Coached by Frank Boucher, and with a line-up including Bryan Hextall, Phil Watson, and Dave Kerr, the New York Rangers were on a tear through the winter of 1940. When they beat the Chicago Black Hawks at Madison Square Garden in early January, they tied an NHL record of 18 consecutive games without a defeat. Under trainer Harry Westerby’s command, Bob Fleischer, above, was the Rangers’ 19-year-old stick boy that season, a job he’d started at the age of 13. After the 5-3 win over the Black Hawks, he was the one to pack up the team’s lumber for shipment to Toronto. “His care of the sticks is tender and they are carefully inspected before and after each game,” read the caption that ran in the papers at the time. “Bob has vowed that he will not cut his hair while the Ranger winning streak lasts, hence the long locks.” He didn’t have to wait long: after beating the Leafs two nights later, the Rangers finally lost the night after that, in Chicago — the Black Hawks beat them 2-1 — before continuing on to carry off the Stanley Cup that April.
Fleischer didn’t get his name on the Cup, but he stayed on with the Rangers for another 14 years. After a stint in the U.S. Navy as a Pharmacist’s Mate — he helped invade North Africa, and brought home a Purple Heart — he returned to the team as a trainer. After his hockey career, he worked as trainer with the NFL’s New York Jets and baseball’s Yankees.