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“The people, all the wonderful amenities, and the activities available to all residents are the best things about Fort McMurray.”

When Oil Barons head coach Tom Keca was named AJHL Coach of the Year in February, he knew it was a team effort. “We’ve got Mike Brodeur as a goaltending guy, Steven Garcia came on board as a video [coach] and then really the most important guy probably is Peter Spiers as a trainer who alleviates a lot of the stress and job responsibilities.” Keca is only the third AJHL coach of the year in YMM and the man he praised the most was Guy Fieri lookalike Pete Spiers.

He’s the trainer for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, which means he’s also the logistics guy, the team organizer, the assistant manager and sometimes the number one consoler to his charges. For most of the year, it’s a full-time job, often up to 80 hours a week. So you’d think that when summer comes around he’d maybe want some time off. But no, what did he do in 2016? He volunteered as the trainer for the Fort McMurray Giants baseball team. Pete Spiers is, he admits, a sports nut.

Peter has been here for 10 years, and there probably hasn’t been a day without sport. In addition to all his other jobs he is also in charge of maintaining the kit, right down to sharpening the blades. With the help of the team doctor, he monitors the injured, checks how they’re coming along and when they can get back on the ice. The Oil Barons are one of the most traveled teams in Canada and Pete needs to make sure he covers every eventuality, every time they get on the bus. “I love my job,” he said. “I love the responsibility of it, and I love working with the team, and with Tom and the other staff.” And what of YMM? “I love the people, the most, all the wonderful amenities, and the activities available to all the residents.”

And hockey. Pete really loves hockey.