WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – This February, Eyewitness News goes ‘On the Job,’ giving you a behind-the-scenes look at careers in our area.
Chris Langlois, Kelly Byrne, and Meteorologist Stefano DiPietro take a trip to Wilkes-Barre’s Toyota Sportsplex where the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins practice.
It takes a talented group to pull off a win on the ice. But what most people don’t see is the team behind the team working before the puck even drops.
“The four of us combined, we have to act like a unified team of equipment managers to make sure everything happens on the ice,” says Jared Mycyk, head equipment manager for the WBS Penguins.
Mycyk leads his own team of pros to make sure every game and practice happens without a hitch. His office is a one stop shop for everything pertaining to hockey. And what’s a hockey player without sharp skates?
“In game, [a player] will put his foot up,” says Mycyk. “I’ll pop the steel out and then I’ll put in a fresh set of steel that’s already sharpened.”
Each player gets two sharpened sets every game. Handling the team’s demand is a meticulous task involving a specific skate sharpening machine.
Another major part of the job is handling equipment repairs. Some players like new equipment when possible. Others like to keep what works, which results in more routine repairs for specific players.
All this equipment makes it to the locker room where it’s ready and waiting for the players. Mycyk says, when it comes to preparing a player’s locker, the smallest details matter.
It’s a lot of work to do for every practice, but it’s work that makes a difference.
“We want to be able to give each of the players the tools, the equipment, and the things necessary for them to perform at their highest potential,” says Mycyk.
To reach that potential at game time, gear from the locker room and the stick room are packed into a truck to make the two mile trip down the road to the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Its next stop is a packed house of Penguins fans ready for another win.