Being from the small Wisconsin town of Plover, center Joe Pavelski
has adapted well to living in the nation’s No. 4 media market. That being said, “Pavs” enjoys returning to his native state every summer.
The boy has been taken out of Wisconsin, but the Wisconsin has not been taken out of the boy. He and his family live just outside of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he helped the Badgers win an NCAA Championship.
|San Jose Sharks' Devin Setoguchi (16) celebrates his goal with teammate Joe Pavelski as the referee signals the goal, during the third period against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference finals Tuesday, May 24, 2011, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward) |
“We found it at the end of (last) summer,” Pavelski said, “so we didn’t get to spend any time in it.”
Pavelski may not have lived long in Madison, but the city’s make-up suits his family just fine.
“The town is great with a lot of nice people here,” Pavelski said. “It’s a nice summer spot for us right now.”
Now the Pavelskis are creating a picturesque home for themselves near a lake.
“It’s pretty much our first week here,” Pavelski said. “We’re on the water here and it’s pretty nice.”
Being on the water primarily includes boating and fishing.
“It’s been a little bit of everything,” Pavelski said. “Right now it’s been more fishing. If I can get out there on the water with the boat, I do. It’s nice being out on the water, so I’ve definitely fished more in the first week-and-a-half than I did all last summer.”
There’s a variety of fishing to do, whether it’s dreaming of catching a record-setting muskie or a smaller catch that provided plenty of fight.
“There’s a little bit of everything,” Pavelski said. “There are muskies in the lake and right now blue gills, crappie and perch. There are some large mouth bass.”
While Pavelski has caught plenty of fish, he’s still seeking that record-setter.
“The biggest thing I’ve caught would probably be a small muskie under 30 inches,” Pavelski said, “but we’ve caught a lot of nice fish.”
Fishing and golf have always been summer activities for Pavelski. While his lakeside home makes it easy to go fishing, the links have taken a backseat as family has become a priority.
Pavelski’s family and his in-laws are within a three-hour radius of the house. Considering that Pavelski’s child was born in San Jose during the season, the grandparents have been making up for lost time by getting acquainted with their grandchild.
“We’ve made a few trips down to Iowa and a few trips up to Plover,” Pavelski said. “We’ve travelled a little bit this summer to see friends and family. It’s good to spend a little more time with the grandparents.”
Quality family time and relaxing are offseason priorities for any National Hockey League player. Of course, Pavelski is no exception. However, Pavelski knows he has to be ready for the 2011-12 season. Most importantly, he has the proper surroundings to achieve his goals.
“There are a group of guys that I played with in college who come back,” Pavelski said. “We train together here. So all the workouts are going to be up to standard. I won’t be missing anything and I’ll be coming into camp prepared.”
Pavelski is fortunate to have the best of all worlds.
|San Jose Sharks' Joe Pavelski, left, trips Vancouver Canucks' Daniel Sedin, of Sweden, during the first period of Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference finals, Wednesday, May 18, 2011, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck) |
“The training and the facilities are great,” Pavelski said. “It just works out great because we created some pretty good bonds here in the few years we were at Wisconsin. It’s good to see everybody come back and being excited to work out together.”
Some players like to travel around the world during their offseason. As for Pavelski, there’s really no need to add destination stickers to his suitcase.
“This is the vacation for the most part,” Pavelski said of staying close to Madison. “We’re only two hours from Chicago, so there’s always that option to run down there for a weekend. We have a lot of weddings right now, so we have to travel to Boston and then New Hampshire. We’ll spend a day in Boston and then work our way up there. There isn’t too much time to go anywhere and our time here has been pretty enjoyable.”
And being close to grandparents can make it easier if they want to go to weddings without having to pack diapers.
“They’re excited to come down and they’ve been down a few times already,” Pavelski said. “They’re willing to help out and it makes it a lot easier.”
One can be sure Pavelski is enjoying every minute of his time back home, because soon enough, he’ll be back in San Jose trying to help the Sharks reach their ultimate goal.