With over 35 years in the athletic training profession, Ken Lowe worked over 1500 career regular season games with the Edmonton Oilers. He joined the organization on July 6, 1989 and was a member of the 1990 Stanley Cup championship team. Lowe was also the athletic trainer for the Western Conference All-Stars at the 1997 NHL All-Star Game in San Jose, California and the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal, Quebec.
Lowe transitioned from his position as Head Athletic Therapist in 2010, moving into his role as the Senior Coordinator, Medical Services for the Edmonton Oilers. Lowe provided his expertise in this area until his retirement in 2018.
Besides his role with the Oilers, Lowe has represented Canada on the international stage five times. He was Canada’s athletic therapist at both the 2002 (gold medal) and 2006 (7th place) Winter Olympics, the 2004 World Cup of Hockey (gold medal), 1996 World Cup of Hockey (2nd place) and the gold medal winning team at the 1994 World Championship in Milan, Italy.
Prior to joining the Oiler training staff, Lowe spent seven successful seasons (1982 to 1989) with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL). During his tenure as the Head Athletic Therapist with the Eskimos, he was a member of Grey Cup championship teams in both 1982 and 1987.
The holder of a Master of Arts Degree specializing in Athletic Training and Conditioning from the University of Alberta, Lowe has an extensive background in sports medicine. As well as his experience with the Eskimos, Lowe was a training assistant with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL from 1975-78.
Graduating with an Honours Science Degree in Bio Physical Education from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, he served as the head athletic therapist at his alma mater for three years, 1979-81, working extensively with the Stingers’ intercollegiate athletic teams. He was inducted into Concordia’s Sports Hall of Fame on June 2, 2005.
Ken is the older brother of Kevin Lowe, the retired six-time Stanley Cup Champion, NHL player and current Vice Chair of Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG). Ken and his wife, Marianne have two daughters Amanda and Melissa.
Robert "Rip" Simonick
Head Equipment Manager Buffalo Sabres 1970 to Present
He was nicknamed by his father, Jacob, because he liked to sleep like Rip Van Winkle. But as he grew up in the Old 1st Ward of Buffalo, he learned the value of hard work, not sleeping.
Rip and his brother, Paul “Kielbas” Simonick, would walk to the Aud as kids. They would watch the Buffalo Bisons of the AHL. They were eventually given the honor of becoming gofers and stick boys.
Rip continued on with the Buffalo Sabres when they entered the NHL in 1970 being hired to the equipment staff by Punch Imlach. He was mentored by his great friends and legendary trainers, Frank Christie and Lou Bellitier Sr. He quickly moved up to become equipment manager and carry on their traditions. He became a father figure and mentor to so many. From rookies and veteran players to co-workers and even coaches. Rip’s wit and wisdom could get them through any rough day.
Hockey is not Rip’s only love. Just like the longevity of his career with the Sabres, more noteworthy is his longevity with his wife, MaryAnn “Maize” McGuire. They met as neighborhood kids in the Old 1st Ward.
They eventually married and became the greatest hockey loving couple of all time.
Maize also came from a hockey family. Her brother and Rip’s best friend, “E.J.” McGuire has worked for the NHL. He is considered one of the greatest minds of the NHL. “E.J.” worked with scouting services and created the NHL Scouting Combine.
Another of Rip’s loves is thoroughbred horses. Rip, Maize and Kielbas started Old 1st Ward Stables. They traveled throughout the US and Canada together having many great times. Rip has named many of his horses in honor of his wife and brother who have been by his side through his whole journey.
Rip’s never-ending devotion to family, friends, neighborhood and sports has always made him respected and revered by all.
Mark O’Neill is the youngest son of former NBA Los Angeles Lakers trainer Frank and mother Jean O’Neill. Mark started his professional career as an assistant to his father with the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League prior to joining the National Hockey League Los Angeles Kings in 1979.
Mark served as a “trainer” in 1979 and equipment manager from 1980-1993 with the NHL Los Angeles Kings hockey club sharing duties coordinating hockey equipment, supplies, maintenance, repairs and inventory used by the players.
