The Coyotes announced details on Thursday for the Matt Shott Celebration of Life, which will take place Jan. 5 at the Gila River Arena in honor of the team’s vice president of hockey development, who recently died after a battle. against cancer.
The team invites the public to attend the event, which will run from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Shott was a major force in the promotion and training of youth hockey in the Valley and helped develop the game for girls, among his other efforts which meant a lot to the local hockey community.
âMatt was an amazing person who was loved, admired and respected by everyone in the Valley hockey community,â Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez said in a statement. team. âHe was kind, generous and selfless and had a positive impact on the lives of so many people. We look forward to celebrating Matt’s incredible life with his family, friends and loved ones and we promise to keep his memory alive. “
Shott will be remembered by the Coyotes with several video tributes and guest speakers, including Gutierrez, regional director of NHL youth hockey Sean Whyte, director of Coyotes hockey development Shane Doan and senior director of development business strategy. of Coyotes Lyndsey Fry hockey.
Carly Accardo, whose young daughter Leighton became a beloved member of the Coyotes family after Shott and Fry briefed the team on Leighton’s own battle with cancer, is also expected to speak, as is Trevor Shott, the Matt’s younger brother.
Fry said a traditional church service for Matt didn’t seem to make much sense.
âHockey is his religion and the rink is his church,â said Fry. âWe thought we had to do it on an ice rink, and Gila made sense, obviously because he’s been working there for the last decade, but also considering the impact it has had on the community, c is probably the only ice rink in town that can hold everyone who wants to be there. “
Fry said she and the Shott family don’t want to wait too long to celebrate Matt’s life, and that people who work in all departments of the Coyotes organization have stepped up to help make it happen.
Fry said attendees are encouraged to wear hockey jerseys at the event, in a show of the same love of hockey Shott had.
âHe would want a rock party. He wouldn’t want a dark, sad thing,â Fry said. “It will be fair to him. We want to make sure it is as special as possible for him, his family, his hockey family and just a chance to come together.”
Shott’s loss hit everyone in the organization hard, from those close to him, like Fry, to the coaches and players of the Coyotes. A stick leaning against a wall outside the Coyotes locker room is covered in a Shott t-shirt. his work.
“Everyone who’s told me about Matt has said he’s someone special, and with us that’s how he was,” said Coyotes head coach AndrÃ© Tourigny, said. remembering when Shott was able to fulfill his dream of coaching the NHL and working with the Coyotes. staff on the ice and at meetings earlier this season. âHe was really brilliant, really smart, he was nice to everyone and had a big heart. He was so passionate about what he was doing and what he was doing with his (youth) teams. good for us to have it around. “
Guests attending the event can park in Lot G and enter the Gila River Arena at Gate 4 from 2:30 p.m. Seats will be available throughout the lower part of the arena.
A fund in Shott’s honor, the Matt Shott Memorial Hockey Development Fund, also accepts donations, which can be found on the Coyotes website. Money raised will benefit the Coyotes’ Arizona youth hockey programs.