Okay, I’ll admit. Somewhere deep down, I believe Chucky Slick can save us all. I hope so, anyway.
The international inline hockey star, former junior hockey player, and part-time rapper is a wise old soul, and his 36.7K Twitter followers know it. The man whose Twitter handle reads “Once milked a newborn hamster back to life, but Twitter wasn't around back then to flaunt my accomplishments, so here I am” is currently stationed in Spain’s Canary Islands playing professional roller hockey for Molina Sport.
Chucky Slick is a puck philosopher. Equal parts Yoda, Dalai Lama, and The Dude from Big Lebowski; Chucky Slick mixes the restless spirit of Into the Wild’s McCandless with the devil-may-care attitude of McConaughey’s Wooderson.
If that sounds like too much of a buildup, I dare you to read this interview and not find at least a bit of wisdom. Apologies in advance for some of the language, but press ahead because Chucky Slick is good for you.
Game On! Minnesota: I see your Twitter reads “Carlos” now. What are we calling you these days? Chucky Slick?
Chucky Slick: Everyone calls me Chuck, always has. But I’m in a Spanish-speaking country now, so I went with Carlos.
Game On! Minnesota: How would you describe your hockey journey thus far?
Chucky Slick: Life is a highway, and my hockey career has been like a German highway covered in ice with trucks sliding and crashing into ditches while the soundtrack "I Ran" by Flock of Seagulls plays in the background. I’ve had the opportunity to play hockey all over the world. Every place I’ve played has had its own unique characteristics, and I always fall in love with the people and the culture.
Game On! Minnesota: How many different countries have you played hockey in?
Chucky Slick: Including tournaments, I’ve played in the United States, Canada, Argentina, China, Czech Republic, Sweden, Austria, and Spain.
Game On! Minnesota: Describe how you play the game? What would an opposing coach say about Chucky Slick?
Chucky Slick: I’ve never really changed. I’ve always liked to score goals and haven’t been real strong on defense. I’ve never been much of a backchecker. You can find me floating around the neutral zone waiting for someone to chip me a good pass. That’s really a metaphor for life— we’re all just floating around the neutral zone waiting for someone to chip us a puck.
Game On! Minnesota: I know you’re a creative guy, so what do you have going on outside of hockey these days?
Chucky Slick: I have a new song coming out on Valentine’s Day with a reggae band called Strictly Skunk. We’re all from the same neighborhood on the east side of San Diego, and I’d always hear them jamming in their garage. We became friends and shot a video. I always wanted to be in a band, but didn’t have any instrumental talent, so this experience fulfilled my dream. The song is “Let You Know.”
Game On! Minnesota: A buddy of mine always says ”Keep it reggae” when talking about life.
Chucky Slick: Yes, life is fragile like a baby panda egg. Pandas don’t even lay eggs.
Game On! Minnesota: I noticed you had a recent tweet that read, “Evil is all around, but for the most part, every place in the world is the same. Inhabited by humans tryna do good & be good. Love & be loved.” I really like that, given everything that’s going on right now. Why did you write that?
Chucky Slick: I was expressing the way I felt. I go on Facebook and see everyone back home; it’s hectic times in the States. Everyone is bitching, has opinions, and are taking sides. I know a bunch of people who think I’m crazy for living in foreign countries. They’ll ask me, “Aren’t you scared?” A lot of people in the States have this American-ass vision that everyplace else is bad and full of terrorists. They think other countries are all dangerous and poor. I’ve partied in Spain. I’ve been with an Iraqi girl. I’ve met dudes from Afghanistan, and a lot of Muslims. They’re just normal, but a couple people make them all look terrible. For the most part, everyone is trying to do good. Everyone in this world just wants to rinse their apples. You can’t eat your apples unless they’re clean. I've been blessed to travel the world because of hockey. I like to wander. I think I get that from my mother’s side of the family, they are very free spirited. I’ve learned more in my five years of travels than I did my entire time in the American school system.
Game On! Minnesota: You’re playing inline hockey in the Canary Islands of Spain. Give us a glimpse of what a normal day looks like for Chucky Slick right now.
Chucky Slick: I wake up and make a coffee or smoothie and cook breakfast. I cook every meal. I love cooking Mexican food. After I cook I will head to the gym, which is a big part of my everyday routine. After the gym I’ll come home and lie on the roof of our balcony and chill out in the sun. I’ll pump reggae music for 30 minutes or maybe come inside and write music or edit video, doing something creative. Otherwise I’ll go to the beach and attempt to talk to girls or just do random stuff—it’s a great lifestyle. The other day some old dude dressed as a ninja turtle at the party store told me I have nice quads. And to be honest, I’m still riding that high.
