Just eight days after signing on with the Blackhawks as a free agent out of St. Lawrence University, Matt Carey was living his dream, making his NHL debut with Chicago on March 28, 2014 in Ottawa. A few short months later, Carey is back at work, one of 62 players attending this week's Prospect Camp in Chicago.
@NHLBlackhawks solicited fan questions from our followers on Twitter for Carey, who answered a few of them after Monday's practice.
What is the biggest adjustment to pro hockey that you have seen so far?
Learning to keep my feet moving. At St. Lawrence, it was always very stop-and-start. But in the pros, if you don’t keep your feet moving, you’re already behind the play. I learned it [in my first game] in Ottawa. Especially on the backcheck, if you’re not moving your feet, you’re way behind.
What’s your favorite pump-up jam to get you going before a game?
That’s a good one… Right now, it would probably be “300 Violins” by Jorge Quintero.
I need to know what song [you] like to sing at karaoke.
Michael Buble. “Everything.” It’s awesome.
Who was your favorite player growing up?
Probably Sidney Crosby or Joe Sakic. Sakic had a cannon of a shot, and Crosby, when he’s in the corner, you can’t stop him.
Why’d you pick the No. 25?
They actually assigned me the number, and it’s actually kind of weird because my brother [Phoenix Coyotes prospect Greg] got assigned the same number with Portland, so people asked us if we each picked it. My number at school was 16, and then in junior it was 27 and 10. I always liked 19, but it was always taken, so I just flipped the 9 to make 16.
Who is your favorite player on the Blackhawks?
That’s a tough one, since I met a lot of great guys. Duncan Keith was probably one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met. And I learned a lot off of Patrick Kane; his shot isn’t necessarily the hardest, but it’s really accurate and really fast, and he puts the puck in all the time. And Jonathan Toews, as a leader, is probably one of the best captains I’ve ever had.
How did it feel to be playing in the NHL?
It felt good. I was really nervous, and I had done a lot of fitness testing earlier in the week, so I was a little tired. But as soon as the Ottawa game came up, I was exhausted just because of all of the transitioning. Obviously, the second game was better, and I felt a little more comfortable.
What’s your favorite shot?
Low blocker. I like to tell goalies that, because then they try to take that away from me and start cheating over to their blocker side.
Have any veterans given you advice, and if so, which piece was most helpful?
Michal Rozsival gave me some good advice one day after a tough practice in Columbus; he said, “Love is hard.” If you love the game, it’s hard, because you work that hard to improve at it.
What is your favorite part about being a member of the Blackhawks organization?
The fans–they’re absolutely great. And it’s obviously a classy organization; even in the practice rink, there’s tons of logos, motivational slogans, and it’s great. It’s a championship-level organization in every way.
What was going through your mind when you scored your first NHL goal?
Michal Rozsival gave me some good advice one day after a tough practice in Columbus; he said, “Love is hard.” If you love the game, it’s hard, because you work that hard to improve at it. - Matt Carey
I couldn’t believe that it happened. As soon as the puck got on my stick, and I saw I had a wide-open net, I thought, “Wow, this is going to happen,” and I shot it. It was the most exciting feeling I could have had. I wish we would have won that game–it took part of that feeling away–but Brent Seabrook told me, “You just got your first goal, and you won’t get that ever again, so be happy.”
What is your favorite TV show?
I’m really into “Nip/Tuck” right now. It's really funny.
If you could be any cartoon cereal box character, which one would you be?
Probably Lucky the Leprechaun. He seems pretty lucky.
What’s your favorite film?
I can’t even think of one off the top of my head. But I just saw the new "Spider-Man" movie, and I liked that one.
Marvel or DC?
Batman is the best, so DC.
What’s your favorite pregame meal?
If I could have anything I wanted, I’d probably eat chicken wings. But that’s not the case… I’d probably go with some sort of pasta dish with some veal or chicken parmesan.