Hat Tricks Decorated Head Equipment Manager Shares Most Memorable Moment in the Industry
It’s five in the morning at the Danbury Ice Arena, the home of the Danbury Hat Tricks. The ice rink, normally filled to the brim with the Danbury-faithful, is pitch black and dead quiet. The lobby, usually packed with fans hoping for a Hat Tricks win, is a ghost town. The stars of the Hat Tricks will not come through the door for hours. However, Head Equipment Manager Bob Dalessio is already in his office blasting classic rock from the 80s.
“Do I have to do that, no, but that’s the way I was trained and that’s the way I’ll be,” Dalessio said.
Dalessio has spent the past 35+ years as a dedicated equipment manager throughout professional hockey. Dalessio had two stints in the NHL, most notably as a member of the Boston Bruins staff during the 2011 cup run. However, his favorite moment as an EQ happened just a few weekends ago with the Hat Tricks.
Saturday, Dec. 30, Dalessio had his entire family together for the first time since 2001. His wife of 36 years, the person most responsible for putting this night together, his five children and eight grandchildren, came from all over the country. A few even made the trek from Birmingham, Alabama.
“I’ll treasure this one for a long time,” Dalessio remarked. “Spending more time with them and the event here and the picture on the bench was the pinnacle. It was worth the money and the heartache to get them all here.”
The highlight of the night was being able to have his grandson, Lucas, on the bench with him, Dalessio said.
“It was actually his first time in a hockey arena and at a game. The entire trip up all he could talk about was how excited he was about this particular night,” Dalessio stated while fighting back tears. “It’s three generations of EQ, it’s something his two uncles have done and my daughter was involved in. To have him there after all this time was a great honor.”
Hockey has taught Dalessio a lot about himself and life that he hopes his children and grandchildren can learn from.
“The one thing I hope they take from me is that hard work can get you anything you want,” Dalessio explained. “Do what you enjoy, if you don’t enjoy it don’t do it.”
Despite being in the industry for over 35 years, his passion and commitment to the game has not waivered.
“I’m 60-years-old. They're going to have to carry me out of here in a box cause that’s the only way I’m leaving the game."