We’ve heard all summer long from players, coaches and management on how their off-season is going, but why stop there?
Essential to any successful hockey team is the equipment manager. And head equipment manager Derek Settlemyre provides us with an inside look of what his life is like in the off-season.
“First [after the season ends] we wash all of the equipment using our sanitizer machine. We get it ready for the guys in case they want to take it home with them, then we pack up their sticks and ship it to them.”
|Settlemyre at the 2010 Winter Olympics for Team USA |
Once the players complete exit interviews and head home for the summer, Settlemyre will also enjoy the relaxation of the off-season schedule and spend time with the most important ones in his life.
“I spend a lot of time with my kids. We go to North Carolina for about three weeks and I spend as much time with them as I can because summers are a little different around here than the regular season.”
Settlemyre has two girls, Peyton and Bryce, and is originally a native of High Point, N.C.
“I like getting to go home to North Carolina to see my friends and family and taking the girls down there. They basically get to grow up here [in N.J.] and now during the summer they get to see where I grew up.”
It isn’t a straight through vacation for Settlemyre though. He needs to be back to deal with a larger than normal group of players when the Flyers’ annual Prospect Camp hits in early July.
“We basically prepare for the rookies to come in early July. I’ll place orders for the players coming in and at the same time do inventory.
“What I usually do is send an email out to every player coming into camp and ask what their sizes for equipment are. They’ll basically get a stock or generic pair of gloves, pants and helmet because usually equipment is not custom made for a rookie camp.”
Same goes for any new incoming Flyer.
“When new players come in like [Wayne] Simmonds and [Max] Talbot, who’s already established, I’ll talk to them and I know the company they use, so the day the deal is made I’ll place an order for those guys.”
“We [each team’s equipment manager] both call one another and say basically what goes on and what exactly they need and what their likes and dislikes for a piece of equipment.”
Settlemyre will enter his sixth season as the team’s head equipment manager after spending a total of 10 seasons with the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms.
He also has many impressive international credits to his resume. He has served as co-equipment manager for Team USA during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. He was also the head equipment manager for the US at the 2007 World Championships in Moscow and co-equipment manager at the 2006 World Championships in Riga, Latvia.
As the rest of the hockey community awaits the start of the new season, Settlemyre, and the rest of the equipment staff are more or less in full season mode as of right now.
“It basically started a week ago,” said Settlemyre. “With the guys that we have in now, they’re basically skating everyday.”
However, that’s not something that bothers him in the slightest.
“I never get sick of hockey. I really don’t. I usually have my TV on the NHL Network and I’ll watch games all summer. I read the newspapers and I like knowing what’s going on.”