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The Desert Dog Blog: Leaner LaBarbera is Ready for More Responsibility

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes
GLENDALE – Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera turned heads when he showed up at training camp looking quite leaner than when he left for the off-season back in April.

So, what's his secret to the weight loss?

“Actually it’s more diet than anything,” LaBarbera told me after Thursday’s practice at Arena. “My workouts have always been the same for the summers, and the summers were probably harder than the actual season as far as working out goes. But as far as my weight loss this summer, it’s just diet.”

Jason LaBarbera
LaBarbera said he is 10 pounds lighter than he was at the end of last season. The key, he said, is that he hired a pro to make his food over the summer and he implemented strict portion control.

“I feel a lot lighter and it’s good,” LaBarbera said. “It’s nice to feel that way, it’s just a matter of keeping it off. It’s always tough during the year … you’re always eating late at night when you’re traveling on a plane. That’s not the optimal time to do that and for big guys like me that catches up to us.”

LaBarbera is listed at 6-foot-3, 234 pounds.

“Not only does it make your life a lot easier but you feel better,” LaBarbera said of being leaner. “But it’s one of those things where you have to sacrifice a little bit of your social life. You know, you don’t go out to dinner and hang out with your friends as much.”

LaBarbera and his wife welcomed their second child this summer. That, he said, played a big role in eating on plan at home.

Photo by Norm Hall.
LaBarbera, who is slotted below newcomer Mike Smith on the depth chart, is looking forward to playing more games in 2011-12 than he did as Ilya Bryzgalov's backup the past two seasons.

“It’s a big opportunity for me and it’s a long season,” LaBarbera said. “Bryz was a horse who could play a lot of games. But he’s gone now so I will play a lot more games this year and have a lot more responsibility, which is a nice thing to look forward to.”

LaBarbera said he and Smith have spent time together on the golf course and watching baseball games over the summer trying to get to know each other.

Their relationship during the first week of camp has been good.

“We’ve been trying to learn things from each other,” LaBarbera said. “He’s obviously good at handling the puck and playing the puck, so it's exciting for me to learn about that from him.”

• The Coyotes will scrimmage from 11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. on Friday at Arena. On Saturday, the Coyotes will have a morning skate at Arena from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. before departing for a game at San Jose on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Contact Dave Vest at and follow him on Twitter @davest4yotes. 
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