It is now August and most professional hockey players are in full swing regarding their training and conditioning for the coming season.
Pete Friesen has been the man in charge of such for the Carolina Hurricanes for the past 17 years.
Undoubtedly, Friesen has solid credentials. If you check out his bio on CH.com, you will see that he has two BA degrees, a Masters, and a ton of experience. But what is unusual is that Friesen wears both hats, as team trainer and as conditioning coach, where most teams in the league have hired two people for these important positions.
As a matter of fact, the only other teams in the league who have one coach serving both positions are the Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers. (The Panthers let go of former conditioning coach, Craig Slaunwhite, but might be replacing him.)
According to the Hurricanes website, Friesen has one assistant, Doug Bennett, who is listed as Assistant Athletic Trainer. Again, some teams have an assistant trainer and an assistant conditioning coach, for a total of four people serving in this field.
The positions are similar in some aspects. In simplistic terms, the strength and conditioning coach is responsible for getting his players in shape. The trainer is responsible for tending to injuries and getting players healthy again so they can get back on the ice.
NHL teams vary on how they handle these positions. Some teams have the strength and conditioning coach as part of the coaching staff and the trainer in a different area. (Pens) and (Caps). Some list these positions all together, (Buffalo). But most teams have more hands on deck than the Canes do.
Injuries are an important factor which will affect all hockey teams in some way during the season. Obviously, they affect the Hurricanes as well and according to the team's owner, injuries were the primary reason why the club did not make it to the playoffs last season.
Since this is such an important factor to the team's success, is it possible they are a bit short-staffed in this area? This in no way is a criticism of Pete Friesen, who is an extraordinary person. But why do most teams have two people working these positions?
Is this another way that the Hurricanes have to bite the bullet because they are a "budget team"?
Below is a listing of athletic trainers and conditioning coaches, as well as their assistants, as complied from each team's website.
|Carolina***||Pete Friesen||Pete Friesen||Doug Bennett|
|Anaheim||Joe Huff||Sean Skahan||Mike Hannegan|
|Boston||Don Delnegro||John Whitesides||Derek Repucci|
|Buffalo||Tim Macre||Doug McKenney||Bob Mowry||JT Allaire|
|Calgary||Morris Boyer||Rich Hesketh||Shad Richea|
|Chicago||Mike Gapski||Paul Goodman||Jeff Thomas|
|Colorado||Matt Sokolowski||Casey Bond||Scott Woodward|
|Columbus||Mike Vogt||Kevin Collins||Nates Goto||Chris Strickland|
|Dallas||Dave Zeis||Brad Jellis||Craig Lowry|
|Detroit||Piet Van Zant||Pete Renzetti||Russ Bauman|
|Edmonton||TD Forss||Simon Bennett||Chris Davie||Chad Drummond|
|Florida||Dave Zenobi||Tommy Alva||Steve Dischiavi|
|Los Angeles||Chris Kingsley||Ryan vanAsten||Myles Hirayama|
|Minnesota||Don Fuller||Kirk Olson||John Worley|
|Montreal||Graham Rynbend||Pierre Allard||Nik Addy-Jibb|
|Nashville||Andy Hosler||David Good||Jeff Biddle|
|New Jersey||Richard Stinziano||Michael Vasalani||Brian Smith|
|Islanders||Matt Bain||Derrick Douglas||Phil Watson|
|Rangers||Jim Ramsay||Reg Grant||Danny Helbig|
|Ottawa||Gerry Townend||Chris Schwarz||Dominic Nicoletta|
|Philadelphia***||Jim McCrossin||Jim McCrossin||Sal Raffa||Ryan Podell|
|Phoenix||Jason Serbus||Tommy Powers||Mike Ermatinger|
|Pittsburgh||Chris Stewart||Mike Kader||Curtis Bell||Patrick Steadle|
|San Jose||Ray Tufts||Mike Potenza||Wes Howard|
|St. Louis||Ray Barile||Nelson Ayotte||Chris Palmer|
|Tampa Bay||Tom Mulligan||Mark Lambert||Mike Poirier|
|Toronto||Paul Ayotte||Anthony Belza||Marty Dudgeon|
|Vancouver||Mike Burnstein||Roger Takahashi||Jon Sanderson||Dave Zarn|
|Washington||Greg Smith||Mark Nemish||Ben Reisz|
|Winnipeg||Rob Milette||Lee Stubbs||Brad Shaw|