Most players fade out of the spotlight during the offseason, but Adam Gaudette has put himself right in front of the camera for fans to get a glimpse into his life away from the rink.
There has been an influx of athletes jumping on the streaming platform Twitch in the past couple of years. Big-name athletes like Arian Foster, Nathan MacKinnon, and even Elias Pettersson have given Twitch a run. It’s been a great way for athletes to connect with fans away from their sport.
This offseason has been the Summer/Fall of the Gaudette’s in the content department. With Adam playing Call of Duty on Twitch and his wife Micaela running their TikTok account, the married couple has shined a light into the off-ice life of a professional hockey player and their young family.
Adam and Micaela got married just days before Adam left for Edmonton to participate in the NHL playoff bubble. “It was definitely hard, our relationship was at an all-time high,” said Micaela. “We were just over the moon and so happy, so it was definitely a sad feeling. He was just in a room and the rink.”
“Well I had video games!”
“Yeah, yeah… he had video games,” said Micaela as she laughed off Adam’s joking reply.
The Gaudettes have been all over social media these past few months. Adam has been streaming on Call of Duty: Warzone and other games on Twitch at least three times a week. Whether it was some morning grind sessions or late-night XP missions after a couple of glasses of red wine, Adam has opened up about his life as a professional athlete and his viewers have been loving it. I asked Adam what got him around to the idea of streaming himself playing video games to the world.
“Honestly, it was back in the first lockdown. We didn’t have much going on,” said Adam. “My brothers were playing Call of Duty, Micaela’s brothers were playing Call of Duty. I had my Playstation, so I was like, alright, I’ll get into it. I started to enjoy it, I got really into it. Then I got on to Twitch back in March, and I’d never heard of it before. I started watching to learn how to play Call of Duty: Warzone and I was like woah, this is cool. Then I thought, you know what, I could probably do this with my social media platform and my following. I could probably get some viewers on Twitch if I started streaming, I felt like some hockey fans would watch.”
Micaela helped build the current gaming setup for Adam once he returned from the Canucks’ playoff run. “After the bubble, it evolved from the Playstation into the PC and then I started to get really into it,” said Adam. “I learned a lot about video games, Call of Duty, PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and how all of that works. Once I realized that the real competitors all play on PC, I was like, ‘alright Mic, you think we could build this?’ And she was like, oh yeah, piece of cake.” Micaela sarcastically laughs as Adam finishes his sentence.
“Once I got set up on PC, I got the chat, the three screens, and everything, it was honestly easier for me to interact with the chat, talk to them and pay attention to them,” said Adam. “I think that’s what draws more people in is kind of giving an inside scoop of my life, to the fans and stuff. That brings in people from all around the world. I’m getting people from Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Japan, Africa, China. It’s crazy, the amount of people who are watching makes it pretty cool. And the craziest thing is that they’re all hockey fans, which I also think is cool. I think I’ve gotten better at it too, as it’s going along with talking to the chat, having the right things to say to the chat, giving them what they want to hear, just inside stuff like that.”
Fans definitely embraced Adam’s fun-loving personality on his Twitch stream and the cameos from his dogs and wife Micaela.
“Mic chimes in every now and then, she’s not the biggest fan of video games. So whenever I could get her to smile on stream and tell a few jokes, that’s a win for me because she thinks video games are a bit stupid,” said Adam.
Micaela may think video games are stupid but on the low, she had been practicing. “I’m like really good against bots. I’m just really bad against real people” said Micaela as they both let out a chuckle.
The Gaudettes try to have some fun with the viewers as it’s not all about the video game. Adam will talk about his time growing up playing baseball, Micaela will be hiding from the camera when she’s in her sweatpants as Adam tries to get her on camera and the couple just tries to have as much fun as possible with the streaming outlet.
