Updated: Sep 28
Stephane Matteau, a Canadian born ice hockey player, who played 840+ regular-season games in NHL (National Hockey League), is our first guest on The Mike Hartman show. He had a long playing career from 1998 to 2003 and was originally drafted in the 2nd round, 25th overall by Calgary Flames in the 1987 NHL entry draft.
As a member of the New York Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup Championship team, Stephane scored two overtime goals in the Eastern Conference Finals. His goal
that sent the Rangers to the Stanley Cup finals is one of the most famous goals that Ranger fans will never forget.
He had a career total of 144 goals, 742 penalty minutes, and 172 assists for 316 points. He is a real champ, a great human being, and his whole career is full of achievements. One can learn a lot from his dedication and commitment toward his passion for the game. Matteau also served as an assistant coach with Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the QMJHL for two seasons.
With his purpose in life to help others, Stephane is also counseling and mentoring troubled youth and teenagers who have started out life on the wrong path.
In the first episode of this long-running show, Stephane Matteau shares his valuable experience and insights about how it was to be a professional player for such a long time and what it feels like to be a champion. He also talks about the mindset and how one should prepare itself while playing.
He worked hard and established himself not only a good student but also a fantastic hockey player that people will remember for ages.
He gave everything he had to make his dream come true.
Stephane believes in not taking shortcuts and focus is the key to success.
Mike Hartman asked Stephane a few questions.
See how he responded!
MH: Tell people what you do right now with kids and sports?
SM: In life, you have to be happy to go to work. You have to be comfortable with what you are doing.
About 11 or 12 years ago, I met a really nice guy from Pennsylvania at Mark Messier leadership camp in New York who happens to be involved with several schools.
He opened a door for me to lead and help teens.
Ever since then I have been mentoring kids and I thoroughly enjoy it.
To date I have many schools I do my program with and talk about every day life situations.
I enjoy mentoring them, and I love watching the kids take major steps in their own personal journey.
Everything has been put on hold in the last few months but I am looking forward to getting back to what I’m supposed to be doing and that’s is leading our young teens.
MH: You had some setbacks in your life, there was an article in New York Times last year, share those setbacks, and what you have learned from them?
SM: Well, it's not a setback, we go through pressure times.
In 1994 things were going well as I scored the biggest goal in New York Rangers
history and did not score another goal in the playoffs for 7 years. I personally
put a lot of pressure on myself. (To make a long story short)
Later on I made the choice to raise my hand and ask for help and I have never looked back. I have been healthy for 19 years, but I felt I owed it to myself to be honest and use my mistakes I made in life to help others and decided to go public.
MH: What is your favorite pizza place in New York/ New Jersey Area?
SM: Well, I have been to New York for a lot of years and fortunate enough to visit a lot of places, but Benny Tudino’s Pizza in Hoboken New Jersey.
MH: Let say you have a tough coach, how would you approach that situation?
SM: The best approach for me was just work harder, eat better, practice, practice and practice and the game just comes more natural.
My biggest advice to people is if you are stuck in a situation, don’t be afraid to raise your hand, there are a lot of professionals out who can help you with your stress, anxiety or anything you might need help with.
MH: What advice would you give to a young athlete today?
SM: It’s easy to have fun with the process and the process is not about winning or losing games in sports!
I would say do not put the loss on your shoulders and always prepare for the games so you can have every advantage necessary to compete.
Today in society, I think people are judging wins or losses instead of developing the athlete.
In an answer to one of Mike Hartman’s questions, he also gave a piece of advice to young athletes ages 13 to 14 years old. He stated it is hard to manage the kids these days as most of the time, most of them are busy with their iPad, mobile phones, and other gadgets. It’s easy for them to get distracted and are lost in so many things. But, if they want to be successful and want to reach their goals, they must put a lot of work into it. Nobody owes you anything, have fun with a good plan in place and enjoy the game.
The key takeaway from this podcast:
If you always play with passion, honesty and give 100 percent to the game, you will not be disappointed much, and most often, the result will be in your favor.
One also has to be dedicated. Lack of opportunities should not halt the journey toward achieving dreams. We can learn a lesson that going in the right direction and hard work can lead to great things and desirable results.
Check out the full podcast here.