New Roommate for Nathan MacKinnon


“Being young, 18 years old in the NHL, it’s probably better for him, too, to have a family around him.” — J.S. Giguere on hosting MacKinnon

One of the great traditions in pro hockey is for players to billet with families. In the major juniors, teen boys typically move in with a host family, simply becoming a new son at the table.

That situation would be a little awkward for an NHL rookie making pert-near a million dollars a year. So young NHL rookies tend to move in with their veteran teammates. Matt Duchene lived with Hall of Famer, and current Avalanche defensive coach, Adam Foote. Ryan O’Reilly bunked in winger Darcy Tucker’s house. Even cornerstone defenseman Erik Johnson lived for a year with Al MacInnis when he was a St. Louis Blues rookie. Heck, back in the day, Alex Tanguay lived in none other than Patrick Roy’s home.

Wonderkid Nathan MacKinnon has been no exception. Last year, he lived with backup goalie J.S. Giguere and his family. In fact, Giguere commented at one point that his own children occasionally took over MacKinnon’s video game system. You have to imagine there were epic video game battles that Kiddo MacK was involved in.

Giguere, of course, has retired. At one point, MacKinnon floated out the idea that he would get his own place for the 2014-15 season. However, instead he’s already moved in with veteran Max Talbot, according to his tweet:

That’s pretty interesting on a couple levels. For one, Talbot isn’t quite the same kind of veteran influence as Giguere, who had three boys already in the household. Talbot is a newlywed with a new baby in the house. Different dynamic, but MacKinnon will likely adjust.

For the other, Talbot remarked last season that the Avalanche were a “crazy young” team. And now he’s got the youngest member, a teen who crowed he was now 19 two hours before that was strictly true, living in his home.

Talbot has nothing to worry about though. According to Giguere, “[MacKinnon’s] very respectful, very polite. He’s not arrogant.”

That’s easy to believe. Matt Duchene has stated he set out to be a mentor to MacKinnon, and captain Garbiel Landeskog has made it his mission to keep Kiddo MacK “humble.” Fellow Calder Trophy winner, numbers two and three in their respective drafts — hard to ignore their influence no matter who you are. (Fellow number-one draft pick, Erik Johnson, seems to have become the type of older brother who razzes you. All in the family.)

Besides his crazy skills, MacKinnon hasn’t seemed to need much in the way of humbling. He may not be as preternaturally poised as Landeskog, but he certainly hasn’t been a wild child like a certain former Boston Bruin player.

Kiddo MacK is on his way to becoming all grown up.