The San Jose Sharks are sending eight players to the Olympics in Vancouver. One of them, forward Joe Pavelski, will be on Team USA, and Joe should feel right at home in his locker room at the Winter Games because a key Sharks staffer will be right there with him.
Longtime Sharks equipment manager Mike Aldrich will be part of helping make things work for Team USA. “It’s a little bit for me like preparing for training camp actually,” says Aldrich, adding, “I’m normally preparing training camp for 70-plus players, (and) this is 23, so the numbers aren’t as high, but it’s very intense.” Not to mention an extra special experience because he’ll have his son alongside him.
Brad Aldrich, who grew up around the Sharks is Team USA’s video coordinator, the same role he performs as a member of the coaching staff for the Chicago Blackhawks. “It’s beyond just my dad and I, my mom and my brother will be there too so (it’s an opportunity) for the four of us to be able to spend two weeks as a family in that environment,” says the younger Aldrich, adding, “You think you’re going there to work -- and we will work -- but really it’s about representing your country, which is an unbelievable thought for me.”
Even though they spend the NHL season half the country apart, both echo the same sentiment as for when they’ll know they’re really living the Olympic dream. According to Mike, “I don’t think you really realize where you’re at until you hear that anthem for the first time.” While Brad agrees, “the first time you hear that anthem after a win in that building. It’s going to be a pretty cool experience.”