Monday, November 29, 2010

Behind The Scenes - What Keeps The Cyclones In Motion

Actually, the title should be "WHO" keeps the Cyclones in motion.

The answer? Equipment Manager Chris Burke and Athletic Trainer Bob Case.

Regular readers may recall than on a few prior occasions I've lauded the maintenance staff at US Bank Arena for all their work before, after, during, and between events at the arena. I like to recognize the folks who make it all happen and who are under-appreciated.

Well, more specific to the Cyclones operations are Burke and Case. Most fans probably have no idea the long, hard hours they put in for the team. They are not an NHL operation with a full staff of helpers. Basically it is just the two of them to handle all of the team's equipment needs and basic medical needs.

They are the first to arrive and the last to leave. While the players are waiting in their apartment or hotel for the game, Burke is there setting up their dressing room. Then, when they leave to go to the bar or even just go home, Burke is there packing their stuff, making repairs, doing the laundry, etc.

The night before the home opener this year, I was at the arena until after 3:00 AM stringing the second goal net. That's the latest I've been there in 4 years and that time it was by my choice as the best fit for my schedule. Well, the Cyclones played in Toledo that night. Burke and Case came rolling in to US Bank Arena in the middle of the night and had to unpack and set everything up for the big home opener.

Mind you, they first had to pack up in Toledo and load up the bus, then ride the bus back to the practice rink in Evendale where the players got in their cars and went home. But, all the equipment had to be moved from the bus to the team van, driven downtown, and then unload and set up for the next game.

This is routine operating procedure for these guys. Take this current weekend, they had games Friday and Saturday at home, but then had to pack up Saturday night to be ready to travel to Toledo for the Sunday afternoon game, then haul it all back again to get ready for practice Monday morning.

Endless, thankless, essential jobs that no fan should take for granted!

Thanks guys, I wouldn't have two rings without you! All I had to do was show up and drive in circles!


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