Feb 20, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Behind every goal, every penalty and every win is one man making sure things work just the way they should for the Carolina Hurricanes.
"It's kind of a thankless job. You've got a lot of things on your mind. Things you've got to figure out," said Hurricanes captain Eric Staal.
Skip Cunningham is the equipment manager for the Hurricanes and has been doing the job for 40 years.
"It just becomes numbers for a while. You forget," said Cunningham.
He's been with the franchise since it started, moving from the New England Whalers, to Hartford and eventually to Raleigh.
"It took a little while," said Cunningham. "The Boston boy comes to Raleigh. I love the weather. It's off the charts."
Affection for the sunshine but it's the Ice he knows best.
"You got stick problems, skate problems, glove problems, you go to Skip and he will take care of it," said defensemen Jay Harrison.
"After coming off the road trip got to send out some gloves to be re-palmed," said Cunningham.
40 years, thousands of checklists, but he's made mistakes along the way.
"We forgot the underwear for the players," laughed Cunningham.
But one doesn't stick around this long forgetting much, especially the memories stacked up since 1972.
"Winning the Stanley Cup, I took it to Fenway Park. I took it to the three stops where the Whalers had been," Cunningham said.
The history of the franchise, just as much a history of his life. Three cities, countless players, one Skip.
"I've been really lucky," Cunningham said with a smile.