While most of his teammates return to Canada from the summer and spend time at their lake cottages, Panthers forward Scottie Upshall trades South Florida for Southern California during the offseason.
“I spend my summers in Orange County in Newport Beach,” Upshall explained. “My trainer is in Laguna Beach and a couple of hockey guys and I work out there. It’s definitely been a productive summer where I’ve been able to really focus on doing things I need to do to get back.”
That isn’t all for Upshall. He also went to Chicago to enjoy time with his girlfriend and attend the very popular music festival, Lollapalooza. Jack White was the main attraction for Upshall.
“It’s nice [to] spend some time in Chicago, have nice dinners and in the afternoon go and watch a couple of shows,” the right winger said. “My favorite show of the weekend was Jack White. I love music in the summer; it’s kind of a time to sit back, unwind and relax…music definitely helps me do that.”
While enjoying time off is great, the summer isn’t all fun and games for the Alberta native. Upshall is coming off a season that was marred by injury and he is doing all he can to make sure he is ready for the upcoming season.
“I do four days of weight training, two days of yoga, and then every day I mix in between 15 -20 minutes of agility work,” he explained. “Last year I had a couple of injuries and I’ve been trying to do a lot of stuff in the gym, working with a few physiotherapists just making sure that I’m ready and that my body is fine-tuned once training camp begins.”
Last season, Upshall appeared in only 26 games, recording five points. The silver lining is that he came out strong in the playoffs and tallied three points in the seven-game series with the New Jersey Devils. Upshall was happy he was able to contribute, but he wishes he had been healthy throughout the regular season.
“Once I [was 100 percent healthy], it was probably Game 3 or Game 4 of the playoffs and you wish that you were hitting your full throttle at mid-season instead,” Upshall admitted. “I was happy with the way our team played and I was glad that I was able to get back into the lineup and help chip-in.”
Being the Southeast Division champions will make other teams take notice. The Southeast Division has definitely improved this offseason and every team in the division will have their eyes on the Florida Panthers, as the Cats try to become back-to-back champs. Upshall agrees that the team isn’t going to take anyone by surprise this upcoming season.
This doesn’t worry Upshall because he knows that the team has the personnel it needs to compete again and try to repeat as division champions. Upshall likes the free agent signings the Panthers have made and is ready for the season to begin.
“Teams now realize what we’ve done here in Florida and how we’ve changed the way we do things; we don’t accept losing,” Upshall said. "This year, [teams] are going to know that every game, we’re going to be coming hard.”