GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– From not shaving to having lucky charms, athletes are known for having unusual superstitions when it comes to big games. The Grand Rapids Griffins players, head coach and staff are no different.
While fans can see the prized Calder Cup anytime between now and the final game of the series, hockey players, coaches, even front office staff cannot because it’s bad luck. The cup was whisked into a random hallway in Van Andel arena early Wednesday morning.
“It can’t see the ice, can’t see the locker rooms, won’t go in the front office,” said Joe Banach, otherwise known as ‘Keeper of the Cup.’ “It’ll make sure it stays away from anybody involved with either team.”
Griffins’ player, Triston Grant, calls on some special keepsakes when he wants some luck out on the ice.
“I collected these rocks well over a decade ago. I have them in a little that Ive collected from around the world. Sometimes there’s some magic to it, sometimes there’s not.”
Equipment manager, Brad Thompson, sees the guys with their pregame rituals, and even has some of his own to add a little luck.
“I like to ride the Harley on game days if I can and if it’s not going to rain. Also, my assistant picks my shoes out for every game.”
And, if you notice Griffins head coach, Jeff Blashill, creating a new fashion statement, it’s likely because his four year old daughter picked out his tie before a big game.
“Since the playoffs started, my daughter has started picking out our ties and she’s done a pretty good job picking out the winning ties,” said Blanshill. “It’s a big responsibility for her. My wife had one crack at it and we lost so she lost that. My daughter’s been on a roll. She spent some time last night. She takes her job real seriously.”
Silly or not, superstitions seem to sometimes work and the players are just going to stick with them.