Chicago native Christian Fischer has spent part of his hockey hiatus absorbing the first four episodes of ESPN's "The Last Dance" documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dynasty.
He also recently purchased a mountain bike to complement a hiking routine and open field exercises, which involve training with dumbbells, bands, and body weight.
But, first, back to Jordan and the Bulls.
"I've watched every episode so far," Fischer said. "I've texted multiple friends and everyone on the team. I think everyone's watching it. I would be intrigued to see how many viewers that show [has] had.
"I think it's one of the best things I've ever watched."
Fischer was raised in Wayne, Illinois, a Chicago suburb and was too young to know those Bulls. But word got around.
"My parents, my brothers, my sister, they all talk about going to games way back when in downtown Chicago and how big of an impact he had," Fischer said. "Just to watch [now] somebody so dominant, and obviously being from Chicago - I wasn't born yet when he was doing all this stuff."
The Coyotes forward was born in April 1997, a couple of months prior to Jordan and the Bulls winning their second-to-last championship.
"In terms of my career, you always look up to those guys that I've looked up to in terms of mindset, mentality, and hard work," he said, noting both Jordan and golfer Tiger Woods. "[Those are the] things that the best players have, and that the best players emulate every day, not just one game."
Fischer is a tough, hard-nosed, power forward, who cut his hockey teeth in Chicago's esteemed Mission youth hockey program. He's a player who finds success and productivity through tenacity.
Currently, his tenacity is focused on staying in shape, with a regimen heavy on power and endurance.
"That's been the only focus, right? That's your only job -- is to keep your body ready and keep your mind ready, and that's pretty easy to do living in Arizona."
Video: ARI@CHI: Fischer scores as puck goes in off his skate
He uses his new bike for training and sometimes to swing by teammates' houses in Scottsdale and visit, from a safe distance, of course.
"It's kind of fun, too, because I can stop outside some of the guys' houses and they give me some [bottles of] water and popsicles, sometimes, actually," he said. "Shout-out to Derek Stepan. I always stop by his house and he throws me a popsicle."
Fischer also had kind words for the Coyotes' training staff.
"Our trainers J.P. [Major] and Curt [Truhe] have done so much for us, accessibility-wise. They text us every day if we need something or want a certain workout, or want to do better conditioning, or more explosive stuff, or more heavy work.
"[The trainers have] been at our disposal. One text, and they'll send you a workout for the next day … between hiking, mountain biking, and heading to the field right by my house, where no one's there."
In the evening, lately, though, it's been TV and the story of Jordan and the Bulls.
"You look up to Michael Jordan, and if you want to be that great look at how much work he's doing, how much leadership he has, all that stuff that you want to be like as an athlete and a person. It's definitely motivating, I've always looked up to him. There's probably three, or four, or five athletes in the last 100 years that have had such an impact and set up as role models for pretty much every athlete growing up."
And for athletes, too, who are all grown up.
Lead Photo Credit: Patrick Gorski - Icon Sportswire via Getty Images // Second Photo Credit: Patrick Gorski - Icon Sportswire via Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Chase Agnello-Dean - NHLI via Getty Images