(RAPID CITY, S.D.) – The Rapid City Rush, proud NHL affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, announced Thursday that equipment manager Joe Wieszczek has accepted a role with the NHL’s Florida Panthers and will be departing the organization.
“Looking back on my time in Rapid City I get emotional thinking about how amazing these past two years have been,” said Wieszczek. “It was unbelievable to be a part of the Spire family and the project of building a winning culture with the Rush.”
Wieszczek joined the Rush in 2021 when former equipment manager Gavin Bechtol was hired by the AHL’s Iowa Wild.
“We’re delighted to have Joe come down to South Florida and join our team for the upcoming season,” said Florida Panthers Head Equipment Manager Teddy Richards. “He demonstrated his strong work ethic and commitment over the past two years with Rapid City and his addition further enhances our equipment staff who dedicate themselves to supporting our players and coaches every day.”
After his two seasons of work with the Rush, Wieszczek became the second Rush equipment manager to make it to the NHL. Patrick Dolan was hired by the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch from Rapid City in August 2018. Dolan was promoted to the Tampa Bay Lightning staff in 2021.
“Joe was a very hard-working individual and he knew what he was doing,” said Head Coach/GM Scott Burt. “He earned my respect and the respect of multiple equipment managers around the league. We will miss him but we are happy for him and his career moving forward.”
The Rush has also announced the hiring of Anthony Camelio as the new head equipment manager.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be in Rapid City and to join the Rush,” said Camelio. “It has always been my dream to work in pro hockey, and to have that first opportunity with an organization that values culture as much as performance is an honor.”
Camelio, 24, will be the youngest member of the hockey operations staff this season. He was the “kit man” and equipment manager for Chattanooga Red Wolves SC during the 2019-20 season before moving across the country to Seattle, Washington to work under Jeff Camelio, his father and Head Equipment Manager for the Seattle Kraken, as a locker room attendant.
“I’m so excited for Anthony with this opportunity in Rapid City,” said Jeff. “From everything I hear it’s a wonderful organization and a great place to be and live. Anthony’s been around the game for a long time and I’m excited to see him get a chance to spread his wings, see what he can do and follow in my footsteps.”
Anthony graduated with a degree in sports management from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2020.
“Anthony comes highly recommended and we are thrilled to add him to our group,” said Burt. “He has already started to get things done and adding him we are excited to see what he can do to get things going.”
Camelio is the final hockey operations hire for the season, as the Rush now has an entire staff set for the season’s beginning.
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