Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/12/14 at 02:24 PM ET
from Elisabeth Meinecke of ESPN,
...as equipment managers for the U.S. men's hockey team in Sochi, they'll be responsible for keeping 25 guys comfortable an ocean away from home, in facilities they hadn't seen before landing in Russia.
Before the Games, the two had been working from a drawing that showed where the U.S. locker room and storage areas were located at the Olympics. Ideally, from an equipment manager's perspective, the setup would include plenty of space and no need to move anything. Ideally.
"We know that's not going to happen," Thill said. "Russia's gonna get all that stuff -- they're the home team. Obviously, they're going to get the nicest locker room, they're gonna get the nicest setup, they're gonna get the most storage space, and we've just gotta work with what we get."
Still, when Ryan Kesler walks into the U.S. locker room, the layout of the items in his stall will likely look identical to the one he left in his home arena 5,955 miles away, thanks to Rogers and Thill. They want the players to feel as comfortable as possible, and since they don't work with all 25 members of the U.S. team on a regular basis, they've turned to the people who do know them best: NHL team equipment managers.
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