Welcome to a new feature on mapleleafs.com where you can ask a question of a member of the Maple Leafs each week and see selected answers posted here. You will also be able to see the answers on FanCam, one of the more popular shows on Leafs TV.
Recently, we had the chance to do a Q+A with the Maple Leafs' stick boys Tank and Diesel, a.k.a. Derek and Sean Bowen who also happen to be the sons of the voice of the Maple Leafs, Joe Bowen.
Q:How did you become stick boys?
Derek (Tank): I was about 10yrs old and my older brother Liam and I came down to the skills competition with our Dad. Pappy (Brian Papineau - Equipment Manager) asked us if we wanted to come down full-time on game nights. We've been doing this for about 7yrs now.
Sean (Diesel): I worked an old-timers game last year with my brother and Bobby Hastings (Ass. Equipment Manager) and they asked if I could help out a couple Saturday nights, and it went from there.
Q: What do you do on game nights?
Derek: Game night we come down with our Dad (Joe Bowen). We get here at about 5:00pm and we go right to the dressing room. We fill up all the water bottles and then I cut a couple of sticks for the guys and take care of any other requests they might have. During the game we sit on the bench and fill up cups with water or Gatorade. After the game we pack it all up and take it back to the dressing room to clean up and head home.
Sean: The only thing different for me is that while he is cutting sticks I slack off and talk with players. They don't "trust" me to cut their sticks. (Laughs)
Q: Does this job interfere with school with the late nights?
Sean: Not at all. Well, the mornings are kind of rough because I just don't look good early in the morning without a lot of sleep. But as far as schoolwork is concerned everything is fine there. My homework is done and my grades are good.
Derek: Sometimes it is hard to get up in the morning, and having to work Saturday's can be a bummer, but it's well worth it.
Q: What is the hardest part of your job?
Derek: I guess the hardest thing for me would be getting the sticks right so that the guys don't get mad at me. But they never get really mad, it is the best job, I'm so lucky.
Q: What is your relationship like with the players?
Sean: When I first started working Travis Green really helped me out and even gave me tips on the ice. There isn't a mean guy on the team, they are all really great to us.
Q: What are your career aspirations?
Derek: I'm applying to broadcasting school at Seneca College. I'd like to do play-by-play and follow in my Dad's footsteps, him on TV and me on the radio.
Sean:Like every young kid in Canada...to be a NHL player. Right now I don't really worry about that stuff. I just like being a normal kid and hanging around with my friends.
Check back in upcoming weeks for the next installment of ASK THE LEAFS.