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Soo Greyhounds New Equipment Manager

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The job of an Equipment Manager is a unique position in the workforce, as unique as Simpson’s first name.

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Late last month, the Soo Greyhounds organization hired Nike Simpson as their new equipment manager.

“My dad (Dan) was a marathon runner for 20-25 years, always wore head-to-toe Nike gear, loved the name, and 1990 was the big boom for Michael Jordan Nike running shoes,” Simpson said. , adding that he had never met anyone with the same name. “So he did some research and found that Nike was the Greek goddess of victory and so he wanted to put that victory name on me.”

In September 2020, in order to avoid further confusion around his name, Simpson finally tattooed the likeness of Nike’s statue on the underside of his left forearm.

“When I was younger, I was always confused with Mike or Nick and I wanted to have something that was easy to point to: like the Nike Swoosh, the logo,” Simpson said. “I didn’t like the idea of ​​having the logo stamped on me, so I looked at the story of my name and the Nike statue, and what it represented. I thought it was a such a beautiful piece of art that I had to get a tattoo instead.

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The tat on his forearm is an exact likeness of the Winged Victory of Samothrace, (or the Nike of Samothrace), one of the most famous statues in the Louvre Museum in Paris, residing at the top of the Daru staircase since 1883. The total height of the statue itself is 2.74 meters. The statue represents a winged woman, the goddess of victory landing on the prow of a warship. There is no head or arms on the statue.

A dozen years of preparation

EThe self-confessed rink rat hasn’t worked a day in his life since he got his first job in junior hockey more than a decade ago.

“From a young age, I was in an arena all summer and all winter,” Simpson said. “I love sports and I love being part of a team, I love having a goal that everyone achieves. Hockey gave me so much that I wanted to give back. I worked in a store sport, I learned to sharpen skates, I learned to do repairs My local Jr. B. team (the Stony Creek Warriors) posted an ad and I was lucky enough to be the only candidate namely sharpening skates. Twelve years later (here I am), I’m doing what I love and I can’t say I’ve worked a day in my life.

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The Hamilton resident spent last season as chief equipment manager and facilities manager for the Trenton Golden Hawks of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Former Hounds equipment manager Jay Thomas has stepped down to spend more time with his family.

Simpson spent time as the Hamilton Kilty B’s Chief Equipment Manager and was a locker room attendant for the Hamilton Bulldogs for five years. In 2020, Simpson was the equipment manager for Team West in the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Top Prospects Game.

At some point in the future, Simpson would like to work as an equipment manager for an NHL team. Simpson’s determination and enjoyment of his job matches his work ethic and attitude, says Hounds general manager Kyle Raftis.

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“You can see his background, where he comes from, what he wants to do and you can hear the passion because that’s what he wants to do,” Raftis said. “I think some guys see it as a job, which is fine, but when you have someone who’s really passionate about it, talking about different ideas, how badly they want to be in that situation. He takes the necessary steps to not really rush because he has been an assistant and has worked his way up. He takes it seriously. »

Relationship with players

Raftis also hired Simpson for his friendly and outgoing nature, another factor that GM has long considered important to team dynamics.

“I just find, in my experience, the equipment manager is the first guy in the rink and the (last) guy to leave,” Raftis said. He’s usually the first person a player can ask a question because his office is in the room with the guys. Over time, (they) develop good relationships with (players), bounce off them. In this role, they usually have a good ear for the play and know what’s going on. It’s an important role, that’s for sure. (Work) is a big part of the product on ice.

“I’ve always had an open door policy. If guys want to come in and complain about a girlfriend, complain about parents, I’ve always been open,” Simpson added. “I’m the first guy they see every morning and the last guy they see (for a day). To greet them with a smile, whether I’ve had a bad morning or a bad night, and just be there and be that positive energy for them.

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