Cooper started the tradition of chewing gum when he got into coaching and it has become a habit or superstition ever since.
"One piece goes in at the beginning and it stays in the rest of the game," he said. "It doesn't come out."
Cooper, a Prince George, B.C., native, is in his first full NHL season. He won championships in the AHL and USHL previously. Before that, he was a lawyer.
Gum-chewing isn't something he studies, but it's part of his routine.
"I don't watch myself on the bench so I don't know how hard I chew it," he said. "Apparently I do chew it pretty hard."
Given how close the Lightning and Montreal Canadiens have played each other this season and then into overtime in Game 1 —with the Habs winning the playoff opener 5-4 — that can become more of a chore than anyone would expect.
"By the time you get deep into overtimes, it's a tough one to chew," Cooper said.Suggest a correction