(Voorhees, NJ, July 26) – For many people in the Philadelphia area, the summertime is a great chance to take some time off from work, relax, catch some rays and sit by the ocean.
Not Jeff Carter. The Flyers center has been busy bulking up over the past few months, and has put on a solid 10 pounds of muscle in preparation for a key season for him and the team.
The change is noticeable.
“I’ve just been following Jimmy [McCrossin’s] workout program that he gave us at the end of last year. For myself, I think I needed to put on some weight, some strength and some size,” said Carter. “I think the program that Jimmy gave us has really helped out. I’ve put on some weight and I feel pretty good.”
|Jeff Carter had 14 goals and 23 assists last season. (Getty Images) |
Carter was drafted in the first round in 2003, weighing 182 pounds. He got off to a slow start his rookie year after coming down with a bad case of mononucleosis, and slowly improved throughout the season, while putting back on the weight he had lost while he was sick. Last season, his playing weight was around 200 pounds, and now he is at about 210.
“It’s going to help me down low against bigger defensemen and just having [more] strength on the puck,” he said.
Like many of his teammates, Carter would like to put last season behind him. He is entering his third year as a pro, looking to improve on his 14 goals and 23 assists in 62 games last year. Further, he was sidelined for 20 games early in the year with a fractured left leg.
It is the final year of his three-year entry level deal that he signed the summer before the 2005-06 season.
“Last year was a tough year all around for everybody, including myself, personally. I want to put that on the backburner and get back to work,” said Carter. “This is a big year for me to show what I can do and show that I can play with the top players. I’m looking to come out and have a good start and keep it rolling.
“I’ve been here for just over two weeks now and we’ve been doing a lot of cardio and skating a couple times a week. By the time camp rolls around, I should be good to go.”
Also like his teammates from last season, Carter is excited to play with the retooled and improved roster. He played with newcomer Scott Hartnell
at the World Championships in Latvia two years ago, and is looking forward to seeing the other acquisitions to the lineup, like Danny Briere
“I’m very excited to get into training camp and get everybody together. I think we can have a full 180 from last year,” he said. “We brought in some great quality veterans and some really good talent. It’s definitely going to be exciting.”
Of course, while he is back in the area primarily to work out and prepare for the season, he’s still entitled to have a little summer fun of his own.
“I knew there were a few guys that were coming back, but also, I like the area. It’s fun in the summer here, to hang out by the ocean.”