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Treasures or trash? Here’s what Lightning players do with old promotional gear

Family members and charities tend to be the biggest beneficiaries, though some players do cherish keepsakes from past teams.
Players who spend time with multiple teams in the league tend to accumulate a lot of gear; this is only a fraction of Ryan McDonagh's swag.
Players who spend time with multiple teams in the league tend to accumulate a lot of gear; this is only a fraction of Ryan McDonagh's swag. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Mar. 6, 2020

TAMPA — It’s been almost two weeks since the NHL’s trade deadline, which got us thinking: What do NHL players do with their old promotional and playing gear once they move to another team?

These Lightning players weighed in:

Kevin Shattenkirk

Think Kevin Shattenkirk has any gear from the 2018 Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres stored in his summer home?
Think Kevin Shattenkirk has any gear from the 2018 Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres stored in his summer home? [ KOSTAS LYMPEROPOULOS | ZUMAPRESS.com ]

Previous teams: New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals

The defenseman’s closet back at his summer home includes old promotional jackets and jerseys stored in boxes. He even has jackets from his championship summer teams as a kid.

“I mean sometimes, you’re looking for something else and you look through a box and an hour later you kind of forgot what you’re looking for,” he said. “Some of those things are certainly fun to keep.”

When it comes to his playing gear, he passes that off to his older brothers, who play in men’s leagues. “They’re usually outfitted in some new Bauer gear,” Shattenkirk chuckled. “New helmets, new gloves and stuff.”

Shattenkirk also has donated some sticks and gloves to charities and auctions.

Erik Cernak

Previous team: Los Angeles Kings

The defenseman joined Tampa Bay in 2017 in exchange for Ben Bishop. He wasn’t with the Kings for long — having been drafted in 2015 — but still had some gear hanging around when he made the move.

“It’s nice memories (going through it every so often),” he said. “I’m grateful for them.”

Curtis McElhinney

We can see how storage space gets cramped pretty quickly if Lightning goaltender Curtis McElhinney is keeping multiple sets of bulky gloves.
We can see how storage space gets cramped pretty quickly if Lightning goaltender Curtis McElhinney is keeping multiple sets of bulky gloves. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Previous teams: Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators, Phoenix Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes

The back-up goaltender has had his fair share of moving around prior to getting traded to Tampa Bay. McElhinney leads the Lightning roster with the most teams previously played for (seven).

He said his stuff is packed pretty tightly in a shed in Steamboat, Colo. McElhinney usually takes home two sets of pads and gloves after every season, estimating he has between 12 and 15 sets stored.

“I don’t know what its future goal is, to be honest with you,” McElhinney joked. “It’s not as much with the memories as it is I don’t know what to do with it.”

Most of the promotional gear he ends up just giving away to kids at hockey schools.

Luke Schenn

Previous teams: Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Arizona Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks)

The defenseman keeps a bit of his old player gear tucked away in the garage, but most of it he gives to his father, Jeff, who works in a firehouse in Saskatoon, Canada, and plays in a firefighter hockey league.

“I’ve got some of it,” Schenn said, “but when you have multiple pairs ... it’s nice to give it away.”

The stuff Schenn has kept is saved in his homemade locker inside his garage. “I’ve played with enough teams now, where there’s a lot of stuff hanging around and stinking up the place,” he joked.

Pat Maroon

It's not a stretch to think that Pat Maroon kept some of his gear from the season he won a Stanley Cup with the Blues.
It's not a stretch to think that Pat Maroon kept some of his gear from the season he won a Stanley Cup with the Blues. [ RICHARD ULREICH | ZUMAPRESS.com ]

Previous teams: Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues

Maroon, previously a member of the reigning Stanley Cup champion, was traded to the Lightning over the summer, and still has his skates, gloves and sticks.

“I have a pair of gloves from all the teams I’ve played (with) before,” the forward said. As for the promotional gear, it’s just laying around his house.

“I’ll wear some stuff to work out or go for a walk with the dogs,” he said. “Other than that, I really don’t use it."

Ryan McDonagh

Previous teams: New York Rangers, Barys Astana

The defenseman hasn’t made his way around the league too much when it comes to playing on multiple teams, but after his eight-season stint in New York, he was bound to have some stuff lying around. He has some sweatshirts and Winter Classic gear and commemorative jerseys from different playoff runs he keeps around. A few jerseys are even framed in his house.

When he went back home to Minnesota, he reminisced over some old memories seeing some of that old promotional gear.

“It’s a fun part of being able to play, a fortunate part of being able to play,” he said. “Playing all the time, I’ve played in some big games with some big moments and I’m sure I’ll grow to love (the old gear) more down the road.”

Jan Rutta

Jan Rutta says he may eventually gift some of his old gear. Blackhawks merch under the Christmas tree this winter?
Jan Rutta says he may eventually gift some of his old gear. Blackhawks merch under the Christmas tree this winter? [ MIKE WULF | ZUMAPRESS.com ]

Previous teams: Piráti Chomutov, Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago holds a special place in the defenseman’s heart. When Rutta was traded to Tampa Bay last January, he gave some of his old gear to family and friends.

But the stuff he decided to hang onto is kept in a large bag at a friend’s house in Chicago. It’s out of sight, out of mind for now but he said he might go through it during this year’s offseason.

“Just some things that I’m not going to use for a while,” he said. “I had some things at home and I didn’t want to throw them out. It might end up being a cool present for somebody; you just never know and it’s not taking up a lot of space.”

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.