Chris McCarthy ’07 recently took some time to speak with the members of the Varsity hockey team via Zoom. He is still in touch with Tim Winslow ’07 who is the head coach of the team. Chris loved playing hockey at Eaglebrook. As he said to the students, “Eaglebrook prepares you, from the ice to the classroom."
Berkshire School was Chris’s next stop after Eaglebrook, but he was only there for one year because he was recruited to play for the U.S. National Development Team. To join this program, he had to move to Michigan, where he lived with a family and attended a public high school in the area while practicing and playing games for the National team. While playing in Michigan, Chris initially committed to attend and play hockey at Boston College, but ended up de-committing and instead going to the University of Vermont, because UVM allowed him to go a year early, right from the National team. He spent the next five years at UVM and served as the team’s captain his senior season.
After UVM, Chris signed with the New York Rangers. He spent two years in the ECHL and AHL on their minor league team in Hartford. He got hurt during his contract year and left the Rangers after two years. Then he played two years for the Phantoms, the Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL team, and he just finished up a stint with the Hershey Bears, the Washington Capitals' AHL team. "It was a ton of fun, but I think people forget that it is a business." He admitted to the group that he was not an NHL-level forward.
In October 2019, he sat down with his dad to figure out how to make a dream of his actually happen. He was ready to retire, and as he told the students, “you have to be prepared for the next step, always.” Chris’s dream was to build a mini-rink with a gym attached that would also have a mental wellness component. Elite Edge
in Malvern, Pennsylvania will be open soon, with a 40 x 90 rink, a 1,500 sq ft gym, and a mental wellness program. Chris wanted to focus on training the whole player, physical strengthening, on-ice practice, and mental training. His facility is a one-stop-shop. Chris allowed that he misses playing, but he acknowledged, opening this facility has been “really challenging and enjoyable,” he said.
The session with Chris ended with some questions from the team, who asked him about playing at the secondary school level and training questions. Chris admonished the students to “keep the connections with your Eaglebrook friends,” he told the team, “because it is important.”