CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The ECHL is set to continue their season this weekend but some franchises chose to sit out this year before the season even started.. Among those teams are the Brampton Beast led by former Stingrays head coach Spiros Anastas. So he found himself with some time on his hands and he’s filling it by serving as an assistant in the National Women’s Hockey League.
For Spiros Anastas hockey is in his blood but never in a million years did the former South Carolina Stingrays head coach think he’d end up here.
“I was never opposed to it. I was really intrigued by it.” Anastas said.
Anastas is an assistant coach with the Toronto Six, an expansion team with the National Women’s Hockey League.
“They are the example of what the love of the game is. They play because they love the game, and they fight those battles because they like supporting each other. I’ve just gained so much respect for them.” Anastas told us last week over face time.
And while they may look different than the hockey players you normally see on TV Anastas says they’re not that different from the men.
“These women want to compete. They get angry when the lose, they get thrilled when they win. There’s no different there. They can do anything. That’s how they’re roll models. They show young women and young men that anything is possible.” he said.
Next month, the NWHL will crown a champion and Anastas wants nothing more than to help lead this team to an Isobel Cup.
“If we were able to reach that pinnacle through all the challenges, I think it would be an incredible story. Winning that cup would be pretty special.”
Anastas’ run with the Six will soon come to an end but he hopes to take the lessons he’s learned and apply them to the men’s game when he returns to Brampton.
“Just adding the women’s experience under my belt. It just expands my thinking. I’ve learned so much I think it’s really going to make me a better coach coming back to the men’s pro level as well.”
And who knows, maybe women’s hockey could also be in his future plans.
“I’m a coaching junkie, so if I can somehow do both at the same time, I’d definitely be open to it.”