Q & A with Matt Carkner

 Matt Carkner is a former professional ice hockey defenceman and an assistant coach for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL). He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, and New York Islanders.

Matt Carkner is a former professional ice hockey defenceman and an assistant coach for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL). He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, and New York Islanders.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you found around food & nutrition when you were playing hockey?

Taking the time for food preparation when you're exhausted and craving poor snack choices late at night (nachos, pizza).

Q: What is one (or more) of your favorite go-to snacks to keep your energy levels up?

Greek yogurt, berries and granola or apple, cheese & crackers.

Q: When you are traveling are there any foods you take with you or strategies you use to try and make healthier choices?

I try to bring a bag of healthy snacks to have with me so I can grab a healthier option - apple, protein bar (Lara, Kind) homemade muffins, mixed nuts. When I know I will be at the rink all day, I bring my own lunch from home. It's usually a homemade soup with a lots of veggies, chicken or turkey and a type of bean. 


Q: From a coach perspective, what is a nutrition tip you think every athlete should focus on?

A lot of young athletes tend to miss the most important meal of the day: Breakfast! Always start with a healthy breakfast it will fuel you properly from the beginning. There are lots of choices and that's why it's my favorite meal of the day.

Also, plan ahead and have healthy meal choices ready at home.  My wife always makes extra and Freezes portions for a quick easy dinner.

Q: Do you have a favorite food that you like to make (if you want to share a quick recipe that would be great!)?
I love salmon and so does my wife and my boys. We usually make it as a family:
-Spray aluminium foil with olive oil
-Place 5-6 servings of wild Atlantic salmon on foil
-Drizzle each piece with 2 Tbsp Real Maple syrup
-sprinkle with roasted red pepper and garlic seasoning and/or chilli flakes
-squirt each piece with fresh lemon
-place on grill or in oven at 350 for approx 15 minutes.
Add whatever grilled veggies you like as well as a wild grain rice and you will have a great meal!