Welcome to the brand new FloridaPanthers.com series "Summer Plans," where your favorite Florida Panthers players share what they'll be up to in the months before the 2019-20 season.
This week's Panther: Josh Brown (interview was conducted on May 21, 2019)
Q: On the heels of your first NHL season, what will your training be like this summer?
BROWN: I'm already back at it. At the start, it's more easing back into it. If there's a couple injuries, it's just kind of working on mobility and stuff like that, getting a sweat. Then it starts to pick up to about four or five times a week. I'll add in some hot yoga, boxing and things like that. Then when it's time, I'll get back on the ice and work on all that stuff. But I think it's important to take some time off, reflect on the season and let the body heal a bit. Not too long, obviously.
Q: Do you train with any current or former NHL players?
BROWN: I actually don't right now. I used to train with Jason Williams, who won a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2002. I also trained with Mark Mancari, who played a little bit in the NHL. They're both retired now, I think. I know Jason is. I do skate with a bunch of NHL guys, though.
Q: Who are some of the guys that you skate with during the summer?
BROWN: We have a pretty good group of guys that get together in London, Ontario. It's guys like Drew Doughty, Corey Perry, Logan Couture, Boone Jenner, a bunch of good guys. My hometown's honestly a little bit of a hockey mecca it seems like. We have really good skates.
Q: Are there any specific areas of your game that you're focusing on improving?
BROWN: I think it's always kind of the same. As a bigger guy, I'm always trying to work on things like footspeed and agility and stuff like that. On top of that, there's always a desire for things like getting a little stronger. Being more of a leaner build, I'm always trying to put a little more muscle onto my frame. For the most part, it's just about trying to get bigger and stronger while maintaining, if not improving, my footspeed on and off the ice. That's what I'm working on.
Q: After a lot of hard work, you finally made your NHL debut this season at 25 years old and ended up playing in 37 straight games with the Panthers. How nice has it been to reconnect with your friends and family this summer after such a big year for yourself?
BROWN: It's been great so far. Even those friends that I haven't seen much since high school or when they were in university, when I bump into them on the streets or downtown it's always great. They're all so supportive, giving me a bunch of compliments and stuff like that. It's been pretty awesome. They've all followed my career for a long time. They're happy for me that I got that chance.
Q: When do you plan on heading back to South Florida?
BROWN: I'm not sure yet, actually. It's kind of open-ended. If I get a call saying they want me back early, I'll be back. But as far as my own plans go, I'm looking at the start of September to come back and get reacclimated to all the guys and start working with them again. We'll see.
Q: In general, Ontario and South Florida don't have too much in common. What are you missing most about living in the Sunshine State while being back home this summer?
BROWN: The constant heat, probably. The beaches are obviously great, too. It's been unusually cold since I got back home. It's been tough for me to adjust. It's funny. I feel like I'm that Canadian kid that doesn't like being back [Laughs]. It's not even that cold, but it feels pretty cold. I got used to the South Florida heat, I guess.
Q: What's the biggest non-hockey event currently on your schedule this summer?
BROWN: It might have already happened. One of the first weeks I was back, I went to California with a group of guys that I've been really close with since high school, if not before that. There was about 12 of us in this big Airbnb house just outside San Diego. It was a great trip. We had a lot of fun. We did some wine tours and stuff like that. That's probably the big trip.
Q: Summer is also typically a time for big concerts and blockbuster movies. Is there any particular one of those that you're excited about and have got circled on your calendar?
BROWN: I saw Avengers: Endgame. That was a pretty big one. I was dodging spoilers for a while since I didn't get to see it as fast as I should have. It was great. There's also a couple of big concerts coming. Queen with Adam Lambert is coming to Toronto, and also John Mayer is going to be coming there as well. I'd love to go and see those. Those are some good ones.