Hello Coyotes fans! I have had an exciting and eventful summer. Signing with the Coyotes in the middle of July was definitely one of the highlights. I look forward to arriving in Phoenix in September, meeting many of you and getting to work. Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to this summer.
After the season ended for me with the Montreal Canadiens in April, I headed back home, like every year, to my native country of Switzerland. I come from a rather small town of 70,000 people, which borders the German and French-speaking regions of the country. This is where almost every single member of my big family lives so it always takes a while until I have seen everybody again ! When this has been accomplished though, one of the next top things on my immediate to-do list is to relish one of my favorite Swiss dishes, a cheese fondue.
In late May, I took off for one of my favorite vacation spots, the Maldives, an island country in the Indian Ocean. My wife and I spent most of our time there scuba diving. When out of the water, we enjoyed the unbelievable views from our sixteen-room hotel island, read many books, or just slept a lot !
After two weeks in paradise, it was time to fly back to Switzerland to begin working out seriously again. I usually enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors, especially in the mountains. Unfortunately, the weather in this part of Europe has been too bad this year to allow for many hiking or mountain bike trips. Needless to say that I am quite excited about seeing the sun a lot more in Phoenix !
Another highlight of my summer was my younger sister’s wedding, which allowed me to realize how much work and time other people had invested in my own wedding two years ago ! A lot of time was spent organizing and ensuring that everything would go smoothly on the big day.
It also didn’t take long for the time to tie up my skates to come around again. In early July, I spent a few days as a goalie instructor in Stockholm, Sweden. Then I headed back to Switzerland for a professional goaltender camp which I have attended since I was fifteen. This is always a good time to reconnect with other goalies who play around the world, some of whom are great friends of mine.
One of those goalies is a fellow Swiss, Martin Gerber from the Ottawa Senators, with whom I also regularly have epic tennis or badminton battles during our summer training. For the third time, we held a goalie camp together at the end of July. We had a good turnout this year with ninety netminders and we always hope that each of them walks away with better skills and a few personalized tips. Every year, we pick a children-oriented charity to give the proceeds of the camp to, and this year we chose an organization that attempts to make the life of cancer-stricken children a little brighter.
The month of August is always a busy one as my wife and I have to say good-bye to everyone. I have also started to go on the ice on a daily-basis with my hometown team, Fribourg-Gottéron. This year it also meant getting a chance to catch up with a former teammate of mine from my Colorado days who has just joined the local team.
Nevertheless, the off-season this year has been a little too long for my taste and I am looking forward to flying to Phoenix at the end of the month.