“What do you know about dishwashers?”
Golden Knights defenseman Nic Hague knew who to ask when he needed home repairs earlier this season. The team has a guy for that. He just happens to sit in the locker room, throw checks and score goals in between his handyman work.
So Hague fired off a text and wasn’t surprised by the response from left wing William Carrier.
One visit from Carrier and Hague’s dishwasher was working again. But plumbing work is just one special talent the 28-year-old has acquired over the years.
He’s a skilled carpenter. He’s a dedicated fisherman. He’s the Knights’ know-it-all, someone whose ever-expanding expertise keeps impressing his teammates. Especially, because for them, it often comes in handy.
“He’s the most interesting man in the world,” right wing Keegan Kolesar said. “Anything you need an answer to, he’s got it. If you need anything fixed, he’s a private contractor. He can do it all. There’s nothing that guy can’t do. I’m convinced of it.”
Such talent doesn’t stay a secret for long in hockey.
Right wing Jonathan Marchessault learned that the hard way. Carrier still comes over on occasion when the Marchessaults need, say, their shower tiles looked at or their kids’ motorized mini go-kart repaired.
But it’s become tougher to get on the schedule.
“I was keeping it quiet,” Marchessault said. “Now, he probably has contracts every day.”
Carrier’s recent client list includes not only Hague and Marchessault, but center Nicolas Roy (sauna) and video coach Dave Rogowski (dryer).
He credits his abilities to watching his father, Andre, fix things around the house growing up. Carrier, insatiably curious, learned by example. He realized a lot of appliances work in similar ways and have similar things that break. Thus, the solutions are easy to figure out.
All that stored-up knowledge makes him far more invaluable to the Knights than his $1.4 million cap hit suggests.
“Anything you need done, he can do,” defenseman Brayden McNabb said. “He’s a problem solver.”
Carrier saved his largest project for himself.
He helped build his own house in Quebec when COVID-19 paused the NHL season in 2020. The roof and frame were done, but restrictions prevented workers from coming over. So Carrier, with the help of friends and family, worked from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. for about three months adding tile, building cabinets and putting the finishing touches on a new home for his wife and two kids.
There’s even a wine cellar on the first floor that breaks up the living room and kitchen. It holds about 680 bottles.
“It was kind of a lot of work,” Carrier said. “I’d rather just manage it, but when you got to do it, you’ve got to do it.”
Despite all his contracting work, Carrier might have taken up a different profession in another life.
“If he wasn’t good at hockey, I think he’d be fishing right now,” McNabb said.
Carrier spent summers growing up at a cottage north of Montreal, which helped develop a love of the water that continues to this day. He was in bass fishing tournaments by the time he was a teenager.
Carrier still tries to find times to get out when his hockey schedule allows. Roy went fishing on his teammate’s boat on Lake Mead once and came away with zero complaints.
“It was one after another,” Roy said. “He knows what he’s doing there.”
One common way Carrier fits fishing into his schedule is by planning an excursion if the Knights have an off day on the road. He’s made connections in various NHL cities throughout his seven seasons in the league, so he knows who to ask for a scouting report or a boat. He’s already looking forward to the Knights’ visit to Florida in March.
On one road swing this season — with stops in Washington, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Buffalo — Carrier went out every off day between games. He also scored two goals and picked up two assists.
“I pretty much had a great fishing trip,” Carrier said.
Carrier’s “top spot” for fishing is Alaska, where he makes an annual offseason trip. He fishes for eight to 10 hours a day in a huge boat looking for salmon, shrimp or halibut, and takes his mind off hockey for a while.
“There’s no phone service,” he said. “Quiet. No one can reach you. And it’s just nice.”
Carrier’s carpentry and fishing expertise already make him a renaissance man compared to most players in the Knights’ locker room and the rest of the NHL.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Carrier can read X-ray images and MRIs. He speaks English and French because of his Quebec roots. He’s even picking up a little Spanish because it’s “just so close” to French, something he revealed in an interview with Knights rinkside reporter Ashali Vise this season. Carrier said Spanish could be an entry point to learning Italian and other European languages.
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His teammates know he probably has the answer to any of their questions.
“He’s very intelligent,” said rookie Paul Cotter, who sits to Carrier’s left in the City National Arena locker room. “It’s nice to fact-check a few things with him.”
Carrier isn’t done learning, either. His thirst for knowledge seemingly has no limits. He’s always on the lookout for new skills to acquire.
That also applies to hockey. Carrier has been a bruising, fourth-line grinder most of his time with the Knights, relied on to provide speed, energy and physicality. Coach Bruce Cassidy asked for more offense this season. Carrier responded by setting a personal best with 12 goals in 45 games.
He did that while reducing the number of hits he gives out. That has allowed him to stay fresh while playing a career-high 12:30 per game.
“I like to pick up a lot of stuff,” Carrier said. “I like to get into someone else’s life and pick up their skills they have. I have that (mindset) where if you can do it, I can do it.”
Carrier’s wide-ranging prowess tends to bring two emotions out of his teammates.
Admiration. And jealousy.
“I wish I was like him a little bit,” McNabb said. “I’d save a lot of money, that’s for sure.”
No one else on the Knights can say they’re a jack of so many trades. Luckily for them, Carrier is willing to share his gifts.
It’s easy to see his impact on the team when he drives the net for a game-winning goal, as he did Jan. 12 against Florida, or use his speed and strength to draw two penalties, as he did Jan. 28 against the New York Islanders.
But he brings far more to the Knights than that. He’s the one who makes sure they have clean dishes at home.
“He’s very smart when it comes to life and all those useful (skills),” Hague said. “That stuff’s useful. He’s awesome with it.”
Article written by Ben Gotz #ReviewJournal