3, 2013, he was announced as the head coach of the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League after the departure of former head coach Dallas Eakins. He would be promoted to the Maple Leafs as an assistant coach due to his success at leading the Marlies to the AHL's Western Conference Finals.
Spott played NCAA hockey with Colgate University from 1986–1990, as he helped the team win the ECAC Hockey championship in 1990 as Colgate defeated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 5–4 to win the Whitelaw Cup. Colgate then went on to the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship sweeping Lake Superior State University in a best of 3 Quarterfinal Series by the scores of 3–2 and 2–1. Spott scored the winning goal in Game 2, propelling Colgate University to its first ever NCAA Frozen Four. At the NCAA Frozen Four, Colgate defeated Boston University in the semifinals 3–2, however, Colgate lost to the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the final game played at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
After college hockey, Spott turned pro. He started the 1990-91 season with a record short try-out in the Swedish Division 1 Club Tingsryds AIF which he ended after "feeling homesick" after less than one week. After returning to Canada from Sweden he spent the 1990–91 season with the Richmond Renegades of the East Coast Hockey League and the Newmarket Saints of the American Hockey League. Spott played with the Heerenveen Flyers of the Eredivisie in the Netherlands for the 1991–92 season before retiring.
Spott was selected OCAA Coach of the Year in 1994–95 with Seneca College, and then spent the time coaching the Markham Waxers of the Metro Junior A Hockey League before landing his first Ontario Hockey League job as an assistant coach of the Plymouth Whalers from 1997–2001, which is where he first worked with Whalers head coach Peter DeBoer. In 2001, both DeBoer and Spott would leave the Whalers and move to the Kitchener Rangers, where DeBoer was once again the head coach and general manager, while Spott took the assistant coaching job and assistant general manager job. DeBoer would leave the Rangers in 2008 to take a job with the Florida Panthers, and the Rangers promoted Spott to become the head coach and general manager of the club.
In his first season as head coach with the Rangers in 2008–09, the rebuilding club failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since the 2000–01 season.
The Rangers improved greatly in Spott's second season as head coach in 2009–10, as Kitchener improved by 34 points, as they had a 42–19–4–3 record, as Kitchener finished in second place in the Midwest Division. The Rangers defeated the Saginaw Spirit in six games in the Western Conference quarter-finals, then the team upset the favoured London Knights in seven games in the semi-finals. Kitchener then faced the heavily favoured Windsor Spitfires in the Western Conference finals, and went up 3 games to 0 in the best of seven series, however, the Spitfires came all the way back, and defeated the Rangers in seven games. It marked the first time since 2005 that a team came back from a 3–0 deficit to win a series.
Kitchener had another solid season in 2010–11, as the club had a 38–21–4–5 record, earning 85 points, and second place in the Midwest Division for the second consecutive season. Kitchener faced off against the Plymouth Whalers in the Western Conference quarter-finals, however, the club was upset by the Whalers in seven games.
The Rangers once again made the playoffs in 2011–12, finishing the regular season with a 42-24-1-1 record, registering 86 points and capturing second place in the Midwest Division for the third straight season. In the playoffs, Spott led the Rangers to a six-game opening round victory over the defending OHL champions, the Owen Sound Attack. In the second round, Kitchener defeated the Plymouth Whalers in seven games to earn a trip to the Western Conference finals for the second time in three seasons. The Rangers though were no match for the London Knights, who won the series in four games.
Kitchener once again had another very solid season in 2012–13, finishing with a 39-20-1-8 record, earning 87 points and third place in the Midwest Division. In the opening round of the playoffs, the Rangers defeated their rivals, the Guelph Storm in five games, before losing to the London Knights in five games in the second round.
On July 3, 2013, Spott resigned as head coach and general managers of the Rangers.
American Hockey League
On July 3, 2013, Spott was named head coach of the Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Spott played for the Maple Leafs former AHL affiliate, the Newmarket Saints, during the 1990–91 season.
National Hockey League
Spott would leave the Marlies after a season, leading them to the Western Conference Finals, as he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs as an assistant coach, serving under Randy Carlyle. He was relieved of his duties on April 12, 2015, one day after the 2014-15 regular season ended, along with General Manager Dave Nonis, Head Coach Peter Horachek, Chris Dennis and goaltending coach Rick St. Croix.
On August 24, 2015, the San Jose Sharks announced that Spott had been hired as an assistant coach.
During the 2010 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, Spott was a member of the coaching staff that captured a silver medal during the tournament. Spott also worked with Hockey Canada during other tournaments, such as the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, where Spott and the Canadian team won the gold medal.
On May 18, 2012, Spott was named coach of the Canadian national under-20 team for the 2013 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. After leading Canada to a 4-0-0 record in the round-robin, the club lost to the United States 5-1 in the semi-final, then suffered a 6-5 loss to Russia in the bronze medal game, as Canada finished in fourth place in the tournament.
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|KIT||2008–09||68||26||37||3||2||57||5th in Midwest||Missed Playoffs|
|KIT||2009–10||68||42||19||4||3||91||2nd in Midwest||Lost in Third round|
|KIT||2010–11||68||38||21||4||5||85||2nd in Midwest||Lost in First round|
|KIT||2011–12||68||42||24||1||1||86||2nd in Midwest||Lost in Third round|
|KIT||2012–13||68||39||20||1||8||87||3rd in Midwest||Lost in Second Round|
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|TOR||2013–14||76||45||25||2||4||96||1st in North||Lost in Third round|
- Steve Spott career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- EuroHockey website
- A Conversation with Steve Spott | The Hockey Writers