Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds announced today the hiring of Simon Payette (Sime-in, Pie-Yet) as the club’s Head Equipment Manager.
Payette, 33, comes to Flint after spending the past three seasons with the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The Montreal, Que. native will oversee the ordering and management of the Firebirds’ players equipment and team staff apparel, including other equipment related matters such as managing the Firebirds’ professional-style team locker room, directing assistant equipment personnel, traveling with team equipment and set up on the road, equipment inventory, disbursement, cleaning, laundering and maintenance.
“We are thrilled to be adding Simon as the Head Equipment Manager for the Flint Firebirds,” said Flint Firebirds Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Barclay Branch. “Simon is considered among the best equipment managers in junior hockey and will play a significant role in enhancing the way our players and staff are treated on a daily basis moving forward.”
While serving as the Head Equipment Manager with Sault Ste. Marie, Payette was part of the Greyhounds’ team that recorded an impressive 23 consecutive wins from Oct. 27, 2017 to Jan. 4, 2018, en-route to claiming both the OHL’s Western Conference and West Division regular season titles. The Greyhounds then went on to win three consecutive best-of-seven playoff series before falling in the OHL’s championship playoff round. Payette was also a member of the 2016-17 team that secured the OHL’s West Division title. Prior to his time in Sault Ste. Marie, Payette was the Head Equipment Manager for two seasons with the Val-d’Or Foreurs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and one season with the St. Leonard (Montreal-North) Arctic in the Quebec Junior Hockey League (QJHL).
“Flint is on the verge of becoming a winning franchise and has everything in place to succeed, including top notch facilities,” said Payette. “I want to be part of that, I want to help build that and prove to everyone that Flint is one of the best places to play in all of junior hockey.”
On the international level, Payette has already been chosen to represent his country three times as he was the Head Equipment Manager at Hockey Canada’s National Under-17 Development Camp in 2016, the Head Equipment Manager for the Silver Medal winning Hockey Canada team at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2017 and again for Hockey Canada at the most recent World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2018.
Seven notable players that were selected in the first-round of the NHL Draft that Payette has worked with in the past have been: Bowen Byram (Colorado Avalanche), Morgan Frost (Philadelphia Flyers), Julien Gauthier (Carolina Hurricanes), Barrett Hayton (Arizona Coyotes), Peyton Krebs (Vegas Golden Knights), Zach Senyshyn (Boston Bruins) and Ryan Suzuki (Carolina Hurricanes).
Payette is the husband to Anne-Lily and father to Maverik and plans to move to Grand Blanc, Mich. this summer.
About The Flint Firebirds:
The Flint Firebirds are a proud member of the prestigious 20-team Ontario Hockey League. The OHL is part of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), which is known as the world’s premiere player development league for the NHL. On NHL opening day rosters in October, 70% of NHL players were CHL alums. Since the Firebirds’ inception in Flint, Michigan four seasons ago, the team has produced 17 NHL signed or drafted players. More than 250 scouts representing all 31 NHL clubs attended a Firebirds game in Flint throughout the 2018-19 season. The Firebirds average nearly 3,000 fans per game at the newly renovated Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center, reaching over 100,000 fans each OHL season.
For more information:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club