The Gunner award!

Gunner, in his time with the Saginaw Gears was considered to be a lot of things, from the SOB trainer and ruler of the Gears locker room, to worst back-up goaltender on the planet. Although we considered him in many ways, in retrospect he was always the the essence of hockey itself- as he reflected all of its sides, the good, the bad, the silly, the grumpy, the professional, the cunning, the injured, the skilled, the hard working, the savvy and dozens of others that I cannot name here for want of going on too long. One thing we NEVER considered him as, however, is someone for whom a TROPHY and award would be named! 



The Central Hockey League has today announced the creation of a new annual award, designed to recognize the efforts of the most outstanding member team equipment manager each season, and to honor former Austin Ice Bats’ Equipment Manager Ken “Gunner” Garrett. 

The “Gunner Garrett Equipment Manager of the Year” award will be determined through balloting among all team equipment managers, and will be “Presented annually to the Central Hockey League Equipment Manager who best represents the qualities of excellence, professionalism and dedication.” Additionally, the CHL will also present an award to the CHL Athletic Trainer of the Year, also on an annual basis as selected by his peers. 

“We felt it highly appropriate to recognize the commitment that Gunner has displayed, not only during a decade of service with the Austin Ice Bats, but throughout a lengthy and distinguished career marked by dedication and excellence,” said Duane Lewis, Vice President, Operations for the CHL. 

Garrett retired earlier this season in his 44th year of service, the last 10 seasons spent with the Ice Bats. His career totals include 3,555 games worked, including fourteen seasons in the National Hockey League with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators. He worked his final career game on October 21st of this (2013) season, seeing the Ice Bats organization unfurl a banner in his honor at the Travis County Exposition Center. 

“Everyone knows how hard the Equipment Managers and Trainers work on little sleep, and it is nice that they will be recognized for their efforts by their peers,” said Garrett. “It is an honor to have a trophy named after me by the Central Hockey League, and I look forward to each year seeing another individual recognized for all of their hard work in the great game of hockey.”

And YES, as of this writing, December 29, 2013, Gunner IS still alive and grumpy. 

Thanks to Ken Schueler and Ron-Jay Scott

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