Late Blackhawks staffer Clint Reif honored throughout hockey
The hockey world has been mourning beloved Blackhawks assistant equipment manager Clint Reif ever since word of his death Dec. 21. The latest salute to Reif came in a minor league hockey game Saturday.
Pictures posted on social media showed hockey pucks arranged in a "CR" before a hockey game between the Fort Wayne Komets and the Evansville IceMen in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne said Reif was a stickboy with the Komets and went to high school in Fort Wayne.
Reif died in his Lombard home the morning of Dec. 21. Members of the Lombard police and fire departments found Reif, 34, unresponsive in his home and pronounced him dead at 8:32 a.m., according to a news release from the DuPage County coroner's office. The office said it is investigating the death, along with Lombard police.
The spokesman for coroner's office said at the time it would take three to four weeks for a cause of death to be determined.
Reif was in his ninth season as the assistant equipment manager for the Blackhawks. The Fort Wayne website Wane.com reported in 2011 that Reif's family moved to Fort Wayne from Chicago in 1993, and Reif was eventually hired by Bill Franke to work at the Fort Wayne store Komet Kuarters. After working there the Franke family, who own the Fort Wayne Komets, hired him to be the stickboy for the team, and he eventually became their assistant equipment manager, Wane.com said.
The website said Reif worked in the same capacity for minor league teams in Alabama, Orlando and the Chicago area before accepting the job with the Blackhawks.
"I kept telling people I was going to make it to the NHL, I just didn't tell them it was going to be this way," Reif told Wane.com.
Reif is survived by his wife and four children. Visitation was Friday.
Below is a sampling as of Saturday evening of the social media posts in Reif's honor.