MONTREAL - Fresh off signing a two-year contract with the Canadiens, we caught up with forward Jacob de la Rose, who is back on home turf in Sweden for the summer.
How excited were you to sign your brand new contract with the Canadiens?
JACOB DE LA ROSE: I'm super excited and I'm happy to be back and I'm happy with the deal. I can't wait to get the season started. I'm happy that the team wanted me back. I'm just trying to get even better now and bring even more to the team for the upcoming season. I'm just trying to establish myself and be an every-day guy and someone you can rely on in the lineup. I feel like the last two months of last season, I really stepped up my game a little bit and that's the way I want to play, that's the way I'm going to try to start off this year.
Where were you when you signed on the dotted line?
JDLR: I was actually at home alone [on Thursday night]. My girlfriend wasn't home. I live in Karlstad in the summer. That's where I have my apartment. My parents live in Arvika. I'd just come home from a workout. When it got done, I was just watching a movie. I actually celebrated with having a pizza. That was my celebration. Maybe we'll do something as a family to celebrate this weekend, but I was solo. Then, this morning it was back in the gym again getting ready.
How has your training been going back home in Sweden?
JDLR: It's kind of the same thing I've been doing the last couple of years. I'm not trying to change too much. It's been working well. I feel like I've been in good shape coming into the season, so I'm not trying to change a lot. Of course, there are a few things that you want to get better at all the time. I'm just trying to get as prepared as I can going into the season. I've got a personal trainer back in my hometown, Maria Hasselmark, that I've been working with, and I also work out with some of the guys that I've been playing with over the years. At the end of the month or early August, I'll start skating. I skate with Filip Forsberg and my old team, Leksand. I'm always welcome there to come back and skate. I've got a lot of old friends there. Working out and skating with a guy like Filip Forsberg is really helping me on the ice, too.
How good was it to head into your offseason after winning the World Hockey Championship? It must've felt great.
JDLR: Obviously, it was a great feeling and a great experience just to be able to play at the Worlds and also to be able to win the gold there with the great group of guys that we had. It was just unreal and something I've been dreaming about since I was a kid. It was just an incredible feeling to make it all the way. It's something I'm going to carry with me, for sure. I'll try to take that positive feeling that I had into next season.
What did it feel like to actually win gold in Denmark? I think the photos you posted on Instagram really told the story.
JDLR: I don't even remember, I was just so happy. It was just a great feeling. And the way we won, too, in a shootout. I was just so nervous going into the shootout. It was a rollercoaster of feelings the whole game. My whole family was there. I could tell everyone was super proud and happy for me, too, so being able to share it with them was great.
Did you finally get a chance to meet your race horse, Trilly of Nando, this summer?
JDLR: Yes! It was cool, finally! It's something we've put some money into, so it's nice to see what you've bought. She hasn't raced in almost two months now because she had a really bad throat infection, but hopefully she'll be back in one or two weeks.
You're a big soccer fan, so what has it been like following Sweden's magical run at the World Cup?
JDLR: For a soccer fan like me, this whole month has been great. You can watch soccer all day, every day. Nobody really believed that Sweden could make it out of the group stage and now we're in the quarterfinals, so it's kind of cool. I'm going to watch [the game against England on Saturday] with my family and friends. We've got a big screen that we'll be putting up on the back porch and we have big Swedish flags all over the backyard. We're going to be like 30 people.
Do you have any travel plans for the rest of the summer?
JDLR: I'm going to Scotland in two weeks on a golf trip to play some golf and also watch the British Open. And, if Sweden beats England, there's a big chance that we're going to Russia to watch the semi-finals. It will be me, Filip Forsberg and two other buddies.