Who says hockey players are dumb? They clearly haven’t talked to Ryan Johnson. The new Canucks forward is a self-admitted bookworm, who burns through tomes as fast as blocked shots on the penalty kill.
His favourite book of all time? That's a quick answer: "The Art of Happiness" by the Dalai Lama.
"I read it for the first time about five years ago and I re-read it every so often because I like it that much. It takes a Buddhist approach, but in a general way so that anyone can read it. It’s enlightening to say the least."
While it wasn't a Buddhist upbringing that attracted him to the book, since discovering it, he reads it religiously.
"Somebody that I knew or I overheard someone talking about it so I read it and loved it. I always carry it around with me wherever I’m going."
If you’re looking for something thought-provoking and maybe some insight – it’s definitely something Johnson would recommend.
"I find it very fascinating and I’ve read some of his other books and he’s had follow up books that I just find very informative and helpful."
So, what’s the book of the moment?
"The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. Maybe not as well known as the Dalai Lama but to hear Johnson talk, it's just as interesting.
"It’s about a guy who has cancer and only has three months to live. He’s an engineer and a teacher, who decided to give one final lecture at his Alma Mater just to tell them his ideas and his life, things he’s thankful for and just ends up being this lecture that goes a couple hours long."
An amazing story about a man, who’s life was changed and wrote a book to inspire change in lives of so many people who have encountered him.
"I’m just part way through it but it’s just one of those eye opener type books."
For an avid reader, this is one book that won’t take long to get through and for Johnson, it’s no different.
"I just started a couple days ago and it’s one of those where I can’t wait to get back to it. I usually read at night and it won’t take me long to get through it, that’s for sure."
The find wasn’t a coincidence but it wasn’t a planned purchase either and if he’s going to read it, it better come from a good source first.
"I was walking through a bookstore - actually heard about it from my mom before - then I walked past it in the bookstore. I’m kind of picky about what I read and I like to be referred to for certain things."
Between hockey and books taking up most of his time, he doesn’t watch a lot of TV and prefers not to but everyone has a show and even the bookworm has one that he watches.
"I don’t watch TV shows really, I’m not a big TV guy but if I do I watch the Food Network a lot because I love to cook. Food Network is almost relaxing for me and because I like to cook, I can get a lot of stuff from it."
He enjoys learning from chefs like Giada De Laurentiis and Emeril but lists "Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares" as his favourite show in the media guide.
Chef Johnson loves cooking and has taken "hundreds" of recipes from shows he’s watched on the Food Network.
"I’m the type where I see something, I’ll go and print it out on the Internet because you can go out and print out the recipes, then make it that night. They don’t always turn out right, it’s more of a trial and error but I love it."
For most people, TV is a distraction from real life, for Johnson, TV is a little like a babysitter.
"But literally I don’t even have to be watching it, it’s just calming having it on."
When it comes to music, Johnson doesn’t fool around, he’s very serious about his band.
"I’m a huge Dave Matthews fan."
Getting out to concerts is difficult when you’re a professional hockey player with traveling, games, and practices but luckily, the Dave Matthews Band plays during a time that fits into a hockey player’s schedule.
"[I’ve seen them live] like 25 times – I try to go at least 2-3 times a summer to see shows. I’d say I’m a die-hard Dave Matthews fan."
Since the release of "Remember Two Things" in 1993, the band has produced an additional six studio albums and released 25 singles. Imagine choosing just one favourite album?
"That’s a tough one. The list is too long to narrow it down to one."
But if he had to choose a song that could play on repeat and never get sick of...