SAN JOSE—After speaking with Sharks captain Joe Pavelski on Friday about his offseason highlights, getting back into the game at the start of a new season, this year’s rookies, and his favorite things about living in the Bay Area, San Francisco News was able to ask a few of his teammates the same questions.
San Francisco News: Tell me about this past offseason. Were there any highlights? Do you have any traditions with friends or family? Where can we usually find you?
Tomas Hertl: Last year we got two months off, this time we got four. I got to enjoy it, spent time with my family and friends. I also went on vacation, after the season I was in Hawaii. I was also in Venice and Rome, it was one of the most beautiful [places]. It was my first time there. Rome is unbelieveable. Also I took my brother and two cousins to Budapest. For my workouts [back home], I changed my conditioning, my stretching. I feel ready to go!
Joel Ward: I got a chance to hang out with Chris [Tierney] quite a bit this summer which was really good, we had a couple of dinner dates. Also, it was good to be home and just kind of get back into the routine before you start playing hockey again.
Chris Tierney: Just being able to go home to family and friends. Did a lot of things over the summer where I connected with family that I don’t usually see all year; cousins, aunts, uncles. It’s a lot of fun to be able to go home and do that. It was a long time [the Sharks had a four-month offseason] to be able to have at home and kind of get ready for the season, too. I’m looking forward to this year!
Logan Couture: You can find me back at home in London, Ontatrio [Canada]. I go back a couple weeks after the season ends. I don’t really do much; I golf quite a bit, hang out with my buddies, sit by my pool, see my family. That’s pretty much it, I’m pretty boring (laughs)!
Joonas Donskoi: Just worked out [quite a bit], saw my family; I was back in Finland [his native], so that was my highlight; seeing family, friends, people who are close to me.
Timo Meier: I was back home [in Switzerland] for the whole summer. I prepared [for the season] with my strength and conditioning coach… I put in a lot of work over the summer and I like to translate that to on the ice.
SFN: As the season approaches, how do you get back into the groove of hockey?
Hertl: It’s not that hard. I’ve already been skating since the end of July. There are [other] guys from Czech, we skate together. And now, to be here and hang out with guys, talking about hockey, the next season, everyone feels ready to go. Because it was a long summer, everyone enjoyed it and now hockey is back.
Ward: We’re training most of the summer, so just hit the gym and we’ll slowly get back on the ice.
Tierney: Same thing as Joel [Ward], you workout out five days a week during the summer. Once July and August start hitting, you get on the ice more and more. I know a bunch of guys came back to San Jose early and were skating and working out together. The guys have been working hard this summer, it’s good to see!
Couture: Pretty normal, I work out a couple weeks after the season and skate at the start of August.
SFN: Have this year’s rookies come to you for any advice? If not, what would you tell them?
Hertl: There have not been many [who have asked for advice] yet, but [defenseman] Radim Simek, who is [also] from the Czech Republic, I gave him some advice. I told him everything has to go around and if anyone can help [him] during the games, I would be happy to, but I am still learning, too, from guys like Jumbo [Joe Thornton] and Pav [Joe Pavelski].
Ward: Just have fun!
Tierney: Just work hard! The systems come over time, but as long as you’re working hard and just playing your game, there is a reason you’re here. Just play to your strengths!
Couture: Have fun, play your game. There are going to be highs and lows throughout your camp, your season. Just roll with it and get better!
Donskoi and Hertl, who hail from Finland and the Czech Republic, respectively, also shared what they love about living in the Bay Area.
Donskoi: The weather, first thing. It’s just so beautiful, like all the mountains around San Jose. After practice, I just like to go driving through the mountains to see the city from higher up. It’s just beautiful.
Hertl: I love the weather. The people around here are nice, I love the city. Here and even San Francisco. I am so happy I can be here, and I hope to stay a bit longer.