Matt Calvert is a happy, and finally, healthier man. He has two healthy young boys and lives a happy home life with his wife Kourtney. He has just started his players agency business – Cal Sports Management – and already has many new clients. But the famous former Colorado Avalanche player, who retired last year due to his bad back, admits it was a bittersweet experience to see the Avs advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.
“I’m so jealous that I’m not there with them. Calvert, who played for the Avs from 2018-21, was very popular with his teammates and fans for his strength, and leadership.” But obviously it was great to see him and I’m really happy for them. I hope to get there to either play 1 or 2 actually.”
Matt Calvert is only 32 years old. But his career was interrupted by spinal fusion surgery last season, after he played 18 games for the Avs in his third year with the team. Most people might have assumed he had to retire due to the many concussions he suffered in his three seasons with the Avs, but in reality it was the back that forced him to permanently suspend his skis.
On March 23 last year, Calvert was warming up with the Avs for a game in Arizona against Coyotes. He felt a tingle in his back, but he didn’t think much of it. Playing the game, he felt fine even though he remembers the back aggravation after an injury from Oliver Ekman-Larson of Arizona. But while returning by plane, something happened in his lower back and he was in a great deal of pain. After consulting with the doctors, it was decided that he would need spinal fusion surgery. He was told that his career was over.
“It was very disappointing. It was heartbreaking. I wanted my career to last a few more years, at least, and I wanted to stay with Avs. We liked Denver very much, as well as the organization. It was the most fun I’ve had in my career. “We had the same goal last year, to win the Stanley Cup,” Calvert said. “But I’ve kept in touch with quite a few guys. I’m really happy for them. When they came to Winnipeg (near where Calvert was born and raised, in Brandon, Manitoba) this year, I dined with the guys. But I admit, it was It’s hard to watch them play this year on TV. I’ve watched three or four matches, but it obviously broke my heart watching and not playing.”
It was a physically difficult recovery for Calvert, who played 566 NHL games with Columbus and Colorado. After his spine was fused, he couldn’t move much for three or four months. For Calvert, that was brutal. After 10-12 months, he was finally able to lead a normal life again – except for being a player. That was — and still is, he admits — emotionally difficult.
But after working as a player development coach with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL, Calvert decided to try life as an agent player, alongside his agent when he was a player, Joe Caligiri. Just last week they opened their own store, and Cal Sports Management and Calvert said they have already signed some younger players already in development and should sign some well-established professionals soon.
Calvert wants to be more than just an agent throwing numbers around the bargaining table. This is probably the most Caligori working out at the moment. What Calvert really wants to do is have players not only emotionally, but actually help them become better players.
“As a player, I’ve been through everything. I understand the struggle,” he said. “For me, I even want to be on the ice with the players, learn the nuances, and keep playing them. One of my first questions to them would probably be, ‘How can we make you a better player? What are your weaknesses?’ I think one of the first things a player should do is to be honest with yourself.Every player is going to tweet their agent at some point.Why pay that fee?I’m probably one of the most low maintenance players when it comes to my agent, but a lot of players They’re always on the phone with them, sometimes just complaining about ice time and stuff. I remember when I was with Columbus playing with John Tortorella, and while I wouldn’t say the word he used, he basically said, ‘If someone else calls his agent for more ice time, I’ll personally send you to coast myself.”
Matt Calvert said he might be interested in getting into management at the NHL level one day, but for now, Cal Sports Management is “three to five years”.
“My number one goal in life is my family. Number 2 now is my agency,” Matt Calvert said. “For me, I need a mountain to climb in life. I can’t compete anymore as a player, but now I can compete on the field. We don’t want to grow too big, too fast. Some agencies are so big that they cannot allocate the necessary time to players. Ultimately, many of them are lawyers. For me and Joe, we want to be there when they are young and especially watch them grow up. That’s what I think will give us the most satisfaction.”