Earlier this month, defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald signed a contract to return for his third season with the Wolves. The Boston native missed the first half of the 2022-23 season recovering from shoulder surgery and finished with two goals and eight assists in 30 contests. In Part 2, the 26-year-old Fitzgerald talks about being a leader, childhood influences, living in Chicago and his golf game.
Do you look forward to taking on more of a leadership role during the 2023-24 season?
“Absolutely. We’ve got a couple more older guys than we did last year and I’m excited to work with them and help the young guys, just kind of showing them the ropes. It’s not an easy league to come into and it’s not an easy league to stay in so I’ll just do what I can to help guys.”
One of your highlights last season was being awarded the 2023 Tim Breslin Unsung Hero Award. What does that mean to you?
Who were the biggest influences on you growing up?
“My parents did everything for me when I was younger. And when I moved to Nova Scotia, Canada (from Boston), my uncle Darren MacPherson took me under his wing and helped me out. When you’re moving away when you’re 14 it’s not too easy so he was pretty much my first agent and psychologist—whatever you want to call him. He was pretty much my second dad so I can’t thank that guy enough. He did the world for me.”
Was it always hockey for you or did you do other sports?
“When I was younger, we played a bunch of sports. My dad was more of a baseball and football kind of guy. He could skate, but I don’t think he played too much hockey when he was younger.
I played a lot of baseball and a lot of soccer. I kind of just took after my two older brothers (Brendan and Cullan) and we played all the sports we could. That made me who I am today, battling with those guys in every sport that we played.”
Whose posters did you have hanging on your wall as a kid?
“I had a few posters, like Wayne Gretzky and Pavel Bure. Albert Pujols, too.”
What do you like to do when you’re not on the ice?
“Pretty much spend time with my wife, Amy. We got her some golf clubs so we’ve been golfing a little bit.
I also spend time with the family up here (in Nova Scotia). It’s tough throughout the season to keep in touch but when I get up here that’s the main thing I’m doing.”
What do you like most about living and playing in Chicago?
“I find it’s pretty similar to the East Coast and Boston, which is something I like. It’s a big sports city. I know the Wolves have drawn so many fans over the years and I know they’re very loyal and that’s what I love about them.”
What’s your daily offseason routine look like?
“I’m usually on the ice around 8 o’clock in the morning and then I go to the gym after. After that, maybe sit by the pool or play some golf.”
How’s your golf game?
“Not as good as it should be, but I’m sure that’s what everybody says.”
How do you pass time on buses and planes?
“I know some guys on the team last year played a little chess so maybe I’ll have to take up a little bit of that. But other than that, watch some movies and play some cards with the guys.”
For Part One, go here.