Grandville native plays big role inside NHL bubble

Sports

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — You won’t see him on the ice in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but Grandville native Chris Davidson-Adams is playing a big role for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights inside the bubble in Edmonton, Alberta.

“It’s really been a really unique and awesome experience,” Davidson-Adams said. “Obviously, there’s things in the world we haven’t seen before. But the NHL has done a really great job of putting this together, making this happen — from logistics to testing to just the experience. It’s a little odd going out for warm up and having no fans in the seats. But with all the video boards and the graphics in the stands, it’s been really cool to see and really well put on by the NHL.”

Now in his third year as Vegas’ equipment manager, Davidson-Adams and the Golden Knights are pursuing a second trip to the Stanley Cup finals in three years — this time under unique conditions.

“Everyone feels safe in the bubble,” Adams said. “We’re getting tested every day. The league and everyone in Edmonton has done a great job of making us feel safe and protected. You still have to do your due diligence and make sure you’re wearing a mask. Just doing due diligence, as team staffs: extra sanitizing, taking care of the gear and rooms. Extra cleaning crews coming through and always making sure everything is clean and disinfected.”

The Grandville High School grad learned his trade, as an assistant under longtime Grand Rapids Griffins equipment manager Brad “Dogg” Thompson. Davidson-Adams got his first managers job with the old Muskegon Fury of the United Hockey League and has worked in the IHL and AHL. He’s now been with the NHL for seven years, the last three in Las Vegas.

As hockey returns, fans are getting used to watching games with empty stands on TV. Players and staff are also adjusting to the new format.

“It’s still surreal being here most days,” Davidson-Adams said. “It’s always a treat and special for me to hear my mom and dad back in Grandville text and say, “We see you on TV. Same thing with my wife and my two young boys. It’s just surreal and every day is special.”

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