For as long as Vincent Trocheck can remember, Sunday night has been designated for family dinner, hosted by his grandmother.
The weekly gathering, which took place back in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Penn., always featured a fresh home-cooked meal with an assortment of dishes to feed the entirety of those in attendance. After all, it wasn’t just Trocheck and his immediate family who showed up; it was a weekly reunion that included his vast extended family.
“I grew up in a really big Italian family,” Trocheck explained. “My mom has two brothers and a sister, and they all had at least three kids. My grandmother has eight brothers and sisters, and then they all had a bunch of kids, too. My grandma and her sisters are all really close, so we’d have these huge dinners with the whole family. Everybody would come. That was how I grew up. It was just normal for me to have everybody around all of the time.”
Trocheck’s grandmother is from Calabria, a region located in southwest Italy, positioned on the "toe" of the country’s famous boot-shaped peninsula. Since moving to the States, she’s passed on the family-centric values that are so prevalent in Italian culture from generation to generation.
“I thought from a young age that family was always the most important thing in life,” Trocheck said. “I just look at it that way in all aspects of life, including hockey -- when you have a close family or close team, it makes everything else a little easier."