Thanks to Roger Ross and the San Jose Sharks, canucks.com was able to dig through the vaults and give Canucks fans a little background on the newest Vancouver forward:
Summer time is usually perceived as the downtime for hockey players, and while it is slower than the regular season, everything is still done with one eye to the next time they step on the ice. The other eye is definitely on a little bit of relaxation though after nine months of nothing but hockey.
For Steve Bernier, that means returning to his native Quebec. The rugged winger with a cool French accent has kept a pretty low profile back home, with his travel time consisting of three days in New York City.
“I went to New York with my girlfriend, but it was only three days,” said Bernier. “We went shopping.”
Mostly window shopping.
“I’m not big on spending money,” said Bernier. “We looked a lot.”
The power forward did a few of the standard tourist treks in the Big Apple.
“We were close and saw the Statue of Liberty, but the lines for the boat were too long,” said Bernier.
What he did see up close truly impressed him.
“We went to the wax museum,” said Bernier. “It was unbelievable.”
Back home, Bernier is simply enjoying the nuances of Quebec instead of traveling as he does all season.
“I’m not a big fan of planes,” said Bernier. “My goal is to relax and be with friends and family.”
Then there is his physical conditioning drill. When he was drafted, the major knock on Bernier was his conditioning, but no one coming across “Big Bear” now would imagine that was ever a concern.
“Right now, I’m up at 6:45 every morning to eat breakfast and training at eight,” said Bernier.
Bernier does acknowledge joining a golf club and swinging the sticks several times a week.
“I have a membership and play four to five times a week,” said Bernier. “I’ve improved a lot. I started out hitting 96 or 97 and now I’m around 86. I have to be patient and improve mentally.”
As for one of his old Quebec favorites, Poutine, a highly enjoyable combination of fries, cheese and gravy, Bernier has kept the treat at bay.
“I want to eat right, so I said I could eat it once this summer, but I haven’t yet,” said Bernier. “I don’t think I’m going to do it. If I’m eating the right stuff, I can eat more of it. Mike Potenza (Sharks Strength and Conditioning Coordinator) gave me a great program. Because of him, I know what to eat. It’s easy when you think about it and understand.”
Even with liquids, Bernier is cautious of what he drinks.
“I used to drink at least three sodas a day, but now I drink mostly water or 100 percent juice,” said Bernier.
The working out and eating right, combined with a nice relaxed summer, could mark a breakout year for Bernier when camp rolls around in September.
Author: Roger Ross | Senior Staff Writer