If you’re a physiotherapist, there are plenty of places to ply your craft. But if you’re also a hockey guy, then you’ve got to be at the rink.
Richard Rotenberg is a hockey guy, so it’s no surprise that if you check his CV, you’ll find plenty of hockey, hockey, hockey.
Rotenberg, 29, has been athletic therapist with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for the past two seasons. Before that, he worked with the Barrie Colts, and prior to that, he was with the Queen’s University hockey program and the Kingston Voyageurs tier II junior A team.
“I’m a hockey guy,” he said on the phone from the Soo. “I grew up playing hockey. That’s where my passion lies.”
With his training in sports and orthopedic applications, as well as cardio rehab and neurological rehab, hockey has proven to be the ideal venue for him and his skills. “My job essentially is to be with the team all day, every day,” he said.
When you’re working for a team playing a collision sport, there is no shortage of medical issues to deal with, such as cuts, broken bones, sprains and head injuries.
Most common are contusions (bruises) caused by collisions with players and pucks.
In his years in the OHL, the worst injury he encountered was a player who was knocked unconscious from a clean check. The player was taken off the ice on a stretcher and treated in hospital. Fortunately, the player “is doing great. He made a full recovery.”
Working with hockey players is fascinating for Rotenberg. “You never know what you’ll get from day to day. You’re involved in the game, you meet fantastic people.”
Working with juniors is particularly gratifying for him. “You see kids grow up and you try to be part of it the best way you can.
“At this point in my life, I love my job. I love the setting I work in, and it doesn’t even feel like work,” he said.