By Ian Cox, Asst. Equipment Manager, Ottawa Senator
Whether it be in major junior or in the NHL, trade deadline is a day circled on all of our calendars as soon as the schedule is released. Some years trade the deadline comes and goes without any changes and in some cases, it can really test you. In our case, this year’s trade deadline was an interesting one. Four trades in four days with every possible scenario. Three new roster players from three different organizations. The first one we actually traded with the team we played that same evening!
A “hallway trade” might seem as easy as swapping equipment down the hallway, but in this case a few big challenges were encountered. First, being such short notice, we had to make jerseys and nameplates in-house which requires some additional time.
The bigger challenge we encountered was the fact that one of the incoming players used a totally custom glove. The trade happened at noon and the manufacturer who is based in Montreal had gloves and pants here in new team colors by game time. Lots of quick communication needed to happen. Kudos to them!
On deadline day, we were traveling that evening, three hours after the deadline. Sure enough, we acquired two players who would meet us on the road in Washington to play with us the next day. Between our staff we split up and were heading in different directions – one to the cresting shop for name bars and to our printer for nameplates – while another staff member got our player being traded away, packed up and on his way to catch a flight in a few hours to his new team.
To top it off, one of the players we acquired uses an old model glove that takes time to produce. We had to get creative to get him Ottawa Senators game ready. A little spray paint and pieces from a different model glove later, he was on the ice the next night!
Finally, we shouldn?t forget the therapists who have as much work at these times as well – obtaining and sharing information with the other team?s staff and making sure they are adequately prepared for the needs of the new players. Much like the equipment staff, they have to work fast to get these players on the
As equipment managers, therapists or vendors we all take great pride in what we do and finding a way to get the job done under any circumstance. This year’s trade deadline is just another testament to how great our group is!