The Portland Winterhawks have had just three people in their history of the franchise behind the bench as their equipment manager, and one is leaving at the end of the season.
With 2251 games behind him, Mark “Peaches” Brennan is retiring after nine seasons as the equipment manager of the Portland Winterhawks. Coming to the Hawks in 2012 with a resume that only defies description, the Hawks will seek yet a new man to be the go-to guy for anything equipment-related.
From the Winterhawks website.
His career began in the WHL with the New Westminster Bruins from 1983-1985. After one year in the American Hockey League, Brennan joined the Detroit Red Wings in 1986 as Head Equipment Manager, where he remained through 1994.
He then joined the Florida Panthers as their Head Equipment Manager in 1996, the year they advanced to the Stanley Cup Final. He spent 10 years with the Panthers through 2006, before relocating to Portland to open a hockey equipment repair business. In 2010, Brennan was inducted into the Trainers & Equipment Managers Wall of Honor at the Hockey Hall of Fame. He replaced Rob Gagne who was with the team since 2008 moved back home to Cleveland, Ohio to be closer to his family. Brennan’s availability was quickly snapped up by the Hawks and will be very tough to have his shoes filled.
Winterhawks Head Equipment Manager Mark Brennan to Retire at Season’s End
Portland, OR. – The Portland Winterhawks, proud members of the Western Hockey League, shared today that Head Equipment Manager Mark “Peaches” Brennan will announce his retirement at the end of the 2020-21 season.
Brennan has been the team’s Head Equipment Manager since 2012 and has been in the hockey world since 1983.His career will total 2251 games upon conclusion of Portland’s regular season schedule on May 11.
“It has been a great pleasure and rewarding to have been a part of the Winterhawks family,” Brennan began with.“I could have never imagined that I would have had the opportunity to work with what we consider our home team.”
“Peaches” career in hockey began after graduating from Sheridan College in Ontario with a degree in Athletic Training and Management. His career of 30+ seasons included stops in the National Hockey League with the Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers. He worked two NHL All-Star Games (1993 & 2003), won a Calder Cup with the Adirondack Red Wings (1986), was a member of the Florida Panthers team that went to the 1996 Stanley Cup Final and worked a Memorial Cup Final with Portland in 2013.
“I wouldn’t know where to begin to thank all the people that I have had to pleasure to first work with, then get to know and then consider friends,” Brennan continued.
“From my first break with getting hired by Al Patterson in New Westminster, to Brian Shaw making a few calls on my behalf that gave me the opportunity to turn pro with Adirondack and then Detroit. Then, meeting my wife Judy in Portland, in the Memorial Coliseum, following a playoff game with Portland while working in New Westminster. This team will always have a connection with our family, and I will always be proud to say I am a former Winterhawk.
“Peaches has dedicated his life to hockey and had a major impact on many organizations,” Winterhawks Vice President, General Manager and Head Coach Mike Johnston remarked of the news. “He has held one of the toughest positions in the sport which demands endless hours and energy. If you look back over the years, it really has been a Hall of Fame career. He will be missed in the WHL and most definitely by our organization.”
In 2010, he was also inducted into the Trainers & Equipment Managers Wall of Honor at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
The Winterhawks would like to thank Brennan for all of his contributions to the organization and will begin searching for his replacement in the coming weeks.
The Eastern Division is now complete with getting through all games in the bubble and no positive tests for COVID 19. The same cannot be said for the other three Divisions, but slowly they will end too with varying numbers of games. The next to the end will be the Central Division on May 4 and then the US and BC Divisions on May 12.
There were three games on Thursday that had just the BC and Central Divisions playing.
Kelowna Rockets faced the Vancouver Giants. The Giants scored twice in a 37-second span in the first, both by Zack Ostapchuk, before the Rockets cut into the lead three minutes later. Kelowna tied the game under five minutes into the second, with Vancouver restoring the lead two minutes later. Kelowna staged the comeback with 15 minutes gone and to tie the game and took the lead with 90 seconds left. Vancouver was not able to get the tying goal with the goalie out. Kelowna wins 4-3 and edging the shots 26-25. Powerplays saw Kelowna at 2-3 and Vancouver 0-4.
Medicine Hat Tigers versus Lethbridge Hurricanes. It was a tied at one goal first period before Medicine Hat blew open the doors with a strong four-goal second period to put them in control. Medicine Hat took the game 6-2 but was outshot 32-30 by the Hurricanes. The Tigers went 0-3 on the powerplay, with Lethbridge 1-6 on theirs.
Calgary Hitmen versus Red Deer Rebels. Calgary scored twice in the first period, which was matched each time by the Rebels, but Calgary took the lead in the middle of the second frame. The Game finally went to overtime, and with less than 40 seconds left, the Hitmen won 4-3. Red Deer outshot the Hitmen 35-29, and both teams didn’t score on the powerplay, Calgary 0-1 and Red Deer 0-2.