Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 01/26/07 at 10:57 AM ET
from the Montreal Gazette:
For going on half a century, Rip Simonick has been up to his armpits in long johns, damp equipment, dull skates and many hundreds of hockey players - the great, the good and the ghastly alike.
Heaven on Earth, in other words.
Simonick, 57, is the longest-serving equipment manager in the NHL, an employee of the Buffalo Sabres since shortly after the club’s birth in 1969. He’s midway through his 36th season, nearly twice the service of Pierre Gervais, his counterpart with the Canadiens, and five years more than Gervais’s retired predecessor, Eddy Palchak.
“Today, we’re labourers, psychologists and babysitters. They call me a father figure, and I guess I can do it all. My job, as (former Sabres coach and general manager) Scotty Bowman told me long ago, is to eliminate the stuff that bothers the players, to make sure that they have everything they need to perform to the best of their ability.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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