Hockey Spotlight: Matias Weir

Weir, a junior majoring in business administration and a forward for FAU’s men’s hockey club, speaks about his life and how he got into the sport of hockey coming from a country where it wasn’t as popular.


Photo courtesy of Kimberly Smith.

Angel Rassi, Staff Writer

Matias Weir was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a country that’s not known for being a hockey-playing country. His family moved to the United States when he was four years old.

Weir still visits Argentina as often as possible, as he spoke about how the cultures differ between Argentina and the United States.

“It’s a whole different lifestyle, we have family that live up in the suburb farm areas of Argentina or the city, so most of the time when we are in Argentina, we’re staying in the city and I mean it’s a whole different world than here,” Weir said.

Weir spoke about how hockey isn’t a popular sport in Argentina but how it is slowly growing. Ice rinks are starting to be built around the country.

“Now there’s a rink in Ushuaia, which is only outdoors so it’s only open during the winter. It’s a beautiful rink on the side of a mountain, it has a great view,” Weir said. “They also have another rink, I want to say it’s in Buenos Aires, I don’t know for sure but it’s a very small rink it’s not even close to being normal size.”

Weir brought up how he was contacted to join Argentina’s ice hockey national team.

“I got an Instagram and Facebook DM by a guy named Nico Midabe, he messaged me saying that he found me on Elite Prospects,” Weir said. “Argentina actually has an ice hockey national team and an ice hockey roller team, so he asked me if I can go play in Mexico.”

At first, Weir’s mother was skeptical if the team and opportunity was real since hockey wasn’t popular in Argentina, but after Weir and her had a conversation on Facetime with Midabe and the team along with evidence that it was real, she allowed Weir to go.

“I flew out the next day and won a bronze medal in Mexico,” Weir said.

Weir mentioned how he is trying to join Argentina’s roller hockey team and he played in some ice hockey games for the national team, at the same rink where FAU plays.

Weir hasn’t had the opportunity to play on the rinks in Argentina but one of his goals is to skate there. He spoke about the main issue with the rink in Buenos Aires and how they want to fix it.

“Their goal is to actually get enough funding from the country to be able to build a real size rink because we are actually a real IHF (International Hockey Federation) team,” Weir said. “But the problem is we can’t host any games obviously there, if we don’t have a certain size rink with a certain size seating area, so that’s our goal.”

Weir recalls how hockey wasn’t the first sport that he fell in love with and played; that was soccer, one of Argentina’s national sports. Due to his father’s corporate job at McDonald’s, his childhood involved a lot of moving which led to him playing hockey.

“I moved from Argentina, to Long Island, then to New Jersey, then to Chicago, then El Paso, then Florida.” Weir said. “I played soccer my whole life, I was huge in soccer, I was actually better at soccer than I was at hockey growing up.”

When his family moved to Chicago is when his love for hockey began.

“When I moved to Chicago, I was in seventh grade and I didn’t start playing hockey until I was about 13 years old, the summer going into eighth grade so I started very late.” Weir said.

His first friend that he made in Chicago was the one that got him into hockey.

“My brother met this kid that lived right in our neighborhood, who’s dad worked for the Chicago Blackhawks, the NHL team,” Weir excitedly said. “During the winter, he had a backyard ice rink literally in his backyard. He was my first friend, so I would go over there, I would go on my feet with a stick and a ball and we would shoot and play hockey and I loved it.”

Weir and his brother both started playing hockey thereafter. He played in a recreational league in Chicago and when he moved to El Paso, he got more into it and did whatever he had to so he could play.

“I started taking it more seriously when I moved to El Paso, I started playing in high school and U16.” Weir said. “Then, I started working for the rink because the expenses for hockey were really high, so I worked for the rink so me and my brother could play for free, so my parents wouldn’t have to pay.”

He got offered to play for El Paso’s junior team. However, he moved to Florida and got an offer to play in Florida, which his parents thought would be better for him to stay in Florida. 

Weir originally didn’t want to stay in Florida; he wanted to play NCAA DIII and had offers to play for major hockey organizations but ultimately decided it’s best for him to stay in Florida.

“I had ACHA DI offers, I had NCAA DIII offers,” Weir said. “I have a lot of friends here and all of my friends I grew up meeting, who are now my roommates playing for the Palm Beach Hawks Juniors here in Florida. I just decided it was better for me to get a better education [and] stay at home in Florida.”

FAU scouted Weir and he had some friends already at the college so he decided to join them and stay in Florida.

Weir spoke about his chances of becoming the first Argentine NHL player and how it would feel as he was brutally honest towards it.

“I have no chance, it’s over,” Weir said. “Obviously, being the first Argentinian hockey player would be unbelievable, it would be insane. Hopefully, I can get my kid to be that one day.”

His goal is to make the FAU hockey team a powerhouse.

“My goal honestly with FAU is to continue to make the program better [and] bigger in FAU so the school realizes how big and legit we are,” Weir said. “And to win a national championship, that’s our team’s goal.”

Weir spoke highly about FAU’s hockey team. “We have a very good team, we have the best team that FAU has ever had,” he said. “We have a new coaching staff, we have a locker room now, so we’re getting more legit as it goes.”

When Weir isn’t busy on the ice he likes to play golf, spend time with friends, and family. He also helps his friend and teammate, David Israel, run a business called Wolfpack Fitness and they are both coaches.

“Me and my buddy are running a business called Wolfpack Fitness,” Weir said. “We’re both youth hockey coaches, we coach a U16 team at Palm Beach Skate Zone, we’re also both certified personal trainers.”

Israel, junior defenseman for FAU’s hockey team, spoke about Weir and how he is as a friend.

“Matias is a natural leader,” Israel said. “He is very empathetic and always trying to keep everyone happy and on the same page, he is a real friend and has your back.”

Israel spoke about having Weir as a business partner.

“Matias has been a huge asset for my business Wolfpack Fitness,” Israel said. “He has a great passion for coaching, training, and developing youth athletes, especially hockey players in South Florida.”

Weir is appreciative of all the fans that attend FAU’s hockey games.

“Keep coming out because it’s really helping to grow, we’re averaging about 250+ fans a game, our opening night we had over 300,” Weir said. “The rink has been loud, it’s been awesome, so I just want to thank the fans for that.”

Angel Rassi is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @arassi2000.