Gaudette’s first few streams were a bit of a learning process, but with over four thousand followers on the platform, it’s safe to say Gaudette has gotten the hang of it. “I think at first it was a little difficult, because I was like, you know, what the hell do I say? How do I talk to people who are typing messages, and I can’t see their faces and they can all see me?”
“I think it did take a lot of practice but now I sort of got it down. I have a personality on stream and it’s getting more fun. I have the dogs running around, I have Mic in the background so that gives people different types of entertainment. Sometimes it’s just Mic and I sitting there talking, it’s not always video games. Sometimes we’re just playing fetch with (our dog) Zeus, we have him running around and I just like to chat, laugh, and stuff. So I think it did take a little bit of practice. But now I’m comfortable sharing certain parts of our lives that I feel like we wouldn’t be sharing if we were just on Instagram or Twitter and stuff. Honestly, it seems like we’ve gotten great feedback from it. It seems like people are enjoying it. So it’s going well.”
The feedback has been almost entirely positive from social media. Not a lot of athletes will open the door for fans to see what they are like off the ice. In a time where player interviews are 80% “pucks in deep” and “pucks on net”, it’s a refreshing change to see an athlete open up to his fans.
Not only have the Gaudettes been showing more of their lives, but they have also been engaging with fans on social media.
You got it 👊🏻
— Adam Gaudette (@Hockey_Gaud) December 19, 2020
“Well, I think that is something that we’ve recently decided to do,” said Adam. “We’ve been favouriting tweets or trying to do more interacting with fans. We kind of explored that by ourselves over the past couple of months. I started responding to people and I think fans appreciate that. I don’t think athletes or celebrities really understand how much people appreciate a like, a favourite, a quick comment, or something like that. Honestly, I’ve gotten nothing but positive results. People really seem to enjoy it, we take a little time out of our day to respond to them or favourite a tweet or give a little chirp here and there. It’s all fun and games, and we’re just joking with each other. I think that’s something that we recently started to do more and it’s been a positive reaction.”
Some athletes fear social media as it can be a cesspool at times but the Gaudette’s have done a great job keeping things positive and just trying to have fun with Canucks fans. I asked Adam if they are going through a media company or a public relations person and he said no, “honestly, it’s easy to do, we’re doing this ourselves. We don’t have a team who’s running our social, so it’s a little more personal.”
“We see what everyone says, we see it all, even though people might not think that we do see it all. So that’s why I try to just give a favourite or a like. If I get 20 responses to a tweet, I’m not going to respond to all of them. But I’ll give them a favourite just to let them know that I appreciate the support and want to say thank you for the love. I think it’s shown because people will take a screenshot of the notification that I liked the tweet, and then they post it and they’ll be excited and it makes them happy,” said Adam.
From this conversation with the Gaudette’s, it was clear to see that they are just trying to embrace the professional athlete’s life and use their platform to spread positivity and some fun to their followers and viewers.
“It feels nice to be able to give some happiness to others,” said Adam. “When I was younger, we didn’t really have social media like it is now but man, when I was younger playing baseball or hockey, if one of the athletes I followed favourited my tweet I’d be through the roof! I would have thought it was so cool and then had to show all my buddies.”
Adam has recently taken his streaming brand to the next level as he has partnered up with The Athlete Assist to assist him with his goals of launching a shop to grow “The Hockey Gaud” brand.
“The Athlete Assist make our lives easier. We heard great things about them and this is what they do. They got the logo that we worked on together, they got the merchandise and the website all set up. I think with the new merch line, I could do a lot more giveaways and just to kind of give back to the people because I think that’s what having a big following on social media and Twitch allows you to do. I now have the opportunity to give back and make some people’s days with a signed jersey or anything similar like that.”
Even with the Twitch stream, the shop, and the increase in social media activity, Adam and Micaela’s shared TikTok account became the biggest news story of the couple’s offseason.
“It’s actually kind of funny because the videos that go viral, nobody knows who we are. They just think we’re random people. We’ll get the occasional ‘oh, that looks just like Adam Gaudette’, and then someone will respond ‘that is Adam Gaudette!’”