During his time in Los Angeles, Mark also served as a basketball trainer at practice sites during the 1984 Summer Olympics at the Forum in Inglewood. In 1986, Mark traveled to the Soviet Union to work as equipment manager for team Canada during the World Ice Hockey Championships tournament at the CSKA Ice Palace in Moscow.
In 1981, Mark was a technical advisor for the fact-based film “Miracle on Ice” and provided wardrobe and equipment expertise for the 1984 HBO cable TV network American comedy series “1st and Ten”.
In 1993, Mark left the Los Angeles Kings to become the first Head Equipment Manager of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks during the inaugural 1993-1994 season.
In 1998, Mark worked as equipment manager at the NHL All-Star game in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 1998, Mark also worked as the equipment manager for USA Hockey in Switzerland at the IIHF World Championships. In 2002, Mark worked at the Easton service center at the Salt Lake City Olympics and in 2010 he also worked the service center at the Vancouver Olympics maintaining gear for the hockey athletes competing in Canada.
Mark retired from the National Hockey League in 2007 after the Western Conference Anaheim Ducks won their first Stanley Cup Championship defeating the Ottawa Senators in five games at the Honda Center in Southern California.
Mark O’Neill completed 29 seasons and 2,250 games in the National Hockey League.
Mark is still working in hockey today as a PHATS-SPHEM vendor with Jan-Al Cases, currently in his 8th year as sports manger. Jan-Al manufactures road cases, flight cases, wardrobe cases, etc… for the NHL, MLB, NFL, NCAA. He also provides cases for professional musicians such as
Imagine Dragons, Fleetwood Mac, KISS and others.
Mark currently resides in Placentia, California. He has two sons, Daniel and Aidan, daughter, Audrey and two grandchildren Raya & Nessa O’Neill.
16 Years of NHL Service and 13 years with USA Hockey
1986-1999: Washington Capitals
1999-2002: Florida Panthers
2002 to Present: USA Hockey
For the past 30-plus years Stan Wong has been a fixture on the athletic training scene and beloved by every team he has worked with.
Wong began his career with the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League where he served as an athletic trainer for two seasons (1980-82), including the team’s run to Super Bowl XV in 1981. He then moved to the United States Football League, where he worked as an athletic trainer for the Boston Breakers from 1983-85.
His hockey career began in 1986 with the NHL’s Washington Capitals. His 13-year stint with the Capitals was highlighted by a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998. He was also selected as an athletic trainer for both the 1991 and 1999 NHL All-Star Games. Wong moved to the Florida Panthers where he worked for three seasons (1999-2002) before retiring from the NHL.
Since then, the Fall River, Massachusetts, native has served as an athletic trainer for 34 different U.S. teams put on the ice for international competition by USA Hockey, the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States.
At the pinnacle, Wong has served as an athletic trainer for the last three U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Teams (2014, 2010, 2006). In addition, he has been an athletic trainer for the last 13 U.S. National Junior Teams (2003-15) and the last nine U.S. Men’s National Teams (2007-15). He has also served in the same capacity for eight U.S. teams that participated in the Deutschland Cup (2002-05, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013) and was also the trainer for Team USA at the 2012 Youth Olympic Winter Games.
During his time with Team USA, Wong has served on teams that have won an Olympic silver medal (2010), three World Junior Championship gold medals (2004, 2010, 2013), two World Junior Championship bronze medals (2007, 2011) and a Men’s World Championship bronze medal (2013).Wong resides in Boca Raton, Florida.
Bobby Stewart spent 38 seasons as an equipment manager in the National Hockey League and worked over 2900 regular season games. A native of Montreal, Stewart spent three seasons with the Montreal Junior Canadiens before joining the Atlanta Flames in 1973. In 1980 he moved with the team to Calgary and spent the next 19 seasons with the Calgary Flames. During the years in Calgary the team reached the Stanley Cup finals twice and won the Stanley Cup in 1989. Stewart returned to Atlanta in 1999 when the Atlanta Thrashers joined the NHL and stayed with the team until it relocated to Winnipeg in 2011. Stewart worked with Team Canada at the 1998 World Hockey Championships. Stewart also worked three NHL All-Star Games, 1985 in Calgary, 1994 in New York and 2008 in Atlanta.
