Taking Liberties With … Calvin Pickard
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Position: Goaltender, Colorado Avalanche
Hometown: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Height/Weight: 6-feet, 200 pounds
Last Amateur Team: Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
Drafted: Colorado’s second-round pick (49th overall) in 2010 NHL draft
Colorado Rubber: What advice do you have for a young hockey player and his/her parents?
Calvin Pickard: Just to stay positive. Play hockey during the hockey season and in the summer, play other sports. Growing up, you can get overworked and lose the drive by playing hockey all the time. For parents, just be on the outside and don’t get too involved. Just make sure your kid is happy and stay positive with them.
CR: What is your game-day routine and pregame meal?
CP: Wake up, have breakfast, go to morning skate, then go to our pregame Italian spot and get some pasta, meat sauce with chicken and a salad. Go take a nap, wake up and have a little snack around 4 or 4:30 and get to the rink. I usually burn that meal for eight hours, but I’ll have snacks throughout the game, like bars or something, and then I’ll have a big meal after the game.
CR: What is your favorite sport outside hockey and why?
CP: I’d say the NFL to watch. I watch the NFL every Sunday. Such a great time to bond with your buddies and it seems every week, every game is so critical because the season is so short. They really lay it on the line every week and it’s fun to watch. As for playing, I loved playing baseball growing up. I had to stop because hockey got too serious.
CR: What was your favorite/best hockey moment before playing in the NHL?
CP: Probably winning the World Under-18s playing for Team Canada (in the Czech Republic in 2009). Getting the gold medal was pretty cool. It’s in the summer before the season and we were so stacked. We had (Tyler) Seguin, (Jaden) Schwartz, (Tyler) Toffoli, (Jeff) Skinner. We were stacked.
CR: If you weren’t playing hockey for a living, what would you be doing?
CP: I get asked this question all the time and I don’t know the answer. I guess a dream job would be an actor, but I’ve always taken it year by year and stayed in the moment. I’ve never had to worry about it. If hockey ended, I’d probably go back to school and pursue something.
CR: What is the most challenging aspect of playing in the NHL?
CP: Just being sharp at any moment. Players can pick the littlest spots. You really have to be sharp and can’t lose the puck for any given second because skilled players are going to make you pay. Playing in the minors, you can get away with it, but cheating and drifting away from your post are things you can’t do in this league.
CR: What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
CP: I’ve never been to Hawaii and would like to go there. I’ve been to Mexico and loved it. Hard to beat all-inclusives on the beach. After the season, I’d like to go somewhere hot in Europe, like Italy, and tour around there. Maybe I could answer this question better after I go there.
CR: Who was the player you most idolized growing up and why?
CP: I was a huge Jarome Iginla fan growing up. Loved watching him play. I just love watching hockey, a real fan of the game. I admired (goalies) ‘Cujo’ (Curtis Joseph) and Martin (Brodeur) and tried to take something from all of them.
CR: What’s the one thing people should know about you?
CP: I’m a big food expert. Love food. Huge foodie. Just a huge fan of every type of food, honestly. Just so passionate. Other than black olives and oysters, I like every food. If I wasn’t playing hockey, I’d probably be in the food business.
Photo/Michael Martin via NHLI/Getty Images
– Compiled by Mike Chambers