Matt grew up in Moorhead, MN, where he played high school hockey, graduating in 1995 from Moorhead High School. He then played two seasons of hockey for St. Cloud State University. In 1996, Matt was drafted as the NHL's 35th overall pick by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
He played 5 1/2 seasons with Anaheim before becoming a Florida Panther in 2003. Matt played on four World Championship teams and was a 2004 bronze medalist on Team USA. In 2006, Matt and the Carolina Hurricanes were crowned the NHL Stanley Cup Champions, and Matt brought the Stanley Cup to his Foundation's Celebrity Golf Tournament that summer. Matt also played one year with the New York Rangers, then signed back with the Hurricanes. At the end of the 2009-2010 season Matt played for the Ottowa Senators. In July 2010, Matt signed a 3 year contract with the Minnesota Wild.
Matt and his wife Bridget have three young sons and live in the Fargo-Moorhead area during the off-season. Matt has two younger brothers, Mark and Joe, and a younger sister, Annie. Both Mark and Joe play professional hockey and are also involved with the Foundation. Mark is currently part of the Chicago Blackhawks organization and plays for the Rockford IceHogs. He was also an AHL All Star in 2009-2010. Joe plays for Cortina in the Italian league. All are involved in the communities in which they live.