As Assistant Equipment Trainer, Brian “Red” Hamilton is tasked with helping the Equipment Manager and Assistant Equipment Manager in the day to day operation of the Equipment Department. Red is responsible for transporting the equipment to and from the airport for both the Canucks and the visiting teams. He also does the laundry for the Canucks and the visiting teams when they arrive and during their stay.
DAY TO DAY
Red's day starts just before 8:00. He makes sure all the laundry is ready for the day. If there is a visiting team in town, he will make sure their laundry is ready to go as well. He sets up the water on the benches and helps with putting out the practice jerseys once they get the lines from the coaches. Red is also responsible for ordering all water and Gatorade products. After practice they make sure all the players stalls have the gear hung the same. Red starts the laundry and tidies up for the next day. On some practice days, he has to leave to get the visiting team from the airport. Often after practice he will go home for dinner and then come back to the rink because a team will fly in at midnight after playing in Edmonton, Calgary or any other NHL city. These nights usually end about 2 hours after the team arrives. Red will bring the gear and the team's trainers to Rogers Arena and they will set up their room so the gear dries while he does their laundry. Then Red will drive them to their hotel before going to bed.
ON GAME DAYS
Game days start the same as a practice day. Red will get to the rink at 8:00 and make sure the room is ready and the visiting team has everything they need. After morning skate he will do the Canucks laundry and then the visiting team’s laundry. At 4:00 the players start showing up. Red is also responsible for making sure the Referees have supplies in their room and checking to see if they need any skates sharpened or laundry done for their next game. During the game he is responsible for gloves in the intermissions. They put them on dryers and players like them to come off at different times so it keeps him busy. After the game the visiting team usually leaves town so Red helps pack them up and drives their gear to the airport and loads it on the plane. He usually gets back to Rogers Arena around midnight. If the team is staying over in Vancouver Red will do their game laundry so it is ready for them to pack up in the morning.
Red started working for the BC Lions when he was 13. He spent 13 seasons with them and during his time there he made some connections with a few of the Canuck's trainers. When a position opened up at the Canucks he expressed interest and got the job. He started here as a Dressing Room attendant only working game nights and got his promotion after the lockout when one of the trainers moved on.
HITTING THE BOOKS
No schooling is required for this position so the best way to get a similar role is to make connections in the industry. Volunteering with teams in the community and meeting people is the best way to get to know people involved in hockey. It can be difficult because there are only a few jobs in each city so it takes a bit of luck.
When asked for advice about the field Red stated: “Get involved with a hockey team, any hockey team. Be willing to do any job because all the jobs that are done at one level need to be done at all levels. Make connections with people, you never know who might know who. If you want a job in the NHL you also have to consider the fact you might not get to work in the city you want to, so be prepared to live anywhere.”
This position is best suited to someone who is personable, organized, and patient. The ability to work on a team and rely on others is a must. People with good communication skills that can adapt to any situation often succeed in positions like this.