No matter the teams or the heat of the rivalries between them, it always seems like you can pair two equipment managers and find a pretty close bond.
It’s not that hard to figure out why: On the list of not-thanked-enough people in hockey, the equipment manager has to be pretty close to the top. There are an awful lot of hours spent working when no one else is around, doing things that go largely unnoticed but are critical to the success of a player and a team.
So they appreciate what their trade counterparts do, in a way that not many others do. That’s the connection that exists between them, even if there’s not a lot of personal ties.
When I heard there was a benefit auction being organized for Chris Garner, the Minnesota-Duluth equipment manager who is battling a condition called myelodysplastic syndrome, I figured it was the work of another member of his field.
Jeremiah Minkel, the equipment manager at St. Cloud State who worked with Garner when they were both student assistants for the Huskies, has pulled together an impressive list of items for an online auction to help pay for medical costs that aren’t being covered by insurance.
Minkel said the list of donated items includes 82 college and pro jerseys and over 20 autographed sticks. The auction starts Oct. 24 at obermanauction.com. (UPDATE: Here’s the direct link to the auction.)
Here’s a video about the auction and Garner, narrated by Minkel.