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Behind the Scenes: Jason McMaster

Monday, 16.01.2012 / 2:31 PM / Feature
By Kristi Hennessy  - Coordinator, Web Content
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Behind the Scenes: Jason McMaster
Jason McMaster is the Head Equipment Manager for the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club. When most people think of an equipment manager, they think of a guy who washes jerseys, sharpens skates and hands the players new sticks on the bench. Those are definitely a few of the job requirements but the list doesn’t end there.

Winnipeg Jets Head Equipment Manager Jason McMasterJason McMaster is the Head Equipment Manager for the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club. When most people think of an equipment manager, they think of a guy who washes jerseys, sharpens skates and hands the players new sticks on the bench. Those are definitely a few of the job requirements but the list doesn’t end there.

McMaster and his assistant managers, Mark Grehan and Mike Flaman, are in charge of everything that a hockey player needs to play the game from his skates to his helmet to his jersey, for every pre-season game and all 82 regular season games.

Each player is different in that they each have specific preferences when it comes to their hockey equipment. Some players prefer to tape their own sticks and have their skates sharpened every period, others like to have their skates sharpened once a game and don't mind the equipment managers taping their sticks. Catering to each player on the roster is just one of the challenges that McMaster faces on a daily basis.

"Some guys are a little more finicky with things like their skates or their sticks so you're always fine-tuning something for them," said McMaster.

One of the biggest challenges he says is working with some of the manufacturers to get equipment on time.

"Staying ahead with what the players need is crucial,” he stressed. “They are changing brands, skates and sticks all the time so making sure that I've got enough inventory and am carrying over the old inventory can be challenging. I also have to make sure to work within my budget and make sure all the invoices get paid. My assistants help with a lot of things like taking care of the skates and a lot of the sewing and things like that. They also help take care of the visiting team room for home games."

McMaster and an assistant, two medical staff, and the team massage therapist, all travel with the team on every road trip. There are 65 pieces of baggage that travel with the crew ranging from hockey equipment to jerseys to sewing machines to sharpeners to tool trunks.

“We bring back-up jerseys for everyone and carry more back-up sticks then we could ever need,” said McMaster. “Each skater also must have a second pair of skates just in case. We have it down to a magic number.”

When you really feel like you've made a difference, it feels like I'm actually contributing to the goal, which is winning. - Jason McMaster
For McMaster, the most rewarding part of his job is working on the more technical aspect, working on players skate profiles and individual equipment tweaks.

“When players come up to you and say that it actually makes a difference out there and that they feel better, is when you really feel like you've made a difference. It feels like I’m actually contributing to the goal, which is winning.”



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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
B. Little 63 24 26 9 50
A. Ladd 63 20 30 12 50
B. Wheeler 61 16 28 12 44
D. Byfuglien 63 15 26 6 41
M. Perreault 56 18 18 3 36
M. Scheifele 63 10 25 4 35
M. Frolik 63 13 19 3 32
D. Stafford 57 10 17 -18 27
J. Tlusty 53 13 10 -17 23
E. Kane 37 10 12 -1 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Hutchinson 18 7 5 .920 2.29
O. Pavelec 13 13 7 .909 2.60
 
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