05/07/2009 - Courtesy of CBS 21 News
Red sweater goes with red sweater during a practice for the Hershey Bears. Same with the guys in blue.
Hershey always tries to put the right guys together on the ice - not to mention off the ice, as well. But assigning roommates is not always easy.
"You can't give everybody they're own room, so you try and match 'em up as best as you can," said head coach Bob Woods.
Should you pair two defensemen in one room? Stick the Russians together? Have a veteran room with the hot-shot prospect?
Those are all good ideas.
But, would you rather split the Russians up so they can learn to speak English better? That hot-prospect likes to watch TV before going to bed and the veteran is a light sleeper. That could be trouble.
You see, only a Rubik's Cube has more possible combinations.
"You just don't give 'em room keys and say, 'Guys, good luck!" said Dan "Beaker" Stuck, the Bears trainer. Stuck's in charge of assigning rooms - a task most coaches wind up doing.
But Beaker's been doing it for years and has a very good handle on what guys want.
"If there's a single room available, it always goes to an older guy," said Stuck.
And if there's no single room? "That older guy controls the remote and the temperature that's in the room," he added.
Sometimes, however, being paired up is like being set up - on a blind date. Nearly every player has had a bad experience and it usually involves snoring.
"I was put with a guy who snores and I was like, "Oh, it can't be that bad,'" recalled Keith Aucoin, a first-team all-star this season. "I had to go down and get my own room."
"You don't want to put a guy that snores a lot with a guy that's a light sleeper," Stuck said. "That's automatic."
No surprise, language differences are also a huge barrier.
Stuck lets CBS 21 News in on some of roommate pairings for road trips.
Andrew Gordon and Andrew Joudrey room together, Beakers says, because both players hang out together during the offseason. He has Francois Bouchard and Mathieu Perreault in the same room (both French-Canadian); as well as Oskar Osala and Steffan Kronwall (both Europeans or 'Euros,' as Beaker calls 'em.)
He also puts the goalies together, obviously.