Calvin de Haan blocks enough shots during the season that he'd prefer if projectiles didn't come his way over the summer.
So standing in front of a pitching machine and taking baseballs off the chest - a la Happy Gilmore - isn't a part of his offseason training, even for the team's best shot-blocker.
"There's nothing worse than getting hit with a puck in Shinny," de Haan said. "Trust me."
Instead, the Islanders' defenseman spends his summers in what he calls the iron jungle, working out in the gym back home in Ontario. He's starting to ramp up the skating, which is a typical offseason schedule for most NHLers, but this summer was a little different for de Haan.
The 26-year-old went to his first IIHF World Championship - his first international hockey since the 2011 World Juniors - skating to a silver medal with Team Canada. Individually, de Haan had an assist in 10 games, as Canada went 8-0-2, losing the gold medal in a shootout to Sweden.
"It was a great experience. I'm so glad I went, there's no other way to put it," de Haan said. "I had such a great time with all the other guys, staff members, coaching staff. Everyone was great. It was cool to meet guys from around the league and see their perspective on hockey and life and all that kind of stuff."
While it was a tough way to lose the gold medal, de Haan still scored a trip to Paris and had his parents and girlfriend out there with him.
"For us it was mostly hockey, but we got to see some parts of town," de Haan said. "I did the Eiffel Tower and for Mother's Day we did a boat tour along the Seine and saw a lot of the cool monuments and buildings and all that kind of stuff on the tour. The families, they got to do all the touristy things like the Louvre."
After the tournament, de Haan took some time off to rest and rejuvenate his body. Between 82 regular season games, 10 with Team Canada, preseason and daily practices, he'd earned some days on the golf course. The next big event of his summer was signing a one-year contract with the Islanders on Aug. 2 and now the focus is on the season and building off his career year (5G, 20A, 25P).
"I felt good. There's always room to improve," de Haan said. "I had career numbers and I'm just looking to build off that and go from there. Do what I do best. Not try to do much and play my game."
"I'll start getting back into things now and start ramping [my skating] up," de Haan said. "I can't believe it's August already and training camp is around the corner.