Photo: Matt Carle (#25) will go down as one of the greatest Pioneers
Matt Carle has announced his retirement from the Nashville Predators. “It has been an honor to be a player in the National Hockey League and play for four great organizations over the past 12 seasons,” Carle said in a statement. “At this time, I have decided to retire as a National Hockey League player. I want to thank the San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators for the opportunity to play for each organization.”
Carle was drafted 47th overall in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks. He played for four teams during his professional career. The lefty defenseman was 6’0″ tall and 197 pounds. He made it to the Stanley Cup finals (2014-2015) along with assistant coach and former Pioneer head coach George Gowzdecky.
Pioneer fans will remember Carle as DU’s only Hobey Baker Winner (2006), All-American, and 2-time national champion while at DU. DU’s connection remains with the Carle family thru his brother, David, playing an important role as a current DU assistant coach.
Said Carle about the two NCAA championships, “The first year we kind of came out of nowhere,” said Carle about 2003-04, his freshman season, which culminated with Berkhoel’s 1-0 shutout of Maine for Denver’s sixth title. “That made it a lot of fun. Every step was kind of a shock to all of us that we were still in the hunt. A lot of that was influenced by our captain, Ryan Caldwell.
“Then our second year, we weren’t expected to win, but we had a better team — more talented with a group of guys who had been there. It was more of a business attitude. One thing in the second run is a lot of that younger talent was in top-flight recruits like ‘Stas (Stastny).’ But the gel was the older guys. All three of our captains (Nick Larson, Matt Laatch, Kevin Ulanski) were recruited walk-ons — none had scholarships entering. A great character team.”
We’ll remember Matt Carle as a slick two-way defenseman, capable of both putting up points and shutting down top line opponents. Carle finished his brilliant three-year DU career with 122 points on 29 goals and 93 assists in 112 games.
The Anchorage native married fellow University of Denver classmate Clancey Kabella in 2010.
Congratulations to the Matt Carle and his family. He gave us unforgettable memories. While he departs the NHL, he will always be a Pioneer.