Head Athletic Trainer 1988-2008
Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars
David “Soup” Surprenant headed up the Athletic training staff for 20 seasons with the NHL Minnesota North Stars and Dallas Stars. He was honored to represent the Western Conference at two NHL All Stars Games; 1992 in Pittsburgh and 2005 in Dallas. His teams reached the playoffs 17 of 20 seasons and included the Stanley Cup Finals three times. A major highlight of his professional career was winning the Stanley Cup in 1999 with the Dallas Stars. Soup served the PHATS board as Western Conference Representative, 7 years as Vice President, and coordinated the Educational Program for 14 years. Prior to joining the North Stars in 1988, he was employed four years with a Bloomington MN physical therapy clinic also serving as the head trainer at Normandale Community College. His experience includes a summer as an assistant athletic trainer for the NFL New Orleans Saints. He also worked as an x-ray technologist. Surprenant earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training in 1983 from Mankato State University.
Presently Dave is employed as Outreach Coordinator/Physician Extender with Carrell Clinic and North Central Surgical Center, an orthopedic group in Dallas. Soup also consults with Athlete RMS, the medical records service for the NHL, MLB, CFL, and WTA. Dave and his wife Julie reside in Lewisville, TX with their sons, AJ and Bryan.
Barrie Stafford is currently in his 30th season with the Edmonton Oilers' organization.
He was the Oiler’s Head Equipment Manager for 28 years and was transitioned to Director of Special Projects in April 2010.
Since joining the Edmonton training staff in 1982-83, "Staff" has contributed greatly to the success of the Oilers. He has been a member of Edmonton's five Stanley Cup championship teams and was the trainer for the Campbell Conference All-Stars at the 1989 NHL All-Star Game held in Edmonton.
Stafford celebrated a career milestone during the 2007-08 season as he worked his 2,000th career NHL regular season game in the Oilers final regular season game – a 2-1 win at Vancouver on April 3, 2008.
Stafford also has an extensive background in international hockey, serving as the Equipment Manager for Team Canada at eight major international tournaments. He won gold medals with Canada at the 1984, '87 and '91 Canada Cups, and he 1994 World Championships in Milan, Italy. He was a member of the gold medal winning Team Canada at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and was with the 2006 Olympic Team in Torino Italy. He was with Team Canada when they won Gold at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey as well as silver in the inaugural World Cup in 1996.
A former Vice President of the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers, Stafford made the move to the training room following an outstanding intercollegiate hockey career with the University of Alberta. In four seasons as a Golden Bear (1977-78 to 1980-81), he was a member of three Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) national championship teams, winning the University Cup from 1977-78 to 1979-80 and also won a gold medal at the 1981 World Student Games in Jaca, Spain. He was inducted into the University of Alberta’s Sports Wall of Fame on May 8, 2008.
Following his graduation from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Physical Education degree in 1981, Stafford began his professional training duties as the trainer for the Wichita Wind, Edmonton’s affiliate in the Central Hockey League, before joining the Oilers the following season.
A native of Banff, Alberta, he and his wife, Susan, have an avid interest in horses.
Born July 24th 1958, Gaetan began his tenure with the Montreal Canadiens in the fall of 1974 as a part- time assistant to Eddy Palchack and also then therapist Bob Williams. He worked with the Canadiens as a part time trainer while completing his undergraduate at Concordia University. In May of 1981 Lefebvre became the ATC with the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club. He acted as assistant athletic therapist from 1981 to 1988. He was then promoted to the head therapist position in 1989. He remained in this role until August 2000. Gaetan had the honor of being part of the 1986 and 1993 Stanley Cup Teams. In addition, he was the athletic trainer for the 1981-1984 and 1987 Canada Cup Tournaments.
