MONTREAL – It's been a busy summer for Tomas Plekanec – on both sides of the pond.
Back in late June, the veteran centerman and his wife, Lucie, welcomed their second son, Adam, to the world in Montreal. The newest member of the Plekanec family has been a source of joy ever since, especially to his three-and-a-half year-old big brother, Matyas.
“It’s something different – for us [as parents] and for him,” offered Plekanec, who spent the bulk of the offseason in Quebec before returning to his native Czech Republic in early August. “They always say that it’s hard on a first-born child when another kid comes along, but it’s been amazing so far. Matyas has been really nice with the baby. It’s been really cool to watch them together.”
Fulfilling some additional parental duties, however, hasn’t stopped a workhorse like Plekanec from hitting the gym hard all summer long. Before heading overseas to begin his on-ice workouts with his former club in Kladno, the 32-year-old forward visited the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on a daily basis to fine-tune his fitness level with the help of Canadiens strength and conditioning coach, Pierre Allard.
“I didn’t really change anything [in my training] from last season. In Montreal, I have everything I need and I don’t need to make any adjustments. It’s great to have Pierre there working with me, too. That’s the best part. Back home, I’m still following my program, but with him around things feel like they’re more established,” shared Plekanec, who hit the 20-goal plateau for the seventh time in his career last season, finishing the year with 60 points in 82 games. “With Kladno, it’s kind of the same thing. It’s good to skate with guys you know. They’re getting ready for their season which gets going on September 10th, so it’s like training camp for them. It’s a perfect place for me to get back on the ice and get ready for the season. Every morning, I'm out there for 45 minutes. Sometimes, I even skate twice a day.”
The start of the 2015-16 campaign might still be six-and-a-half weeks away, but Plekanec is excited to see the makeup of the CH come early October, particularly with so many talented youngsters vying to earn spots with the big club.
“We didn’t make too many moves in the offseason, but I’m sure the ones we did make will help us a lot. We’ll see. Only time will tell. But, we’ve got plenty of young guys coming out of the minors or Junior that are really fighting to be in Montreal. It will be exciting to see if they can help us,” offered Plekanec, who believes the likes of Sven Andrighetto, Charles Hudon, Nikita Scherbak and Michael McCarron can easily be inspired by the success of some curernt Canadiens young guns who’ve established themselves in recent years. “Look at guys like Gally, Chucky and Beau. They all got their chance at some point. That’s a good thing for others to see. It’s going to be a good competition. I expect a lot of kids to get a good look.”
As for Plekanec himself, the objectives heading into a new season remain exactly the same as they were in previous years.
“I know what I’m supposed to do. I know what’s expected of me. I’m not looking at things any differently this year,” concluded Plekanec, who will return to Montreal soon to begin his final preparations for the upcoming year. “Obviously, it’s been good to have a break, but you definitely feel the season coming along soon. I’m looking forward to it.”
Matt Cudzinowski is a writer for canadiens.com.
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