My Hometown: Matt Duchene

Just before Duchene and Team Canada take to the ice for their first round-robin game of the World Cup of Hockey, the 25-year-old spoke with NHLPA.com about his beloved hometown.

He’s as good as gold – literally – when it comes to the international hockey scene, having won some of the sport’s most high-profile tournaments, including the 2014 Winter Olympics.

But Matt Duchene is also a force on NHL ice. In 495 career games, the centre has tallied 156 goals and 377 points. Last year, he reached the 30-goal plateau for the first time.

Just before Duchene and Team Canada take to the ice for their first round-robin game of the World Cup of Hockey, the 25-year-old spoke with NHLPA.com about his beloved hometown.

HALIBURTON FACTS

Population: 17,026 (2011)

Ontario beauty: As noted on their tourism website, “The village of Haliburton is a cultural mecca nestled in a landscape of lush forestland found on the edge of Head Lake.” 

Winter wonderland: The Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve is a perfect place to embark on a dogsledding tour through their extensive forest trails. Winter sports enthusiasts can also enjoy snowshoeing and skiing at Sir Sam’s Ski & Bike.

Talented trio: Matt Duchene isn’t the only NHL star born in Haliburton. It’s also the birthplace of Bernie Nicholls (1,127 NHL games) and Ron Stackhouse (889 NHL games).

From here to there: The distance from Haliburton to Air Canada Centre is 216 km.

DUCHENE ON HALIBURTON

A stroll down the main street: “If I played tour guide, I’d take people down our main street and maybe grab lunch at one of the old restaurants, like Kosy Korner or McKecks (owned by former Toronto Maple Leafs forward, Walt McKechnie). I’d take people to Haliburton Skyline Park so they could have a really nice view of the town. In fall, it’s beautiful.”

What I miss the most: “School was so much for fun for me, just a great place to be in so many ways. When I played junior hockey in Grade 11 and 12, it was tough to be away from Haliburton High. I really missed it a lot.”

Family ties: “I love fishing, whether it’s ice fishing in the winter or any other time. It’s my biggest passion, other than country music. Fishing bonded me with my father and my grandfather. Any opportunity I get to do it, it always makes me happy.”

Decked out: “There’s nothing quite like kicking back at our cottage and just relaxing. It’s a pretty special place, just the beauty of what you see. Anyone that’s visited our cottage, the first sunset that they see, it just leaves them speechless.

Representing home and country: “I’m very proud to call Haliburton home and I’m equally proud to be able to play for my country at the World Cup. Canadian hockey is so strong right now and to be part of this group, I feel very fortunate, especially when you realize there are 10 or 20 other guys that could have made this team.”