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Pascal Dupuis talks about the roles of the equipment managers

It takes a team effort to win in the NHL

NHL: APR 15 Flyers at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This is a few days old, which in internet time makes it ancient, but I liked this NHL article by Pascal Dupuis and thought it was worth a read.

Well, if you speak French, anyways. Thanks to the sturdy old google translate, here’s what Dupuis was talking about. More or less, I suppose, but it is still a very interesting perspective from the former Penguin, and you can get the point.

It’s not that games that have been lacking since the start of the calendar, but one of the best assists of the season so far certainly belongs to Jon Taglianetti.

You don’t know Jon Taglianetti? Yet you have seen this game, I’m sure. This is the Pittsburgh Penguins’ equipment manager who helped Sidney Crosby score a goal by handing him a stick in the heat of the moment on a counterattack. Crosby hit the target seconds later.

The reaction of Crosby on the ice, who is quick to point Taglianetti after scoring, and that of the Penguins players on the bench, who rush at him immediately after the goal to congratulate him, illustrate how players appreciate these underground workers and all they do for them.

Jon Taglianetti is a really good guy. He’s from Pittsburgh, his father once played for the Penguins in the early 1990s, and he and his brother played football for the University of Pittsburgh. With all the time spent with the players, he’s really one of the boys with the Penguins, and it came out after Sid’s goal.

We see it everywhere in the League, the people in charge of the equipment are very involved in the routines of the players. Just think of the Tampa Bay Lightning, where the equipment attendant seems to have full confidence in Victor Hedman

Equipment managers are so important! Don’t think their job is just to sharpen skates… their role is to make sure everyone feels good. They’re almost psychologists in the locker room. As you can probably imagine, some hockey players are a bit superstitious. If a player is going through lethargy, the Equipment Manager will help them the best they can, whether that be by modifying a piece of equipment or spending hours on the phone with the various club makers to find them. a new model that will allow it to find its touch.

The hours they spend dealing with all of this is crazy. On the road, when the team lands in a city at 3 a.m. after playing the night before, players head straight to the hotel for bed. These guys take the direction of the arena with the truck to bring the equipment there, fix what was broken during the game the day before, and put everything in place so that the players are comfortable. next day for training. And they will still be there first the next morning… even if it means sleeping directly in the locker room - on a couch or on the trainer’s table - to save a few hours of sleep. Not to mention the occasions when the changing rooms are not even accessible the same evening, due to a match in another sport such as basketball or a show.

During a match, they are always involved and alert. Whether it’s handing out a towel or a water bottle, changing a skate blade, drying a glove, or spotting broken sticks on the ice, they never take a break.

Small parenthesis concerning broken sticks ... when the equipment managers are not able to grab a spare stick and hand it to the player on the ice as happened on the streak that led to the goal of Sid, the players are turned on enough to pick up a teammate’s stick that will allow him to continue to be effective. For example, if my stick broke I would never have wanted to take Sid’s stick, because even if he’s left-handed like me, I wouldn’t have been comfortable with his right paddle and he would have been too short. It was more towards Geno’s staff that I would have rushed.

It was great to see Taglianetti and some of the “other” guys behind the bench get in the spotlight last week and get some recognition for all the hard work they put into help the team. Whether it’s the players, coaches, training staff, equipment managers, video coaches there are so many people pulling the rope to help the team win on the ice.