During the summer NHL players have actually very little free time. Between spending time with their families and training for the upcoming season, many players are lucky if they even get the chance to take a vacation.
For Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Matthew Spiller, he learned to combine his off-season workouts and his travel with a summer trip to Finland. Spiller's journey had very little to do with sightseeing and nearly everything to do with training.
"I went to Finland to get a jump start on training camp this year," said Spiller. "I went over and skated for ten days to get my legs going and start to get my timing back."
Many off-season training regimens are focused on dry land workouts, building endurance and re-strengthening the body. So when Spiller saw an opportunity to abandon the sweltering Arizona sun for two weeks for the cool in-door ice facility, he jumped at the chance.
"With such a long summer and all your training, you don't get on the ice much so it was good to go over there and not only get on the ice, but also practice with some guys," said Spiller. "While I was there, I had the opportunity to practice with IFK, a professional hockey team based in Helsinki."
After returning stateside, Spiller continued his vigorous training with some local assistance.
"I went down to Tempe and worked out at Athletes Performance Institute (API)," said Spiller. "It was a lot of jumping and balance training that helped build my explosiveness. Hopefully it will help me on the ice this year."
Spiller is now back on the ice, this time in Scottsdale, taking part in voluntary, independent practice sessions with some of his Coyotes teammates. Being in arguably the best shape of his life, Spiller is poised to not only join the Coyotes roster this season, but become a regular contributor to the Phoenix blueline