As part of our Ducks Summer Q&A series, we're catching up with several players to see how their offseasons are going, their outlooks for this coming season and more. Next up: Ducks center Adam Henrique.
How has your summer been?
It's been great. I stayed out in California for a little while and enjoyed some of my summer out there. I started training there once I got back from the World Championships. The last few weeks I've been closer to home training in Toronto. [Last week] I was down in Windsor [Ontario], which was nice. Got to see some old friends. I've been to a few weddings, so I've been busy that way. It's been a lot of fun. Kyle Palmieri got married a few weeks ago, so it was nice. Saw Cam [Fowler] and some old teammates, good friends. It was nice to be able to catch up with everyone.
Aside from the weddings, have you traveled anywhere else?
Other than the World Championships, I've just been around home. A little bit of travel for the weddings. I was on Long Island for Palmieri's wedding. Last weekend, one of my best buddies got married in Windsor, which is why I was there. Unfortunately, it was the same day as Cam's wedding, so I wasn't able to make his, which was too bad. It's been busy the last few weeks, but it's always nice to see some old friends and catch up.
How has your summer training been?
I've been going for a bit. Now, just getting on the ice and really getting some practice in, and more scrimmaging. Once it hits middle of July, or when August comes around, it's really kind of the end of the summer for us. That's when you really get back into the full swing of things. Camp is still a little bit away, but it certainly creeps up on you fast. It's go-time now. You have a few weeks left to really get ready for training camp. You want to make sure you have a good start to the season, and it all starts now.
What are your initial impressions of new head coach Dallas Eakins?
I got a chance to sit down and have lunch with him when I was in town a little while back. It's nice to sit down and have lunch, chat about things and get on the same page early. I think he's going to be great with all the young kids we have. I think it's going to be great for us. I've heard nothing but good things from the guys who had him in San Diego. With the way everything is trending, and the way the organization is going - we're trying to get younger - I think him coming in will really rejuvenate everybody. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to getting back. Guys are going to have a lot of fun. Everybody knows they need to put in the work now and be ready. It's going to be a good sign of things to come with us.
What did that lunch mean to you?
It goes a long way. You can tell right away that he cares about you. I had a few short conversations with him in training camp last season, but other than that I don't really know him and he doesn't really know me other than what you see on the ice or what I've heard from other guys. You can tell he wants to get to know you as a person away from the game, which I think goes a long way in terms of wanting to play for him and wanting to go the extra mile for a guy like that. You can tell he has a big interest in who you are as a person, and not just as a hockey player.
What excites you about the 2019-20 season?
The rejuvenation in the group as a whole. Dallas coming in has really set the tone through the offseason. There is more familiarity than going in with someone nobody knows. That is certainly going to help us. I think we're going to have a good, solid group from top to bottom. Everybody is really excited to get back and get started.
What kind of expectations are you placing on yourself?
My expectations are pretty high. They're always high. I certainly want to have a better season than last year, not just personally, but as a team. I feel like the better I can do, individually, will certainly benefit the team. If we can all get on the same page from Day 1, that's also going to benefit us. We're going to be playing under a new coach, so it might take us a little bit to figure it out, but that's what training camp is for. If we can put in the work through camp and really get on the same page as a group, and get that fun atmosphere in there again, it's going to be a good season for us.