NHL is the absolute top level of hockey. There are no better players in the world, there are no better coaches in the world, and there are no better fans in the world. Everything is absolutely tip-top, and players perform at the most outrageous level night after night. During the off-season, players work their hardest to be as good as possible during the season, with the ultimate goal of lifting the cup.
You can’t leave anything to chance when discussing sports at this level. Everything has to be planned, and everything has to be executed to perfection. And that’s not just for the players. The work being done off the ice, in the dressing room, and on the bench is just as important. Nothing can go wrong, and this is proof of it.
Last night, pro poker player Remko Rinkema posted a video on Twitter from a game between the Vegas Golden Knights and Toronto Maple Leafs. In the tweet, he wrote:
”Watching the “Stick Man” at hockey games is so insane. He touches the stick of whoever has the puck.”
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The description says everything, but we can’t stop watching this. The ”stick man” has complete knowledge of where the player with the puck’s stick is, and whoever has the puck, that player’s stick is in the hands of the equipment manager, standing on the bench. The Stick Man must be ready to give a player a new stick if the one they have on the ice breaks, and we’ve seen examples of when it goes wrong.
During the Stanley Cup final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche this summer, Tampa superstar Nikita Kucherov’s stick broke in the game’s dying seconds. He skated to his bench, but nobody was ready to hand him a new stick, which cost the Lightning valuable time.
The tweet has gained a lot of attention and interesting comments. The equipment manager of the Florida Everblades, in the ECHL, even answered.
”I’m one of those “stick guys” lol as an equipment manager you have to be ready at all times as it could potentially help prevent a goal or score a goal. I’ve had a few assists in my career. Not everyone does it to this extent though,” he wrote.
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