GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Griffins equipment manager Brad Thompson has been selected as this year’s PHATS-SPHEM Career Achievement Award recipient for his dedication and excellent knowledge of his trade. Thompson becomes the first-ever equipment manager to receive this award.
The Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society and the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers bestow this annual honor to an equipment manager or athletic trainer who has toiled the majority of their career outside of the NHL and has been in professional hockey for at least 15 years.
Thompson joins previous recipients Chicago Wolves athletic trainer Kevin Kacer, Hershey Bears manager of wellness Dan Stuck and Rochester Americans assistant trainer Kent Weisbeck as winners of this award.
Thompson, a 25-year veteran of the Griffins, has worked more than 1,800 games with Grand Rapids. He spent four seasons as the team’s equipment assistant before earning a promotion to his current position in 2001. Thompson, who served as an equipment manager for the 2004, 2015 and 2018 AHL All-Star Classics, has also worked with the Detroit Red Wings’ staff during that team’s run to the 2008 Stanley Cup, as well as their subsequential playoff runs from 2009-12.
Thompson, the Griffins’ 2007 Employee of the Year, has had the honor of equipping three championship teams, most notably the Griffins’ Calder Cup squads in both 2013 and 2017.
Photo by Sam Iannamico/Griffins