Monday, December 17, 2012

Over the Boards: Rink Stories

Tales from interning in major junior hockey because the best stories happen at the rink.

I'm not sure if everyone knows but I've been interning with a major-junior hockey team on top of my radio gig. It's a major stop on the road to becoming a PR princess in the NHL.

Jasmine Grotto, Under PRessure, jrgrotto
Instagram Explained: Each game we
 have a chuck-a-puck contest. Fans can
buy pucks throughout the game, and all
proceeds benefit a charity or local kids'
hockey team. During the second
intermission everyone tosses them onto
the ice, aiming for center.  The first game
of the season, one of the players lost his
mouthguard and it ended up in the bin.
For more shenanigans, you can follow me
on Instagram: @jrgrotto
During our last coffee talk, I brought Elise up to speed on all the funny things that happen at the rink. Then and there, we decided the best stories happen at the rink.

So, I figured I would elaborate on a few rink tales from my internship:
  • After each game, we take 12-year-old and younger fans to the locker room for autographs. Before the kids can go in, Coach closes the door and has words with the players. The scratches, players that didn't play, also come back to the room.

    On this night, I was waiting outside the room with 30 or so rowdy children. One of the night's scratches sauntered past us and tried to get into the locker room. Tried. The door was locked. He pulled the handle a couple more times and then looked at me. I just shrugged--none of the front-office staff or interns have keys to the locker room.

    Finally, he gave up and pounded on the door. Of course, the kids start heckling him. Keep in mind these players are 16 to 20 years old--still kids. Finally, to his relief, someone opened the door and let him in. He was nice enough to prop the door open for the scratches yet to arrive.

    Moral of the story
    : Get back to the room before Coach shuts the door.
  • Each game we give away two autographed player photos. On this night, we had alums photos. Thanks to the lockout, we had a few visit and skate with the team. Of course, an NHLer can't leave without leaving some signed swag.

    During setup, two of my co-interns were very looking at a photo with confused expressions. I wandered over and inquired. They were baffled: the player was wearing one number and included another in his signature. It took a minute, but I was quick to realize he signed the photo with his current NHL number.

    Moral of the story: Remind the NHL boys to sign their junior photos with their junior numbers.
  • And lastly, I'm one of 13 interns on the game-night staff. Before each game, we meet in the front office for a pre-game debrief.

    A few games ago, I walked into the office and another intern greeted me, "Hey, Jamie!" I looked at him, without skipping a beat, and said, "It's Jasmine, but that's cool," and continued on my way to hang my coat. The entire office broke into laughter. Needless to say the intern was highly embarrassed, but it was a highlight reel moment for the night.

    Moral of the story: Even after four months your co-interns may not know your name.
Stay tuned for more Rink Stories!

Until next time...

- J

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