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. First up: Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler.
How has your summer been?
It's been good. It felt pretty busy in the beginning of the summer. I had a lot of stuff going on. My fiancée [Jasmine] and I got a house in Michigan, so we were doing a lot of stuff with that and trying to finalize everything. Been planning our wedding and all the stuff that comes with that. I did a little bit of traveling. I went to the Masters. I also went to Kyle Palmieri's wedding. I was kind of running around for a little bit, but since then things have settled down. I've been training hard and skating a lot. Summer has been good, but it's gone by fast, that's for sure.
Tell me about the house you and Jasmine bought in Michigan.
It's in West Bloomfield. We bought a house that was here already. Just did some renovations on the inside. Fixed up a few things. There are all these little pockets that border Detroit. We're about a half-hour away from the actual city. We have access to a lake that's right across the street from our house, so that's been exciting for us. We also have our own private dock. We got some jet skis this summer that we've really been enjoying. The private dock was one of the perks of the house. I enjoy being out on the water. My family didn't have a cabin or anything growing up, but some of my friends had cottages that I would go to so I could get the chance to do some of that stuff. Now that we have the capabilities of it, we'll get the chance to host some friends and family. Get them out on the water, which is always a fun thing.
How was it catching up with Palmieri again?
It was great. Every time I see Kyle and talk to him, it's like we pick up where we left off. He's always been a great friend of mine and always will be. I had the chance to stand up at his wedding, and he'll be doing the same for me. We had a lot of fun when we went out there. His wedding was in Long Island. He and his wife bought a beautiful house out there and had us over for a barbecue the day after the wedding. Just had a really fun time. Rico [Adam Henrique] was there, as well. He and Kyle were close when they were in New Jersey together. Chris Wagner was there, too. It was a good group of guys.
Let's chat about your wedding since it's coming up in a few weeks.
I'm super excited. Looking forward to having all of our good friends and family there, especially the people traveling to come spend time with us. We're very appreciative of that. We're looking forward to seeing everybody. I'm a little nervous. I don't always like being the center of attention, but I feel like that's kind of inevitable on your wedding day. I'm super excited to marry Jasmine and see all my friends and family. It'll be a lot of fun once the nerves settle down. I'm sure it'll be great.
Do you have any more trips planned before you come back to town?
Nope. I try to keep it more towards the beginning of summer because once I start getting into my training, I don't like taking that much time off before I head into the season. Jasmine and I aren't even taking a honeymoon this year. We're going to wait until next summer for that. You're gone for 10 days, and that's 10 days away from the ice. You can train, but you'd be kidding yourself if you said you'd train every day. I like to stay in my routine so I'm best prepared for camp. Next summer we can really enjoy it and not really worry about that stuff.
At what point in the summer do you usually start ramping up your training program? Was this summer similar to years past?
It's very similar. We got home June 1, and I had already told my trainer I was coming in. I actually started three or four weeks before that when we were still in Anaheim. I had my trainer send me some stuff I'd be working on with him. I did some of that stuff by myself at Great Park. Things have really ramped up here in the last two or three weeks in terms of training and skating. That will continue through August and into September.
When are you returning to Orange County?
We're planning on coming back in late August, maybe the last Friday or Saturday of the month. We pretty much have things settled in California, but it's nice to get back and skate with the guys for a little bit. Get settled in before camp starts again.
There has been some change with the club this offseason, notably the hiring of Dallas Eakins as head coach. Did he reach out to you?
He did. He called me a week or so after he got the job. I got the chance to talk to him. I haven't really been able to do that before. You kind of cross paths with them when they're all here for training camp, just saying hello and how's it going? You don't really get the chance to talk that much with him.
What are your impressions of him?
All the guys I know who have played for him absolutely rave about him. They say he's as good as it gets in terms of communication and understanding the grind of a season, offering proper rest mixed in with some good, hard work days when we're at the rink. He tried to explain to me what he expects out of me this year, the role he wants me to play in terms of leadership with someone who's been around for a little bit. We had a great chat. I'm super excited with the direction we're heading with a lot of our younger players. He's the perfect guy to lead us in the right direction.
With a new coach and an influx of youth, what excites you about the team moving forward?
Even though we're in a little bit of transitioning period, I don't think people are expecting much out of us. The mindset is different in the locker room. I know we have a lot of young players who will have the opportunity to take really big steps this year. We'll be relying on those guys. The No. 1 goal for us is always making the playoffs. Everybody would feel the same way. We've had a competitive team basically every year since I've been there. Even with Getzy [Ryan Getzlaf] and Pears [Corey Perry] - even though he's not with us anymore - those guys expect to make the playoffs every year. That's the expectation in Anaheim.