Carl Stapleton Still Looks Back Fondly At Time In Chatham-Kent
There have been many players from Chatham-Kent travel across the Atlantic to play hockey in Europe. It’s far more rare for a player to travel the opposite direction.
Carl Stapleton was the rare exception in that circumstance in 2014-2015 when he moved from Sweden to play for the Chatham Maroons.
While his North American career was short lived, his hockey career continues on.
“The last couple of seasons have been going pretty good for me and I think my game has grown a lot,” said Stapleton, who has played for his hometown Arvika HC in Division 2, and also for Forshaga IF in Sweden’s Division I.
“For a lot of guys in Canada being done with Junior hockey means it’s the end of their careers, but I’ve been fortunate to be able to keep playing, and I’m hoping for it to be a couple more good years before I hang them up.”
One of the reasons why Stapleton travelled from Sweden to Canada, was his grandfather, local hockey legend, and long time NHL All-Star Pat Stapleton, who sadly passed away in April.
“Of course my grandpa has had big impact on my hockey career and my life,” said Stapleton, who was born in Sweden after his father Tom moved to Arvika to play hockey in the 1990s.
“He always encouraged me to dream big. If it wasn’t for grandpa’s FIA hockey school in Strathroy, I would have never had a chance to come to Chatham to play. His sudden passing earlier this year left us all very shocked. He will be greatly missed by us all.”
Despite all the changes, both good, and sad, since Stapleton’s time in Chatham, he still looks back fondly at his time in the community, and playing for the Maroons.
“I have only good memories from my time with the Maroons,” said Stapleton, who also made special mention of his billet family, the Twigg’s, who made him feel at home.
“I remember all the guys on the team, and the staff around it. The big crowds in the arena and the fans were always great and supportive. I may not have had my best season individually and production wise, but if I look back at it now I know for sure that it was a great experience and I grew a lot as a player and person.”