Plandowski reaches milestone with Utah
What started out as a simple love for hockey, along with an interest in the medical field, has led Utah Grizzlies head athletic trainer Mike Plandowski to working more than 1,000 games at the pro level.
Now in his eighth year with the ECHL club, Plandowski reached the milestone on Jan. 23, which was also his 545th game in Utah.
“I kind of realized the (1,000-game) mark was coming up,” said Plandowski. “It’s been a lot of fun and I agree that, once you find a job you love, you never work a day in your life.
“I tell people that you’ll either see me enjoying a cup of coffee in the locker room, meaning that everything is going well, or you’ll see me running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Either way, there’s nothing better than coming to the rink every day.”
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Plandowski earned his master’s degree in kinesiology/biomechanics from the University of Kentucky after completing his sports medicine/athletic training degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
Prior to the Grizzlies, Plandowski worked for a handful of minor-pro teams and served as an intern for the ECHL’s Columbus Chill when former Grizzlies head coach Jason Christie played for the club during the 1998-99 season.
The two stayed in touch and it was Christie who recommended Plandowski come to Utah eight years ago.
“This is my home,” said Plandowski. “I’ve made a lot of good relationships here and, like anyone, I do have aspirations to reach the NHL, but I’ve got a great thing going here.
“I’d love to get to 2,000 games and, to be honest, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be in the cards. Like I said, this is home.”
– Matt Mackinder