After two seasons as an associate coach with the Coyotes, Barry Smith is leaving the team for a head coaching job in St. Petersburg, Russia, he told the Tribune on Monday.
“I want to step up,” he said. “It’s a situation which was very attractive because it’s not just to be a coach, but also director of the whole hockey operations.”
Smith, 55, has been a head coach at the collegiate level and in Europe before and said he welcomes the challenge of rebuilding the Russian club, St. Petersburg SKA, which has struggled of late.
“I thought before it gets too late in the tooth for me, I’d try it and see how well I can do with it,” he said.
Smith will also be coaching in Russia later this month as an associate for Team USA at the World Championships in Moscow.