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As the Assistant Medical Trainer and Registered Massage Therapist for the Canucks, Jon Sanderson’s responsibilities include working with the other medical trainers to get the players ready for practices and games, carrying out rehab programs on injured players, providing massage therapy to the team, packing the medical trunks for road trips, and maintaining all the necessary supplies for the training room.


On game days the training staff meets in the morning to discuss the current injuries and plan the day ahead. Then Jon works with the players before and after the morning skate. This includes ultrasounds, stretching, and taping. During the afternoon Jon will pack the medical trunks to prepare for the next road trip, re-stock the supply room, and return phone calls and emails. The players begin returning to the rink about 3 hours before game time. Jon will then work with the players as they go through their preparations for the game, including specific warm-up routines, massages, and stretching. During the game Jon works with the team doctors to review the status of all injured players and review their treatment plans. After the game Jon helps the doctors to assess any injuries that occur during the game and provide treatment to any injured players.


Jon’s educational background consists of being a Registered Massage Therapist and a Certified Athletic Therapist. He graduated from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy and then continued his studies at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. He’s been in the medical field for 15 years. Jon also gained valuable practical experience working with athletes from a variety of sports including track and field, swimming, triathlon, football, and hockey.

Some of the qualities that successful trainers possess are the ability to work as part of a team and deal with many different personalities. Trainers must also be professional, flexible, organized, and most of all, have a sense of humor. Many of the Medical Trainers in the NHL start their careers in the minor leagues, gaining experience as they move up through the different professional leagues.