November 24, 2006 - Switching teams is never easy, but Matt Hussey could see the proverbial handwriting on the wall in Pittsburgh.
With the NHL’s Penguins looking at a lineup full of first-round draft picks (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Colby Armstrong), Hussey knew it was time to pack his bags. Destination: Detroit.
A native of New Haven, Connecticut, Hussey is happy to be returning to the Midwest. He went to Wayzata High School in Plymouth, Minnesota, and then attended the University of Wisconsin, where he played four seasons of college hockey.
There’s little doubt that the communication arts major is a pop culture junkie. Hussey plays guitar, enjoys movies and lists YouTube as one of his favorite web sites.
“The Red Wings have a long-standing tradition as a great organization and I thought their style of play – creativity and speed – fit my game well.”
When did you start playing guitar?
“I picked it up when I was 13 years old. I took lessons and played Metallica and Guns ‘n’ Roses songs on my electric guitar. When I went to prep school, I picked up the acoustic guitar. We had a lot of time on our hands in the dorm and I just progressed from there.”
What kind of music are you into now?
“I like the independent scene: Dashboard Confessional, Deathcab for Cutie, Guster, Keane and Coldplay. I also like Imogen Heap. She’s an electronic artist who was in the duo Frou Frou. I just love music.”
Beside YouTube, you list eons.com as a favorite place on the Internet. Isn’t that a web site for people over 50?
“I read about the site in a magazine and they have a ton of games. I’m into playing word games and puzzles that keep your mind sharp.”
What’s your favorite?
“I’m a big Scrabble fan. Over the summer, I’ll play my mom almost every day. We battle. We’re actually pretty even. She used to beat me every time, but I’ve gotten pretty good.”
Are you related to (ex-Griffin) Marc Hussey? Do you come from an athletic family?
“No, we’re not related. I have an older brother Brian, 35, who played high school hockey and my younger brother Chris, 23, played four years of hockey at RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). My sister Erin, 31, is an assistant soccer coach at Santa Clara University, one of the top women’s programs in the country.
“My dad was my first coach. He was always there for me. So was my mom. But they never pushed us. They didn’t make us do anything we didn’t want to do.”