In 2000 Gaetan then occupied the role of special assistant to the player development sector, overseeing medical documentation of newly drafted players and draft candidates for the Canadiens. He left the Montreal Canadiens in 2003 to successfully pursue his MBA at the John Molson School of Business from 2004 to 2006. In October of 2005 Gaetan Lefebvre co-founded Sutton Medical Systems.
Gates is the proud father of two daughters, Emilie and Florence and he shares his life with Fanny Preault.
Mark “Peaches” Brennan, a native of Toronto and a graduate of Sheridan College’s Athletic, Training and Management Program, began his career while attending Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario.
During his studies at Sheridan, he was fortunate to work for the two-time Canadian Champion Agincourt Rawlings Baseball team as trainer and equipment manager. As well, he was the Assistant Trainer and Equipment Manager for the Toronto Blizzard of the old North American Soccer League, spent one season with the Burlington Cougars of the OHA and two seasons with the varsity Bruins at Sheridan College.
Upon graduation in 1983, he began his hockey career with the New Westminster Bruins of the Western Hockey League. After two seasons in Junior “A” hockey, he moved onto the Adirondack Red Wings of the American Hockey League and won a Calder Cup with them in 1986.
The following season, he was promoted to the Detroit Red Wings and spent seven seasons as their Head Equipment Manager. During his tenure in Detroit he was selected to be the equipment manager for old Cambell Conference in the 1993 NHL All Star game, played for the last time in the old Montreal Forum.
After leaving Detroit, he and his family moved to Florida and he was fortunate to spend many seasons as the Head Equipment Manager of the Florida Panthers. During his time in Florida the team played in the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals, eventually losing to Colorado. Following the defeat of Florida in the finals, he was selected as the first Treasurer of the newly formed Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Manages. This was the first year that PHATS/SPHEM were two separate entities under one society. It was also during his tenure in Florida that the Panthers hosted the NHL All Star Game in 2003.
His professional accomplishments were a proud part of his time in the NHL. He has been a member of the Athletic Equipment Managers Association for 27 years and has been certified with the AEMA since 1994. Following two terms as Treasurer, he was elected President of SPHEM and served with pride for two terms. As well, he worked at helping to establish the National Hockey League standardization program, ice report forms and the establishment of the Injury Analysis Panel and served two terms as the representative for the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers.
Upon his retirement from the National Hockey League, he had worked over 1,500 regular season games, won the Norris Division twice, selected to work two All Star Games and made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.Peaches is still is involved with the two societies and has worked since taking up residence with his family in Portland, Oregon, on the establishment of the PHATS/SPHEM Alumni Association and continues to serve as the Chairman of the Alumni Association.
Jim “Bearcat” Murray
Half a dozen successful careers and still positive energy to spare! A born and bred Albertan, Jim “Bearcat” Murray was born in Vulcan Alberta, and moved to Okotoks in 1937 where he completed his secondary schooling. Bearcat began his career as an athletic trainer and therapist in both football and hockey. Working for the Calgary Centennials, Calgary Cowboys and Calgary Wranglers, eventually working for the Calgary Stampeders (CFL), and the Calgary Flames. During his 16 years behind the bench with the Flames, Bearcat was a member of numerous division and conference championships reaching the pinnacle of the sport by having his name engraved on the Stanley Cup for the 1988-1989 season.
The Calgary Centennials Junior Hockey Team (WCMJHL) 1967-1975
The Calgary Cowboys (World Hockey Assoc) 1975-1977
The Calgary Cardinals Baseball Team (AAA Baseball League) 1976-1977
The Calgary Stampeders Football Club (CFL) 1975-1980
The Calgary Wranglers Junior Hockey Team(WCHL) 1977-1980
World Team Rodeo (trainer & therapist, Calgary Stampede Rodeo) 1977 1979
The New York Rangers (NHL) 1980/1980
The Calgary Flames (NHL trainer and therapist) 1980-1996
The Calgary Flames Community Relations Ambassador 1996-2006
Bearcat the Potlicker Community Relations Ambassador 2006 to present
The Calgary Flames Alumni Association- present
The Calgary Stampeders Alumni Association- present
Twenty-nine years in athletics taught Bearcat the value of teamwork, goal setting and motivation. It was these skills that he successfully parlayed in 1996 into his concurrent careers as an Auctioneer, a Professional Speaker and an Ambassador for the Calgary Flames. Through it all, a positive attitude, infectious laugh and boundless energy has helped Bearcat excel in his endeavors.Today, Jim delivers the message of his ongoing involvement in the Community, and of his firm beliefs in goal setting, health, fitness, life-long learning and living. Bearcat and his wife Shirley reside in Okotoks, Alberta, and have two sons and three grandsons, Allan (James & Jesse) and Danny (Michele & Spencer).
