Before David Carle played his first game for the University of Denver, a rare heart condition ended his dreams of following older brother Matt, Denver’s first Hobey Baker Award winner in 2006.
David was forced to retire as a player in July 2008 after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes.
But today, both Carle brothers are improbably in Tampa — David as an assistant coach for the Pioneers, who face North Dakota Thursday night in the Frozen Four at Amalie Arena, home of Matt's Tampa Bay Lightning.
Denver honored David's scholarship, allowing allowed him to serve as an assistant coach until he graduated with a degree in finance in 2012. Jim Montgomery, who was hired as the Pioneers' head coach a year later, he brought back Carle as an assistant on Jan. 1, 2014.
Carle had been an assistant in 2012-13 with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers, helping guide them to a 37-23-4 record and a second-place finish in the USHL’s Eastern Conference. Before his playing career ended, he was selected by the Lightning in the seventh round selection of the 2008 NHL Draft.
At 26, Carle is one of the youngest assistants in college hockey. He spoke with ASN’s Brendan Jones in a wide-ranging interview.