Lightning coach Rick Tocchet has promised that his players will arrive at training camp in shape this September. He and his staff will be monitoring the off-season workouts of some players, but he doesn’t have to worry about forward Ryan Craig, because Craig is motivating himself and working harder, and smarter, than ever before.
“I believe I’m capable of scoring 20 goals in this league,” Craig said.
And he’s out to prove it.
Craig, his wife, Jaydee, and his son are spending the summer at their off-season home in Brandon, Manitoba, where he played his junior hockey as a member of the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League.
Aside from a brief upcoming trip to Abbotsford, British Columbia, to stand up for his brother at his wedding, Craig is working out hard every day to prepare himself for the rigors of an NHL season and beyond, into the playoffs. Hampered by injuries over the past two seasons, Craig is spending six days a week working on getting back to where he once was as a player.
“I’m using some new training methods and I think they’ve helped me feel great to this point,” Craig said. “I’m concentrating on becoming quicker. This is the first year I’m actually able to train, rather then just rehab something. It’s a huge positive step forward in my confidence.”
Craig gets his training done early in the day, and once finished, he turns his full attention to his 19-month old son, Carson.
“He keeps me busy,” Craig reported. “He loves anything to do with a ball, bat, club or hockey stick. He’s a tough little 19-month old.”
Unless Carson wears him out in the afternoons, look for Craig to be ready to go full speed when camp opens in the Fall.