Collingwood Blues captain Cam Garvey credits the town for helping to make him the man he is today.
For this week’s edition of People of Collingwood we spoke with Garvey, 20, 2022/23 Collingwood Blues team captain.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I was born in Toronto, and then I moved to Oakville at a young age. I’ve been in Oakville my whole life aside from the last two to three years.
When I started playing for Collingwood, I billeted up there.
Three years ago, I was playing for the Blades in Oakville. The following year, I was traded to the Blues.
Q: For how long have you played hockey?
A: I started probably at age six or seven. I had always been pretty good. I just really enjoyed it. My parents put a lot of time into it for me. They built a rink in the backyard every year. They wanted me to succeed as much as I did. I’ve had a ton of support from them.
Q: You’ve served as team captain for both the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons for the Blues. What makes a good team captain?
A: I look at some of the guys in the NHL, like Jonathan Toews or Sidney Crosby – the exceptional guys – and I think their ability to connect with every single guy on the team and be able to lead the group. When they speak, everyone else is quiet and they care about what you have to say.
There are a lot of responsibilities that come with it, but just being able to hold everyone accountable and be someone everyone can talk to and rely on. Also, being someone everyone in the community can look up to as well.
That would make an unreal leader, and it was something I tried to do.
Q: Part of your time with the Blues was during COVID-19, which had a major impact on all sports. What were your experiences like with the Blues during COVID-19?
A: It was pretty crazy. It was a brand new team, and it was a brand new town for me then. I’d never been to Collingwood before.
I had a great billet family, so that made it a lot easier.
We were getting changed in the parking lot at the arena. We couldn’t even go into the dressing rooms.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a season that year. We were moving back and forth through all those colour codes. It literally depended on the week, whether we were practising or not.
It was definitely not the experience I was expecting, but it was nobody’s fault and they handled it the best they could.
Q: It’s a big change compared to how the Blues performed this season. How do you feel about this season?
A: This year has been incredible. For sure, it’s been the best year of my life, not even just hockey-wise. Everything about it was so special.
To go from the COVID season where nothing was really happening and we were all just getting to know each other to winning the Buckland Cup this year, (created) some of my favourite memories.
The people I’ve met along the way will be life-long friends.
When I came up to Collingwood, I’d heard about how supportive the community is. When COVID happened, I couldn’t see it. To see it this year and all the support, even when I’m just walking the streets or in the arena... it’s just amazing.
This season has been unbelievable.
We didn’t go out the way we wanted in Manitoba, but even during that experience they treated us like such professionals. Even though we didn’t win, it was a lot of fun, and that’s all you can really ask for.
Q: When you were traded from Oakville to Collingwood, did you have a say in that decision?
A: The GM and Coach of the Blades moved to Collingwood, so I went to the leadership group in Oakville and asked if I could be traded to Collingwood. I knew they were trying to build a team for this year that could win the Buckland.
Q: Why did you choose Collingwood?
A: I asked specifically to go to Collingwood. I knew (general manager) Mike Tarantino. That was definitely a reason.
I had heard the community of Collingwood was so supportive.
I wanted the experience of moving away from home. I was 18 at the time. A lot of my buddies had gone to university. I wanted to grow, meet new people and experience other things in life.
Collingwood was the perfect place for that.
Q: What are your future plans?
A: Next year, I’m playing Division 1 hockey at Robert Morris University, about 20 minutes outside of Pittsburgh. I’m studying business. I got a scholarship.
I get to play hockey and study there for the next four years.
Q: When you look back over the past few years with the Blues, how do you feel?
A: I look at myself when I came to the Blues, and (compare it) to how I am now. Living away from home and cooking your own meals. I grew up.
I feel like a very different person, and a more well-rounded person.
All the people I’ve met will be forever friends, and the town of Collingwood has a special place in my heart.
Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of hockey?
A: I like basketball. I’m not the best at it, but I love it. I golf a decent amount in the summer.
I’m a pretty sporty guy. I try to be outside as much as I can, and then come winter season, I’m at the rink every day.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like people in Collingwood to know about you?
A: I’d like to thank Collingwood for all the experience and support they gave me. Without Collingwood, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
I want to thank them for everything they’ve done for me.
For our feature People of Collingwood, we speak with interesting people who are either from or are contributing to the Collingwood community in some way, letting them tell their own stories in their own words. This feature runs on CollingwoodToday every weekend. If you’d like to nominate or suggest someone to be featured in People of Collingwood, email [email protected].