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Guest coaches announced for PHF All-Star Showcase

Sami Jo-Small, Melody Davidson, and Meghan Chayka will get behind the bench for the 2022 showcase

Team Dempsey’s Jillian Dempsey (Boston Pride) during the 2020 NWHL All Star Game in Boston.
Michelle Jay

On January 29, three teams made up of PHF all-stars will take the ice for a showcase in Toronto. It was announced today that they will be coached by a trio of Canadian hockey leaders. Meghan Chayka, Melody Davidson and Sami Jo Small will serve as honorary coaches.

Chayka, Davidson and Small are all tremendously accomplished in their respective fields.

“These women are legends through their unparalleled contributions to growing the game, and we value their continued leadership towards the advancement of professional women’s hockey. I’m excited that our athletes will benefit from the unique perspectives our guest coaches will offer,” said PHF commissioner, Tyler Tumminia

The trio of honorary coaches represent different areas of the game of hockey, Chayka, an expert in data and analytics, Davidson, as a force behind the bench, and Small, who had a successful career both between the pipes and in the front office.

Davidson is best known for her work with the Canadian Women’s National Team where she has served as head coach, assistant coach, head scout and general manager. She currently works as a high performance advisor for summer sport with the Canadian not-for-profit Own The Podium which prepares Canadian athletes to achieve medal results at Olympic games.

“I’m really looking forward to the PHF All-Star Showcase and the opportunity to get back behind the bench with some of the best professional women’s hockey players in North America,” Davidson said. “It’s very exciting to have this special event in Canada, and I’m proud to support the PHF and the athletes.”

Small is a three time Olympian who has two gold medals and a single silver medal to her name. She had a successful professional career, playing for 19 years and winning numerous titles. She was a CWHL co-founder and following her playing career, became the General Manager of the Toronto Furies.

“It is a huge honor to be selected as an ‘honorary’ coach for the PHF All-Star Showcase in Toronto,” Small said. “I am grateful to be a part of such a great celebration of hockey and showcase of professional talent, and to have the opportunity to coach alongside incredible hockey minds, Mel Davidson and Meghan Chayka.”

Chayka is a co-founder and CEO of Stathletes, a hockey data and analytics company that provides industry leading insights to the PHF and many other leagues across the world.

“I’m very honoured to coach at this event,” said Chayka. “The chance to celebrate the best players in Toronto is on the top of my calendar in January. I love the new format and can’t wait to see all the players on the bench. I’m really excited to try to win the tournament and have a lot of fun.”

This season’s event will take on a different format than in years previous. All three teams will play a series of three single period games. Coaches will be paired with one of the three all-star captains - Jillian Dempsey, Shiann Darkangelo, and Allie Thunstrom - who were selected by their fellow players. To select teams, a virtual draft will be conducted in January where rosters will be selected from a pool of 30 additional coach selected participants and three additional skaters and one goaltender voted on by fans.

The 2022 PHF All-Star Showcase will stream live in the United States on ESPN+ exclusively and in Canada to TSN and TSN Direct subscribers as well as through the ESPN International distribution network.