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The Official Site of the Arizona Coyotes


by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes
By: Matt Rosen

Photo credit: Norm Hall

The final horn has just sounded at Arena and the Phoenix Coyotes have beaten the Nashville Predaotrs for their fifth consecutive win on home ice by a score of 3-2. The fans have left the building, the players are on their way to celebrate the win as well, but for three men, they are going straight home, because they've been at the arena working for 17 hours.

Stan Wilson, Tony Silva and Jason Rudee are three of the most important men within the Coyotes organization, although you may never have heard their names. They are the equipment managers for the Coyotes and it is their job to make sure that each player's needs are taken care of. From a players skates to his sticks, it's Stan, Tony and Jason that make sure the players have everything they need.

Wilson has been the with the Coyotes organization since the days of the Winnipeg Jets and has been the head equipment manager for 11-years. All in all, Wilson has been with the organization for 17-years. Tony joined the staff as an equipment manager nine seasons ago, while Jason has been in the Valley for the past six years.

The trio work together almost 24-hours a day from the beginning of September until the last game of the season, hopefully mid-June. Some days are easier than others for the equipment staff but on a game day, their morning begins at 6:30 a.m. and doesn't end until at least midnight.

For a better idea of just what the Coyotes equipment staff endures on a game day, here is a glimpse into their non-stop schedule.

The three alarm clocks go off simultaneously at the home of Wilson, Silva and Rudee. They arise from bed and get ready to start their day. A half an hour later, they all arrive at the rink and start preparing the locker room for the days' events ahead. The first of many pots of coffee is brewed and the guys get to work, finishing the laundry from the previous day, hanging up jerseys for the morning skate, sharpening skates, and fixing any equipment problems that a player might have.

6:30 AM Stan, Tony & Jason's alarm goes off
7:30 AM All three arrive at Arena
7:31 AM Brew Coffee
7:33 AM Get locker room ready
  Hang players gear in their stalls
  Hand out socks
  start on equipment repairs from the previous day
9:00 AM Players arrive
  Hang practice jerseys in the stalls
  Jason gets the bench ready for the morning skate
  Fill water bottles, bring towels, puck and extra tape to the bench
  Fasten coaches' board on glass
  Stock fridge with water, Gatorade & soda
  Brew Coffee
10:00 AM Morning skate begins
  Check visitors locker room
  Tidy-up locker room
10:30 AM Practice end
  Clean-up locker room
  Laundry begins
  sharpen each players skates
11:30 AM Visiting team morning skate
  Bring towles to visitors
  Laundry continues
1:00 PM Trainers take lunch
3:00 PM More laundry
  hang game jerseys in stalls
3:15 PM Brew more coffee
4:00 PM Start preparing the bench for the game
  Bring out 20 water bottles, 10 towels a roll of red, white and black tape
  Set up penalty boxes with water, ice & towels
5:30 PM Team meeting
6:30 PM Make last minute adjustments for players
7:00 PM Game begins
9:45 PM Game ends
  Help pack-up visiting team
  Set-up stalls
  Clean-up locker room
  Turn on fans
11:30 PM Day ends

The season is long for everyone who works in the National Hockey League. The Ultimate goal is the Stanley Cup. That's not just the goal of the players and the coaches, but it's Stan's Tony's and Jason's goal as well.

Wilson admits that his least favorite thing to do is hang laundry after they get back from a road trip.

"The worst part is hanging equipment at three in the morning. That's really the only bad thing." Said Wilson. "It's not much fun hanging equipment at three in the morning."

Serving as a NHL equipment manager is certainly no easy task. It's a demanding job that requires long hours and is largely hidden behind the scenes. There is also the pressure of knowing that nearly everything a player uses to be successful comes directly from you.

"Equipment mangers supply everything for the players except their talent," added Wilson. "A players job is gun to gun, a trainers job is never done."

Even with the long work days and the time-sensitive demands placed on the equipment staff, each member will be the first to tell you that they are living a dream and wouldn't change jobs with anyone.

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