With so much praise given to Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter for their contributions to Team Canada's gold medal win - and justifiably so - there was another member of the Los Angeles Kings family who won gold in Sochi. Team head equipment manager Darren Granger was also part of the Canadian Olympic squad that repeated as champions in men's hockey - and he deserves just as much praise for his country's win.
While Darren's role isn't quite as heralded as those of the players and coaching staff, Granger's contributions nevertheless had a positive impact. Having served as Kings' head equipment manager since June 1, 2006, Granger has been with a team who has been through so many ups and downs. With his behind-the-scenes work in preparing each and every Kings player perform their best, Granger's job my seem thankless to outsiders but to the Los Angeles, and most recently Team Canada, his role has been anything but.
Before workings for the Kings, Granger spent five years as a trainer in his hometown of Brandon for the WHL's Wheat Kings. While 2014 was his first taste of Olympic experience, Granger's contributions to Team Canada go far beyond Sochi.
Prior to 2014, Granger worked for Hockey Canada for the IIHF World Championship in 1999 and 2008, during the 1992 IIHF World Juniors and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. Granger also spent 13 seasons as assistant equipment manager for the Vancouver Canucks.
While he worked his 1,500th game in the NHL in 2013, Granger has something extra special to add to his resume: Olympic gold. He already has a Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2012 and this win in Sochi only further solidifies Granger's status as one of the, if not the, premier equipment manager in all of hockey.
The resident of Redondo Beach, California may not get widespread attention but he was a significant piece to Team Canada's gold medal puzzle just like he was to Los Angeles's Stanley Cup win nearly two years earlier.
Congratulations to Darren Granger. Both the Los Angeles Kings and Canada are proud of him.