In his three decades as a member of the Canadiens' organization, head equipment manager Pierre Gervais has picked up his share of insider info from within the Bell Centre's walls. In this week's edition of Ask Gerv!, find out which player changes gloves the most often and how many towels get used on the bench each game.
To read the previous edition, click here.
1. Question from Maxime Bossinotte, via Facebook.
Which player uses the most equipment in a season?
I would say Tomas Plekanec. He changes gloves every three weeks or so. As for his other equipment, he changes his skates pretty regularly, too - every three weeks to a month. For the rest, it's pretty standard. We'll change pants once or twice a year, if necessary. The inner equipment doesn't get changed very often. The guys get comfortable with it, so we sometimes have to fight with them to change it. In terms of helmets, we start each season with new ones and change them about halfway through.
2. Question from Dwight Fidler, via Twitter.
Do many players have hockey brand loyalty? Does Weber pick out his own sticks?
They don't all have it, but many of them have contracts with companies, so I buy equipment for them from whichever company they're signed with. If they're with Bauer, CCM or Warrior, for example, I'll buy the equipment based on that.
The players all choose their own stick, curve and flex. It's tailor-made for them. In fact, when I order the sticks, the only thing I'm writing is how many sticks to get for each player. They already have all the specifications and if the player wants to do something different, he does it directly with the representative; I'm not so involved there. Sometimes, a player will be having trouble with something and he'll come see me, and at that point I'll get in touch with the representative and arrange for him/her to come to Brossard to meet the player. For me, whether a player takes a 95, 100 or 110, it makes no difference, so long as he's comfortable with what he has. It's my job to ensure that the players are comfortable and happy.
3. Question from Ed Asmono, via Twitter.
How do you keep track of the players' towels on the bench during a game? Do they each have their own? Do you go through 1000/game?
We change the towels every time a player takes one, so it's a new one every time. We easily go through a hundred towels per game. They're for one-time use. It wasn't like that before, but the League has tightened up the rules to help prevent the spread of the flu and things like that.