IN THE NEWS
C.J. STRETCH AND THE STACHE
By Chad Hudson,
Weight: 195 pounds
Born: August 3, 1989
Hometown: Irvine, California
Favorite Movie: Anchorman
Favorite Actor: Jack Nicholson
Favorite Food: Mexican
Favorite Music: Classic rock, but a little bit of everything too
Favorite Band: Motley Crue and Rick Ross
Dream Vacation Spot: Hawaii
Favorite NHL Player: Corey Perry
A grandmother watches her grandson play hockey on TV. For many, it is hard to keep track of which players are which, but in this case, the grandson has made her life easier.
For C.J. Stretch’s grandmother, as well as anyone watching, finding him is simple. Just follow the mustache. The mustache that he has been growing for the past three years.
“I just started growing [my mustache] with my brothers and we were doing it for fun,” Stretch said. “My grandmother, who is 85 [years old], said she likes it because she can see me on TV while I’m playing.”
An NHL player known for his mustache also has certified this mustache: George Parros.
“I skated with George Parros and he said ‘I have it, I’ve been growing it for a while, and everyone knows me from it, so keep it,’” Stretch said.
Away from the mustache, this Californian enjoys his time on the beach, where he enjoys body surfing and filming his friends surfing with his GoPro camera.
However, his time this summer in Irvine, California was also spent training, skating with many NHL players and preparing for the upcoming season.
The love affair with hockey is common in the Stretch family. He and his brothers battled in all sports growing up, but hockey prevailed in the end.
“We were competitive and wanted to be better and better, and we just loved hockey,” Stretch said.
Stretch got a taste of the AHL competition last season while playing with the Barons. The team’s deep run into the playoffs was something he had not experienced much in his playing career. The older guys helped him prepare mentally for the playoff run and now he is looking forward to another one.
“Everyone talked about taking it one game at a time, every single night and just keep playing hard,” Stretch said. “A lot of the older guys taught me about [how to prepare] and I’m excited to come back this year, get back to the playoffs and make that run again.”
This year, Stretch is prepared to start that run from the beginning of training camp.
“From day one, training camp, from game one, we have to just have that mindset of realizing what our goal is— every night.”
That time comes soon and Stretch cannot wait to get back to Oklahoma City to start the run. The chaotic lifestyle in California is something he loves, but the atmosphere and calmer lifestyle in Oklahoma is also appealing to him.
“[I look forward to] the smaller kind of town, I know it’s not a small town, but there’s a lot less people than Southern California,” Stretch said. “There’s a lot of people in California and you get frustrated with people because you can’t relax. When I was in Oklahoma, it felt like a smaller city, and I enjoyed that.”
Fans can expect for the offensive excitement Stretch plans to bring to the table for the Barons this season. He had some offensive success last season, but he is looking to build upon that. He likes to play the game the way his favorite NHL player does: Corey Perry.
For that, Barons’ fans can get excited. Just do not forget to take a moment to admire the mustache.
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