By Hockey Mom & Caps Girl
Other than Development Camp and Fan Fest, there have been few hockey events since season’s end to provide a forum for fans to gab about the most Caps’ recent trades and acquisitions and other very important puck-related subjects. So when Scarlet Caps announced a recent happy hour featuring an appearance by the feisty fan-fave Matt Hendricks, more than 300 female hockey aficionados quickly signed up for the opportunity to get autographs and share their thoughts on the past and current state of hockey affairs.
We got the chance to catch up with Matt to talk a bit about his off-season, his personal hockey experience and his experiences here in DC and with the Caps. Here’s what we learned about everyone’s favorite scrapper:
Scarlet: So what have you been up to during the off-season?
Hendricks: Well, we didn’t really take a vacation this year. We did stuff around the house like putting up new siding and other exciting stuff like that. (Editor’s Note: Matt has a wicked sense of humor, as you can see). Now it’s getting to be crunch time and we’re only 2 months away from training camp so guys I’ve talked to are starting to work out and skate to get ready.
Scarlet: How old were you when you started playing hockey and how about your first fight?
Hendricks: I started playing hockey in kindergarten at 6 years old and got in my first on ice fight when I was 15.
Scarlet: We all saw you sporting a bruised and stitched-up eye during the 24/7 series. What’s one of the worst hockey injuries you’ve suffered?
Hendricks: I’ve had lots of bad injuries but one of the worst was probably a staph infection I had in my right ankle a few years ago.
Scarlet: What advice would you give to young players?
Hendricks: Work hard and follow your dreams and you can play this game as long as you want.
Scarlet: Who has had the biggest influence on you during your career?
Hendricks: If it doesn’t come down to a player, I’d have to say my dad. He’s been there throughout my career and has pushed me and always been there when I need someone to give a hug to, that’s for sure. (Editor’s Note: did we mention what a super nice guy Matt was?)
Scarlet: What are your favorite memories since you’ve been in the league? (Editor’s Note: this is a required question for all bloggers)
Hendricks: My first goal, for sure, and the Winter Classic last season. (Editor’s Note: this is the obvious answer naturally)
Scarlet: What do you like best about playing for the Caps and what do you like to do on your off time?
Hendricks: I’d be lying if I said the Verizon Center wasn’t the reason, and the organization wasn’t the reason, and the players I play with. It’s an exciting atmosphere here in Washington; we have great fans, a really good team, and I look forward to every night. As to off time, I wish I could go see the sights but that traffic is so darned tough to get through, so I tend to just hang out with the boys on the team, bring the dogs to the dog park and just get as much R & R as I can.
Unfortunately, we ran out of time and were unable to ask Matt his thoughts on the roster changes made this summer. Maybe we will get the chance to snag another interview with him or another Caps player if we’re lucky and delve a little deeper.
In all seriousness, Matt was very nice, and his appearance was well appreciated by the Scarlet Caps members who turned out.