Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen
played soccer with his kids, went vacationing in Paris and put together a charity golf tournament for the first time.
James van Riemsdyk
was all business. Working out with a trainer located in Connecticut to make himself stronger and faster following his rookie season.
But after the deep playoff run, Claude Giroux
chose a much more simpler summer schedule.
“It was a tough playoffs and I think all of the guys were pretty beat about it,” said Giroux immediately after the Final. “I just wanted to relax. I stayed for a week and a half in [New] Jersey and just relaxed with the guys.”
After wrapping up a couple things in Jersey, Giroux went back to home-sweet-home in Ottawa for a little more R & R with a lot of people he didn’t particularly see all that much during the season.
“My family is there and pretty much all of my friends are back there too, so it was a good summer. I relaxed a lot and played softball with all of my buddies. I played hockey a couple times but nothing too crazy.”
The recipe for relaxation seemed to be golf and music, which just so happened to be the two most popular activities for Giroux during this short summer.
“I played in a lot of golf tournaments for charity and I like to just hang out and have fun with my family while I’m there. I went to a couple concerts during the summer. I went to see Alan Jackson. I’m a big fan of his so that was pretty fun.”
Although not a resident of downtown Philly, Giroux does have a place of his own in the city of Ottawa, which he admits some of the biggest advantages are the restaurants and easy to walk streets.
It is also not too far from Kanata, where his parents live today and where he continues to work out during the off-season with other NHL and AHL players, including a current teammate.
“I like to keep it simple. After a month or two I went back to training with Tony Greco. I’ve been training with him for four years. Me and [Darroll] Powe like working with him. Every year I feel like I’m improving.”
Greco is among Canada’s leading fitness specialists and works on professional athletes personal training, strength training and aerobics instructions. His clients also include San Jose Sharks’ defenseman Dan Boyle, New York Rangers forward Todd White and Ottawa Senators forward Mike Fisher.
His improvement, and the fact that he looks at the roster this season and sees that it hasn’t changed much, has Giroux confident that his success in the postseason will continue into this season, despite one of his mentors and long-time Flyer has now moved on.
“Obviously we’re going to miss Gaggy [Simon Gagne], but guys we’ll have to step up. I’m pretty excited for this season and we pretty much have the same team as last year, so hopefully we can go back on how we ended but on a higher note. We’ve got some players that are going to help us and any time you have guys like that in your line up its going to be good.”
Giroux and the Flyers need not much more motivation to train and work towards their ultimate goal this season.
In fact among all the positives and all the success the team enjoyed last season, it very much left a bitter taste in the mouths of everyone involved. If the team carries anything over from that heartbreaking loss in Game 6 of the Final, it unanimously is the confidence that this team can recreate that run again and again.
“We had a little taste of it, then we were disappointed and not happy about how it ended, but I think all of the guys are pretty excited about what we can do [this season]. We know we can do it again and have fun doing it.”
With only two days left in our Summer Stories series philadelphiaflyers.com will feature defenseman Matt Carle
, who officially tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend, and Flyers captain Mike Richards who helps young hockey players at a Canadian hockey camp.
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