It's hard right now watching Nashville and Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup finals. Tomorrow night is game three. It's a bummer right now because we'd rather be watching the Bolts. It wasn't the ending the team wanted either. But it did give 10 News anchor Allison Kropff some time to catch up with Ryan Callahan. She sat down with the forward to talk about his life off the ice.
“How hard is it that you're not in the playoffs right now?”
“It's very difficult,” says Ryan Callahan, “I mean that's why you play the whole regular season is to make the playoffs. And now to be watching them and not being a part of it is really tough.”
Ryan would much rather be out on the ice than sitting at the Columbia Cafe, but that's not how this season turned out. But there is one "perk": getting a lot of time to be a dad to 2-year-old Evelyn and 4-year-old Charlotte.
“We go to the park, obviously being here in Tampa there's so much to do with kids from the zoo to the aquarium. We're always outside in the pool, it couldn't be a better city to raise two girls in.”
“When they older and bringing boys home?”
“Yea, I'd rather not talk about that. It's a ways down the road.”
Growing up in Rochester, New York, hockey is a way of life. Ryan was on skates at 2-years-old and his first team at 3.
“It's a culture there. It's something we grew up with. We skated on the ponds in the winter time. We had one close to our house that me and my brother would always be on.”
“Do you miss those winters?”
“Ummm, I say I do, but I haven't had one in about 15 years, so it's tough to say, but you do, you miss the season changes, the fall, and spring, you don't get that as much here. Like I said before, home is home and there are certain things about it you miss.”
His wife, Kyla is also from the Rochester area. The two met in high school.
“We started dating, I moved away to Canada, that was probably a year into us dating. We were kind of apart for 4 years while I was in Canada, obviously, she visited a lot. Then when she was done with college she came to Hartford at the time, playing in the NHL for the Rangers farm team. 10:14 She's kind of rolled with all the trades and all the moves and she's definitely my rock at home that makes me be able to do what I do.”
His other passion off the ice is the Ryan Callahan Foundation which just finished its first full year. Pediatric cancer is something that hits home.
“My wife's family dealt with it, they lost a close family friend at the age of 6 to it. Throughout my career, I've had the chance to meet a lot of kids who had cancer and just how inspirational they were and the courage they had and the families had we knew we wanted to do something for them.”
The foundation sends families on vacations once a month and brings families to the games where they watch the game from a suite. They meet players, get autographs and take pictures.
“Especially after the games, you lose a game and you walk into that room and it puts things in perspective pretty quickly. And you walk into the room and the ones with the biggest smiles on their faces are the ones going through this and battling this.”
“On your spare time here, I was checking out your Twitter! Some fishing, some golfing, is that how you like to spend your time?”
“I do. When we're not playing, I like to fish a little. I'd never fished before until I got to Tampa. So I started to pick it up pretty quickly. It's fun just being on the water and enjoying yourself. And then I've always golfed and I enjoy doing that too.”
Callahan and his family will spend the summer in Rochester before he gets ready for next season.
“What is it about hockey that you love so much?”
“You get on the ice and it's a freedom. You're not worried about anything else, all you're worried about is what's in front of you. Obviously what it's provided for my family. I'm extremely lucky to be able to do this. I think that's the biggest thing I've realized is that how blessed I am to be able to put the skates on every day and have this for a job. It's hard to call it a job, it's Something you love to do and I enjoy every day of it.”
To learn more about the Ryan Callahan Foundation, click here.
10 questions: Get to know Ryan Callahan
Q: If you didn’t have your job, what would you do?
A: I would be a teacher.
Q: What’s one thing on your bucket list?
A: To go to the Masters (golf)
Q: What’s your favorite song?
A: Anything country.
Q: What’s one item you can’t live without?
A: My cell phone.
Q: Who is your role model?
A: My dad.
Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
A: When people stand in front of the elevator when you’re trying to get out.
Q: What do you spend way too much money on?
A: Going out to eat.
Q: What food could you not live without?
Q: What’s one talent you wish you had?
A: I wish I could build things like a craftsman.
Q: What’s your favorite emoji?
A: The monkey with the hands covering his eyes.