MONTREAL – Habs captain Brian Gionta
has been spending his summer vacation exactly the way you would expect.
Gionta stopped by the Montreal Canadiens Hockey School on Wednesday morning to surprise some lucky kids there before heading off to Rigaud, QC to help out at Jacques Martin’s hockey school in the afternoon. As soon as he’s done chipping in at his coach’s camp, Gionta will head back home to Rochester, NY to continue his offseason regimen of workouts and family time.
“We stayed in Montreal until the end of June because the kids had to finish school and then we went home to Rochester to spend the summer there with our family and friends,” described the 32-year-old father of two. “I do dry land training with six other NHL guys and some college kids; it’s a great group of guys and it’s always better to work out in a group so you can push each other and motivate each other.”
With two weeks to go until he and his offseason training partners start hitting the ice in upstate New York, Gionta is taking advantage of his free afternoons while he can.
“I get the guys up really early to hit the gym – we’re done by 10:30 or 11 every morning so I can hang out with the kids the rest of the day,” explained the speedy winger, whose workout buddies include Rangers alternate captain Ryan Callahan and Blues forward Scott Nichol among others. “We live on Lake Ontario so we do a lot of boating and jet skiing in the summer. It’s really beautiful up there and it’s a great way to spend the summer.
“I’ve been back to Montreal a few times here and there, too,” added Gionta, who was in town most recently to catch the U2 360 tour at the Hippodrome on July 9. “Once we go back home, it’s all about the family so it’s up to them – we do whatever they want!”
It may only be mid-July, but Gionta’s summer is already starting to wind down as the 2011-12 season draws near.
“We’ll come back here in August a few weeks early to get settled in before the kids start school and I start training camp,” he explained. “It’s definitely going by fast but I’m already excited for the new year to get going.” Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
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