Why Carkner Matters

Many will look at Matt Carkner, and the whole hoorah surrounding him as a team trying to put a brave face on a weak defensive squad.

I disagree, whole-heartedly.

To me, Mathew represents an important type of person to this team. He’s not just a local boy, or a player able to fight, and play a physical game. He’s a role model.

Yes, a 28 yr. old rookie, is a role model, to EVERY player on this team. Yes, EVERY payer.

Let’s be clear, Matt has had a serious uphill battle getting to this point. Many, many players have called it quits well before their 28th birthday, when faced by the same adversity Carkner has overcome. Injuries, changes in the game, stuck in the minors.

But he has persevered.

He has worked hard, incredibly hard to not just face these challenges, but overcome them. He’s had to toil in the minors, with the knowledge that making the NHL was a long shot, no matter how hard he worked. But he did work, hard.

He has had to face season after season of watching others pass him on the depth chart. And he faced it, and kept working, HARD.

He stuck it out as the game he grew up playing changed around him, going from a game in which his size and aggressiveness were an attribute, to a game where they were negatives. But he worked HARD to change his game.

Everyone on this roster can look over at Matt, and know he got here by working hard. By being committed. By being an example of the ultimate culmination of dedication, hard work, and character.

We lost a player who had no concept of these attributes. And are the better for it. Adding a player like Matt will make an impact on this roster, maybe not so much due to his individual play on the ice, but very much as a result of his work in practice, off the ice, and in the room.

Carks didn’t get this job solely due to his on ice performance.¬† He earned this job due to having impressed a coach who, like him, knows that it takes hard work, dedication and desire to win.

When a guy who has accomplished what he has speaks, people will listen.

Carkner has the type of character a roster needs in order to be a team.



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