It all started in 1996 when a group of hockey players started to manufacture hockey board systems. They would work late nights putting boards together, loading them onto trucks and sometimes even assembling the boards at the location. Within a couple of years, the company grew to be the world’s largest dasher board company and the official board supplier to the NHL. They worked hard every day, but they wanted to have some fun during their weeks which led them to the idea of getting together on Thursdays during lunch at a local rink to play some pickup hockey. After a few years, they started to get their own ice. Brian Stang, “Stanger”or “Commish”, took on the role of organizing the ice times and the players. In 2001, Lunch Bucket hockey started on Fridays at noon with 33 skaters. The season would span from October through April. The last skate of the year was called the Lunch Bucket Cup with an awards ceremony at a nearby location prior to a Wild game at the Xcel Energy Center. One of the major awards given out was obviously the MVP, but it wasn’t your normal MVP award. It was always voted on by the players, but it wasn’t just about pure skill or talent someone had, but on their commitment to working hard and having fun during the skates. The award itself was a Lunch Bucket.
Over 100 players have skated in Lunch Bucket since its existence. Players from all levels have participated including former NHLers, Olympians, Minor Leaguers, D1, D3, Female Pro and high schoolers. During the holiday season it becomes even more special as the kids come out to enjoy Friday afternoon skates with their parents. Friday Lunch Bucket is still going today and “The Commish” still organizes the ice, skaters and goalies on a weekly basis.
Lunch Bucket Hockey is not just the sport itself but about what it takes to succeed. The phrase “lunch bucket” has a deeply rooted meaning tied to hard work and grit. It's about grabbing your lunch bucket, hard hat and giving it everything you have in whatever you are doing. Lunch Bucket cannot be described in a paragraph or by the logo itself but rather by the people who wear it. They are the ones who live it and love it. This brand represents our families, our friends, our work and our hobbies. This is why we believe everyone can feel a connection to this lifestyle in whatever they do. Just a couple of guys who worked hard and wanted to have some fun, turned Friday afternoon skates into a lifestyle brand that sees no horizon.
Lizzie comes to Lunch Bucket Hockey with over 20 years of business management as a Chief Operating Officer and President in the multi-family and real estate industry. Lizzie has a passion for achievement within financial management, team leadership, achieving business goals, and further enhancing the positive success within an organization through efficiency measures.
Through her experience within public relations, marketing and human resources, the success of others is her priority! As the name suggests, Lunch Bucket values hard work and dedication. Her words to live by - “You think you have seen it all and then tomorrow happens…” Bring it on and dig in! Lizzie's goal is to create a culture of respect and integrity within our organization, for our partners, customers and our communities.
PS - Skating is not her forte.
Stanger comes to Lunch Bucket with 30+ years of sales in Commercial construction products and Business Analytics. Brian graduated from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and was a member of the hockey and golf teams. Born in New Prague, Minnesota, Brian played sports year-round whether it was Baseball or Hockey. Over the years he has coached multiple sports at the College, High School, and Youth levels. Lunch Bucket Hockey started with Brian and his work colleagues that manufactured hockey board systems. They wanted to continue to enjoy the game they love, so a Friday noon skate with coworkers and friends of friends was created. Brian aims to enrich not only people of the hockey world but others in their own professions and daily lives to resonate with this brand. Cultivating individuals who “grab their lunch pails, put in hard work and have fun doing it”.
FYI- 23 years later the Lunch Bucket skate still happens every Friday at noon October thru April and the Commish still grabs his pail!!
Paul, an original member of the Friday Lunch Bucket Skate, grew up playing hockey on the outdoor rinks of Duluth, Minnesota. A sports enthusiast whose hockey career peaked at age 10 when he was the only player on his youth team to earn both a hat trick and shutout patch in the same season. Choosing to become a goalie through his teenage years, he eventually realized that when your best move was pulling the puck out of the net, it was time to change positions and he has played out ever since. With limited puck handling and shooting skills, Paul has relied on his ability to muck and grind in the corners and in front of the net, which is the epitome of the lunch bucket player.
Paul turned his love of hockey into a 30+ year career in the Sports uniform & apparel world. During this time Paul has run all aspects of starting and growing a business. From sweeping the floors and taking out the trash, to designing, selling, and manufacturing product for teams, associations, colleges, and the NHL. A believer in the Lunch Bucket mentality of doing what it takes to get the job done has led Paul to partner in this new venture where that credo has now become a brand that he is proud and excited to be a part of.
Tommy Stang is the “young buck” of the group that is managing the social media presence for Lunch Bucket Hockey. Tommy grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota where he participated in almost every sport he found intriguing. Some of them included baseball, soccer, lacrosse and of course, hockey. He has found success in every sport and every level he has played in which allows him to teach the next generation of players, in their respective sports, about what it means to work hard. Juggling school and sports, it instilled a work ethic that allowed him to focus and train hard while allowing himself to have fun playing with friends.
Tommy is a graduate from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and is currently playing professional hockey along with the occasional appearance at a Friday Lunch Bucket skate. Over the summers he has taken on roles of coaching and instructing while simultaneously managing social media accounts to engage users in products or teaching methods to excel player development. Tommy has lived and breathed this brand from the very moment he was told to work hard and have fun at a young age. He hopes to attract consumers who resonate with the mentality of Lunch Bucket Hockey and provide for a fun and engaging experience through an online presence.