Like his Team USA and Blue Jackets teammate Brandon Dubinsky did last week, Jack Johnson paid a visit to the CBJ Hockey School to serve as a guest instructor. After his session was over, we caught with him and talked about his offseason and preparation for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.
CBJ.com: What's it like being out here taking tough questions from the kids?
Johnson: "I think it's fun. I remember when I was that kid, I was a little shy to ask questions, but I think it's great. Sometimes they ask some hard questions that I don't even know the answers to, but I always just think back to when I was that kid. I want to make it special for them, and hopefully I do."
CBJ.com: Aside from helping out here, what have you been up to this summer?
Johnson: "I've got my family at home, so I spend a lot of time at home with my wife and my little girl. And then just training and rehab to get my shoulder back to 100 percent, which it is now, so I put in a lot of time on that. Right now I've got about a month left before World Cup of Hockey, so just making sure I'm in shape for that."
CBJ.com: What are you most looking forward to about the World Cup?
Johnson: "I don't even know where to begin with that. First of all, being back in training camp with all the former teammates, guys that I've known for a long time, that I've played a ton of international tournaments with, that's always a special and cool thing. I think playing a tournament of that magnitude in Canada, that's an experience that'll probably be a lot similar to the 2010 Olympics, which was the best hockey experience of my life."
CBJ.com: This isn't the first time you've represented the U.S. Has it become routine for you now, or is it special every time in a different way?
Johnson: "I don't think it's ever routine, I've been very fortunate playing a lot of tournaments for the United States. This was the one tournament that I haven't played in yet, so I'm really cherishing this opportunity. There's absolutely nothing routine about it, whenever you get a chance to represent the United States it could be your last, so you try to cherish it, and make it count."
CBJ.com: Do you feel like there will be a sense of familiarity for you because you'll be playing under John Tortorella, and with Brandon Dubinsky?
Johnson: "Yeah, I mean, I know everybody else, too, so it's a very comfortable situation for me. There won't be a huge learning process. We're all going to be in the same boat - getting on the same page with how Coach Tortorella wants us to play, but getting to know each other and feeling comfortable around each other won't be a problem at all."