Jared Boll’s goal is simple: be ready to play.
It sounds easy enough, but the combination of Boll’s aggressive style of play and the occupational hazards of being a professional hockey player took a toll on his health. Ankle surgery at the end of November sidelined Boll until the club’s Apr. 1 matchup against Colorado, and he ended up playing in only 28 games last season.
“It’s tough...you’re missing a lot of road trips. You’re missing being around the guys,” Boll told BlueJackets.com. “But there are definitely ways to be involved and still help, even when you’re not on the ice with them.
“I want to come in and help the team build off of last year and get going right from the start."
Preparing for the grind of the season starts with establishing a healthy routine during the offseason. Boll and Blue Jackets strength and conditioning coach Kevin Collins have worked together for the past four years and Boll said that Collins knows his physical abilities better than just about anyone.
Boll’s summer training program remained similar to those of summers past, but with a few minor wrinkles. Most notably, skating earlier and doing yoga.
Yes, yoga. Boll admitted that doing yoga on a regular basis has eased the aches and pains in his back.
“It’s a lot different than I expected,” Boll said. “It has really helped me. I’m glad that I started doing it.”
It may not be the most conventional way to prepare for the season, but Boll is determined to be more of a presence on the ice in 2014-15.
Even if helping his team means throwing down the gloves and sitting in the penalty box for five minutes, Boll is eager to help the Blue Jackets win.
Last season's 28 games played were the fewest that Boll has ever played in his professional or junior career. While frustration accompanied the injuries, Boll emphasized that it is not about getting knocked down, but rather, being able to bounce back and be better not only this year, but in the years ahead.