Blackhawks have many tributes for athletic trainer Mike Gapski’s 2,500th game with the team

Blackhawks

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – DECEMBER 12: Chicago Blackhawks head athletic trainer Mike Gapski on the bench prior to the NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on December 12, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The game marked Gapski’s 2,500th game with the Blackhawks. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – When it comes to an 82-game season and the rigors of the NHL playoffs, an athletic trainer can be a player’s best friend.

That’s been the case for the Blackhawks and Mike Gapski, who has worked with the team over the past 32 1/2 seasons.

As he eclipsed the 2,500 game mark against Arizona last Thursday, the team made sure that occasion wasn’t forgotten.

A number of players spoke about the head athletic trainer, who joined the team in 1987, and a few players even wore shirts commemorating the event.

 

On the game which it happened in Glendale, the team made sure to pay tribute Gapski on their social media channels.

Even the Coyotes saluted the athletic trainer with a tribute on the video board at Gila River Arena.

But the best tribute actually came after his 2,502nd game on Sunday night, and it arrived in the form of a gift at the Fifth Third Arena.

The team wheeled out a Jet Ski for Gapski after the team’s workout on the west side, surprising him in front of the entire team, earning a round of applause for the athletic trainer.

It was quite a week for Gapski, who was put front and center by the team after his sizable contributions behind the scenes for over three decades.

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