The Equipment Office: SUNY Plattsburgh’s Alex Montalbano

What’s your background as a player and equipment manager? What made you decide to be an equipment manager?

My background as a player is 16 years of youth hockey, mostly house league, but still 16 good years of playing hockey. I also coached for 3 years at the end of my playing career, so it was definitely nice to give back a little bit to the kids. As for my background as an equipment manager, working at Plattsburgh State is my first EQ job, but it’s definitely proven to be a great opportunity.

Plattsburgh State Locker Room
Plattsburgh State Locker Room

I got into equipment managing through a friend of mine, Eric Poelma, who was the previous equipment manager at Plattsburgh State. He was coming up to his senior year of college and needed an assistant he could train in order to take over for him when he graduated in May. So he just shot me a text asking me if I wanted to come up to Plattsburgh and work for the team, and the rest is history after that. Last season (12-13) was my first year doing it, just being an assistant, learning anything and everything I could about the job, and then this season (13-14) was my second year, but first year doing it on my own. It definitely provided some unique challenges but in the end it’s definitely been a rewarding experience, and I’m enjoying my time in the job so far.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of the job is definitely being given the opportunity to work for and with one of the best Division 3 college programs in the country. Everything here at Plattsburgh State is first class, run like a top class, professional program, and Coach Emery, being here for 25-26 years, definitely has built one of the top programs in the country. A very close second, or even close enough to be tied for first favorite part of my job is just being able to still be around the game of hockey, and learning a completely different side of it. A side that most people don’t ever get to see, so being able to work behind the scenes and help out the team in any way I can is definitely very fun.

What do you consider the most challenging part of the job?

The part I consider most challenging of this job is definitely being able to react to anything that pops up in a split second. It could be anything to a player breaking a stick, and getting his replacement over the boards so he could grab it, or dealing with skate problems in between periods, anything really. But being able to react in the best, most efficient way possible I would say is the most difficult thing to learn about this job.

Ronald B Stafford Ice Arena
Ronald B Stafford Ice Arena

What is the oddest or most ridiculous player request or player gear habit you’ve had?

As for player gear habits/oddest request, there hasn’t really been anything out of the ordinary so far. If I had to pick one though, last year we had a player that wanted the tongues of his Bauer skates cut out and replaced with Reebok tongues, so that was definitely an interesting request, but that’s probably the most unique it’s gotten in my time here.

What was your best in-game solution or fix to get somebody with a gear/injury requirement issue back on the ice?

The same kinda goes for the best in-game solution, I haven’t really had anything really major go wrong during a game (knock on wood) other than skates needing to be sharpened in between periods or a stick needing to be repaired, but other than that nothing really major has happened so far.

What is in YOUR bag?

In my bag? I have a small Easton bag that I have with me at all times on the bench that has just the typical stuff in it, a sweet stick, a sharpening stone, screwdrivers, screws, wax, an extra pair of laces, scissors, 4-5 rolls of tape, and that’s really about it. We also have an EdgeAgain machine on the bench just in case a player needs a blade fix to get them through the period before I can sharpen them.

Want to read more interviews with equipment managers? Click below to keep reading!

The Equipment Office Interviews

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.