LRHS senior Alexandra Devine is a devoted hockey fan.  The enthusiasm of this Florida girl for a “northern” sport has led her to learn extensively about its ins and outs.  She feels fans can learn much about the nature of sports, competition and entertainment from her research and insights. She hopes to eventually get a job in the business side of hockey.

Alexandra Devine – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – While U.S. sports fans praise professional athletes, many people do not know what happens behind the scenes.

There are several aspects that go into a successful season, particularly in hockey.

Throughout a busy and demanding season, National Hockey League (NHL) players are constantly on the go.

Whether they are traveling, practicing, training, or playing games, they cannot be successful without a full team of help.

This is when support staff, operations staff, and other organization members step in.

During the 2015-2016 NHL season, the teams played a combined 412 back-to-back sets–two games held on consecutive day according to Sports Illustrated.

Each NHL team had an average number of 13.7 back-to-back games in the 2015-2016 season.

In the same timeframe, the National Basketball Association (NBA) had a higher average of back-to-back games per team with 17.8.

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Back in the 2015-2016 season, one Washington Capitals game started at 5 p.m. and ended at 7:46 p.m.

Following the game, coaches and players participate in media interviews as the team gets ready for the next city and game.

The team charter plane was scheduled to leave Washington D.C. at 9:42 p.m. While players are clearing out of the locker room, equipment staff start to pack up the players’ gear, all 2,770 pounds loading onto the plane.

Sports Illustrated reporter Alex Prewitt said, “The quicker they worked, the sooner they slept, so no one turned down jobs.”

Equipment staff unpacked the players’ gear by 8 a.m. the next morning after arriving late at night in Toronto. They would have to be ready for the game later that same day.

The demanding work hours of team operations and equipment staff are crucial to the success of all professional sports teams.

Often, their work is not noticed or understood by most people. Without their dedication and effort, the exhausting trips and schedules for teams would be a lot more difficult to handle.