“It’s sort of funny because those people on TikTok aren’t really like Canucks fans or hockey fans. It’s just like strangers,” said Micaela.
“I got a lot of feedback with the kicking video. But, for me, I post that kind of stuff because it’s light-hearted and I want to bring joy to people. Like this was something that was obviously an accident, but it’s funny, and I can laugh at it now. So like, why not have other people laugh with me? I think if I can make other people laugh then I’m succeeding.”
Micaela is in charge of the TikTok account and comes up with most of the skit ideas for content. As the TikTok boss, she sets the release schedule. This resulted in one of the funnier parts of our conversation as their wedding kick video was blowing up around the news circuit.
“She also posted that TikTok without even telling me. She was ready for the reactions but I wasn’t,” said Adam, as Micaela burst out laughing.
So I woke up to a bunch of people telling me our our tik tok kick in the face video is all over Australian news 😂 happy people all over the world can get a *kick out of it 🤪
— Micaela (@micaelakimchi) November 24, 2020
The couple had some fun with the video that was being picked up by many media outlets that were sport and non-sport-related. I asked Adam what he thought about seeing some outlets posting the video with titles like: Husband ruins wedding with a roundhouse kick!
“We were laughing for like a week straight,” said Adam. “We just sent it out to have a good laugh. All the reactions we got were funny. The different walks of life that it reached was something like we never experienced before.”
The one negative thing that Adam kept hearing was that he was spending too much time on video games and not training enough for hockey. He laughs at those comments saying that his job is being a professional hockey player and that is where he focuses most of his offseason time. He’s been able to work hard in his offseason hometown and can’t wait to get back on the ice.
The Gaudettes are happy with the all-Canadian division in effect for the Canucks this season. The playoff bubble wore on Micaela and Adam as both dealt with a serious hit to their mental health. Whether it was Adam not being able to go outside for two weeks or Micaela having to say goodbye to her husband just days after the happiest day of her life, both are happy they will be able to see each other on a more regular basis this season.
“We’re just happy we get to be in our own house,” said Adam. “We don’t have to worry about Mic having to stay here and me having to go to a bubble or whatnot. It seems like things are going well right now, especially with guys living in their own places. So hopefully it stays on a positive note. With away games, we’re going to have to be probably restricted to just staying in the hotel or something, which isn’t as bad as the bubble, but at least we get to come home to our own beds and most importantly our own families.”
Adam is ready to trade in the controller for a hockey stick as he is just wrapping up his 14-day quarantine after travelling to Vancouver from the United States. As for Micaela, she is looking to get into blogging and is just trying to figure out the best way to attack that endeavour. She says it is something that will come down the road but laughed and said not to expect anything soon.
During a quarantine summer that merged into the fall, the Gaudettes helped bring a smile and some happiness to Canucks fans who were bored at home. Now, Adam is all business with training camp kicking off on Monday. He is feeling confident about the Canucks’ chances in the Canadian division this season and is beyond excited to get to work with the rest of his teammates.
Their offseason was a breath of fresh air, to see an athlete and his family open up like that brought a lot of entertainment to fans. That was the goal for Adam and Micaela, and they knocked it out of the park.
The new generation of athletes has been taught since a young age to keep their heads down and act a certain way. The modern-day athlete is just beginning to evolve in a way where they can create a brand for themselves and showcase their personality in many different ways. Adam found his way to do it with Twitch and is hoping to keep being a star once he gets back on the ice in January.
He signed a one-year show-me deal on October 19th for $950,000 after coming off a season where he found a ton of success on the Canucks’ second power-play unit. Gaudette will continue to be one of the driving forces in the Canucks’ scoring group as he was seventh in even-strength goals last season.
We will be following Gaudette closely as training camp commences and hope to see if his lack of sniping in Verdansk was because he was saving all his snipes for when he gets back on the ice.