On June 14, 2008 in St. Louis at the PHATS/SPHEM conference, Dave Smith will be inducted into the PHATS/SPHEM Wall of Fame at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Dave Smith, or “Smitty” as the hockey world knows him, worked 19 seasons with the Stars organization and 39 campaigns in hockey. Smith, 64, had the honor of working his 2,000th NHL regular season game on November 10, 2002 at the New York Islanders.Smith joined the Stars organization after eight years with the St. Louis Blues and four with Cleveland of the World Hockey Association, and his resume includes eight seasons in the minor leagues and junior hockey, and one year with a pro lacrosse team.
A fixture with the Kings for 37 years, Demers first joined the Kings organization in 1969 as the head athletic trainer for the Springfield Kings. He joined the Los Angeles Kings three years later and ended the 2005-06 season having never missed a Kings game, a streak of 2,632 consecutive regular season Kings/NHL contests.
One of the most respected NHL trainers, Demers -- an inaugural member of the Kings Hall of Fame – is also a longtime member of PHATS and served three terms as president. In 2005-06, Demers served on the PHATS executive board as past president. A certified member of the National Athletic Trainers Association, Demers served 10 years as the NHL Trainers/Physicians liaison and he has served on the NHL Injury Committee.
A native of Providence, Rhode Island, Demers began his career as an athletic trainer in 1965, beginning a 41-year career that included more than 3,000 games in professional hockey. He began that pro career with the Providence Reds of the American Hockey League (he is also is a charter member of the R.I. Reds Heritage Society) while attending Brown University and the University of Rhode Island. Demers later worked for Columbus (IHL) before spending three years with Springfield (AHL), then the Kings’ primary affiliate.
Demers, a true ironman, has also represented his country at several international hockey tournaments. In 1998, he represented his country and Team USA at the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. In 1997, he traveled to Helsinki, Finland, with the US Team for the World Championships. In 1996, he served as the trainer for the Team USA squad at the World Cup of Hockey Tournament, when the U.S. finished first, and at the World Championships in Vienna, Austria. He served in the same capacity for Team Canada in the 1986 World Championships in the former Soviet Union and also for the US squad at the 1994 World Championships in Italy. During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Demers served as a USOC athletic trainer for Men’s Basketball.
In the local community, Demers has been active, including a long involvement with Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Minor Hockey Association. Peter and his wife Marilyn reside in Los Angeles and spend their summers in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. They have two children, Aimee and Tom.
The head athletic trainer at St. Lawrence University since 1985, Ron Waske is a former St. Lawrence athlete and was part of four Stanley Cup hockey teams when he worked as athletic trainer for the New York Islanders.
Waske was an ice hockey and baseball player at St. Lawrence from 1965-69 and is the only player in Saint hockey history to play both forward and goalie in the same game. Following his graduation from St. Lawrence, he earned his master’s degree while serving as a graduate assistant athletic trainer at Bowling Green University.
He was a teacher and the boy’s ice hockey coach at Norwood-Norfolk Central School for three years before becoming head trainer for the Jacksonville Barons on the AHL in 1973-74. He then moved on to the Islanders as that team’s head trainer where he served for ten years.He returned to St. Lawrence in 1984 as associate head athletic trainer and took over as the head trainer a year later upon the retirement of Art Van Auken. He took a two-year sabbatical from his training duties to serve as the head coach of the St. Lawrence women’s hockey team in its first years as a Division I program in 1997-98 and 1998-99. He returned to the training room to start the 1999-2000 academic year and oversees a staff of three full time assistants in addition to student aides for St. Lawrence’s 32-sport athletic program which includes both men’s and women’s Division I hockey.
