Devils Development Camp provides players with more than just on-ice training.
General Manager Ray Shero has stressed the importance of giving back to the community as an organization and yesterday afternoon the players participated in various community service projects to do just that.
Boys & Girls Club Ironbound
Josh Jacobs said it was a rewarding experience because he was surprised by just how excited the kids were to see them. It made him realize just how big of an impact they are able to make and that it was his responsibility to make sure it is the right one.
Greater Newark Conservancy
Brandon Gignac might be feeling it in his back today, but were grateful for the opportunity to help pull weeds and harvest vegetables. He said it was awesome to see how the community was coming together to make sure the food pantry was stocked with healthy food for those in need.
Habitat for Humanity
The fellas here were put to serious work here as they put on the hard hats and helped with the manual labor part of construction.
Clara Maas Medical Center
Joe Blandisi said it's never easy to see kids who are sick, but that it was great to see how they could help put a smile on their face just by being there.
Barnabas Health Hockey House On Ice Clinic
Joey Anderson loved hanging out with the kids and teaching them a few tricks. He enjoyed seeing their competitiveness come out in the various drills, especially from the girls.
Pepsi Water Delivery
In March, high levels of lead were discovered in water throughout the Newark Public School system and the Devils have partnered with Pepsi Beverages Company and Prudential Center to donate 1,000 cases of water to help during their summer programs. Yesterday, players dropped off 75 cases to the 13th Avenue School with the remaining cases to be delivered across the school system over the next two weeks.
Last night, the players met with a nutritionist to find out how to properly fuel their bodies for peak performance with special attention on muscle recovery, reducing inflammation, preventing injury and optimizing energy. Sadly, she said bacon does none of those things.
There was a big emphasis on lean meats and healthy fats and a shocking amount of water. Turns out, these athletes are supposed to drink nearly an ounce of water for every pound they weigh to prevent dehydration, keep them energized, help with muscle recovery and prevent concussions. I don't know about you, but I struggle with the daily recommendation of 64oz. The thought of doubling it blows my mind. I'll hashtag this under #thingsineverknewaboutbeingaprofessionalathlete.
Afterward, as the players made their way over to the cooking demonstrations, it was funny to see so many of them grab a water bottle along the way. Drink up, fellas!
I spoke with Joe Blandisi today about what he learned from the cooking demonstrations, where they learned how to make smoothies, omelets, stirfry, salmon, and salads, and found out why he's not on the ice during this development camp. I promise you, it's not what you think!
Speaking of players not on the ice, I also had a chat with Pavel Zacha about his injury and his off-season training.
The players are taking their competitive nature out for a literal spin on a go-kart racetrack this afternoon. If you're a member of #TeamSnapchat, make sure you're following DevilsNJ because the SuperBuddies, Mike McLeod and Nate Bastian are taking over during the event!
I'm also answering your questions via twitter, so if you've got any, fire away!
Until next time!!