Sharks defenseman Matt Carle has spent more time away from home than the average 22-year-old, having left home as a 15-year-old to further his hockey career. This summer, the man who set the Sharks rookie record for points (11+31=42) by a blueliner is back home in Alaska catching up on some lost time.
“Mostly, I spend time with my family and work out,” said Carle. “I see some of my old buddies.”
When Carle left home as a 15-year-old, his brother David was 10 and his youngest brother Alex was six. Basically, they were just old enough to be typical pesky brothers. Now when he returns home, the relationships are a little different.
“David is now 17 and we go to the gym and hang out,” said Carle. “Alex is 13 so we’re just getting him started.”
David is a solid hockey player in his own right, playing for Shattuck-St. Mary’s, the famed prep hockey factory.
“He’s up in Minnesota so every time we play the Wild, I get tickets,” said Carle. “Hopefully in a couple of years he’ll give college a try like I did. They both grew up so rapidly after I left.”
By leaving Anchorage to play for the U.S. National Development team, the United States Hockey League and for the Denver Pioneers, Carle paved his way to the NHL, but he also left the nest extremely early. That is why hanging with his family is so important to Carle.
In general, the family is happy with the simpler things and being together. His parents built a lake house north of Anchorage this past year and the boys have been heading up every weekend.
“It’s a relaxing weekend away from home,” said Carle. “It’s just hanging with family and friends. We have a couple of jet skis and we went on a couple of fishing trips. I caught one that would compete with what Tim Hunter caught. It was a 35-40 pound King Salmon. We cooked it that night.” (Click here
to read about Tim Hunter’s recent fishing trip)
Carle added his own touch to the Anchorage home by giving his parents a hot tub for their 25th wedding anniversary.
“We have a lot of time to sit on the deck, play cards and catch up,” said Carle. “We’re not as close as I’d like because of the hockey season, so I like to take advantage of the time we have.”
If he gets lucky, Carle could get a chance to make up for lost time by having a brother for a teammate down the road.