Jim Pickard is in his ninth year as assistant equipment manager for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Pickard, 55, is an NHL locker room veteran. His name appears on the Stanley Cup five times for his work as equipment manager of the New York Islanders from 1972 to 1990 and with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. At the end of 2000-01, he achieved the milestone of 2,000 games as an NHL equipment manager. Pickard’s NHL career spans five decades and includes service with the Oakland Seals (1968-72) and St. Louis Blues (1991-92). He has also served as equipment manager for the IHL’s Phoenix Roadrunners and Las Vegas Thunder as well as the equipment manager for the 1987 Team Canada for the Canada Cup.
The 2004 Hall of Fame inductee had an illustrious 33-year career as a trainer in the Alberta Senior League, the Western League, Central League, World Hockey Association and the National Hockey League. The native of Drumheller, Alberta began his career in 1966 with that city's senior team, which won the Allan Cup that year.
In the minor leagues, "Doc", as he was affectionately known, worked in Salt Lake (WHL), Phoenix and Indianapolis (WHA) and Dallas (CHL), before beginning an eight-year career as head equipment man with the NHL Vancouver Canucks in 1980-81. During his tenure in Vancouver, he was teamed with the late Larry Ashley, one of the NHL’s most-revered athletic trainers. The tandem was twice honored as official trainers for Team Canada at the World Hockey Championships in 1985 in Prague, Czechoslovakia and two years later in Vienna,Austria, winning a silver medal on each occasion.
He spent the 1988-89 season with the New Jersey Devils and then another nine seasons with the Boston Bruins. In 1999, he returned to his off-season home just outside Phoenix, Arizona, where he looked after the Coyotes skate shop. Just prior to the playoffs that spring, Fleger received an urgent call from Buffalo where the Sabres trainer had comedown with a severe gall bladder problem. Fleger came to the rescue, worked the final 11 regular season games for the Sabres and helped them go all the way to the Stanley Cup finals where they finally yielded to the Dallas Stars.
Among "Doc's" proudest possessions are a miniature Clarence Campbell Bowl he received in 1982 from the Canucks, plus two miniatures from Boston (1990) and Buffalo (1999). His fondest memories relate to Canucks' fabled run to the finals in 1982. "It was amazing," recalls Fleger. "Here we had just lost four straight to the Islanders, yet they still had a parade for us in downtown Vancouver and we all got invited to City Hall where we signed the City Register and received special greetings from Mayor Mike Harcourt. That was a very special time, indeed."
Tom “Woody” Woodcock
Head Trainer with St. Louis, Hartford and San Jose.
- 16 Years NHL Service (1979-1995)
- Québec Nordiques
- 7 Years WHA Service (1972-79)
- 29 Years NHL Service (1969-98)
- Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning
- Served as PHATS President
- 2 Stanley Cups
- 31 Years NHL Service (1969-2000)
- Chicago Blackhawks
- 16 Years NHL Service (1979-95)
- Québec Nordiques, Vancouver Canucks
- 7 Years WHA Service (1972-79)
- Served as PHATS President
- 31 years of NHL service (1966-97)
- Montréal Canadiens
- 10 Stanley Cups
- 3 International Wins: Canada Cups 76, 84, 87
- 22 Years of NHL Service (1967-89)
- Los Angeles Kings, Atlanta Flames, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues
Dan "Olie" Olesevich
- 25 Years of NHL Service (1958-83)
- Detroit Red Wings
- Served as PHATS Secretary/Treasurer & Vice President
Dan "Grinder" Carney
- 23 Years of NHL Service (1962-85)
- Boston Bruins
- Served as PHATS President
- 2 Stanley Cups
Ross "Lefty" Wilson
- 32 Years of NHL Service (1950-82)
- Detroit Red Wings
- Served as First PHATS President
- 3 Stanley Cups
- 1 International Wins: Canada Cup 76