Training camp isn’t the only upcoming event on Pascal Dupuis
Dupuis and his family have returned to Pittsburgh for the year after spending the offseason at their home in Blainville, Quebec – and the Penguins forward and his wife Carole-Lyne are busy readying their young children for the start of the school year.
During the summer, their bilingual brood speaks English at home and switches to French around friends and family. Now they’re adjusting back to using English at all times.
“My kids play in English at home, but when they have friends around it was all French,” Dupuis said. “Now that we’re back, they have to process everything back to English because school is coming up soon.”RELATED: A Perfect Fit >>
Dupuis, who signed a two-year contract extension with the Penguins on June 28, has enjoyed the time he’s gotten to spend with his family, both immediate and extended. In addition to visiting as many relatives as possible, the father of four has cherished spending time with son Kody and daughters Maeva, Zoe and Lola.
Dupuis missed just one game last season to be there for Lola’s birth (which he made with eight minutes to spare), and he can’t believe that the youngest member of the clan is already almost 10 months old.
“She’s crawling around, getting into everything,” Dupuis said. “She’s starting to eat regular food, which is kind of fun because you don’t have to carry around as much stuff.”RELATED: Penguins Re-Sign Forward Pascal Dupuis >>
Dupuis is spending six days a week in the gym and began skating in late July. His offseason routine is well established, as he’s been working with the same trainer, Stephane Dube, for 17 years. They both know what’s requisite to keep Dupuis performing to his potential.
“He knows me,” Dupuis said of Dube, a former strength and conditioning coach for the Penguins. “He knows what I need. And I’m 32, so I kind of know what I need by now, too.”
The veteran forward has been in the league for almost a decade and has almost 700 games of NHL experience on his resume. He’s watched as players’ summer workout regimens have intensified each year and has adjusted his own routine accordingly.
“The kids are bigger, stronger and faster,” Dupuis said. “I remember you used to run a couple of times before training camp in juniors and that was pretty much it. Camp would get you in shape. But now, they’re starting at 9 and 10 years old to lift some weights and do some plyometrics. They’re on the ice 12 months a year.”RELATED: Season Review: Pascal Dupuis >>
So while Dupuis hasn’t lost a step, his strength and speed are aspects of his game he has to constantly work on, especially during the summer.
“It’s something where you’re never strong enough,” Dupuis said. “The kids come in ready and they come in good shape, so I have to stay in shape too.”
After cramming as much family time as possible into the summer months, Dupuis is ready to reconnect with his other family – his teammates – now that he’s back in Pittsburgh and training camp is right around the corner.
“I’m looking forward to everybody being together,” he said. “It’s a different atmosphere in hockey. Guys are saying that after their career, that’s what they miss the most. When you leave for the summer, you’re happy to go – but you’re also kind of anxious to come back and live that life.
“It’s like 23 brothers that you come back and see every year. It’s great.”