When it’s time to return home for the summer, Torrey Mitchell
has always made Vermont his priority since turning pro after playing for the University of Vermont. Now the beautiful college town of Burlington serves as Mitchell’s home when the hockey season is over.
|San Jose Sharks center Torrey Mitchell (17) is pulled away from Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (13) of Russia during the second period in Game 6 of a second-round NHL Stanley Cup playoffs hockey game in Detroit, Tuesday, May 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) |
“I bought a place here last July and am just enjoying the summer,” Mitchell said. “I’m in south Burlington. That’s my permanent home now, my home in the offseason forever.”
This summer is unlike the ones Mitchell has experienced over the last two years. Following the past two seasons, much of Mitchell’s summer has been spent rehabbing injuries. That resulted in less fun time and physical development for the upcoming year. Now that he’s healthy, he’s able to have more fun while spending time doing what he likes to do.
“A lot of golf, finally I can golf again,” Mitchell said of having a “full summer where I don’t have to worry about rehabbing for the first eight weeks.”
Mitchell’s game isn’t where he wants it to be, but most importantly, he’s having fun.
“I hadn’t played in a real long time but, but I’m shooting in the mid 90s with potential to shoot in 80s,” Mitchell said.
“It’s a frustrating game, but it’s so much fun,” Mitchell added. He doesn’t have to go far to work on his putts or his short game – the course is just four blocks from his home.
Mitchell has the best of everything this summer. He’s close to the golf course, but most importantly for him, he can train without having to commit additional time to rehabilitation.
“I feel like I’m getting back into good summer shape and it will be nice showing up (to camp) in good shape,” Mitchell said. “I’m just excited to get stronger again. I have a lot of confidence in my body, that’s always the first thing. When you come to training camp and know you’re in good shape, the mental part of the game falls in better.”
There’s one other thing that’s making Mitchell’s summer more enjoyable – he’s close to a first-class training facility at the University of Vermont and he’s got plenty of ex-Catamounts (including current National Hockey League players) there to push him.
“There are about 15 guys, most of them are Vermont alumni. We work out from 9-11 a.m. Monday through Friday,” Mitchell said of his routine. “They (the university staffers) are super, super great to us in the summer, letting us use their facilities. They just really enjoy us being around and the young guys (current Catamounts) can see we’re working hard.”
As for his conditioning program, Mitchell has taken Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Mike Potenza’s summer plans with him and then adds in what he sees from his workout partners.
|San Jose Sharks center Torrey Mitchell (17) checks Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Greene (2) during the first period in Game 2 of a first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoffs hockey series in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, April 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) |
Golf and training are just part of Mitchell’s offseason. Since he spends plenty of time crisscrossing North America during the season, he’s just taking some side trips, basically anything accessible by car. One of his trips was to his native Montreal. His family is still there and he also participates in a hockey school.
And he lives slightly less than 300 miles from the center of the East Coast universe. “We just got back from New York City with my girlfriend and went to ‘Jersey Boys.’ It was pretty cool,” Mitchell said of the Broadway musical based on Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
There is one exception to his near staycation-like travel plans. Since his girlfriend is from Montana, the pair will soon be getting on an airplane to Big Sky Country.
But there are no exceptions to Mitchell’s summer in 2011, arguably his most enjoyable one in years.