Monday, March 16, 2009

My Interview With Matt Hunwick

Matt Hunwick – Providence Bruins
By Thomas R. Chace Jr.
January 25, 2008

Matt Hunwick was born, and his family still resides in the state of Michigan. At 22 years old, Matt is a graduate of the University of Michigan, having majored in Economics. He is a rookie in the American Hockey League but has already seen substantial ice time with the parent club in Boston. He got his first NHL point in Toronto against the Maple Leafs in December of 2007. He is a lifelong Red Wings fan, citing Steve Yzerman as a boyhood hero. He shares many qualities of his hero; he’s a class act with a bright future.

TRC: You’re 22 now?

MH: Yes.

TRC: How long have you been playing hockey?

MH: I started playing hockey when I was 5. I started skating when I was around 3 years old. My grandmother, a figure skater, and my Dad used to take me skating.

TRC: Who or what was your inspiration to begin playing hockey?

MH: My Dad played hockey so he inspired me and of course living in Michigan and following the Red Wings I developed a passion for the game.

TRC: Who are your heroes or who do you admire most in the game?

MH: Steve Yzerman was a role model for many of us in the area.

TRC: Which NHL player or players do you think your style of game most resembles?
Have you been told you resemble a certain player type?

MH: Being out here in Boston I’m hearing a lot about Don Sweeney and similarities in the way he played. Growing up I tried to look at the best qualities of guys like Lidstrom and Chelios and try to incorporate them into my game.

TRC: What part of your game do you think needs the most improvement to get you to the show?

MH: There are a couple of areas; my shot could definitely get better. I also need to play smarter and make good decisions with the puck.

TRC: What do you like most about playing for Providence and the Bruins organization?

MH: I think the guys are great. There are a lot of college guys. We’re a young team and we really get along great. I think we did a good job before the season started; we had some good practices along with some outings meant for team bonding that was instrumental in our early success. Winning is a habit and we got into good habits.

TRC: What other cities do you enjoy playing in?

MH: When I was up, I played in Montreal on a Saturday night, which was unbelievable. I also got to play in Toronto; it was Hockey Night in Canada for them. (Matt got his first NHL point that night)

TRC: What cities do you least like playing in?

MH: I don’t know if any city wants to know that. I guess any rink that does not get a good crowd and can’t create an exciting atmosphere. It’s fun to play in front of big crowds that are lively.

TRC: Who is the hardest team you have played against, and why?

MH: This year, Springfield plays us well. Worcester has kind of had our number. We had a game in Philadelphia that was real tough, we won but they played us real well. Anybody in our division is always a hard game.

TRC: Who does it give you more pleasure to beat?

MH: Going up to Portland and beating them after a three hour bus ride. They have a really good team and a great environment, so coming out of there with a win is always good, especially when you have another three hour ride home.

TRC: Do you have any pre-game rituals, what do you do to get up for the game?

MH: Not really. I’m not superstitious. I’ve been coming to the rink earlier, riding the bike and playing soccer with my teammates. But nothing really out of the ordinary.

TRC: What do you do to relax?

MH: I like working out. I like watching TV and going to the movies. I’ve started reading a lot this year, reading at least about two hours a day. I’m reading more now than I think I did at Michigan.

TRC: Do you do any volunteer work?

MH: I’ve done some. Back at Michigan we used to go to the children’s hospital on Thursday nights. All the athletes from all the sports would go and sign hats and pictures for the kids. We all looked forward to seeing the kids on Thursday nights. We don’t really have anything set up like that here yet. When I was up in Boston we bought a lot of toys for some kids in area hospitals before Christmas. We were all set to deliver them to the kids but I got sent back to Providence before I could participate.

TRC: If you couldn’t play hockey, what would your next career choice be?

MH: It’s nice that I am playing hockey. I’m able to network and meet new people. Most students get to intern and network while in school but as players you’re constantly working out or playing hockey through the summer and there’s no time to do internships and the like. I would like to use my education and future networking to get into some sort of business career. I would also like to go back to school and get my master’s degree. I’m also into building and using my hands to make or fix things.


MH: Oh Jeez. Probably, deciding to go to Michigan to begin with and as important deciding to go back in my senior year. We had a tough end to my season after my junior year. I was contemplating leaving after my junior year and I’m so glad I stayed. In my senior year I had a blast. It was awesome. Getting my degree was also very important; I would have had to go back if I had left early.

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