From Castleton to Edmonton
Lindsey Gullett runs “the show” for NHL’s Oilers
EDMONTON, Alberta (WCAX) - Growing up in a small town in Manitoba, Lindsey Gullett always knew he wanted to play hockey.
“Growing up in the prairies of Canada, hockey is life, right?” Gullett said. “It’s part of the culture.”
Gullett played his way up and decided to take a chance on a college program still in its infancy halfway across the continent.
“Aspirations of you know playing at a higher level and different things,” Gullett said. “I played junior hockey until I was 20, and then was pursued, recruited to go to Castleton.”
Arriving on campus in 2008, Gullett was there as the Spartan athletic department grew to become the largest college program in the state of Vermont. And he was a key part of some of the most successful men’s hockey teams in school history.
“We had great recruiting classes on both sides of me, and our group too I thought,” he said. “We were in the heart of the rivalry with Norwich at that point. You know, we were holding our own with them and what not. And going there and just being a part of that and just being able to put your fingerprints all over it right away was something that was a really cool experience.”
The time on the ice wasn’t the only thing he would take out of his time at Castleton, and he made it clear just how important the school would continue to be even after graduation.
“Dave Wolk, he went out of his way to make personal relationships with a large part of the student body,” Gullett said. “Over the years, we became close, he was a big supporter of the hockey program. I met my now-wife LeeAnne down there, and when I proposed to her near the end of my senior year, I actually got him involved a bit and sent her on a scavenger hunt and one of the last clues was sitting on his desk. Further to that, he actually married us as well in the Dominican Republic a few years later.”
After earning his degree in 2012, Gullett’s days as a hockey player were done...but he wasn’t ready to give up on the game just yet.
“Obviously I was there as a student athlete (at Castleton), but while I was doing that, I was very involved with our media relations and stuff,” Gullett said. “And then an opportunity came up back home in Manitoba with the Virden Oil Capitals (junior hockey team) who I’d played for actually when I was younger. So they instantly put a ton of trust in me and gave me an opportunity to basically apply the things I learned at Castleton that I wasn’t really looking at as work, and I was like, ‘I can get paid for this?’”
His marketing abilities first caught the eye of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, and then he got called up to the big leagues. On Wednesday, Gullett begins his fourth season as the Event Presentation Manager for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. Essentially, he’s the guy in charge of coordinating “the show” around one of the most talented teams in hockey.
“I’m writing the entire script for the game that takes place,” Gullett said. “All the PA announcements, music selection, what’s going on on the video board, aligning with broadcasts, goal horn check you know, all the little things. And then doors open and there’s a buzz in the building and it’s excitement right through til puck drop and then after that you just follow your script and try and stay the course as best you can and give all the fans an experience that they can go home with that will make them want to come back again.”
But none of his experience could have prepared him for the challenge he and his team were presented this Summer...and we’ll get into that on Wednesday.
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