Enough with the training. Enough with the solo workouts. He’s ready to get to Boston, meet his new teammates and coaches, and get going on another run at the Stanley Cup.
“I could end the summer right now and start camp tomorrow,” Beleskey said, as the BostonBruins.com crew visited his hometown of Barrie, ON., on the third stop of the 2015 #BearTracks tour. “I’m ready to go. This is always the hardest part of the summer, when you’ve been training and you’re kind of sick of that. I just want to get out there and start playing.”
But alas, there are still a few weeks to go until the TD Garden ice goes down and training camp starts up. It’s not all bad, though; those last few weeks of summer give Beleskey a bit more time at home, with his family and friends, before he starts over in a new city that will soon become his new home.
And it gives him a bit more time to do more of what he loves most — aside from hockey, that is.
“In the summer, obviously, I like to take in a few rounds of golf,” he said. “I try and play and work on my golf game. I like to fish, too — fish and golf — and pretty much, that’s it. Just hanging out with the family.”
Beleskey had just finished a round of 18 at his local country club when the #BearTracks crew caught up with him, but if we had visited him one week ago, we would have found him at a fishing derby.
“[I] just got my first fly-fishing rod, so [I’ve] been trying to work on catching some brown trout, here,” he said. “But other than that, I just like getting out there. It doesn’t really matter what it’s for.”
Like many of his new Bruins teammates, when Beleskey is not training, golfing, or fishing, he’s with his family. That’s why he still comes home to Barrie during the summer — to see his parents, his sister and the friends he grew up with. Some of the very same friends he still hangs out with today are the ones he used to play against when he was a little kid in the neighborhood’s outdoor rink down the street.
That rink was just a short hop over the fence in his backyard, and it was easy to get to — as long as the neighbors didn’t catch him sprinting across their property.
When he visits his parents in nearby Midhurst, it is memories like those that immediately come to mind and bring a smile to his face.
“I’ve always come back here [in the summer],” Beleskey said. “I bought a house about 10 minutes away from my parents, where I grew up, and it’s just nice to come back. A little small town feeling.
“Family’s obviously a huge part [of life] to me and my wife. To come home and have them close, and just run over for dinner on a Sunday night or whatever it is, it’s a big part of my summers.”
Of course, his English bulldog Karl — with whom many Bruins fans are already very familiar — is just as much a part of his family as anyone else, and Karl, too, will be making the trek to Boston.
Karl already has plenty of the requisite attire, as evidenced by the Spoked-B-adorned onesie he was wearing on Sunday.
“Crazy Karl, the English bulldog — he’s full of energy,” Beleskey said. “If you follow me on Twitter or whatever, there’s quite a few pictures of him getting up to everything.”
Beleskey loves the feeling of living in a small, close-knit town, and that is part of the reason why he chose to sign with Boston as soon as free agency began on July 1. For the past six-plus seasons, Beleskey suited up for Anaheim and broke out in 2014-15 for a 32-point campaign with a plus-13 rating. His 22 goals were a career high. In Boston, he knows he can match those totals — even exceed them — partly because he already feels so comfortable in the city.
“I think the most comfortable for me is something like [Barrie] — small town. You kind of get that feeling in Boston,” Beleskey said. “It’s a big city, but it’s not really that big, and I’m excited to get down there.”