July 20 2012 11:38AM
Twenty years ago players would show up at training camp looking like Gregor or Wanye. Not bad but not great. Training camp would be used by everyone to get back into playing shape and to work off the summer chub.
Those days are long gone.
The offseason is now used to get into great shape for the season. When do they start? It depends on each individual player and how far their team went in the playoffs. For this article I will look at a typical non-playoff team player's summer...
12 Month Commitment
Some guys start at the beginning of July, others the beginning of June. For many, the month of April is used to rest and then in May the process begins. May is a time to make sure all injuries from the previous season have healed. It is very frustrating and difficult to really train hard with a nagging injury.
This can mean a lot of time spent at physiotherapy or even lots of yoga. More and more players are using yoga to lengthen the muscles and get them ready to train hard. It is a great way to get over a long NHL season.
June is when the guys get back into the gym for real. This means four or five days a week working out. I always found June a good month to work on specific weaknesses. That could be anything from strength, foot speed, endurance or body composition. Each player is unique. It was still a month to prepare for July which is a very heavy month of training.
By the start of July, the body should be feeling recovered and strong. Ready for a very heavy month of tworking out. July is usually the hardest month of the summer: heavy weight lifting, lots of quickness/footwork and body function are the focus. Six days a week, all with a different length and intensity of workout are common, somewhere between one to three hours are day.
The length of workouts shorten in August but the intensity remains elevated. This is because many guys start to skate regularly and the body needs to have a chance to be fresh heading into camp in September. Some guys skate every day, others maybe once a week. Depends on the individuals need and goals of the summer.
More and more players are spending a lot of time on skill work over the summer. Makes sense. Once September comes guys will pull back a lot, even take time off. The NHL season is long and grueling, so you want to be as fresh and healthy as possible when it starts. If by September you still look like Wanye or Gregor you have two big problems - First, training hard for those two weeks won't make a big difference, it is too late. Second, you better get used to having sand kicked in your face at the beach!!!
Are you serious?
That is a nice little offer sheet that Shea Webber signed with the Flyers yesterday. Good for him. He deserves it. A great defenseman and good captain.
Many people and media members alike wondered if he should still be the Captain of Nashville if the Predators match it because he signed with another team. Are you serious? Was that a joke? You are suggesting you take away the captaincy from a player you just gave north of one hundred million dollars to over the next fourteen years? Wow!
I choked on my bowl of mini wheats when I saw those comments. That would be a great way to start off that relationship! It is as bad of an idea as texting a prenuptial contract to your fiancé on the way to the church!