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Adams Happy to Spend Summer in Pittsburgh

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

While most of the Penguins went their respective ways once the season ended, Craig Adams stayed right here in Pittsburgh.

“Pittsburgh is a great city to live in,” the veteran forward said.

Adams and his family – wife Anne, son Rhys and daughter Francesca – have planted their roots in the Steel City year-round, save for a few trips to visit family in western Canada and the Boston area.

Adams, who signed a two-year contract extension with the Penguins on June 10, is in his second summer of training at Umberger Performance, a facility located a mile from the Parkway West and I-79 intersection.

“It’s a great facility, lots of space,” Adams, 34, said. “Very sort of progressive in their thinking. I’m excited about it.”

The gym is relatively new, having opened last February. It’s owned by Blue Jackets forward and Plum native R.J. Umberger and his cousin Scott, who operates the facility and is Adams’ trainer.

Umberger Performance initially piqued Adams’ interest because of its focus on training high-caliber athletes, especially hockey players.

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“For me and for a lot of guys, we don’t really go to a traditional gym,” Adams said, who is now skating at the Penguins’ practice facility at the Iceoplex at Southpointe in addition to his off-ice workouts.

“We do different types of things. (Umberger Performance) is a very sports-specific place and more of a high-performance area. So it’s been perfect.”

Penguins fans know Adams for his gritty, hard-nosed, defensively reliable style of play. But the one aspect of his game that he personally places increasing value on as he gets older is quickness, and that’s what he focuses on maintaining during the summer.

“I don’t ever want anyone to say, ‘he lost a step’ or ‘he can’t skate anymore,’” Adams said. “That’s important for my game. That’s my number one focus, to stay fast and stay explosive.”

Adams was one of the first Penguins to re-sign with the Penguins this summer, watching as Pascal Dupuis, Arron Asham and Tyler Kennedy later inked deals with the team, to name a few.

While Adams admitted he’ll miss the members of last year’s squad that departed this summer, he’s happy with the group that’s in place and is looking forward to what they can do.

“I think we felt good as a group last year and felt that we weren’t missing a heck of a lot,” he said. “To get most of the guys re-signed and then to hopefully have some guys coming back and be healthy, I think that we’re a pretty good team.”

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