Trash-talking has its limits, former pest Barnaby says


Canwest sports reporter Cory Wolfe gets personal with hockey analyst and former NHL tough guy Matthew Barnaby:


Canwest sports reporter Cory Wolfe gets personal with hockey analyst and former NHL tough guy Matthew Barnaby:

Question: Which current NHL player do you look at and think: "He reminds me of a young Matthew Barnaby"?

Answer: I look at Buffalo and a kid who was just called up - Patrick Kaleta. He wears my number, No. 36. He doesn't fight as much as I did, but he certainly will make a name for himself. He hits very hard and he gets under the skin of a lot of players.

You weren't shy about trash-talking. When taunting an opponent, what subject was off-limits?

Kids and death. I wanted to get deep enough where it hurt, but not to where it went beyond what I thought the limits were. I stretched the limits, but kids and death were definitely off-limits.

What was one of your signature lines?

There wasn't one thing that I always went back to the well for. But with bigger guys who wanted to fight me and couldn't skate very well, my best line for them was: "If you can skate back and forth without falling down, I'll fight you."

What was the last regular job you had before hockey started paying the bills?

Working construction for my uncle.

And now you have a construction company with (former NHLer) Rob Ray, don't you?

It's a small company and we build one to two houses per year - just to keep us doing things and make a little money on the side.

Which current player would you be least excited to fight?

(Wild's) Derek Boogaard, without question. He's so big (6-foot-7, 260 pounds) and I've seen the damage he's done to a few guys.

Did you pull off any super-romantic feats on Valentine's Day?

I stayed out of the doghouse and that's a feat on its own when you've been married 10 years.

Which musician appears most in your music collection?

Rascall Flatts. I like country and hip-hop. When I'm travelling, it's mostly country and when I work out, it's hip-hop.

Excluding sports, what is the best show on TV?

Friday Night Lights. It's sports, but it is an actual show.

What's the most awed you've been in the presence of a celebrity?

Meeting Garth Brooks the first time. I've met him several times since, because he has a charity thing with the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball. But meeting him for the first time, it was pretty cool to see how down to Earth he is. It was great to meet someone that big and someone whose music I enjoy so much.

Name something you own too much of.

Suits and golf clubs. I have probably 50 suits and 12 sets of golf clubs.

Twelve sets? Why would you need that many golf clubs?

Anything new that comes out, I buy it. I love golf. I have probably 20 drivers in my garage and 12 sets of clubs. When I like something, I buy a lot of them.

Favourite NHL city?

Montreal. Hockey takes up nine pages of the sports section. People are so passionate about it, so it's an exciting place to play.

Complete this sentence: It's harder than it looks to be Matthew Barnaby because ...

... everyone is always trying to kill you!

Your voice