The Jets Will Feature a New Look in 2011
Jason McMaster, a former Ice Wolves trainer has a rare opportunity this off season.
He's getting the Winnipeg Jets ready for their first season in The Peg after arriving from Atlanta. McMaster is the new Head Equipment Manager for the reborn Manitoban franchise, after spending last season with the LA Kings as an assistant.
McMaster's journey from the Junior-A ranks shows us the importance leaving good working relationships as you change jobs. Before his stint in California, Jason was the equipment manager with the AHL's Manitoba Moose, the team True North Sports and Entertainment owned in Winnipeg as a precursor to the NHL's return. When the deal was finalized with the then Atlanta Thrashers heading North, McMaster got the call from TNSE to come back as the head manager.
The new team couldn't be better for McMaster who moved to Winnipeg around four years ago. As Jason puts it, "To be with any team is exciting, but to be with a place I consider home and a brand new team is an experience not too many people get."
As for the next couple of months, McMaster says there is a lot of ordering to be done and cosmetic changes to make in the dressing room the Jets will call home. Logos need to be replaced, colours need to be changed and all this in time for the players to begin training camp. On the subject of what the team is going to look like when it dons the jerseys for the first time, McMaster knows what colours they will wear, but is still in the dark on the logo.
McMaster offers some advice for trainers wanting to work their way towards the NHL rinks. "Whatever team you're with, that's the most important team to you, and work hard. It's all about work ethic and trying to get better. Talk with other equipment guys around different leagues and just asking advice on how you fix this or do that or what would you do, and whenever you do get that chance to move up, you just... learn. Keep learning."
Good advice from a guy that now holds one of only 30 positions available in the World.
You can listen to my full interview with Jason McMaster on the here.