Game On! Minnesota: Your Twitter is great for what I call bumper-sticker wisdom. What mottos are you living by right now?
Chucky Slick: Yeah man, life is crazy. One minute your standing in the aisle of a grocery store with broken queso dip jars all around you and then next minute you're still there, crying. Oh, you said mottos? “Live fast like a slapshot.” That’s been my motto for a long time. I like living fast like a Hal Gill or Shea Weber slapshot.
Game On! Minnesota: What does that mean to live fast? What’s the difference between living fast and living slow?
Chucky Slick: Living slow would be if I was still in my hometown and working at a grocery store my whole life. I’m trying to do things, and be active. I want to go with the wind and fall off the face of the Earth. I like to flip my life upside down from time to time, that’s why I’ve lived in all these places. There’s nothing wrong with living at home if you’re doing things and being creative, but if it’s stagnant and a routine, that’s boring.
Game On! Minnesota: With all of your Twitter followers, in some ways it feels like you’re the cool older brother to a lot of young hockey players. What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Chucky Slick: Don’t ever buy any food from a gas station again. Any food you can find in a gas station you should not be eating. Hot pockets, Oreos, chips. Eat good and drink water. I’ve been on this way of eating for seven months now. I ate Hot Pockets and soda and bullshit all the time, and I wondered why I felt terrible. I flipped my whole idea of eating. I’m not vegan or anything, but I do eat a lot of organic, and I’m incorporating a lot of fruit and vegetables. And while you got some onions grilling in the pan, it doesn’t hurt to practice your face offs in the kitchen with some brooms and empty beer cans.
Game On! Minnesota: We’re doing this interview on a Sunday, but you like to reserve that day for hiking. Can you talk a little bit about the benefit you see in exploring?
Chucky Slick: It means a lot to me. I have found tremendous amounts of joy going into the wild. I like having new experiences. We are not trees with roots. We’ve got feet with shoes, and there is a lot of stuff out there to see. There is no greater thrill than going to a city I’ve never been to filled with people I’ve never met. It started for me after Juniors when I played in Sweden. I became so intrigued about culture and how other people live. I’ve spent a lot of time in studio apartments with nothing but a mattress on the floor, a Brita water filter, and my hockey bag. Or just my backpack. I believe most of the finer things in life are found outside.
Game On! Minnesota: So, what do you know about Minnesota? Have you spent much time here?
Chucky Slick: I’ve spent time there. I played in the NAHL showcase in Blaine. To me Minnesota is like the Canada of the States. I haven’t had the chance to meet some real Minnesotans, but from what I see on social media and the people I know from there it seems like a real awesome place. Of course there’s the stereotypical, “It’s colder than a polar bear’s toenail,” but it seems like you love hockey and boozing, and that’s what Canada loves. And it’s interesting. I don’t think that of your surrounding neighbors like Iowa and North and South Dakota. I’m not even sure North Dakota is a state; I think they just wanted to have the border be a straight line. Despite your geography, Minnesota somehow turned out awesome.
Game On! Minnesota: Okay, to finish we’re going to do a weird thing. I’ve sent you the rankings of both the AA and A boys’ and girls’ high school teams in Minnesota. I want you to tap your Zen side and randomly pick the winners. This is not math, it’s more like my mother at the horse races picking winners based on their names or the colors the jockey is wearing.
Chucky Slick: Okay, I’m going to start with the Girls’ AA. Minnetonka. Man, that’s a great name. I think I’m going to name my first daughter Minnetonka. She’ll never get laid. “What’s your name?” “Minnetonka.” Yeah, I’ll take Minnetonka. In the A I know it’s not New Prague because I guarantee New Prague is nothing like Prague. I’m going with Delano. Yeah, Delano.
Game On! Minnesota: Now the Boys’.
Chucky Slick: In the single A I have to say Hermantown. I don’t know what that number ten in parentheses means next to their name. Maybe that means they’ve won it for ten years in a row—I don’t know, but they look deadly. I’m feeling Hermantown. For the AA, is Stillwater near Blaine?
Game On! Minnesota: Yes, it’s pretty close.
Chucky Slick: I think that’s where I stayed when we played in Blaine those three years. My hotel was always in Stillwater. Those are my boys. I’m rooting for Stillwater.
Odds are good, this woman's name isn't Minnetonka